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© Copyright: 1996-2004. Lisa Philbrick
The Dukes of Hazzard
"Christmas in Dixie..."
Cooter’s blue and white tow truck drove up to the Coltrane house. His passenger was a very quiet MaryAnne and the car he was towing was a badly damaged blue 1978 Firebird. The passenger side of the car was the most damaged. The passenger door was dented in, the T-top glass was spiderwebbed and the back quarter panel was crumpled. Needless to say, the car was totaled.
Friends and neighbors, betcha never thought you’d see ol’ Maverick like that again did ya? Well, neither did MaryAnne.
“Well, look at it this way, MaryAnne,” Cooter said. “Atleast you’re okay. It could have been worse you know.”
MaryAnne sighed. “Yeah, I know.” The truck came to a stop at the end of the driveway and MaryAnne opened the door and stepped out.
“Well, I’ll make sure ol’ Maverick’s comfortable,” Cooter said.
MaryAnne looked at him. “What? You ain’t gonna leave him here?”
“You wanna get him fixed don’t you?”
“Cooter, I can’t afford to get this car fixed again.”
“Don’t worry about that, MaryAnne. We’ll work something out.”
“Sure, but with the way things are going now, it’ll be 20 year payment plan.”
“No it won’t. You’ll be back tearing around Hazzard County in the ol’ boy again before you know it.” Cooter than drove off and MaryAnne watched as her wrecked car went by her. With a sigh, she turned around and went into the house.
In town, Rosco came jogging out of the courthouse, hastily putting his black uniform jacket on, just as Cooter was pulling into the garage. Seeing the wrecked Firebird didn’t cause Rosco too much alarm, since MaryAnne called him to tell him what happened and that she was okay. But he had to see if the extent of the damage was what she really said it was.
“Jit jit!” Rosco exclaimed as he came around to the passenger side of Maverick. “It’s really scuffed!”
“Eh, I can fix that no problem,” Cooter said as he came up beside Rosco. “Besides, I’ve had plenty of experience fixing you and Enos’s patrol cars.” He laughed.
“Doh...Cooter,” Rosco said. “Yeah, well when you fix the patrol cars it comes out of the Sheriff’s dept. budget.” Rosco paused. “Which comes out of my pay eventually. Anyways, my point being that I don’t think MaryAnne’s got any money to get Maverick here fixed. And I ain’t got much to lend to her to help out either.”
“I told her not to worry about that,” Cooter said. “I’ll still fix him for her.”
What Cooter doesn’t know is that Rosco and MaryAnne are pretty hard pressed right now. Boss has done such a belt tightening on the county budget that the Sheriff’s Department’s salaries have taken a nose dive. Neither Rosco nor MaryAnne however, will up and admit it.
To make things even more interesting, it was exactly three weeks until Christmas, and while everyone in Hazzard was preparing for the holidays Rosco and MaryAnne were just praying they’d have enough to put a little something on the table and a little something under their tree.
After talking with Cooter, Rosco drove out to the house to see MaryAnne and make sure she was okay. Friends and neighbors, you tell me if she’s okay or not.
“You’re gonna WHAT?!” Rosco exclaimed.
“I’m thinkin’ to just sell Maverick.”
“MaryAnne, you can’t sell that car!”
“Rosco, he’s no good to us now. I can’t afford to get him fixed. Look, there’s a classic car autoparts shop in Atlanta that specializes in Firebirds and Trans Ams that’ll take him for a good price. Besides, we need the money.”
“Well, yeah...but...” Rosco looked at his young cousin sadly, turning his hat in his hands. “MaryAnne, I hate to see you part with that car. Can you atleast think about it for awhile? I mean, if I could I’d buy him from you.”
“What would you do with a wrecked ‘78 Firebird?”
Rosco looked at the floor for a moment and then at MaryAnne. “MaryAnne, I know you better than that. I know you can’t give up that car that easily.”
MaryAnne sighed and turned towards the living room. “Rosco, we’re making just enough to put food on the table and buy thread to sew up the rips on our uniforms. It’s just a car.”
Rosco shook his head. “Maverick ain’t just a car and you know it. I can’t believe after you saved him from the junk heap you want to now send him back.”
MaryAnne turned back to Rosco. “He wouldn’t be goin’ to a junk heap, Rosco. They would strip him down and then catalog his parts so other folks who have the same model car can replace parts on theirs. I’d rather have him be an automotive organ donor than to have him just end up being crushed.”
“I’d rather you not get rid of him at all.”
“Rosco, I can’t afford to get him fixed. And if Cooter thinks he’s gonna fix that car without me paying for it, he can forget it. I will not take delivery of Maverick if I can’t pay for the repairs. So he’ll just end up sitting at Cooter’s garage for a long time.”
“That’s okay! I’d rather it be that way than to have you get rid of him.”
“Rosco, you don’t understand. Cooter would have the legal right to sell Maverick to pay for the repair bill if he wanted.”
“Cooter wouldn’t do that. He said he’ll fix Maverick for ya even tho’ he knows you and I can’t afford it right now.”
