The quarrel had begun many years before - in 1850 on a West Indian sugar plantation - but although Charles Martinez and Hanover Rudolph had been dead a long time, the resentment and grudges of that old enmity still separated the two most important families in Bristol.
The Rudolphs and the Martinez disliked each other intensely - until the Michaelmas Ball of 1927. There, Jack Martinez, handsome roué and gambler, danced with spoilt, precocious Maude Rudolph and a spark was kindled.
The two young lovers, scandalising respectable Bristol, forced the families to unite and an uneasy truce was formed in time for their child to be born.
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