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.

All original characters are the property of the author.

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of the author or any legally assigned agents of the author.

Copyright: 1996-2004. Lisa Philbrick

The Dukes of Hazzard
Hazzardous Duty
By: Lisa Philbrick

 




Two men stood on the hill overlooking Mill Road, watching the white patrol car that was sitting off the road in the woods.

Friends and neighbors, this is the start of probably the worst week in Hazzard County, and it's not even the Dukes who are in trouble.

The still mid-afternoon air was broken by the sound of loud pipes. The two men saw an orange car with a Confederate flag on the roof go zooming past the patrol car. The red and blue gumballs on the patrol car came on and the car pulled on to the road and chased after the orange car.

"He chases them all the time, Pike," one man said. "Never catches 'em though."

"His driving ten years ago wasn't to great either," Pike replied, running a hand over his bearded face. "The only reason he was able to catch me was because I was drunk. And that chick in the pickup truck. Did you find her too?"

"Yep, but let me buy ya a beer first. We'll celebrate you gettin' out of the joint a little earlier than you were supposed to." The man put an arm around Pike and with a chuckle led him back to their beige car.

Shoot, Rosco didn't drive any better when he was sixteen either.

"Hang on cousin," Bo said, "this is where we lose Rosco." He shifted the General in a lower gear and turned off the road, bringing the General to a stop behind some bushes that blocked it from view from the road.

Rosco came around the corner and flew past.

Luke chuckled. "I bet Flash will figure out what happened to us faster than Rosco will."

Bo smiled.

* * *

At the Boar's Nest, Pike and his friend were sitting at a booth with cold beers in front of them.

"Vic, what the heck do you keep lookin' at your watch for?" Pike asked.

"Well..." Vic looked up at the door in time to see MaryAnne come in. "Ah, right on time."

Pike turned around to look. He watched MaryAnne go to the bar and pick up what looked to be a wrapped sandwich from the waitress.

"Thanks Daisy," she said and headed back to the door.

Pike turned back to Vic. "That's her! Vic, you didn't tell me she was a deputy now."

"Well, I didn't think you'd believe me. I mean, come on, how many women do you know are deputy sheriffs?"

"None. Man, they're taking this equal rights garbage to the hilt ain't they?" Pike paused. "On the other hand, we can kill two birds with one stone as they say."

Vic smiled. "When you wanna start?"

"Tomorrow. You got the stuff?"

"Yep. All set and ready to go."

Pike lifted his beer mug. "To the cousins Coltrane." He smiled slyly. "May they rest in peace."

Vic raised his mug and clicked it with Pike's. They drank to the toast.

Hmmm-mm. I don't like it already.

The next morning, that fella didn't waste anytime starting what he wanted to start.


Pike went back to where he and Vic had watched Rosco the day before.

Rosco was sitting in the same spot again, but for Pike's purposes, he needed Rosco to be on the road. If Vic was correct, that orange car they had seen would be coming by which would get Rosco out of the woods and be wide open.

So Pike patiently sat on the ground and waited, with a hunting rifle resting across his lap.

After a few minutes the orange car came roaring down the road and Rosco followed in hot pursuit.

In the General, Bo looked at his mirrors. "Again?! This is starting to get old."

Up on the hill, Pike lifted the rifle and carefully took aim. When he had a clear shot at a tire, he pulled the trigger. The rifle only made a muffled 'thump' noise when it discharged due to the silencer but the tire popped loudly when the bullet hit it.

Rosco swerved and the patrol car slid off the road to a stop. The General continued on down the road, the boys unaware that Rosco was no longer behind them.

Pike had a clear shot of the car and he waited for Rosco to get out.

"Dang it Flash," Rosco said as he opened the door, "it just don't pay to get up some mornings." Before he closed the door the window next to him shattered. Rosco flinched and then bolted around the front of the car and took cover on the other side, bullets following. More glass broke as bullets hit the windows and several bullets hit the doors and fenders.

Flash started howling when the driver window broke. Rosco pulled open the passenger door and coaxed her out of the car. He sat crouched low behind the car with the basset hound cradled in his arms.

Down the road, the boys were realizing Rosco wasn't behind them.

Luke was looking out the back window. "Not like him to give up."

"You think he may have had a flat?" Bo asked.

"We better go see."

"Yeah, all right." Bo turned the General around.

Pike stopped shooting when he saw the orange car return.

Bo brought the General to a stop and the boys looked at the bullet-ridden patrol car in shock.

"Good Lord," Luke said.

"Luke, I didn't hear any gunshots."

"Maybe we weren't supposed to." He carefully looked around outside. He looked up the hill.

Pike had backed away from view and returned to his car.

"Do you see anybody?" Bo asked.

"No. Come on, let's see if Rosco's okay." Luke grabbed the edge of the window and pulled himself out of the car. Bo did the same and the two approached the car.

"Rosco?" Bo called.

After a moment Rosco stood up from behind the car with Flash in his arms.

"Boy, I never thought I'd say this, but am I glad to see you two."

"Are you all right?" Luke asked as he and Bo approached Rosco. "What the heck happened?"

"I'm not sure. I was chasin' y'all and then the tire blew out. When I got out of the car the back window broke and that's when I realized somebody was shootin' at me."

Luke was looking up the hill. Pike had driven away several moments earlier.

"Whoever it was, they might have been up there," he said.

"Think we should take a look?" Bo asked.

"No!" Rosco blurted. "I mean, what if they're still up there? What if there's more than one?"

"If they were still up there, I'd think they'd still be shootin' at ya," Luke said. "Come on, we'll drive up and take a look."

Rosco went with the boys to the General. He handed Flash to Bo and then climbed into the car.

After everybody was in, Luke turned the General's engine over and drove away.

