“OK, Mr. Avers,” said Detective Curtis. “Let me make sure I’ve got your story straight. You got here a little after 1 p.m. and had been working on the central air unit in the basement for about half an hour when you heard the shots.”
“That’s right,” Avers agreed.
“You waited several minutes and when you didn’t hear anything else, you came upstairs and looked around.”
“Yeah. Maybe I should have come up sooner, but I was afraid.”
“Afraid isn’t a bad thing when you hear gunshots, Mr. Avers,” the detective told him. “Then you looked around and found the bodies in the living room and you called the police on your cell phone.”
“Yeah, that’s right.”
Curtis tipped his head a bit as he looked at the clipboard. “Then you went back downstairs and completed your work on the central air unit, after which you gave an officer your statement.”
Avers nodded in agreement.
“Mr. Avers … I hope you don’t mind my asking, but why did you continue to work on the unit when the people who hired you were dead in the living room? I mean, you’re not likely to get paid for it.”
Avers shrugged. “I never leave a job unfinished. I’ve got my pride, y’know? And besides … isn’t it about 101 in the shade out there?”
“Yeah, it’s a scorcher, all right.”
Avers motioned toward the living room. Curtis looked around the corner where the bodies were lying in blood. It was about 75 degrees in the house.
“Aren’t you glad I kept working?” Avers asked.
“That’s all I need for now, Mr. Avers. Thank you for your help,” Curtis said. He extended a hand to the repairman. “And yes, thank you very much. I guess we’re both making the best of a bad job.”
“Life’s all about keeping cool, Detective,” Avers said. “You can see in there what happens when you don’t.”