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 three, part three.
Later that evening, in the privacy of our bedroom, Sophie said, “Thank you for that, Hannice.”
“What are you thanking me for?”
“The support you’re giving to Jen. And to Pepu, too.”
“Staff development, Sophie. Good for us – we get more skilful staff; good for them – they increase their marketable skill set and have a good case for asking for pay increases, and, from the business standpoint, good for staff retention. And if Pepu can train up in estate management, that’ll include building and land maintenance, it’ll save us having to engage someone else to oversee the estate.”
“You’re right, aren’t you?”
“You know I am.”
“So, when are you going to take us to Tanzania?”
“I’ll set something up with Max after you’ve had your colonoscopy. Okay?.”
“Fair enough, I suppose. But why Max? I thought Max was permanently in head office as CFO now.”
“She is, but she’s still, nominally at least, regional director. It would be impolite to visit her region without her knowledge.”
I called Max the following morning and told her what we wanted to do.
“I’m quite keen to see what they’re doing to Nocturne, too. That walk-through was seriously impressive. Let’s set up a meeting with Lindy and Kanene. It’ll be good to have a chat with Katerina, too.”
“I wanted to suggest a meeting anyway, Hannice. I’m ready to firm up Lindy as regional manager and I know Henk is ready to confirm Tanja, too. It’s the next step on their journey to regional director. All that will be left is for the Board to accept them. I want this to be my last trip to Africa, too. Like you, I’m sixty-six now, and I want to start slowing down. I’m not ready to retire yet, but I want things to be in place so that when I am, the transition will be as painless as I can possibly make it; for me and for the firm.”
“My sentiments exactly, Max. I aim to sit down with David soon to prepare him to take my seat. I think he’s ready for it, although he does have his mind set on joining Jess in some philanthropic work. Perhaps you and I, with Sophie’s help, can get our heads around ways he can do both.”
“So you see David as Chair?”
“I can see me handing over the CEO’s seat to him, whilst remaining in the chair myself but ultimately, yes. I’ll have to stop at some time.”
We agreed to set up some meetings in Dar three weeks hence.
I called David.
“You ready for a new challenge, David?” I asked.
“Could be. Depends what it is.”
“You know the business now and you’ve held down a number of senior managerial positions. I think you’re ready to stand in for me when I’m away.”
“When are you thinking of going away?”
“Probably three weeks. Your mother has to have a medical test tomorrow, then we’ll know for sure.”
“What’s up with Mum?”
“Probably nothing. A routine test found traces of blood in her poo, so the doctor wants to check that it isn’t anything serious.”
“Let me know, will you?”
“Of course. I’m going to Dar with your mother and grandparents. You can come if you wish, or you can keep the CEO’s chair warm. I’ll get the board to confirm you as a director at the next meeting. You won’t have a department at first, but you will be my deputy. How does that sound?”
“I can live with that, Dad.”
“How’s Jess getting on with her project?”
“She’s working with some refugee families. Seems to be enjoying it so far.”
“Come down for dinner on Sunday. You both should meet Pepu and Jen.”
“The Zimbabwean refugees you have working for you?”
“Yes. It might give Jess an impression of what can be done with refugees when they’re given enough respect, trust and support.”