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.
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© Copyright: 1996-2004. Lisa Philbrick
The Dukes of Hazzard
Maverick Frame Up
By: Lisa Philbrick
Will Rosco and MaryAnne lose their lives while trying to clear themselves from the false charges against them?
Friday's in Hazzard County are a lot less hectic than in the city. But if you work at the Boar's Nest you'd think otherwise.
MaryAnne came out of the Boar's Nest and stepped into her blue 1978 Firebird, Maverick. She brought the engine to life and drove toward town.
To survive the crowd at the Boar's Nest for the day, MaryAnne usually made a run to town to get supplies from Rhuebottom's General Store. Plus, every Friday she also would drop off the cash receipts from the week to Boss Hogg at the bank. When Boss had learned that MaryAnne was a former police officer, he relized he could save a bundle of money by having her transport the money bags instead of having it done by armored carrier. Atleast, those times when he didn't transport it himself.
MaryAnne zoomed along the dusty road, going by Rosco's favorite speed trap. Rosco saw the Firebird and being dang near bored silly after sitting at the spot for an hour and half with no one having gone by, he proceeded to chase after his own cousin.
MaryAnne looked at her mirrors when she heard the siren. "What is he doing now?" she wondered aloud. She picked up the CB mike and was about to push the talk button when she stopped and devilish grin came across her face. MaryAnne decided to have a little fun. She put the mike down.
"Okay Rosco, you wanna play?" she said looking at the patrol car in the rearview. "We'll play." She shifted Maverick into a higher gear and pulled further ahead of Rosco.
MaryAnne led Rosco through swerving roads for a few minutes. She pulled Maverick off the road and brought the chase across country.
Rosco didn't miss a beat. MaryAnne glared at her mirror. "That's GOTTA be Enos driving," she said swinging Maverick back on to the road.
In the patrol car, Rosco giggled. "That cousin of mine," he said to Flash, "I gotta few tricks up my sleeve too. Watch this Flash." He pulled the patrol car off the road.
MaryAnne didn't see him pull off at first. A couple of moments after he was gone she looked in her mirror. Not believing he had disappeared so quick she turned her head to look back. For sure, he wasn't there.
When she turned back she saw the patrol car blocking the road up ahead. MaryAnne brought Maverick to a sliding stop turning him sideways to prevent from hitting Rosco's patrol car head on.
"I gotcha!" Rosco exclaimed getting out of the car. He snickered. "I love it, I love it!" He walked over to the Firebird.
"Rosco, what are you up to?" MaryAnne demanded.
"I gotcha. Khee! I just wanted to see if I could catch ya and I did! Cu cu, I out foxed you didn't I?? You didn't think I could do it but I did!"
"Oh heck, I knew what you were up to. I let you catch me."
"Doh! Jit, jit, you did not."
"I did to."
"Did not! I caught ya fair and sqaure."
MaryAnne giggled. "Oh, alright you got me fair and square." She then stopped and looked at him seriously. "You ain't giving me a ticket."
"Jit, jit. Oh alright, I won't give ya ticket. But only if you'll admit that I caught ya fair and square."
MaryAnne smiled. "Okay, you caught me fair and square."
I don't know why MaryAnne was so surprised that Rosco caught her. She did help him improve his drivin'. Then again, she thought he'd forget everythin' afterwards.
Now before y'all think that this looks like the beginning of a quiet day in Hazzard, you just hang around for a moment.
When MaryAnne got to town, she brought Maverick to a stop infront of Rhuebottom's General Store. After she got out of the car, she pulled the list from the front pocket of her short shorts and went into the store.
Across the street, four people, two men and two women, were watching the young waitress with interest from their grey sedan.
The driver, a man with dirty blonde hair, snorted as he watched MaryAnne disappear into the store.
"Cody, I thought you said she's a police officer?" the woman in the passenger seat asked. "She looks more like a truck stop waitress to me."
"She was a police officer," Cody replied. "In Finchburg County. I could care less about what she's doing now."
"You really think this is such a good idea?" the man in back, Jake, asked. "I mean, you said yourself that her cousin is the Sheriff here in Hazzard. Kind of like playing with dynamite ain't it?"
Cody shook his head. "Nope. MaryAnne Coltrane was the one who decided to play with dynamite." He paused and a smile crept across his face. "Besides," he continued, eyeing the attractive woman in the passenger seat beside him, "her cousin
won't be any help to her, will he?"
The woman smiled and shook her head. "No help at all."
Uh-oh. Rosco and MaryAnne are sure gettin' their fair share of trouble as of late ain't they? I wonder what it was like for MaryAnne in Finchburg County?
After MaryAnne dropped off the cash revenue from the Boar's Nest to Boss at the bank, she returned to the Boar's Nest, ready to face the Friday crowd.
Cody and his friends, meanwhile, were wasting no time. Cody and the attractive passenger, Lisa, were dropped off in front of the sheriff's station. Lisa had a purse that had only three things in it. A hand held CB radio, a cloth and a small bottle of
chloroform. After Jake drove away, Cody and Lisa stood infront of the job board, making it look as though they were looking for something.
Jake and the second woman, Amanda, headed out to the Boar's Nest. From across the road, they watched as people came in and out of the Boar's Nest, and after a few hours, the flow of people dwindled. Jake got out of the sedan and walked over to where Maverick was parked on the far end of the lot, near the door to Boss Hogg's office. No one saw him get into the car, hot wire it and then drive away with Amanda following in the grey sedan.
"Wholesalers to the miners, freight train is ready and available," Jake said into Maverick's CB mike after he changed to the channel that they were using.
Lisa pulled the hand held CB out of her purse and pushed the talk button. "Ten-four," she said. "Nice work." She then put the radio away and nodded to Cody.
They walked towards the door to the courthouse.
Them two had to wait nearly an hour before MaryAnne discovered that Maverick was gone. During the hour that the Boar's Nest closed down to get ready for the evening crowd, MaryAnne was goin' to head home to change her clothes, after spilling barbeque sauce all over herself earlier in the day. When Maverick was nowhere to be found, MaryAnne was fit to be tied.
"Daisy! Somebody stole my car!" MaryAnne exclaimed as she ran back into the Boar's Nest.
"What?!" Daisy replied. She then ran to the doors and looked out to the side where Maverick had been parked. The blue Firebird was gone.
"Oh MaryAnne, I'm sorry."
"Man, this just ain't been my day," MaryAnne cried. "Daisy, you think you can give me a ride home? I'll have to call Rosco to report Maverick stolen, maybe he can pick me up and give me a ride back here after I change."
"Okay. If he can't I'm sure the boys will give you ride if you call them on the CB."
* * *
MaryAnne went straight for the phone after Daisy dropped her off at the house. Gazing at the sploch of barbeque sauce that was all over the front of her white short shorts, she had the phone reciever to her ear and was listening to the rigning on the other end.
In the booking room, Rosco picked up the extention on the desk by Boss Hogg's office. "Sheriff Roscooooo P. Coltrane here."
"Rosco, it's me. Listen, somebody stole Maverick."
"Jit jit!! Somebody stole Maverick?!"
"Yeah. I spilt some barbeque sauce on me at the Boar's Nest and was going to come home to change only when I got out to the parking lot Maverick was nowhere to be found."
"Yeah. Listen, I'm at home now. Daisy gave me a ride. You think after you put out an APB you can come and pick me up and take me back to the Nest?"
"Sure. Be there in two shakes of a lambs tail."
MaryAnne smiled. "Thanks, Rosco. See ya in a bit."
But MaryAnne wouldn't see her cousin for almost two and half hours. As he placed the receiver back on the base of the phone Rosco suddenly had a cloth with a hand on his face and before he could put up a fight, he blacked out from the chloroform. Cody and Lisa looked around for a place to put the Sheriff. They spotted the door to the locker room and Lisa went to open it. Cody carried the Sheriff's unconcious form into the dark room, losing the black hat before even getting into the door and laying Rosco down on the floor. When Cody came back out, he picked up the hat and looked at it.
He smiled menacingly and looked at Lisa. "You know, I always wanted one of these." He chuckled and then he closed the door to the locker room. Then, with hat in hand, he and Lisa walked out of the booking room.
Amanda was waiting in the grey sedan across the street. As soon as Cody and Lisa were in the car, she drove out of town and out to where Jake was waiting with the Firebird.
"Okay, the Sheriff's been taken care of," Cody said. He then turned to Lisa. "You ready?"
"Let's go," she said.
Cody got into the driver seat of Maverick as Lisa settled into the passenger seat.
"We'll be waiting for ya at the hideout," Jake said.
Cody nodded. He then started the car and looked over the dashboard and on to the hood. He chuckled. "You gotta give her a little credit," he said. "She sure picked a pretty car to rob a jewelry store with."
Friends and neighbors, with Rosco off in la-la land, his hat in Maverick and Maverick on his way to be part of a robbery in Capital City, you can bet that the cousins Coltrane will be left to wonder where they were when the good luck was passed out.
Twenty minutes later, Cody brought the Firebird to a stop around the corner from Poulin's Jewlery Store in Capital City. He and Lisa put ski masks on and then Cody placed Rosco's hat on. He then brought the Firebird around the corner and to a stop infront of the store.
The robbery itself took less than three minutes. Cody and Lisa grabbed all they could and then ran bak out to the Firebird. They hesitated long enough for the jewlery store employees and anyone on the sidewalk to get a good look at the car, before Cody tore away from the curb and Maverick screamed down the road.
