Meet Ms. Magdalena Thornton, secretary to the commissioner, introduced as a major character ... get to know to this strong, sweet, and KEY player in this story ... she pays attention to detail, as you'll see in the very beginning...
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, day 26, day 26.5, day 27, and day 27.5!
Ms. Magdalena Thornton came into work at 8:30, her usual time, to find her direct superior – the commissioner of police, for whom she was secretary, already in the office. She saw at once that he had not gone home – his leather evening shoes had the ash and dust on them of a hard night's work.
“Sleep is so overrated when you work in a department as messed up as ours,” he said when she inquired of his well-being. “Remember Captain James Calvert?”
“Caught him stealing a ton of files out of the records room at 2:00am.”
“In the end, Ms. Thornton, you may be the only one left from the old guard.”
Ms. Thornton – actually Mrs. Thornton – had been one of three secretaries to the commissioner when Orton Thomas was in the officer. He needed three, there was so much going on … but he thought she was too naïve and too honest, and so had steered the real work of the department to her and the work of filling his own pockets with the wages of sin to his two favorites. They had quite suddenly retired when Commissioner Thomas had been exposed and killed while resisting arrest, thinking (quite erroneously) that no one would think of them and their beautiful new homes in the wake of the Gilligan House Burning and all the men who had messed that up...
However, the relentless mind of Captain Lee had also gathered in the complicity of the secretaries: they retired on one day and were arrested on the next, awaiting trial with the two surviving deputy commissioners. Only Mrs. Thornton, who had kept herself pure, who had refused to chase after the favors of corruption, who had kept all legitimate things in the office functioning, had survived. Thanks to Commissioner Scott talking with HR about her now doing the work of three secretaries by herself, her income had tripled, and so now she was on track to get the home and nice things.
Yet Magdalena Thornton had already enjoyed and given up those things, after the death of her husband and child in a tragic accident. From living on Mr. Thornton's one big income to selling the house and starting life again as a 33-year-old widow … quite an adjustment, particularly since she arrived in the middle of all the trouble coming to a head in the department. Still, she trusted God and followed the motto of her church: “Trust God, no panic. Doubt God, know panic.”
Day after day, Mrs. Thornton was calm efficiency and sweet spirits in the middle of the mess around her, and had become absolutely invaluable to Commissioner Scott. Now that both of them were Christians, he understood how she had stayed so together, and had put her church's motto as a little picture on his desk.