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 fifteen, part three.
“What do you think?” David asked, sitting on the sofa with me.
“Pour yourself a coffee, grab a biscuit and I’ll tell you,” I replied. I waited for a few seconds whilst David helped himself to coffee, then continued, “Jess said these agreements were lifted from my contract with Lindy.”
“I prefer adapted but yes, basically, I could see no issues with that deal. The contract – we have a copy archived here, of course…”
“It’s extremely well written. Really, we only needed to change some of the detail that was specific to the location and to Tanzanian regulations. The main working sections we could just copy straight across. Didn’t even change the names except in the preamble.”
“Well. Henk and I have looked through the contracts in detail and we are in agreement.” I looked towards Henk. He nodded.
“And?” David asked.
“And when are you going to call Jess in to witness our signatures?”
David stretched across and shook each of us by the hand. “You won’t regret this,” he said.
“And we hope you won’t either,” I added.
David called Jess. She came into the room, watched David, Henk and me sign the contracts and witnessed all four copies.
“I think this calls for a sherry,” David said, “what’s your preference, Henk?”
“Same as everybody else,” Henk said.
Jess walked across the room to what I always called the booze cupboard, but that now has the much more upmarket name of armoire à boissons. She came back with four schooners of a well-known and much respected pale cream sherry. We raised our glasses to the contracts and, as was our habit, to absent friends. It’s at these times, as my thoughts go to Sophie and to Max, that my thoughts tend to become rather sober, if not sombre. We sipped our sherry silently, David and Jess knowing, and Henk sensing that I needed a short period alone with my thoughts.
“So,” I said, breaking the silence, “where do we go from here?”
“You need to make a decision,” David said, “and when I say you, I mean both of you.”
“And that decision is?”
“Whether you want office space in Head Office or here.”
“What are your thoughts on that, Henk,” I asked him.
“Hmm. Difficult,” he said, “London is more convenient, but here is likely to be more comfortable.”
“Decision made,” I said, addressing David, “we’ll have both, please. I assume the house network is still close-coupled with the one at Head Office.”
“Of course. If anything, it’s more tightly integrated than in your day.”
“Then it’s settled. In Dar, Max and I had a shared office and an outer reception room that doubled as a smallish meeting room. If we could have the same here and at Head Office, we’d be well set.”
“I don’t think there’s room at Head Office for that set-up. Could you hot-desk in the offices we use for visiting regional directors? One of them is almost always available. In fact, Jess, can you recall a time when they’ve both been busy?”
“Only when I’ve been using one of them,” Jess said, “it’s easy to check, they’re both in the bookable resource diary along with conference rooms and pool cars.”
“Okay,” I said, “that’s settled. What about here?”
“I’ll have the ground-floor flat that Grandma and Grandpa Beard used to use converted. Shouldn’t take more than a couple of weeks, including the IT work.”
“Oh, I like that idea. Separate outside entrance, too. Same security?”
“We can do that. It’ll use the same badges and so on as the existing front door lock, but I’ll make sure you have control over access permissions.”
That was all very successful. Henk and I had a session with Greens, who were still the solicitors retained by the firm and the family, and had them set up our partnership and handle all the registrations. We had already agreed not to take a salary from the business, limiting our drawings to unavoidable business expenses. The partnership was thus set up as a not-for-profit organisation, working for outside bodies on an expenses-only, pro-bono basis, and working for Knight Global on a nett non-pecuniary basis – the retainer we receive from them being balanced by the charges we have to pay to them, exactly what Max and I had agreed with Lindy. Obviously, the accounts we submitted would have to show the same figures Knight Global reported in theirs, and would have to be at a level suitable to appease the government tax collectors and other bean counters.
And so a new chapter started. Well, it will soon, I promise. Just need to close this scene off first.
The new Knight-Overbock partnership was registered and operational. On one of her regular visits, Kanene came in from Tanzania and designed our office in Knight Towers, and we had Tanja Voorwinde mock up and eventually have printed the range of stationery we’d need. The logo she designed was essentially the outline of a human head with the initials KOP, for Knight-Overbock Partnership emblazoned across it. Henk laughed heartily when he saw it, but I didn’t get the joke. He explained that in the Dutch language, kop (pronounced as cope) means head. That also explained why he was tickled to see our number listed in the KGT internal telephone directory as Kop office.