While the boys and Rosco were headin' to the top of that hill, that Pike fella was headin' back to town. I've got a feelin' though he ain't gonna give up that easily.

When the boys and Rosco got to the top of the hill, Luke brought the General to a stop. The boys got out and looked around while Rosco stayed in the car and watched.

The boys looked on the ground carefully for any clues.

"There's a bunch of fresh tire tracks over here," Luke announced.

"Hey Luke, come look at this," Bo said. Luke walked over to where Bo was standing.

"Whatchya got?" Luke asked.

Bo pointed down to the dry grass. Luke looked and saw several shell casings.

"What is it?" Rosco asked. "What did you find?"

"Shell casings," Luke said. He bent down to pick one up.

"Don't touch 'em!" Rosco scolded. "There might be finger prints on 'em."

Bo chuckled. "He got you Luke."

Luke had to smile. "Must be losin' my touch." He pulled a white handkerchief out of his back pocket and carefully picked up each casing with the corner of the cloth and then placed them in the center of the cloth that rested in his other hand. When he collected them all he brought the four corners together and tied them all in a single knot. He and Bo went back to the General.

Luke handed the precious bundle to Rosco before he and Bo climbed into the General. They then took off for town.

Just before the boys and Rosco got to town, Pike had already arrived and was waiting across the street from the police station. He watched as MaryAnne came around the square and parked her patrol car in front of the courthouse.

As soon as she got out of the car and went into the courthouse, Pike grabbed the bagged bundle off the seat next to him and got out of his car. He went to the cruiser.

By the time the boys and Rosco returned to town, Pike had finished and was back in his car. He watched Rosco and the two young men go into the courthouse.

MaryAnne and Enos were in the booking room when the boys and Rosco came in.

"Woah," MaryAnne said, looking at Rosco. "You don't look so good. What happened?"

"Somebody was shooting at him," Bo explained.

"What?!" she exclaimed.

"Possumonagumbush. Are you all right Sheriff?" Enos asked.

"I'm fine, Enos." He didn't sound it. No snap to his response. No dipstick. Nothing.

"Whoever it was, they were serious," Luke said. "They didn't spare much of Rosco's patrol car and they used silencer."

"Who'd wanna shoot at the Sheriff?" Enos asked. "And why?"

"We don't know but we did find these shell casings," Bo said pointing at the white kerchief in Rosco's hand. "If there's prints on them maybe we can find out who was shooting at him."

"Yeah," Enos said, taking the bundle from Rosco. "Shouldn't take more than an hour."

"Well, while you're doing that we'll run over to Cooter's and ask him to bring in Rosco's patrol car," Luke said.

"Okay," MaryAnne said. "Thanks fellas."

The boys left the courthouse and headed over to Cooter's.

"Rosco sure was pretty shook up," Bo said as he and Luke crossed the street.

"Wouldn't you be?" Luke said.

* * *

An hour later the boys returned to the courthouse just as Enos was receiving the fax about the prints on the casings.

"Here it is," Enos announced as he came into the booking room. Rosco and MaryAnne scurried over to Enos to see the sheet.

"The fella's name is Pike Belanger," Enos said as Rosco and MaryAnne crowded around him to look at the sheet.

"Oh no," MaryAnne said.

"Pike Belanger?" Rosco said.

"Yeah," she said. "Don't you remember Rosco? About ten years ago you arrested him?"

"Pike Belanger...." Rosco thought for a moment then it hit him. "Eeeee, Pike Belanger? You mean THE Pike Belanger??"

"Yeah, and according to this he escaped from the Federal Pen in Atlanta yesterday."

"Who's Pike Belanger?" Bo asked.

"Probably one of the most notorious moonshiners from the Panhandle," MaryAnne explained. "About ten years ago he tried to set up some 'franchises' here and in some other southern states. He tried to set up one here in Hazzard and one over in Chickasaw but they got busted before they ever produced a drop of shine. At one point Rosco here found him driving drunk and speeding through Hazzard."

"Yeah," Rosco said, "I chased after him but didn't catch him 'til we reached Finchburg County. MaryAnne helped me catch him."

"I had just picked up a load of feed and fertilizer and was headin' back to the farm when I saw them come tearin' over the county line. Anyway, when we caught him and Rosco got him back here to book him, he found out there was an outstanding warrant for Belanger for a murder in Florida. Eventually Belanger was extradited to stand trial and Rosco and I had to testify about how we'd caught him. After he was convicted, he threatened revenge but we didn't really take him seriously considering he was looking at a life sentence with no possibility of parole."

"Sounds like a really nice guy," Bo said. "What are you guys gonna do?"

"What can we do?" she said. "Other than sleep with one eye open. We can call the US Marshal but I don't think Belanger's dumb enough to try anything that could risk him getting caught."

"Maybe you two oughta go into hiding for awhile," Luke suggested. "We can stash you out at the farm."

"No, I don't think that'd be a good idea," she said. "If Belanger saw you boys pick up Rosco, he'd find out who owns the General and if me and Rosco disappeared, your farm might be the first place he'd look."

"MaryAnne's right," Rosco said, "and I wouldn't put it past Belanger to start hurting other people to try to get to us."

"Exactly. The only thing Rosco and I can do is just be careful. Maybe we can figure a way to set him up to think he'd have a chance to get us and then end up catching him."

"I guess all we can do is just be on the look out for any suspicious looking people then," Bo said. "If this fella's as dangerous as he sounds we've gotta find him and stop him, fast."

"As long as Rosco and I stay relatively visible, Belanger should only concentrate on us. Now that we know who's after us, I think we'll be all right."

"I'd rather go into hiding," Rosco said.

Can't say I blame him.

After MaryAnne called the US Marshal, the boys returned to the farm and told Uncle Jesse what had been happening.


