Rory Rogerson is 67; an overweight, unfit, retired ‘protection officer’ (that’s PC for hired muscle). He is also a prolific and, by his own reckoning, successful author of crime fiction.
Penny (60) is his headmistress wife and Charlie Watkiss is the bloke next door.
Together, they make a formidable team!
Rory (ret’d). Chapter eleven, part four.
When Penny came home, I updated her on what had been happening.
“That’s great, Rory, but I wish you wouldn’t address me as Madam Company Secretary. I don’t know why you’re doing it – you’ve never called me Madam Head Teacher!”
“Fair point,” I conceded, “but you’re happy to have that role with all the responsibility it carries?”
“Yeah, that’s fine. I’m disappointed that you don’t want me to help with the investigations, though.”
“Who says you can’t? As far as I’m concerned, the firm will be licensed, and Charlie and I will be licensed investigators. As an employee and officer of the firm, you will work to deliver the mission statement but just as the lowliest, youngest accounts clerk isn’t a qualified accountant, it doesn’t stop him or her doing an accountants job – it’s just that they can’t sign things off and don’t carry ultimate responsibility for their work.”
“Now you put it like that, Mr CEO, I have to confess that I’m beginning to find the position increasingly attractive.”
“Good. Your background as an accountant—”
“Auditing and forensic accountant, yes.”
“And that means…?”
“Forensic accountants use, amongst other things: accounting, auditing, finance, research and investigative skills to collect, analyse and evaluate evidential matter.”
“So for forensic accountant I can substitute investigative accountant?”
“That is a subset of the job, yes.”
“But that’s the subset that interests me. Okay. Your job then, as well as Company Secretary and probably Finance Director, will be backroom guru. Yes, you’ll be involved with us, but as assistant investigator and once we have the information we need, you will be in charge of putting our cases together.”
“Won’t you two do that as well?”
“Yes, we will, but just as you will do fieldwork under our guidance and direction, when it comes to the backroom stuff, we will do it under your guidance and direction.”
“I can live with that. Do I get a salary?”
“When we have some income, yes.”
“And until then?”
“I’ll continue to rely on my pensions and you’ll continue to rely on your salary.”
“So I won’t stop work yet?”
“What about Charlie?”
“Charlie has his own source of income. Don’t forget he’s been running his own business since well before we met him.”
“Rory, about Charlie—”
“Don’t worry about Charlie – he’ll be okay.”
“No, it’s not that—”
“I told you, Penny, don’t worry about Charlie – he’s a big boy—”
“So just let him do what he needs to do and we’ll do what we need to do. It’ll be the best for everyone.”
“Okay, if you’re sure.”
“I am. Now, let’s get him over. We need to have the first general meeting of RRW Investigations Ltd to officially adopt the Articles of Association, the Aims and Objects and the Mission Statement. We also need to approve the appointments of directors – me as Chairman and CEO, you as Company Secretary and Charlie as Chief Operations Officer.”
I called Charlie to ask when he could join us. Sadly, his earliest time was nine in the evening – there was no point in having the meeting during normal business hours because Penny had school commitments. I asked Charlie if he would have eaten and he said no, so I agreed we’d call in a takeaway to be delivered between nine and a quarter past.