This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any actual resemblance to persons or historical persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

The Dukes of Hazzard characters, settings, locales, ect. are owned by other entities who have not endorsed this fic nor have they given express permission for the character's use. Author makes not claims to these characters and is not making any profit from their use.

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Copyright: 1996-2004. Lisa Philbrick


The Dukes of Hazzard
Ames Train
by Lisa Philbrick

Note: The diaries that Rosco and MaryAnne use in their research come from a story that hasn't yet been written. But don't worry, you won't get lost. LOL.

Friends and neighbors, only in Hazzard County would Halloween be accompanied by a real live ghost story. Umm...okay, maybe live isn’t the word we wanna use here...

But hang on to your hats and pay attention y’all. You’re about to learn a little Hazzard history.

Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane pulled his patrol car onto the dirt drive that led to the old barn that had belonged previously to Henry Jameson.

This barn used to belong to Henry Jameson. Now ol’ Henry passed on about five years ago and Boss Hogg bought the property when, after two years, no one had bought the old farmstead. Which was a shame to a point. It was one of the oldest farm houses and barns in Hazzard that had been continuously in use, the barn itself dating back to the 1840’s. But now, Boss wanted the barn demolished, because the buyers he had found for the property were going to build a barn on the other side of the property and he sent Rosco out to make sure there wasn’t anyone or anything in the barn before the bulldozers came in.

Rosco left his headlights on, the car facing the huge double doors of the barn. The structure loomed large and dark in the twilight. The bulldozers were coming in Friday, Halloween. Today was Tuesday and Boss wanted Rosco to check the barn for squatters or anything else before the bulldozers went in. And now was the only chance Rosco was
going to have.

“Come on, Flash,” he said, picking up his basset hound in his arms. He shut the door with his foot and walked to the barn. He put Flash down on the ground and pulled open the doors, letting the Plymouth’s high beams shine in. The whole barn seemed to creak as the doors were opened, as if disturbed from it’s slumber. Rosco looked down at Flash, who got to her little feet and trotted in.

“Don’t go too far, darlin’,” Rosco said following after her. He looked around the barn and pulled his flashlight off his gunbelt to see in the corners where the high beams didn’t reach. He clicked the light on and shine it into the empty dusty corners of the stalls and water troughs.

“I hate to see it have to be torn down that’s for sure,” Rosco said softly to himself as he looked up to the rafters. He had pretty much concluded that the barn was empty and Boss’s bulldozers would be free to knock the old boy down. Rosco clicked his flash light off and turned around. He saw Flash was standing infront of one of the stalls, looking intently at something. Thebasset then suddenly stiffened and started barking.

“Flash? What in tarnation ya barkin’ at?” Rosco walked over to her and looked into the stall. He didn’t see anything and even turned his flash light on to look. Flash stopped barking when the light beam went into the stall.

“Flash, honey, there ain’t nothin’ in there.” He turned the light off. Flash shifted her position and started right back in with barking again, looking straight into the stall.

Rosco looked at the basset, his eyebrows creased in question. What in the world was she barking at? Flash usually didn’t bark at just anything. Something was clearly upsetting her, but Rosco couldn’t see anything in the stall. He got down on his knees and placed a comforting hand on Flash and looked into the stall, trying to see whatever it was from her view point.

“Sshh, Flash,” he said softly. “Settle down now...”

The basset ceased barking, but gave an occasional whistling whine. Rosco still didn’t see anything...but something was definitely different. He looked up suddenly, towards the doorway where the Plymouth’s high beams were staring in a blinding glare.

There was nothing there...but Rosco suddenly had the feeling that he and Flash weren’t the only one’s in the barn.

“Maybe tearin’ this barn down ain’t such a bad idea after all...” he whispered to Flash. The basset whined and the whole barn moaned as if being shifted by the wind. But with the doors wide open, Rosco felt no breeze come through. Even the rafters above him creaked under some unknown weight. Like somebody was walking across the floor above. Rosco picked up Flash and held her close. The basset squirmed, accompanying Rosco’s jittery feeling. Slowly, he got to his feet, lifting the dog with him. The rafter creaked a few more times and the Rosco thought he heard something. A jingling noise...very faint. Almost like a...spur?

“Let’s get out of here, Flash. Ain’t nobody here....” Rosco started walking towards the door where the high beams of his patrol car offered little comfort. Flash’s head was near Rosco’s shoulder and she could see behind him. When she started barking
again, Rosco stopped long enough to look. His heart bounced between the bottom of his stomach and his throat. There, in the
corner near the stairs that led up to the rafter was a shady image of someone. They looked at Rosco, blending with the shadows of the barn and the high beams from the patrol car, distorting themselves. Rosco couldn’t force his eyes to look away and couldn’t get the message to his feet to move! The shadowy person remained in the same spot, looking at Rosco. Like a fog lifting they became clear enough for Rosco to tell it was a man, that he was dressed like a 19th century cowboy complete with hat and vest. His face, however, was not completely distinguishable. And Rosco finally snapped out of his frozen state of
fear long enough to run out of the barn and to his patrol car. The ghost remained for a moment, the cowboy’s facial expression was sad as the Plymouth’s high beams disappeared and the patrol car tore away into the night. A single name was spoken in the wind and whether or not the intended recipient heard it remained to be seen...

Rosco....

Bo and Luke Duke were on their way back to the farm after having a round at the Boar’s Nest with their friend Cooter Davenport. The topic of conversation mostly focused on who was taking who to the Hazzard Halloween Dance on Friday night. Bo and Luke traded jabs on who’s date didn’t need a scary costume to go. Cooter had just shook his
head, figuring the boys would never change.

“What did you mean my date wouldn’t need a mask?” Bo asked as he turned the General onto Mill Road.

Luke snorted.

“If you mean what I think you meant, your date WILL need a mask!” Bo said. Luke was about to return a response when he spotted a car coming towards them on the other road, heading towards the intersection. The headlights were bouncing,
indicating that the car was hitting all the bumps at quite a speed.

“Bo, look out--”

“What--?” Bo managed a glanced before he slammed the General’s brakes. “Dixie” played in warning to the other driver and the car went sliding through the intersection, missing the General which was now sideways the driver door facing the intersection. The other car’s tail lights faced the General and the Plymouth Fury came to a stop.

