He stared some more.
I gave him a detailed account of my movements starting with when I left the Minnesota Historical Society. I told him how I deftly shook off the Aveo in the parking lot, but he didn’t want to hear that. I told him about picking up Nina at Rickie’s and about our travels afterward.
“Nina will vouch for me,” I said.
“Trust a woman foolhardy enough to date you—I think not,” Bobby said. “Jean, I want you to go over to Guardino’s and verify McKenzie’s story; see if this woman—Rosemary—remembers him. Also, McKenzie said he paid for his meal with a credit card, so they should have a receipt.”
“I’m on it,” Jean said.
“I can’t believe you’re checking my alibi,” I said. “That’s so cold, man.”
“If the situation was reversed, I’m sure you would do the same for me.”
“Yeah,” I said, “but I’d at least have the common courtesy to wait until your back was turned.”
“Lieutenant,” a voice called from the doorway. It belonged to Fontana.
“Yeah,” Bobby said.
“The media is gathering downstairs. A couple TV types and the guy from the Pioneer Press. What should I tell them?”
“Tell them I’ll make a statement in a couple of minutes.” Bobby pointed a finger at me. “Nobody, and I mean nobody, talks to the media on this one.” He turned the finger on Shipman. “Pass the word. I want it sealed. God knows what kind of madness we’ll have to deal with if word gets out that buried treasure is a possible motive. We’ll be up to our eyeballs in lunatics.” He glared at me. “Besides the ones we already have. So we keep it to ourselves. Got it? I catch anyone leaking intel to the media, I promise, it will not end pretty.”
I flashed on Manning downstairs and Kelly Bressandes’s winning smile. Good luck, pal, my inner voice said.
“Another thing, Loo,” Fontana said. “They’re ready to move the body.”
“I’ll be right there,” he said.
I followed Bobby to the door. We watched as members of the Ramsey County Coroner’s Office carefully lifted Berglund’s corpse, placed it on a gurney, and zipped it into a black vinyl body bag. There was nothing on the floor beneath it or anywhere near where it had fallen. Danko gave Bobby a plastic evidence bag.
“This is all he had on him,” the ME said.
The bag contained his wallet, loose change, and a pen.
They started wheeling Berglund down the corridor.
“I’m really upset about this,” I said.
Bobby patted my shoulder like the good friend he was.
Someone was knocking on my front door, but I was floating in that gray area between sleep and consciousness, and for some reason I passed it off as part of a dream about a guy I used to know who played the drums. A few moments later, my phone rang. That jolted me awake. Blurry-eyed, I found my digital clock.
“Who the hell is up at seven forty-two A.M. on a weekday?” I shouted to no one in particular. Then it occurred to me—just about everyone who has to work for a living is up at seven forty-two on a weekday. I pulled my pillow over my head and let my voice mail answer the phone.
At seven forty-eight, it rang again. That got me out of bed. Only I didn’t answer the phone. Instead, I went to my window. I don’t know why. Probably it had something to do with an instinct for self-preservation left over from the time when our ancestors slept in trees that was working for me now, because parked in front of my house was a TV van. Kelly Bressandes was standing next to it, her hand pressing a cell phone against her ear. A moment later, my own phone stopped ringing and I watched her speak into her cell. When she collapsed her phone and dropped it into her pocket, I accessed my voice mail. Bressandes wanted to interview me—on camera or off, my choice—concerning a search for lost gold belonging to bank robber Frank Nash and its connection to the murder of Josh Berglund.
“Oh, my,” I said aloud, “but Bobby is going to be pissed.”
Ten minutes later, my phone rang again. This time I was in the shower. It rang twice more while I was getting dressed. I glanced through the window again. Bressandes and the van were still parked outside.
I wondered who leaked the information. Manning? Fontana? One of Bobby’s detectives? Maybe Danko. You know he’s going to blame you, my inner voice said.
Yeah, he is, I told myself.
Well, if Bobby was going to take that attitude …
Bressandes had left a number with her messages, and I punched it into my cell. I didn’t want to use my landline for fear that she had caller ID and would know where the call was coming from.
Her voice was cool and professional. “Kelly Bressandes,” she said.
“Ms. Bressandes, this is McKenzie,” I said. “I was just checking my voice mail and received your message.”
“Mr. McKenzie, I would very much like to speak with you.”