“Oh—oh! Be calm—be calm.”
Henry glared at Sir Francis Varney.
“I won’t be calm until you’ve been put in your place,” Henry said, taking a step toward the man. Varney glanced around at the others in the room, grinning.
“What’s his problem?” Varney asked the others, as if Henry were an object in the room that could be spoken about with no threat of retaliation.
“Varney, I challenge you—“
“Henry, please—“ Mr. Marchdale started, motioning at Henry to be silent.
“—to a dance-off!” Henry finished, crossing his arms and tilting his chin up in defiant triumph. Mr. Marchdale grabbed Henry by the shoulder and spun him around just as Varney began to laugh.
“Is he serious?” Varney asked between peals of laughter.
“I assure you he is not,” Mr. Bannerworth said as Mr. Marchdale dragged Henry a couple yards away to speak to him privately.
“Oh, I am! Deadly serious!” Henry called over his shoulder, struggling in Marchdale’s grip.
“What in God’s name are you doing?” Marchdale hissed, releasing Henry but blocking him in a corner of the room so he couldn’t continue to confront Varney.
“He’s embarrassed my sister, and now I will embarrass him so he’ll never show his face here again.”
“Henry, Varney is a renowned breakdancer. Have you gone crazy?”
“Mr. Marchdale,” Varney called across the room, hints of his amusement still ringing in his voice. “When you’re done, I accept the boy’s challenge.” He broke into laughter again at the end, barely able to get the last few words out.