The boys looked at the car and then climbed out of the General.

“Rosco?” Bo queried as he and Luke walked up to the driver window.

“Don’t you know yer supposed to yield when you come to an intersection?” Luke complained.

“I’m sorry fellas,” Rosco said. Both boys could hear the distress in the Sheriff’s voice. Plus the fact that he didn’t blame them for the near miss immediately told them something was wrong.

Luke pulled the door open, so the interior light of the Plymouth shone on Rosco.

“You okay? Whatchya drivin’ like a bat outta hell for?”

Rosco’s face was about as white as the paint of his cruiser. He looked at the boys and shook his head.

“What’s wrong? Has something happened??” Bo asked.

The Sheriff took a moment to pull himself together before telling his tale. “The barn on Henry Jameson’s property is supposed to be torn down on Friday. Boss wanted me to check it out to make sure there weren’t any squatters or anything out there, ya
know...?” He paused, which was long enough for the Dukes to jump to conclusions.

“There’s something out there?” Bo said. “You don’t mean...a dead body??”

Rosco shook his head. “No. Worse! There’s ghosts out there! The dang thing’s haunted. I heard noises and I saw one!! Then I heard my name as I was driving away---what are you laughing at?? I’m serious!!”

“Sorry, Rosco,” Luke chuckled. “But you gotta admit that Halloween is Friday. You sure you’re not gettin’ caught up in the whole thing?”

“Arrrrre you kiddin’ me??! If I’m getting caught up in all of it then Flash here is too! Poor darlin’ was barking up a storm. She saw ‘em too!” He reached and pulled the basset on his lap, holding her.

The boys glanced at each other. They weren’t exactly believing of Rosco seeing ghosts but they figured to offer something to try to make him feel better.

“Listen, ya want me and Bo to go back with ya and look around?”

“No way! I ain’t goin’ back there in million years! If Boss wants the barn torn down he can send in the bulldozers tomorrow for all I care!!” Rosco suddenly didn’t want to talk about it anymore and he reached to close the door. The boys stepped back as the patrol car was put in gear and Rosco drove around them back onto the road that would take him back to town.

“Man...” Bo said. “I dunno what he saw, but he’s shook up bad.”

“Yeah,” Luke replied thoughtfully. They walked back to the General.

“Are we gonna go look?”

“Nah. Not tonight.” Luke climbed into the passenger window and slid into the seat. “Maybe we’ll swing by tomorrow. I think Rosco was just jumping at shadows. I mean, the barn hasn’t been used in what? Five, six years? You gotta admit that it was
probably kinda creepy out there, that’s all. Plus with Halloween coming, I think Rosco just over reacted to something simple.”

“Yeah, you’re probably right.”

“Ain’t I always?” Luke laughed. “Like, considerin’ your date for Friday...”

Bo glared at his cousin. “Cute, Luke. REAL cute...”

The General Lee headed home.

I tell you, if I was Rosco, I’d have been drivin’ like that too.

At the courthouse, Rosco found a bit more receptive audience for his story.

“Possumonagumbush...” Enos said softly. “You saw a ghost??”

Rosco nodded and looked at his three deputies gathered before him in the middle of the booking room. He was relieved that they didn’t think he was loonie...atleast, they hadn’t said anything yet. “Flash saw something else too, I think...but all I saw was a ghost in the corner.”

“What noises did you hear?” MaryAnne asked.

“It sounded like somebody was walking up in the rafter...and I heard a jingling noise, like a spur.”

“What did the ghost look like?” Cletus asked.

“Well...like a cowboy.” Rosco paused. “I tell you, it was creepy! He was prolly gonna snatch me into the beyond!”

“Rosco, not all ghosts are bad,” MaryAnne said. “Ain’t ya ever heard of Casper? Khee!”

“This wasn’t Casper! I don’t know who it was, but I know what I saw!”

Boss Hogg had been sitting in his office and heard the officers in their conversation. He now came out of the office.
“What’s this about ghosts?”

Rosco turned to his brother-in-law. “At that barn yer gonna have torn down on Friday. You can go ahead and do it tomorrow if ya want!”

“Ghosts? Rosco, have you finally lost it??”

“Me and Flash both saw ‘em!”

“Bah! Ain’t no such thing as ghosts! It’s probably just some prank somebody’s pullin’ to get in the Halloween spirit,” Boss said, the last of his statement holding sarcasm.

“Ain’t nobody been out there for years, Cousin Boss,” Cletus said. “Why would someone set up a prank, especially since nobody knew Rosco was goin’ out there!”

“Maybe somebody don’t want the barn torn down?” Enos suggested. Even as he spoke he knew that was a weak possibility.

“Yeah, but who knows that Boss is having it torn down?” MaryAnne said. “Like Cletus said, ain’t nobody been there for years.”

“Oh it’s all baloney!” Boss exclaimed. “I’ve got buyers for that property and the barn has to come down on Friday. I ain’t lettin’ some silly thing like ghosts stop it.”

“Well, tell ya what Rosco and I will go out there early tomorrow morning and check it out--” MaryAnne started.

“I ain’t goin’ back out there!!” Rosco exclaimed. Flash barked in agreement.

MaryAnne gave her cousin a scolding look. “Rosco, I’ll go with you. We’ll just take a look around and see what’s going on, if anything. I think we should check it out. And I’m sure there’s some logical explanation to all of it. We’ll have an answer for ya by tomorrow, Boss.”

Boss scoffed. “Ain’t no such thing as ghosts,” he muttered as he turned back to his office. “It’s just pranks.”

You know, it’s funny that ol’ Boss don’t believe ‘em. Didn’t he and Rosco think they were hearin’ voices out at ol’ Silas Hogg’s place a couple years back? And that was the Dukes pullin’ a shuck and jive. Some things you just can’t count on...

* * *

Early the next morning, when the sun was just starting to peek over the horizon and the fog was still fairly thick, Rosco and MaryAnne drove out to the barn in Rosco’s patrol car. The dogs accompanied them and Flash and Bandit watched from the open windows of the cruiser as Rosco and MaryAnne walked to the barn. MaryAnne made Rosco go in first, more or less because she knew he’d probably go running back to the patrol car if she had gone in first.