Bo and Luke were under the hood of the General while Jesse was restrapping one of Maudine the Mule's harnesses.

"I remember when Rosco arrested that Belanger fella," Jesse said. "That was back when he did legitimate police work."

"And now it might do him in," Luke said. "Him and MaryAnne."

"You understand that we gotta help them any way we can," Jesse said.

"We know, Uncle Jesse," Bo said. "We offered to hide them out here for awhile but Rosco said that Belanger might hurt other people trying to get to him and MaryAnne."

"We wouldn't want that to happen either," Jesse said. "We're danged if we do danged if we don't."

"You know," Luke said. "Maybe we can help set up Rosco and MaryAnne like we did Enos when that hit man from California was after him."

"Are you forgetting Luke that that didn't exactly go the way we wanted it to?" Bo said. "That hit man kidnapped Daisy."

"Yeah," Luke said reflectively. "I know."

"We don't know how this fella operates either," Jesse said. "There's only been one incident so far and that was against Rosco. We don't even know if Belanger knows that MaryAnne is here in Hazzard too. He may think she's still in Finchburg County."

"Let's hope so," Luke said. "That'll give us a little less to worry about."

* * *

Back in town, MaryAnne was leaving the courthouse and heading to her patrol car.Rosco came out right behind her and followed her to the car.

"What?" she said when they got to the car. "You want to go with me on a simple patrol?"

"Yeah. To be honest MaryAnne, I don't want to let you out of my sight."

She smiled. "Yeah, I know what you mean. All right, hop in then," she said, getting into the car. As soon as she sat in the driver seat, the timer on the bomb on the back floor began to count down from thirty-five seconds.

Rosco leaned on the driver window. "Why don't we go to lunch first? I'll take ya to Vinnie's. My treat."

"Ooo, you mean I can get one of Vinnie's big fat roast beef sandwiches?"

"Any sandwich you want."

"And a big glass of root beer?"

"You got it."

"And a hot fudge sundae?"

"With whip cream, sprinkles and a cherry on top. I might get one of those myself." He giggled.

MaryAnne thought for about two seconds. "Okay, you talked me into it."

Rosco opened the door and let MaryAnne out. They started to walk across the street. When they reached the square, MaryAnne's patrol car exploded.

MaryAnne and Rosco hit the grass. Folks in the square scattered and dove on the ground. Pieces of the patrol car came crashing back to the earth while the fire burned the rest of it.

After a moment Rosco and MaryAnne looked behind them.

"Lord," MaryAnne said. "And I'm the one that doesn't want us to go into hiding." She looked at Rosco. "Y'all right?"

"Yeah," he said. "I think so." He was as pale as he had been that morning.

Seeing he had failed again, Belanger quietly drove out of town while everyone ran towards the square and the courthouse.

Cooter came running over from the garage and Enos came running out of the courthouse.

"Are you all right?" Cooter asked. He and Enos helped MaryAnne and Rosco to stand.

"What the heck happened?" Enos asked.

"It was a bomb, I think," MaryAnne said. Leaning on Rosco, she watched a couple of guys run over from the fire station and douse her car with fire extinguishers. "It must've been Belanger. He ain't wastin' time!"

"Belanger? Wait a minute, is this the same somebody who shot up Rosco's patrol car this morning?" Cooter asked.

"Yeah, only we know who it is. Fella named Pike Belanger," MaryAnne explained. "Aw dang! Rosco what are we gonna do?"

"What do you mean what are we gonna do? I thought you had it all figured out," he spat.

"Well, I thought I did too but I didn't think he'd try to blow us up!" she spat back.

After a brief pause, Enos said, "Maybe y'all should go to the Duke farm,"

"What and have Belanger blow that up too?" she said. "No way, this is something between Belanger and me and Rosco. We ain't gonna have other people get hurt because of our problem."

Rosco nodded.

At this point, Boss Hogg arrived in town. He brought his white Cadillac to a stop in front of the bank and got out. He saw the destroyed patrol car and the crowd gathered in the square and in front of the courthouse. He hurried over.

"What's goin' on here?" he asked, approaching Rosco and MaryAnne. "What's happened?"

"Somebody blew up MaryAnne's patrol car," Enos explained.

"Good Lord, are you okay?"

"Yeah, I'm fine. Belanger nearly got me and Rosco this time."

"What? What do you mean this time? What are you talking about?"

"This same fella took some shots at Rosco this morning too," Cooter added.

"Holy mackerel. I didn't know of this."

"We know who it is," MaryAnne said. "It's a fella Rosco arrested about ten years ago."

"Who?" Boss asked.

"Pike Belanger," Rosco replied.

"Pike Belanger..." Boss thought for a moment. "Oh my, I remember that. There was a warrant out for him for a murder down in Florida."

"Yeah," Rosco said. "He escaped from prison yesterday and hasn't wasted much time trying to get to us."

"Us? What do you mean us? What's he want with MaryAnne?"

"I helped Rosco catch him."

While MaryAnne and Rosco were talking to Boss, Cooter said to Enos, "I'm gonna go call out to the Duke farm and let them know what's going on."

"Good idea, Cooter," Enos said.

Cooter ran back to his garage and picked up the telephone.

"Gussy, could you get me the Duke farm please?"

While Cooter was callin' the Dukes to let them know what had been happening, that Belanger fella had returned to his hideout, bitter with defeat.

Vic looked up when Pike came storming into the old shack.

"I missed again," Pike spat slamming his hand on the back of the old wooden chair. "Them two have the dangdest timing."

"So what are you gonna do now?"

"I don't know," Pike replied sitting down at the table with Vic. "I gotta figure a way to get them where I want them and when I want them to be there."

"How are you gonna do that?"

"I don't know. That's gonna take some thinking."

