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Heretofore is the servant and assistant to Cosmo Lavish, the step son of the late Topsy Lavish, chair of the Ankh Morpork Bank. His job is to acquire items from Vetinari for his boss, at considerable expense.  The name, Heretofore, means "up to now", which suggests that perhaps, like Moist, Heretofore has an unknown past. Part of that unknown past is revealed when he confirms that he got the job by telling Cosmo that he had worked "at the Patrician's Palace, and as a secretary", which leads Cosmo to make the obvious assumption. In fact, he was not secretary to Vetinari as Cosmos believes, but his work at the palace was as a gardener and he was a minor secretary at the Armourers Guild,

It is clear from his actions that Heretofore shares a modus operandi and an operating philosophy with Moist von Lipwig. While not in the same league as Moist and while not capable of the same degree of versatility, it is clear that Heretofore has seen his main chance in a single rich employer, who desperately wants to believe that the items he provides (at a suitable price to compensate for the risk involved in procuring them) have genuinely been acquired from Vetinari. To satisfy his employer and ensure the largest possible operating profit, Heretofore commissions a stygium signet ring, discovers who does the Patrician's laundry, uses a Palace contact to steal a pair of Drumknott's boots which he can then claim are the Patrician's, and finally has a sword-stick made, with a suitably lurid provenance, which he can then sell as Vetinari's.

All of Heretofore's activities are of a kind that Moist would be first to nod approvingly, if it weren't for Cosmo's hired assassin, Professor Cranberry, who disposes of any participants in these schemes afterwards so as not to leave anyone who could tell a story. Like Moist's reaction to Cribbins, Heretofore is deeply revolted and believes murder has no place in the life of a honest con-man. His plan is to perpetrate enough cons that he can escape from the sphere of influence of Cosmo and the threat of extermination by Cranberry. Heretofore is last seen as the clerk in brown robes, leading his feverish and blood-poisoned master before Vetinari at Moist's arraignment over the disappearance of all the gold in the bank vault. The dialogue between Vetinari and Drumknott at the end of Making Money indicates that he is being sought by the Watch in Quirm after he bought a coach ticket to that city but that he is more likely on his way to Genua. Vetinari wants a short clacks sent to "their man" in Genua but it remains unclear what his plans for Heretofore are. given his previous, "reclamation" of Moist from a life of crime, it is likely that he would put Heretofore to work for him in some capacity.