MaryAnne looked at her watch for the hundreth time since she finished
changing her waitress outfit. She had called Rosco almost forty minutes
ago and wondered what was taking him so long to get out to the house.
She went over to the phone and dialed the number to the booking office
for the third time and she let it ring several times. She finally hung
up and then went into the living room to the CB set.
"Songbird to Bear, you got your ears on out there? Come back."
The CB responded in silence.
"Rosco, this is MaryAnne, don't tell me you got lost trying to get to the house from town?"
"Is there something wrong, MaryAnne?" Enos asked.
"Enos! Have you seen Rosco? I've been sitting here waiting for him for almost an hour. I've called the booking office atleast three times and I haven't got any answer."
"I haven't seen the Sheriff for a couple of hours. I'm on my way to town now, I'll check to see if everything's okay at the courthouse."
"Okay, Enos. Let me know what you find out, will you?"
"I sure will."
When Enos came into town he saw Rosco's patrol car was still parked out front. He paused a moment and then got out of his car and went up the steps to the courthouse.
The booking room was empty when Enos came in. He checked in both Rosco's and Boss's offices but both offices were empty. Enos then went to check downstairs, but he found the cells were empty too. When he came back upstairs, he went over to the CB set and picked up the mike.
"MaryAnne, this is Enos. I don't know how to explain it, but Sheriff Rosco's patrol car is still here in town and he ain't here in the courthouse."
"Well that don't make any sense," MaryAnne replied. "I don't think he would have forgotten me." She paused. "Enos, something must be up. Can you come pick me up and take me to the Boar's Nest?"
"Sure. I'll be right there."
"Thanks, Enos. I'm gone."
* * *
When Rosco came to, forty minutes after Enos left the courthouse, his head was throbbing and everything around him was pitch black. He turned his head slightly and saw a sliver of light that ran horizontally. As his eyes adjusted he realized he was in a room and on the floor. He moved to sit up and ended up kicking the mop and bucket. The mop handle fell over and landed on his shoulder.
"Ow," he muttered. At that point though, he realized where he was. How the heck did I end up in the locker room? he wondered. He pushed the mop handle off him and stumbled to his feet. He found the door handle and opened the door.
The light from the windows and booking room hurt his eyes and his head throbbed some more. He brought his hand to the back of his head in a vain attempt to make it go away and he shuffled up to the booking desk.
He picked up the CB mike. "MaryAnne, you got your ears on?"
At the Boar's Nest, MaryAnne swung around to the CB set that was on the end of the bar. She lunged to it and picked up the mike. "Rosco! Where the devil are you?! I've been worred sick about you."
"I've been in the locker room."
"What the heck you doin' in there?"
"I don't know, I wasn't awake. MaryAnne, something's up. Where are you now?"
"I'm back at the Boar's Nest. Enos gave me a ride back. Rosco, what do you mean you weren't awake and you think something's up?"
"Somebody knocked me out. I think it was just after I got off the phone with you. Something's up, MaryAnne, I just know it."
Yup, and it would appear the fate of both Rosco and MaryAnne has been sealed, cuz look who's made it back to Hazzard.
Cody and Lisa arrived back in Hazzard and left Maverick behind some bushes off Possum Hollow Road. They left the ski masks, Rosco's hat and a single string of pearls behind in the car and then they disappeared into the woods and headed over to Mill Road, where Amanda was waiting for them.
As soon as they were in the car, Amanda pulled away from the side of the road and started to drive toward the hideout.
If y'all were wonderin' when the Duke boys were going to show up in this tale, well you can stop wonderin'.
Heading to town on Mill Road in the General, were the boys. They passed the grey sedan, merely acknowledged it with a glance and continued on towards town having no idea that their seeing that car would be very important a little later.
Rosco, meanwhile, was still trying to figure out what was going on. Before he got off the CB with MaryAnne, he told her to stay where she was and if he could figure out what was going on he would be out to the Boar's Nest shortly. He remembered he was supposed to have called in the APB for MaryAnne's stolen car and he walked over to the teletype machine to start the process of doing that when he noticed a sheet was already there.
Rosco grabbed the sheet and pulled it out of the machine. He took a moment to read it.
All Points Bulletin---Captial City---16:02pm
Armed Robbery of Poulin's Jewlery Store. appx. 15:25pm
Suspects: One male, one female. Both wearing ski masks.
Male, approximately 6 ft. 160 pounds. Also wearing jeans, a dark green shirt and black cowboy hat.
Female, approximate 5' 5" to 5' 7", 120 to 125 pounds. Also wearing jeans and a grey plaid flannel shirt.
Fled in a two door blue sports car, late model Pontiac Firebird. Color: Blue. Lisense: CLTRNE, issued Hazzard County, GA.
Suspects are considered armed and dangerous. Possibly heading to the southern counties, Hazzard, Chickasaw.
Rosco's headache grew a little worse when he recognized the make and license of Maverick. He looked at his watch. The robbery had occured at about three-thirty and the APB had come through just after four o'clock. The time now was five-fifteen.
Rosco folded up the sheet and ran out of the booking room and out of the courthouse to his patrol car.
The state police, meanwhile, were sending some troopers to Hazzard County to inquire about a blue Firebird. While two troopers went to town to check in at the courthouse, the rest were keeping a watch out for the Firebird.
Now friends, this is where everything falls apart. The state police already know who owns Maverick and where MaryAnne live. So while those two troopers are headin' to the courthouse, another pair are headin' to the Coltrane house. And while all that is going on, one of the other ones is gonna to find Maverick.
Enos had heard Rosco on the CB when he called MaryAnne, and knowing Maverick had been stolen, was still out looking for the car. As he came down Possum Hollow Road, he spotted a lone state police car parked off the side of the road. As he came a little closer, he recognized the blue Firebird that had been hastily left by the side of the road and behind some bushes.
Enos brought his car to a stop and picked up his radio mike.
"Sheriff, this is Enos. I'm on Possum Hollow Road and I found Maverick, but it looks like a state trooper beat me to it."
Rosco turned to the CB set on the desk by Boss's office. "Enos, listen to me," he said. "I think I've got an idea of what's going on. Somebody didn't want me to report Maverick stolen, because it showed up in a hot sheet for a robbery in Capital City that took place while I was off in la-la land."
"Sheriff, they're gonna think MaryAnne's a suspect if the car was never reported stolen."
"I know, ya dipstick! Look, I'm headin' to the Boar's Nest now. You better make an appearance to that trooper and if ya can, let me know what's going on."
"Ten-four, Sheriff. I'm gone."
At the Boar's Nest, MaryAnne had heard Rosco's conversation with Enos. She came behind the bar and picked up the mike.
"Rosco, this is MaryAnne. What the heck is goin' on?" she demanded.
"I'm not exaclty sure, but when I finally woke up I found an APB on the teletype machine for an armed robbery in Capital City. Maverick was the getaway car." Rosco paused. "MaryAnne, I never got to report him stolen."
MaryAnne just stared at the CB box. What is going on?
"MaryAnne?" Rosco said.
She pushed the talk button. "Yeah, I hear ya, Rosco."
"MaryAnne, I'm sorry, I don't know what's goin' on..."
"It's not your fault, Rosco. Listen, just get out here to the Boar's Nest quick, okay?"
"Ten-four, I'm on my way."
* * *
Two troopers, meanwhile, were coming out of the courthouse. They were unable to find anyone there, including Boss Hogg, who was over at the bank. They paused a moment on the steps.
"Wait," one of the troopers, Fowler, said. "What's the car owner's name?"
"And what's the Sheriff's name?"
The second trooper, Edwards, eyed his partner. "Coltrane."
"Possibly. You got that sheet?"
Trooper Fowler pulled out a sheet of paper from his shirt pocket. He handed it to his partner.
"Says here she works at a place called the Boar's Nest. We'll check there next and have Young and Preston meet us there."
* * *
MaryAnne met Rosco at the door of the Boar's Nest when he came in.
"Rosco, what is going on?" she asked, clutching his arms.
"I ain't exactly sure. All I know is that Maverick was stolen, I never got to report him stolen because I was knocked out, somebody used him to rob a jewelry store in Capital City and the state police just now found him back here in Hazzard."
The Duke boys were sitting at a table and heard what Rosco said to MaryAnne. They got up and approached the cousins Coltrane.
"Somebody's trying to set us up for something," MaryAnne said. "And everything's happening so fast, I can't believe it."
"Woah, what's goin' on?" Luke asked.
"Everything I just said to MaryAnne," Rosco replied. "Which I can't make heads or tails of. Enos found Maverick after one of the troopers did and told me on the radio. I told him to make an appearance on behalf of the sheriffs department and if he found out anything to try to call on the radio."
"Wait a second, back up," Luke said. "Start at the beginning."
Well, poor Rosco went through the whole shabang again to the boys, and it seemed that no matter how many times he had to explain it, it didn't make any more sense to him than before.
"Somebody knocked you out before you had a chance to report Maverick stolen?" Bo asked.
Rosco nodded. He brought a hand to his still aching head. "Choloroform I think."
"You are kinda pale," MaryAnne said. "Come on, sit down." She led Rosco to one of the tables and they sat down. The boys joined them.
"When did all of this happen?" Luke asked.
Rosco explained how everything had occured in just a matter of three and half hours. What nobody caught on to at first was that at the time the robbery was being committed in Capital City, the whereabouts of both Rosco and MaryAnne couldn't be vouched for, and taking into consideration the description of the suspects, plus the fact that Maverick was the getaway car AND Rosco's hat was worn by one of the suspects, does anyone want to take bets that the State Police WON'T consider Rosco and MaryAnne to be the suspects?