“Rosco, I don’t want to be a charity case. Besides, you should be thinking more of how you and I are gonna get through the winter on our extremely limited budget. I mean, we’ve got you and me and two dogs to feed. Plus we gotta make sure we can pay for heat and electricity.”
“I know, but giving up Maverick isn’t going to solve everything. Would you think about it a little longer. Please?”
MaryAnne looked at her cousin. He really didn’t want to see the car go and deep down she didn’t either, but other things were taking precedent. However, she sighed and said, “Okay, I’ll think about it a little longer.”
Rosco wasn’t gonna let MaryAnne get rid of Maverick no matter what. Despite their financial burdens at the moment, Maverick was like family and Rosco knew that if MaryAnne went through with selling him, she’d only regret it in the end.
When Rosco returned to town, he went to Cooter’s garage. Maverick was already parked in the garage bay and Cooter was looking through a parts catalog at his desk. He looked up when Rosco approached.
“Hi Cooter. Um, I wanted to talk to you about Maverick here.”
“Sure, what’s up?”
“Well, even if you fix the car, MaryAnne won’t take him if she can’t pay for it.”
“I told her we can work something out.”
“I know. That’s kinda why I’m here. See I’m afraid if she don’t take the car back, you may end up selling him to pay the bill.”
“I wouldn’t sell this car, Rosco.”
“Yeah, but you could. I mean, you’d have every legal right to sell it to pay the bill on it.”
“Rosco, what are you getting at?”
“Well, I was wonderin’ if we could try to work out some kinda deal now? That is, if you’ve figured out how much it’s gonna cost to fix all this.” He looked at Maverick sitting slightly slumped to the right side.
“Well, I’ve got kind of a rough estimate.”
“How much?” Rosco asked, bracing himself for an answer that he figured wouldn’t be good.
“Well...new door, new quarter panel, new t-top...gotta realign the suspension on the back here...new rocker panel..umm...”
“A lot of money isn’t it?”
Cooter nodded and spoke softly. “About $1200.”
Rosco cringed. He paused a moment, looking at the Firebird. He knew that he was too attached to it, but he couldn’t help it. He liked the car. Maverick had helped him and MaryAnne get out of trouble on so many occasions that to just give up on him would seem too mean. But then again, he had to remind himself that cars don’t have feelings.
But I do.
“I’ll tell ya what,” Cooter said. “Seeing as it is the holidays and all I can do it for around $900. How’s that?”
“A little better,” Rosco said. Not much, but a little.
“Rosco, I think you’re worrying too much about this. I know MaryAnne will be able to pay for it at some point, even if it’s not for a year! If she wants to leave him here before she pays me, that’s okay too. I’m not going to sell Maverick for any price.”
Rosco looked and Cooter and nodded. “Thanks,” he said. “She’ll be glad to hear that.”
* * *
A little while later, Rosco was sitting at his favorite speed trap when the familiar sound of loud pipes came out of the air. He watched as the General Lee went by him in a cloud of dust and right on cue, Rosco floored the accelerator and hit the switch for the gumballs and siren.
At the wheel of the General, Bo glanced at the rearview mirror seeing the white patrol car coming up behind him. Luke turned in the passenger seat and looked out the back window.
“Rosco, must be lookin’ for a Christmas bonus,” he said.
“Well, I don’t know about you cousin, but it ain’t coming out of my pocket.”
“Nope. Step on it cuz.”
Bo turned the General off the road and Rosco followed right behind. As soon as the General’s brake lights lit up, Rosco saw that only one side was working.
“Oooh! Khee khee! Look Flash, they got a busted taillight. They can’t weasel their way out of a ticket this time!”
Rosco kept up his relentless pursuit of the boys, following them across the field then through a unplowed corn field sending dry corn shucks flying. They came back out on a dirt road and Rosco pushed the Plymouth for everything it had to come up on the
side of the General.
Luke looked past Bo as the Plymouth started to creep up.
“Come on, Bo, you slowin’ up in your old age?”
“It ain’t me, it’s the General. He doesn’t seem to wanna kick into the next gear.” Bo had taken his foot off the gas and was pushing down on the clutch, shifting the General back and forth from third to fourth. When Bo would step on the gas again in fourth gear, the General made no improvement to his speed.
“Oh great,” Luke muttered as Rosco finally over took the General and cut ahead. He then swung the patrol car around and blocked the road, Bo having no choice but to stop.
“Dang it, General!” Bo exclaimed. He sighed and in time with Luke, climbed out of the driver side window as Rosco came around his patrol car already pulling out his ticket book.
“Oooh, it could turn out to be a good Christmas after all,” Rosco gloated. “Khee khee...”
“Okay, Rosco what are you up to now?” Luke asked.
“Well, it would appear that General Lee has let y’all down,” Rosco said as he started to fill out the ticket.
“Ha, if you mean the fact that you caught us, maybe it was just a lucky shot,” Bo said.
“Nope, that ain’t what I mean.” Rosco finished writing his ticket and then ripped it out of the book. “What I mean is, you’ve got a busted taillight.”
“What?” Luke said. He and Bo turned and walked to the back of the ‘69 Charger and they examined the tail lights.