“Jit jit,” Rosco said when MaryAnne’s hand in his back gave him some friendly persuasion. “You don’t have to push!”

“I ain’t pushing. Just git in there...”

Once inside, the two cousins stood for a moment, listening and looking around. MaryAnne couldn’t help but feel a little creeped for some reason. The barn, however, was quiet and nothing stirred. And that alone was creepy enough.

“Okay, you wanna point out where you saw what ya saw?”

“Well, Flash saw something in the stall here.” He pointed and even took a step toward it. “She was barking like it was a full moon.” MaryAnne peered into the stall.

“Then I got the feelin’ that me and Flash weren’t the only ones in here. I heard the rafters creak and the spur...I picked up Flash...” Rosco went through the movements, as if he was picking up the basset hound in his arms. “I was about ready to run out the door when she started barking again. I turned to look and saw him in the corner there.” He pointed towards the stairs at the other end of the barn.

MaryAnne was quiet in thought as she looked around. Rosco remained where he was as she started to walk towards that end of the barn. He looked around a little and then back at his cousin as a sudden chill settled in the old structure.

“MaryAnne?”

“Yeah?”

“Do you suddenly get the feelin’...that we ain’t the only ones in here?”

MaryAnne swallowed. “Yeah...” She paused, feeling a light breeze come through the old planks of the wall near her. With the breeze came a faint jingling sound....just like a spur as Rosco had heard. She turned around to face her cousin who was already staring at her.

“Rosco...?

“He’s right there...”

“Right where??”

“To yer left...jit jit!! He’s lookin’ right at ya!!”

MaryAnne bolted towards her cousin, a hair raising shot of electricity going through her limbs. The Sheriff grabbed a hold of her and she turned to look back at the spot where she had been. Amongst the shadows of the wall, near the window and stairway where the morning fog was swirling around, a dark form could been seen. The ghost looked at the two officers cowering together in the middle of the barn. As his face became a little clearer, Rosco and MaryAnne could tell there was something not very nice about this ghost. His faded 19th century clothes were dark...like that of an outlaw and his expression
seemed just as dark, if not more. In a brief moment, his face was clear enough for Rosco and MaryAnne to see him smile sinisterly and then appear to start laughing but all that could be heard was the distant squaking of crows. The man then disappeared.

Rosco and MaryAnne stood frozen for a moment. “That wasn’t the same one...”

Rosco managed to say before Flash and Bandit were heard barking outside. MaryAnne lunged towards the door with Rosco following right behind her.

“Do you believe me now??” Rosco asked when they got to the car.

MaryAnne nodded. “I believe ya. Believe me, I believe ya!” She then looked at the dogs who were trying to see past her. She turned around and looked.

“Rosco...?”

The Sheriff was already looking. A horse and rider faded in and out of the fog. The horse appeared to be moving towards Rosco and MaryAnne, making itself and its rider a little clearer with each step. The rider looked at the two cousins, his expression a pleading almost apologetic look. Rosco and MaryAnne were sure this was not the same ghost they had just seen in the barn a moment before. There was something different in this man’s clothes and the look he gave the two officers. The horse stopped moving and Rosco couldn’t stop himself from looking the rider in the eye.

Inside the patrol car, the radio softly came on. Both Rosco and MaryAnne could hear the static and hum, like it was on the AM dial instead of FM. Voices emanated from the speakers, faintly. Different voices, patched together to form a message for the Hazzard law officers.

“...don’t go...help...don’t be frightened....me...”

Rosco and MaryAnne were shaking now. Flash and Bandit were just as upset in the cruiser. The horse and rider made no sudden moves, but the sun was slowly breaking through the fog now, distorting the image.

“R--Rosco...who is he?”

“Yer askin’ me?

“Well, he’s lookin’ at you!”

“Jit jit! I don’t know!”

The rider appeared to smile, amused. The smile quickly faded and his eyes flicked towards the barn. The horse reared up and turned around. As they disappeared into the fog, another horse and rider went in after it. The ghosts were then gone and the sun burned brighter.

Rosco and MaryAnne were silent for several moments. The radio quietly shut down.

“Did you see that?” Rosco asked.

“Yeah...there’s two of ‘em...”

“The one on the horse, was the one I saw yesterday. I didn’t see that other one before.”

MaryAnne looked at the old barn and the fog around it that was becoming thinner as the sun became brighter. “Rosco, what does it all mean?”

The Sheriff shook his head and turned towards the patrol car. “I dunno,” he said softly.

“We gotta find out who he is...or was,” MaryAnne said. “He needs our help for something.”

* * *

“No ghosts, right?” Boss asked.

Rosco and MaryAnne stood before Boss’s desk at the courthouse and hesitated in response.

“Uh...well...no,” MaryAnne said. “There is a ghost. In fact, there’s...two.”

“What?! Don’t tell me you’ve gone as loonie as your cousin here!”

“Boss, I’m serious! There was two of ‘em! One of them made Rosco’s radio go all haywire and gave us a short message.”

“Oh yeah?” Boss was disbelieving. “What’d he have to say?”

“He said for us to not be afraid of him,” Rosco said, “and that he needed our help.”

Boss rolled his eyes. “This is getting ridiculous. I’m gonna prove to you two that there ain’t no ghosts! We’re gunna go out there tonight and you’ll see, there ain’t no such things as ghosts. It’s all in your heads.”

MaryAnne glanced at Rosco and shrugged.

“Okay, Boss,” Rosco said. “You can go with MaryAnne. I’ll stay here.”

“Rosco,” MaryAnne scolded.

“I’ll be going with both of ya. Alright, now get out on patrol. And don’t be wastin’ anymore county time with this ghost story stuff.” He shooed the Sheriff and deputy out of the office.

MaryAnne glanced at the door as it closed and then looked at Rosco, who shrugged. “You know what’s gonna happen when he goes out there with us, don’t you?”

“You mean when he goes with you. There ain’t gonna be no ghosts and he’s gonna think we’ve both gone looney.”

MaryAnne gave her cousin another scolding look. “I meant when we BOTH go. And yer right, he ain’t gonna see no ghosts.” MaryAnne headed for the booking room doors and Rosco followed. They passed Cletus on their way out. He was heading in to man the booking desk.

“Did Cousin Boss believe ya?”

