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
The Return of Mrs. Rosco P. Coltrane (Part Three)
By: Lisa Philbrick

****


"All rise. The Circuit Court of Piedmont is now in session. The honarable David J. Tredwell presiding."

Everyone in the small courtroom remained standing until the black robed middle aged judge came in to the court and went up to the bench.

"Please, be seated."

As everyone sat down, MaryAnne kept an eye on Rosco, who was seated at the defense table with Jim. Rosco was wearing the charcol colored suit she and Lulu had brought. He looked very nice in it. Too bad it couldn't have been some other occasion to wear it.

The court clerk called the first case.

"Case number 16178-B. U.S vs. Coltrane on the charges of aiding and abetting an escape, and aiding and abetting an escape over state lines."

Jim and Rosco stood up, along with the prosecuting attourney.

"James Noland for the defense, Your Honor."

"Katherine Webster for the people, Your Honor."

"Does the defendent understand the charges that have been brought against him?" the judge asked.

"Yes, Your Honor," Jim said. "My client understands all charges that have been brought against him, has been advised of his rights and wishes to enter a plea at this time."

"Very well then." The judge looked at Rosco. "Mr. Coltrane on the charge of aiding and abetting an escape, how do you plead?"

"Not guilty," Rosco replied.

"On the charge aiding and abetting an escape over state lines how do you plead?"

"Not guilty."

"Let the record show that the defendent has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him. Now for the issue of bail. Ms. Prosecutor, to what would the government recommend?"

"Your Honor, we recommend that bail be set at $10,000. We recognize that the defendent is a man of the law and has served in that capacity for over 35 years. However, because of the unusual circumstances surrounding this case, what being the previous close, personal relationship the defendent had with the escapee, Ms. MacGraw, and that there may be a chance of flight from the jurisdiction, we feel that $10,000 is reasonable."

"Your Honor, although my client is a duely sworn Sheriff in the County of Hazzard in the State of Georgia, he does not make nearly enough money to pay that amount of bail. Plus I can personally gurantee that my client has no intention of fleeing the jursidiction. I believe bail should be reduced to $5,000."

The judge sat in thought for a moment, scribbling something down. "Bail is set at $10,000." He then picked up the gavel and slammed it on the bench. "Next case."

Jim turned to Rosco. "I tried."

"It's alright."

MaryAnne, Lulu, 'Mama,' and Boss were standing on the other side of the bar. Jim and Rosco turned to them as the bailiff came to escort Rosco back to jail.

"Don't worry, Rosco," MaryAnne said. "We can get the money for bail."

"That's right," Lulu said. "We'll have you out of there by this afternoon."

Rosco could only nod. The bailiff was directing him around the defense table to take him back to the jail. The Coltrane women and Boss watched him go.

"I just don't know where we're gonna get $10,000," MaryAnne said.

* * *

Upon returning to Hazzard, MaryAnne set out to somehow scrape together $10,000 for the bail money. The most MaryAnne had to her name was $150, and most of that was in change. 'Mama' had another $200 that she gave to MaryAnne.

"We're gonna have to borrow the rest against Maverick," MaryAnne told 'Mama,' "I figured we'd have to."

With the pink slip to the '78 Firebird in hand, MaryAnne drove to town to the bank to borrow the rest of what she needed for the bail money.

Little did MaryAnne know, a lot of folks were waiting for her at the bank when she pulled up. The Dukes, Cooter, Enos. Even Miz Tisdale.

MaryAnne looked at them as she came around the back end of Maverick. "What are y'all doin' here?"

"We heard from J.D. and Lulu that bail's been set for Rosco," Jesse said. "We want to help you out."

"Well, that's very kind of y'all, but between all of us we ain't got ten thousand dollars and regardless if y'all did, I couldn't take your money." She started toward the door when Luke stopped her.

"MaryAnne, this ain't no time for your pride to get in the way. We wanna help ya."

"What for? Rosco's always trying to put y'all in jail. Why do you guys wanna help get him out?"

"Rosco wasn't always like he is now, MaryAnne," Jesse said. "You know that. We all know that."

"That's right," Miz Tisdale chimed in. "I can remember when that cousin of yours was an honest lawman. Whatever compelled him to go crooked I'll never know but I sure wouldn't want to see him end up in jail permanently."

"Besides," Jesse continued, "he's innocent and it wouldn't be right if her were to go to prison for something he didn't do."

