August 8, 2019:

"He has another daughter," she said, exactly once, in her familiar tone of false nonchalance.

It's hard to say if that was the truth, or if she invented it spur-of-the-moment to stop a conversation by which she felt threatened.

It could be true. If it had caused her envy or pain she would of course have tried to never speak of it. She would have assumed her false pose of I-don't-care because it would have hurt her to confront the truth.

Or it could be false. She would have fired-off that extemporized falsehood because she felt threatened by the questions I asked, most particularly about the paucity of her inheritance.

This is the stress children experience when their parents habitually lie. Adults believe they're slipping their little fibs on by, but children adapt by learning hypervigilance, paying strict attention to every nuance of phrasing, intonation, body language, until their parents live under a microscope of observation they entirely fail to suspect.