Commissioner Scott, Captain Lee, Mr. Black, and Lieutenant Longstreet set a trap and a BIG RAT springs it ... and if you read to the end, it is all right if you feel just a little sorry for the rat ...
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, and day 27!
Sometimes, if you have to retrieve and destroy the evidence on 30 years of crimes, you can't send someone else to do the dirty work. Bonus points if you are so high-ranking that you have all the keys you need, and nobody dares to question why you are using them at 1:00am.
Into the record room, this high-ranking individual slipped – or lurched, owing to his advancing age. He knew, first hand, all the cases whose records he was going to pull and replace with sanitized variations. It had taken 24 hours of hard work to make up those forgeries – there was just enough respect for the accursed cold case division to realize a straight pull of specific records tied around Officer Cadbury and the Soames case would never work.
Oh, why had this man's friend, Orton Thomas, become commissioner, done well for the cause of enriching everyone in the circle and culling the Black population of Lofton County for years, and then gone absolutely out of his mind and brought Colonel H.F. Lee into the department to work on cold cases? Why? What had possessed Commissioner Thomas to do something that absolutely insane? On its face, it was not too bad – one figured that a nephew of a Confederate general might have been happy with the cause at hand as well. But the Lees had become too interesting in their following generations to be safe – that boy Rev. Robert Wright Lee IV, cousin to Colonel Lee, had forever proved that some of the “liberal” rot had taken root in that family.
More directly: Colonel Lee while a cadet had done the unthinkable and married some little n****r girl fresh out of high school. She had fortunately gone on and died and taken that half-breed child with her, but still: Colonel Lee wasn't over it. He therefore was personally unreliable in terms of being at headquarters, digging through old records, and inevitably stumbling over what was really going on. Once a n****r-lover, very likely always one. For a Lee to have stooped that low was unrecoverable. For Commissioner Thomas to have lost sight of that was disastrous, a disaster sure to get even worse unless all the connected evidence around the real work Officer Cadbury was doing was removed.
On into the next hour, and the next … it took four trips for this personage to get the false records in and the real records out, into the trunk of his car. No one had given any sign that they were concerned about what he was doing – and if they were, they wouldn't say anything. They wouldn't dare.
However, there was always that one person not under control – and of course, it just had to be a n****r...
The click of the safety coming off a gun alerted Captain Calvert of Internal Affairs that all was not right. The gun touching his head told him he had better be careful.
“Top of the morning to you,” said the dark, dark-skinned man who had materialized out of the shadows in the back of his car. “Put your hands on the steering wheel, or I might just have to hurt you.”
Captain Calvert laughed.
“You can't hurt me, n****r. You've just written your death warrant, and that of everyone and everything you love, by even being in MY car, threatening me. Y'all think y'all are getting so slick, and so strong – we're about to wipe you all out of Lofton County, and here you are trying to rob me.”
“Oh, I'm not here to rob you,” said Jetson Black in his pleasant voice. “I'm here assisting on your arrest for you robbing your own department of vital records.”
“A n****r citizen's arrest – like that's going to get anywhere.”
“I said I was assisting – and you were right, Commissioner Scott. We did learn more by having me do it.”
Another gun popped up at the driver's side window.
“Surely did,” said the commissioner, his voice grim. “Calvert, I didn't want to believe it of you, but here we are. Did you get all of that recorded, Lieutenant Longstreet?”
“Yes, I did,” said Lieutenant Longstreet as he sat up in the back of the car as well.
Captain Calvert put his hands on the steering wheel. Commissioner Scott had only been in the department a year, but Captain Calvert had read his profile, and that man shot to kill, every time. Still, all was not yet lost.
“I'm not saying anything more to any of you until I speak with a lawyer.”
“Of course,” said Commissioner Scott. “I'm opening your door. Come on out, nice and slow … good. Turn around and put your hands on the top of your car. Very good. Cuff him and read him his rights, Longstreet.”
This was quickly done, and back into headquarters they all walked, Captain Calvert not noticing that a fourth man had begun taking the files out of his trunk. That man would catch up in short order.
Captain Calvert was booked by Lieutenant Longstreet and made his phone call to his lawyer while Commissioner Scott and Mr. Black watched, Then, Mr. Black yawned.
