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
Rivington
County
vs. Coltrane

by: Lisa Philbrick

 

It was one of those days when what you expected was gonna happen, didn't. Livin' in Hazzard County, the Dukes could almost be guaranteed that at some point during the week, trouble would find them. But it didn't exactly find them this week.

It all started on a typical quiet, early Hazzard mornin'. The Dukes were busy with their chores and Deputy MaryAnne Coltrane was out on patrol, near the Rivington County line. And folks, trouble was watin'...

A lone white Plymouth Fury rounded the corner and pulled onto another dirt road, putting it in the direction of the county line. In the back seat, a German shepherd dog lay comfortably, snoozing. At the wheel, Deputy MaryAnne Coltrane stifled a yawn and guided the patrol car over the road, turning through a broad turn that would take her to where the road forked, one direction going to Rivington County, the other back to Hazzard. It was a route she had traveled many times and it was always the same scenery. Which was pretty much nothing at all.

But on this morning, a different scene revealed itself as MaryAnne came around the turn. Just across the county line into Rivington, off the side of the road was a parked car with somebody inside. The driver door was wide open.

MaryAnne slowed her cruiser down and brought it to a stop at the fork, looking at the car and person who were about twenty-five feet away from her.

"Hey!" she called from her open window. "Are you awright over there?"

There was no movement in the car. From the distance, MaryAnne couldn't tell if they were sleeping or if something was seriously wrong. Bandit now was awake and standing in the back seat, looking out the window. MaryAnne turned the wheel of her patrol car and crossed the county line. She stopped behind the parked car and out of habit turned the gumballs on before getting out. She walked to the other vehicle.

She looked at the person sitting in the driver's seat, a woman probably between 35 and 40 with medium length black hair and a pale yellow dress on. MaryAnne gently shook the woman's shoulder. "Ma'am? Are you okay?"

The woman made no response. MaryAnne looked around the car and studied the woman's face. Either she was a heavy sleeper or she was unconscious for some other reason, but there was nothing in the car that would indicate any other reason. No bottles of pills, or booze. The woman didn't appear to be violated in anyway. There were no easily visible bruise marks or anything. The dress was clean and pressed and fitted right. All in all, she merely looked like she was sleeping. MaryAnne gently took a hold of the woman's right wrist and felt a normal pulse beating.

"Hmm..." MaryAnne walked back to her patrol car and leaned into the window, bringing the radio mike back out with her. "This is Deputy MaryAnne Coltrane of Hazzard County callin' the Rivington County Sheriff, come back." She looked back at the car as she waited for a reply but nothing ever came. MaryAnne looked at her car and repeated her call.

Still no reply. MaryAnne frowned and leaned into the car to change the channel, trying her call again.

Nothing.

"Jumpin' geehosafat..." she muttered. She switched back to the Hazzard channel and stood up straight from the window. "Rosco, this is MaryAnne, ya got yer ears on?"

"This is Rosco. Uh, MaryAnne you're not usin' the proper radio procedure."

"Since when did we have a proper radio procedure?" she asked with a grin. "Besides, it's too early in the mornin' for anybody to give a turkey anyway. Listen, I'm out here by the Rivington County line and I've got a problem."

While MaryAnne was talking to Rosco on the radio, unbeknownst to her, there were three men from the Rivington County Sheriff's department watching from across the road behind some thick brush.

Didn't I say there was trouble waitin'?

"I'll drive out an' give ya a hand," Rosco was saying. "Meantime, ya better put a call in to Tri-County."

"Will do--uh--" she cleared her throat and spoke with authority. "I mean, that's an affirmative, Sheriff. Ten-four. Over n' out."

A giggle came back through the radio. "Yer over n' out awright..."

MaryAnne chuckled and leaned in to switch the radio channel. She came back out the window and got as far as saying "This is Deputy--" when two things happened. Bandit suddenly became very agitated and tried to push himself forward enough to get his head out the driver side window. MaryAnne only had a split second to look at him before a searing pain at the base of her neck swallowed her consciousness into the black. The radio mike dropped from her hand and she was caught before she hit the ground.

A dark haired Rivington County deputy smirked as he smacked the night stick against his hand. "Put her over by the car," he told the brown haired deputy that had caught MaryAnne before she hit the ground. The deputy nodded and carried her over to the black haired woman's car laying her face down by the left front tire.

The woman in the car was now awake and she watched the two men. The third man, the Sheriff of Rivington County, walked up and looked down at the Hazzard deputy. His chuckle was sinister. "She's a lot better lookin' than that Hogg deputy I thought we were gonna to get," he said. He then turned to the woman in the car. "Ya did real good, honey. Just gotta do it one more time for the Hazzard Sheriff. And then it's all over."

The dark haired deputy snorted with night stick still in hand. "Yeah. For them."

Man, I hate it when Hazzard folk find themselves in this kinda trouble...and ol' Rosco's about to walk right into it.

Rosco saw MaryAnne's patrol car and her lying on the ground near the other vehicle. "Jit!" he exclaimed and stopped his car a couple feet back from MaryAnne's. Bandit was back at the window again seeing Rosco as he passed by on his way to where his cousin lay face down on the ground. He hurried and kneeled down beside her. He hardly glanced at the woman in the car.

"MaryAnne? Sweetheart, can ya hear me?" Suddenly Bandit started barking and Rosco sensed something behind him. He turned to look, catching a nanosecond glimpse of a man in a dark brown police uniform before being struck with the night stick and knocked unconscious.

The woman in the car opened her eyes and looked down at the unconscious Sheriff and deputy as the Rivington officers gathered around. "Awright," the dark haired deputy said, "let's get these two to the jail and get those patrol cars out of here."

Bandit was still barking his head off.

"Collins, shut that damn dog up will ya?"

The brown haired deputy walked to MaryAnne's patrol car, yelling at Bandit to cease his barking. The German shepherd was undeterred until Collins came directly up to the dog and told it to "shut up!" Bandit stopped barking and stepped back from the window.

About an hour later, Bo and Luke had gone into town to pick up some things for Jesse -- like pralines. The remainin' half of the Sheriff's department was wonderin' what had happened to the first half. Ya know it's a wonder between the four of them that ever make up a whole to begin with?

"Ding dang it, Cletus," Enos said. The two deputies were standing near their patrol cars in front of the courthouse. "We tried the CB, we called out their house. We just checked by the county line. It's like they've disappeared!"

Cletus shook his head and rolled his eyes. "They haven't disappeared," he said. "They're just misplaced." He looked out across the square, spotting the General Lee. "Hey, there's them Dukes over there. We can ask if they've seen 'em. They misplace Rosco all the time."

The two deputies headed across the square.

Meanwhile, in the courthouse, Boss was receiving a phone call...

"Who is this?...What??..." Boss listened. "Oh! The low down, cheatenest, no good, son of a revenuer Commissioner of Rivington County! Been while since I've heard from you." Boss's tone dropped to annoyed. "What do you want?"

"I've got some bad news for you Mr. Hogg..." Rivington County Commissioner Grover Gaines said. "I regret to have to inform you that your Sheriff and one of your deputies will be spending some time in my county jail. They've been arrested on some very serious charges..."

"Serious charges? What? What kinda of shuck n' jive you tryin' to pull now Gaines?"

"It's no jive, Hogg. Sheriff Coltrane and Deputy Coltrane are being held for using excessive force outside of their jurisdiction against two of my citizens. I'm surprised you keep such violent, merciless officers on your force."

"Excessive force? Violent?? Rosco and MaryAnne??? They wouldn't hurt a fly!"

"Hmm.... perhaps you've missed judged them, Mr. Hogg. The evidence I have and eye witness accounts I have say otherwise. Nonetheless, I thought you should be made aware."

"How generous of you..."

"Mr. Hogg, I realize your Sheriff's department is small, and I don't believe that Hazzard should be left short of officers because of the merciless, cowardly acts of just two. Therefore, I'm willing to offer a few deputies from my department to help out over there in Hazzard."

"Ha! Not on yer life! You think I've forgotten the last 30 years Gaines? I know what you're tryin' to pull, and it ain't gonna work. Rosco and MaryAnne are innocent and I'm gonna see to it that they're sprung from your rotten jail. Goodbye!" Boss slammed the phone down. "Hmph!"

You may recall that just about every phone call in Hazzard is over heard by one of two people. Maybel Tillingham or Gussy Peabody. It was Gussy's turn today and soon as Boss had hung up, Gussy rang over to Lulu to let her know what had happened. You might say the sorghum hit the fertilizer at that point...

When Lulu Coltrane Hogg was on the move, people immediately moved out of the way. Lulu walked from the house to the courthouse like a woman on a mission and she sputtered and cursed Boss the whole trip there. By the time she got up the stairs of the courthouse and into the booking room, she had built up a full head of steam which was promptly blown at Boss when she stormed into his office.

"JD HOGG!! You're not gonna sit there and let my baby brother and baby cousin rot in jail are you??"

"GAH!" Boss looked up from his desk, startled. "Lulu, how'd you--?"

"Gussy just told me. Now you better be doing something! You know neither one of them would so much as hurt a fly!"

"I know that lambchop," Boss said, standing up. He came around the desk and put his arm around his wife. "And I'm gonna do everything I can to get them back. Now don't you worry none. Now why don't you head on back home and have half a couple dozen bon bon's and everything's gonna be okay..."

"You know that Grover Gaines is an awful man, JD! There's no tellin' what he might to do Rosco n' MaryAaaaaannnne." Lulu was sobbing now.

"There there now, just take it easy, I'm gonna git them out of there."

"How can I take it easy?! All those horrible stories of people disappearing over there in Rivington County...!"

"Plus all those times he's tried to muscle in on Hazzard." Boss patted Lulu's shoulder. "I know, buttercup, I know..." And boy did he...



Back across the square, Cletus and Enos were not getting the answer they wanted from Bo and Luke.

"We ain't seen 'em," Luke said. "Although now you mention it, the drive into town did seem a little quieter than usual."

"They're not answerin' on the radio?" Bo asked.

"No," Enos said. "We've tried the radio, we checked out at their house and we checked at the Rivington County line, which is where they last were."

"Rivington County?" Bo said. "What were they doin' way out there?"

"MaryAnne found an unconscious driver," Cletus said. "She tried callin' the Rivington County Sheriff but got no response."

Bo snorted. "A likely story."

"MaryAnne called Sheriff Rosco and we ain't seen them since," Enos said.

"Maybe they had to go into Rivington, official police business and all that," Bo suggested.

"That may be possible, Bo," Enos said, "but it's not like the Sheriff or MaryAnne to not call in, especially with it being so close to the 8am shift change."

Bo and Luke looked at each other. Maybe something really was wrong...

"Tell ya what Enos, me and Bo will keep an eye out for them. We'll let ya know if we see or hear anything."

"I appreciate that, Luke."

"Don't worry, Enos, I'm sure nothing's happened to them," Bo said.

"I hope you're right, Bo." Enos sighed. "I sure hope you're right..."


