The implications of the Soames case have still been rolling in the background while other cases are being solved ... we pick up the thread in this freewrite, because some folks in the Big Loft police force are getting set up to trip ... right into Captain Lee's trap!
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, day 19.5, day 20, day 20.5, day 21, day 22, day 22.5, day 23, day 23.5, day 24, day 24.5, day 25, day 25.5, and day 26!
Captain Lee held the 1:00 conference with his lieutenants on the stroke of the hour.
“I purposely made 1:00 the stopping place for case work today for a reason, with the exception of the Stedman case because of that warrant -- and, Lieutenants Anderson and Lightfoot, you know what you are to do regarding that. Also, of pressing import to the division now are the continuing implications of the Soames case, and the 25 confessions of Officer Cadbury.
“I mentioned to all of you this morning that there is an index I have created of certain files, and a file cabinet. I have spent nine hours in the past two days accessing certain files and indexing them, and I need your help still in reproducing all of them for our file here.”
He paused, and increased the gravity in his voice.
“It is my opinion, shared with Commissioner Scott, that there will soon be a concerted effort to falsify the indicated documents and destroy the real ones. Thus, today, we will be pulling the rest that I have marked – in pencil, there is a very tiny “H.F.L” in the fold of each of the critical file folders in this index. Wait ten minutes, Lieutenant Longstreet, after I have gotten to the record room before bringing up the files on the Lovelace case and making your first pull, and then each of you knows the sequence as I have arranged it on the index. Mr. Black, if you truly want a thorough observation, I would welcome your assistance.”
“Oh, sure,” he said.
In the hallway outside his office, Captain Lee lowered his voice to a whisper.
“Our work here is directly in the heart of the system you also fight against, and we, too, do our share of fighting. There are elements that want the work of this division stopped. It is my job to keep that from happening.”
He had already destroyed five men in doing that stopping. Mr. Black was interested to see what was going to happen on this day.
What it was ended up being a public discussion, in the library before the interior of the record room, of all the twists and turns in the Soames case up to Officer Cadbury's arrest. The fact that Captain Lee and Mr. Black were discussing the case at all was eye-popping and terrifying to those who were interested in the matter. As Captain Lee knew all too well, people were going to trip and trip hard on the fact. Mr. Black played his role well, using his position as informed citizen as leverage to interrogate the division commander, who in turn played his role as professionally defending the work of the department. While they rhetorically sparred, Lieutenants Longstreet, Carter, Jackson, and later, Lightfoot and Anderson got all the necessary records copied and the copies downstairs to Captain Lee's newest file cabinet.
“We were perfectly invisible,” Lieutenant Jackson said. “Nobody even saw us, they were so busy watching y'all!”
“That was the plan – thank God, it worked,” Captain Lee said as he locked up the cabinet and sighed with relief. “Now – who wants some overtime that hasn't gotten any this week?”
“I would love some,” said Lieutenant Lightfoot.
“Go do your examination of Mr. Exeter's bank records until 5:00pm, when we are going out to eat. After that, go home, change into surveillance clothes, and meet me in front of the Rosewood Apartments at 11. Mr. Black, if you still are up for more, you are welcome to join us as well.”
“I'll be there,” Mr. Black said.
“Lieutenants: dismissed until dinner,” the captain said, and they went.