Sweet tooth


Now Eleanor, you simply must have a pinch
of this sugar in your tea. You see, it’s ver
y special.

You remember that sub I had – Charles? I
used to call him
pissbreath. He
was an investment banker – and he was as stinking rich as his pissy breath, too. 
Anyway, I had this medical student staying with me one summer – lovely
girl from the Caribbean – and for some reason she got interested in his
ancestry, and guess what? It turns out his family used to own several of her
relatives as slaves
Mmm!  Back in the eighteenth century. Had them
shipped over to Barbados for the sugar plantations, you know.  Basis of Charles’s family fortune although
you won’t read about that in Who’s Who!

Well, of course as soon as I found out about it, I said that she simply must take him home with her in chains. I mean, I didn’t mind – no shortage of devoted subs wanting to worship at our feet, is there?  So I’m afraid I rather insisted – I mean, it’s only right, isn’t it?  She was a little reluctant at first (and you know, I suppose it is understandable
to be a bit funny about slavery with a family history like that, isn’t it?  But it’s not
really the same, after all) but she soon came round and we faked his death,
collected all his lovely cash and shipped him off in irons.

Her family still work a sugar plantation,
although apparently it’s all modern now. Anyway, they set up this little corner
just like it was when his ancestors used to run it and they make him work all
day on a chain in the hot sun. He absolutely hates every second of it, she tells me – nearly managed to escape once!  Goodness only knows what he’d have told the authorities  – I wonder if they’d have been sympathetic?  Fortunately they got him back and they hobbled him by cutting half his foot off. Oh – and they branded him too. Several times, I understand, with their own family initials. Such fu

Of course, even with all the whipping, he doesn’t make much sugar on
his own.  But they sent me this little
packet as a thank-you all the same – wasn’t that lovely?  Honestly, I was a little cross at first – I mean, I’d only just managed to get myself strictly onto the sweeteners.  They never really taste the same, though, do they? Anyway, I decided as long as I go out on my morning ride each day, it won’t do any harm to treat myself to a quarter-spoonful in my Darjeeling, when I get back.  

That reminds me, actually, I’m pretty sure your Nigel’s people were out East, weren’t they? Now, it wasn’t tea, was it… they were something in
Malaya, weren’t they?  Rubber tappers or whatever the word was. Maybe that’s why he’s so obsessed with wearing the stuff.  Do you fancy looking them up on the Google
thing? I’m sure
Pippa’s friend Zaheera
would love to have a crack at a pair of colonialist buttocks with a good old
cane. She’s frightfully progressive!

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