vegetables were then passed around and then Andrews brought in roasted potatoes and Yorkshire puddings.
“There is horse radish sauce and mustard if you should require it Gerald.’
Please feel free to help yourself.’
Thank you Ester.’
Gerald reached for the mustard pot and spooned some onto his meat then cut into it.’
He raised the fork to his mouth and chewed.
“This is perfectly cooked Ester I like it just a little bit pink in the middle.’
“I prefer it well done myself said Muriel.’
That is why I gave you the well done slices Muriel; I hope that you don’t mind.’
“Not at all Gerry.’
Muriel was telling me that you plan to teach her how to do short hand is that right?’
“Yes there is a simple way to do short hand which Muriel can learn and I will show her after dinner.’
The conversation continued right through dinner and Gerald had drunk several glasses of wine. He sat for fifteen minutes after dinner before he asked Muriel if she was ready to learn his method of short hand.
They went into the study and closed the door.
“Now Miss Marshbanks I want you to imagine that I am your boss and that I want you to dictate a letter. Now imagine the speed in which people talk to each other and put yourself in that time frame. “Do not be worried if you miss a letter from a word; just dictate as I am talking.
“Okay here we go.’ Please dictate this letter.
Dear Mr Armstrong it has come to my attention that you have forgotten to pay a fine imposed by the County Court on the 26th of July this year. Could you please pay the outstanding amount of £50.00 and costs of £20 pounds at your earliest convenience?’
If we do not receive payment within seven days then I’m afraid court proceeding will be taken against you.
Yours Sincerely Charley Farnsworth
Clerk to the courts.
Now date the letter which will be usually written on noted paper and type out what I have said verbatim.’
Muriel fed paper into the typewriter and set about typing what Gerald had said It took her less than three minutes.’
“Now, Muriel read it back to me.’
Muriel read it back word for word.
“That’s all there is to it Muriel those are the types of letters that you will be expected to dictate. Don’t forget most solicitors are in court most of the day; so it will only be the occasional time when you will be called upon to dictate a letter. The rest of the time will be spent copy typing standard letters or copying statements from witnesses.
Gerald looked at what she had typed and told her with what you have just done you could work in any office in the country Muriel.’
“I’m not kidding you.’
“If this is so can you do me a big favour?’
“I thought that I already was.’
“I need a job in North Shields in an office preferably for a solicitor.’
“I cannot make promises but I will try my best for you.