Vic looked toward the wall in thought. "Maybe we can set up a fake accident or something. You know, something that only the law would have to respond to."

Pike nodded thoughtfully. "Yeah," he said. He thought for a moment then looked at Vic. "I think I got an idea."

* * *

"Yeah," Luke was saying into the phone. Bo and Jesse were standing in the kitchen watching Luke. From what they could hear, it wasn't good news.

"Okay, Cooter, thanks for lettin' us know...Yeah, we'll have to figure something out to help them....Yeah, we'll talk to ya later....All right." Luke hung up. He looked at Bo and Jesse.

"Belanger struck again. He blew up MaryAnne's patrol car this time. She and Rosco are all right but it apparently was a pretty close call."

"Oh boy," Bo said. "If he's that serious there's no tellin' what he'll do next."

"What we oughta do is go out and see if we can find this guy," Luke said. "He's gotta be hiding out somewhere."

"Yeah," Bo said. "Then we can tell the US Marshal where he's hiding." Bo made a face. "If we find him."

"Alright," Jesse said. "But you boys be careful, and don't forget you gotta pick up Daisy from the Boar's Nest too."

"Yes sir," Bo said as he and Luke left the farm house.

Well, while the boys were out looking for Belanger, he and his partner were inspecting the old Hobson barn for
Belanger's next attempt on Rosco and MaryAnne.

Friends, this where things take a turn for the worst.

Pike and Vic came out of the barn and began to walk back to their car.

"What do ya think?" Vic asked.

"Perfect. With all that old hay in there and the old timber that thing will go up like paper in fire. By the time this town figures out what happened well be out of the country."

"Assuming it works," Vic said. When they got to the car they stopped and looked back at the barn. "You realize this is gonna take timing and if their timing is as off as it was when you tried the first two times all we're gonna do is torch an old barn."

"Yeah, I know," Pike said.

"And what about the other deputy? You realize he might show up too."

Pike shrugged. "I can't help that," he said. "I want them Vic, and I don't care who gets in my way."

Vic looked at Pike. "Yeah, all right," he said. "When do you want to make the call?"

Pike looked at his watch. "In an hour. That'll give them a little longer to recover from earlier this afternoon."

* * *

Just before Pike make that phone call, the boys went to the Boar's Nest to pick up Daisy, who had heard what had been happenin' from folks comin' in and out of the Boar's Nest.

"That's all everybody's been talkin' about," Daisy said as she and the boys came out of the Boar's Nest and went to the General. "It's terrible."

"Yeah," Bo said. "Me and Luke have been out for the past hour trying to find this guy before he strikes again."

"And ends up getting Rosco and MaryAnne," Luke said, "and possibly hurting other people." He climbed into the driver side of window of the General.

"Yeah," Daisy said. Bo helped her climb in the passenger window and then followed in after. The Dukes tore out of the parking area.

At the courthouse, meanwhile, the phone at the booking desk rang. MaryAnne, being the closest to it, picked up the receiver after two rings.

"Hazzard County Sheriff's office, Deputy MaryAnne Coltrane speaking," she greeted. Rosco watched from his desk behind her and Enos was standing below the booking desk.

"Oh Deputy," the male caller said, "something terrible's just happened. I was driving down Route 16 and I saw some kids playing by this old barn and then the barn just collapsed!"

"The barn collapsed? Was there anyone inside?" she asked anxiously.

"I'm not sure, but I think one of the kids might have been inside."

"Oh Lord. This is on Route 16?"

"Yes. Route 16, by the creek."

"By the creek. Okay, we're on our way." She hung up.

"A barn collapsed?" Rosco asked.

"Yeah. On Route 16 near the creek."

"That's gotta be the old Hobson barn," Enos said.

"Well, let's go! There may be a little kid trapped inside."

Enos, Rosco and MaryAnne hurried out of the booking room and left the courthouse. They ran to the one remaining patrol car, Enos's. Rosco claimed shotgun and MaryAnne climbed in back. Enos jerked the car forward and tore out of town.

Four and half minutes later they pulled up to the barn. The three officers looked at it for a minute.

"Don't look collapsed to me," MaryAnne said.

"You sure the caller said Route 16?" Rosco asked.

"Yep. Is this the only barn on Route 16?"

"It's the only one near the creek and not in use," Rosco said pointing to the creek that ran several yards from the barn.

"Well, why don't we take a look any way," MaryAnne said.

"Alright," Rosco said. The three officers got out of the car and approached the barn.

Up the road, Pike and Vic were watching through binoculars.

"Okay, they're going in," Pike said.

"Alright, it's gonna take at least half a minute for it to blow," Vic said, throwing the switch on the remote control box in his hand. "Let's hope they stay in there long enough and don't find the explosives."

In the barn, Rosco, Enos and MaryAnne were poking around in different corners of the barn.

"Well," Enos said. "Nothing looks out of the ordinary here. Don't know why somebody would say a barn collapsed when it didn't."

"Maybe they got the location wrong," MaryAnne said pushing away some old hay with her foot. She hit something, and hit it again with her foot to see it better. She saw the digital timer that read ten seconds and counting down.

"Oh God! It's a bomb!" she exclaimed spinning around. "Let's get out of here!"

She ran through the barn door and almost made it to the patrol car before the barn blew apart, the force of the explosion throwing her to the ground. Pieces of timber rained down on the patrol car and behind her. MaryAnne covered her head with her arms.

Up the road, Pike and Vic just looked at each other.

Pike shook his head and bitterly walked to the car followed by Vic. They casually drove away.

After a few moments, Rosco rose up from behind the dead tree stump he had dove behind when the barn blew. He saw MaryAnne sprawled on the ground by the patrol car.

He couldn't find Enos.

