Oberon wrote:To have 'dirt' on someone, it has to be something you know that the person wouldn't want others to know. And "Every time I try to explain myself, I only make matters worse" gives a strong impression that many people have asked Bill to explain himself. So, no 'dirt.'
The "every time I try to explain" could simply mean about his work in general. I agree that this doll alone doesn't really constitute dirt, but his phrasing doesn't neccessarily mean someone has seen it before.
I don't think it's a shameful secret on anyone's part. I mean, hell, a caster from another side knows how freaky Bill is! (looking at you, Ace)
More than anything, this hits me as a hobby Bill makes no real effort to hide, but also not one he brags about. I mean, the pit is in the dungeon, sure, but it's uncovered, and next to the wine. Not hidden behind locked doors or veils or whatever. And Bill doesn't make excuses, or try to cover it up, he just asks "Do you REALLY want to know?"
This strikes me as something people have
stumbled over before and decided that they just don't want to think about it. Sort of like a noble wandering behind the stables and seeing the gardener knee deep in crap, rotting food and dead animals. The noble may have known about compost in an abstract way, but trying to get an explanation for "how it all helps the place look nice" out of the gardener, who does it by intuition and tradition? Just going to make everyone uncomfortable.