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
* * *
MaryAnne had managed to slice ten minutes off the time between her and Rosco. It would have been fifteen but Sheriff Little had cost her five minutes. When she and the boys crossed the Lampton County line, Rosco was twenty minutes ahead of them and only ten minutes from the State line.
MaryAnne decided to try the CB and picked up the mike.
"Songbird to Bear. You gotch'a ears on, cousin? Come back."
The radio responded in silence.
Ol' Rosco's radio wasn't even on.
"Rosco this is MaryAnne. Please respond, this is very important."
The Lampton County Sheriff heard MaryAnne's call over his radio in his patrol car.
That there is Lampton County Sheriff Chester Hoyt, who was more likely to arrest somebody for jay walkin' than for runnin' moonshine. More or less because he ran it himself. At least he believes in social justice.
"This is Sheriff Chester Hoyt of Lampton County. This is a police frequency and I'm gonna have to ask you to go to another channel."
"I know this is the police frequency!" MaryAnne spat. "This is Deputy MaryAnne Coltrane of Hazzard County. I'm trying to locate Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane who I believe is somewhere in your county." She took her finger off the talk button. "You ignaramus."
"What the heck are y'all doin' way over here in Lampton County?"
"Well, we ain't here on no joy ride that's for sure. Look, this involves
official Hazzard County police business. Have you seen Sheriff Coltrane?"
"Nope." He paused to spit tobacco juice out the open window. "Sorry, I haven't. If I do I'll let you know."
"That would be greatly appreciated."
MaryAnne put the CB mike down.
"I don't think Rosco's got his ears on," she said. "He would've jumped in there at some point. Dang it fellas, I don't think we're gonna get to him."
Poor MaryAnne can almost hear that cell door slamming shut with Rosco inside. An ol' Rosco was just about thirty-five minutes from walking into that very cell himself.
While MaryAnne had been talking to Sheriff Hoyt, Rosco and Sue Ann had crossed over the state line and were less than thirty-five minutes from Piedmont.
Back in Hazzard, everyone had congregated at Boss's house. Enos had told not only Boss and Lulu but Jesse and Daisy as well, seein' as they had no idea what the boys had gotten into when they went with MaryAnne.
Lulu was having the fits because it had been over an hour since MaryAnne had left and had been heard on the CB or telephone. What was frustrating was that if it weren't for Iron Mountain, they would pick up at least a faint CB signal if MaryAnne had tried to call in. All they could do was wait and hope that MaryAnne and the boys could prevent Rosco from being swindled again.
Unfortunately, MaryAnne and the boys were running out of shortcuts for they were heading into unfamiliar territory. MaryAnne had no choice but to remain on the main highway all the way to the state line.
"Either one of you ever been to Piedmont?" she asked.
The boys shook their heads.
"Jesse ran some shine there once," Luke said. "Me and Bo never did though."
"Yeah. I ain't never been there either," she said. "I've got a feeling though we're about to become quite familiar with it."
* * *
Deputy Marshal Kevin Smith spotted the white police cruiser come into downtown Piedmont from the dry goods store. He squinted to make out the decal on the door.
"Hazzard County?" he questioned to himself. He picked up his walkie talkie.
"Hey Frank, do you see that Sheriff's car that just came in?"
"Affirmative. That's Hazzard County, which is over in Georgia."
Kevin watched the car as it headed toward the police station.
"What do you suppose he's doin' here?"
"Don't know," Frank said. "Maybe he's got some info on the MacGraw woman."
"He's got somebody else in the car. Hey Charlie, he's headin' your way. Can you see anything?"
The white cruiser came to a stop across the street from the police station. After a moment Rosco and Sue Ann got out of the car.
"It's her!" Charlie exclaimed. "That Sheriff's got the MacGraw woman."
Before Rosco and Sue Ann could cross the street police cars and Marshals cars came flying out nowhere.
Rosco and Sue Ann stopped. Over the squeal of tires and doors slamming Rosco heard Sue Ann say "damn."
