Ivy’s face was so pale she looked as if every drop of blood had been drained from her.
“I’ve been collecting suspects,” I said. “There are at least eight besides you. I’ve been trying to distract Bobby Dunston with them, only he’s not one to be distracted. Still, he’ll be compelled to turn over all the information to the county attorney’s office. Eight suspects. That’s a lot. Big hurdles the CA will have to jump over before she can get to you. It’ll make it easier for you to cut a deal when you explain what happened. How you forced Berglund from the apartment, kidding with the gun, just trying to scare him, until you stumbled or stubbed your toe and the gun went off accidentally. How you were so frightened that you lied to the cops, but now you know that was wrong and you decided to do the right thing by calling G. K. and turning yourself in.”
“That’s not what happened,” Ivy said.
“I don’t care what happened. That’s between you and G. K.”
“I can’t believe you think I killed Josh—”
“Ivy, you don’t have time for this. The cops know about your deal with Boston Whitlow. They know you gave him a key to the apartment. They know you got Berglund out of the way so Whitlow could steal his research. They also know that Whitlow told you about Genevieve Antonello, that Berglund was cheating on you with her, that he was using you, that he wasn’t going to share the gold with you. So many motives, Ivy.”
“How could they know that?”
“I told them.”
“Why? If you’re my friend, if you’re helping me—”
“I told them because you killed Berglund. It doesn’t matter that he was a jerk, that he probably deserved it. It doesn’t matter that you’re a sweet kid who’s never hurt anyone before. You killed him. You have to pay for that, honey. Why Bobby Dunston hasn’t arrested you yet I can’t say. Maybe he’s still trying to connect you to a .25 caliber revolver. Still, he knows what you did. He knew before I told him about Whitlow.”
“How could he know that I killed Josh if I didn’t do it?”
“The keys, Ivy. The keys to your apartment. You said that Berglund had his key in his hand and was about to unlock the door when he was shot. Only there were no keys on him or around his body when he was moved. You had keys in your purse; we saw them when you searched for the ticket stubs. Since there was no forced entry, it was assumed that the killer got in the apartment using a key. Your key. You gave him your key and used Berglund’s key, the key with the USA Olympic logo on the chain, to get into the apartment. That’s very thin, I know. Yet it was enough to convince Bobby Dunston that you were guilty and to start him building a case.”
“You, too, apparently,” Ivy said. “It convinced you, too.”
“We were right, Ivy. Weren’t we? You lied about the key. You lied when you said Berglund wasn’t involved with another woman. You lied about everything.”
“I didn’t kill Josh.”
“If you want to keep denying it, that’s okay with me,” I said. “Except the story you told the cops—what you told the cops won’t hold up, and switching to something new now will be hard to sell to a jury. G. K. and I think you’d be better off trying to make a deal. In any case—”
“In any case? McKenzie, I didn’t do it.”
“Everything happened exactly the way I told it. There was a man wearing a ski mask at the door when we got home. A man with a gun. That’s the truth.”
“Make the call, Ivy. If you don’t want my lawyer, call someone else.”
Tears welled up in Ivy’s eyes.
“I’m sorry it has to end this way,” I said.
“No, McKenzie. What hurts is that you know me, you’re my friend, and still you’re convinced I’m a murderer.”
I didn’t have anything more to say. After a while, neither did Ivy. She went to her phone and called G. K. Bonalay. I left the apartment while they spoke. There was nothing more that I could do.
I took a late lunch at Cafe Latté on Grand Avenue. I would have gone to Rickie’s, but I’ve been mooching off of Nina far too much lately. Besides, she would have been full of questions about Kathryn’s letters, Jelly’s gold, and Berglund’s killer, and I didn’t want to deal with that.
It infuriated me that Ivy killed Berglund. I had wanted so desperately for her to be innocent—or at least not guilty, which was a whole ’nother matter. I told myself that I had done the best I could for her. It didn’t make me feel any better. Another man might have done more—conceal evidence, bribe witnesses, maybe frame someone else. I’m just not that guy. I suppose it’s my father’s fault. Or my mother’s. Who knows how people become who they are? Maybe it’s a result of watching too many old Humphrey Bogart movies.
I was picking at my lemon basil shrimp salad, feeling sorry for myself, when my cell phone rang.
“Good afternoon, Mr. McKenzie,” Genevieve Antonello said. “I’m sorry to disturb you.”