"Mushroom Suit" turns out to be the perfect prompt as The Posture of Innocence turns a corner -- after the end of the Soames Case, and the capture and WRECKING of the true criminals there, Commissioner Scott and Captain Lee go down to Tinyville to seek help, advice, and dinner from Captain Ironwood Hamilton of Tinyville, and thus meet the captain's entire family, affectionately known because of its size as "Hamiltown." Turns out that Commissioner Scott fits right in to this tranquil, loving environment...
This is a great place to jump into and follow the story, but, 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, 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, day 16.5, day 17, day 18, day 19, and day 19.5!
6:00pm – Captain Lee returned to his office, drank the last of his day's limeade with mint, and then jogged to his apartment to change clothes. He then drove back to police headquarters in his car and picked up the commissioner, and off they went to have dinner with Captain Hamilton in Tinyville.
Captain Hamilton struck Commissioner Scott in a variety of ways upon their meeting – first of all, as the family-man and therefore more touchable variation of his cousin Captain Lee. Less intense on the surface … although any man that had a happy, glowing wife and nine of eleven children still at home might just be using his intensity away from the public. His home was certainly a place of warm love and gentle order – firm order, but gently applied.
Captain Hamilton was likewise intrigued by Commissioner Scott, the commissioner who had survived five of his predecessors – and thus surely had the respect of Captain Lee, who, one way or another, had proved un-survivable to the five others. Commissioner Scott and his department were taking a beating from the Lofton County Free Voice, the Black newspaper that had demanded the information on the injustices taking place, but from all accounts, the chief-combined-with-commissioner was doing everything he could to get things cleaned up, and was making progress.
Captain Hamilton had been tickled to see the news conference that afternoon about the Soames case, and how Commissioner Scott had seized the moment to get control of the news cycle about his department. He was further intrigued by the commissioner's humility in wanting to get advice from a small-town captain. That was unheard of in Lofton County. Big Loft people tended to look so far down their noses at the way things were done in the small towns of the county that the small-town people were simply not seen nor heard.
Then again, Tinyville was the place now known around the country for where institutionally backed racial terrorism had gone to die – and die hard. Captain Hamilton's reputation in the army and his reputation as police captain had met each other, just that quick – in fact, he, being more personable, had become a publicly known figure to bring up across the country when serious discussion of how law enforcement should meet domestic terrorists came up. Commissioner Scott was not the first or the last to make some kind of quiet pilgrimage, although, because he came with Captain Lee, he was one of the few who ever got to meet Captain Hamilton's family. Entrance to “Hamiltown” required the proper introduction.
“Hamiltown,” Captain Hamilton noticed, took to Commissioner Scott immediately. Mrs. Hamilton met him, and got a good impression of him; the elder children, twins Agnes and Iris and eldest son at home, Addison met him, and liked him. Twins Orton and Edward, the biggest of the “little kids,” were then permitted to lead out their younger twin sisters Ilene and Allison, and baby twin brothers Ira and Agnew, who were just a year old. All of them had just come from a neighborhood play, and Commissioner Scott just melted into anybody's old great-uncle when he saw Ilene and Allison as twin carrots, leading their yearling twin brothers who were literally rolling along in their mushroom suits.
Captain Hamilton could watch all his children and tell how comfortable they felt; they all greeted Commissioner Scott like he was a great-uncle of theirs, just long in coming home, and the more forward personalities worked him into the family circle just like that. The good sign was that the commissioner was not so wrapped up in what he wanted that he couldn't be bothered; his dark eyes, tired as they were, lit up with affection, and he just went with the Hamiltown flow through dinner and a little while afterward, when the littlest ones were put to bed and Mrs. Hamilton re-directed the older ones so that their father was free to discuss business with his guests.
“He's all right,” she whispered to Captain Hamilton before also departing, and that meant the world to him.