It was only a moment or two after Rosco finished when Enos's voice came over the radio.
"Sheriff, this is Enos. I think I've got some bad news."
Rosco and MaryAnne got up from their table and went over tot he CB set. Rosco picked up the mike.
"What is it, Enos?"
"Sheriff, the State Police are looking for MaryAnne."
MaryAnne took the mike from Rosco. "Well, that ain't no surprise, Enos. It is my car."
"Yeah, but they're lookin' for the Sheriff too. And it ain't to talk about the case from a law enforcement perspective."
"You mean, they think BOTH of us are the suspects?"
"Affirmative. They found his hat in Maverick and I just heard them talking on their radios and they're heading out to the Boar's Nest now, since they didn't find you at home or the Sheriff at the courthouse. I'm sorry, y'all."
Rosco brought his hand to the top of his head, where he realized for the first time that he didn't have his hat on and couldn't remember where he had last had it.
"It's alright, Enos," MaryAnne said. "Thanks for letting us know."
"Ten-four. If y'all need any help, you let me know."
"Thanks, Enos. We're gone." MaryAnne put the mike down and turned to Rosco.
Rosco sighed. "MaryAnne, I'm sorry."
MaryAnne shook her head. "No, it's not your fault. Somebody wants us put away for a long time, Rosco. I just can't imagine who would want to have BOTH of us put away."
"Well, you better stop imagining that and start imagining how y'all are gonna get out from under this bad rap," Bo said, looking out the window of the door to the Boar's Nest. He then turned and looked at Rosco and MaryAnne. "The troopers are here."
Rosco suddenly grabbed MaryAnne by the arm and started pulling her towards Boss's office.
"Rosco, what the--"
"We gotta find out who is behind this, and that ain't gonna happen while we're behind bars," he said.
"Rosco does have a point, MaryAnne," Luke said. "Look, if you guys can get out to Eli's old place, me and Bo will meet you there later and see if we can figure how to help y'all out."
"Okay," Rosco said. MaryAnne couldn't put up much of a protest, seeing just as Rosco pulled her into the office, the front door of the Boar's Nest opened.
Bo and Luke had returned to their table and tried to appear relaxed and unaware that four state troopers had just come into the Boar's Nest.
"Well, hello there," Daisy said sweetly rushing up to the four officers. "Is there something I can do for you fellas?"
Rosco, meanwhile, pulled MaryAnne out of Boss's office and outside of the Boar's Nest. His patrol car was parked by the door of Boss's office and he pulled MaryAnne to the passenger side.
"For crying out loud, Rosco," MaryAnne said. She finally pulled her arm free from her cousin and glared at him.
"Are you nuts! Running away is gonna to make us look more guilty!"
"MaryAnne, we already look guilty! They've got all the probably cause they need to hold us on suspicion and throw us in the clink."
"Whatever. Look, neither you nor I can vouch for where we were at the time of the robbery, they've got YOUR car, MY hat and if I was them I'd arrest me and you too."
MaryAnne rolled her eyes. "Rosco, Daisy knows that Maverick was stolen and we could prove that you were knocked out with choloroform."
"How?" Rosco asked skeptically.
"Microscopic traces on your shirt and your face."
"Oh MaryAnne, we can't rely on that. And besides, the state police could conclude that you were shuckin' and jivin' Daisy that Maverick had been stolen. They could come up with a theory that I took Maverick and then you got Daisy to give you a ride home, where I then picked you up and we went to Capital City and robbed the jewlery store."
"Rosco, we're innocent! And I ain't runnin' away." She stood there and crossed her arms over her chest.
"And I ain't got time to argue with you about it," he said and suddenly grabbed up MaryAnne in his arms.
He put her into the patrol car through the open passenger window. He then ran around to the driver side and got in.
"This is wrong, Rosco," MaryAnne said. "They'll get us for evading arrest."
"Not if we bring the real crooks to them personally," he replied as he started the car.
"Ho ho that's rich. Okay, gumshoe, just where are we gonna find the real crooks?"
"We'll find 'em." Rosco then stepped on the accelerator and the patrol car took off into the field behind the Boar's Nest, to head across country to Eli's old farm house.
* * *
Cody and his cohorts, meanwhile, were settling into their hideout. They were all seated at an old table, their jewels stashed in a bag in the middle of the table. They had their hand held CB radio tuned to the police channel and they anxiously listened for the news that MaryAnne Coltrane and possibly her cousin, Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane had been arrested for armed robbery of the jewelry store in Capital City. When that happened, they would be free to leave Hazzard County without worrying about being caught at the county line by the state police or anybody else.
What Cody and his friends don't know is that they're going to be waitin' a long time for the news of the capture of the robbers. And won't they be surprised by who it is. Of course, I'd sure like to know why Cody is pickin' on MaryAnne in the first place.
Back at the Boar's Nest, the four state troopers came outside. Trooper Preston looked at his fellow officers.
"Did any of you believe any of that in there?" he asked.
"That Miss Coltrane had gone home to change her clothes after getting barbeque sauce all over them?" Trooper Edwards said. He then shook his head. "Nope. I don't think Miss Coltrane ever came back to work."
"What about the Sheriff though?" Trooper Young asked. "You really think he had something to do with this?"
"Well, he hasn't exactly made himself available for us to ask him now has he?" Trooper Preston said. "I think we should issue an APB on both Miss Coltrane and the Sheriff. I want them brought in on suspicion."
* * *
Rosco and MaryAnne, meanwhile, were crossing over Willow Creek Road and into the field off the road.
"I still say this is wrong," MaryAnne said. "What if we never find those crooks? And what makes you so sure they're still here in Hazzard anyway?"
Rosco sighed. "MaryAnne, I've been doin' this for thirty some odd years now, I know. Now they ain't gonna try to move an inch until they're sure that they know we've been caught to take the rap. They've got a fortune in jewels in their possesion and they aren't going to move them until it's safe to do so. As long as you and I can keep from ending up in jail, the longer they're gonna be stuck here in Hazzard."
MaryAnne shook her head.
"MaryAnne, there's one thing you've got to understand. The law works differently here in Hazzard."
MaryAnne snorted. "YOUR law works differently here in Hazzard. This is the State Police we're talking about, Rosco, they don't play by your crooked rules."
"Look, somebody's framin' us. Don't you want to find out who it is?"
"Well, of course I do! But I doubt they've decided to hang around Hazzard long enough for us to find them, which means we're either gonna be on the run for the rest of our lives or in prison, Rosco."
Rosco thought for a few moments. "MaryAnne, I believe that whoever did rob that jewelry store is still here in Hazzard. If it turns out that they're not, we can turn ourselves in if that's what you want. But you gotta give us a chance to find them first."
MaryAnne took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. "Alright," she said. "That sounds fair."
"Thank you," Rosco said. "Trust me on this, MaryAnne. I could care less if they put me in jail, but I won't let them put you in jail."
Well, believe it or not Bo and Luke don't want either Coltrane cousin to end up in jail. They headed back to the farm to let Uncle Jesse know what was happening and that they were heading out to Eli's old place. Seems like things are pretty easy now don't they? Well, y'all must be new here if you think that.
Rosco and MaryAnne had managed to make it to Route 16 when the back tire of Rosco's patrol car suddenly blew out. Rosco brought the patrol car to a sliding stop by the side of road.
"Good grief," he muttered as he got out of the car. MaryAnne got out as well and joined her cousin by the back tire to inspect it.
"Darn it all to heck," Rosco said. "Ain't nothin' goin' right today."
"Well, come on, Rosco, the tire ain't gonna change itself." MaryAnne took the key from Rosco and opened the trunk.
They had gotten as far as getting the car jacked up and the busted tire off when they heard a car coming. They both turned and looked down the road. In an instant they both recognized the state trooper car. The two cousins stood frozen as they watched the car come closer.
"MaryAnne..." Rosco said anxiously, taking her by the arm.
MaryAnne, however, just stood there, watching the cruiser as it increased its speed coming closer.
"MaryAnne, there ain't really anyone on the outside who's gonna help us. Except maybe the Duke boys. Don't change your mind on me now, you said you'd give it a chance for us to find whoever's framing us."
Just as Rosco finished speaking, the state police car came to a quick stop infront of them. The lone trooper quickly got out of his car and looked at Rosco and MaryAnne. He pulled his gun out of his holster and aimed it at the two.
"Thought y'all could get away, huh?" he said. "Don't move, y'all under arrest."
I don't know about y'all, but if I was MaryAnne, I'd be reconsiderin' my belief in the system at this point.
The trooper came around the front of his patrol car and stepped in front of Rosco and MaryAnne, still keeping his gun pointed at them.
"I can't believe a Sheriff and a former Atlanta police officer would be robbing a jewelry store," he said shaking his head.
MaryAnne narrowed her eyes. "You're jumping to conclusions a little prematurely ain't ya, boy? Everyone is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law."
The trooper smirked. "Not with the evidence we have on ya. As far as I'm concerned, you're guilty and a trial is just going to be a wasted formality. Now c'mon, you're under arrest."
At that point, MaryAnne realized Rosco was right. No one on the outside was going to be much help to them in proving their innocence. They had to find the crooks themselves.
With a swift motion of her high heel sandaled foot, MaryAnne kicked the gun out of the troopers grip. As the gun went flying, MaryAnne grabbed Rosco by the arm and they ran towards the woods just beyond the road.