"Plus, things around here would be kinda borin' without him," Bo said.

MaryAnne smiled and chuckled. "Yeah." She looked at the boys. "General Lee might rust out on ya."

The boys laughed.

"Alright," she said. "I accept y'all wantin' to help. And thank you."

With the contrabutions from folks in Hazzard, MaryAnne ended up with almost $2,000. Then Boss surprised her by giving her another $5,000. All that left was just three thousand dollars which MaryAnne borrowed against Maverick. Wtih a cashier's check in hand, she headed back to Piedmont to bail out Rosco.

MaryAnne and Jim stood just outside the cell block waiting for Rosco. MaryAnne had brought Flash in with her and held the basset hound cradled in her arms, the tail happily slapping against MaryAnne's leg. Flash was looking forward to seeing her daddy again.

Rosco had a big smile on his face when he came out of the cell block. MaryAnne handed Flash to him and gave him hug.

"What a relief to be out of there," Rosco said.

"Yeah," MaryAnne said. "And let's not hang around here any longer than we have to."

The threesome giggled and left the cell block.

After Rosco picked up his personal belongings at the desk, they stepped out of the jail house and into the warm Alabama sun.

"Even though you're out of jail," Jim said, "you can't leave Piedmont, so I found a hotel to put you up at."

"Okay," Rosco said.

"And you can keep Flash with ya too."

Rosco brightened even more. "Ooo. Coo Coo!!" He snuggled Flash as MaryAnne giggled and Jim smiled.

As they started toward Maverick, where Bandit was leaning on the passenger door to greet Rosco, a man in a dark suit and carrying a brief case passed them. Rosco caught a glimpse of the man, who was also looking at him. The man said nothing and continued on toward the jail. Rosco was sure he recognized the face and he turned to look again.

Jim had seen the man too. When he turned and saw Rosco looking in curiousity he said, "That's Sue Ann's lawyer."

Rosco turned back to Jim. "You're kiddin'?"

Jim shook his head. "You seem surprised."

"Well, uh...he looks familar." No, he didn't look familar, he WAS familar. Rosco remembered now that Boss had made some deal with the man several years ago. And had double crossed him. Rosco wondered if he should tell Jim this as he, MaryAnne and Jim got into the blue Firebird.

Rosco might save himself a lot of trouble if he told Jim that Sue Ann's lawyer and Boss had done business in the past and that Boss had double crossed him. But considering the trouble he landed in when he opened his mouth before to the officers who arrested him, he figured he'd keep it shut this time.

MaryAnne dropped Rosco, Flash and Jim off at the hotel and told them she would go back to Hazzard to get some clean clothes for Rosco and the rest of his stuff. Jim and Rosco were going to begin preparing for Friday's arraignment, and Jim had also made arrangements for Rosco's patrol car to be released from the impound. MaryAnne said she'd bring Enos or somebody back with her to get it and take it back to Hazzard.

Rosco gave Bandit a pat on the head and the German Shepherd barked in farewell as Maverick pulled away from the curb. MaryAnne waved through the open T-top.

Jim and Rosco watched the Firebird as it left town. Jim then turned to MaryAnne's cousin.

"Well, let's get you settled in and then I'll buy ya some lunch."

"Ooo. Sounds good to me." Rosco giggled. Carrying Flash, he followed Jim into the hotel.

Across the street, two men were watching the Sheriff and the lawyer. When they disappeared into the building, the shorter of the two turned to his taller partner.

"When?"

The tall man glared at his friend. "When he's alone, you idiot."

Uh-oh. You know, I'm beginning to wonder if Rosco's found more trouble in Piedmont than he ever did in Hazzard.

The two men headed toward the jail.

Now the whole concept of bail works like this: the person puts up whatever the bail amount is, with the promise that they'll show up at the next court appearance. When they do, they get their money back. Makes you wonder why some folks skip out on bail don't it? Now, y'all keep that in mind while you see how events start to unfold.

Rosco and Jim had finished lunch and were almost two hours into their discussion when MaryAnne returned with Rosco's stuff and Enos, to take the patrol car back to Hazzard. She dropped Enos off at the impound first with the papers Jim had given her.

"Say hello to Sheriff Rosco for me," Enos said before he got out of Maverick.

MaryAnne smiled. "I will." She watched Enos get out of the car and then walk toward the impound before she drove to the hotel.

