In this portion of The Posture of Innocence, Lilith DeVille, the woman whose lies allowed the murderer of John Soames to go free for 25 years in her quest to get a Black man killed for that crime, is about to mess up her entire retirement, when she goes to Commissioner Scott to try to influence him with her lies and crocodile tears ...
To get totally caught up on The Posture of Innocence, here are the prologue, day 1, day 2, day 3, day 3.5, day 4, day 4.5, day 5, day 5.5, day 6, day 7, and day 7.5, day 8, day 9, day 9.5, day 10, day 10.5, day 11, day 11.5, day 12, day 12.5, day 13, day 13.5, day 14, day 15, day 16, and day 16.5!
Before Captain Lee and Commissioner Scott went to dinner, there was one more arrest to be made, and it was convenient when people served themselves up.
Mrs. Lilith DeVille's thought: the tears had worked before – almost – to put a Black man in jail for 25 years for a murder he had not committed. At least those tears had run him from the state. So, perhaps that, and her age, would work to spring her grandsons from jail.
Twin grandsons Dudley and Donald DeVille had thought they were going to be heroes for all representatives of America's dumbest criminals in Virginia.
They had been mad at how Captain H.F. Lee had showed their grandmother up to be a liar, and they had taken their hunting knives and had planned to flay him right in front of police headquarters after work, just to make a point.
Right in front of police headquarters, right when all those police officers were getting off from work.
Needless to say, that had not gone well for Dudley and Donald DeVille. Captain Lee had chosen to spare them personally, but his colleagues had grabbed the two up posthaste, and jailed them on a bunch of other warrants and charges. It was so convenient when criminals served themselves up.
But Grandma Lilith DeVille had manipulated and twisted a lot of things with her tears and ploys. She thought there might be a chance, and so made her way to police headquarters. Like Jezebel, that wicked woman of old, she knew nothing of her feminine wiles reaching the point of retirement.
Commissioner Scott was just about to close up his office when he got the call from the receptionist: “Commissioner Scott, there is a Mrs. Lilith DeVille out here to see you … she's very upset, and says that she needs to talk to you about her grandsons. She looks like such a sweet senior lady … I know she doesn't have an appointment, but ...”
“Oh, send her up,” Commissioner Scott said. “Have her escorted up, the sweet senior lady. Make sure she gets here safely.”
Then, he called Captain Lee.
“Guess who is here trying to get me to do something for her grandsons,” he said.”
“Mrs. Lilith DeVille; how convenient,” the captain said. “My warrant is ready.”
“Come up in about five minutes.”
Commissioner Scott wanted to see the show that had wrecked the life of Tom Jones, and was impressed. Had he not known it was a show, he was humble enough to think he would have been taken in … the soft rose face with slightly faded blue eyes, framed by all its lovely white curls … she was still beautiful in a grandmotherly way and must have been beautiful as a young woman, and her sobs were quite deep and the tears quite copious. In 1994, that would have been very effective. In earlier decades, it would have been so effective that Tom Jones and his family would not have escaped at all. One had to wonder how many people Mrs. DeVille may have destroyed with her beauty and her tears. One had to reconsider the view of history that assigned all virtue to her kind of womanhood.
How fake it all was was about to be swiftly revealed – that was the beauty of having Henry Fitzhugh Lee around. There was something about him that forced out what you were. He had forced the truth out of Mrs. DeVille in their first meeting, and he would also do so in the second, in a dangerously memorable way.