“No,” both Cotlranes chorused.

Cletus shook his head. “I didn’t figure he would.”

“He wants to come with us tonight, to prove to us that there ain’t no ghosts,”

MaryAnne said. “Which means we probably won’t be seeing any ghosts tonight, just because that’s how our luck goes.”

“Well,” Cletus gave a shrug and continued on to the booking room. “Maybe the ghosts will be on your side and they’ll show up.”

MaryAnne chuckled as Cletus disappeared into the booking room. “That’d be nice.” She and Rosco then headed out of the courthouse.

“There’s gotta be a way to figure out who that ghost is,” Rosco said. “And what he needs our help with.” The two cousins paused on the sidewalk near their patrol cars.

“What do you know about that barn?” MaryAnne asked.

Rosco thought a moment. “Well, it’s one of the oldest standing barns in Hazzard. Been around since the1840’s I think.”

“Who owned it last? Before Boss bought it?”

“Henry Jameson. He passed on five years ago.”

“Did he ever say anything about thinkin’ it was haunted?”

Rosco shook his head. “Not that I recall.”

“No deep dark stories about someone havin’ been murdered or comittin’ suicide or anything in that barn?”

He shook his head again. “Nope.”

“Hmm...well, I guess we’re just gonna have to ask Mr. Ghost ourselves next time we see him.”

“You can ask him.”

MaryAnne rolled her eyes. “You ain’t really afraid of going back out there again are you?”

“You better believe I am!” he said, nodding vigorously.

MaryAnne drew in a deep breath. “Rosco, we gotta find out what’s goin’ on. We owe it to this ghost, whoever he is, and to ourselves too!”

“Whoever he was....”

MaryAnne paused. It was the second time she had done that, referring the ghost in the present tense. “Was...”

Now, as y’all know, there ain’t nothin’ more powerful than Duke curiosity. Bo and Luke actually did go to check out that barn.

Boss Hogg’s white Cadillac turned down the dirt drive leading to the barn.

Uh oh...need I remind you about Duke luck as well?

“YOU DUKES!!” Boss exclaimed before the Caddy had come to a stop. Bo and Luke had just started to come out of the barn when the white car pulled in and they looked at Boss, surprised.

Boss scrambled out of his car and quickly came around the front of it. “You Dukes! It’s you who are pullin’ pranks! Always tryin’ to ruin my business dealings! And not only that, you’ve been playing tricks on Rosco and MaryAnne, makin’ ‘em think
they’re seein’ ghosts!”

“What? Whoa, wait a minute Boss, it ain’t us!” Bo exclaimed.

“Yeah, what would we have to gain from makin’ Rosco and MaryAnne think they’re seein’ ghosts?” Luke asked.

“Spite! You’re doin’ it just for spite!”

Luke shook his head. “You got it wrong, Boss. Look, we saw Rosco driving like a shot last night away from here. We don’t know what he saw, but he was shook up pretty bad. He didn’t even blame us for the near collision we had!”

“That’s right,” Bo added. “We’re just out here to check it out is all.”

“Ha! You’re here to see if your pranks are still gunna work for when me and Rosco and MaryAnne come out here tonight. Well you can just knock it off, ‘cuz it ain’t! Now I think you owe poor Rosco and MaryAnne an apology. And me too!”

Both of the boys rolled their eyes. “Boss, it ain’t us!” Bo said.

Luke grabbed Boss by the arm. “Look, you can come inside and look around yourself. Me and Bo will follow you. If you find one trick or prank set up, then we’ll admit to the whole thing.”

Boss shoved his cigar into his mouth and marched into the barn with Bo and Luke following. They watched the man in the white suit look in the corners, the stalls, under fallen planks, around walls and kick up enough dust to settle in spots on his jacket. They then followed Boss outside to the back of the barn, where he looked and searched but didn’t find anything. Not one gizmo. Not one trick.

Boss turned to the boys, who now looked expectant of an apology. “Also,” Luke said. “Me and Bo were at the Boar’s Nest last night and there’s tons of folks that’ll testify to that.”

Boss knew he was whipped. But the expression on his face didn’t necessarily hold apology. It was troubled. If Rosco and MaryAnne did see ghosts....

“Ain’t no tricks...?”

The boys shook their heads. “No tricks, Boss,” Bo said.

The heavier set man’s posture was less defensive now. His eyes wandered off to the side as he stood in thought. He rolled his cigar between his thumb and index finger. He then snapped out of it and looked at the boys.

“Alright, alright so maybe you Dukes ain’t pullin’ tricks. But somebody is! Rosco and MaryAnne both think they’re seein’ ghosts in this place at night. If it ain’t you two...how do you explain what it is?”

The boys looked like they were about to answer when they stopped and looked at each other. How do you explain it?

Well, maybe it’s just a Coltrane thing.

Later that evening, Boss accompanied Rosco and MaryAnne to the barn. Believe it or not, ol’ Boss was now kinda leery to go. And it took some creative persuadin’ from MaryAnne to get them to go with her.

“You two are two peas in a pod you know that?” MaryAnne said with a shake of her head. She stood with her hands on her hips next to her patrol car. Bandit added an affirmative bark.

“Well, you know,” Boss started. “Maybe it ain’t something we should be foolin’ around with. I mean...how do you know that ghost won’t hurt ya or something?”

MaryAnne rolled her eyes. “Ok, you two scaredy cats can stay here. Bandit and I will go out to the barn.” She turned and gave Bandit a tug on his leash for him to follow her around the patrol car.

“Jit jit! Now ya done it, Boss...”

“Rosco, you’re the one who was seeing ghosts to begin with!” Boss shot back. “MaryAnne, wait a minute...” Boss hurried around the patrol car with Rosco following.

“Now you can’t go out there by yourself--”

“SOMEBODY’s gotta find out what’s going on,” MaryAnne said. “Maybe Bo and Luke will come with me....”

“Ah! You don’t need them Dukes to go with ya!” Boss exclaimed.

“Would you two rather come with me?”

They paused, just long enough for MaryAnne to jump at it.

“Yeah, that’s what I thought. Listen, ain’t nothin’ gonna happen to me. I’ve got Bandit with me, I’ll be fine.” She opened the door and let the dog into the car and started to get in herself.

