In Knight & Deigh, Hannice Knight suffered a back injury that left him without the use of his legs. Sophie Deigh, physiotherapist and recent widow, devoted herself to supporting him.
As Hannice’s body recovered, he became ever closer to Sophie, and soon they found themselves in a relationship they had neither anticipated nor intended and for which neither was fully prepared.
A bump in the Knight followed Hannice as he juggled business, hedonism, marriage and ultimately parenthood.
Knight after Knight is the third and final part of the Hannice Knight story. Starting after the marriage of Hannice and Sophie’s only son, David to Jess, the only child of Jason and Noelani Reeves of Hawaii, it traces the Knight family’s progression through the generations.
Knight after Knight. Chapter twelve, part three.
Gabriel and Evaristo returned to their homes and businesses. Mary, one of Lindy’s top IT support people, went with them to set up their systems. She remained there for three days until the contracts and schedules arrived. She printed two copies of each of them, which the two men studied. Gabriel signed the documents and Evaristo witnessed them. Mary then returned to Dar-es-Salaam with the documents. We had something of a sign-fest when they came back; Lindy, Moses, Max and I taking the role of signatory or witness on both sets of both agreements, one copy of each of which we subsequently returned to Gabriel by post as well as scanning and emailing them (in case the post failed – something that can happen in any country).
Max and I busied ourselves setting up the mechanisms we would need to have in place to support Gabriel once he set his project in motion. We knew that Evaristo would get him started on the legal and regulatory aspects, so we wouldn’t be needed until he was ready to build his management structures. We also worked closely with Lindy’s Holy Island team and Moses’ investment team to make sure we were all pulling in the same direction.
It was whilst we were engaged in this venture that a message came to me from David. Short and sweet, it said simply ‘Jess has started. Can you come?’ I responded to say I’d be as quick as I could. Less than five minutes later, I received a call from a man who announced himself as Harry Smythe, manager of Black and Gold Air Charters. He told me that, on the instructions of Knight Global Trading, an aircraft was standing by at Julius Nyerere International Airport ready to leave in one hour, and that he had dispatched a car to pick me up at my office in fifteen minutes. Wow, I thought, the boy moves quickly and decisively. Just at that moment, I was immensely proud of him.
“Trouble?” Max asked, apparently sensing that I was somewhat wrong-footed.
“No,” I said, “I had a text from David saying Jess in going into labour. That phone call was from a charter outfit telling me they have a plane standing by to fly me to London and a car is on its way to collect me.”
“David did that?”
“I imagine so.”
“So why are you standing here? Don’t you need to pack a bag?”
“I still have a flat in Knight Towers; should be plenty of everything there.”
As I said that, there was a knock on the outer door. It opened and an early middle-aged man wearing what looked like a chauffeur’s uniform entered.
“Mr Knight?” he asked.
“I am he.”
“Good morning, Sir. My name is Abel. I am to drive you to the airport as soon as you’re ready.”
“You have identification?” I asked.
“Of course, Sir,” he said, extracting from under his jacket an ID badge suspended on a lanyard.
I examined it and nodded. “Let’s go then, Abel.”
“Do you have any luggage, Mr Knight?”
“No, just me.” I turned to Max and placed my thumb and pinkie finger against my ear and mouth and said, “I’ll call you when I get there.”
Max wished me a pleasant journey and went back to her work.
Outside the office building, with half a dozen small boys guarding it, was a silver-grey Jaguar limousine. Abel thanked the boys, gave one of them some cash and opened the back door for me.
“Thank you, Abel, but I’d prefer to be in the front,” I said.
“Very well, Sir,” he said, closing the rear door and opening the front passenger door. I got in, and we drove through the morning traffic to the private charter area of the airport.
On arrival, he drove me to the apron where an impressive-looking aircraft was standing. A man whom I assumed to be the pilot was walking around the aircraft, touching various parts of it while a fuelling truck was pulping fuel into its tanks. A young woman in pilot’s garb approached me.
“Mr Knight?” she asked.
“Yes,” I replied.
“My name is Geri. I’ll be your pilot today. George, my co-pilot, is completing pre-flight checks. Thank you for coming promptly, Mr Knight. We have a tight schedule to keep to. This aircraft has to be in London within twelve hours to give us the turn-round time we need before embarking on a long-term charter. This flight was going to be fully crewed but without passengers. We’re delighted to have you aboard.”
“So my son managed to hi-jack an existing flight, rather than having to pay for a special flight? Crafty little devil.”
“As far as I know, we don’t have another aircraft available that could take you to London today. This one, a Dassault Falcon 7X, has an operational range of nearly six thousand nautical miles and should be able to make Heathrow non-stop.”
“Ten hours, give or take. Please,” she said, indicating the steps leading to the interior of the aircraft. I climbed the stairs. The interior of the plane was probably one of the most luxurious and comfortable-looking I could recall seeing. Two other cabin crew were in the aircraft and introduced themselves. Tom was a young Australian man, and Paalika, a woman of Indian heritage who was born and raised in Tanzania. They made me comfortable whilst Geri joined George on the flight deck and the engines started.