“Rosco, there ain’t nothing wrong with them tail lights,” Luke said. “And don’t you think of kickin’ ‘em!”
“That ain’t what I mean either. The light on this one is out.” Rosco pointed to the passenger side light. “I saw it when Bo slowed down to make the turns. Only this one lights up.” He pointed with his pen to the driver side one.
“You gotta be kiddin’ me,” Bo said. He went and got into the car and stepped on the brake light. “Tell me he’s wrong, Luke!”
Luke looked at the one tail light that was lit up. He frowned and shook his head. “Afraid not cousin. It’s busted.”
“Oooh I love it, I love it!” Rosco exclaimed. He handed the ticket to Luke as Bo climbed out of the General and rejoined them. Rosco tucked his ticket book inside his jacket, still smiling.
“Guess we can’t call that a lucky shot either huh, Luke?” Bo said.
“I don’t think so.”
“Uhh...look, Rosco, it’s the holidays, don’t you think you could let us off with a warning?” Bo asked.
“Arrrree you kiddin’ me? Let you two off with a warning? I think I’ve given you enough warnin’s over the years. And don’t think you can use the holidays to weasel yer way out of this, because it ain’t gonna work.” Rosco turned and started to walk back to his patrol car. “I love it, I love it! Police work’s my life.”
The boys watched him drive away and then Bo sighed. “Uncle Jesse ain’t gonna be too happy with us for this.”
“You got that right. Come on, we’ll go to town and see if we can get that tail light fixed before Rosco cites us six ways from Sunday.”
So much for a holiday discount from Rosco huh?
Well, while the boys were taking the ailing General to Cooter’s, MaryAnne drove Rosco’s car to the Boar’s Nest to try to put in some more overtime.
When Daisy came into the Boar’s Nest, she said hello to MaryAnne and then walked over to the clipboard by Boss’s office to fill in her time sheet. She glanced at MaryAnne’s and saw that she had put in a lot of overtime already in the past week. Daisy
looked over and saw the young Coltrane yawn and then resume getting beer mugs and peanut bowls ready for the afternoon and evening crowd.
“MaryAnne, I noticed you’ve got Rosco’s car today,” Daisy said as she came behind the bar. “Is everything okay with Maverick?”
MaryAnne shook her head. “I wrecked him. The rain we had yesterday and then the cold temps last night left some black ice out on Route 16. I hit it just right and went flying into a tree.”
“Oh my Lord! When did this happen?”
“Are you okay? I can’t believe you’re here now.”
“I’m okay. The back of the car got the most of it. I just got a coupla bumps and bruises. Nothing serious.”
“Well, I’m sure Cooter will have him fixed in no time.” Daisy smiled. “I don’t know if I can stand to see you driving Rosco’s car for very long!”
MaryAnne chuckled a little and dropped her gaze a bit.
MaryAnne’s thinking that maybe Daisy should get used to it. Without Maverick, Rosco’s car is the only thing she’s got to drive. Other than her patrol car. Hmmm...you think she might put one of them fancy hood birds on that?
“I’ve noticed you’ve put in a lot of overtime this week,” Daisy said.
“Yeah, trying to get a little extra for the holidays you know?” MaryAnne lied as she walked over to the juke box. She reached behind it for the cord and plug and plugged it into the wall.
“Yeah, I can understand that.” Daisy watched the lights on the juke box come on and then MaryAnne dug a quarter out of her burgundy colored short-shorts and plunked it into the machine. After a moment, Elvis started singing about his “Blue Christmas.”
“Have you figured out yet what you’re going to get the boys and Jesse for Christmas?” MaryAnne asked as she walked back to the bar.
“Not quite. I think I know what to get for Uncle Jesse, but them boys is a different story.”
MaryAnne smiled. She fixed the gold tinsel on the front of the bar and said, “Sounds like they’re about as easy to shop for as Rosco.”
Daisy giggled. “I always wondered, what do you get the Sheriff of Hazzard County for Christmas?”
MaryAnne paused. “Practical stuff.”
“Seriously. You gotta remember Daisy his birthday’s this Sunday, the 12th.”
“That’s right,” Daisy said.
“Yeah. So usually I get him something special for his birthday and then something practical for Christmas.”
“That means you gotta shop twice for the same person!”
MaryAnne laughed. “Actually it’s easy. I do it all in one day anyway.”
“So what are gettin’ him?”
“For his birthday or for Christmas?”
“Well...both.” Daisy giggled.
“Well, for his birthday I got a coupla things. ‘Loretta Lynn’s Greatest Hits’ tape and a new watch. For Christmas he’s getting new jeans and I swiped his black cowboy boots that he hasn’t worn in about four years and had ‘em resoled, which is why he hadn’t been wearin’ them. But SHHHH don’t tell him!” MaryAnne giggled.
Daisy laughed. “I won’t say a word!”
MaryAnne’s one of them folks that does their Christmas shopping early. Really early. Like in August! Which was a good thing, because she knew she wouldn’t have been able to afford any of that stuff now. I’m wonderin’ tho’ how Rosco hasn’t noticed that them boots have been missin’ all this time?
