“Yeah, Bret and I were good friends,” said Ian with a slight tremble in his voice.
“How about Randy Thornton and Derek Ruis? Are you friends with those guys, too?” asked Detective Barnes as he reached for his Styrofoam coffee cup.
“Well, I know Randy and Derek, sure, but I wouldn’t say that I was friends with them?’
“But did you hang out with them?” continued the detective.
“I went out with those guys a few times, but only if I knew Bret would be with them,” Ian said.
“Now, let me ask you this, Ian; Why do you say that Bret was your friend but Derek and Randy are not?” said Barnes unbuttoning the top button on his dark blue trench coat.
“Well, Bret’s more of a straight up guy. He’s usually level headed and treats other people right.”
“But you wouldn’t say that about Randy and Derek?”
“Oh, no. I didn’t always get a good feeling being around Derek and Randy.”
“Why is that?” asked Barnes.
“Well, like I said, Bret was kind of a straight arrow while Derek and Randy are a little on the sleazy side. They are losers. They’ve both been in jail before,” said Ian.
“What was Bret like when he was with Derek and Randy?” Barnes asked.
“Bret was different when he was with those guys. When Derek and Randy were around, Bret was no longer the leader. Bret would usually go along with what those other guys wanted to do?” answered Ian.
“How are you feeling, Ian, okay? Would you like another cigarette?” asked Rick.
“Yes, that would be great Rick. Can I have some more coffee, too?” answered Ian.
“Coming right up.” Rick got up to get Ian a refill on his coffee.
“Ian, the log book says that Randy and Derek came to visit Bret once on Saturday afternoon and once on Sunday. Did you go out with the guys on either of theses occasions?” asked Detective Barnes.
“No. I was busy reading a novel most of the weekend.”
“Which novel was it?” asked Rick.
“Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Kesey. Drake lent me his copy. Once you start reading it, you can’t put it down,” said Ian.