A little later, as the Dukes drove back to the farm...

"I think Enos thinks something really bad happened to them," Bo said. He glanced over to his cousin. "You think something bad happened to them?"

Luke shook his head, but it was one of those 'I dunno' kind of shakes. "I hope not," he said. "He does seem pretty concerned tho'."

"Well, it's been said when people go into Rivington County, they don't come back."

Luke snorted. "Bo, that's an old swamp tale."

"Yeah, well Rivington County is half swamp! Kind of place where even low lying snakes like Boss wouldn't hide out."

Luke paused in thought. "Didn't Boss butt heads a few times with the commissioner over there?"

"Yeah, I think so... Been a few years but yeah..." Bo paused. "You think this is the start of something new?"

"Possible."

That boy's pretty sharp.

Now ol' Rosco woulda figured on all that before Luke did...if he'd been awake to. Remember what Boss said about Gaines' rotten jail? He wasn't just sayin' that either...

Rosco slowly awoke to the smell of the dingy Rivington County jail. The old jail cot he had been deposited on smelled musty and that along with the stale air permeated his nose. He opened his eyes and looked around the dark cell. There was very little light even from the single fluorescent light that over looked the sentry desk where a lone Rivington County deputy sat, the same dark haired one that had knocked both Rosco and MaryAnne unconscious. Smoke from the cigarette he held in his hand gathered in a cloud around the light and his grey blue eyes were studying Rosco.

Rosco's cell consisted of three concrete walls and then the bars that faced the deputy and sentry desk. Naturally, Rosco had no way of knowing that on the other side of the wall on his left was MaryAnne. He ventured a look at the deputy.

The deputy took a drag on his cigarette and blew a string of smoke in Rosco's direction. "Usually the first question that gets asked is 'Where am I?' Ain't ya gonna ask me where ya at?"

Rosco cleared his throat. "I think I know where I am. I'm in the Rivington County jail."

"Very good! Shoot, maybe you ain't as dumb as they say you are."

Rosco just glared at the deputy. "Where's MaryAnne?"

"Aw she's right next to ya there..." The deputy leaned back to look in at MaryAnne, who was still lying unconscious on the cot. "She's still gettin' her beauty sleep."

Rosco absently rubbed the back of his head, still feeling the ache from where he was hit. "Why are we locked up like this? What happened?"

The deputy faked his surprise. "You don't know, Sheriff? Why you n' your deputy are in here on some very serious charges."

Rosco waited for more but the deputy wouldn't give. "What charges?"

"Excessive use of force, p'lice brutality, assaultin' a motorist... tsk, I dunno what kinda law y'all practice over there in Hazzard but we don't cotton to that kinda police conduct here in Rivington County."

"Assault? Are you kiddin' me?? I'm the one that got assaulted! I got clunked on the back of the head. I never hit nobody!"

"Waalll, that ain't what the lady and her husband told us. Although the husband did tell us that he managed to strike the two of you before you n' your deputy tried to kill 'em."

"What??" Rosco was on his feet now and he grabbed a hold of the bars, looking at the deputy. "That ain't true!"

The deputy started laughing. "That's what they all say, Sheriff! Don't ya know everybody's guilty 'til proven innocent?"

Rosco swallowed. Wasn't that something he had always said? Although he often muttered the words in bitterness, they came back to him now like a slap in the face. He slowly let go of the bars and stepped back, finding he could say nothing more.

The deputy chuckled as Rosco turned back to the bunk. Rosco knew he and MaryAnne weren't guilty....but he wondered if they were going to be proven innocent.

Boy howdy...ol' Rosco looks like he just took a sip of some rotten moonshine, and the label says Rivington County Justice.

Y'all may remember Cacious Claiborne of Osage County? Well y'all ain't met Grover Gaines, the boss of Rivington County. Grover's been the boss of Rivington nearly as long as Boss Hogg's been runnin' Hazzard. And, for nearly as long, Grover's tried several times to muscle in on Hazzard but he's never been successful. For the last few years he hasn't made any attempts because the Feds have been watching him closely. They've tried to nail him for racketeering and election fraud charges but to no avail. He's also been linked to various missing persons cases too. He's as greedy and conniving as Boss Hogg, but more sinister. He's been known to employ all forms of crime and vice in his county...

Grover Gaines was a big fellow, like most of the Southern county boss's in the area, although his girth easily out matched Boss Hogg's. Contrasting to Boss Hogg, Grover Gaines usually wore dark colored suits, dark browns and blacks mostly. He never wore a hat, as he had a full head of black hair, color maintained by Grecian formula. His mustache was just as dark too. His eyes, however, were darker than all.

Gaines had traveled the same road of graft and political corruption as Boss Hogg, but where Boss believed that violence was bad for business, Gaines didn't really care either way. He used violence to gain business, keep it, and as punishment for losing it. He reaped generously from his efforts, as shown by the affluence of the decoration of his courthouse office, the size of his home and his stately Cadillac. He'd have made crime bosses in Atlanta and Nashville jealous....and terrified. For some reason, graft and corruption born of the swamplands was more dangerous than that born of the steel and concrete of the city. It was one thing to die by a bullet in a dark alley....it was something else to be made alligator lunch.

But it was the cursed swamplands that drove Grover Gaines to find some sort of betterment. What he couldn't accomplish within the swamps of Rivington County he knew he could achieve with Hazzard. And despite his failures in the past to take over such a fruitful county, he was more determined than ever to claim it.

He thought of this as he gazed out the window of his courthouse house office. With half the Hazzard County Sheriff's department under arrest, it would only be a matter of time before Boss Hogg gave in. Gaines would patiently wait.

He turned to his desk and looked at his sheriff seated across the way. Sheriff Biklen was a fair haired, fair skinned man in his early fifties, with intense washed out blue eyes. Contrasting to Grover Gaines, Biklen was slim, but just as mean.

"What did Hogg say when you contacted him?" Biklen asked.

"Exactly what I expected him to say," Gaines replied, sitting down at the desk. "He has declined my offer of the services of your department -- for now. He also said that he will soon be springing Sheriff and Deputy Coltrane from my jail. However, he has no idea what price he will have to pay to do that."

Biklen smirked. "I'm surprised tho' that we nabbed a deputy with the same last name as the sheriff. I thought we were supposed to be grabbing one of Hogg's kin folk?"

"We were, but apparently the Hazzard patrol shifts changed." Gaines paused. "I was counting on having the deputy Hogg and the sheriff, seeing as they're family to Hogg, plus they're both stupid. But this other deputy must be related to the sheriff. Although I don't know anything about her, if she's related to Coltrane she can't be too bright either."

The Rivington Sheriff thought of the young female deputy for a moment. Gaines could tell, by the way the Biklen looked that the Sheriff's thoughts were not pure. "We can take care of her if she gets too smart," Biklen said with gleam still in his eyes.

"No." Gaines said firmly. "There'll be none of that until after the trial and they've been convicted and sentenced." Gaines paused and a slow smile crept to his serious face. "Then...you can do with both of them as you wish..."

The sheriff's smile was like the glint in a snake's eyes.

You wouldn't bring him home to momma, now would ya?

Back in Hazzard, Boss had called an emergency meetin' of the remainin' members of the Sheriff's department, to let them know what was going on.

"See Enos? I knew they didn't disappear. They're just in the Rivington County jail--" Cletus stopped suddenly and looked at Boss. "Rivington County jail?!"

"Possumonagumbush, Mr. Hogg! Why are they in jail??"

"Well I ain't all that sure, but I think maybe Grover Gaines is tryin' to find a way to muscle in on Hazzard and all my various enterprises, which you may remember he's tried before. Although I'd do anything to get Rosco and MaryAnne back, I can't give even an inch of Hazzard because Gaines would take everything."

"There's no guarantee we'd get them back if you did," Enos said.

"Exactly. So, in the meantime, I need you two to be as diligent as ever and keep an eye out for any suspicious lookin' characters. Meanwhile, I gotta figure a way to get Rosco and MaryAnne outta jail."

Knowin' where Rosco and MaryAnne were at, Enos called the Dukes on the CB to let them know...

Jesse stood in the kitchen with his kin behind him and CB mike in his hand. He thanked Enos for the information and placed the mike down, turning to Bo, Luke and Daisy.

"They're in jail?" Daisy asked, overwhelmed.

Jesse nodded. "He didn't say what fer tho'."

"With Grover Gaines, it could be just about anything," Luke said.

"Looks like you were right, Luke," Bo said. "Gaines might be tryin' to muscle in on Hazzard again."

"And if that's true, he's not about to let Rosco and MaryAnne go for anything," Jesse said. He paused and then added. "If at all."

"He can't hold them forever," Bo said.

"He can," Jesse said, "and he probably will. He's put a lot of people away to prison over the years, didn't matter if they were innocent or not."

"So all those stories about people disappearing in the swamps were really people being sent prison?" Bo said.

"Most of them," Jesse replied. "Knowing Grover Gaines, some of them did disappear in the swamps over there."

The thought of Rosco and MaryAnne disappearing in such a manner troubled the Dukes and they all saw it in each other's eyes as they looked at each other. Luke spoke for them all.

"I think we owe it to ourselves and the county to help in anyway we can to keep Gaines from taking over and get Rosco and MaryAnne back. Alive..."

 

Back at the Rivington County jail, MaryAnne was waking up. Her head hurt and she didn't enjoy the smells that tickled her nose.

"Blech..." she said softly. She opened her eyes and her dark surroundings gave her a start. She sat up quick and then realized she was in a jail cell. The deputy who had been on guard earlier was gone. The jail area was quiet.

MaryAnne groaned as she stood up from the bunk. She rubbed the back of her neck and walked to the bars. "Hey! Where the heck am I?"

"Yer in the Rivington County jail," Rosco answered. MaryAnne heard his feet shuffle to the bars on the other side of the wall that was between them. "And you'll never believe why."

"Why?"

"Excessive use of force, assaultin' a motorist and, if those aren't good enough, attempted murder."

"What?! I was clunked on the back of the head!"

"I know. You were already out cold when I found ya. Then somebody clunked me. If'n any body got assaulted it was us!"

"So what the heck did we do to be selected for this nice frame up?"

"I dunno..." Rosco sighed and paused. "Although I could offer a theory."

"What?"

"Well, the boss of Rivington County is a fella by the name of Grover Gaines, and he n' Boss Hogg have battled in the past. Gaines has tried to take over Hazzard a couple of times."

"Really?" MaryAnne thought about this for a moment, realizing she didn't know beans about Rivington County, other than it was mostly swamp. "Now, Rosco, you may be the best law man Boss's money can buy, but what makes this Gaines fella think that Boss Hogg is gonna trade half of Hazzard for our release?"

"You don't know how Grover Gaines operates."

MaryAnne paused. "What do you mean?"

"Do you know anything about Rivington County?"

"Not really. Only that it's mostly swamp."

"Well it's been said that when people go to Rivington County...they don't come back."

MaryAnne snorted. "Rosco, c'mon. Yer kidding?"

