Sunday serialisation – Knight after Knight, 2.3

Knight after Knight250

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 two, part three.

The Kunongas followed me into my study, where I used the machine my guys had given me to scan Pepu and Jen’s faces and irises.

I’ll need to take prints of your index fingers as well,” I said, “left and right.”

“What for?” Pepu asked, “we are not criminals.”

“Not at all,” I replied with a chuckle, “There’s a back-up system in case the facial recognition or the iris scan both fail. That can happen if your face is obscured or if the camera develops a fault. In that case, you can use the fingerprint pad. I’ll make sure Eddie shows it to you – it’s on the bottom of the bell-push.”

Once the scans were finished and verified we all went back to the lounge, where Sophie announced that the mail had arrived. Sure enough, on the table was a KGT labelled box that contained Pepu’s new iPhone. It was fully charged and ready to go. Before handing it over I needed to update its security app by loading in Pepu’s facial, iris and fingerprint data. Once done, I returned and handed it to the lad.

“There you go, Pepu,” I said, “the SIM card is unlocked and active and its unlocking code is on here,” I handed him a slip of paper bearing two numbers, “the second number unlocks the phone. Generally, it will prompt you to look into its camera either for your full face or for one eye. Sometimes, it will ask you for a fingerprint.”

“That sounds like a lot just for a phone, Sir,” Pepu suggested.

“It’s standard for senior executives and anyone with direct links to senior executives. You will have details of my movements and planned travels in there; not something we’d want to get into the wrong hands. The extra security means that if anyone should steal or find the phone, they’d need your face, your eye and your fingerprint, as well as the six-figure code to be sure of getting in. I’ll leave you to your duties now. I have things to do. I’ll be in my study. Eddie – can you show Pepu and Jen the door security, please?”

“Of course,” he said then, turning to Jen, “follow me.”

“Please!” I reminded him.

“Sorry. I meant ‘follow me, please’.”

“Do you mind if I go down to the clinic to see if they’ve any work for me?” Sophie asked, “I’ve already run through with Jen what I want her to do today.”

“Okay. Oh, on your way out, can you tell Eddie and Martha that they can have Pepu for the day if they want to go out anywhere, please?”

“Of course. Have a good day, Hannice.”

“You too, my love.”

Suddenly, I was on my own again. Sitting in my study, I was looking through the latest batch of papers to come from London when I came across a small file presented by Lindy on behalf of Kanene Fonseca Interiors and headed ‘Refurbishment Proposal – Nocturne’. Of course, Max Matham has relocated to London full time, and although Lindy doesn’t yet have the title of Regional Director for Africa, he has the job, and so it’s right that Nocturne should become his home. My mind wandered back through the decades to the years I had spent living in that house and I wondered what it looked like now. Apart from a couple of very brief visits, I hadn’t seen the place since Kanene had done that fabulous job on the ground floor bedroom for me when I visited during my immobile period.

I started to look through the proposal. It was an impressively detailed dossier with detailed drawings and descriptions, all fully costed. There was also a DVD in the back. I put the DVD into what I call my ‘safe computer’, a standalone machine that was never connected to the house or any other network and scanned the disk. It was clean and, according to the ‘read me’ file, contained a walk-through of the house as proposed, produced by Kanene’s people.

I ejected the DVD and inserted it in the machine that was connected to the wall display and ran the index file. I knew, of course, that Kanene’s outfit was well-respected in East Africa as arguably the top interior design business in the region but, until now, I had never been the recipient of one of their pitches.

The movie took us through the house in photo-realistic 3-D with a voiceover that would do credit to any of the top-flight estate agents I had ever dealt with. Katerina’s firm, Theotokis Calathes Paphitis (TCP) had been engaged as structural architects, an area where KFI boasted no expertise. According to the blurb, KFI and TCP had worked together on a number of projects over the years and not, it seemed, just in East Africa.
To say I was impressed would be a serious understatement. I hardly recognised the old homestead. More than twenty years I had lived in that house and yet there was so little of it that was familiar to me.

When Sophie returned, I called her in and showed her the movie. She was as impressed as I was.

“Fancy a trip to Dar?” I asked.

“Do I ever?” she said, “Can Mum and Dad come? They haven’t been yet and we’ve been threatening to take them for years.”

“You sure they’re up to it? It’s a long trip for someone over eighty.”

“They’re fit enough. We can have Doctor Willis check them over. He’ll have to give all four of us the jabs we’ll need, anyway, and I’m sure he’ll relish the chance of giving you a full work-up. When did you last have one?”

“Changing the subject…” I said.

“No, Hannice. When?”

“I can’t remember.”

“No, neither can I. Listen, you’re sixty-six years old now and haven’t been checked for at least ten years. You keep on at me to make sure my scans and everything are up to date but you won’t even do any of the preventive things.”

“Okay, I’ll get it done.”

“And the colo-rectal test?”


“And a full set of blood tests?”

“If you insist.”

“And a prostate examination?”

“Steady on, old thing. You know how they do that?”

“Of course I do, and it’s no worse than a cervical smear – probably less invasive. But do you know what the result of not having it done can be?”

“Yes, I do. It’s just—”

“It’s just nothing. What’s the problem?”

“You wouldn’t understand. You’re not a man.”

“And if you’re afraid to have that done, perhaps you aren’t either.”

“I’m not afraid, just reluctant. It’s too personal.”

“Too bad. You’re having it done.”

“Are you ordering me?”

“Yes, Hannice, I am.”

“And if I refuse?”

“You don’t want to know what the consequences will be. But whatever they are, they’ll be less life-threatening than prostate cancer!”