"Hey!" the trooper excalimed. After he picked up his gun off the ground he aimed it towards the fleeing Sheriff and waitress. "STOP!!" he shouted before pulling the trigger.
Rosco and MaryAnne flinched and then disappeared into the woods. The trooper fired two more shots and then ran back to his patrol car to call the other troopers on the radio.
MaryAnne and Rosco just kept running. Both were afraid to look back, for fear that the trooper would be right behind them. They ran for a few minutes, until MaryAnne tripped up on her high heels and fell to the ground. She pushed herself off the ground as Rosco kneeled down beside her.
"Are you alright?" he asked.
MaryAnne looked up at him. Her eyes started to tear up and in between breaths she said, "They think we're guilty. They really think we're guilty."
Rosco nodded sadly. "I know you believe in the system, sweetheart, just like I used to. And I still do, but things are a lot more cynical now. I'm afraid the only two people we can trust is just you and me."
"C'mon, we gotta git goin'. It's gonna be dark soon." Rosco helped MaryAnne to her feet and they continued on into the woods.
Well, the day soon turned to evening in Hazzard. Bo and Luke waited out at Eli's old place for almost an hour and a half and there was no sign of Rosco and MaryAnne. The state police were crawling all over Hazzard trying to find the Coltrane cousins before the sun set and ol' Cooter found himself towing in another Coltrane vehicle by the request of the troopers. After he did, and wonderin' what exactly was going on, Cooter talked to Enos and then headed out to the Duke farm to find out if they were aware of what was going on.
Bo and Luke were standing by the General Lee watching the sun set.
'They should've been here by now, Luke," Bo said.
"I know," Luke replied. He creased his brow in thought.
"You don't suppose they were caught do you?" Bo asked.
"I hope not." He paused. "Maybe Uncle Jesse's heard something." He turned and reached into the General and grabbed the CB mike.
"Lost Sheep to Shepherd, Lost Sheep to Shepherd, come back."
Jesse and Cooter were stading in the kitchen of the farm house when Luke's voice came over the airwaves. Jesse walked over to the CB box next to the refrigerator and picked up the mike.
"This is Shepherd."
"They ain't here yet," Luke said. "There's gotta be something wrong. Have you heard anything?"
"I have but I think it'd be best if you boys got back here as soon as you can."
Luke looked at Bo. They both knew that Jesse not wanting to tell them over the radio meant something was up.
"Ten-four, Shepherd. We're on our way." Luke tossed the mike back into the General and started to climb into the passenger window as Bo went around to the driver side. Luke turned the ignition before Bo even slid into the seat and then the General tore off.
MaryAnne and Rosco stepped out of the woods and on to a paved road. The sun was settling below the horizon drawing a deep blue crutain across the sky with it. The two cousins paused a moment and looked around.
MaryAnne sighed. "I haven't a clue where we are, Rosco."
Rosco looked down the road in one direction and then the other. "I think we're on Highway 9," he said. "If I remember my county road map right."
"So where do we go?"
"Well, we should only be a couple of miles from your Papa's old place. You feel up to walking?"
"No," she replied. She then leaned on Rosco's arm and brought her right foot up to her left knee. She unbuckled her high heeled sandal and then proceeded to remove the other one. When she had both pair of shoes in her hand she looked at Rosco. "But I guess I don't have much of a choice do I?"
"You want me to carry you?"
MaryAnne laughed. "Rosco, you wouldn't make it six feet carrying me. I'll be allright. C'mon."
They started walking down the road heading towards the west.
"Had to carry Boss Hogg once."
MaryAnne turned her head to him. "You did?!"
"Yeah." He paused. "Piggy back."
"Oh man!" MaryAnne giggled. "That must've looked cute."
"I ain't sure it looked cute," Rosco said, "but I'll tell ya, I couldn't move for a week afterwards."
Well the boys returned to the farm, Cooter was there and they learned that Rosco's patrol car had been towed in.
"I brought it in off of Route 16. I ain't sure what happened, but it looked like they were in the process of changing the back tire when a trooper showed up," Cooter said.
"They must've took off on foot into those woods," Luke said. "They could be anywhere now."
"Yup, and I also heard them troopers planning a man hunt for the morning and they're also monitoring the CB frequencies."
"That's why I didn't say anything to you boys on the radio," Jesse said.
"It's a good thing," Bo said. "If we ain't careful we could all be charged with aiding an abetting."
"Still, we gotta try to find them before the state police do," Luke said.
"Somebody's framing them real good and it's gonna end up being a long cold night for them two unless we find them."
"Maybe we oughta check Eli's place again. They may have made it there on foot," Bo said.
"That's a good idea," Jesse said. "Me and Cooter will take a drive out to Route 16 and look around a bit, assuming we don't arouse the suspicions of the State police."
"Okay. And if we have to talk on the CB at all let's try to stick with the handles and not use any names," Luke said.
"Yeah," Bo said.
* * *
Rosco and MaryAnne had only the light of the moon to see by. They could make out a field off to their right and decided they'd try to cut across it, hoping they were getting closer to Eli's old place.
It turned out they were closer then they realized. After MaryAnne put her heels back on, Rosco took her by the hand and led her down the embankment off the road. They had no more than hit level ground again when Rosco suddenly walked into very sharp pieces of metal.
"Ooh--ow!" He tried to bring his right hand up to figure out what it was and ended up drawing more sharp edges across his lower arm.
"Ow! Dang it!"
"Oh Rosco," MaryAnne exclaimed grabbing a hold of her cousin and getting him to stay still.
"Stay still," she said.
"Hurts worse if I stay still."
"Just stay still, hold on." She carefully reached into the darkness and found the metal string.
And the sharp barbs.
"Barbed wire," she said. "Okay, you gotta step back from it."
"I know, you're caught up on it. Carefully now, just try to step back."
"Alright." Rosco took a step back, flinching as he did so.
"Ah--ow!" Some of the barbs pulled away but Rosco was still stuck to others. MaryAnne attempted to help her cousin and she tried to find a non-barb spot on the wire to grab a hold of and gently pull it away. Even the light touch of her hand over one barb was enought to draw blood.
"Holy mackrel," she exclaimed. "Who the heck in Hazzard County would have barbed wire like this around their property?"
Rosco flinched as another barb came lose. "I'll tell ya who," he said. "Your Papa."
"Yeah--ow." The last barb finally let go of Rosco. "He had it around the part of the property where he kept the still."
"Yeah, that's right. I remember now he had sharp barb wire around the still site in Finchburg County," she said. "Are you okay?"
"I ain't sure. I think I cut my arm pretty bad."
"Turn toward the moonlight, let me see if I can see anything."
Rosco turned towards the moonlight and both he and MaryAnne could see the dark line that ran down across the outside part of his forearm and that his rolled up shirt sleeve had ripped. MaryAnne could see dark spots on his upper arm and near the collar of his shirt by his shoulder.
"Eeek," she said. "You dang near got sliced and diced." She looked at the wound on his arm again. "I ain't sure how deep the cut is, but we can't really take any chances." She then reached and grabbed a hold of the knot of Rosco's tie.
"Ack," Rosco said.
"Oops, sorry," MaryAnne giggled. She pulled the lose tail through the knot and then pulled the tie off. She then carefully wrapped it around Rosco's arm a couple of times securely and then tied it tightly.
"You gonna be okay?" she asked when she finished.
"Yeah, I think I'll be alright."
"Yeah. I'll be even better when we find whoever's framing us."
"I think gettin' you to see Doc Appleby is a highter priority."
"I know, I know. But I ain't gonna let you bleed all over Hazzard County either, Rosco. So if you start gettin' worse, we're gettin' to town or the hospital, I don't care if I have to steal a car to get you there, you understand?"
MaryAnne reached into her pocket and pulled out her key chain and keys. She felt around for the swiss army knife and flipped open the small scissors. "Seeing you're do determined to find them crooks we best keep on keepin' on." She found the wire and tried to cut it but the wire was too thick.
"Dang, that ain't gonna work," she said. She folded up the swiss army knife and put it and her key chain back in her pocket. She then undid her skinny belt on her shorts.
"What are you doin'?"
"Well, I can't cut the wire so I'm gonna use my belt so we can pull the wire up and try to walk through it. Unless, you'd rather hold it up with your bare hands?"
"No, but here..." He removed his gun belt. "I think this one will work better."
MaryAnne didn't have her belt out of the loops of her shorts yet and quickly rebuckled it. She took Rosco's gun belt and then placed the belt through the space between the top two and lower two wires. As she did that and lifted the top wires, Rosco
stepped his black boot on the lower wires and made a space big enough to step through, bending over.
After he was through, he adjusted his foot to remain on the lower wires and then took a hold of the belt and lifted the other wires up. MaryAnne then stepped through wire.
"Alright," she said as Rosco put his gun belt back on. "The house can't be too far from here." She started to walk on with Rosco following.
* * *
Cody tossed one of the gold rings he had been looking at onto the table. "What the hell is taking them so long?" he wondered aloud.
"I hate to say it, Cody, but I don't think your plan worked," Jake said.
Cody glared at his partner. "Shut up."
"Look, man, no Sheriff and ex-Atlanta police officer is going to allow themselves to framed if they can't help it."
"Jake's right," Lisa said. "But the State Police ARE looking for MaryAnne and the Sheriff, so you're plan hasn't gone completely astray."
"But the longer they remain at large, the longer we have to stay put," Amanda said. "Cops have gotta have road blocks up all over the place by now."
