He goes snooping in Penelope's attic, looking for art he can hawk. In order to get a better look, he goes on and on about how the attic is a fire hazard and ought to be cleared out. He describes the contents of the attic to his sister as,
"Everything. Old boxes; chests of clothes and bundles of letters. Dressmaker's dummies, toy perambulators, footstools, bags of tapestry wool, weighing machines, boxes of wooden blocks, piles of magazines tied together with string, knitting patterns, old picture frames...you name it, it's there. And like I said, it's all a hideous fire risk."He wants to get rid of it all, which his sister tells him their mother would never agree to. He replies,
"All right, then sort it out. But half of the junk up there is only fit for a bonfire, like the bundles of magazines and the knitting patterns and tapestry wool..."Olivia is perhaps beginning to sense his vendetta against knitting. She questions him.
"Why the tapestry wool?"I know--scary stuff! Sent chills down my spine!
"It's alive with moth."