"So, what did you say?"
"I told her you were in Las Vegas."
Uncle Billy winced. "You told her I was in Vegas ... you didn't tell her Clara was with me?"
"I didn't have to, she figured that."
"What do you mean?"
"When I told her you were in Vegas, she said, 'with Clara, I suppose.'"
"And you said ...?"
"I said, 'yes'."
"You sure are a help with my love life."
"If you want to play both ends against the middle, that's your business ... but I told you I wasn't going to lie for you."
"Okay, but do have to be so damn truthful?"
"Alma asked me a direct question ... any answer other than 'yes' would have been a lie."
"Listen to Reverend Hudson."
"I'm not trying to tell you how to live your life ... hell, Clara doesn't even care what you do ... just be honest with folks. Alma Beeler is an adult ... don't treat her like one of your high school dates."
Uncle Billy folded his arms on the bar and gave me a sideways glance. "You sure do know how to take the fun out of life." He pushed back his hat and rubbed his forehead. "You know Clara is leaving on her book tour next week."
"Her book tour? No, she didn't tell me."
Billy folded his arms on the bar again. "How about that? You don't know everything."
"Where is she going?"
"She's lined up stops at a bunch of independent book stores in Michigan ... she said she'd be gone three days."
"And you were planning on seeing Alma when she's gone."
"I was ... until, Dudley Do-Right here started questioning my morality."
I let out an audible sigh. "Uncle, I don't care what you do ... just don't drag me into the middle of it?"
"Okay, okay, enough preaching." Uncle Billy took a long pull of his beer and slammed the empty class on the bar.
"You want another?"
"I'm a little short this week."
"It's on me."
I looked at Billy. "You had some luck in Vegas?"
He smiled. "Yeah ... for a change."