Captain Lee arrives at his cousin Ironwood Hamilton's home for the weekend, and the Hamilton family notices a huge change in his attitude!
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, day 30.5, day 31, day 31.5, day 32, day 32.5, day 33, day 33.5, day 34, day 34.5, day 35, day 35.5, day 36, and day 36.5!
On up to “Hamiltown” – Captain Lee's cousin was now Captain Ironwood Hamilton of Tinyville's tiny police force, and he got off at 6:30 and came home for dinner to his wife Agnes and their nine children still at home (of 11 in total!) by 7:00. Captain Hamilton was playing with his little ones in the front yard of the big farmhouse they lived in when Captain Lee drove up.
Captain Hamilton knew immediately that something big had changed for his usually grave cousin – although Cousin Harry loved all of the younger Hamiltons dearly, he rarely was so relaxed as to jump right into their games. He usually had to be coaxed. Not this day. He smiled brilliantly and joined right up, although he was clearly very tired and did not play long.
Captain Hamilton had released his cousin – “All right, y'all, Cousin Harry has had a long drive, so we're going to let him rest a while and play later.”
Mrs. Agnes Hamilton came out to announce dinner, and met her cousin-in-law – she too sensed that he was very tired, but that something else had changed as well.
“How are you, Harry?” she said.
“Getting better, Agnes. Getting better.”
“Hey, Cousin Harry!”
That was 14-year-old Addison Hamilton, whose greeting alerted his elder sisters Agnes and Iris and his younger brothers Orton and Edward that Cousin Harry had arrived. The boys tackled him instantly while the girls playfully chided them all. But that was brief; it was dinnertime, and Cousin Harry needed to change and freshen up quickly. He took a very quick, hot shower, changed into his casual clothes, and arrived at the table in 10 minutes.
Ironwood and Agnes Hamilton compared notes – yes, their cousin was very tired, but there was a light in his dark eyes that Mrs. Hamilton had never seen and Captain Hamilton had not seen for decades. He was not merely absorbing the abundant energy and love of Hamiltown to recharge – although that was quite all right, because Captain Hamilton's family was a major source of his support – but on this day he added energy to the mix, firing Addison up to talk about what it took to be chief web logger and thus head of promotion for the family business, Ham It Up Jewelry. Addison loved this. Although he was in many ways a typical teenager dealing with the challenges of being a freshman in high school, he took his role in the company very seriously and was overjoyed by his cousin's deepening interest.
Addison's parents just let it roll, all evening, delighting in seeing their second son hanging on to his cousin's arm all the “public” evening and talking his ear off while Cousin Harry smiled and listened intently. They grinned from ear to ear when Addison talked his cousin into his room and his latest scheme … and to the family's complete delight, out came Cousin Harry dressed in tap suit, shoes, and hat to show off Ham it Up's cuff links and tie pins for men.
Captain Hamilton remembered that, once upon a time, his grim, grave cousin had been quite the teenage entertainer … just for a few minutes, the tap dancer came on out to play for the video, showing off the jewelry as part of his hilarious routine, and also showing off the fact that muscle memory doesn't really go away. Cousin Harry worked that hardwood floor down, to the ecstasy of his teenage cousin Addison and the entire family.
The “private” evening began after the teenagers went to their rooms and the smaller children were put to bed ... in Mrs. Hamilton's presence, Captain Lee summarized the personal progress he had made and the milestones he had crossed. He stopped short of confessing his love for Mrs. Thornton, but Mrs. Hamilton had already seen that he had taken off his gold chain that held the ring of his late wife, and was able to put the matter together. She cried and started thanking the Lord openly, as she had been praying for 20 years for her cousin's healing, and so a little praise service had broken out with the three, and on that high note they had all departed to bed.