He turned to her but Marshals and police officers were coming between them, separating them.
"What's goin on here?" Rosco demanded.
Coming into town at this point was MaryAnne and the boys. They saw the commotion of police officers and marshals by the police station and Rosco caught in the middle.
MaryAnne brought the General off to the side of the road and cut the engine. In silence she and the boys watched as the marshals were talking to Rosco.
After a few minutes two marshals led Rosco to another police car. They opened the back door and put Rosco in the back seat. One marshal stayed with the car while the other went into the crowd of officers.
"What's happening?" Bo asked.
"I don't know," MaryAnne replied. "I think they're just detaining him for a moment."
"Isn't there anything we can do?"
MaryAnne shook her head. "If we show up and try to explain everything it'll only make matters worse. They'll think we were helping, you know, by riding shotgun. And with you two's probation they'd throw us all in the clink."
The boys and MaryAnne continued to watch the scene. One officer questioned Sue Ann while a few others looked on.
"So, you're telling me he wasn't bringing you in, but trying to help you escape?"
"Yes, that's right," Sue Ann replied.
"Why would he do THAT?" he queried.
"He's my ex-husband," Sue Ann replied matter-of-factly. "It was an amiable parting. When I got out, I went to him for help and he was more than willing to oblige. Of course, he might deny it. He has his career to protect. You know, that's why I left him. You see, he was more in love with his job than he was with me," Sue Ann sobbed.
"Okay, I believe that will be all for now." He turned to the man on his right. "Take her in for booking. I'm going to go have a talk with Sheriff Coltrane."
The officer led a few fellow officers over to where Rosco was detained including the second marshal who had escorted Rosco to the cruiser and what appeared to be the county Sheriff and ranking deputy Marshal. They opened the door and let Rosco out for a moment.
"Ms. MacGraw tells me you two were married. Is that true?" the officer who had questioned Sue Ann asked.
"That's right," Rosco began, "but..."
The officer cut in, "And she says it was an amiable parting. Is that also true?"
"Well, yeah, considering the circumstances I guess it was amiable. Although..."
"And when she asked you for help, you agreed to help her?" he shot back.
"Yeah. I mean, I'm not one to hold a grudge. I believe she deserves a second chance," Rosco defended not knowing how big a hole he was digging for himself.
"Okay, I think I've heard enough," the Alabama Sheriff said. "Sheriff Coltrane, I'm arresting you for aiding and abetting an escaped criminal."
MaryAnne saw Rosco's shoulder's slump and the Sheriff shake his head. The Sheriff then gestured to a deputy who pulled his cuffs out and proceeded to place Rosco under arrest.
"Oh God no," MaryAnne said. With heavy heart she watched them place Rosco in the county Sheriff's car.
Luke put a hand on MaryAnne's shoulder.
"We're sorry, MaryAnne," he said.
She sighed. "He's really in trouble now," she said watching the cruiser drive away.
"We gotta get to a phone and then get back to Hazzard," she said. She started the General and turned the car around.
* * *
The return trip to Hazzard was quiet. MaryAnne didn't feel like driving, so Luke did while MaryAnne pondered what to do next in the back seat.
Everybody was waiting at Boss's house when the boys and MaryAnne returned.
"Oh this is terrible," Lulu cried. "My one and only baby brother is withering away in jail because of that, that con lady! MaryAnne, there's gotta be something we can do?"
"All we can do is wait for Rosco to call," MaryAnne said. "If the boys and I had showed up they most likely would have tossed us in jail with Rosco."
"I never even knew she had come back to Hazzard," Boss said. "What was Rosco thinking?"
"I think he felt that she had somehow changed. I think deep down he still kind of cared for her, despite what she had done to him. I can only imagine how he feels right now."
* * *
Rosco sat on the cot of the jail cell in the corner with his back against the wall, his hat in his hand. The deputies had made him remove his tie, gun belt and regular belt and even his badge. From what the officers had told him, Sue Ann had lied to him.
