We knew. We looked at Dewey and we knew tragedy had struck. Naturally we assumed his carefully planned courtship of Emily Stickles had died a stillborn dream, but that wasn’t it. He still hadn’t met her, turns out. When he came to the Mule Barn’s philosophy counter, he sorta collapsed into a chair, moaned, and flipped his mug to the upright position.
“Who’s going to ask him?” Doc finally said.
“Oh hey, guys,” Dewey said. “My own fault, I guess. I mean, you know I wanted to get all rigged out with new clothes for my introduction to Emily, right? So both Mrs. Doc and Anita volunteered to go shopping with me and help me with color coordination. They said it was important.”
“ Oh crud,” Doc said in a whisper.
“I mean it was nice of them and all …”
Dewey stirred sugar into his coffee. “But then we got to the necktie. Mrs. Doc insisted I get the aqua-colored one, and Anita spoke up for the one marked pastel pool. Before you know it, they were arguing, so I kinda sneaked out.”
“So did you buy a tie there?” Steve asked.
“Oh yeah… got a blue one.”
“It really is your fault, Dewey,” Doc told our local fertilizer king. “You should’ve studied your Chinese better.”
We all looked at Doc.
Doc nodded. “Chinese. Yes, indeed. If you’d boned up on your Chinese a bit, Doo, you’d know that the Chinese symbol for trouble is two women under the same roof.”
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