"We'll wait," Cody said.
"We could be waiting a long time, Cody," Amanda said.
Cody thought for a moment. "We'll wait twenty-four hours," he said. "If the cops haven't picked her up by then, we'll have to chance trying to get out of Hazzard. If we stay too long they could end up stumbling on us while they're looking for MaryAnne."
* * *
Bo and Luke had returned to Eli's old place once again. The old farm house was still dark, and they took a moment to look around the premises with their flashlights, calling MaryAnne and Rosco's names. But nothing stirred and the boys returned to the General to wait for awhile longer.
"How the heck do you suppose Rosco and MaryAnne ended up in this mess anyway?" Bo asked.
"I don't know, cousin. MaryAnne ain't been here very long, and we don't really know much about her, except that she used to be a deputy over in Finchburg County and was a police officer in Atlanta."
"You think maybe it's somebody she arrested once before?"
"Could be. But that wouldn't explain pulling Rosco in on it too." Luke paused.
"Although, it's possible they just wanted him out of the way long enough to set up the frame on MaryAnne, and framing Rosco was just a random result."
"Yeah," Bo agreed. He then paused and looked at the stars and bright moon in the sky. He sighed. "I hope they're okay, where ever they are."
"Yeah." Luke realized that the air was actually kind of crisp and he rubbed his hands over his arms. "Hope they don't get cold either."
Bo was silent for a moment. "What if something happened to them, Luke?"
Luke shook his head. "Oh Bo, I don't even want to think like that. I'm sure they're allright. The good Lord will watch out for them."
Cooter, meanwhile, was coming down Highway 9, keeping a close eye on both sides of the road. Uncle Jesse was checking Route 16. They both were careful when a trooper passed them, and tried to make it look like they were just heading home and not looking for the same two people the State Police were looking for. After Cooter passed one state trooper he slowed down his speed again and carefully looked at both sides of the road. He spotted the strings of barbed wire on the right side of the road and then he saw what looked like a small piece of cloth attatched to one of the barbs. Cooter brought his tow truck to a stop and, leaving the headlights on, he got out with his flashlight and walked down the embankment.
He shined the light on the cloth and then removed it from the barb wire. He recognized it immediately. Who could mistake the blue material of the Hazzard County Sheriff's uniform? Cooter smiled and looked into the dark field beyond the barbed wire
"Hey, what do you think you're doin'?"
The question shattered the night and Cooter froze. He then moved carefully and tucked the blue cloth into his shirt pocket and then turned towards the road.
"I said what do you think you're doin'?"
Cooter saw the black and white Plymouth Fury parked up on the road and the trooper was shining a bright light down on him.
"Uh, I'm lookin' for my ol' hound dog," Cooter said as he started to walk back up the embankment. "He ran off just after suppah and I's been tryin' to find 'im."
"You live around here?"
"A couple miles up the road, yeah."
"Okay, I'm going to have to ask you to return to your home. We've been trying to locate two armed robbers that we think are in the area."
"Possibly. I must ask that you go back to your home."
"What about my dog?"
"If we find him we'll hang on to him for you. You can check with us in the morning if you like."
Cooter nodded. "Alright." He tipped his hat. "Much obliged."
The trooper nodded and Cooter returned to his tow truck. After Cooter had turned his tow truck around and drove away from the trooper, he picked up his CB mike.
"This is Cr--Sheepdog calling Shepherd and his Lost Sheep. Listen up y'all, I've got some information regarding Little Boy Blue and the Lady Maverick, accessible only through the usual channels. I'm gone."
Well, that was the cue for everyone to head back to the farm house, which they did. Rosco and MaryAnne, meanwhile, were still trying to find some shelter for the night.
The Coltrane cousins made their way through the dark at a slow pace. The field they had been in turned out to be small and they hit another patch of woods.
"Great," MaryAnne said. "Now we're gonna be colliding into trees for the rest of the night."
"You know something, I'm willing to bet we ain't more than a few feet from the old still."
"So? What are we gonna do, whip up a batch when we get there?"
"No. Your Papa had a little shed out here that he kept all his ingredients and stuff in. If it's still standing and we can find it, then we'll have some shelter."
"Ooh. Good, cuz I'm starting to freeze. C'mon." MaryAnne right hand found Rosco's hand and took a hold of it.
"Jumpin' Geehosafat," Rosco exclaimed. "Your hands are already ice."
"I know, I know." MaryAnne started to step forward, using her left hand to feel for any trees that were in front of them. When she felt one, she and Rosco would walk around it and the procedure would continue. This lasted for a couple of minutes until MaryAnne's hand was outstretched in the wrong direction and it didn't find the shed. But as she started to walk past the door, her left shoulder rubbed against the old padlock that was on it. MaryAnne and Rosco both stopped at the sound of rusted metal scraping against itself.
"What was that?" Rosco asked.
"That was me," MaryAnne replied. She reached her left arm into the darkness to her left and she found the splintering wood. "Rosco, I think this is it." MaryAnne guided Rosco's hand that was still in her right, to the wall of the shed and the padlock.
"Yup," he said. "Although I wasn't wishin' for no padlock to be on the door, that's for sure."
"Why is there one? Ain't nobody been here in years."
"Except Boss Hogg. He used this spot for a still site for awhile."
"Yeah, really." Rosco paused in thought for a moment. "You wouldn't happen to have your lock pickin' kit on ya would ya?"
"I got my knife, but that might not do any good."
"Well, give it a shot."
"Alright." She dug out the pocket knife. "Although, I ain't sure I'm gonna be able to do much. I can barely see enough to open my knife." She giggled. "You got a light?"
Rosco chuckled. "Oooh! Wait!" he exclaimed suddenly. Rosco then reached into the cuff pouch of his gunbelt and pulled out a match. He found a smooth section of the door frame and struck the match.
"Rosco, you don't smoke. Why the heck you carrying matches?"
"No, I don't smoke, but Boss does. One time we were out somewhere and he ran out, so I learned to carry a few in the cuff pouch on my gunbelt."
MaryAnne laughed. "Makes ya wonder who's takin' after who here," she said. She held her knife up to the match in Rosco's hand and opened the small blade. She then found the old padlock and slipped the blade into the key hole just as the tiny flame of the match went out.
"Doh," Rosco said.
"That's alright, light ain't gonna make much of a difference anyway." She tried to manuever the blade like she would one of her slim lock picks but the blade refused to cooperate.
"Argh," she said. "This ain't gonna work. The blade's too wide."
MaryAnne sighed. "Got any other ideas?"
Rosco paused a moment and then pulled out his pearl handled pistol.
"Well, the only thing I can think to do is shoot the lock off."
"Rosco, you can barely see it."
"I can see it enough."
"But somebody's gonna hear."
"MaryAnne, there's only two farm houses out this way, and they're both empty. Ain't nobody gonna hear nothin'. Now stand behind me here." Rosco pulled her around so that she was standing behind him. "Let me see your pocket knife."
MaryAnne handed her knife to him and he opened it back up again. He found the lock and the started scraping the front side of it.
MaryAnne looked and saw lines of grey and silver catching in the moonlight. "There, now I can see it even better," Rosco said. He handed the knife back to MaryAnne and then they both stepped back a bit. Rosco took a moment to aim and then he pulled the trigger.
The lock gave way in a shower of sparks. MaryAnne stared at it in surprise and then she and Rosco approached the door again.
"Khee khee, it worked," Rosco said as he threw the lock off.
"Dang, you're a better shot in the dark than you are in the light," she giggled.
Rosco opened the door and on impulse reached up by the door frame, almost as if looking for a light switch. What he found instead was an old oil lamp.
"Oooh," he said. "Funny I remember this being here."
"What is it?"
"Great! And we have matches."
Rosco chuckled. He took out another match from his cuff pouch and then lifted the lantern cover and lit the lamp. When it started to glow stonger after he closed the cover, he blew out the match. He then looked at MaryAnne and winked.
"Let there be light," he said.
* * *
Cody was standing by the window, studying the outside carefully. They had all heard the gunshot and were all looking out windows, trying to see.
"Eh," Jake said. "It's probably some farmer shooing away some varmits. I wouldn't worry about it, Cody."
You remember Rosco said that both of the two farm houses in the area were empty? Well, he was wrong. And not only did Cody and his friends hear the shot, so did the State Police. Folks, things are going to come to a head by the morning light.
The Dukes and Cooter were gathered in the kitchen of the Duke farm looking at the swatch of cloth that Cooter had found.
"Well," Jesse said, "they're on that property somewhere. That barbwire marks the side of the property where Eli had his still."
"How far is it from the still site to the farm house?" Luke asked.
Jesse paused a moment, trying to remember and calculate the distance. When he couldn't quite figure it he shook his head. "He had over twenty acres of land, Luke. I don't know, maybe two hundred yards or so."
"Assuming they didn't get lost in the dark, they should have made it to the farm house by the second time me and Bo was there."
"Could they be at the still site itself?" Bo asked.
"Possibly," Jesse replied. "If that old shed Eli had is still there, they could have sought shelter in there."
"I think we should try to get in there," Luke said. "See if they're there and get them out."
"I don't know, Lukas," Cooter said. "Them troopers were crawling all over the place in that area. One of them spotted me and I had to shuck and jive why I was there."
"Well, then I guess we'll be doing a lot of shucking and jiving won't we?" Luke said.