“Now wait a minute!” Rosco said. “As yer commanding officer, I’m orderin’ you not to go to that barn!”

MaryAnne looked at her watch. “Sorry, Rosco. I went off duty three minutes ago.” She started the car, put it in gear and let it roll forward a bit.

“Wait!” Rosco was getting really flustered now. He even went so far as to stand in front of the patrol car!

MaryAnne popped her head out the window. “Rosco, will you get outta the way!”

“I’m not lettin’ you go out there by yourself!”

“Well then why don’t you get in the car and come with me??”

Rosco paused and glanced at Boss. The big man conceded defeat and he nodded.

“I’ll go,” he said.

MaryAnne looked at Boss. “Thank ya, Boss. I appreciate that.” She looked at her cousin. “Rosco?”

The Sheriff’s shoulders slumped. “Oh awright,” he said grudgingly. “I’ll go too.”

MaryAnne grinned. “Goody! Get in the car boys!”

“Wait, lemme go get Flash...” Rosco jogged around the Plymouth and went up the stairs to the courthouse.

“Oh what do we need that thing for?” Boss mumbled after he climbed into the back seat. Bandit barked at him.
“Ah! Don’t you start with me!”

MaryAnne giggled.

* * *

The barn doors were still open when the patrol car pulled into the drive. MaryAnne brought the car just a few feet away from the building and put it in “park.” She then turned the engine off but the headlights stayed on.

After a moment of looking at the dark barn, Rosco spoke. “You ain’t goin’ in are ya?” he asked.

“No. I think we should wait out here. Seein’ as he tried to talk to us through the radio last time. Maybe he’ll try again.”

“Alright.” Rosco actually sounded relieved.

They stared at the front of the barn for a long time, waiting for something to happen. MaryAnne had her window rolled down, to listen for any sounds. All they could hear were the crickets and hoot owls. The wind didn’t even move much.

“Maybe they ain’t gonna show,” Rosco said hopefully. “Oh well, guess we can go back to town.”

“Rosco, will you knock it off!” MaryAnne hissed. She decided not to have to listen to his cowardly act and she got out of the car.

“What are you doin’??”

“Just hush! Maybe they ain’t comin’ cuz they can’t see us.” She closed the door and stood beside the front fender of the Plymouth, looking at the barn and waiting.

Come out, come out where ever you are...

She took a step towards the barn, moving away from the cruiser. “Hello?” she called cautiously. She felt like a fool to say it.
But it worked. The wind picked up and mixed in with the crickets and hoot owls was the faint jingle of a spur.

“What was that?” Boss whispered.

“You heard it too??” Rosco asked. “Like a spur?”

“Yeah...”

“That means they’re comin’...”

MaryAnne had taken a few more steps away from the patrol car, which was making Rosco nervous. So much so, he got out of the car and called to her not to go any further. MaryAnne stopped and glanced back at Rosco. She didn’t say anything, but she
didn’t retreat back either. She watched the barn doorway.

The cowboy appeared so suddenly that both Rosco and MaryAnne blinked, thinking they were hallucinating. But they weren’t. The ghost was there and he stepped out of the barn doorway towards the patrol car.

Boss had noticed the change in the two cousins stance, and also that Bandit and Flash were suddenly alert to something happening outside of the car. “What’s happening?” he asked.

“The ghost,” Rosco said. “He’s right there Boss, can’t you see him??”

Boss looked at the doorway of the barn. All he saw was the open doorway, the headlights of the patrol car shining into a corner.

“No,” he said finally.

The cowboy looked through the windshield of the car at Boss.

“Umm...but I do have an odd feelin’...”

“That’s cuz he’s looking right at you,” MaryAnne said.

The cowboy stopped a few feet away from the patrol car...and MaryAnne. Rosco was fidgeting now. Even though this ghost had said to not be afraid...what if he was lying?

“MaryAnne, be careful.”

The cowboy looked at Rosco, a non-threatening friendly look. MaryAnne studied the man’s face, finding his features to be oddly familiar, but she couldn’t place who he looked like.

“Who are you?” she asked softly. “Can you tell us your name?”

Boss jumped when Rosco’s radio came on. The volume was up and the static and noise from the AM dial was a little uncomfortable on the ears. The dial flipped, passing over broadcasts until one could be found to speak for the ghost.

“....ames....train...”

The cowboy’s face darkened a bit. He appeared frustrated by what the radio gave. The dial continued to flip.
Boss’s heart was racing now. Without realizing it, he was hanging on to Bandit’s leash. There is ghosts! Holy Hannah!!

“....train....ice...”

The cowboy closed his eyes. It wasn’t coming out right! He opened them and looked at Rosco.

“....you...know....”

“Uh..I do?” Rosco was shaking. “Uh....ames? Amos?”

“....no....”

“Umm...how many guesses do I get?”

The radio dial scanned a little more and then stopped on a talk station.

“....kinda like Jimmy Stewart in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’...”

“Jimmy Stewart...?” Rosco wondered.

“James!” MaryAnne exclaimed.

The cowboy looked at her, so suddenly it made her jump. He was smiling however. MaryAnne brought a hand to her chest, feeling her heart pounding.

“James,” she said. “James...uh...” Train?

The cowboy nodded at her, hoping she would figure the last name. The radio offered nothing more he could use but he pointed at the badge on MaryAnne’s uniform. MaryAnne looked down at hers and then looked at him and noticed the five point star on
his vest.

“Rosco, he’s wearin’ a badge...” she said suddenly.

The cowboy turned towards Rosco so the Sheriff could see. The radio dial turned again.

“You....know....me....”

Rosco’s heart was pounding like crazy! He steadied his hand on the fender of the patrol car. A badge? Did he know this ghost....?

The ghost then suddenly turned and looked off towards the clearing. The wind picked up as he did so. He then looked at Rosco and then MaryAnne and shook his head.

“....other...”

“Uh oh,” Rosco said. “The other one’s comin’??”

The cowboy gave a nod.

“Can you tell us who he is?” MaryAnne asked.

“...outlaw...”

“Outlaw...” MaryAnne said softly. She had a million questions now, but with the antsy movements of the ghostly lawman, she knew she wouldn’t have time for answers. The ghost’s expression was apologetic and he turned back towards the barn.

