Henry Hortinger had always been a pragmatic man. A man you could rely on to make those difficult decisions from which others might balk. His potential became evident at an early age and was firmly established by the time he was eleven years old. It was embodied most keenly in an incident, just days after his tenth birthday, when Henry caught a kitchen boy stealing scraps from the larder.
While some children might have merely reported the incident, or worse, done nothing at all, young Henry had decided to investigate. He followed the boy all the way to an old garden shed at the far corner of the property and, when the boy left shortly after, entered the building himself to find what was hidden within. There, amongst a pile of rotting hay, he discovered a mangy mongrel bitch suckling a litter of scrawny black puppies. The kitchen boy had been feeding the wretched creatures with food scraps stolen from his father’s kitchen. His kitchen, as it would one day be! After having reported this atrocity to the man himself, and standing by as the young felon was dismissed from the household staff, Henry led his father down to the garden shed to inspect the creatures in question.