He looked at the burning barn. The old hay was accelerating the growth of the fire, and in a matter of minutes the whole field would be on fire if he didn't call the fire brigade. He ran over to the patrol car.

"MaryAnne?" he called over the roar of the fire. He knelt down and touched her arm.

MaryAnne lifted her head and looked up at Rosco.

"Rosco!" she exclaimed. She sat up quickly and clutched his arm.

"Are you okay?" he asked.

"Yeah, I--I'm fine. Where's Enos?"

"I don't know."

MaryAnne just looked at him, the color draining from her face. She then looked at the barn and for some reason got up and tried to go toward it.

Rosco grabbed her before she could take a step.

"But Enos!" she cried. "He must've gone out the other side."

"MaryAnne, there was no other door but the one we went in and came out of."

MaryAnne just looked at her cousin, her hand clutching his tie and shirt.

"Oh no," she whispered, closing her eyes. "Oh Rosco, no." She buried her face in his shoulder and began to sob.

All Rosco could do was hold her and watch the fire destroy the barn.

After a moment he spoke softly. "MaryAnne," he said, "we gotta call the fire department. We can't let this go and burn the whole county."

MaryAnne nodded and followed Rosco to the driver window of Enos's patrol car.

While Rosco grabbed the CB mike, MaryAnne leaned against the hood looking back at the fire. She realized she was feeling dizzy.

"This is Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane calling all volunteers of the Hazzard County fire brigade. There's a fire at the old Hobson barn on Route 16. I repeat, there is a fire at the old Hobson barn on Route 16."

While Rosco was making the call, MaryAnne had let her eyes wander and she spotted something blue in the field off to her right in the tall grass. She looked at it for a long time, wondering if it could be...

"Rosco," she said suddenly, grabbing his arm that was leaning on the door. She was still looking at the field. "Look." She pointed.

Rosco looked and saw it too. He tossed the CB mike in the car and he and MaryAnne ran to the field.

"It's Enos!" she exclaimed. She and Rosco kneeled down next to him and gently rolled him on to his back. MaryAnne placed her hand on his neck to feel for a pulse. "He's alive," she said. They both noticed the rock.

"He must've hit his head," Rosco said.

"I'm gonna call for an ambulance," she said.

"Alright," Rosco said. MaryAnne ran back to the patrol car. She leaned in the window and grabbed the CB mike.

"This is Deputy MaryAnne Coltrane calling the Tri-County hospital. We need an ambulance at the Hobson barn on Route 16. Deputy Enos Strate has been injured."

The Dukes, along with Uncle Jess who was in his pick up, heard MaryAnne's call on the CB.

"Enos," Daisy said.

Luke picked up the mike. He waited until after the hospital responded that an ambulance was on the way before pushing the talk button.

"MaryAnne, this is Luke Duke. What happened to Enos?"

"It's a long story, Luke. I'll explain it to y'all when you get here," she said. She threw the CB mike back into the car and ran back to Rosco and Enos just as a couple of pick up trucks were pulling up.

MaryAnne kneeled down by Enos. "He's still out?"

"Yeah." Rosco spoke in worrisome tones.

MaryAnne looked at him. "He'll be allright, Rosco," she said soothingly. "But this is the last straw. Now I know that we knew Belanger might try to hurt other people trying to get to us, but I didn't think he'd do it while we were still out in the open. We gotta stop this guy before he blows up or shoots up everything and everyone in this county just to get to you and me." She looked down at Enos again, running a hand over his hair. It was a brief moment that seemed like an eternity before Enos's eyes suddenly fluttered open.

"Enos?" Rosco queried.

The deputy looked at Rosco and MaryAnne. "Possumonagumbush," he said softly. "It was a bomb, wasn't it?"

"Yes it was," MaryAnne said. Enos moved to sit up and MaryAnne and Rosco helped him. He rubbed a hand to the back of his head and then looked at the burning barn. More trucks and cars were pulling up.

"That Belanger fella is really serious," Enos said. "He could hurt a lot of people just trying to get the both of you."

"Considering he almost wiped out the entire Hazzard County Sheriff's Department in one fell swoop there's no telling how far he could go," MaryAnne said. She looked up in time to see the Dukes and Cooter and then Hazzard's only fire truck with Boss on board pull off the road.

While the boys went to help put out the fire, Daisy ran over to where Enos was sitting on the ground.

"Are y'all allright? Oh Enos..." Daisy kneeled down in front of Enos.

"I'm okay, Daisy," Enos said. He smiled. If he didn't feel okay before, he most certainly did now with Daisy near.

Daisy glanced at MaryAnne's arm and gasped, "MaryAnne, your arm."

MaryAnne looked down and saw the dark crimson spot about the length and width of a pencil that was on the forearm of her blue uniform shirt. She looked closer and saw the shirt had ripped.

"I must've tore it when I hit the ground," she said. Rosco gently took MaryAnne's hand and drew it toward him. He undid the button of her sleeve and rolled it back away from the cut. He, Enos and Daisy made a face at the sight of the cut.

"Does it hurt?" Rosco asked.

"Stings a little."

"What happened?" Daisy asked.

"Belanger put a bomb in the barn," Rosco explained. "We were shucked and jived out here thinking there had been some kids playing and that the barn had collapsed."

"We found it with just enough time to get out," MaryAnne added looking up at the sound of the ambulance siren. And then softly, she said, "He almost got us this time."

* * *

The EMT insisted that MaryAnne and Rosco along with Enos go to the hospital to be checked, considering what they had gone through. So with the entire Sheriff's department on it's way to the hospital, everyone else continued to fight the fire.

The ER doctor made Enos stay at the hospital for observation. MaryAnne was treated and Rosco was checked and the two cousins were released. They called Lulu to come pick them up and give them a ride back to town. They went to Boss's house to give themselves some time to recover from what had happened and to figure out what they were going to do to try to get Belanger.