“....forgive...leave...” As he ran into the structure, he faded away. But the radio dial continued to move.

Rosco and MaryAnne quickly got back into the patrol car. The wind was blowing hard now and MaryAnne pulled the patrol car up into the yard more to turn it around and go back down the drive. When the nose of the car was turned around, she looked over towards the field, seeing the outlaw rider coming towards them.

“...I was born...six gun in my hand. Behind a gun, I make my final stand....”

MaryAnne slammed the accelerator and the Plymouth tore off down the drive. The volume on the radio went down and Rosco and Boss both turned to look out the back window. Boss couldn’t see anything, but Rosco saw the outlaw, now perched on his stationary horse watching the car drive away.

...I shot the Sheriff...” It was barely audible before the radio quit completely.

MaryAnne made a beeline back to town.

Y’all realize who the lawman ghost is don’t ya? Which might explain why Rosco and MaryAnne are the only ones who see him...

Once they got back to town, MaryAnne was beyond determined to find out who the lawman had been.

MaryAnne came into Boss’s office with two sketch pads and a legal pad. Boss was nipping at his private stock of shine after the experience of hearing a radio play and no one was touching the dials. One thing was clear, he was a believer now.

“Okay, Rosco,” MaryAnne said, handing her cousin one of the sketch pads. “Draw the law man as best you can. I’m gonna do the same thing.” She then handed Boss the legal pad. “Boss, I want you to write down everything you heard come from that radio.”

“Alright...” Boss put his glass down and picked up a pen. He thought a moment and then started scribbling on the legal pad.
Rosco and MaryAnne went about their sketch.

Now the artistic ability of Rosco and MaryAnne was often overlooked. Most folks in Hazzard didn’t know that Rosco also painted. And I ain’t talkin’ paintin’ a house neither.

Boss finished his writing before Rosco and MaryAnne finished their drawing. MaryAnne finished just ahead of Rosco and she put the two pads on Boss’s desk to compare.

The drawings were nearly identical.

“Rosco, don’t he look familiar to you?” MaryAnne asked.

“A little bit...”

“I think I might know who it is.”

“Who??”

MaryAnne grabbed Boss’s legal pad and looked at what he’d written. “He said his last name was ‘train’ and at one point he also said ‘ice.’ What’s another word for ‘ice’?”

“Freeze...frozen...cold..” Rosco said.

“Yep, cold. Put cold before train.”

“Cold-train--” Rosco stopped suddenly. “Coltrane???”

MaryAnne nodded. “James Stewart Coltrane.”

“Them diaries,” Rosco said. “The one’s we found after Aunt Madeline passed on. All that Civil War stuff and everything. Great-grandma Claudia had written about him.”

“Right. Said he had disappeared or something. I dunno, we’re gonna have to look again.”

“Wait, wait,” Boss said. “Who was James Coltrane?”

“Our great-great-granddaddy,” Rosco replied. He paused and shivered. “If it is him...”

“We got a lotta research we gotta do. Startin’ with them diaries.” MaryAnne grabbed up the two sketch pads and the legal pad. “Come on.”

* * *

Rosco was sitting at the kitchen table when MaryAnne came in with two of the diaries that Victoria Claudia Bainbridge Coltrane had kept during her lifetime. MaryAnne sat down beside her cousin and flipped open one of the old books.
“Let’s see...I remember she mentioned it during a couple of the entries talkin’ about when Jacob was killed during The War.”

June 12, 1864

We have not heard from Jacob for almost three weeks. Robert is worried that his younger brother has either been captured or killed. The Confederate commanders have given us no information. Rufus commented that it was just like when their father James had disappeared ten years ago. But the stories that surrounded James’ disappearing have haunted both Rufus and Robert. They refuse to believe that their father, who had been Sheriff for almost 8 years, could turn his back on the law and join up with the likes of Reuben Tempest. I myself find that hard to believe as well...

“That other ghost must be Reuben,” Rosco said. “He did have beady lookin’ eyes...”

MaryAnne flipped the old pages, scanning the entries. She found another one...

July 8, 1864

Beluah received word today that Jacob was killed in action at Dallas on the 3rd of June, 1864. Her husband, James Stewart Coltrane disappeared the 3rd of June, 1854...

“Oooh,” Rosco said. “Now THAT’S creepy!”

“Yeah...” MaryAnne closed the diary and gently placed it down. “He musta been trying to arrest ‘em,” she said, “and ol’ Reuben didn’t wanna go to jail.”

“Tried to take out James but James took him with him. And has been fightin’ with him for over a hundred and thirty years out at that barn!”

MaryAnne nodded. “Which means they’re both buried there still. Obviously.”

“What are you thinkin’?”

“What I’m thinkin’ is we should find where he’s buried and dig him up! And bury him where he should be which is in the Coltrane plot at the Old North Cemetery with his wife and sons!”

“MaryAnne, I ain’t diggin’ up no bones....”

“Rosco, great-grandma Claudia wrote that history had labeled James a turncoat, that he had gone crooked.” She eyed her cousin. “Now some Coltrane law men may be crooked but this one wasn’t.”

That sobered the Sheriff. MaryAnne then stood up to return the diaries upstairs. She stopped and turned back to Rosco. “You know, I would think bein’ a descendent and all, that you would want to see history corrected.” She started up the stairs.

“MaryAnne,” Rosco said suddenly and jumped up from the table. MaryAnne stopped in the stair way and looked at him.
“What about that outlaw? What if he don’t want us diggin’ up those remains? There’s no tellin’ what he might do to keep us away from there.”

“Yeah, I know...” MaryAnne paused. “All we need is for James to point out where he’s buried. We dig him up during the daylight hours everything should be alright.”

Rosco was still leery. He just plain did not want to go back to that barn! However, he didn’t want MaryAnne going there alone either.

“I’ll go with ya,” he said hesitantly. “But only to determine where he’s buried.”

MaryAnne smiled. “Thank you, Rosco.” She then ran up the stairs to return the diaries.

Now don’t y’all get Rosco wrong. He does want to clear his ancestor’s name in history. He just don’t wanna go out to that barn again to do it!

Thursday night, Rosco and MaryAnne, with Flash and Bandit, drove out to the barn once again. Rosco was hoping this would be the last time they would have to at night. MaryAnne jumped out of the patrol car and headed towards the barn.

