Albert "Bert" Johnson is a staunch supporter of the 'International Workers of the World', Bert is fond of a good chat and most often full of optimistic good cheer. He part-owns an old taxi truck with his friend Cec – which will soon be replaced by a gleaming new taxi cab – with strings attached!
Bert relies on Cec and has done ever since they served together on the Western Front. To make their way in the world, Bert and Cec have no qualms about a little cargo pilfering or trading on the black market, both forms of criminal behavior common among those who hold Communist views. Bert fell in love with Tatiana at the European Club (where the Communists hung out), but she declined his marriage proposal.
Phryne comes to depend on Bert and Cec to handle some of the more unsavoury aspects of her investigations, owing to their expertise with Marxist thuggery.
Both Bert and Cec keep a wary distance from Jack wherever possible, but will co-operate with him under sufferance if it benefits Miss Fisher.
Bert is a strong supporter of the Abbotsford football club.
Bert: So that cock-and-bull story about you being illegal and having to get married was just a con job!? You're a bloody White Russian!
Tatiana: Bert, I was a child. I knew nothing.
Tatiana takes Bert's hand.
Tatiana: I... thought I would be safe with you. You are a good man, Bert. You are the kind of many any woman would come to love.
Bert: Make sure you lock your door tonight, Mrs Stanley. A few dubious types on the loose.
Aunt Prudence: This is a home, not a fortress, Albert! People will just have to learn to behave!
Bert: gently Can't be helping your peace of mind. Still wandering the halls in your nightdress, like the lady in white?
Aunt Prudence: I'll thank you not to mention that to anyone, most especially not to my niece!
Bert: You were looking for scallop pies, Arthur's favourite.
Aunt Prudence: I was talking nonsense! It was a bad dream, that's all. And I don't want you discussing my son.
Bert: steps closer You know, losing mates in the war was bad enough. But pretending they never existed? That's plain wrong. puts his hat on and walks out