He dropped his hat on the cot and rested his head against the cool concrete wall. MaryAnne had been right. Why hadn't he listened?
'Cuz he was a fool. Once a fool, always a fool. The only reason Sue Ann came to Hazzard was because she knew he was sucker.
Rosco brought his hand to his head and pinched the bridge of his nose, in a vain effort to make his headache and everything else go away.
He heard the cell block door clatter open and after a couple of moments a deputy stood in front of the cell door.
"The Sheriff will let you make that phone call now," he said, unlocking the door.
Rosco got up and left the cell and was escorted down the hall.
* * *
Everyone jumped when the phone in Boss's living room rang. MaryAnne leapt up and grabbed the receiver.
"Hello?" she said anxiously.
"Rosco! Are you okay?"
"No," he said. "I've been arrested."
"I know," she said. "I saw the whole thing happen, Rosco. I tried to catch up to ya to stop you when I found out that Sue Ann had actually escaped but you were too far ahead of me. Rosco, I'm so sorry."
"You're not gonna say 'I told you so'?"
"Why would I say that? Rosco, look I know I said I thought Sue Ann was gonna snooker you again, but I had no idea she had escaped and was trying to get you to get her over the state line." She paused. "You do realize that you could be looking at atleast ten years for aiding an abetting as escape?"
"Yeah, that's what they tell me."
"Have they set bail yet?"
"No. I go before the judge tomorrow morning."
"You got a lawyer?"
"Some public defender."
"I've got a friend in Atlanta. I'll give him a call and he can be there in the morning. And I'll be there too. You sit tight Rosco, you're not in this alone."
"Yeah...MaryAnne, I feel like a fool. You were right all along, she snookered me again." He paused. "Why'd she do it?"
MaryAnne hesitated. "I don't know, Rosco," she said. "I don't know."
"How'd you find out she'd escaped?" he asked.
"You remember that stolen car?"
"Well, there had been a slip of paper with directions to the bookstore in it, so when Enos and I got it back to the impound we dusted it for prints. When we got the results back this morning we got photos of some folks who's prints were on the car and went over to the bookstore to see if Mrs. Perkins recognized any of them. She picked out a fella name John Burke and said she saw him talking to Sue Ann. I ran a check on both and found she had escaped and Burke was trying to help get her to Mexico. He was arrested in Chickasaw for trying to steal a car again."
"Mexico? Well, why the heck did she need me to take her to Piedmont?"
"I think Piedmont was a shuttle point."
MaryAnne heard Rosco heave a heavy sigh. "I feel like an idiot," he said. "This is all gonna sound great in court tomorrow."
MaryAnne knew Rosco was referring to the past and how it related to his helping out now.
"That's why I'm gonna call my friend," she said. "He'll be able to make sound less--uh..."
"Well, complicated. He owes me a half a million favors from when I was in Atlanta anyways. Oh, Lulu wants to talk to you now. I'm gonna give him a call okay?"
"Okay, I'll talk to you later. Here's Lulu." MaryAnne handed the phone to Lulu.
"Rosco? Oh little brother are you allright?..."
* * *
MaryAnne got through to her lawyer friend in Atlanta and he told her he would leave for Piedmont immediately.
They deputy eventually had to tell Rosco to hang up the phone. Which was hard to do considerin' half the folks in Hazzard wanted to talk to him.
Rosco was escorted back to his jail cell. As the door clammered shut behind him, Rosco went to the cot and sat down. He heard the cell block door shut and listened to the echo fade.
Sue Ann sounded miles away. Rosco got up off the cot and went to the bars. He looked down the hall as far as he could. Sue Ann was two cells down and diagonal from his. He looked at her for a moment.
"You took me for a fool again didn't you Sue Ann?"