* * *
Rosco and MaryAnne inspected the shed once they got inside. It was pretty much empty, except for a couple of old burlap bags full of the ground up corn used in good old fashioned corn whiskey, and the floor was covered in dust and dirt. They shut the door and Rosco cleared away a spot on the floor to set the lamp down and a place for him and MaryAnne to sit.
The remaining dirt on the floor scraped against the old wood as MaryAnne brought her feet under her and sat Indian style. She turned her palms up and held them near the lamp, noticing she was a lot colder now than she realized.
"Aren't you cold?" she asked, looking at Rosco as he sat down beside her.
"Yeah, but probably not as cold as you are right now."
MaryAnne rolled her flannel shirt sleeves down and buttoned the cuffs. "Maybe we shouldn't have stopped. Now that we've stopped moving, we're just gonna get colder."
"Well, we just have to think of something to keep our minds off of how cold it is."
"Ain't the prospect of 20 years in jail enough to keep our minds off how cold it is?" she snapped.
Rosco didn't respond and suddenly looked hurt in the faint glow of the lamp.
MaryAnne sighed. "I'm sorry," she said. "I ain't exaclty been very good company have I? Here you are riskin' your own badge to try to help me out and keep me from landing in jail and I haven't been very appreciative."
"There's no need to apologize."
"Of course there is," she said. "Rosco, I ain't never been in this much trouble before, and the thing that makes me mad is that I don't even know WHY I'm in this much trouble and why you're being framed right along with me. And then I'm ready to let the system help prove us innocent, only to find out the system doesn't care if you and I are guilty or not." She paused a moment, looking just beyond the glow of the lamp. "So where do we end up? In an old shed, cold and no closer to proving ourselves innocent then we've been all afternoon. I wonder if anyone even knows we're missing?"
"Well, the Dukes must know something's wrong when we never showed up Eli's old house."
"Yeah," MaryAnne said. She wrapped her arms around herself and gave a huge yawn, shaking as she did so. "Oh man," she said.
"Come here, you're gonna freeze before I do," Rosco said putting his arm out to her. MaryAnne scooted over a bit and settled close to her cousin, resting her head on his shoulder. She looked at his wounded arm that was resting on his lap.
"Good grief, here I've been complaining about all this and your the one that's wounded. How's your arm?"
"Well, it hurts, but what are we gonna do about it?"
"Let me take a look at it, now that we have some light." MaryAnne sat up again and carefully looked at Rosco's arm.
"I'm gonna have to get a whole new uniform now," Rosco muttered noticing that half his shirt sleeve was missing.
"Well, be glad it's just a new uniform and not a whole new arm," MaryAnne replied. She gently untied the neck tie and looked at the wound as she unwound the black cloth around Rosco's arm.
"Eeew," she said. "Doesn't that just look lovely."
"Oh Lord...I think I'm gonna faint."
"Don't look at it."
"That ain't why I'm gonna faint."
"Hurts bad, huh?"
"Okay, hold on." MaryAnne pulled out her little pocket knife again and grabbed what was left of the bottom half of Rosoc's shirt sleeve. She cut the material off with the scissors and then wrapped it around his arm and the wound.
"I'm sorry, almost done." MaryAnne picked up the necktie off his lap and wrapped that around his arm, leaving enough of the tails to tie together.
"You okay?" she asked.
Rosco nodded. "Yeah, I'm alright."
MaryAnne rested her head on his chest and wrapped her arm around him in a hug. "Rosco, I'm sorry. I ain't been nothing but trouble for you since I moved back here."
"Oh hush," he said moving his good arm so that his hand touched the hair on her head. "MaryAnne, the day you moved back here was probably one of the best days of my life."
"Really? Even after what happened?"
"Even after what happened. I was afraid you were really gonna go back to Finchburg afterwards."
"I had thought of it."
"Not seriously enough though. I mean, would you have really returned to that big ol' lonely farm house in Finchburg?"
MaryAnne paused. "No. That was why I had left in the first place, cuz it was too....lonely." It seemed like she was going to say more, but she only closed her eyes.
"You miss him, don't ya?"
"Everyday. There's somedays that I still can't believe he's gone and it's been almost a year since he died."
"I know how ya feel," Rosco said. "I know exaclty how you feel."
MaryAnne paused and thought of her father, Eli, and Uncle Raleigh, Rosco's dad. The two Coltrane brothers had been different only in that Raleigh was 18 years older than Eli. The older one looked out for the younger one, while the younger one looked up to and respected his older sibling. Raleigh and Eli had been the only two of the five Coltrane brothers to stay in or around Hazzard. Wilbur lived in Nashville, Phillip was in in Birmingham and Jasper had lived in Florida up until his passing a few years ago.
MaryAnne didn't realize she was crying until a tear slowly rolled down her cheek. She brushed it away before it had a chance to fall onto Rosco's shirt. She and Rosco, along with Lulu, were the only Coltranes left.
"There ain't many of us left is there?"
"Nope," Rosco replied. "That's why we can't go to jail. I think it would kinda upset the balance in the county if you know what I mean."
MaryAnne chuckled. "Wouldn't want that now would we?"
"Certainly not. Don't worry, MaryAnne, we're gonna make it through this. Have I ever let you down before?"
MaryAnne smiled. "No," she said. "No, you haven't."
* * *
Cody started changing his mind about waiting twenty four hours when he heard on the radio that the troopers were very close to where he and his cohorts were hid out. At that point, he decided they should make a run for it. He had Lisa and Amanda take the car and drive over to Route 16 and wait for him and Jake, who were going to take the jewels and cut across the land behind the hideout.
As Lisa and Amanda drove down River Road, they passed a trooper patrol car. "Man, we ain't clearing out a moment too soon," Lisa said as she looked in her side mirror at the patrol car after it passed.
"Nope," Amanada said.
Jake and Cody, meanwhile, were stepping on to Eli's property.
Y'all realize what direction they're heading in don't ya?
Rosco and MaryAnne were trying to stay warm in the shed. The oil lamp didn't give off much heat and MaryAnne found herself shivering more than Rosco.
"I don't think you're gonna make it the night, MaryAnne," Rosco said.
"Yeah, well you're the one wearing pants," she said. "All I've got on is nylons. Geez, this is Georgia not New Hampshire, why's it so cold tonight?"
"Because you and I are on the run from the law, that's why it's so cold."
"Brother," she muttered. "Ain't that the truth. I mean--" She stopped suddenly.
"What's the matter?"
"Did you hear something?"
Rosco paused and both he and MaryAnne listened. He then shook his head. "Nope. I didn't hear anything."
"Now my mind's playing tricks on me," she said.
"You probably just heard some critters, that's all."
Outside, Cody and Jake were approaching the shed. They figured it to just be empty and abandoned but Cody stopped suddenly when he saw an orange glow coming through the crack of the doorway.
He reached out to Jake, grabbing him by the arm and stopping his partner.
"Look," Cody said. "There's a light or something in that shed."
Jake looked and saw it too. "You think there's someone in there?"
Cody started to walk towards the shed. "One way to find out."
MaryAnne lifted her head. "I head something again."
"Me too," Rosco said. The two cousin strained their ears to listen. They then heard voices.
"Oh Lord," MaryAnne said. "They've found us." She carefully reached for Rosco's gun and removed it from the holster, all the while keeping an eye on the door as it slowly opened.
"MaryAnne..." Rosco said.
"I ain't gonna shoot it," she whispered. She aimed the gun toward the door and almost ended up pulling the trigger when she saw and recognized the face that greeted them in the orange light.
Cody stopped and stared. Jake looked too and then turned to Cody.
"Ain't that her?"
Cody rolled his eyes. "No, you twit, it's Jimmy Hoffa and Patty Hearst," he spat.
He looked back at the two cousins. "No wonder the damn State Police couldn't find them. They've been freezing their tails off in here."
"I don't believe this," MaryAnne said. "You're the one framing us. You slime ball I thought I took care of you in Finchburg County."
Cody smiled. "Not quite my dear Deputy Coltrane, not quite. However, it was enough for you to get what you deserved for trying to put me away."
MaryAnne pointed the gun at him, shivering again. "I didn't deserve this. You're the one who broke the law originally, you were supposed to go to jail. That's how it works. Now you tried to break the law again and send me and my cousin here to jail for you. Didn't work, did it? You won't be claiming any victory when this is over with, Cody. Just another set of numbers."
"Shut up," he growled and snatched the pearl handled pistol away from MaryAnne. Her fingers were to stiff and cold to try to keep it and she could only let it go. Cody tucked the gun in his waistband and then picked up the oil lamp.
"I'm not going down this time, MaryAnne," he said. "You are. That is, if you're still alive when the State Police find you." He stepped back towards the door and Jake walked out. MaryAnne tried to move in a vain attempt to stop him, but she was so cold that she moved about as fast as a turtle. Cody jumped out of the shed and grabbed the door and slammed it shut plunging the inside into darkness. He leanded against it and told Jake to find something to jam into the lock hook and pad cover.
MaryAnne got up and tried to push open the door. She slammed her shoulder against it a couple of times but the door wouldn't budge with Cody's weight on it.
Jake found a stick and handed it to Cody. Cody handed Jake the oil lamp and then shoved the stick into the lock. The door shook a little when MaryAnne tried to push it open again, but the "lock" refused to give way.
"Alright, let's get out of here," Cody said. Jake nodded and started to follow after Cody, but the oil lamp handle caught on one of the splintered pieces of wood and slipped out of Jake's grip. The lamp fell to the ground and shattered and the fire poured out of the lamp and started to catch on the wood.
"You bonehead!" Cody yelled. "Come on!" He grabbed Jake by the arm and they ran off into the darkness.
