I looked at Harold. “Now, why don’t we go and sit on the veranda and enjoy what’s left of the cool morning. You can have a sherry to calm your temper.” I took him by the arm and marched him out of the kitchen.
“How bloody dare you,” he hissed.
“Oh shut up, Harold. It bloody serves you right for drinking rum for breakfast.”
His breath reeked of it. He glared at me with angry, bloodshot eyes. “Don’t lecture me on my drinking habits, cousin.”
I shoved him onto the veranda and pushed him into a chair. “I don’t care if you think I’ve overstepped the mark by telling you off in front of your own servants. While I’m here, and while I hold the strings to your purse, you will not abuse your staff, do you understand me?”
“By God, you can be an arrogant bastard sometimes, Jacob.”
“Do you want this money or don’t you?”
Harold’s cheeks flushed - plum clashing awkwardly with his gingery side whiskers. He swallowed and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. “You know I need it.”
“Then I suggest you refrain from treating your servants like slaves.” I sank into the other chair, still shaking with anger.
Harold reached for the sherry with a shaking hand but said not another word until tiffin arrived.