"No. I ain't."

MaryAnne looked around the dingy jail cell she stood in and then back to the front corner, seeing Rosco's hand clasped around one of the bars of his cell. She couldn't see his face, but she knew from the tone of his voice that he wasn't kidding.

"Rosco..." she said softly. "Tell me about this Gaines fella..."

While Rosco was telling MaryAnne what he knew about Grover Gaines and Rivington County, Gaines wasn't wastin' time in settin' the next part of his plan into action...

At Rheubottom's General Store, two masked men suddenly came running out, one flashing a gun, the other holding a paper bag with their loot. They jumped into their rusty brown Mercury sedan and squealed away. Mr. Rheubottom then came running out shouting he had been robbed.

Next door, Cooter heard the commotion and saw the car tearing into the square. Across the street, Cletus too saw it has he was walking to his patrol car.

"Cletus!" Mr. Rheubottom called, running across the street. "Those two men, they just robbed my store!"

"Buzzards on a buzz saw!" Cletus looked toward the square, seeing the brown car disappear down a road and he hurried around his patrol car. "I'm after 'em!" he hollered as he jumped in and fired up the Plymouth.

Mr. Rheubottom got out of the way as Cletus brought the patrol car around and roared off into the square with siren wailing.

"Stay here, Mr. Rheubottom," Cooter called, running to his truck. "I'm gonna give ol' Cletus a hand." The blue and white tow truck fired up and the tires gave a short yelp against the pavement before circling around into the square.

Mr. Rheubottom hurried back to this store, to close things up and preserve any evidence the two men may have left.

While all hell was breakin' loose in town...it was about to break loose elsewhere too...

Daisy pulled up to the Boar's Nest at quarter to eleven and saw Boss's Caddy was already parked out front. She stepped out of her Jeep and fished her key out of her purse as she walked to the door.

Once unlocked, she stepped inside and headed toward the bar. Boss had his office door open.

"Howdy, Boss."

"Oh, hello Daisy."

Outside, a maroon four door Dodge pulled up. Two men got out of the car, wearing ski masks and brandishing guns and they headed to the door of the Boar's Nest.

Daisy looked up from behind the bar as they came barreling in. She gasped and immediately held her hands up upon seeing the guns.

"Do exactly as we tell you and you won't get hurt."

Daisy nodded. Boss heard the voices and got up from the table in his office to see what was going on. "What's goin' on out here? AHH!"

The other gun man saw him and pointed his gun at him. Boss immediately put his hands up. "What in blazes is this?" he demanded.

"A robbery dummy! You stay right there."

The first gun man spoke to Daisy. "Get over there with fatso."

Daisy did as she was told and came out from behind the bar, walking over to stand next to Boss.

While the second gun man kept an eye on them, the first one proceeded to go behind the bar and empty the register. He shoved the few piddly dollars that were in there into the pockets of his dark brown jacket. He hurried back around the bar.

"Wait a minute, man," the second gunman said. "There's a safe in that office." He gestured briefly with his gun.

The first gun man went to look. He then looked at Boss. "You. Open it."

"I don't have the combination--"

The man raised the gun to Boss. "Now!"

"Ahh! Awright, awright!" Boss scurried into the office and went to the safe with the first gunman standing over him as Boss kneeled before the safe.

"Uh, lemme think, lemme think....uh..." Boss cringed. "I just can't seem to remember the combination..."

"Maybe this'll help..." Boss suddenly had the muzzle of a .32 within a hairs touch of his face and nose.

"Uh, it's all coming back to me now..." Boss cleared his throat and spun the dial, setting the combination. The safe popped open.

Several large bills were bundled at the bottom of the safe. The gunman held his hand out. "Hand it over. C'mon!"

"But...this is money for the poor widows and orphans of Hazzard County--"

"Just shut up and hand it over!"

Boss started handing. The gun man shoved the money inside his jacket and when the safe was empty, quickly walked out of the office. He and his partner back tracked out of the Boar's Nest and ran for their car. Boss came out of his office once he heard the door shut.

"Argh! What a time for Rosco and MaryAnne to be in the hoosegow!" Boss exclaimed. He ran back into his office and to the CB box, while Daisy went to the door to see which way the crooks went.

"Enos! Cletus! This is JD Hogg. I've just been robbed!"

"Flapjacks on a Ferris wheel! You too?"

"What do you mean me too?"

"Mr. Rheubottom's store was just robbed a few minutes ago. I'm chasin' after those crooks now."

"Well forget those crooks! These crooks just made off with all the money from my safe here at the Boar's Nest!"

"Well shoot Cousin Boss, maybe Enos can chase 'em...I'm probably 15 miles away, I'll never get there to intercept."

"Argh! Enos! Enos, are you out there? Where are you?"

"I hear ya, Mr. Hogg," Enos said, "but I'm too far away too. Somebody stole David Little's car right out of the mill's parking area."

"Don't tell me you're in hot pursuit too?"

"No sir. I'm at the mill, filling out a stolen vehicle report."

"Argh! You lug nuts, they're probably half way into Chickasaw by now with my money!"

Daisy came into the office. "They ain't headin' toward Chickasaw. They went the other way."

"Went the other way? But that takes them to town. What are they going that way for?"

Because that's the way you get back to Rivington County....

David Little's white 1971 Camaro met up with the maroon Dodge that just robbed the Boar's Nest just beyond the town limits of Hazzard. The two cars raced toward the Rivington county line.

On another road, Cletus was just about to lose the chase with the two that robbed Rheubottom's. The rusty brown Mercury flew over the county line into Rivington and as soon as it cleared a spike strip popped up behind it.

Although Cooter was about three car lengths behind Cletus, he saw the spike strip. "Cletus!!"

"GAAAAHHH!" Cletus jumped on the brakes but couldn't stop the Fury in time and the patrol car hit the spikes, killing all four tires. The disabled patrol car slid to a stop and the Mercury was making a clean getaway.

Cooter slammed the brakes on his truck and came to a stop just five feet from the spike strip. He let out the breath he'd been holding and looked up as Cletus got out of the patrol car.

"Better luck next time, Cletus! C'mon, I'll drive ya back to town."

Cletus took a step away from the patrol car and a shot rang out. Glass broke on driver's side back window and Cletus broke into a run to the truck.

Cooter saw a bullet skip in the dirt behind Cletus. "Holy--!" He immediately threw the transmission into reverse. Cletus grabbed the passenger door, yanking it open and pulling himself up into the truck as Cooter was beginning to back the truck up. Cooter shifted the transmission again forward and a bullet pinged off the front fender of the truck as Cooter brought it around broadside. Cletus shut the door and the truck threw dirt back as it tore off heading back to town.

"Yi! Yi! Yi!" was about all Cletus could come out with as Cooter sped down the road. "ACK! GWAAHH!"

"You'd think they just robbed a bank with all that!" Cooter exclaimed. "I dunno about you Cletus, but I think somebody's done declared open season on the Hazzard County Sheriff's department!"

After the tow truck zoomed past another road, the white Camaro and rusty Dodge came out and headed toward Rivington County, where the spike strip was now dropped, welcoming the two cars in.

Cletus looked like he was about to lose his lunch, so Cooter pointed the truck to the Duke farm. After the truck came flying into the yard and to a dust choking stop, Cletus leapt out and made a bee line for the farm house, leaving Cooter to ask permission from Jesse for use of the facilities.

"Cooter what in tarnation is going on?" Jesse asked from the door way of the barn. Bo and Luke had been splitting wood in front of the porch and had watched Cletus as he flew by them and into the farm house.

"Y'all ain't gonna believe what just happened..." Cooter said.

While Cooter was tellin' the boys and Jesse what had happened to Cletus, Rosco had finished explainin' all he knew about Grover Gaines and Rivington County to MaryAnne. And MaryAnne certainly didn't feel any better about the situation she and Rosco were in.

MaryAnne had found a tarnished tin cup in her cell and she clanged it against the bars. "Hey! Can't a prisoner get any decent service in this joint?! Like a plate of due process with a side of Miranda?!"

"Khee..."

MaryAnne softly chuckled. "Ya like that one?"

"I like that one."

MaryAnne listened for a deputy to come down the stairs but nothing came. She clanged the cup again, severely altering the shape of it.

"Hellooooo?! I'm talkin' to ya Rivington County! Get the swamp muck out of your ears and git down heah!"

The jail door at the top of the stairs clanged opened and boot steps clomped down the stairs. An ugly looking deputy, a different one from the two that had taken part on the ambush on the Coltranes, passed Rosco's cell and looked at MaryAnne.

"Somethin' ya want?"

"I'm entitled to a phone call."

The deputy snorted. "Just yell a little louder, they oughta hear ya just fine."

MaryAnne shook the mutilated tin cup at the deputy. "I can yell enough to give ya a headache. Open the door, I want to make a phone call."

The deputy chewed his tobacco for a moment. "The sheriff wondered if you were gonna be trouble..." He took his key from his gun belt and unlocked the door.

"No more trouble than any other prisoner..." MaryAnne said as she stepped out of the cell. She headed for the stairs.

MaryAnne can be more trouble than a new baby when she wants to be, but I hope she's careful. I don't trust them Rivington County snakes...

When MaryAnne was brought up from the cells, she had to squint in the light from the windows of the booking room. The room was a harsh contrast to the jail cell she and Rosco were being held in. It was a fairly modern looking booking room and it was clean, although the tobacco and cigarette smell mixed together ruined the look. MaryAnne was escorted to the Sheriff's office and was shown the phone. The deputy then left, but the door remained open. MaryAnne dialed the Hazzard operator.

"Maybel, this is MaryAnne."

"MaryAnne! I heard about what happened to you and Rosco. Are y'all okay?"

MaryAnne blinked. How'd Maybel know? "Uh, yeah we're awright. Listen, can ya find Boss for me?"

"Sure thing, hold on."

MaryAnne looked around the office while she waited for the call to connect. It wasn't all that different from any other Sheriff's office. There were old time wanted posters on the wall, commendations, pictures of the sheriff with other officers, some mean looking Doberman dogs and muck brown colored Rivington County patrol cars. Some pictures were too small for MaryAnne to see. Suddenly the line was ringing and Boss answered.

"MaryAnne, honey, are you awright? Is Rosco awright?"

"Yeah, we're okay. We're in the Rivington County jail and we're here on some pretty heavy trumped up charges."

"I know," Boss said. "Gaines called me earlier to tell me and then offered the services of his sheriff's department to help out here in Hazzard."

MaryAnne rolled her eyes. That's how Maybel knew... "How neighborly of him," she said. "You didn't accept did you?"

"No! And I ain't gonna accept it either, despite the fact a crime wave has conveniently hit Hazzard."

"Look, Boss, Rosco told me about this Gaines fella and I know that you know what you gotta do to keep him from muscling in on Hazzard--"

"Yeah, but I don't plan on having him keep y'all from comin' back to Hazzard to do it. So you just sit tight, I'm gonna git you 'n Rosco outta there."

