“They call that aggravated burglary in the first degree, minimum sentence of forty-eight months, provided this is the first time he’s been caught.”
“A lawyer isn’t going to do this young man any good at all.”
“Never know,” Sigford said. “Might be able to plead to diminished capacity. How ’bout it, friend? Your capacity diminished?”
Allen didn’t answer.
“What do you think he was looking for, McKenzie?” Sigford asked.
“I believe this young man is a murderer. I believe he killed a man named Josh Berglund for the letters a couple days ago in St. Paul, and I believe the gun you have in the evidence bag is the murder weapon.”
“Fuck you say,” Sigford said.
Allen spun to face me. “I had nothing—”
“Shhhhh,” I said, holding a finger to my lips. “Wait for your lawyer.”
Allen looked away and ground his teeth some more.
“Talk to me, McKenzie,” Sigford said.
I pulled him aside and laid it out for him, telling him that he should get the gun to Bobby Dunston in St. Paul homicide as soon as possible. I told him he should hold the suspect—I didn’t identify Allen—on the burglary beef and wait until he heard what Bobby and the Ramsey County attorney’s office had to say. I said I would be giving Bobby a call myself.
Sigford said he’d like it better if I went to St. Anthony police headquarters and gave a statement to a stenographer, tape recorder, and video camera. I promised him I would do that as soon as I cleaned myself up. I had left the house after Heavenly called without shaving, brushing my teeth, or even running a comb through my hair.
“McKenzie, you are going to sign the complaint, right?” Sigford said. “You’re not going to make me go through all this work for nothing, right?”
“Would I do that to you?” I said.
“We’ve been called out here before just to have you say sorry, big mistake.”
“Not this time.”
“You’ll come down to the station?”
“In just a little bit, I promise.”
Sigford told me not to keep him waiting too long. Which would have been a good exit line except that both the cops and security guards had reports to file, so while the SAPD was transporting Allen to the cop shop, I was giving a tour of my house, making sure nothing was damaged or destroyed and confirming how Allen gained entry—he had jimmied the back door. Satisfied, they soon departed, taking their vehicles with them. That should have been enough to send my neighbors back to their homes, but just as the last SAPD cop car turned the corner, a new attraction pulled onto Hoyt Avenue and came to a halt in front of my house. A TV news van.
I glanced at my watch.
It’s been a helluva morning, my inner voice remarked, and it’s not even nine yet.
Kelly Bressandes fluffed her honey-colored hair, lifting it off her neck and shoulders and then letting it fall again. It was the third time she had done it since she and I settled around my kitchen table, and I was beginning to understand that it was a habit with her, along with the way she sat in the chair and angled her magnificent legs. Looking sexy without looking too sexy—apparently it was part of her journalistic training.
“More coffee?” I asked.
She nodded, and I topped off her mug. “You still haven’t answered my questions,” she said.
“All of them. Take your pick.”
“What do the police say?”
“Lieutenant Dunston said he expects to make an arrest in the Berglund killing within twenty-four hours, but he would say that, wouldn’t he?”
No, he wouldn’t, my inner voice said. Not Bobby. I glanced at my watch. “When did he say it?”
“Yesterday, about five thirty for the six o’clock newscast.” Damn. You ’re running out of time.
“You and Lieutenant Dunston are pretty tight,” Bressandes said.
“What makes you say that?”
“The way he spoke about you when I interviewed him the other day. He said you were an unscrupulous miscreant with morally questionable judgment, except I could tell that he didn’t mean it.”
“Oh, he meant it,” I said.
“Bobby—Lieutenant Dunston is married, isn’t he?”
Bressandes nodded as if I had confirmed a rumor she had heard. “Did you ask him that question?” I asked.
“One night, he was giving me background on a case. You might say I broached the subject.” “And?”
“He closed that door pretty quickly.”
Good for Bobby, I thought. “I bet you knew that,” Bressandes said. “It’s never come up in conversation,” I said.
Bressandes nodded again. “Lieutenant Dunston is an honorable man,” she said.
“Are you an honorable man, McKenzie?”
“Oh, I don’t know. There are some women who could turn anyone into an unscrupulous miscreant with morally questionable judgment. You’re smart enough, pretty enough.”
“McKenzie, are you flirting with me?”