“The police believe me.”
“They let you go. That doesn’t mean they believe you.”
“Whatever. I didn’t do it. But whoever did—I’ve been thinking about this all night, McKenzie—whoever did kill Josh, I could be next.”
“They killed Josh for the gold. If they know about the gold, they know about me.”
“That’s certainly a possibility.”
“I’m very afraid.”
Funny, she doesn’t look it, my inner voice said.
“I need help,” Heavenly told me.
“There’s always Ted and Wally.”
“The cops were bringing them in while I was going out. From the expression on their faces, I don’t think they’re going to be of much use to me.”
“Were they ever?”
“McKenzie, I need you.”
“You can protect me. You can protect both of us while we get the gold.”
“Is that why you came over? Because you want to partner up?”
“With Josh gone, you have no one else.”
“Ivy can’t help you. She’s just a hanger-on.”
“There you go, insulting my friends again.”
“I’m sure she’s a very nice person, McKenzie, but you have to know if Josh wasn’t going to share the gold with me, he sure as hell wasn’t going to share it with Ivy. Which means he wasn’t telling her everything he knew.”
Heavenly’s probably right about Berglund, my inner voice said. He didn’t tell Ivy about her. Wonder what else he kept from her? It’s something to look into.
“You’re going to tell me everything you know, right?” I said.
“Go ‘head, then. I’m all ears.”
“Do we have a deal?”
“What’s the split?”
“Then we have a deal. Start talking.”
“It’s not that easy.”
“Somehow I didn’t think it would be.”
“Who killed Berglund?” I asked.
“I don’t know.”
“Who do you suspect?”
“I don’t know.”
“Who else besides you and Berglund is looking for the gold?”
“I don’t know.”
I snatched what remained of the bagel from Heavenly’s hand, dropped it onto the plate, and took hold of her elbow. She squirmed as I led her from the kitchen to the front door.
“McKenzie, we had a deal.”
“I’ll keep my end when you start keeping yours.”
“I can’t go home. They could be waiting for me.”
“Who is they?”
“I can’t say.”
I opened the door and pushed her through it.
“Where can I go? What shall I do?”
“The Twin Cities are full of motels,” I said, although I suspected that a woman who knew the retail price of an Italian-made coffee machine probably didn’t stay in motels often.
“You … you heel,” she said.
“Heavenly, you’re a smart girl. You can come up with a better H than that.”
I was tidying up the kitchen when my cell phone rang. It reminded me that I should get out of Dodge before Kelly Bressandes realized I’d played a trick on her—if she hadn’t already—and came looking for me. The ID said the call originated at Rickie’s, and at first I thought it might be Nina. Except Nina never goes in this early.
“It’s Jenness Crawford,” the caller said.
“Hey, what’s going on?”
“There’s a man here. He was in the parking lot when I arrived. He asked me if I knew who you were. I said I didn’t because, well, because knowing you isn’t always the safest thing. Sorry.”
“That’s all right. Tell me about the man.”
“I told him that we don’t open until eleven. I told him I had no idea who you were or if you were going to be around. He was very nice about it. Very polite. Said he’d wait. That’s what he’s doing now. He’s in the parking lot, waiting.”
“What’s his name?”
“He didn’t tell me his name. Only, McKenzie? I think he has a gun.”
“Call the cops.”
“Call the cops. I’ll be there in ten minutes.”
“Jen-ness,” I said, slowly and carefully pronouncing her name exactly as she once instructed me.
No shots were being exchanged when I arrived at Rickie’s; no one was brandishing a weapon. Instead, a man and a woman, both wearing the uniform of the St. Paul Police Department, were speaking quietly, almost amicably, to a second man who was standing next to a Honda Accord in the parking lot. The man was young, no more than twenty-five, and he was wearing a suit. Olive slacks, cream-colored shirt, green, white, and black striped tie, and a dark green and black speckled jacket—it looked much better than the description. He looked fit but soft, one of those people who can stay in shape without benefit of exercise. ’Course, he was still young. Wait until he hit thirty.
“I am so dreadfully sorry if I frightened anyone,” he said. “I do have a legal right to carry a concealed firearm, as you know. However, I am quite content to lock it away in the trunk of my car.”