In town, Cooter came out of his garage in time to see General Lee coming down the road. Bo and Luke both saw the front end of Maverick sticking out of the garage bay and Bo brought the General to a stop in front of the garage.
“Hey Cooter,” Luke greeted as he climbed out of the passenger window.
“Hey, y’all,” Cooter replied as Bo came up beside Luke. The mechanic then glanced back at the Firebird. “Ya wanna see what happens when you hit black ice?” He then waved his finger and the boys followed him into the garage.
“Holy smokes...” Luke breathed, seeing the damage.
“Wow,” Bo said. “Is MaryAnne okay?”
“Oh yeah she’s fine. Atleast, I THINK she is.”
The boys looked at Cooter in concern. “What do you mean?” Luke asked.
“Well, last time something like this happened I made an arrangement with her on paying for the repairs. This time, she apparently thinks she’ll never be able to pay for it. I even had Rosco here earlier to try to make a deal. The best I could offer was to knock three hundred dollars off the price of the repairs.”
“How much is it going to cost?” Luke asked.
“Deducting the three hundred, about $900.”
“Ouch,” Bo said.
“She knows I’m willing to work out a deal with her,” Cooter said. “Heck, it can take her two years to pay it off, that’s okay.”
“What did Rosco say when he came?” Luke asked.
“Well, either he’s concerned or MaryAnne’s concerned that I would sell this car to pay the repair bill on it. I made it pretty clear to Rosco that I wouldn’t do such a thing.”
Luke was frowning in thought. “No, there’s gotta be more to it. I mean, both MaryAnne and Rosco should know by now that you wouldn’t sell someone’s car to pay their repair bill if they couldn’t.”
“I don’t know about you, Luke, but it sounds to me like they flat out can’t afford it,” Bo said.
“Hmm,” Luke agreed.
“Well, whatever it is, the car’s going to be fixed and MaryAnne can pay me whenever she can pay me,” Cooter said.
The boys smiled. “Um, speaking of cars bein’ fixed,” Luke said, “the General’s ailing a bit himself.”
“Is he now? What seems to be the problem?”
“He won’t come out of third gear,” Bo explained. “We noticed it just now, when Rosco was chasin’ us. I went to shift into fourth and the General didn’t feel like he’d changed gears.”
“We figure it’s something in the gear box,” Luke said. “Lord knows we’ve gone through enough of those in our time.”
Cooter chuckled. “Ain’t that the truth. What was ol’ Rosco chasin’ y’all for?”
“Uh...busted tail light,” Luke replied. “A LEGITIMATELY busted tail light.”
Cooter laughed. “Well, you’re welcome to leave ol’ General Lee here if ya want. I gotta go out and tow in Mr. Hensbee now tho’.”
“Well, we were gonna head over to the auto parts store across the square and get the lights for the General,” Luke said. “Plus we gotta get back to the farm and help Uncle Jesse with the chores. We’ll try to take a look at the gear box ourselves and if we don’t have any luck, we’ll know who to call.”
Cooter grinned. “As always.” He then started towards his tow truck. “Take it easy y’all!” he called.
“See ya later, Cooter.”
* * *
At the courthouse, Rosco had returned from his patrol. He came into the booking room, carrying Flash. Cletus was seated at the booking desk and looked up as the Sheriff came in.
“Hi, Cletus,” Rosco replied as he placed Flash down on the bench just below the booking desk. He then stopped and slowly looked at Cletus again. The deputy was wearing a Santa hat.
Cletus grinned and then started singing, “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas...”
“Cletus, please, it ain’t for another three weeks.”
“Close enough for me! I love this time of year. Don’t tell me you ain’t got no Christmas spirit, Rosco?”
“Well sure I do! It just won’t hit until another coupla weeks.”
“Ohh,” Cletus said and nodded. “Hey, didja see the nice decoratin’ job Daisy and MaryAnne did at the Boar’s Nest yesterday?”
Rosco nodded. “Yeah, I just hope a fight don’t break out and ruin all the tinsel.”
“Yeah.” Cletus grabbed his deputy’s hat off the desk top and came down from behind the booking desk. He took the Santa hat off and placed his deputy’s hat on. “Well, I’m off on patrol. You know, I wish cousin Boss would let us decorate the patrol
Cletus smiled. “See ya later.”
If y’all wonderin’ where Enos is, well, he’s visitin’ some kin in Alabama for a couple of weeks. He too took a cut in pay and probably wouldn’t have been allowed to go to Alabama, if he hadn’t scheduled it back in October. Ol’ Boss ain’t too particular on having to pay vacation time.
Rosco shook his head as Cletus walked out of the booking room. Rosco then started towards his office, taking his black jacket off. He thought of Maverick and MaryAnne and wondered just how he was going to help pay for the repairs.
I ain’t got nine hundred bucks. Heck, I don’t think I’ve ever SEEN nine hundred dollars...well, any that wasn’t Boss’s money...
Rosco’s eyebrows suddenly perked up in thought. “Boss Hogg...” he whispered. Rosco turned around and walked out of his office and to Boss’s. The door was already open and Rosco paused by the entrance way.
“Um...Boss? Can I talk to ya for a minute?”
