Jim Merriman is a man accustomed to making empty promises, just to make his life easier. However, at his sister’s deathbed, she forces him to utter a declaration to watch out for her son. Despite Jim’s intention to avoid obligations, he finds himself trying to save Leon, a hapless twenty-one year-old who chose the wrong man to idolize as a father figure. A former card player who now works as an assistant clerk in a bookstore, Jim has lost none of his talent as a pathological liar. His tales have Leon looking to Jim for help with a forty-five thousand dollar gambling debt.