“Jit jit! MaryAnne, wait up!” Rosco got out of the car and walked to the barn after her.

“James?” MaryAnne said. “Listen, uh, me and Rosco are here and we’ve figured out most of everything. If you can come out and answer one more question for us, I think we can help you even more...”

The barn was still. The two officers stood in silence for a long moment, listening and looking around with their flashlights.
“We just need to know where you’re buried,” MaryAnne whispered as she looked up into the rafters.

Outside the barn, the outlaw Reuben Tempest appeared near the barn doors just long enough for Flash and Bandit to see him and to bark their announcement. Both Rosco and MaryAnne turned their heads and MaryAnne started out of the barn first. Suddenly she heard the doors move behind her and close with a wooden bang.

She swung around. “Rosco?!”

“Doh! MaryAnne, whachya close the doors for??” he asked.

“I didn’t!” She stepped towards the doors and tried to pull them open. The massive doors wouldn’t budge.

“Rosco, I can’t get this door open....”

Inside the barn, Rosco tried to push the door open until he saw something out of the corner of his eye. He looked into the barn and the ghost of Reuben Tempest stood not ten feet from the Sheriff.

“Rosco?”

Rosco’s heart was pounding so hard in his throat he couldn’t speak. He just stared at the ghost who gave him an evil grin in return.

“Ma-Ma-MaryAnne!! Get me outta here!!”

MaryAnne felt a chill go through her with Rosco’s words. “Hang on, Rosco!” She ran to the patrol car and let the dogs out, figuring one of them could sniff around and find another way into the barn, and give Rosco some moral support.

“Find Rosco,” she told them as they jumped out of the car. In the moonlight she could see the dogs stop by the barn door first and bark a bit. Flash then started pawing at the door, while Bandit headed off towards the side of the building.

MaryAnne came back beside Flash. “Rosco?? Rosco’s what’s goin’ on in there??”

Every time the ghost had moved, Rosco moved too, which put him away from the door and near the stalls now.

“Rosco!!”

“It’s Reuben,” he whined. “Waaaahhh, I’m gunna die!”

“No, you ain’t! He’s just tryin’ to scare ya, Rosco.”

Flash was whining now too.

MaryAnne ran back to the patrol car and opened the door. She grabbed up the CB mike and was about to push the talk button when the regular radio started making noise. She ignored it and tried to call for help.

“Enos? Cletus?? This is MaryAnne, you fellas got yer ears on??”

The CB responded with static. The regular radio started flipping through stations. MaryAnne repeated her call, asking for anybody who could hear her to reply.

“....no...use....nobody....can...save...you...now....”

MaryAnne dropped the CB mike on the seat and jumped out of the car. “That’s what you think!!” she yelled, her fear building now more than anytime before when at the barn.

By this point, Rosco was on his knees. The temperature inside the barn had dropped considerably and Reuben seemed to be enjoying just watching Rosco shaking on the dirt floor of the barn. Rosco had his face buried in his hands and he was huddled over, still whimpering. Suddenly a one foot beam fell from the rafters above and landed just a few inches from where Rosco was crouched.

“Aaaahhhh!!!” Rosco jumped practically into the old stall. He grabbed a hold of the edge of the corner of the stall and glanced at the ghost.

But Reuben had vanished.

MaryAnne had heard the beam fall and Rosco’s cry. She listened and then called to him.

“You alright??”

“No!! I want outta here, dang it!!” The Sheriff closed his eyes, not wanting to see anymore.

Outside, MaryAnne left Flash pawing at the front door to check around the barn for another way in. She came around the corner and found nothing along the side. When she came around to the back of the barn she stopped suddenly when she was face to face with a ghost.

MaryAnne gasped and jumped back. She looked at the ghost and thought for sure it was Reuben coming to get her now. But it wasn’t. The old time Coltrane law man looked at her.

“James...” she said, taking deep breaths in trying to get her heart to slow down. “James, we figured out what you’ve been trying to tell us and we realize what happened way back then. But can you help Rosco? Reuben’s in there scaring the pants off him!”

The lawman nodded and even smiled at MaryAnne, a look of relief that she and Rosco had figured out his message. He then turned and vanished into the wooden wall of the barn. MaryAnne continued to search for another entrance.

Inside the barn, Reuben reappeared when James came through the wall. James was only a foot away from Rosco, but the present day Hazzard Sheriff wasn’t looking. He was still leaning against the wall of the stall, gripping the edge and shaking in genuine fear.

“Leave him alone....”

Rosco opened his eyes and stared at the dark floor below him.

“He should not have come here...”

Slowly, Rosco looked up at Reuben. But the outlaw wasn’t looking at him. He was looking past him. Rosco turned his head to look and bolted out of the stall, rolling across the floor. He stopped and looked into the stall again.

“James...” he whispered.

“Rosco! Rosco, ya all right?’

“I’ll be a lot better when I get out!”

“Can you see James?”

“Yeah.”

MaryAnne was back to the front of the bar again with Flash and Bandit running around her. She tried pulling on the door again.
The two ghosts, meanwhile, were staring each other down, like in an old west duel. Rosco kept looking back and forth between the two wondering if he was going to get caught in the crossfire...of something. In the wind that blew through the barn he could hear the faint voices that carried.

“It’s over, Reuben...”

“Ha ha, that’s what you think, Coltrane. I like the way history labeled you a turncoat. There’s more satisfaction in that then there was the day I shot you full of holes....”

“But now they know...they’ve figured it out...”

“MaryAnne, can you hear that?”

“Yeah...barely.”

"You think I’m gonna allow them to amend history...?”

“You better believe we are!” MaryAnne exclaimed. “You may try to stop us from placing James at the final resting place where he belongs, but that don’t mean we can’t make a foot note to the history.”

“Jit jit! MaryAnne, don’t make him mad!”

“Brave little girl...” Reuben’s voice sneered in the wind. And with those words the barn doors opened just enough for MaryAnne to step through. She hesitated and looked in at Rosco with her flash light. He was still sitting on the floor.

The Sheriff shook his head. “Don’t come in here...he might tryin’ to bait ya or something so he can get the both of us.”

MaryAnne stood still, debating on her next move.

“Come in little girl....brave little girl...”