“What is it, Rosco?” Boss asked gruffly. Rosco saw the balance sheets and string of adding tape machine that snaked into a pile on the desk top. He wondered if maybe this wasn’t a good time.
Rosco came into the office, taking his hat off. “Uh..little fat buddy...I gotta favor to ask.”
Boss stopped poking the keys on the adding machine and looked up at Rosco. “A favor? For what?”
“Well, ya see, Maverick he got wrecked this morning and it’s gonna cost $900 to get him fixed. I was wonderin’ if there was any way to get the Sheriff’s department salaries back up again?”
Boss shook his head. “Rosco, we gotta pay the State Department of Transportation our portion of all those road construction projects of the past five years.”
“Do we have to pay it now?”
“The lump sum total is due January 1st. If we don’t pay, the DOT will sue the county and you’ll never see your pay go up again, that’s for sure!”
Rosco frowned. “Why’s the lump sum due now? I thought the county could have done a payment system over the five years?”
“Um...yeah, we could have.”
Rosco paused, looking at his brother-in-law. “You didn’t pay any of it?!”
Boss shook his head.
“Doh! I suppose now you’re gonna tell me that the department’s salaries will never go up anways!”
“I’m hoping to get it back to where it was sometime after the first, maybe by February at the latest.”
Rosco’s shoulders slumped. “I dunno if I can hold off that long.”
“Rosco, it ain’t like the car’s never been wrecked before. Cooter fixed it and MaryAnne was still able to pay for it over a period of time right?”
“Yeah,” Rosco said. “But it’s more complicated than that.” He paused and gave Boss a pleading look. “Can I borrow $900 from you?”
“What?! Rosco it would take you YEARS to pay me back that amount, plus interest.”
“I know, but I really really really really really need it. You could deduct from my pay each week.”
Boss gave Rosco a look. “Rosco, you don’t have enough left in your pay for me deduct any more!”
Rosco hesitated, knowing that was true. “Guess that’s a no huh?”
“Rosco, I’m sorry,” Boss said. “I’d like to help ya...”
“But you’re not gonna loan money to somebody who doesn’t have the proper collateral. That’s what you always say ain’t it?”
Boss was silent in his reply. Rosco nodded and gripping his hat in his hands he turned and left the office.
* * *
At the Duke farm, Luke was standing at the back of the General Lee with the trunk open and the tail light mechanism pulled out from the inside of the car. As he was replacing the lights, Bo was pushing a wheel barrow behind Jesse over to the end of the
Jesse, of course, was none to happy with the boys for having got a ticket for the tail light, which was why Luke was fixing that first.
“See, the way we figure it, Uncle Jesse, is that MaryAnne’s got worse car problems than we do,” Bo said. “We can afford to pay the ticket and fix the light. She and Rosco can’t afford to get Maverick fixed at all.” Bo put the wheelbarrow down and
looked at his uncle.
“Since when can we AFFORD to pay more tickets?” Jesse asked. “You two should know better than to let your car not be legal and all.”
“Well, yes sir, we know that...” Bo said apologetically. “But we also know when to see that someone else is having a tough time is too full of pride to ask for help.”
“Rosco’s worried for some reason that Maverick’s gonna to be taken away, and it ain’t by Cooter sellin’ it to pay the repair bill,” Luke said. “There’s more to it.”
“Yeah. We figure they must be really hard pressed right now,” Bo said. “We just can’t figure out why or just how bad.”
“Well, Rosco nor MaryAnne are the type to come out and say they’re hard pressed,” Jesse said. “And Rosco certainly ain’t gonna tell us.”
“Yeah, MaryAnne probably won’t either,” Luke said.
“I just hate to think that with the holidays coming up that they have to worry about money and that. Not the time of year to be worried about that.”
“Well, if you boys want to try to see if you can do something for them, go ahead,” Jesse said.
“Maybe we can help Cooter fix Maverick,” Luke said. He then smiled. “Maybe Rosco can give it to MaryAnne in time for Christmas.”
Well, a little while later, the boys returned to town. Luke didn’t have much luck trying to figure what was wrong with the General anyways, so a trip to Cooter’s was in order. But before the boys stopped there, they parked behind Rosco’s patrol car and waited to talk to him.
“There he is, Luke,” Bo said as he saw Rosco come out of the courthouse. The Sheriff started to walk to his patrol car and the boys climbed out of the General.
“Hey, Rosco, can we talk to you for a minute?” Luke asked.
Rosco stopped and looked at the boys. “You two ain’t here to try to weasel your way outta that ticket I gave you earlier are you?”
Luke smiled. “No, we here to talk about something else.”
“Oh. Well, make it quick, I got stuff I gotta do.”
“Rosco, just listen a minute,” Bo said. “We saw Maverick at Cooter’s garage earlier and we heard that MaryAnne’s apparently worried about not being able to afford the repairs.”
“Yeah,” Luke said, “so we were wonderin’ if there was anything we could maybe do to help out? Like, maybe help Cooter with some of the repairs.”
“MaryAnne and I don’t need no charitable donation from any of you Dukes,” Rosco said. “You two will do anything to get out of a ticket won’t you?” Rosco then turned and continued around his patrol car to the driver door.