The two men were back watching the hotel again. They recognized the blue Firebird as it came to a stop.

It was two hours later when the two men saw MaryAnne and Jim come out of the hotel. The girl and the lawyer paused by the blue Firebird for a few moments then the lawyer started to walk towards the courhouse, while the girl got into her car and drove away.

"Now?" the short man asked.

"Now. C'mon."

The two men crossed the street and went into the hotel. They knew exactly what room Rosco was in, their information coming from a high source. They didn't knock, just barged in, startling Rosco, who swung around to face the two men.

"What? What is this?" he demanded as Flash went scurrying under the bed.

"Just come with us, Mr. Coltrane. We're gonna take ya on a little trip," the tall man said.

"I ain't goin' nowhere with you." Rosco tried to bolt to the door but was grabbed by the tall man, who then pulled out a gun and held it on Rosco, close to his neck.

"You ain't got no choice."

Rosco ceased his resistence and looked at the two men.

This just hasn't been Rosco's week, has it?

The men lead Rosco out the back way of the hotel to a grey four door sedan that was parked across the street behind the hotel. The tall man got in back with Rosco while the short one got into the driver seat. With no one in town aware that anything was amiss by all of this, the grey sedan rolled along the road, heading out of town.

No more than fifteen minutes later, Jim returned to the hotel. He immediately knew something was wrong when he saw the door to Rosco's room was slightly ajar. He pushed it open and found the room empty.

"Rosco?"

Nothing in the room stirred, except the brown face of Flash that peeked out from under the bed.

Jim came into the room and walked toward the bed. He kneeled down and put a hand out to Flash.

"Come here, sweetheart," he said gently. Flash crawled out and nudged up to Jim's hand.

As he stroked the basset hound, he knew something was seriously wrong. Rosco wouldn't skip out and even if he did, he wouldn't leave his dog behind. All of which only meant one thing. Rosco was taken against his will.

What is going on? Jim wondered as he picked up the basset and went over to the phone that was on the desk. He placed Flash down on the desk and then picked up the phone.

Well, Jim knew that MaryAnne wasn't back in Hazzard yet, so he called Boss and told him to tell her that something was up concerning Rosco's case and that she should get back to Piedmont immediately. Jim didn't specify what exactly was up because he couldn't help but wonder who may be listening.

A little while later, another important phone call was being made.


The two men who had grabbed Rosco had brought him out to an old shack about ten miles outside of town. Rosco was tied to a chair and gagged and the two men were outside by their car. The tall man was holding the car phone in his hand, reporting to their boss.

"You idiots!" the mail voice on the other end of the line exclaimed. "You weren't supposed to grab Coltrane until tommorrow. Now we have to hold him for an additional twenty-four hours."

"Wait a minute, boss. When's the arraignment?"

"Friday."

"What's today?"

"WEDNESDAY!!"

"Oh." The tall man looked at his partner and cringed. "Well, look, we got him hid out real good. Nobody will find him before Friday."

"You better hope nobody finds him," the man said, "or I may have to send you two up the river as well."

"Relax, Mr. Stein. Nobody will find him. I promise you that."

"I've been waiting fifteen years for this kind of opportunity. If I get Coltrane put away for a good long time, getting Boss Hogg will be easy."

Uh-oh. Man, this thing's got more twists and turns in it. If Rosco misses that arraignment, the bail is forfeited, which means the folks who loaned money to MaryAnne lose it, Boss loses five grand and MaryAnne loses Maverick. Somebody better be startin' to do some fast thinkin'.

Boss was able to get a hold of MaryAnne on the CB and she turned around and went straight back to Piedmont.


"Kidnapped?" MaryAnne repeated. She and Jim were in Rosco's hotel room. "Why?"

Jim shrugged. "I don't know, but if we don't find him by Friday and he misses the arraignment the bail is forfeited."

MaryAnne sighed and plopped down on the edge of the bed. "Which means Rosco goes back to jail for a long time with no new chance of getting out. Dang it." MaryAnne looked at Flash who was sitting on the floor looking up MaryAnne. The Basset had her head cocked off to one side, as if to say, "So where's Rosco?"

"What are we gonna do, Flash?"

"Woof!"

"Yeah, I know. Find him." MaryAnne then thought of the Dukes and everyone who had lent her money toward the bail.

"Oh, shoot."

"What?" Jim asked.

