Continuing on in folding the freewrite into The Posture of Innocence ... in yesterday's freewrite, the perjuring witness Mrs. Lilith DeVille went head to head with Lieutenant Anderson and Captain Lee of the Big Loft, VA police force, and in today's freewrite, I keep going with the immediate aftermath... this is still early in a story arc involving a travesty of justice in the Soames case that connects to the solution of an even larger puzzle Captain Lee and his division's lieutenants are working to solve!
And, from here on out, we have our dividing image between my commentary and the story itself...
Lieutenant Anderson walked on air, drove on air, climbed the stairs of police headquarters on air, and wanted to stand there and crow like a rooster at dawn, his heart bursting with joy and pride after Captain Lee shattered the lies of Mrs. Lilith DeVille with just six questions to her. 25 years of wickedness – exploded, all at once.
Lieutenant Anderson wanted to climb up onto the roof and start crowing. It had been a hard time in Big Loft's police force for those who truly believed in law and justice – for young and idealistic officers like Lieutenant Anderson, who both recognized the corruption and could not accommodate themselves to it, it had been a really hard time.
But then, somebody had lured Colonel H.F. Lee back home to take over cold cases – somebody high up had goofed, and gotten a powerful man into that department who not only would not be corrupted, but would not tolerate the corruption and intended to do something about it.
How serious was the new captain of police who came from Special Forces and JAG? He got a warrant to arrest the big boss – Commissioner Orton Thomas – and blew him away, literally, when he resisted arrest. Now of course that could have been self-defense, and thus a fluke – but no. The next two deputies? Arrested with the help of Captain Hamilton over in Tinyville. The next two, each who had served a brief term as acting commissioner, had been brief because Captain Lee had simply frightened them to death. It was just that simple! He wasn't having it – and that meant no one else had to put up with it either!
Lieutenant Anderson had run, not walked, to get attached to Captain Lee's growing division – and days like this, when old, tired, unrepentant evil was made to crumble, were why.
The first of only two challenges: Captain Lee was just as quiet after his victory as before. He wasn't going to make a fuss – but somebody needed to do it! The second problem, though, was that he probably would have put his foot down the throat of the first person who did start climbing up on stuff and crowing about him publicly.
So, Lieutenant Anderson had to wait until he was behind the office door.
“You did it, Captain Lee!” he cried. “You did it!”
Captain Lee was having none of it, even behind closed doors.
“We did it,” he corrected. “Your perfect interviewing put Mrs. DeVille at ease yesterday. Without that, nothing would have been possible. I only needed to ask six questions to complete the evidence that would reveal the full truth.”
“Those were some amazing questions, though – and the delivery!”
“You can learn all of that by next week, and have it under your belt with practice in a year. It was the setting of the foundation that was important, the research that you did with me, and that excellent interview. There is no breaking of this case without you – we did it, Lieutenant.”
Captain Lee, inwardly, was smiling … he had read Good to Great by Jim Collins and then understood why his most famous uncle was still famous – the leadership principle of sharing credit for success and taking responsibility for all failure. General Lee had won the hearts of his men lock, stock, and barrel. Although his great-great-great-nephew deplored his uncle's Confederate purposes, he adapted the Lee-Collins model shamelessly. It still worked. Lieutenant Anderson, that gentle giant, stood twice as tall.
“Thank you, sir – it is an honor to work with you, in the interests of justice!”
“What's next, Lieutenant?”
“Right – the protocol says we have to now prepare the pull the records together necessary to get a warrant for Mrs. DeVille's arrest, and also get back into those other 13 reams of data to find the clues on the true killer. We know there is another motive: I read that article Mr. Soames wrote against the prison bond. We know that there was some information about the real killer that has been suppressed. I gather from our previous conversations that there is some departmental pushback, so there is that part – but it is a clue on its own.”
“Very good, Lieutenant – but the latter is a dangerous clue. This is why we have the protocols we do about discussing our cases outside the office. I cannot spare you, Lieutenant. I cannot afford to have those pushing back find some reason to have you transferred – or worse.”
“Understood, sir – is Commissioner Scott safe, you think?”
“Yes,” Captain Lee said, surprised at his own conviction. “At last, we have an honest man combining the office of chief and commissioner in the present emergency.”