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"Did he ever strike you?" I asked. "Any of you?"
"Oh, no. You mean like hit? No. If he ever hit her, her brothers would castrate him." It was clear that she had no idea what the word meant. It was just something she'd heard, probably quite often. "And he never hit Tracy. She's his little girl."
"What about you?"
"He never just hit me. But when I was bad, he'd spank me."
"With his bare hand?"
"No, usually with his belt."
"Or a stick," I said, because she had mentioned this before.
We were silent for a minute, then Ron looked up from the floor. I kept my expression blank, I hope, trying not to reveal my desire to punch her birth father in the mouth.