"I was just thinking of all the folks who loaned me money for the bail. Miz Tisdale, Boss Hogg, the Dukes--" She stopped suddenly. "The Dukes. If anybody can find Rosco it'd be them boys."

"MaryAnne, we have no idea who took Rosco, why, or where he is. He may not even be in Piedmont."

"But still, they and everyone should know what's goin' on."

Jim nodded. "Yeah." He paused. "And I'm going to have to tell the court that Rosco's missing, and they're going to treat it like he skipped. Which means they'll put a warrant out for him."

"Jim! We can't do that. He didn't skip, he was kidnapped!"

"I know that, but we can't prove it."

MaryAnne looked at Flash. "There's your proof. If Rosco was gonna skip he would have taken her with him."

Jim gave MaryAnne a sorry expression.

"Well?" She made a face. "Do you really have to tell the court?"

"You know I have to."

She made a face again. "Now I remember why I hated working in Atlanta so much. Dumb technicalities."

"I'm sorry."

"It's not your fault. I suppose we'd be in worse trouble if you didn't tell 'em."

"That's right."

"Okay. Go tell 'em. I'll tell the Dukes."

The boys and Daisy immediately headed to Piedmont, after letting everyone else know what had alledgedly happened to Rosco. Everyone was at a lost as to why it had happened.

"I just don't understand it," Luke was saying. He, Bo and Daisy and MaryAnne were in the lobby of the courthouse, waiting for Jim who was filing the approriate documents to let the court know the Rosco was 'missing.' "And I mean everything. The whole thing with Sue Ann coming back and all."

"And that Sue Ann told the cops here that Rosco knew she'd escaped and saying he still agreed to help her." MaryAnne paused in thought. "And then there's Sue Ann lawyer." She looked at the Dukes. "Rosco recognized him."

"From where?" Bo asked.

"He didn't say. Only that the guy looked familiar. And he was rather surprised that he was Sue Ann's lawyer." MaryAnne glanced around the lobby. She spotted the man as he walked over to two other men. "That's him now."

The boys and Daisy turned to look. They all watched as the man appeared to be chewing out the other two.

"Seems a little agitated," Luke said. He then glanced at Bo and looked at MaryAnne. "How about if me and Bo go take a listen?"

MaryAnne nodded and smiled. She and Daisy watched the boys walk nonchalantly towards the three men as if they were going to the snack and soda machines. The boys paused at the machines, digging into their pockets for money while they listened to the conversation.

"...he's complaining 'cuz his dog was left alone," the tall man said.

"So?" the lawyer spat. "You left him alone to come and tell me that?!"

"He can't escape. He ain't awake to."

The lawyer glared at the two men. "You hit him?"

"No, we used these." The tall man gestured to his short friend. The other man pulled out a pill bottle from his jacket. "We ground up a couple and put them in a glass of water. He's sleeping like a baby."

The lawyer seemed somewhat content with that. "Alright," he said. "Do you know where the dog is now?"

The tall man shrugged. "I think the girl with the funky car took it. Why?"

"Because if you had taken the dog the same time you took Coltrane, it would look more like that he skipped out." The lawyer suddenly stopped and looked at Bo and Luke. He gestured for the other two men to step away from the boys.

"We spooked him," Bo said.

"Yeah, but now we know they've got Rosco. This still doesn't make sense, but I think we should follow these guys, find out where they've got Rosco hid."

"Yeah. And tell MaryAnne too."

"Right."

Well, things are moving now. The boys told MaryAnne what they heard and that they were gonna follow the two fellas. Although she wanted to go too, Luke suggested MaryAnne stay behind and tell Jim what was goin' on.

"I'll stay with you, MaryAnne," Daisy said.

"As soon as we know where he is we'll come back and get you and Jim, okay?" Luke asked.

MaryAnne looked at the boys. She really wanted to go with them, but she nodded instead. "Alright. You find him!"

Luke smiled. "We will."

The boys left the courthouse and went to the General to watch for Steins two associates to leave. They spotted them coming out of the courthose a little later and watched them walk to a grey sedan. After the two men had driven away, Bo started the General.

"Take it easy, cousin," Luke said. "We don't want them to spot us, but we don't want to lose them either."

"I know," Bo said. "This ain't Hazzard County."

"And we don't want to get lost."

Bo caught a glance of the smirk on Luke's face. "Cute," he said.

The boys successfully followed the grey sedan to the shack where Rosco was being held. The boys hed the General and snuck up to the back of the shack to peek into the dirty window.