“Rosco, we just want to help out if we can,” Luke said. “Look, if you and MaryAnne are hard pressed, you don’t have to bear it by yourselves.”
Rosco looked at the dark haired Duke boy sharply. “What makes you think we’re hard pressed?” he asked pointedly.
“You know what Cooter did last time Maverick got wrecked, he worked out a plan with MaryAnne,” Luke said. “If you weren’t hard pressed now, you wouldn’t have been over there earlier trying to negotiate the price down.”
Rosco paused, looking from Bo to Luke and then away and letting his gaze drift across the hood of his patrol car.
“Rosco, if you don’t want to tell us anything, that’s fine,” Bo said. “But let us help you out with getting Maverick repaired. It’s the least we can do.”
“You boys don’t want to help me,” Rosco said. He pointed a finger at them. “Don’t lie to me, I know it’s not me you want to help, it’s MaryAnne.”
The boys glanced at each other. “No,” Luke said. “It’s both of you.”
“No it ain’t. It’s MaryAnne. And that’s okay, I’d rather you be coming to me now saying you wanna help MaryAnne.” Rosco paused. “I’d be more inclined to accept your offer.”
Luke smiled. “Alright then. We wanna help MaryAnne.”
“Yeah,” Bo said. “We’ll go tell Cooter now we’re gonna help with the car.”
“Hold it,” Rosco said before the boys could take a step. “I ain’t gonna let you boys help for nothin’.”
“Rosco, you don’t have to pay us,” Luke said.
“That ain’t what I mean. What I mean is I’ll....” Rosco hesitated, realizing Boss was gonna have a fit with this. “I’ll tear up that ticket I gave you earlier,” he said softly, “and all the ones you’ve gotten in the past 6 months that are still outstanding.”
Bo and Luke’s jaws both dropped at the same time.
“Holy smokes...” Luke said.
“And I won’t issue a new one to you for the next two months.”
The boys were bug eyed now. “Um, Luke,” Bo said, “that is Rosco isn’t it?”
“Looks like Rosco. Sounds like Rosco...but not quite talkin’ like Rosco.”
“Fellas I’m serious. I’d hate to see MaryAnne get rid of---I mean, not be able to get that car back.”
Uh-huh. You can be sure the boys heard that. And Rosco knows he let enough slip for them to wonder.
“Look,” Rosco said. “I’m doing this because you’re doing it for MaryAnne. Otherwise I wouldn’t be so generous. So you better accept that before I change my mind.”
“Oh we accept it!” Luke said.
“Yeah,” Bo laughed.
Well, you better believe the boys accepted the offer and they were soon on their way to tellin’ Cooter that he’d have some help. Rosco, meanwhile, headed out to do a patrol which gave him some time to think about what his next move was going to be. When he got back to town, about an hour later, he decided to try his luck at Boss Hogg’s bank. Friends, you talk about desperate measures...
Rosco took his hat off as he came into the bank. He didn’t see Boss sitting at his desk in front of the vault and took that as a good sign. He walked into the lobby and only stood for a moment when Lisa, one of the tellers, noticed him standing there.
“Are you looking for Boss, Rosco?” she asked.
Rosco turned to her and then stepped towards her station. “No,” he said. “I’m actually looking for someone to talk to about getting a small loan.”
“Oh sure. Hold on, I’ll see if Terry is busy.”
Rosco stood in the lobby of the bank, watching folks as they came in and walked out after tending to their bank business. In the background, Christmas music was playing softly and the bank itself was decorated in festive colors of green and deep burgundy with bows and wreaths. Cletus had asked Rosco earlier if he had any Christmas spirit and Rosco had lied a little in his answer. Usually, Rosco did start to catch the spirit of the season by this point, but not this year. Rosco had too much on his mind this year.
“Hi, Rosco,” Terry said as he came out from behind the teller line. He put his hand out and Rosco shook it. The tall loan officer then gestured towards a desk near the teller line. “Have a seat. What can I do for you?”
“Well, I want to get a loan,” Rosco said, as he sat down.
“Okay. What kind of loan? Personal loan? Auto loan?”
“Uh...well, I need some money to get a car fixed.”
Terry nodded. “Don’t have any insurance?”
Rosco shook his head. “MaryAnne can’t afford the $800 a year.”
“This is for her car?”
“Yeah. It got wrecked this morning, all the ice we had last night. She hit some black ice and went right into a tree.”
“Wow, is she okay?”
“Oh yeah, she’s fine. But ol’ Maverick ain’t.”
Terry nodded again. “So you want to borrow the money so she can get the car repaired.”
“Yeah.” Rosco paused. “Can I do that?”
“Well, how much are you looking to borrow?”
Rosco thought for a moment. $900 for the repairs...give or take a couple hundred I s’pose...maybe could get a little extra money to hold us over...
“Um...probably about fifteen hundred.”
“Okay,” Terry said. “Well, let’s see what we can do...” He opened the desk drawer and pulled out some sheets of paper.
A half hour later, Rosco’s loan application was filled out and he signed his name at the bottom. It would be a week before the loan could be reviewed and approved and guess who had to approve it?
