Captain Lee is still in his dark mood when he and Lieutenant Jackson arrive at their destination in the wealthy neighborhood where Captain Lee's mother's family still lives ... he reaches over and slaps the stars out of his lieutenant's eyes in no uncertain terms, for a number of good reasons...
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, day 27.5, day 28, day 28.5, day 29, day 29.5, day 30, and day 30.5!
The Lancasters' position on the road of Captain Lee's nightmares befit their position in the high society of Lofton County: not quite of the first rank in Lofton County, like the Loftons, the Slocums, or the Slocum-Loftons, but firmly in the second rank. Low enough on the road that Captain Lee was glad he had not needed to drive past the homes of his Slocum-Lofton relatives; they were still two turns of the road and several hundred feet higher, in even grander homes than the three-story manse the Lancasters enjoyed – Thomas Lancaster, 65, and his second wife, Betty, 35.
Lieutenant Jackson was wide-eyed, having never been to even the lower Blue Ridge neighborhood to see the houses – but Captain Lee knew how to dash the stars from his eyes.
“Remember this, Lieutenant. Should you at any time after our association decide to go into a life of wickedness, remember that even if I do not personally come and deal with you –.”
Lieutenant Jackson jumped at that thought … nobody in the world was trying to take those kinds of chances …
“ – you will survive longer if you avoid the futility of displaying the evidence of the fruits of your wickedness to the world.”
Lieutenant Jackson would never look at a big house in Lofton County the same way again.
Mr. Lancaster had not been home at the time the art students had been in the area; he had a doctor's appointment, but thought his wife had done just right, and “if I had been here I might have taken out my shotgun on all of them. Young waifs – all of them ought to be put in a field to work, with the exception of the three n****rs who should be on a chain gang for trying to case the neighborhood.”
Mrs. Lancaster said she had been frightened as she was walking her poodle on the grounds “by all these loud, poorly dressed youths just loitering around and taking pictures. This isn't their sort of neighborhood to be in, you know, and with so much robbing and things going on in the world, I just felt very uncomfortable even before the Black ones started drawing, as if they wanted to remember what my house looked like.”
Both Lancasters thanked the police officers for their department's “quick, firm response,” and Mr. Lancaster said he was glad to know that “all the n****rs' recent agitating has not yet taken the firmness out of the whole department.”
“We just have to keep people in their place,” Mrs. Lancaster said. “There has to be peace and order in society, you know.”
“Seems like you have quite a bit here that is worthy of protecting,” Captain Lee said mildly, and watched Mr. Lancaster puff up with pride while Lieutenant Jackson turned pale, remembering the captain's earlier wisdom.
“I'll say it is, Captain Lee! Do you have time for a tour? I would like to think a man of your breeding could really appreciate a place like this!”
“Well, I am off duty in fifteen minutes and have nothing pressing at the office. I suppose we could take a little tour, provided that no other urgent calls come in.”
“Oh, but there are surely people that do those things,” Mr. Lancaster said, wrapping his arm around the younger man's shoulder. “You're a captain – and a Lee. Heaven knows your family hasn't gotten enough of the finer things since the tragedy of the war. Somebody else can do the ghetto calls for the rest of the afternoon – come, come!"