"Yeah, I know," he said. "You're sorry." He paused. "Are you really sorry, Sue Ann? Are you sorry you lied again to a soft hearted old fool like me? Or are you sorry you got caught? I really thought you had changed, Sue Ann, I really did. At first I was skeptical, you know, after what happened five years ago, but then I thought, well, what the heck? Maybe she's changed,
after five years in prison she must've had some inkling of remorse at some point. Did you, Sue Ann? Did you ever feel bad about what you put me through?"
"Rosco, there wasn't a day that went by that I didn't think of you."
"Sure," he said unbeleiveing of her sincerity. "Probably a thought process that went something like 'hmm, I wonder if he's still a sucker?' Do me a favor will you Sue Ann? Next time you break out of jail or are paroled legitimately, don't come to see me where ever I end up, either in Hazzard or the Federal Pen."
Rosco turned away and went back to the cot. As he laid down and tipped his hat over his eyes, he heard another voice say, "Geez lady, what'd you do to him?"
Sue Ann stood with her hands resting on the bars of her cell door. She didn't answer the man's question. She knew what she'd done.
* * *
It was eight o'clock later that evening when the cell block door clattered open again. Rosco had dozed off and awoke with a start at the sound. When he looked up he saw the deputy and another man standing outside the cell.
"Mr. Coltrane?" the deputy queried. "This man says he's your lawyer."
Rosco looked at the man dressed in a grey suit with a black brief case.
"I'm a friend of your cousin's. She called and told me what happened."
Rosco nodded. "Yeah, this is my lawyer."
The deputy unlocked the cell door and let the man inside. He then locked it again and left the cell block.
"My name's Jim Noland," the lawyer said pleasantly and offered Rosco his hand. Rosco shook it and then Jim sat on the end of the bunk and proceeded to open his brief case.
"MaryAnne explained some of the situation to me on the phone a couple of hours ago, but I'd like to hear your version."
Rosco nodded. "Where do you want me to start?"
"Well, before we do that, let's make sure the police here haven't violated your rights. Did they Mirandize you?"
"Did you make any statements in regard to this case?"
"Did you answer any questions at all before or after they read you your rights?"
"Uh, yeah I did."
"Just before they arrested me," Rosco said. He then reiterated to Jim what the officer had asked earlier.
Jim was in thought. "The officer talked to Sue Ann first?"
"Yeah. What's the matter?"
"I'm not sure. I'm gonna have to find out what Sue Ann told the officer and what questions were asked."
"Is it important?"
"Very. If her story is different from yours as to how she got here we're going to have a tough road ahead of us."
Rosco paused. "Wait a minute. Are you saying that Sue Ann might have told them that I knew she'd escape and was still helping her?"
"But that's ridiculous. 'Amiable' parting or not, I wouldn't have done something like that."
"Exactly. That's why we've got to prove that she was lying to you about being paroled."
"Well, MaryAnne was right there in the booking room when Sue Ann first arrived. She heard the whole shuck and jive."
"Yeah, but I'm not sure if MaryAnne will make a good witness for the defense."
"Because she's your cousin. A jury might see her testimony as a weak attempt to give credit to your story. You know, why would your kin not support you?"
Rosco make a face. "So what do we do?"
"Well, like I said before, I want to get your entire version of this whole situation including what happened five years ago. If we can show a judge that this lady can lie at the drop of a hat, which would make your version of how things happened now the most likely way, then we'll have a chance. Otherwise, we can pray that Sue Ann or John Burke suddenly up and confess about really happened."
Jim and Rosco talked for almost two hours. The lawyer took careful notes and never voiced an opinionated comment about what happened to Rosco five years ago. A little after ten, Jim felt he had collected enough for the time being and told Rosco to try to get some sleep, the bail hearing the next morning would be their first important hurdle to clear.
"The sooner we get you out of here, the better," Jim said.
"Yeah," Rosco said. "Ain't no place, for a Sheriff to be on the other side of the bars."
* * *
MaryAnne and Lulu had spent most of the evening getting ready for the trip to Piedmont. They dug out Rosco's suit for him to change into before the bail hearing and spent most of the night trying to convince 'Mama' that everything would be okay, although MaryAnne had a hard time believing it herself.