"Awright..." MaryAnne glanced behind her, seeing the deputies loitering in the booking area. "Listen, Boss, I gotta go. I'm sure we've had an audience for this call anyway, but I'm attracting a crowd."

"Ok. You be careful MaryAnne. And Rosco too."

"We will. We'll see ya soon." MaryAnne hung up.

Boss hung up too and looked at the phone. "I sure hope so..."

MaryAnne stepped out of the Sheriff's office and the ugly deputy stepped up to escort her back down to her cell.

"I have one more thing," MaryAnne said.

"Demandin' ain't ya?"

"Where's my dog?"

"Ya mean that vicious animal that attacked Deputy Collins here?"

MaryAnne glanced at the brown haired deputy and cast glances at the other deputies who had gathered around. "That 'vicious animal'," she said, "is a trained police dog, who doesn't attack unless ordered to do so or severely provoked." She eyed the officers in the booking area. "Of course, none of you would know a police dog if it bit y'all in the a---"

"Your dog's in the dog pound," the ugly deputy said grabbing a hold of MaryAnne's arm, "and the sheriff may decide to have it put down for attacking Deputy Collins." He pushed her to the jail door.

"You can't do that!" MaryAnne exclaimed, squirming in the deputy's tight grip. "You can't put that dog down!"

"We can in Rivington County!" The deputy pushed MaryAnne down the stairs. Rosco heard the commotion and stood at the bars of his cell and watched.

"Any dog that viciously attacks somebody is put down. And the more demanding you get, the quicker that dog is going to go!" He pushed MaryAnne into her cell and the door clanged shut. The deputy locked it and then left.

After the deputy's boot steps were gone up the stairs, silence hung in the jail. From the last two sentences Rosco heard the deputy say to MaryAnne, he realized it wasn't just him and her that were in trouble.

"MaryAnne?"

There was a pause. "I got through to Boss. He already knew we were here," she said.

Rosco could almost hear the hesitation. "I heard the deputy..." he said.

A heavy sigh came from the other cell. "They say Bandit attacked one of those slimy deputies....and I think they're gonna kill my dog...."

Rosco closed his eyes. "Aw MaryAnne..."

"You didn't have Flash with you in the car this morning did you?"

"No..."

"Good."

Rosco put his hand over his face, saying a silent prayer for not only himself and MaryAnne, but Bandit too.

Friends, this is serious. If Bandit's possibly going to get the death sentence for allegedly attacking a deputy, I wondered what Rosco and MaryAnne are gonna get for allegedly attacking the motorist?

Back in Hazzard, Cletus had calmed down enough from his ordeal....

Cooter, Cletus and the Dukes were now gathered in the Dukes kitchen, discussing the latest events in the county.

"It's like I was sayin' to Cletus y'all," Cooter said, "somebody done declared open season on the Hazzard Sheriff's department."

"And that somebody is Grover Gaines," Jesse said. "I'd be willin' to bet these robberies were all his doing."

"Which would make sense," Bo said. "He's taken out half the Sheriff's department, now he's trying to put pressure on Boss."

"And he's probably made some demands on Boss already," Luke said.

"Which ol' JD Hogg ain't gonna give into right quick," Cooter said.

"Which means Gaines is gonna throw more muscle this way," Luke said and looked at Cletus. "And you and Enos are gonna need help."

Cletus nodded.

"So what are we gonna do?" Bo asked.

"Well why don't we head out to the Boar's Nest and talk to Boss. Have Enos meet us there and we'll have ourselves a little Hazzard County pow wow."

*****

Grover Gaines turned from the window that looked out on the town of Rivington to his Sheriff who entered the office.

"Did the boys have any trouble?" he asked.

"None. Brewster and Jones had a deputy chasin' them. We got the patrol car but not the deputy." Sheriff Biklen sat down in one of the chairs near Gaines desk. "He got away in a tow truck."

Gaines raised an eyebrow. "Tow truck?" he paused, thinking. "That's the Davenport fella."

Biklen nodded.

"Do you know which deputy it was?" Gaines asked.

"The fat one. Hogg. MacNeil took a couple of shots but missed. Didn't know Hoggs could run so fast."

Gaines smirked. "You'd be surprised how fast a Hogg will run when they know they're about to be taken to slaughter."

The sheriff chuckled. "What about Coltranes?"

Gaines smirk never left his face. "We shall soon see."

Back in Hazzard at the Boar's Nest, the pow wow was in full swing....

"He hasn't made any demands exactly," Boss said. "But he's offered the services of his sheriff's department to help here while Rosco and MaryAnne are in jail over there."

"Well ain't that nice of him," Bo said. "Then he can just walk right into Hazzard and take over while his sheriff's department holds everybody hostage."

"Why don't we just bail Rosco and MaryAnne out of jail?" Daisy asked.

"Bail hasn't been set yet," Boss said. "With the seriousness of the charges they'll have to go before the circuit court tomorrow morning to set bail."

"That means they'll be taken to Greenville," Jesse said, "and go before Judge Drutin."

"Ya thinkin' we oughta bust them out between Rivington and Greenville?" Cooter asked.

Luke shook his head. "Too dangerous. From what Jesse's told us of this Gaines fella, he'll lay 'em in a grave right then and there. I suppose what we could do to start is a couple of us go to Greenville tomorrow morning and give Rosco and MaryAnne some moral support."

"I'll go," Jesse spoke up.

"I'll go with you, Uncle Jesse," Daisy said.

"Awright," Luke said. He looked at Boss. "In the meantime, Boss, I think you're gonna need some more deputies."

It took a moment but Luke suddenly had Bo, Cooter the two Hazzard deputies and Boss looking at him bug eyed. Daisy giggled.

Luke smiled and raised a hand up, giving him a moment to explain. "If Gaines is throwing two and three crime waves at Hazzard at once, Enos and Cletus ain't gonna be able to keep up."

"Luke, are you suggesting that we become deputies?" Bo asked.

"Yeah. Cooter too. Only we don't have to wear uniforms. After the pot shots they took at Cletus, they're bound to go after any blue shirt they see."

"Us?? Deputies??" Bo repeated.

Luke chuckled. "Bo, don't you see? The Sheriff's department is the first line of defense. Gaines is after Boss and the whole county. As long as Boss keeps refusing the "help" from Gaines, Gaines will keep sending thugs this way. If there are more legal deputies here in Hazzard, we can round these guys up and Gaines is bound to run out."

"Are we gonna be able to hold all these dudes in the Hazzard jail?" Cooter asked.

"Well if we have to we'll fold 'em up," Luke answered with a grin. He then looked at Boss. "What ya say Boss? Can ya stand to have me, Bo and Cooter here as deputies? For a legitimate purpose?"

"With Hazzard County in a state of war, I wouldn't feel comfortable otherwise. And Enos, I'm making you temporary acting Sheriff. I'll have you swear these boys in."

Enos grinned. "Be glad to, Mr. Hogg!"

The next morning, Jesse and Daisy drove to Greenville to witness Rivington County justice being stacked against Rosco and MaryAnne.

Jesse and Daisy sat in the Greenville circuit courtroom waiting for Rosco and MaryAnne to appear before the judge. There were two short cases called first and then Jesse and Daisy saw Rosco and MaryAnne as they were brought into the courtroom. Both were dressed in grey Rivington County jail clothes, pants and shirts and MaryAnne looked about ready to spit nails.

Jesse saw this too and then noticed the surprised look on Judge Drutin's face. The court clerk announced the case.

"Rivington County vs. Coltrane, docket 1653-D. Excessive use of force, assault and attempted murder."

Daisy turned to her uncle in surprise. "Attempted murder?" she whispered.

The clerk placed the file before the judge. Drutin took a moment to read the charges.

"I ain't believin' this," he said, looking up at Rosco and MaryAnne. He even pushed his glasses further up on his face, studying the two closer.

"Don't believe it, Your Honor--" MaryAnne managed to say before the public defender, who had just been assigned to them that morning care of Grover Gaines, turned to her and hushed her.

Drutin looked at the attorney for the county. "Counselor?"

"Your Honor, Sheriff Rosco Coltrane and Deputy MaryAnne Coltrane of Hazzard County are charged with using excessive force within the pursuit of their duties, along with assault and attempted murder."

"I read the file, counselor," Drutin said. "But I know these two. Is this some kind of joke?"

"No joke, Your Honor. We have sworn statements from the victims. However, this is not the proceeding for disclosure of those details."

"So it's not..." Drutin looked at Rosco and MaryAnne. "Mr. Coltrane...Ms. Coltrane, I'm sure you know the purpose of this proceeding is for the formal reading of charges, entering of pleas and setting of bail." He looked at the public defender. "Have the defendants been apprised of their rights?"

"They have, Your Honor."

"No, we haven't."

Drutin looked at MaryAnne and the public defender turned to her, telling her to hush.

"No," she hissed back at him.

"Ms. Coltrane, were you not apprised of your rights?" Drutin asked.

"No, You Honor. Rosco and I were never given Miranda warnings."

"Your Honor," the public defender said, "I've been assured by the council for the county that the defendants were apprised of their rights in a clear and specific fashion. Plus, they are officers of the law. They know their rights."

"No, we don't," MaryAnne said. "I have to read it off the card, I don't know it by heart."

"Your Honor," the county attorney spoke up, "I have written documentation that Miranda warnings were issued at the time of arrest."

"Really?" MaryAnne said, looking at the county attorney. "When was that? After Rosco and I were knocked unconscious?"

The courtroom suddenly buzzed with murmurs. The county attorney held his hand up. "Your Honor---"

Drutin slapped the gavel down bringing the court back to order. The public defender issued a quiet, scathing order to MaryAnne to keep her mouth shut. Or else.

"My attorney is threatening me!" MaryAnne called out.

More commotion from the gallery. Drutin slapped the gavel again. "Ms. Coltrane, although I find the circumstances surrounding these charges against you and Sheriff Coltrane strange, there will be no outbursts like that in my courtroom."

"Yes, Your Honor." MaryAnne didn't care at this point. She'd said enough to do some serious damage.

"I remind the attorney for the defense that he is here to represent the defendants and no one else."

"Of course, Your Honor."

"I also remind the prosecuting attorney that he better have all his ducks in a row with this, considering the seriousness of the charges."

"Yes, Your Honor."

"Now...despite what we've heard here, do the defendants wish to enter a plea at this time?"

"Yes, Your Honor," the public defender said. Rosco and MaryAnne stood up.

"Rosco Coltrane, on the charge of excessive use force, how do you plead?"

"Not guilty."

"MaryAnne Coltrane, on the charge of excessive use of force, how do you plead?"

"Not guilty."

Judge Drutin read the other charges, assault and attempted murder and received the same answer from each of the Coltrane cousins. Not guilty.

The county attorney then suggested that bail be set at a staggering $50,000. A piece. Although the charges were serious against the Coltranes, Judge Drutin had to keep his personal feelings out of it. Based on fact and law, and adding he knew of Rosco and MaryAnne professionally to what the public defender left out, he managed to bring the bail down to $15,000 a piece. Still staggering, considering neither Rosco nor MaryAnne would probably ever see $15,000 in their lifetimes.

