When Vera says do you know many people around here
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Vera wants to spin a yarn (a tall tale) about a local event. She wants to know that Mr. Nuttel doesn't know about locals or events.
She says this as she is an inquisitive person and she is wanting to know if mr nuttel knew anything about the aunt or the people living there. she wanted to know if he had any prior knowledge about the marriage status of mrs sappleton so that she could tel a fake tale.