Bo, Luke and Cooter returned to Route 16 in General Lee. They somehow managed to not meet up with any troopers, which was fine with them. The three of them kept their eyes focused on the barbed wire fence down off the road, looking for the gate Uncle Jesse had mentioned.
Behind the wheel, Luke had to keep his eyes on the road most of the time. He glanced over to the barb wire fence and then back at the road. On the other side, he spotted a car that was parked off the road.
"Hey, y'all," he said. "Take a look at this." He pointed his index finger off the steering wheel at the car up ahead. Bo and Cooter looked as Luke slowed the General down a bit.
"Ain't no trooper car," Bo said.
"Nope," Cooter said. "Not unless they've changed to Chryslers."
"Hmm," Luke said. He drove the General past the car. "Wait a minute," he said suddenly. "Bo, you remember that car we saw this morning on Mill Road?"
"Yeah--" He stopped. "Hey, Maverick was found on Possum Hollow Road. Mill Road is right on the other side of them patch of trees."
"Right," Luke said. He turned the General around easy and started to drive back to the grey car. "I'm willing to bet that car was there waiting for whoever left Maverick behind and is framing MaryAnne and Rosco."
Lisa and Amanda had watched the old Dodge go by and then turn around and come to a stop behind them.
"Just play it cool," Lisa said.
Luke brought the General to a stop a few car lenths behind the car. He left the General's headlights open and on and he, Bo and Cooter looked at the car and it's license plate.
"Keep an eye on us, Cooter?" Luke asked.
"You got it," Cooter replied.
The boys slid out of the windows of the General and approached the car carefully.
When they came up to the driver window, Lisa turned to them and smiled sweetly.
"Hello, there," she said.
The boys smiled, suddenly forgetting everything that had been going on.
"Hi," Luke said. "Can we ask what two pretty ladies like yourselves are doing on a dark country road at this hour?"
"We could ask what two handsome country boys as yourselves are doing on the same dark country road," Lisa replied.
"Well, we're looking for a couple of friends."
Lisa nodded and smiled. "Have you found them?"
Lisa nodded again and turned her eyes away briefly. She then looked back at Luke and said, "It wouldn't be the two fellas behind you would it?"
Luke stopped smiling and he and Bo swung around.
"Easy, boys," Cody said, pointing Rosco's gun at them. Neither Duke boy, however, recognized the pearl handled pistol.
In the General, Cooter leaned over the front seat and pushed the horn and the General blared out "Dixie."
Cody and Jake turned their heads to look, inviting Bo and Luke to throw the first puches, which they promptly obliged. Cody and Jake both went failing at the blows.
Jake dropped the bag of jewels and Cody lost his grip on the gun. The fight took place in the headlights of the General, Bo and Luke each handling Jake and Cody quite well. Lisa and Amanda, however, didn't have time to wait to see who was going to win. They both got out of the car and Amanda pointed a gun to the air and pulled the trigger.
"Game's over, boys," she said. Cody and Jake got up from the pavement. Jake grabbed the bag of jewels and joined Cody, Lisa and Amanda by the car.
"I don't know who you boys are or what you're up to," Cody said. "But if you're looking for the Sheriff and Miss Coltrane, you may be too late."
Luke looked down on the ground and saw the pearl handled pistol. He looked at Bo and then at Cody.
"Where are they?" Luke asked.
Cody just smiled and then turned and got into the car, followed by Jake and Lisa. Amanda was the last one in, keeping her gun pointed at the boys.
"Where are they?!" Luke demanded.
"Oh I'm sure they're keeping warm by the fire," Cody sneered as Amanda settled into the car. The grey car then squealed away leaving the boys at a loss.
Luke bent down and picked up the gun and then looked towards the General.
After a moment the General moved and hurried towards the boys. Bo was looking towards the woods and he squinted, seeing what looked like some kind of light.
"Luke, look," he said. Luke turned and Bo pointed.
"It's gotta be that shed," Luke said.
Cooter brought the car to a stop and looked at Luke.
"We goin' after 'em?" he asked.
"Yeah. Bo, why don't you go with him. I'll check out the shed."
"There's a flash light in the glove box, Cooter,” Luke said. “I’m gonna try to find Rosco and MaryAnne.”
Cooter leaned over the front seat and opened the glove box as Bo ran around to climb into the passenger window. Cooter handed the flashlight back to Luke.
“Good luck, Luke,” Cooter said.
“Yeah. Give Uncle Jesse a hollar too, will ya?”
“You got it.” Cooter then stomped on the gas pedal of the General and the car took off down the road.
* * *
Trooper Preston had froze when he heard the second gunshot of the evening. He turned to the window of his patrol car and reached in for the radio mike.
"Edwards, did you hear that?"
"See if you can find out where it came from. That's the second one this evening and I'm starting to not like it if you know what I mean."
* * *
MaryAnne had stopped trying to push the door and she leaned her head against it wanting to cry. Nobody, she thought, was going to find them now. She closed her eyes for a moment not believing this was how it was all going to end.
"You were right, Rosco," she said tearfully. "They were still in the county."
Rosco paused. "Who was he, MaryAnne?"
MaryAnne sniffled and opened her eyes. "Cody Peterson. I arrested him Finchburg County back in '77. He ran a chop shop operation that I kind of stumlbed on. You know how us Coltranes are, we just stumble on everything." The inside of the shed was pitch black and MaryAnne thought her eyes were playing tricks on her when she saw what looked like flickers of light by the bottom of the door. She bent down and immediately could smell the smoke.
"Oh God...Rosco, the shed's on fire!"
"It's on fire! They must've dropped the oil lamp."
MaryAnne heard Rosco move and find his way in the dark towards her.
"It is," he said watching as the fire started to crawl inside the doorway. He grabbed a hold of MaryAnne and tried kicking the door. The sudden shock wave through his cold leg made him stop.
"I know, the same feeling I had in my shoulder." MaryAnne looked around.
"There's gotta be another way out of here! Ain't there a window?"
"On the other side of all that ground corn. But it's boarded up." Rosco pulled MaryAnne away from the door and back to the corner, away from the fire that was growing.
"Rosco..." She turned and looked at him, starting to see his face in the growing glow of the fire. He was staring at the flames that had climbed up the length of the left side of the door, realizing he and MaryAnne were about to join the rest of the Coltranes.
He then looked at her, his eyes apologetic.
A tear escaped MaryAnne's eye and she closed them and then leaned her head on Rosco's shoulder. Both were so sure that this was the end, neither heard the wail of sirens in the distance.
Luke found his way out of the woods and to an overgrown dirt drive. He flashed the light up ahead a bit and picked up his pace to a jog. He heard the sirens blaring too and hoped one of the troopers would spot the fire and come help.
When he got to the shed, Luke stopped and assessed the situation. The fire had grown to cover half the front of the shed, including the door and was starting to spread across the roof.
"MaryAnne! Rosco!" Luke was hoping they were outside of the shed, possibly on the other side. He had no idea that they were 'locked' in. He started to walk towards the backside of the shed, calling their names again.
Rosco and MaryAnne were on the floor again, creeped as far into the corner as they could get, trying to stay below the smoke that was filling the shed. They were curled against each other, trying to keep their faces away from the heat of the flames that burned only a few feet away from them.
When Luke called out their names a second time, MaryAnne thought she was hallucinating. She lifted her head a little.
"Luke...?" she said, half expecting to see the older Duke cousin standing there. But all she saw was the wall of the shed.
And the rotted out hole in one of the boards of the wall, near the floor.
MaryAnne almost didn't realize there was another chance for her and Rosco. Her mind had pretty much decided that there was nothing left to hang on to and that the only thing she and Rosco were waiting for was to pass out from the heat or suffocate from the smoke. But when she realized that if Luke really was outside the shed, and that he could pull the rotted boards off, then there was one more chance for her and Rosco to get out and her grip on staying alive became stonger.
"Luke?" she said again, her voice becoming ardent.
Outside, Luke flashed the light along the side of the wall of the shed just before turning around the back. He saw the rotted spot on the board near the bottom and he kneeled down.
The hole was about the size of a fist. Luke could see into the shed and saw Rosco's gun belt and his wounded arm. He could also see the top of MaryAnne's head.
"MaryAnne!" he exclaimed, grabbing at the board and pulling the crumbling wood. It gave way in small clumps at first which frustrated Luke. He took the flashlight and used it to knock away the rest and then grabbed at the board again and wrenched it away from the two by four it was nailed to. The nails screamed in resistence as the board came loose.
"Hang on, MaryAnne," he said as he grabbed the next board up. "I'll get y'all out of there."
Cooter and Bo, meanwhile, had caught up to Cody and his friends. They had called Uncle Jesse as well, who was on his way to help.
"Any idea how we're gonna stop 'em--?" Cooter started to ask when a shot rang out.
"Without getting ourselves killed??" Bo finished as Cooter started moving the General from side to side. Two more shots were fired, one of which slammed into the General's right side headlight.
Bo flinched as pieces of glass showered off the front of the car.
"Shut the lights, Cooter," he said. Cooter hit the switch and the General's headlight covers came down.
To Cody, the car had virtually disappeared. He fired one last shot and then settle back into the car.
"Step on it, sweetheart," Cody said to Lisa.
"I am, but I ain't so sure you want to head towards those blue and red lights up there," Lisa replied.
Cody looked up the road, seeing two patrol cars coming towards them. He muttered under his breath and then turned and looked behind them, where back off in the distance more blue and red lights were flashing.