“Boss Hogg?!” Rosco said.
“All loans have to go through Mr. Hogg first,” Terry explained. “Don’t worry I’m gonna make an excellent case for you. I mean, you’ve got MORE than adequate collateral here to cover the loan, with the house and your other car. Besides, he’s your
brother-in-law. Why would he deny it?”
“That’s exactly why he would deny it!”
Ol’ Rosco’s bein’ too hard on himself. Believe it or not, Boss did end up approving the loan.
Well, now the countdown was on. The day after Rosco got word that the loan had been approved and he received a check for the $1500 which he promptly deposited to his savings account, he went over to Cooter’s garage, where the boys and Cooter were well on their way on fixin’ Maverick.
“Hey, Rosco,” Cooter greeted as the Sheriff approached. Bo and Luke stopped their work on the underside of the car and stood up. “You here to check on the progress?”
“Sorta. I was wonderin’ if there was anything I could do to help?”
“Thought he wanted to fix the car,” Bo whispered to Luke. Luke elbowed his cousin, letting him know he wasn’t being nice.
“Well, lemme see here,” Cooter said and looked over Maverick, adjusting his Atlanta Braves baseball cap. “I think we’ve pretty much got everything under control here. I’ve got everything I need either here or on order.”
“Unless you’re as good at straightening fenders as you are bending them,” Luke said.
Rosco stepped further into the garage to look at the passenger side of the Firebird.
“The only thing we can straighten out is that door,” Cooter said. “The rocker panel and fender are completely wasted. That’s two of the things I have on order.” Cooter paused. “Hey, you know what you can do?”
Rosco looked at the mechanic. “What?”
“You can be a delivery boy.” Cooter grinned. “Seriously, the parts I’ve ordered are gonna be coming from Hotlanta. I could save ya a couple hundred dollars if you go there and pick them up.”
“Okay.” Rosco looked at the bent fender. “Um...I guess a new fender won’t fit in the trunk of my patrol car huh?”
Cooter laughed. “No, you’ll have to take the pickup truck when you go.”
Rosco nodded. “Is that all? I mean, is that all I can do? Because I want to see this car back together in the worse way and I wanna help out as much as I can.”
Cooter and the boys smiled. “Can’t blame ya. I’ll tell ya what, there ain’t much you can do now, except get them parts when they come in, but I’ll keep ya in mind when we start doing the body work on the new panels and then the paint. You might be able to help with that.”
“Ooh, goody goody gumdrops!”
Well, for the next two weeks, Rosco found himself making more runs to Atlanta than a ridgerunner with a prime load of shine. Not only did he save on shipping charges on the parts Cooter had ordered, but ended up getting a discount on the cost of the parts because he was a law officer. Good thing he didn’t change out of his uniform and into civilian clothes before going there huh?
MaryAnne, meanwhile, had no idea what her cousin was up to. Rosco would leave for Atlanta when MaryAnne was working at the Boar’s Nest, so she never knew he had even left the county. Nor did she know about the loan he had got. While Rosco was trying to save Maverick, MaryAnne was trying to just save a few dollars.
One evening, Rosco came home late and saw the dining room light was still on. Quietly, he came into the house, thinking that MaryAnne must have been snoozing and that she had left the light on for him. But when he walked into the dining room to turn the light off, he found his young cousin seated at the table with a pencil, pad of paper and a calculator.
“How bad is it now?” he asked.
MaryAnne looked up from her paper. She sighed and said, “Well, after all is said and done, we have seventy-five cents to splurge on for this week.”
“Good grief,” Rosco said. He then sat down next to his cousin. “We ain’t doin’ too good are we?”
“Well, we could be worse off. Luckily, we’re still in the positive, even tho’ it’s only seventy-five cents. Thing is, that .75 is after all the bills are paid and the food’s bought.”
“Well, atleast we can pay for everything.”
“Yeah.” MaryAnne propped her elbow on the table and put her chin in her hand. “But I’ll be glad when Boss puts our salaries back up again.”
“He said he’s hopin’ it’s by February at the latest.”
MaryAnne wrinkled her nose. “I hope we can hold out that long.”
“Yeah.” Rosco paused. “Uh, have you thought any more about....Maverick?”
“You ain’t gonna sell him, right?” Rosco asked hopefully.
“I dunno. If something happens between now and when Boss puts our salaries back up and we need the money then I’m gonna have to sell him, there’s just nothing else we can do. And until then, Cooter better not be fixin’ that car.”
“Because I would have to reimburse him for repairs that I didn’t want in the first place.”
“MaryAnne, please don’t sell Maverick. I’m beggin’ ya. Look, you and I have been in dire straits before, altho’ separately. Thing is, we’ll figure something out to get by.”
“Rosco, the last time I was in a situation like this I ran moonshine to get money to help Papa pay the mortgage, which if I recall correctly, you practically had a conniption fit.”
“I remember. I also remember nearly losing my badge to keep you outta jail in Finchburg,” he scolded. His expression then softened and he said, “Which I would probably do again anyway.”
“But I wouldn’t want no deputy of mine running moonshine, especially you! You could go to jail for 20 years!”
