Continuing on today with being able to use the freewrite prompt in the The Posture of Innocence, @freewritehouse, @icedrum, @owasco, @misschance, @fitinfun, @wakeupkitty, @scribblingramma, @mgaft1, @iamsaray, @deemarshall, and @whatisnew, -- the prompt again offered a nice sidelight today and an opportunity to see what Lieutenant Anderson sees as he independently reaches the same investigative conclusion as his commander, Captain H.F. Lee, and shows the contrast in their personalities by his reaction (rather hilariously)!
A brief summary: Trouble is brewing AGAIN in Lofton County, three months after the dramatic events described in Black, White, and Red All Over (now available on Amazon), as a grandmother's plea causes Captain Lee to re-examine a 25-year-old murder case ... the implications of disproving the sole witness's testimony are not apparent yet (wait until day 4's installment), but what is apparent is that the entire case rests on at least one big lie and perhaps many, many more!
“She doesn't have to be lying … she doesn't have to be lying... .”
Lieutenant Anderson of the cold case division of Big Loft's police department went to his interview with Mrs. Lilith DeVille with that in mind. He had been gently but firmly led to the reminder by his commander, Captain H.F. Lee, that gut feelings, while important to those who had them, were based largely on preexisting beliefs and prejudices about how things and people were, and could not be allowed to bias one's investigation.
So, Lieutenant Anderson, as he drove over to Mrs. DeVille's six-story apartment building, did his best to keep the facts that favored Mrs. DeVille's story about how she had seen Tom Jones murder John Soames in mind, and to conduct his interview with her without letting her know his skepticism.
It certainly became easier upon getting a look as Mrs. DeVille – she had clouds of silver curls that looked a lot like the lieutenant's own grandmother's hair, a sweet peach-colored face, and a very engaging way of telling her story.
Factually, in looking out from her bedroom window, Lieutenant Anderson could indeed glimpse Roland Park – glimpse on that day because the damp conditions lingering from the previous night's rain had produced a rare summer tulle fog that was slow to lift. But, during the interview he glanced out from time to time and sure enough, the scene of the murder from 25 years ago became clearer and clearer to his view – so yes, she certainly could have seen what she said she saw, and her storytelling had great force. She seemed to have been traumatized by it, stuck in her emotions of anger and dismay … and it was hard to see a grandmother-figure going through that.
But still, in the back of the lieutenant's mind, he was kept from the other extreme of too much belief by another warning given by Captain Lee: “Remember: the greatest liars are the most convincing. The devil is no slip-shod actor.”
Lieutenant Anderson was no longer sure what to believe by the end of the interview, but that was why his heart swelled in admiration and respect for Captain Lee, who had taught him that it didn't matter. The evidence, provided there was enough of it, would tell the truth. 14 reams of data ought to be able to settle it.
Or, as Lieutenant Anderson was walking out, his holding the door for another grandmotherly lady led to the evidence finding him.
“Oh, thank you, officer – I wish you had a few minutes to spare to help me!”
“I'm here to serve, ma'am – never in that much of a hurry.”
“Oh, thank you – I never take the elevator on a damp day like today – the elevator shaft has a leak just where they attached the new floors to the old floors!”
“Oh, really?” Lieutenant Anderson said. “How long has this been going on?”
“This was a perfectly good two-story building until 2004 –.”
- 12 years after Mrs. DeVille said she had seen a murder that she could never have seen from the second floor under any conditions.
“ – and then the new owners got all seditty and decided they wanted to give a view to the high-rent people coming into the city – and like a fool I let Lilith DeVille talk me into moving up to the sixth floor because she was moving! I've been stuck in that elevator on a rainy day for so many times I just don't do it any more, but it takes me 30 minutes to climb all those stairs alone!”
“I'll carry your groceries,” Lieutenant Anderson said, “and then I'll help you find the appropriate person to call in Big Loft's administration to get some help – that elevator problem may be an Americans with Disabilities act violation.”
The lieutenant was glad to climb all six flights of stairs, up and down, and in between assist Mrs. Peggy Perlman with knowing who to call. He needed the distraction until he could get to his car and say all the things he would never say in the presence of his commander, who at a single curse word might either melt or melt his lieutenant's face off – one couldn't tell with a Lee of that high class.
All the way back to the station, the siren blaring to keep passers-by from hearing and thinking he was absolutely nuts, Lieutenant Anderson had to get it out of his system, as the fog lifted and the sun shined through...
“That old bat sat up there and lied to me – she's been lying for 25 entire years! I knew it! I knew it! That old … . ”