The next morning, with Maverick leading the way, the Coltrane family, including Flash and Bandit, and Boss headed to Piedmont. Leaving at the early hour, they hoped they could see Rosco before his nine o'clock court appearance but were denied when they arrived. MaryAnne even tried to convince the deputy to let Flash see Rosco but was told that no pets were allowed in the cell block.
"What the heck kinda jail you guys runnin' here?" she asked. Cradled in her arms was Flash who let out a wimper. "You won't let his dog see him, you won't let his own family see him. It's a wonder you let his lawyer see him."
"Ma'am, I'm sorry, but it's the sheriffs orders. Sheriff Coltrane can't have any visitors." The deputy looked at the sad faced wrinkled basset hound. "That includes pets."
Flash wimpered again.
"You're breaking her heart," MaryAnne said. "She hasn't seen him for over a day. That's a long time." She turned so that Flash faced the deputy. "Look at her. She's miserable. Can't she just see him for five minutes? It sure would ease the pain in her little puppy heart." MaryAnne looked at the deputy with her own kind of puppy look.
The deputy made a face. MaryAnne could tell she'd hit a potential soft spot. After a moment the deputy sighed.
"Five minutes," he said, "and no more. And just you and the dog."
MaryAnne smiled. "Oh, you don't know what this means to her. Thank you. Say thank you to the nice deputy, Flash."
Flash gave a more whole hearted bark. The deputy led MaryAnne to the door of the cell bock and the down the hall to Rosco's cell.
The deputy unlocked the door. "Five minutes," he reminded her as she went in. He closed it behind her and locked it.
Rosco had perked up at the sight of Flash and MaryAnne.
"Hey," MaryAnne greeted. She handed Flash to Rosco. The basset hound was glad to see her daddy again, and gave his face a lick.
"I'm glad you're here," Rosco said, settling the dog on his lap. MaryAnne took a seat next to her cousin.
"Lulu, 'Mama' and Boss are here too," she said. "I had to tug at the deputy's heart strings just to get Flash to see you. Apparently, you're not supposed to have any visitors."
"No visitors? Good grief, I didn't axe murder somebody."
MaryAnne shrugged. "I don't know. I'll feel better when we can get you out of here on bail."
Rosco paused. "What if they don't grant bail?"
"Why wouldn't they? If they don't then we get Daisy Duke out there to shuck and jive the deputies and we get Cooter and his tow truck and rip that cell block window out."
Rosco smiled. "I'm serious though, what if they don't?"
"They will, Rosco. Jim will make sure of that."
"How are we gonna pay for it?"
"Well, whatever the amount is I can borrow against Maverick for it."
"What if it's so high that Maverick won't cover it?"
"Then we sue for violation of your Eighth Amendment rights. They can't set an excessively high bail. You know that, Rosco."
"Yeah." He paused, stroking Flash's back. "I'm really in trouble this time, ain't I?" he asked then his eyes narrowed in anger. "And Sue Ann, she's making sure I go down for this."
"Jim thinks she might have told the officers a different story. Saying I knew she'd escape and still was willing to help. Can you believe that? Boy, that really galls me."
"Well, I was right there when she first showed up. I heard the whole story."
"He doesn't think you'd be a credible witness."
"Cuz I'm your kin. Yeah, he's right."
Rosco looked at MaryAnne. "Maybe you should've been a lawyer."
MaryAnne snickered. "No, not me. It ain't like Perry Mason, and besides I'm having too much fun being one of your deputies." She smiled.
Rosco smiled then it faded. "You'll end up being Sheriff before it's over with. Either you or Enos."
"Rosco, would you listen to yourself? You're gonna get out of here and you're gonna get out from under this bad wrap. You gotta believe that, okay? Jim ain't gonna let you down." MaryAnne gave her cousin's arm a reassuring grip. Flash let out a bark.
"Yeah, see? Even Flash knows you're gonna be out of here in no time."
Go to Part Three