Belanger and his partner, meanwhile, were back at their hideout planning Belanger's next attempt.

"Look," Vic said, "you know where the courthouse is, why don't you just walk in and finish them off."

"I probably should've just done that at the start," Pike said, "but I can't risk getting caught. They'll throw me back in prison."

"No, they won't. You kill them, they'll fry you. This is Georgia you know. Once you're convicted they take you over to Jackson and put you in a chair you'll never get up from on your own." Vic paused. "But since you're all fired up to get this done and done soon, I happen to know they do nightly patrols. If you want, we can go to town tonight and follow which ever one leaves first."

"I want them both Vic."

"Yeah, I know, but I don't think you're gonna get both. At least not at the same time."

Pike thought for a moment. "Yeah, all right, we'll do that," he said. "As long as I can get one of them."

* * *


The afternoon wore on into evening. The whole town by this point was on edge and Rosco and MaryAnne didn't quite dare leave Boss's house to go to the courthouse, not knowing if Belanger could be watching or if he was waiting inside. However, the work of the Sheriff's department had to continue and having decided that MaryAnne would do the first night patrol, which Enos usually did, she sacked out in Boss's guest bedroom to get some rest.

The Dukes, meanwhile, monitored the CB frequencies and the boys took one last drive through most of the county to try to find Belanger. But the dark seemed to come to soon, and they returned home. Cooter called periodically to report if anything new had happened. Nothing had, and he told the Dukes that Rosco and MaryAnne were still at Boss's house.

At eight that evening, the Dukes left to visit Enos at the hospital who was back to his usual self and very happy to have the Dukes visit, especially Daisy. He asked about Rosco and MaryAnne and if anything new had happened. The Dukes told him that the cousins Coltrane were fine and that nothing new had happened. Enos said as soon as he was released he hoped he could help find Belanger before Rosco, MaryAnne or anybody else got hurt.

At nine, the Dukes were told by the floor nurse that visiting hours were over and that they had to leave. Daisy gave Enos a kiss, told him they'd be back tomorrow, and the Dukes left.

At nine-thirty, Rosco woke MaryAnne and they went back to the courthouse. In their car hidden in the shadows, Pike and Vic watched them go in.

A few minutes later, they saw MaryAnne come back out and get into Enos's patrol car. Pike got out of the car and when MaryAnne pulled away from the curb, Vic carefully followed.

Pike went to one of the windows that looked into the booking room and he cautiously peered in. Rosco was sitting at the booking desk looking through some papers. A basset hound lay on the bench below the desk. What Pike didn't see was MaryAnne's German Shepherd police dog, Bandit, lounging against the wall below the window. Belanger figured getting Rosco would be easy.

Pike went to the walkway and paused a moment, checking his gun in the overhead light. When he was satisfied the gun was ready he proceeded up the steps and into the building.

Rosco heard the front door slam. He looked over at the door of the booking office and waited to see who it was.

Whoever it was, it was taking them long enough to get from the front door to the booking office. Rosco stepped down from the booking desk and carefully went to the door. He pushed it open and looked down the hall toward the front door. Not seeing anything he looked in the other direction.

"Hello, Sheriff," Pike said, the barrel of his .38 mere inches from Rosco's face.

Rosco froze. "Pike Belanger," he whispered.

"Very good. Unfortunately, I don't have any prize money for ya." He pulled back the safety. "Not that you could use it where you're going."

Rosco swallowed hard.

"You won't be alone though," Belanger continued. "My partner is out following your cousin right now. Pity though, she grew up right pretty."

Although Rosco stood a good six feet tall, Belanger towered over him. Rosco was going to need something to even up the odds and that was Bandit. From somewhere, Rosco found enough intestinal fortitude to suddenly push the door that was between him and Belanger against Belanger and duck back into the booking office.

Bandit was at the ready and immediately sensed that Rosco was in danger. As Rosco ran to the desk by Boss's office door, Belanger came bursting into the booking room. He aimed the gun but stopped when he saw the huge police dog snarling at him. In an instant Bandit leapt up on Belanger and knocked him to the ground. Flash was barking, and she jumped down from the bench and started nipping at Belanger's legs. Belanger was screaming for the big dog to get off. When Rosco saw the gun drop out of Belanger's hand he called Bandit and Flash off.

Bandit got off Belanger but stood guard near by until Rosco came up to him. Flash stood guard over the gun itself. Rosco came and picked up the gun. "Good girl, Flash," he said giving her a pat. He then turned to Bandit.

"Good boy, Bandit," he said, patting Bandit on the side. Rosco then waved the gun at Belanger.

"Alright," he said, "get up. Nice and easy or he'll tear you apart."

Belanger picked himself up off the floor carefully eyeing the dog.

"Up to the cell there." Rosco pointed the gun up to the holding cell.

Belanger walked up the three steps to the holding cell with Rosco right behind him. After he stepped inside, Rosco slid the door shut.

"Ha, thought you'd get ol' Rosco P. Coltrane huh?" he said as he locked the cell. "Well, not today!"

* * *

Several miles outside of town, MaryAnne was watching the car behind her. She had noticed it when she left town and was somewhat perturbed by being followed.

She then realized that it might be Belanger and she picked up her CB mike.

"Rosco? Rosco, I think I've got company. I think Belanger's following me."

Rosco turned to the CB set near the booking desk and picked up the mike. "It's not Belanger," he said. "It's his partner."

"How do you know?"

"Because Belanger is sitting in a jail cell here."

"Holy mackerel, you mean he tried to get you there at the courthouse?"

"Yeah, only he didn't. I got him," he giggled. "With a little help."

MaryAnne heard Bandit bark just before Rosco let go of the talk button.