Once all the issues of the hearing were settled, Drutin dismissed the court. Rosco and MaryAnne stood up and MaryAnne cast a glance back to gallery. To her surprise she saw Jesse and Daisy, pushing their way forward.

"MaryAnne!" Daisy waved.

MaryAnne nudged her cousin and pointed. Rosco looked and grinned at seeing two familiar faces. "What the heck are you two doing here?" he asked when the came up to the court bar.

"We heard what happened," Daisy said.

"And we came to give ya some support," Jesse added.

MaryAnne smiled. "Thanks." She looked around cautiously. "Rosco and I are in some deep doo doo here."

"We know you're being framed," Daisy said.

"I think it's more 'n that, Daisy," MaryAnne said. The bailiff was behind them now, telling they had to go. "I don't think they were expectin' Judge Drutin to know us," she said quickly before she and Rosco obeyed the bailiff and turned to be escorted out of the courtroom.

Daisy looked at Jesse and saw her uncle shake his head. "No...I don't think they were either..."

When Jesse and Daisy got back to Hazzard, they told everyone what had happened in Greenville...

"MaryAnne was making all kinds of outbursts," Daisy said, looking at everyone that had gathered in the booking room. "She said they hadn't been informed of their rights and then something about her and Rosco being knocked unconscious. And I don't think that public defender they had was doing all that much for them."

Jesse shook his head. "No."

"I'm sure Gaines put him in there to make it look good," Luke said. "I can't think of a better way to guarantee someone's conviction than by buying off the defense attorney. If this thing goes to trial, you can bet Gaines will hand pick the judge and stack the jury."

"If it wasn't for Judge Drutin, he'd have them half way up the river now," Bo said.

"Well, ya know y'all, this standin' around yakkin' about it ain't gettin' Rosco and MaryAnne out of that jail," Cooter said.

"Yeah," Daisy said.

"We know that, Cooter," Bo said, "but we can't just go over there and break them out. We don't even know where their jail is and I ain't too keen on even steppin' over the county line to begin with."

Luke nodded. "With what happened to Cletus, you know they're watching the borders. The more Hazzard people Gaines could nab the more leverage he'd put on Boss."

"Maybe Judge Drutin can help," Jesse said. "He might be able to put some kind of legal pressure on Gaines if we can show him enough suspicion that Rosco and MaryAnne are being held unjustly."

"That might be our best chance," Luke said. "With the phone calls Boss has received and with what happened to Cletus, plus what Drutin himself heard in court, I'm sure there's plenty of suspicion."

Boss agreed. "I'll give Judge Drutin a call."

Over in Rivington County, MaryAnne was deciding that staying in Rivington County was not in her and Rosco's best interest...

Rosco and MaryAnne had been practically manhandled as they were escorted back to their cells. Although both Coltranes offered a few sputtering words toward the deputies, they pretty much kept their mouths shut, considering enough had been said during court. After they were pushed into their respective cells and the doors clanged shut, the Rivington deputies left the jail area and went back upstairs. MaryAnne heard Rosco sigh as he sat down on his cot and she stood at the bars of her cell, her arms poked out between the bars and resting on the crossbars of the door. "I'm sorry, Rosco..." she said.

"No," Rosco said. "Sweetheart, I'm glad you spoke up. I was also glad to see Jesse and Daisy there. At least now if something happens to us, folks will know we didn't just disappear in the swamps. "

"Rosco, we ain't got a dog's chance in hell of gettin' outta this. They weren't expectin' Judge Drutin to know us or for me to open my mouth. You can bet that for our next court appearance you 'n I will not have speakin' parts."

Rosco nodded to himself. "So what do we do?" he asked.

MaryAnne paused before answering, knowing Rosco was going to find her answer troubling. "We are gonna bust out of this place."

Rosco gulped. "We are?"

"Yep. As soon as possible."

The jail was quiet. MaryAnne was about to ask if Rosco was okay when she heard the cot springs creak as Rosco stood up. He took a few steps to the bars of his cell. "They....they could kill us in the escape," he said quietly. "In the eyes of the law they'd be justified."

MaryAnne paused. "I think if we stay here, they'll kill us anyway. Justified or not."

****

Gaines slammed his fist on his desk. His county attorney and the defacto assigned public defender for the Coltranes had just briefed him on what had happened in the courtroom in Greenville just a couple hours ago. None of them had expected the judge to be as familiar with the Coltranes as Judge Drutin apparently was. Gaines also wasn't happy that MaryAnne had made various damaging outbursts during the court proceeding. Gaines knew that if Judge Drutin's heckles were raised enough, he was going to have a serious problem on his hands. He told this to his county attorney and the defense attorney and reminded them what was at stake. His Sheriff, he also told them, would be delivering a message to the Coltranes to remind them as well.

When dinner, or what passed for it, was delivered to the Coltranes that night, Sheriff Biklen accompanied the deputy that delivered the slop to pass along the message from Gaines. "Mr. Gaines wants you two know that if you pull anymore monkey business like you did this morning in court, you're next supper may be your last."

"You threatenin' your prisoners, Sheriff?" Rosco asked.

"No. No, I'm warning my prisoners."

MaryAnne snorted. "Didn't know you cared, Sheriff."

The Sheriff and his deputy glared at the two Coltranes. "You've been warned..." Biklen said before turning and going back up the stairs, with his deputy following. MaryAnne waited for the door to click close before she spoke.

"Tomorrow morning, Rosco, we're getting the hell outta here."

***

The night passed slowly for the two prisoners. Both slept uneasily, knowing the consequence of failure if the escape failed. But after Sheriff Biklen's "warning", it was clear there was no future for a Coltrane to look forward to in Rivington County.

When the sun came up, Rosco and MaryAnne feigned subdued behavior. They accepted the meager inmate's breakfast of grits and water with nary a word, giving their captors no reason for suspicion. They ate in silence, biding their time, until the Rivington police were out on their morning duties. Only Deputy Collins and two other deputies remained to guard the jail. It was now or never....

Rosco took a deep breath and walked over to the corner of his cell near MaryAnne's. He paused there and could sense her on the other side of the wall that was between them. He reached his hand out and around, offering it to her and she gently took a hold of it. Although neither of them said anything for that short moment, each of them was offering the other one last chance to change their minds. Finally, Rosco gave MaryAnne's hand a gentle squeeze and asked her a question. "Are ya ready?" 

MaryAnne took a deep breath as their hands let go. "Yeah. Go ahead."

Rosco stepped to the other end of his cell and looked toward the stair way. "Hey! Somebody git down here quick! I think MaryAnne's sick!"

Rosco paused and listened. The floor didn't creak and the door didn't open.

"Terrific," MaryAnne muttered. "That's probably something they want to hear."

"I'm sherious now! Somebody better be movin' their posterior and gittin' down here! OR ELSE!!"

That got somebody's attention. The floor creaked and a moment later the door clicked open. Heavy footfalls came down the stairs and Deputy Collins looked at Rosco.

"Or else what?"

"Or else, I become an exceptionally ornery prisoner. Check on her." Rosco jerked his thumb toward MaryAnne's cell.

Deputy Collins moved to look in MaryAnne's cell. He saw she was on her knees, facing the back wall of the cell. She held her stomach and was breathing slow and heavy.

"What's the matter? Breakfast not agree with you?"

MaryAnne didn't reply.

"I swear," Rosco growled. "If you poisoned her..."

"Aw shut up Coltrane, we didn't poison her." Collins pulled a key off his gun belt and unlocked MaryAnne's cell door. He stepped inside and bent down next to her. "Where's it hurt, honey?"

"Right here--" MaryAnne suddenly swung her right arm out and made direct contact with Collins jaw. The deputy lurched back, landing on his butt. She jumped to her feet and followed up with a swift kick to the chest.

While Collins struggled to breathe, MaryAnne unclipped his gun from the holster and pulled it out. He tried to grab at it but missed and MaryAnne reprimanded him by knocking him upside the head with it.

Now out cold, MaryAnne had no problem taking the keys from his gun belt. She walked out of the cell, locked it and then turned to Rosco.

"You okay?" he asked.

"Yeah." She quickly unlocked his cell to let him out. "Only now I really am guilty of hitting somebody."

"Which'll all be sorted out later. Let's get out of here." He looked at the gun in her hand. "Is that thing loaded?"

MaryAnne checked the barrel. "Six shots."

"Good, but let's hope we don't need 'em."

MaryAnne nodded. She tossed the keys onto the desk and walked to the stairway with Rosco directly behind her.

Slowly and quietly as possible, they ascended the stairs. When they reached the top, they paused at the door, looking through the little plate glass window. The Rivington County booking room appeared empty. Holding gun at the ready in her right hand, MaryAnne carefully pushed open the heavy door with her left. She peered out with gun in the same direction as she looked in and opened the door wider.

The room was definitely empty. She stepped out and Rosco followed, closing the door as quietly as possible behind him.

MaryAnne pointed to the front door across the room. Rosco nodded and the two cousins hurried across the room, looking around in every direction as they got closer to the door.

In one of the other offices, just off the booking room, two deputies were playing cards. One faced the door of the office and could see the main entrance. As he looked at his cards, he saw two figures by the door. He suddenly put his cards down and jumped up. "HEY!"

The second deputy turned to look as Rosco and MaryAnne opened the front door and ran like hell.

Rosco followed MaryAnne to the impound lot where they found not two, but three Hazzard County patrol cars, the third of which had four flat tires and looked like it had been literally dumped in the yard.

"Where the heck did that come from?!" MaryAnne wondered.

"I don't think we got time to find out," Rosco replied, glancing toward the entrance of the impound yard. The two deputies were running hard toward them. Rosco and MaryAnne quickly jumped into one of their patrol cars and found the keys had been left in the ignition. MaryAnne fired the Plymouth up and slammed the accelerator, tearing toward the two deputies. She never let off the gas and the two deputies dove out of the way of the fleeing patrol car.

Rosco looked back and saw the deputies sprawled on the ground. "Khee!" he exclaimed, but as he turned around to face front, both he and MaryAnne saw the two Rivington County patrol cars as they pulled up in front of the Sheriff's station.

"Uh oh!"

"Jit jit!"

MaryAnne roared past the two cars and soon the two Rivington squads were in pursuit.

"The first car is Sheriff Biklen himself," Rosco said.

"I saw that," MaryAnne said. "Listen, keep yer eye out for the dog pound. Once we find it, I'll lose these two long enough so we can pick up Bandit."

"What if we can't find the dog pound?"

"We have to find it, Rosco. I'm not leaving Bandit behind!"

"I know, I know, but what if it's not in town?"

MaryAnne thought as she turned the Fury around a corner. "We'll figure that out when we get to that point. For now tho' just be on the look out."

"Awright..." Rosco saw the concern on her face. "We'll find 'em, MaryAnne. We'll find 'em."