Flash went in first, making a bee line for Rosco. Rosco took hold of his beloved hound and held her close to protect her from the outlaw and to comfort himself.

“Are you coward little girl, like your Coltrane kin...?”

MaryAnne’s eyes narrowed at that. “You’re the coward, Reuben! You’re the coward for taking pride in trying to ruin a distinguished law man’s career. There’s nothing more cowardly than ruining someone else’s life in order to hide the lack of successes with your own! Plus you set him up to be killed didn’t you? You probably agreed to meet him out here and surrender quietly or something, but you had some of your posse waiting in the shadows. When the Sheriff showed up, your posse shot him. I’m willing to bet that not one bullet from your gun ever hit James. But you didn’t win, didja?” her voice turned to more of growl now. “James managed to take you with him....”

Despite his fear, Rosco couldn’t help but smile with pride at MaryAnne. He looked at Reuben, who was not at all amused by her speech.

“Foolish little girl...”

“She ain’t no fool,” Rosco said.

“And I ain’t no coward either.” She took a step towards the entrance way and was half way through it when the big barn doors suddenly closed, pinning her in. MaryAnne screamed in pain and dropped her flash light. Rosco jumped to his feet to try to help her get out of the doors and Reuben started laughing, and eerie chuckle that carried through the wind that suddenly blew harder. Rosco pulled on the door, trying to open it even just a little to alleviate the crush on his cousin. Rosco’s fear went straight to fueling his anger. He looked to James and then both law men looked at Reuben. In the pale moonlight that shined into the barn, MaryAnne could see the expression on Rosco’s face...and the mirror image on James’.

Suddenly, all hell broke loose. Flash started barking at Rueben and outside the barn, Bandit was barking and howling. James took two steps towards the outlaw and both ghosts disappeared. But the wind kept blowing, and two old boards that had come loose started to fall from the rafter above. Even the dust of the dirt floor started to blow around, like the beginnings of a tornado. Rosco held on to MaryAnne, who was still pinned in the door. It lasted a couple of minutes and then suddenly the barn doors popped open and MaryAnne fell to the ground with an ‘oomph’. Rosco kneeled down next to her to make
sure she was ok as the wind subsided and the dust settled back down on the floor of the barn.

“Ya hurt bad?”

“No...I don’t think so...” She sat up slowly as Bandit came into the barn to investigate. Out of relief, she hugged Rosco.
“What happened?” she asked as she looked around the dark barn.

“I ain’t sure...I think they were fighting...” Rosco looked as well.

A soft breeze whispered through the cracks in the wood of the wall of the barn. James reappeared in the stall, the same stall where Flash had barked on the first night she and Rosco were in the barn. Rosco and MaryAnne looked at him as he pointed down to the ground his eyes focused on Rosco.

The Sheriff swallowed. “There?” he asked.

James nodded. He then slipped his badge off his vest and laid it on the ground. He stood up straight again, smiled at his descendants and slowly faded away. But the badge remained, a marker to the lawman’s unmarked tomb.

Can I open my eyes now?

Well now! MaryAnne did tell Boss she’d have an answer about what was going on before the bulldozers went in. With less then twelve hours to spare, Rosco and MaryAnne got their answer. And got to help their kin finally find rest. I don’t know about y’all, but I think that’s neat.

The next morning, with the bulldozers waiting, Rosco and MaryAnne with Boss and even the Dukes, who heard from Enos and Cletus about the discovery of remains, watched the work men as they dug the ground inside the old stall. After several minutes,
one of them announced that they had hit something. Six feet down in the ground were the remains of Sleepy City Sheriff James Stewart Coltrane. Rosco and MaryAnne peered in and saw the few rib bones that showed in the dirt. A tattered piece of suede material was also unearthed and still pinned to the vest was a severely rusted five point star.

MaryAnne almost cried. Boss and Rosco both removed their hats, the Sheriff looking especially poignant.

“It’s him,” he said softly.

After a moment of silence, the work men reminded Boss that the proper officials would have to be notified. Boss nodded and placed his hat back on his head. Losing a day in tearing the barn down didn’t bother him much now.

James’s remains were exhumed completely later that day. Upon further investigation, the state officials found the outlaw Reuben Tempest’s remains not ten feet away, near the stair way that led up to the rafter. An odd, incomplete piece of Hazzard history was finally filled. The chapter now had an ending.

Later that night, after trick or treating hours were over, several folks gathered at the Boar’s Nest to trade scary ghost stories. But none compared to the tale that MaryAnne told. Ol’ Rosco was practically under the table the whole time.

The Sheriff and deputy were heading back to town. The lone patrol car drove down the road where the haunted barn still stood. The bulldozers would level it come the morning. Rosco didn’t turn his head to look, but MaryAnne did, if only as an after thought.

“Holy smokes!” she exclaimed. “Rosco, look...”

The Sheriff slowed the patrol car down a bit and looked. It appeared that a light was on somewhere in the barn.

“Let’s go check it out.”

“NO WAY!!” Rosco exclaimed. Flash barked in agreement at the same time. The patrol car kicked back dirt and tore off down the road. The taillights faded in the dark, but the light in the barn remained...

* * *

It took over a week for Rosco and MaryAnne to get everything together, but by the following Friday, James Stewart Coltrane was finally laid to rest beside his wife, Beluah, and with his four sons, Rufus, Elijah, Robert and Jacob. The tombstone now
displayed his date of death as June 3rd, 1854, instead of saying he had disappeared.

MaryAnne placed the white lily flower down on the fresh earth and stood back next to Rosco. The two cousins and officers had a moment of silence for their great-great grandfather. And they removed their hats in honor of the fallen law man.
After a moment they walked back to the waiting patrol car. Rosco was about to get into the car when he glanced back at the grave site.

“MaryAnne--?”

She looked at him and then turned to look where he was gaze was focused. Even in the bright sunlight, the images could be just barely seen. After a hundred and thirty two years, James was finally reunited with his family. He looked at Rosco and MaryAnne, each one separately for a moment, his expression that of sincere appreciation. The woman beside him then took hold of his hand and they faded away. James Coltrane was no longer a ghost, trapped on earth because of the unfinished way he had died. He was now a spirit, free to finally move into the beyond....

 

~End~

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