"Well, alright!" she said. "But now we gotta get this guy."

"Where are you?"

"Um..." MaryAnne looked in the mirror and saw the car was coming up fast. "Dang Rosco he's coming up fast. Hold on a minute." She dropped the CB mike and gripped the steering wheel. She pushed down on the accelerator.

"MaryAnne?" Rosco said.

MaryAnne was too busy driving to respond.

From the jail cell, Belanger chuckled. "At least, I'll get one of you."

"Don't count on it," Rosco said. He pushed the talk button. "MaryAnne, dang it, where are you?!"

At this point Vic was coming up on the side of MaryAnne's patrol car. MaryAnne tried to accelerate ahead but Vic started ramming into the cruiser. Eventually he forced her off the road. The patrol car plunged into the darkness and hit the ditch hard. Vic continued on the road and then swung around.

When the car settled she picked up the CB mike.

"Ow, Rosco, he just knocked me off the road. Listen, I think he's coming back. I'm taking off." She dropped the mike and scrambled out of the car.

As she disappeared into the dark woods, Vic pulled up by the patrol car.

"MaryAnne!" Rosco called over the CB.

Vic came up to the patrol car and looked in. He heard the radio crackling with the sound of Rosco's voice. Vic had his gun drawn and he aimed at the radio. He pulled the trigger and the radio exploded.

In the woods, MaryAnne was crouched behind a tree and heard the gun shot. She watched the car headlights go out, like the last time one closes their eyes to meet death. She saw the shadowy figure come into the woods.

Back at the courthouse, Rosco gave up on the CB and had run out to his patrol car, leaving Bandit and Flash to stand guard over Belanger. As he tore out of town he hit the switch for the gumballs and siren out of habit.

The clock on the dashboard read 10:15. MaryAnne could be anywhere along the patrol route, mostly likely somewhere dark and lonely.

Rosco picked up the CB mike. "MaryAnne? MaryAnne, please answer."

The radio responded in silence.

* * *

Bo drifted out of sleep and woke up. In the distance he could hear what sounded like the siren of Rosco's patrol car. The sound seemed to hang in the warm night air; lonesome and fading. Bo turned to see the clock on the stand that was between his bed and Luke's. He could make out the time to be almost ten-twenty. Knowing Rosco, Enos and MaryAnne never used their siren at night on patrol, Bo figured something must have happened.

"Hey Luke? Luke, wake up, I think something's happening."

Luke grudgingly came out his slumber. "Wha?"

"Luke, listen. I can hear Rosco's siren."

Luke listened for a moment. Now he woke up.

"Yeah, I hear it," he said, sitting up. "They never run that siren at night."

"I know. Something must've happened."

"Yeah," Luke said, throwing the covers off him. "Let's see if we can hear anything on the CB."

The boys left their room and went out to the kitchen. They turned on the CB set and changed it to the police channel.

"...if you can hear me, I'm on the way," Rosco said.

The boys looked at each other then Luke grabbed the mike.

"Rosco, this is Luke Duke. What's going on? Do you need some help?"

"It's MaryAnne," Rosco blurted. "She said someone was following her and had knocked her off the road. I know who it is, it's Belanger's partner, but I can't get her back on the radio. I think she left the patrol car." Rosco was struggling to keep his composure.

"Do you know where she is?" Luke asked.

"Not really. I know she's somewhere on Enos's patrol route, but that covers half the county."

"Where are you now?"

"I'm on 41 headin' toward Sheep's Holler. Listen, uh, I'd appreciate it if you and Bo could help."

While Luke had been talking to Rosco, Uncle Jesse and Daisy had come into the kitchen. Bo quickly explained what was going on.

"We'll all help," Jesse said. "Where does he want us to go?"

Luke pushed the talk button. "We'll all help you, Rosco. Uncle Jesse and Daisy too. Where do you want us to go?"

"Thank you," Rosco said. "God bless you Dukes. Maybe MaryAnne's right about y'all."

Luke smiled. "Where do you want us to go, Rosco?"

"Well, uh, I suppose somebody could go over to Willow Creek and someone else could head up to Clover Crossing."

"All right, we're on our way. She'll be all right, Rosco, we'll find her."

"Yeah," he replied. "I hope so."

The Dukes quickly changed into some clothes and grabbed some flashlights and Jesse his shotgun. The boys jumped in the General and tore off towards Clover Crossing while Daisy and Jesse took the pickup to Willow Creek.

* * *

MaryAnne, meanwhile, had made her way back to the patrol car. Vic, as far as she knew, was still in the woods.

She leaned into the window to grab the CB mike but could smell the remains of smoke from the exploded radio. She instead grabbed the keys out of the ignition and went to the trunk.

The light from the trunk shined brightly out on to the road. She went to grab the emergency radio when a bullet shattered the night and scraped against her right leg. MaryAnne screamed collapsing to the ground. She gritted her teeth against the pain her leg and rolled around the side of the patrol car.

Rosco heard the gun shot and picked up the CB mike. "Luke? I think I found her. I heard some gunshots. I'm on County 21, two miles form Sheep's Holler."

"We're about two minutes away," Luke said.

"And we're right behind them," Jesse said.

Vic had come out of the woods and found MaryAnne sprawled on the road, gripping her wounded leg. Vic was so determined to finish this damn job that Pike had started, he didn't hear the siren that was screaming closer and he raised his gun at MaryAnne, who was lying a few feet away from him.

As Rosco came around the turn he saw MaryAnne lying in the road and Vic standing there ready to put more lead into her. Rosco's foot stepped further on the accelerator.

Vic turned in time to see the white Plymouth come flying around him and turn to block him from shooting MaryAnne. Rosco looked at Vic and had just enough time to hug the front seat as Vic opened fire.

