“What about his notes?”
“They’re all—Josh was very neat and very organized, but now his notes are scattered all over the room, on the floor. I have no idea what is missing, if anything is missing. The killer must have searched through the notes, don’t you see? That’s what he was doing when we returned to the apartment. He must have heard us. He must have panicked. Don’t you think that’s what happened?”
“The fact that he walked away slowly suggests that he didn’t panic,” I said.
The way Bobby’s head snapped around to glare at me, you’d think I’d just revealed the Colonel’s secret recipe of eleven herbs and spices to the Iranians.
“These notes,” Bobby said. He turned back to Ivy. “Are they valuable?”
“They tell about the gold.”
“Jelly Nash’s gold,” Ivy said. “Tell them, McKenzie.”
Bobby rose from his squatting position and stretched his back again. The expressions on his and Shipman’s faces were skeptical at best.
“Well?” Bobby said.
“This should be good,” Shipman added.
I told them everything from the moment I received Berglund’s first letter to Ivy’s phone call just an hour earlier.
“You’re kidding me,” Bobby said.
“I wish I were,” I told him.
“You gotta be kidding me. The man was killed for buried treasure?”
“It could be buried.”
“Buried fucking treasure?”
Bobby had been a cop a long time. We broke in together just out of college, and while I retired a few years back, he went on to command the St. Paul Police Department’s Homicide Unit. He knew, as I did, that people slaughter each other for the most preposterous reasons—a man who works the night shift kills his neighbor for mowing his lawn at 9:00 A.M., a boy home from college kills his mother for giving away his Japanese anime while he was gone, a woman kills her mother-in-law for sneaking salt into her pot roast when she wasn’t looking. Yet this was new, even for him.
I spent a lot of time talking about Ted and Wally and gave Bobby the license plate numbers of both the Trailblazer and the Aveo. “I can’t actually swear Ted and Wally were in the Aveo,” I said. “I never got close enough to see.” I failed to mention that Wally had a broken nose but did say that he carried a snub-nosed .38.
“A revolver,” Bobby said.
“Yeah. My understanding—and I can’t really prove this—is that Ted and Wally are working with a young woman with the unlikely name of Heavenly Elizabeth Petryk.”
“Heavenly?” Ivy said. “You think Heavenly is involved?”
“Do you know this woman?” Shipman asked.
“She and Josh used to date, but it was over long before he and I started seeing each other.”
“Did you meet her?”
“Not meet exactly. Sometimes I answered the phone when I was at Josh’s apartment and it would be her demanding to speak to him. Once Heavenly came over while I was there, and she and Josh had an argument—they shouted at each other. I was in a different room and can’t say what it was about. Josh said she was a real head case, that she was stalking him. Once we came out of his apartment in the morning and found a note that she had left for him under his windshield. I didn’t get a chance to read the note—Josh tore it up—but I know it upset him.”
“Did he report it?”
“You mean to the police? I don’t think so. That was three weeks ago, and I haven’t seen or heard from her since. ’Course, we’ve been living here; we moved in together at about that time. I don’t know if Heavenly knew that or not.”
Tears started to fall again. Bobby patted Ivy’s hand even as he said, “Jean.”
“Soon as we’re done here I’ll check her out,” Shipman said.
Ivy spoke through her pain. “McKenzie, you say… you say Heavenly—she’s involved in the treasure?”
“Heavenly told me that she’s the one who discovered the existence of Jelly’s gold,” I said. “She said that she shared the information with Berglund, that they were partners. She said Berglund betrayed her. She said that he stole her research and set out to find the gold without her, keep it all for himself.”
“That’s a lie,” Ivy said. “Josh would never do that.”
“I’m just telling you what she said.”
“It’s a lie. It has to be.”
Only I believed every word of it. I was convinced now that Berglund used Heavenly, he used Ivy, and he had tried to use me, getting me to frighten away Heavenly and her posse. The jerk.
“We’ll speak to Ms. Petryk,” Bobby said. “Her friends as well. In the meantime, McKenzie, where were you tonight?”
“Seriously? You’re asking me that?”
“You’re hunting for the gold, too, aren’t you?”
Ivy was outraged. “You can’t believe McKenzie had anything to do—”
“Ms. Flynn, everyone is a suspect,” Bobby told her. “What about it, McKenzie?”
“I’ve known you for a thousand years,” I reminded him. “We grew up together.”
“Seriously?” I repeated.