Somewhere in Alaska: we stepped out to face a tall, thickly set man.

We stepped out to face a tall, thickly-set man with thinning brown hair, watery eyes and a goofy grin.

Julie's husband Carl stood swaying, reeking of alcohol.

We shook hands, thanked him for his hospitality, told him how happy were were to be there. Still sporting the silly grin, he unsteadily nodded his approval.

We bade each other good night; Jule mouthed a sheepish "sorry" over her shoulder as they disappeared down the hall.

We spent the next few days knocking around town, taking little trips, eating at the restaurant where one hot meal per day was prearranged. Carl, who worked on a fishing boat, was not around much. Julie and I shared some casual conversations.

She was bright and perky, seemingly tireless. She also was uptight. Her inner tensions were easily evident in comments and mannerisms, but I took her to be a strong person and I liked her. She was busy running their guest house business and surely Kiki required a lot of attention. There was real weight on her shoulders.

Next: She could be manipulative...

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