The bullet tore through the open windows and skipped on the pavement ahead of MaryAnne.

"Rosco!" MaryAnne yelled.

Vic had stepped forward to look in the patrol car. Rosco remained still in the dark, but had his hand on the door latch. After a moment he suddenly pulled it and pushed the door against Vic.

Vic went tumbling back onto the pavement as Rosco scrambled out of the car. The gun in Vic's hand went clattering to the pavement yet he got to his feet and tried to run.

Rosco went after him. From the other direction came the General Lee and Jesse's truck.

"Bo! Look out!" Luke exclaimed.

Bo hit the Dixie horn and turned the General to the side. Vic couldn't stop running and went flying over the hood of the car. Rosco went around the car as the boys climbed out of the windows. He grabbed up Vic like a rag doll and pressed him against the fender of the General.

"Under the jail," he said through clenched teeth. "You and Pike Belanger are going to be put UNDER the jail!" He pushed Vic against the fender again a little harder and then pulled out his hand cuffs and handed them to Bo.

"Cuff him. I'm gonna make sure MaryAnne's okay."

The boys grabbed Vic and Bo began to place the cuffs on Vic while Rosco ran back to the other side of the patrol car. Daisy and Jesse followed.

MaryAnne was still on the ground. She moved slightly when Rosco knelt down beside her.

"MaryAnne? Sweetheart, are you all right?" he said gently turning her to see her.

She looked up at him. "My leg," she said. "I think it's just a flesh wound though."

Daisy gasped. Rosco looked at where MaryAnne's hand was and then undid his necktie. In the dark and with MaryAnne wearing dark pants he couldn't tell exactly where the wound was but he could guess. He began to to tie his tie around her leg.

"We ain't gonna have time to wait for a ambulance," Jesse said. "We gotta git her into your patrol car, Rosco, and take her to Tri-County ourselves. Daisy, go get the boys."

"Okay." Daisy ran back to the General to get the boys who were already on their way down the road.

"MaryAnne's been shot," she said. "We gotta help her."

"Oh Lord," Luke said as he and Bo ran around the patrol car and saw Rosco holding his cousin. They both kneeled down beside her.

"I'll be okay," she said trying to sit up. Rosco helped her and she sat for a moment on her own, then reeled and leaned against Rosco.

"Let's get her into the patrol car," Luke said. "Don't put any weight on your leg, MaryAnne." Luke put her left arm around his shoulder, while Rosco held on to her right. Leaning on Rosco, she let herself be pulled to her feet and then assisted to the back seat of the patrol car. After she was in, Luke said to Rosco, "Why don't you ride in back with her. I'll drive."

"Alright."

"We'll follow," Jesse said.

"You hang in there, MaryAnne," Daisy said. "You're gonna be okay."

Luke got in the driver's seat and began to drive down the road while Bo headed back to the General and Jesse and Daisy went back to the pickup.

"What about him?" Bo asked, looking at Vic.

"Let's put him in the back of the pick up," Jesse said. "We'll help Rosco put him in jail after we're sure MaryAnne is going to be okay."

Bo helped Jesse grab up Vic and place him in the bed of Jesse's pickup truck. Bo then ran to the General and the Charger and pick up tore off down the road.

* * *

Rosco was pacing back and forth in the waiting room just out side the emergency area.

The Dukes all watched him. It was clear he was upset, but none of them could recall a time seeing him quite this upset.

"Rosco, will you sit down before you wear a hole into the floor," Jesse said.

Rosco stopped and looked at Jesse. "Jesse, she's been shot for crying out loud. You expect me to sit calmly like nothin' happened?"

"No, but your pacin' and frettin' ain't gonna contribute much to the situation."

Rosco sighed heavily, his shoulders slumping in defeat. "She should've had Bandit with her. Better yet, I should have done the patrol first."

"Oh so we could be having this same conversation with her instead?" Bo said.

"Bo--"

"Bo's right," Luke said. "If MaryAnne had been at the courthouse, Belanger would have tried to get her there, like he tried to get you. Now all she's got is a flesh wound, Rosco. She's gonna be fine. And besides, Belanger and his partner have been caught and won't be any more trouble to y'all now. Everything's fine."

Rosco was shaking his head. "No," he said. "Everything's not fine. MY cousin was shot as a deputy in MY sheriff's department. Ain't nothin' gonna be fine from now on." Rosco turned away and looked toward the door leading to the emergency room. The Dukes looked at each other, not knowing what to say to convince Rosco that things had actually turned out for the better. But Rosco knew that things wouldn't be the same from now on.

A few minutes later, the ER doctor came out to the waiting room and told Rosco that MaryAnne would be fine. Rosco was allowed to see her for just a few minutes, being told that she must rest.

Rosco paused just before going into the room where MaryAnne was. He had his hat clutched in his hand and he looked at, calling to mind the image of the little girl who used to take it from him all the time when he visited. None of what had happened now was supposed to happen. He was suppose to protect her, that's what he had promise Eli before the older Coltrane had passed on a year ago. It's what he had been doing since MaryAnne was a little girl. But now, now the delicate balance had been thrown off and Rosco knew that from that moment on, he would probably not let MaryAnne out of his sight.

Rosco took a moment to pull himself together and he went into the room.

Friends and neighbors, you can bet that Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane will never allow something like this to ever happen again.

The next day, Belanger and his partner were arrested by the state police. There turned out to be a $10,000 reward for the capture of Belanger, which was awarded to the Hazzard County Sheriff's Department. Ol' Boss didn't even try to take it away and claim it as his own figuring might as well use the money to repair all three patrol cars of the sheriff's department than to have it come out of his own pocket. And as Rosco watched the state police cruiser drive out of Hazzard Square, it would have appeared that things were returning to normal.

But for Rosco, the change had just begun.