“You know, Commissioner, I'm tired now,” he said.
“Yawning is catching,” Commissioner Scott said. “You tired, Longstreet?”
“Getting there,” the young lieutenant said, with a ghost of a smile on his face.
“Captain Calvert, you are so important that we don't feel we ought to leave you quite by yourself until your lawyer comes, since there is nobody on shift in our little jail because no one is in it,” the commissioner said. “I've got to find somebody who will work a night shift for half a day off – oh, hello, Captain Lee, how convenient that you should arrive just now!”
The Angel of Death, impeccable in his uniform, smiled a smile so beautiful and so chilling that Captain Calvert got the chills. “Who have we here?” purred the soft, firm, cold, cold voice... Captain Calvert just knew Captain Lee knew all about it … Captain Lee who had destroyed Orton Thomas, and George Pendleton, and Marshall Tate, the last two with the mere terror of his presence...
“I've got to get home to my wife,” Commissioner Scott said, “and get a bit of sleep before coming back in the morning. Do you suppose you could guard Captain Calvert until the shift change, and then work until 2 later?”
“Whatever you feel is most needed, sir.”
Captain Calvert had been beside Commissioner Pendleton the day he and all the IA bigwigs had tried to intimidate Captain Lee – and he had seen Commissioner Pendleton literally die from the mere steady gaze of Captain Lee. Now, they were going to put him in the jail, all alone, for at least six hours, with Lee, the deadliest single individual in Virginia, reborn rebelling against the cause he lost … lethal as ever … and they were leaving Captain Calvert alone with him … the Angel of Death, who could kill with a mere look... Commissioner Pendleton hadn't survived six minutes, much less six hours …
Mr. Black, Commissioner Scott, and Lieutenant Longstreet walked away, trying not to laugh at the last sight they had seen: Captain Calvert cowering into the farthest corner of his cell, while Captain Lee sat in a chair outside and just kept watch.
“How long do you think it will be before poor Captain Calvert breaks?” Mr. Black said.
“Oh, I don't think it will be long before he is willing to confess to anything we ask him about just so long as we get him out of there,” Commissioner Scott said. “What we've got to do now is check these files and make sure that he tells the truth when we ask.”
Captain Lee had marked most of the folders Captain Calvert had removed, but there were a few surprises that he had not had time to discover in connection with Officer Cadbury. Lieutenant Longstreet was able to add them to Captain Lee's index and thus show the relationships to the commissioner and Mr. Black.
“The picture is becoming clearer, and it ain't pretty at all,” Commissioner Scott said. “I see what Captain Lee was saying in his report earlier … meanwhile, we know where Captain Calvert was planning to go and what he was planning to do, so, I am going to follow through on the appearance and see what happens when the sun comes up.”
Big Loft had big barbecue grills for people to use in the summertime in its parks; this was a historical nod to Major Jonathan Lofton, one of the only men of his class in the 19th century who enjoyed barbecuing and was very good at it. One of the most remote was his massive grill, still standing on the grounds of the house that had been his residence until his death in 1900. Generally the grill was not used except for special historical occasions, but, it was a good place in the middle of the night to put some papers on the grill and light them up.
Those who were keeping watch saw Captain Calvert's Lexus driving onto the house grounds, saw a figure of about his height and build load up the grill and fire it up, and then went and reported back to others, others who now thought they were safe, so safe that one of them was about to make a further mistake, with an unnecessary phone call...
Captain Calvert's attorney came by in the morning and was with his client for exactly five minutes before he realized: the captain was a a broken man. The attorney had heard the department broke all the rules, and surely there was some violation of the Eighth Amendment done somewhere, because the captain looked like he had been starved, deprived of water, put in isolation – the whole nine yards in six hours. But there was no sign of what had happened, except that he was willing to admit to everything he was asked about by the quiet, mild-mannered Captain H.F. Lee, who said, ever so mildly, “I'm just going to ask you one time, Captain ...”
Captain Calvert opened his mouth at the fifth minute and did not stop talking for two hours. Broken. Completely broken. He just slumped over the table at the end, there being nothing else left in him. Captain Lee was thoughtful enough to send a nurse back in, and the attorney received the (completely erroneous) impression that Captain Lee was a soft touch, sent in as the voice of compassion after whatever this man had been through …