Nina, Margot, Bobby, and Shelby also came to dinner. Shelby returned my shoe box. I was happy to get it back.

Nina forgave me for not staying in touch. I always knew she would. Shelby also forgave me, but not until after dessert. She told me when we were alone in the kitchen that the next time I pulled a stunt like this she’d kick my sorry butt up and down and around Merriam Park. She wasn’t kidding.


Finally, after all the dust settled, I called Sweet Swinging Billy Tillman and told him that the men who had attacked his wife were dead.

“Did you kill them?” he asked.

I told him I was responsible.

He paused for a moment, said, “Thank you,” and hung up. There was no enthusiasm in his voice. I have no idea what the news meant to him, or if it meant anything. I called several more times over the next few months, tried to visit, but the conversations were always abrupt and I was told to stay away.

I never saw or spoke with Penelope Glass again. But whenever I hear a song I like, I now check the liner notes to see who wrote it.

TIN CITY. Copyright ? 2005 by David Housewright. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. For information, address St. Martin’s Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10010.

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