"Come, I have to show you something"
The boy followed Ian wordlessly, not questioning where he was being led. Ian stopped in front of a massive tree in the run down backyard of the mansion and asked the boy to look up. The boy did as he was told, and saw the world's biggest tree house perched on top of one of the old trees. Ian had been chattering about how his father had built it single-handedly for him and his brother George, when he suddenly stopped. When the boy glanced at him, he noticed that Ian was looking fearfully at something behind him.
"How dare you!” came a rasping voice from the back, and the boy recognized the cruel old man's voice.
"I'm sorry, Uncle Kurt" Ian nearly whispered, "I meant no harm."
The old man grabbed him by his arm and slapped Ian hard across his face. "How dare you mingle with common vermin like him? Why do you forget that you are nobility and he is a mere commoner?" he thundered, "Is it so easy for you to forget your heritage?"
"You had no right to do that!" the boy couldn't stop himself. But what is the power of a small shrill voice against the might of the infallible?
The boy immediately regretted his short outburst. When the old man turned to him, the boy was nearly paralyzed with fear. The man raised his hand and whacked the boy hard across his face.
"Don't you dare question me, boy, or I'll do you in like your mother.," he said in a low sinister voice.
He had already walked back a few paces towards the house, dragging Ian with him, when the boy realised the true meaning of his words.