On the way to Vegas we didn’t listen to music the way we’d usually do – lately lots of Lucinda Williams, plus some of our favorites like Elmore James and Billie Holliday, and there was always Hawkshaw Hawkins with Lonesome 77203, and don’t leave out Django Reinhardt – but forget all that, because all we listened to was news about the oil spill. Bernie got in a real bad mood – that hardly ever happens – and he kept saying “No proven backup plan? They’re allowed to drill way down deep like that with no proven backup plan? It’s amateur night.”
Amateur night? I remembered an amateur night at the Dry Gulch Steak House and Saloon, when Bernie brought out his ukulele and maybe he’d had a few drinks, but I still thought he did a great job on An Empty Bottle, A Broken Heart, and You’re Still on My Mind, although most of the crowd seemed to be in the mood for something else. But did we even have the ukulele with us now? I didn’t think so.
We drove into Vegas. Albie Rose lived in the biggest house I’d ever seen, more like a palace, surrounded by high walls. We’d been here before, on the Madison Chambliss case. That turned out all right – is it in Dog On It? We walked to the gate. Bernie pressed the buzzer. “Even money the next voice we hear is Foster’s,” he said.
Please, Bernie, no gambling. Our finances couldn’t take it.
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