They spotted Rosco laying on an old mattress on the floor. He was on his back, his hands tied in front of him and his feet were bound by rope. The two men were seated at a table in the far right corner playing cards and drinking beer.

"Well, there he is," Bo said as he and Luke kneeled below the window. "Why don't we just go in there and get him out?"

"Two reasons. One, this ain't Hazzard County, meaning we have a completely different set of rules to be playing by here. And two, the .44 Magnum on the table there says it's probably not a good idea anyway."

Bo looked in the window again. He saw the big black gun resting on the table by the arm of the man who's back faced Rosco.

"Yeah, I see what you mean," he said. "So what do we do?"

"We go tell MaryAnne and Jim that we found him and then have Jim get the right people out here to see this and get Rosco back."

"Alright."

The boys quickly and quietly made their way back to the General and returned to the Piedmont courthouse.

* * *

Rosco woke up about fifteen minutes after the boys left with an interesting headache. He opened his eyes and then squinted at the sunlight that poured through the dirt crevises on the window and shined on his face. He lifted his tied hands to block the sun and turned his head to look around.

Recognizing the two men sitting at the table, Rosco suddenly remembered what had been happening.

That's the last time I ask for a drink of water, he thought rubbing his right hand across his forehead. He still didn't know why he was being held. The two men didn't exaclty make for engaging conversation.

Almost without thinking, Rosco turned on his side, facing the wall, and curled into a partial fetal postition. Whatever had been in the water that had knocked him out was starting to make him feel sick to his stomach. And combined with his headache he was wishing he was still unconcious.

Who's gonna save me now? he wondered.

* * *

"You found him?! MaryAnne exclaimed happily after the boys had returned with the good news. "Yay!" She looked at Jim. "Now what do we do?"

"Now, we go to the police. Tell 'em how Rosco recognized Sue Ann's lawyer, what the boys here overheard and hope to heck they'll come with us to get Rosco back."

As the Dukes, Jim and MaryAnne left the lobby of the courthouse, they didn't notice that Sue Ann's lawyer had been standing a few feet away from them and had heard everything.

Uh-oh. I hope the police there in Piedmont don't stall, or that Stein fella's gonna have Rosco hid someplace where nobody will find him. Atleast until Friday.

Stein quickly left the lobby and jogged to his car. As he was driving out of the center of Piedmont, the Dukes and MaryAnne were waiting outside of the police station where Jim was trying to get some official help.

"They won't help us," MaryAnne said. "I don't know why Jim's even trying. We're just gonna have to go in and get Rosco ourselves."

"Thing is, MaryAnne, if we can show that Sue Ann's lawyer has something to do with this, then the charges against Rosco could end up being dropped." Luke said.

MaryAnne paused in thought. "That's right. Conflict of interest. Well, actually just an act of gross misconduct."

"But why did he do it?" Daisy asked.

Maryanne shook her head. "I can't figure it out either. Rosco apparently knows the guy. I suppose Rosco's the only one who knows why."

Nope. But he's about to find out.

Stein brought his car to a stop and walked into the shack.

"You idiots were followed by those hayseeds in that orange car. They and Coltrane's lawyer know where he is so we've got to move him. Now!"

The two men tossed their cards on the table and got up. They walked over to where Rosco was still laying on his side, facing the wall.

"Don't touch me," Rosco moaned. He had heard Stein when the man came in and figured to try to stall to allow for the Dukes, MaryAnne and Jim to get to him.

"I mean it," he continued. "I think I'm gonna be sick." Not that this was much of a shuck and jive, Rosco really didn't feel well.

The tall man leaned over Rosco and waved the .44 in front of Rosco's face. "Maybe this'll make you feel better?"

Rosco looked at the gun and then sighed. "Not really."

"Let's go."

Slowly, Rosco got to his knees. When he looked up he recognized Stein. His eyes narrowed in question.

Stein chuckled. "Told you I'd get back at you and Hogg."

"Then, then all of this, everything with Sue Ann, was all a set up?"

"Not all of it. More like perfect timing. I knew of Sue Ann escaping from prison and wanting to get here. I suggested she go to Hazzard to get you to bring her here and I told her only one thing before she left Atlanta. Don't get caught, but if you do make sure you implicate Coltrane as a knowledgable accomplice and accesory."