MaryAnne nodded and Rosco started watching for the dog pound.

Sheriff Biklen and his deputy kept up the chase. MaryAnne tried to ignore the fact that she was at a disadvantage, not knowing the roads. And not knowing the roads meant that the next street she turned down could be a dead end...in more ways than one.

Rosco kept on the look out. Unlike the town of Hazzard that had a town square with streets leading into it, Rivington was set up in an odd ball crisscross pattern, but not like a big city. There were only six or eight streets that made up the center of town, but they were spread out. And after a few spins, he realized MaryAnne was going in circles.

"I know," MaryAnne said. "I've only passed the pizza joint there four times. This is an ugly looking town, Rosco." MaryAnne swung the patrol car down a new street. Rosco at this point decided to dig out the state map from the glove box and try to help MaryAnne find a new route.

By this point, the two deputies that had been left in the dirt back at the impound yard, had found patrol cars and gotten into the chase. One of them was heading directly toward MaryAnne and Rosco.

"Think he wants to play chicken?" Rosco wondered.

"Bawk bawk! Khee!" MaryAnne kept a steady hand on the wheel heading straight for the Rivington patrol car. The Rivington deputy chickened out first, swerving to the left of the Hazzard patrol car. MaryAnne zoomed by, followed by the Rivington sheriff. The deputy that passed her started to bring his patrol car around and back up onto the road, forcing the deputy that had been behind the Sheriff Biklen to turn sharp and slide broadside. The two cars sat parallel to one another across the road.

Rosco was watching out the back window. "I think we're down to one for now," he said.

"And still no sign of the dog pound," MaryAnne said. She glanced in her rearview mirror to see the Biklen's car was only about a car length behind her. "Rosco, I'm so mad I could spit nails."

"Just keep driving'. I'll keep lookin'."

MaryAnne turned the Fury down another road, slinging gravel back toward Sheriff Biklen as he followed.

About the same time back in Hazzard, Judge Drutin was meetin' with Boss and Jesse at the courthouse. Bo, Luke and Cooter were doin' their own patrols of Hazzard while Enos and Cletus were takin' care of paper work in the bookin' office.

"You stamped the wrong from, Cletus," Enos said.

"Whatya mean I stamped the wrong form?" Cletus looked at his sheet. "I've got five copies here and all of 'em have a stamp box."

"But you're only supposed to stamp the one ya signed. That way ya know it's the original and not one of the copies."

"Enos, I know which one I signed!" Cletus held up the form he just stamped.

Enos shook his head and held up the original form. "It's this one."

"Gimmie that!" Cletus sntached it away and proceeded to stamp it. "Sheesh!"

Enos looked. "You're supposed to stamp it at the top..." he pointed hesitantly.

"Argh!" Cletus stamped the top. "There! Happy now?"

"That's much better."

Well, it's good to see small town bureaucracy up to it's usual standard.

After listening to Boss and Jesse explain everything they knew surrounding Rosco and MaryAnne's arrest, Judge Drutin offered the following:

"Well, JD, you could, as police commissioner, file an injunction with the court, if you feel your officers are being held unjustly."

"Will that get them out of jail?" Boss asked.

"If you think their lives are in danger in Rivington they can be moved to the jail of a neutral county."

"How soon? I mean, if I file that injunction today, how soon can we get them out of Rivington?"

"Twenty-four to forty-eight hours."

"And how soon would Gaines know that the injunction was filed?"

"As soon as the Marshals show up at that jail there to move Rosco and MaryAnne."

Boss looked at Jesse. "Well that certainly wouldn't give Gaines any time to pull anything."

Jesse agreed. "I think that's gonna be your best bet, JD. Get over to Greenville and file that injunction as soon as possible."

"And I'm gonna do that right now," Boss said, standing up. "Thank you, Your Honor, you've been a great help!"

Of course, filin' that injunction ain't gonna do a whole lot of good for Boss, or for Rosco n' MaryAnne now that they're escapees.

The Hazzard patrol car left bold black skid marks on the pavement as it made a sharp turn off the two lane blacktop and down a dirt road. The Rivington Sheriff was still in pursuit.

"Man, he's hangin' in there," Rosco said watching out the back window.

"If we were in Hazzard, I'd've lost 'em by now," MaryAnne complained. She spotted another dirt road and took it. The woods soon started to thin out and then cleared and there was an old ramshackle looking one story building up ahead, with a combination of chain link and wooden fences around it. With the patrol car flying closer, Rosco concentrated on the building and saw there were outdoor kennels, animal pens and cages inside the fenced in yard.

"I think we just found your dog pound, sweetheart." Rosco kept looking as they zoomed past, trying to see if Bandit was in amongst the animals.

"Could ya see if he was in there?" MaryAnne asked.

"No, but I did see some other dogs in there so he's gotta be."

"Awright, time to lose this sodbuster..." MaryAnne cut the wheel hard to the left and turned the patrol car completely around in the road, the nose of the Fury pointing now toward the Rivington squad. She stomped on the accelerator.

Biklen wasn't expecting the Hazzard cruiser to turn on him and instinctively he steered out of the way of the approaching Plymouth, putting his patrol car into the field.

With the Sheriff held up a moment, MaryAnne chanced a step on the brake, slowing down as they passed the pound again. A dog in a crate, near the front gate of the pound looked at them and then went into a barking fit.

"That's Bandit," MaryAnne said, seeing the black and tan coat through the wires of the crate. She glanced in her rear view mirror and saw the Biklen was getting back on the road. She stepped on the accelerator and took off down the road.

Biklen saw this too and knew they had seen where Bandit was. He grabbed up his radio mike.

"MacKenzie! Git your butt over to the dog pound! The Coltranes have spotted their dog and they're probably going to try to double back n' pick it up. Make sure they don't!"

"Ten-four!"

Rosco and MaryAnne heard this on their radio too. MaryAnne slammed her hand on the steering wheel. "ARRGGHH!!"

"Judas Priest on a pony!" Rosco exclaimed.

 

"I was thinkin' something stronger than that, Rosco," MaryAnne said. She turned the steering wheel of the Fury and cut down another road.

 

Rosco was checking the map again, to figure where they were when MaryAnne suddenly picked up the gun and handed it to him. "Why don't you use this gun and try to shake him off?" she suggested.

 

Rosco looked down at the gun in MaryAnne's hand and then took it. "I'll try." He turned in his seat and leaned out the window, aiming back at the Rivington Sheriff. He fired off a shot, and the Rivington squad was soon swerving in the road to try to thwart Rosco's efforts.

 

MaryAnne meanwhile was seeing what was coming up down the road: A river with no bridge connecting the road over it.

 

Biklen was grinning. "Now I've got 'em."

 

"Uh oh!" MaryAnne exclaimed. "Hang on Rosco, we're about to fly!"

 

Rosco faced back forward again. "JIT!! AAAHHH!!!"

 

The Fury flew down the road, spitting dirt and dust behind it. The front of the car hit where the bridge once lay and was soon air borne.

 

"Kheehaaa!!" MaryAnne exclaimed. The Plymouth sailed over the river bed, achieving heights usually only reserved for the General Lee.

 

The Fury landed on the other side of the river, bouncing up once and continuing to move forward. Sheriff Biklen couldn't believe what he saw, but for all his gall he too attempted the jump and made it to the other side, staying in pursuit of the Hazzard patrol car. "That girl's crazy"" he said.

 

"I'm really gittin' tired of this guy..." MaryAnne muttered. She kept the patrol flying along the road at a blistering pace.

 

Friends and neighbors...betcha ain't never seen a Hazzard patrol car bein' driven like this!

 

"Ya reckon he'd like to try that again?" she asked.

 

"What? Jit! You ain't gonna jump that again are ya?!"

 

"Watch." MaryAnne yanked the wheel hard around and the Fury turned 180 in the road. She slammed the accelerator and flew past Biklen, who then turned his car around in like fashion.

 

"If anything maybe I can make 'em dizzy."

 

"Yer startin' to make me dizzy..." Rosco mildly complained.

 

The Fury was on a straight shot back to the river. MaryAnne kept her foot to the floor and soon the Plymouth was air borne again.

 

"Woojit!!" Rosco exclaimed as they sailed over the river. The car landed on the other side and continued on going back toward the dog pound. The Rivington Sheriff was still keeping up, having cleared the river again but he was slowing up, his patrol car starting to become affected by the beating it was taking.

 

MaryAnne knew her patrol car was taking the same kind of beating. And there was no telling how long it would hold out. She knew they had to get Bandit and get back to Hazzard with what was left of the patrol car. Or else.

 

As they came rushing up on the dog pound, the deputy the Rivington Sheriff had called for was near the crate Bandit was in. The gate to the pound was wide open and he was trying to coax the German shepherd out of the crate but the dog was not complying, growling, barking and fighting with the deputy.

 

MaryAnne made a beeline directly for the deputy, aiming the extreme left side of the patrol car for him. The deputy looked up at the white Fury came flying toward him.

 

"AAAHHH!!" Instantly he let go of Bandit's collar and the dog backed up into the crate. The deputy had nowhere else to go but to try to flatten himself against the stack of empty crates that were a top of the one Bandit was in. The Fury passed behind within inches, pushing dust and wind at him. Once the car was passed, the deputy pushed himself away from the crates and fell to the dirt. Bandit scrambled out of the crate and ran after the white Plymouth.

 

The deputy, meanwhile, had landed in the path of Sheriff Biklen's car and just wasn't fast enough to get out of the way of the pursuing Sheriff. Brakes locked and wheels grinded in the dirt as Biklen slammed the brakes to stop the car from hitting his deputy. He turned the wheel, bringing the car broadside and to a sliding stop. The deputy rolled across the dirt in reaction.

 

MaryAnne kept the patrol car going, crashing through a wooden fence on the other side of the yard. Rosco looked out the back window and saw the Rivington Sheriff had been brought to a stop and that Bandit was chasing them. "There's Bandit!" he exclaimed.

 

MaryAnne checked her mirrors and saw the Shepherd was running with all his might to catch up to the patrol car. Deeming it safe, she slowed down and stopped, scurrying out of the car and kneeling down to meet Bandit as the Shepherd ran into her arms.

 

"There ya are Bandit!" MaryAnne hugged the dog and Bandit's tan colored tail wagged back and forth happily. "Are you awright?"

 

Rosco got out of the car to greet the dog as well. He stood guard momentarily, looking toward where the Rivington Sheriff and his deputy were still trying to sort out what happened. He then kneeled down to pat Bandit and gave the dog a welcoming scratch behind the ears. He then looked at MaryAnne. "We best not hang around here too long. Let's get out of here and back to Hazzard."

 

MaryAnne nodded. "Yeah." She stood up and opened the passenger door, letting Bandit in. She and Rosco then got into the patrol car and continued on in the direction they were all ready heading in.

Sheriff Biklen saw the white Plymouth as it drove on across the back field of the dog pound. He grabbed up his radio mike and called for deputies to intercept the Hazzard squad on Route 120, which was the road that ran behind the dog pound. Three deputies replied they were in pursuit.