The two State Police cars coming towards them formed a road block. Lisa had no choice but to turn the sedan to the side and let it come to a screaming stop. Cooter brought the General to a stop and he and Bo scrambled out of the car just as the troopers were getting out of their cars and approaching the sedan with their guns drawn. They ordered everyone out of the car and even ordered Bo and Cooter off to the side of the road, grouping everyone together and waiting for a senior officer to arrive to sort everything out.
"Look, we can explain what's going on--" Bo started.
"Quiet!" one of the troopers shouted. Bo rolled his eyes and looked back down the road where the rest of the State Police patrol cars were coming closer.
"You figure any of them stopped to help Luke with that fire?" Cooter asked.
"Probably not," Bo replied. "I hope he's alright. And I hope he found MaryAnne and Rosco."
"Yeah." He paused. "Alive."
Luke was all alone in this. He continued to pull at the boards until he had an opening big enough for MaryAnne to crawl through. The fire was starting to creep around the side of the shed and was inching closer to Rosco and MaryAnne and Rosco was already unconcious.
MaryAnne started coughing when the smoke and wood particles in the air were becoming too much. Luke as well was starting to feel the irritation in his throat and eyes.
"Come on, sweetheart," Luke rasped, extending his hand to MaryAnne.
MaryAnne took his hand and climbed over Rosco and out the opening. She turned right back around to help Luke pull Rosco out of the shed.
"Careful of his arm," she said, before coughing again.
Keeping Rosco's injured arm resting on him, MaryAnne and Luke grabbed him by his gunbelt and pulled him out of the opening just as they heard the sound of wood starting to break.
"It's gonna collapse!" Luke excalimed. He and MaryAnne never let go Rosco and they quickly half dragged, half carried him away from the shed. When they were no more than six feet away, the front of the shed fell in on itself, bringing the roof crashing down. Luke and MaryAnne continued to carry Rosco and when they were a safe distance from the shed they stopped and dropped to the ground beside Rosco.
MaryAnne leaned over Rosco a bit and breathed in as much of the cold night air as she could, despite continuing to cough.
"You alright, MaryAnne?" Luke asked, touching her shoulder.
MaryAnne looked up after a moment. Her eyes were wet with tears from both the irritation of the fire and from crying from other things. She nodded and even smiled.
"Yes," she said hoarsly. "Yes, I'm fine, Luke." She suddenly gave him a hug. "Thank you."
Luke smiled and returned the embrace. "Anytime, MaryAnne," he said. "Anytime."
Bo and Cooter stood impatienly waiting for the head trooper, Preston, to sort everything out. Cody and his friends chose to remain silent, especially after the troopers found the jewels in their car and Preston had pretty much decided to hold the four for the crime.
Uncle Jesse showed up in time for Bo and Cooter to explain their presence in the situation.
With Uncle Jesse explaining everything, Trooper Preston seemed incline to believe what really happened. But, he still wanted to question Rosco and MaryAnne.
"That's assuming there's anything left of them to question!" Jesse exclaimed. "While all this rigamaroll has been going on there's been a fire burning on the old Coltrane property back that way. I have two awful feelings about it too. One, it's that old shed and two, Rosco and MaryAnne are inside it."
"Fire?" Preston repeated. He then turned and looked back down the road and saw a small orange dot glowing in the distance. "Holy mackrel!" he exclaimed. He then started shouting orders to the rest of the troopers for all of them to get back down the road. He called for one of the troopers to call the fire department.
Bo and Cooter ran back to the General as Jesse returned to his pick up truck. A parade of cars hurried back down the road.
MaryAnne tried to bring Rosco around, but the Sheriff wasn't waking up. "Oh Luke," she said bringing her hand to her face and wiping some of the tears away. "He ain't gonna wake up on his own."
"He'll be alright," Luke said assuringly. "The thing is, he's alive, but the heat and that injury he's got was probably just too much for him."
MaryAnne nodded and touched the back of her fingers on her right hand to the side of Rosco's face. She then heard the sound of sirens in the air and coming closer.
"If those damn troopers are coming here I don't want their help," she spat. "This all happened because of them."
After a moment, cars started coming down the pathway. The first car was a trooper car, followed by General Lee and Jesse's pick up. The vehicles pulled off the path and surrounded where Luke, MaryAnne and Rosco were. Jesse, Bo and Cooter all hurried over, relieved to see Luke and the Coltrane cousins.
"Y'all alright?" Cooter asked.
"Yeah," Luke said. "We're all right."
"Looks like you got out just in time," Bo said, looking towards the burning shed.
Luke nodded as Trooper Preston came over.
"I've called for an ambulance," he said, kneeling down.
MaryAnne turned her head quick to him and glared at him. "Well, isn't that sweet of you," she snapped. "What's next? Are you gonna allow Rosco to have a pillow in his jail cell too?"
"Hush," she said. "I've never been so disgusted with the way someone is treated by a police officer in my life, especially by the State Police. I don't know what kind of yahoos you think you've got in your outfit, but they sure don't know jack crap about policing or about people being innocent until proven guilty. And they especially don't have any repsect for fellow officers!"
Trooper Preston gave MaryAnne a questioning look.
"Yeah, that's right, officers. Not only is Rosco here the Sheriff, but I'm also a deputy in his department, I just didn't happen to be on duty today. And let me tell you something else. If I find out who that trooper was that was so smug and so sure that Rosco and I were guilty, I'm gonna come down on him so hard they'll have to scrape him off the pavement!"
"I don't know his name, but he's the jackass that spotted me and Rosco on Route 16 when we had a flat tire. He had his gun out and said that there was enough evidence against us that, quote, a trial would be a wasted formality, unquote."
Trooper Preston stopped and thought for a moment. "That must have been Trooper Benson." He looked at MaryAnne. "Is that why you ran?"
"You better believe it," MaryAnne said. "I know it wasn't right to run, but we weren't being treated very fairly either. And now all this," she gestured towards the shed, "has happened." She looked back down at Rosco who was still out and then back at Trooper Preston. In the distance, more sirens could be heard. "So what are you gonna do?" she demanded. "You gonna arrest me and Rosco or what?"
Preston shook his head. "No," he said. "No, I'm not. I have four people in custody now and the jewels were found in their car. I only want to question you and the Sheriff here."
"Fine," MaryAnne said. She then looked at Rosco again and ran her fingers over his hair. "That's assuming Rosco will be able to answer any questions."
Trooper Preston got up and walked back to his cruiser. He opened the trunk and pulled out a med kit and returned to where Rosco was laying on the ground.
MaryAnne was still too angry to be impressed with Trooper Preston helping Rosco, but atleast the trooper was doing something right. Rosco's injury wasn't severe and when he awoke about an hour later in the hospital he had MaryAnne there to tell him what happened.
Rosco opened his eyes and looked up at the ceiling of the hospital room for a moment. At first his mind was blank and then he suddenly remembered the fire. He turned his head when he saw out of the corner of his eye that someone else was in the room.
"Hey there," MaryAnne said with a smile.
"Hi," he said a bit groggily.
"How do you feel?"
Rosco paused a moment. "Alright," he said. "Tired."
MaryAnne nodded. "Me too."
"Luke found us. He pulled us out before the shed collapsed. You were already passed out."
Rosco dropped his gaze for a moment. The last thing he could remember was that the fire was getting closer and then everything had gone black. It had been an awful experience.
MaryAnne saw the distant look in his eyes before he closed them and she got up and gave him a hug. "It was terrible, I know. But everything's okay now, Rosco," she said.
"The State Police caught Cody." She looked at him as he opened his eyes again. "And you had been right. He was still in the county, he got caught and you didn't let me down."
Rosco managed a bit of a smile. "Seems I've been batting a thousand on that haven't I?"
MaryAnne chuckled. "You sure have. For over 28 years now."
Friends and neighbors, ol' Rosco ain't had much luck much with much else, but I have the feeling he's gonna keep batting that thousand. Well, Cody and his friends ended up being charged with the robbery of the jewelry store and Rosco and MaryAnne's names were cleared. Trooper Preston offered a more formal apology for what had happened with Trooper Benson and even though MaryAnne and Rosco accepted the apology, MaryAnne was still sore with the treatment they had received.
A few days later, MaryAnne came out of the courthouse, dressed in her waitress uniform with her deputy's uniform on a hanger and covered with a clear plastic bag. She walked to Maverick and hung the uniform on the hook in the back seat and then got into the driver's seat. She started the car and turned her head to look to make sure no one was coming before she pulled away from the curb.
She looked in time to see Rosco come down the street and stop next to her.
"Headin' to the Boar's Nest?" he asked.
"Yeah. If I don't hurry I'm gonna be late."
"Hurry," he repeated. "As in possibly having to speed to get there in time?"
"Um..." MaryAnne looked at her cousin and saw that look in his eye. The question was issued as more of a dare, as if to say 'so, you're gonna peel out of town and drive fast with me sitting right here watchin' ya?'
MaryAnne's face remained neutral for a moment and she kept a steady eye on her cousin. She already had her hand on the gear shift and just before she threw it in gear she smiled.
"Bye-bye, Rosco!" she exclaimed and Maverick's tires squealed and smoked as the car tore away from the curb.
"Jit, jit!" Rosco said. He stepped on the accelerator and chased after his cousin.
You know, ol’ Rosco better be careful. Considerin’ how many patrol cars he’s scuffed chasing the Duke boys, how many you reckon he might wreck just chasin’ his own cousin?