Rosco just stared at Stein. "You mean, it wasn't Sue Ann's idea to tell the cops here that I knew of her escape and was still helping?"

Stein shook his head. "To make sure she did that I promised to make sure she didn't get that long of an additional sentence for the escape if she did get caught. It wasn't even her idea to ask you to do what you did."

Rosco dropped his gaze to the dusty floor remembering what he had said to her in the jail. "But why?" he asked looking back up at Stein. "I don't understand why."

"Don't you? As soon as I have you out of the way, getting Boss Hogg will be easy. Have you forgotten in fifteen years?"

Rosco shook his head. "No." He paused. "How does kidnapping me make it easier to get to Boss?"

"Well, you see, when you fail to make your arraignment on Friday, a warrant will be issued for you arrest. Amazingly, you will turn up after this has occured, slightly drunk and unable to remember anything of the previous days. You'll be arrested for skipping out on bail and the verdict of guilty for aiding and abetting my client will be the only thing you'll have to look forward to. While you're breaking rocks somewhere in an Alabama prison, Boss Hogg will be wide open."

"Now why would I be stupid as to show up here in Piedmont after I had supposedly skipped out?"

"'Cuz you miss your dog."

Rosco's eyes widened. "Flash. What did you do to Flash?" he demanded.

"We didn't do nothin'," the tall man answered. "The chick with the Firebird has the dog."

Rosco sighed in relief.

"I think we've had enough small talk. Rex, get him on his feet and let's get going," Stein said.

The tall man proceeded to untie the ropes around Rosco's feet and then he and his partner grabbed Rosco and pulled him to stand. They then led him out of the shack.

"Wait a minute," Rosco said. "I don't feel good and I could still be sick. It's not a pretty sight when I'm sick."

"Just shut up and get into the car," Rex said.

If only Rex knew that Rosco wasn't kiddin'.

Jim, meanwhile, came running out of the police station.

"I got it," he said. "They're going to follow us. You boys going to lead the way?"

"Yeah," Luke said as he and Bo turned to climb into the General along with Daisy. Jim and MaryAnne ran to Maverick and in no time the General was leading the way out of town with two police cars in tow.

"You do remember the way, don't ya?" Luke joked.

"Yes, I remember the way," Bo replied not finding any humor in what Luke said. As he turned the corner and brought the General onto the stretch of road that led to the shack both he and Luke spotted the grey sedan and a maroon car behind it heading toward them.

"Luke, ain't that them?"

The two cousins wathced the two cars go zooming by.

"It is," Luke said.

"That looked like Sue Ann's lawyer in that other car."

"Yeah." Luke picked up the CB mike as Bo turned the General around. "MaryAnne, that was them. It looks like Sue Ann's lawyer is in that other car."

"Hang on, Jim," MaryAnne said.

"Don't have to warn me, I remember how you drive. Get after 'em girl!"

MaryAnne raised her hand out the open T-top to tell the Piedmont police to follow then she swung Maverick around and the two police cars did as well. She picked up the CB mike. "Right behind ya fellas. Let's get these dudes."

Stein had watched in his rearview as the orange car turned around. He then blared the horn and waved for Rex to step on it.

Rosco found himself smiling at the sight of the General and Maverick, although now that the car was picking up speed, his stomach didn't find the situation very pleasant.

"Oh boy," he said grabbing on to the seat.

Bo was pushing the General right up to the back of Stein's car.

"I don't think you're gonna have a problem with this guy," Luke said.

Bo smiled. The General nudged the back of the sedan. Stein was certainly no country driver and after a couple of more bumps from the General, he lost control of his car and went sliding off the road.

The General and Maverick continued after the grey sedan while one of the Piedmont police cars stopped to pick up Stein.

Luke picked up the CB mike. "MaryAnne, did your daddy ever teach you the old Ridge Runner's Squeeze?"

"Affirmitive," she giggled. "Better than a vice grip. You fellas takin' the front?"

"That's a 10-4."

Bo cut the General to the left side of the sedan and came up beside it. He then pulled infront of it a few feet and turned the General so that all Rex saw was nothing but the big 01 on the door.

Rex swung the sedan to the left as MaryAnne turned Maverick and the grey car became sandwiched between the General and the Firebird.

"Ooh," Rosco said and managed a "Khee!"

MaryAnne pulled Maverick back as the Piedmont police officers ran up to the sedan. MaryAnne and Jim got out of Maverick as the boys and Daisy climbed out of the General. They all gathered at the grey car and MaryAnne pulled open the back door.