Rosco and MaryAnne heard this on their police radio. Rosco quickly checked his map and found they were indeed on Route 120. He traced his finger along the route and found if they could make it to the interstate highway 41, they would have a clear, if long, run back to Hazzard County. They could only pray the Plymouth held out that long.

MaryAnne eyed the temperature gauge. The needle was creeping just past the comfort zone.

"Rosco, I hate to tell ya this, but we keep running like this, we're gonna overheat this car. We gotta get help. Or at least try to get a radio call to the folks in Hazzard to tell 'em we're out."

"Worth a shot..." Rosco changed the channel on the radio and held the mike up. "Hazzard County...Hazzard County. Mayday, this is Rosco P. Coltrane callin' anybody in Hazzard County who can hear me. Come back."

The radio was quiet. Awfully quiet.

"Keep tryin'," MaryAnne said.

Rosco repeated his call, this time his voice was unmistakably desperate.

In Hazzard, Rosco's call was heard by Daisy Duke in her Jeep as she was driving home from the Boar's Nest. She determined that whoever it was had to have been far away, as the signal was not very strong. She slowed down and turned up the volume of her CB before picking up the mike to answer.

"This is Daisy Duke in Hazzard County. Who do I have out there?"

"Daisy! It's Rosco!"

The Jeep came to a sudden stop. "Oh my goodness! Rosco, where are you?? I can just barely hear you!"

"We're in Rivington County. MaryAnne and I busted out of jail. Daisy, listen to me. We're on Route 120 heading towards interstate 41. I think we're gonna need some help. You copy that?"

"I hear ya, Rosco. You're heading toward interstate 41."

"Yes. Daisy, get Enos and Cletus. Get your cousins. Get anybody. I don't know how long this car's gonna last..."

"Rosco, you n' MaryAnne keep on truckin', I'm gonna call the boys right now."

"Ten-four. Thank you, Daisy."

"Ten-four." Daisy changed the channel on her radio. "Bo Peep callin' her Lost Sheep. Bo, Luke? You out there?"

Bo and Luke were in the General heading back to town. "Go ahead, Daisy," Luke said.

"Listen fellas, we gotta move fast. I just heard Rosco on the CB, but he sounded like he was a million miles away. He and MaryAnne busted out of jail over there in Rivington, but they need help. He said they're on Route 120 heading towards interstate 41. I think there's something wrong with the car they're in tho'."

"We copy. You better call Uncle Jesse and Boss. We'll get a hold of Cooter, Enos and Cletus."

"You got it, fellas."

Bo yanked the steering wheel to the left and turned the General 180 degrees. As he accelerated, Luke called to Cooter.

Friends and neighbors, the Hazzard Calvary was organized faster than you could say Jefferson Davis. Let's just hope they can get there fast enough for Rosco and MaryAnne...

"We running hot?" Rosco asked, leaning to look at the gauge.

"Yeah, but no time to stop now." MaryAnne pointed to an intersecting road up ahead, where across the clearing they could see two Rivington County cruisers were flying to intercept. MaryAnne passed the road before the cruisers got there but this only meant they now had two fresh patrol cars chasing after them.

Rosco turned in his seat and looked out the back window as the two cruisers came out onto the road behind him and MaryAnne. He then looked forward and saw they had nothing but open road at the moment then finally he looked at MaryAnne.

She was concentrating on driving; watching the scene ahead of them and occasionally her eyes would dart from one side of the road to the other to the rearview mirror. She then glanced at Rosco and saw him looking at her in concern.

"I know," she said, knowing what he was thinking. Their chances of surviving were getting slimmer and slimmer. The Fury was starting to redline, the two cruisers behind them were getting closer...and the interstate was still at least a mile away.

MaryAnne was shaking her head. "We gotta keep goin'," she said. "No matter what, we gotta keep going."

Rosco looked down at the gun he held. "We only got three shots left."

"You'll have to make 'em count," MaryAnne said. "It'd be nice if we could get the rifle out of the trunk...."

Rosco noticed her stop in thought. "What?"

"We can get the rifle in the trunk! All ya gotta do is climb in back there and pull the seat down!"

"Ooo!" Rosco became inspired. He put the hand gun down on the seat between him and MaryAnne and then started to climb over the seat to get into the back.

"Scuze me, Bandit," he said. The Shepherd moved over as Rosco came into the back seat and then obeyed Rosco's command as he told the dog to move from the seat to the floor. Rosco then found the latch that held the back of the seat in place, unhooked it and pulled the back part forward, revealing the contents of the trunk.

"Khee!" He reached in and grabbed the rifle and grabbed whatever else he thought might be useful.

MaryAnne glanced back to see what he had. "Hey, awright! A little tear gas, some road flares, a rifle, a vicious police dog, one ornery Deputy and one ticked off Sheriff. Khee!"

"Boss always says that bigger the offense, the better. We may not have much here...but I think we can still be pretty offensive!"

"Kheehahaha!"

Rosco placed the items he got from the trunk on the floor of the front seat. MaryAnne looked at the gauge of the Plymouth and saw that they were pretty much out of luck. Temperature and oil lights glowed red on the dash and the needle was deep in overheating territory. As long as the car kept running, MaryAnne figured to push it for the last bit it had.

"We ain't gonna make it to the highway," she said. "But hang on..."

Rosco saw the red dash lights and he grabbed a hold of the door handle, seeing MaryAnne was gripping the steering wheel in a manner so she could turn it sharp. He then looked up ahead and saw a third Rivington cruiser was barreling toward them. "Probably just as well," he said.

"I see 'em." MaryAnne said. The Rivington cruiser turned broadside in the road, blocking it. MaryAnne ignored it and slammed the brakes, cutting the wheel hard to the left, swinging the back end of the Fury around 180 degrees. The Rivington squad that had been directly behind her flew by and slammed its brakes trying to stop before t-boning the other patrol car, but to no avail. The second Rivington cruiser, seeing what was going on, slowed down quickly and turned to box MaryAnne in but MaryAnne wouldn't have it. While the white Plymouth still had power, she pushed the accelerator and cut around the front of the Rivington squad, nicking the front fender. She then managed to get the Fury about 20 feet down the road before the engine finally blew and white steam poured out of the grille of the Plymouth.

"That's that!" MaryAnne exclaimed and turned the Plymouth broadside, the passenger side of the car facing back at the Rivington deputies who were collecting themselves together. They gathered behind their disabled vehicles and fired shots at the Fury, busting the back side window. Bandit howled at the sound, but wasn't hit. MaryAnne popped open the driver door and scrambled out of the car, staying low behind it. Rosco followed and then MaryAnne opened the back door to let Bandit out. The dog leapt out of the car and MaryAnne quickly got the Shepherd to lay low on the pavement behind the car.

Rosco handed the rifle to MaryAnne while he held the .38. A couple more shots were fired, hitting the flanks of the Fury or buzzing over head.

"Well Sundance, what do you think our chances are?" MaryAnne said taking a quick look across the trunk of the Fury before another shot was fired at the car.

"You want an honest answer to that question?"

"Not really."

"Didn't think so." Rosco looked down the road in the other direction which mercifully was bare. "You better hope they don't have deputies come up from behind us here or we're finished."

"Yeah I'm already thinking of that..." MaryAnne glanced down the road as well and then looked back to where the Rivington deputies were looking to make a good shot. Neither MaryAnne, nor Rosco had fired a shot back yet and the deputies were left to wonder but they continued to occasionally pepper the Fury with bullets, hitting a tire and shattering another window.

Rosco and MaryAnne would peek over the Fury debating when to take a shot, as they only had so many to use. One of the Rivington deputies got bold and started to come around from his patrol car with gun drawn. A bullet from MaryAnne's rifle changed his mind and he turned back when the bullet skipped on the pavement in front of him.

As he dove back to his patrol car, the other deputies opened fire and bombarded the Hazzard patrol car with bullets. Rosco and MaryAnne hunkered down behind the car, flinching every time glass broke and a door or fender took a direct hit. The Fury was slumped to one side, both tires that faced the Rivington deputies having been taken out.

MaryAnne looked at Rosco. Things were not looking good....



The Hazzard Calvary, consisting of the Dukes with General Lee and Dixie, Cooter, and Enos and Cletus in the last remaining patrol car, was flying towards Rivington County. They crossed the county line without incident and with General Lee leading the way, thundered on toward Interstate 41.

The highway was clear when they reached it, except for the usual traffic. However, there wasn't a Rivington cruiser or a white Hazzard patrol car anywhere to be found.

"They shoulda hit the highway by now," Luke said, the dread unmistakable in his voice.

"I hope we ain't too late," Bo said.

Daisy, who was directly behind the General in Dixie, picked up her CB mike. "Any sign of them fellas?"

Luke picked up the mike. "Nothing yet."

"Rosco said the car they were in wasn't gonna last much longer," she said. "Oh, I hope they're all right!"

"We'll find 'em, Daisy. We'll find 'em."

"Why don't we try to call 'em on the radio?" Bo suggested.

Luke nodded. "Daisy, what channel was that that you heard Rosco on?"

"Seventeen."

"We're gonna try a radio call, stand by."

 

MaryAnne and Rosco, meanwhile, were still cowering behind their wounded patrol car. After another moment, the shooting let up and a voice called to them.

"You might as well give up! Otherwise we can stay here all afternoon. The ending's gonna be the same either way!"

Rosco and MaryAnne looked at each other but neither of them replied to the Rivington deputy. MaryAnne pointed to the open driver door behind Rosco.

"The tear gas," she said quietly. "And the flares. I think I have an idea..."

He nodded and very cautiously moved to reach into the car and grabbed a couple canisters of tear gas. He passed them back to MaryAnne and then grabbed a couple of the road flares, handing those back to her as well.

The CB radio crackled. "Lost Sheep callin' Bear and Songbird. You out there?"

Rosco looked at MaryAnne and she nodded. He grabbed the radio mike and pushed the talk button. "This is Rosco."

"Rosco, are ya awright? Is MaryAnne okay? Where are you guys??"

"We're awright for now, Luke. We're still on Route 120, the patrol car quit and we're pinned down."

"Pinned down?" Luke said, alarmed. "Yer under fire?"

"That's an affirmative. And we ain't got a whole lot to fire back at 'em."

"Hang on Rosco we're coming!"

Rosco looked at MaryAnne just as she pulled the pin on a tear gas canister. She then stood up with her knees bent and lobbed the canister towards the cluster of Rivington deputies. Two of them opened fire at her and she dropped back down behind the patrol car.

The Rivington deputies saw the canister land but when they tried to grab for it to get rid of it they were hit with the offensive gas cloud and their eyes watered up. "Where the hell is it?? Get rid of it!" Every time one of them tried to reach for the canister, another one whose eyes were tearing up would end up kicking it out of the way.

Rosco saw the commotion and he grabbed another canister and pulled the pin, tossing it over to join the first canister. Fresh smoke poured from the little yellow can and the Rivington deputies resorted to cursing by this point.

