Buttoned Up
attract plenty of attention. Then when I realized Mango Tango was just a hole in the wall, well, I’ll admit it, I didn’t know what to do.”
    Richard shifted uncomfortably in his seat and I pictured the dust in the pew getting smudged. “I like to come across as a mover and a shaker,” he said. “I mean, that’s part of my job, right? Art critics and buyers, they want to think they’re dealing with the cream of the crop, so I’ve got to put on a show, just like Forbis does. Did.” He cleared his throat. “Truth is, I’ve always worked with small, regional galleries. Never with a show on this scale and never in an art mecca like Chicago. When I realized what I’d gotten us into with crazy Bart and that refuse heap of a gallery, I was sick to my stomach. I didn’t know what to do. Then I remembered Laverne.”
    “She’d talked to you about having Forbis here as a guest,” I said.
    Richard nodded. “And I realized I’d just had my salvation dropped in my lap.” He cringed and looked around. “Pardon the pun. So I saved my bacon and at the same time, I realized I could do a little good. The church is definitely a worthy cause and with Forbis’s star rising, it wouldn’t hurt us to donate a portion of the profits to this place and get a tax write-off in return. Besides . . .” He glanced away. “Laverne is an old friend, an old girlfriend. We dated back in college and I thought, well, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to get together with her again. You know, just to see if any of the old spark was still there.”
    “Was it?” I knew Nev wasn’t going to get too personal, or show off his soft, romantic side, so I did him the favor of asking. “What did you do after the show was over last night, Mr. Norquist?”
    Richard’s smile was fleeting. “We went for coffee, me and Laverne.”
    “And you didn’t come back here to the church?”
    He shook his head. “Laverne locked up before we left. We got in a cab, had coffee over near my hotel, then I put her in another cab and sent her home. I didn’t hear from her again until this morning. You know, when she called about . . .” Again, he peeked around Nev. “About this.”
    “When Mr. Parmenter ran out of here last night . . .” Nev was holding a pen in one hand, and he used it to point down the aisle in the direction Forbis ran. “What did you think?”
    “That he was crazy. That he was ruining a good thing. That he should have known better.”
    “And before that, what did you see?”
    Richard looked across the church. “I was standing over there. You remember. You both saw me. Ms. Giancola, you walked up to the front with Forbis—”
    “And you came over and dabbed some cement on the back of the button I brought with me,” I added.
    “That’s right. Then I stepped back over to where I was to begin with. The next thing I knew . . .” Richard made a face. “I’ll admit it, when I saw Forbis wince, I didn’t think a thing of it. He was a twitchy old guy, or at least he liked to pretend he was. I think he thought he was being cute and folksy. But then he dropped his glass and yelled, ‘The button, the button’ and ran out of here, and I admit it, I was as stunned as everyone else.”
    “Until you decided it was all for show and you got angry,” Nev said.
    “Not angry, more like disgusted,” Richard said. “But not disgusted enough to kill Forbis.”
    We were right back where we started from. Nev told Richard that he was free to go, but that he shouldn’t leave town any time soon, just in case he could help with the inquiry.
    “What do you think?” he asked me once Richard was out of earshot.
    “I think we’ve got it all wrong,” I said, considering what Richard had just said. “Forbis jerked back. Just like Richard said. And we all know he dropped his champagne glass. But you know, Nev, Forbis didn’t say, ‘the button, the button’ like Richard said he did. I was standing right next to him so I know. What Forbis said was

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