"Rosco, are you okay?" she asked extending a hand to help him out. When he stepped out of the car he stumbled a bit. MaryAnne gasped and grabbed a hold of him. "Oh, you're pale."

Rosco nodded. "I don't feel good."

"You gonna be sick?"

"I think so."

"Oh Lord. C'mon." She led him off to the side of the road.

Don't y'all worry about ol' Rosco. He felt better a little later, especially when he found out that even though Stein had tried to weasel his way out of everything, the two associates of his confessed, figuring if they were gonna go to jail they may as well try for a reduced sentence.

Rosco recovered from that knock out stuff he'd been given and everyone was looking forward to the court appearance on Friday, where it was anticipated that the Feds would drop their charges against Rosco.


The courtroom was packed that Friday. Half of Hazzard County was there; the Dukes, Cooter, Boss, Lulu, 'Mama' Coltrane, MaryAnne and even Miz Tisdale. Rosco was wearing his charcol suit again and he sat with Jim in the front row of the gallery, impatiently waiting for the judge.

After a moment, the same judge who had presided over the bail hearing came through the door from his chambers after being announced by the bailiff. Everyone remained standing until the judge told them to be seated.

Rosco's case was the second one to be called. MaryAnne sat running one fingernail under another, waiting for what seemed like twenty years while the first case was discussed and such and then finally the court clerk announced the next case.

"Case number 16178-B U.S vs. Coltrane."

Jim and Rosco took their place at the defense table while the government attourney went to the prosecution table.

"The government wishes to file a motion at this time?" the judge asked.

"Yes, Your Honor," the woman said. "In light of recent events and revelations in regards to the attourney for Ms. Sue Ann MacGraw and his actions toward the defendent, Mr. Coltrane, the government moves to drop all charges against the defendent, and that the bail money be returned to Miss MaryAnne Coltrane."

The judge made some notes. Seemed like hours before he finally said, "Both motions are hereby granted." He looked at Rosco. "Mr. Coltrane, you're free to go."

A whoop went up in the gallery. It was gaveled down by the judge. He slammed the gavel again to formally dismiss the case and Rosco was officially a free man.

Everyone filed out of the courtroom to wait for Jim and Rosco in the hall.

Rosco shook Jim's hand before they headed to the other side of the bar. "Thanks a lot," he said.

"Heck, I didn't do much," Jim said picking up his brief case. "You got kidnapped and that closed the case. I didn't even get a chance to show off."

Rosco laughed as he and Jim came out of the courtroom. Suddenly Rosco had MaryAnne clinging to him.

"Woohoo!" she exclaimed. "I'm so glad that's all over with."

"Me too," Rosco said as everyone gathered around to congratulate him.

"Yeah, it's good to have you back, Rosco," Bo said.

"Thanks, Bo. And I wanna thank you fellas for what you did on Wednesday."

Luke smiled. "Just protecting our investment in your bail."

"Which all of you will be getting your moeny back," MaryAnne said. "In fact, why don't I go get it now, then we'll all head back to Hazzard and have a celebration at the Boar's Nest. Whadaya say?"

Everyone cheered.

"You too, Jim."

"I wouldn't miss it," he replied with a smile.

"Okay. I'll meet y'all outside then?" she said.

"Yeah," Jim said for the group.

As MaryAnne headed to the clerk's office to get the money, Rosco and Jim and everyone started to walk down the hall. Coming toward them was a bailiff with Sue Ann and her new lawyer. Rosco and Sue Ann looked at each other for a moment as they passed but said nothing. The Hazzard folk were all watching Rosco, who kept his gaze focused ahead, even when Sue Ann had turned and called his name.

Rosco stopped, not really wanting to turn to her, but he did.

"Let me guess," he said before she could speak. "You're gonna say you're sorry again ain't ya?" He paused. "I know why you did what you did, but that doesn't excuse it. I can't fogive you so easily this time. I don't even know if I should be mad at you, I can only feel sorry for you."

Sue Ann looked at Rosco. It was clear in her expression that she felt sorry and she wanted to say it, to some how make up for what she did. But knowing he didn't want to hear it, she dropped her gaze and turned back toward the courtroom.

Although, MaryAnne had been right about lightening striking twice, some folks in Hazzard could help but wonder if the second time hurt more than the first for Rosco.


~END~