"Kheehaa!" MaryAnne exclaimed. It looked like she and Rosco might make it, when she suddenly turned around at the sound of a siren.

Another Rivington squad car was barreling down on them from the other direction, this time with two deputies in it, one of whom decided to start shooting.

"GAAAHH!!!" MaryAnne exclaimed and grabbed up Bandit by his collar. Rosco saw it too and he ran after MaryAnne following her around the smoke, keeping their distance from the other deputies. They still had guns in hand.

The Hazzard folks were coming up to the turn off onto Route 120. "Bo, look!!" Luke pointed to the smoke and gathering of cars. They saw Rosco, MaryAnne and Bandit come clear from the smoke and Bo hit the Dixie horn.

The Coltranes saw the General, but they didn't stop running. Bo and Luke realized why almost too late. As Bo slowed down, thinking Rosco or MaryAnne would jump into the General, the screaming siren from the Rivington squad came out of the smoke.

"BO LOOK OUT!!"

"AH! HANG ON!" Bo yanked the steering wheel hard to his right to avoid a head on collision with the cruiser. The rest of the Hazzard cars were all coming to a bunched up stop but the Rivington squad, having not expected a bright orange Dodge Charger to be coming at it, swerved off to the side and went off the road and down into a ditch.

Bo turned the wheel back the other way and then swung the General around. The other Rivington deputies, now managing to clear their eyes, were taking shots at whatever was moving.

"Hit it Bo!"

Rosco, MaryAnne and Bandit were still running. MaryAnne persuaded Bandit to climb up into Daisy's Jeep as Daisy was turning the Jeep around. The rest of the Hazzard cars were all backing up and trying to turn around before taking a bullet from the Rivington deputies as they fired.

Bo drove ahead of Rosco and turned the Charger broadside in front of the Sheriff. "Git in here Rosco!" he hollered.

Rosco finally tossed the gun he'd been carrying off to the side and he slowed down to make the climb into the back window of the General behind Bo. Once both legs were in the car, but not necessarily the whole Sheriff, Bo hit the accelerator. Gun fire crackled in the air and the General took a direct hit in the sail panel near Rosco.

"Jit jit! Wait I'm not in yet! Jit--" Another shot ripped across Rosco's upper right arm. "AAHH!!" He shimmied into the car.

Luke looked at him. "Bo, he's hit."

"I'll be awright, I'll be awright..." Rosco said. He looked at the sleeve of his jail jumpsuit and saw it was torn and turning crimson. "Jit jit... Dammit."

The Hazzard vehicles were all turned around by this point and heading back in the direction of the interstate. MaryAnne had not yet picked up a ride yet and Cooter saw the deputy was running for all her life. He brought the tow truck up along side of her.

"C'mon MaryAnne! Climb on!" he hollered.

MaryAnne looked at the tow truck and kept her eye on one of the wires to reach out and grab on to, to pull herself up on to the back of the tow truck. Shots were still being fired and MaryAnne grabbed one of the tow wires and pulled herself up hanging freely for a moment, looking like Eddie Murphy in Beverly Hills Cop hanging out of the back of the 18 wheeler as it was being chased by the Detroit cops. A Rivington bullet, that a moment earlier would have hit her square in the back, instead hit her in her lower right leg.

Cooter looked back and saw as MaryAnne struggled to climb into the back of the truck. He had heard her let out a yelp, but didn't realize she had been hit.

Cletus and Enos, driving the only spare patrol car that had been left in Hazzard, saw MaryAnne struggling with getting into the tow truck. Cletus brought the patrol car up along side the tow truck and held the car steady in line with the tow truck, offering the hood as a place where MaryAnne could get her footing to pull herself into the truck. MaryAnne accepted the offer and planted her foot on the hood of the patrol car and was finally able to get herself in to the back of the truck.

With all accounted for, the Hazzard vehicles roared back on to Interstate 41 and headed back to Hazzard County. Not a single Rivington deputy gave chase, and even if they could have, they wouldn't have. It was clear that Grover Gaines' chances of taking over Hazzard County had just come to an abrupt end.

 

Luke had dug out the first aid kit from the glove box of the General and had handed Rosco some bandages. He paused a moment to pick up the CB mike. "Listen up y'all, Rosco's been hit. He's okay, but we're gonna drive straight to Tri-County."

Cooter checked his rear view mirror and saw there was no pursuit behind them. He picked up his CB mike. "That's an affirmative y'all. Why don't ya hold up a second and let me stop to let MaryAnne in."

"Ten-four, Cooter."

Cooter pulled his tow truck off to the side of the highway and stopped. Behind him, Cletus and Enos pulled over as well. Cooter walked around the front of his truck and came to MaryAnne just as she was climbing out of the back of the truck. He immediately noticed she was holding her right leg up carefully.

Before Cooter could ask what was wrong, Enos confirmed it. "Possumonagumbush!" the deputy exclaimed, seeing MaryAnne's bloodstained pant leg. "MaryAnne, yer shot!"

MaryAnne looked at Enos. "Well, it sure ain't no bug bite, Enos!" she said.

"Maybe you better ride with them," Cooter said. "Might be easier on ya than my tow truck."

MaryAnne nodded. "Ok. Rosco. Who picked 'em up? Is he awright?"

"Bo 'n Luke picked him up," Cletus said. He and Enos stood on either side of MaryAnne to give her support to walk to the patrol car. "Y'all are two peas in a pod, ya know that?"

"How's that?" MaryAnne asked as they walked with her back to the patrol car.

"Sheriff Rosco was shot too," Enos said.

"WHAT?!?!"

"He's okay," Cletus said, "at least Luke says he's okay. Probably full of spit and vinegar just like you are right now."

"Sorry fellas. But $*(#@! it hurts!" They got the patrol car and the two deputies helped MaryAnne to get in.

Cooter, meanwhile, was telling everyone on the CB what had happened to MaryAnne.

Rosco was looking out the back window of the General in concern and then turned to face forward again as Luke acknowledged the transmission. Luke then looked at Rosco. "She's gonna be awright, Rosco."

"I know....but this whole thing coulda turned out a lot worse."

Luke nodded. "A lot worse." He handed another gauze pack to Rosco as Bo stepped on the accelerator and the General lead the way to Tri-County hospital.

Several minutes later, the parade of cars all drove up to the emergency entrance of the Tri-County hospital. Bo and Luke helped Rosco out of the General, while Enos and Cletus helped MaryAnne make her way into the emergency area. Luke quickly told the doctors and nurses on hand what they had and things moved quickly. Rosco then told Enos that he should contact the State Police.

"What for?" Enos asked.

"Because you 'n Cletus now have custody of two escaped prisoners from Rivington County. If anything the State Patrol can git in there and round these guys up!"

"Oh! Yes sir!" Enos turned to Cletus. "Watch the prisoners, Cletus, I'll be right back!"

"Right!" Cletus took his gun from the holster and held it pointed at Rosco and MaryAnne.

"Cletus..." Cooter said, turning the barrel downward. "It's just Rosco n' MaryAnne, they ain't goin' nowhere."

"Oh, heh, yer right." He put the gun away and smiled at Rosco and MaryAnne. "Sorry about that."

Rosco rolled his eyes. "Cletus, you lugnut. I oughta knock you into the middle of next week. Jit!"

Before Rosco could continue to verbally abuse Cletus, he and MaryAnne were lead away to be treated for their wounds.

Things almost seem back to normal here don't they?

In the meantime, when the State Police went to Rivington Grover Gaines denied all involvement and Sheriff Biklen had turned in his resignation just minutes before the State Patrol arrived. Several deputies had also resigned and the charges against Rosco and MaryAnne were dropped by Rivington County. Although this pretty much brought things to a close, Rosco 'n MaryAnne weren't all too happy with it.

"This totally goes against my sense of justice," MaryAnne complained later, after she and Rosco had been released from the hospital and were back home to rest. She was seated on the couch, her bandaged leg outstretched along the length of the couch. Her audience consisted not only of Rosco, who was seated in a chair across from her with Flash on his lap and Bandit at his feet, but the Dukes and Enos as well. The Dukes had stopped by to leave Bandit off, and Enos had come to fill Rosco and MaryAnne in on what the State Patrol had, and hadn't, found.

"They trump up charges against us, hold us unjustly, threaten us, shoot us, threaten to kill my dog and then the Sheriff resigns, his deputies resign, they all disappear and Grover Gaines denies all involvement! Argh, that just galls my gizzard!"

"Even tho' Biklen disappeared you can bet the State Patrol's gonna be lookin' for him, his deputies too," Luke said.

"And Gaines," Rosco added. "Boss told me earlier that the Feds called him wantin' to know what Gaines was tryin' to do. You can bet their adding this whole incident to their files. They're gonna nail 'em, someday."

"Yeah, well, tomorrow won't be soon enough," MaryAnne said. She paused and took a deep breath, getting her bearings and then looked at Enos. "Did we get our patrol cars back?"

Enos nodded. "Yep. David Little's Camaro was found too with Mr. Hogg's money from the Boar's Nest and Mr. Rhuebottom's cash from his store in the trunk. The State Patrol picked it up on an anonymous tip."

"Inside Rivington County?" MaryAnne asked.

"Well, it was left at the county line."

 "Right neighborly..."

"The good thing is, MaryAnne, it's all over and you n' Rosco are okay," Daisy reminded.

"I know," MaryAnne agreed casting a glance at her bandaged leg, "but I just wish I could get my hands on 'em, that's all."

"Hate to be them if ya ever do," Bo said with a smile.

"Khee!" Rosco added.

MaryAnne smiled too, despite herself.

"Well, we better get going," Luke said, nodding to his kin. "You two take it easy, ya hear?"

"We will," MaryAnne said. "And thank you again, for all you've done."

"Yeah," Rosco said.

The Dukes smiled. "You're welcome," Daisy said for all three of them.

"We'll see ya," Luke said. The Dukes waved before they walked out the door.

"I better be getting back to the Sheriff's station," Enos said. "Let y'all get some rest."

"Awright, Enos. Thanks for stoppin' by."

"Sure thing. Y'all take care now, I'll see ya later." Enos smiled and gave a little wave as he left.

After the Dukes and Enos had left, Rosco looked over at MaryAnne. "I'm proud of ya," he said.

She looked up at him. "For what? Gettin' ourselves shot?"

He chuckled softly. "No...for takin' a stand. And not givin' in. I'm just proud of ya, that's all."

MaryAnne smiled. "Thanks."

Rosco nodded and coaxed Flash down to the floor before he stood up from his chair. "Well, I dunno about you but I'm hungry! How 'bout some dinner?"

"Sounds good," MaryAnne said and started to move to get up off the couch.

"Ah ah, you stay right there. I can get it." He grinned and headed toward the kitchen.

MaryAnne watched him go and shook her head, laughing softly.

Ya know, if I was Rosco, I'd be pretty proud too...

 

Back to Fanfic