“What else does it say?” Whitlow said.
I set the envelope on the blotter in front of Dahlin.
“None of your business,” I said.
Dahlin set his hand on top of the envelope. He looked at me as if he felt he should say something but couldn’t think what it was.
“Where was Messer’s office?” Heavenly said.
“The sixth floor of the Guardian Life Insurance Building on the corner of Fourth and Minnesota streets in downtown St. Paul,” I said.
Whitlow was on his feet, ready to make a dash for the door. Allen looked like he was planning to intercept him. Heavenly was studying my face.
“What aren’t you telling us?” she asked.
“The Guardian Life Insurance Building was demolished in 1970 to make way for the Kellogg Square apartment complex.”
The room became very quiet, and it stayed that way for a while. Finally Dahlin spoke from behind his massive desk. “So much for that,” he said.
“I don’t believe it,” Heavenly said.
“Historic fact,” I said.
“I don’t believe it,” Heavenly said again. “You’re lying.”
“Have it your own way.”
“He could have moved it, could have fenced the gold before he died.”
“If he was going to do that, he wouldn’t have made a deal with Kathryn. Even if he did, well, the gold would be just as lost to us.”
“Hep,” Whitlow said and then, “Hep,” again. He left his chair and went to her side. He took Heavenly’s hand in his and knelt next to her. “It’ll be all right.”
“It can’t end,” Heavenly said. “Not like this.”
“You always knew there was a chance it wouldn’t work out.”
“I know, but—I always thought it would. I never doubted it. Never.” A solitary tear glided down her cheek. “The plans we made. Remember?”
“I don’t want it to end.”
“Maybe—maybe we can still make it work.”
Heavenly leaned toward him. “How?” she said.
Whitlow gently caressed her hair and her cheek. “The rubble. From the building. After they destroyed it, they must have taken the rubble somewhere. I bet the gold is mixed in with the rumble.”
Heavenly sat up straight. Both hands were braced on the arms of the chair, ready to push off. “Is it possible we can still find it?” she said.
“Yes. If we look hard enough. If we’re willing to make the effort.”
She was standing now. So was Whitlow.
“We can find it together,” Heavenly said.
“That may be the most touching thing I’ve ever seen,” I said. They both glared at me as if I had told them the ending of a movie they had both just paid nine bucks to watch. “Seriously. Seeing unbridled greed bringing you two kids back together—heartwarming.”
“Do you have anything more to tell us, McKenzie?” Whitlow said.
Heavenly pointed. “What else is in the envelope?”
“Just something for the adults to talk about. Nothing that involves Jelly’s gold.”
Heavenly stared as if she didn’t believe me. Whitlow took her elbow and gave her a nudge to the door. “C’mon, Hep,” he said.
“We don’t need you anymore, McKenzie,” Heavenly said.
I showed her the palms of my empty hands as they both headed for the French doors. Allen held them open. When they passed through, I called to Allen. “You, too.”
Allen looked to Dahlin for instructions. He nodded, so Allen stepped out of the library, closing the doors behind him.
“I thought they’d never leave,” I said.
“What is in the envelope?” Dahlin said.
I set it on the blotter in front of him. “Copies of all the letters that your mother wrote Rose while she lived in Paris and New York. The cops have the originals. Shelly Seidel wants them back when the cops are done with the letters, so you’re going to have to negotiate with her.”
Dahlin used both hands to pull the envelope across his massive desk to his chest. “You read them?” he said.
“What do they tell us?”
“They tell us that your parents were remarkable people who loved their son very much.”