“Well then if worse comes to worse, we’re gonna have to sell Maverick.”
Rosco pouted. “I don’t wantchya to sell him at all.”
MaryAnne sighed. “Rosco, you make it sound like Maverick’s....” MaryAnne paused, trying to figure a comparison. She then glanced at Flash who was sitting on the dining room floor. “One of the puppies. It’s just a car, that’s all.”
“I know. But I like him. MaryAnne, I KNOW that car means too much to you to go sellin’ him. If I’m this attached to him, I know you are too. You don’t really want to have to sell him do you?”
MaryAnne took a deep breath. She then shook her head. “No,” she said softly. “No, I don’t Rosco, I’ve put too much heart and soul into that car.” She looked at him. “But what are we gonna do if we can’t afford enough for food and heat and stuff?”
Rosco put his hand out on the table. MaryAnne put her hand in his as he spoke. “We’ll get through this, MaryAnne. And you won’t have to sell Maverick to do it.”
One thing Rosco was gonna have to make sure of, however, was that MaryAnne didn’t see Cooter working on Maverick. He sure didn’t need her asking why the car was bein’ worked on and to have Cooter say it was all Rosco’s idea. Rosco wanted to wait ‘til Christmas to explain it himself.
Speakin’ of Christmas, it was now one week away. Hmm....Maverick’s lookin’ a little more like his old self again ain’t he?
The following morning, Rosco was at Cooter’s garage to check on the progress. The royal blue Firebird now had a new rocker panel, new fender and the dents had been knocked out of the passenger door. Rosco grinned, liking what he saw and happy that the car was this close to being complete. The only things left to do were replace the back tail lights, T-top glass and then repaint the car.
“How long will that take?” Rosco asked Cooter.
“Well, you can go pick up the new top glass and tail light covers this afternoon. It may take me awhile to match the paint but we should be able to find it between here and Hotlanta.”
Rosco nodded. He then glanced toward the courthouse and saw MaryAnne’s patrol car pull up to the curb.
“Ooops, I better git,” Rosco said. “Remember what I said about not sayin’ anything. I want it to be a surprise!”
“No problem. I’ll keep these doors closed.” Cooter grinned.
Rosco ducked around Cooter’s tow truck and started to walk across the street as soon as MaryAnne’s back was turned and she was walking up the steps to the courthouse.
Not even a minute after MaryAnne had stepped into the booking room and said hello to Cletus, Rosco walked in.
“There you are,” MaryAnne said.
“Uh..I was checkin’ on the cars in the impound,” Rosco replied.
MaryAnne nodded, taking his answer completely at face value and not picking up on the fact he was lying.
“Well, seein’ as the both of ya are here...” Cletus started. MaryAnne and Rosco both looked at him as he opened the desk drawer and pulled out a small package and a plain envelope. He then came down from the booking desk and stood before the Sheriff and young deputy.
“I know Christmas is next week, but I wanted to give you these now, seeing as I ain’t gonna be in town on Christmas day.”
Rosco and MaryAnne both just looked at the package and envelope. The same thought crossed their minds and they glanced at each other, wondering just exactly what to say.
“Um...Cletus that’s really nice of you an’ all but...” Rosco looked at Cletus apologetically. “...well, MaryAnne and I, we can’t afford to give ya nothin’ back.”
Cletus shrugged. “That’s okay. I know we’re all short on cash right now, I mean we all took the same cut.”
“Yeah, but it’s more complicated than that,” Rosco said. “Atleast for us it is.”
Cletus looked at the Coltrane cousins in concern. “Y’all ain’t in trouble are ya?”
MaryAnne chuckled. “Not yet. It’s just become quite a struggle to make ends meet. We’re barely making it now.”
Cletus nodded. “I guess that means Maverick won’t be getting repaired any time soon?”
MaryAnne shook her head. “I can’t afford it. Maybe someday I can get him fixed.”
“If you don’t sell him first,” Rosco said.
“Sell Maverick?!” Cletus exclaimed. “Buzzards on a buzz saw, that would be like the Dukes selling General Lee!”
“He’s right you know,” Rosco said looking at MaryAnne.
“Rosco,” MaryAnne said, hoping her tone would tell him to hush up.
“It’s okay, MaryAnne,” Cletus said. “I mean, you gotta do what ya gotta do. But, boy I’d hate to see you have to sell that car.”
“Hopefully she won’t have to,” Rosco said.
MaryAnne made a face, kind of agreeing with Rosco statement but at the same time agreeing with Cletus’s statement. That she would have to do what she had to do when the time came.
“Well, listen, I want y’all to have these,” Cletus said. He handed the envelope to MaryAnne and the small package to Rosco.
“But Cletus....we can’t give you nothin’,” Rosco said softly.
“That’s okay. ‘Tis better to give than to receive. It’s okay you can’t afford anything, it’s the thought that counts.”
Rosco looked at the package in his hand. “How the heck were you able to afford this?”
“I do one of them Christmas Club accounts at the bank every year. That helps me save up. Although with the cut cousin Boss gave us, I ain’t been able to start off good for next year.” Cletus looked at Rosco and then the package. “Well? Ain’t ya gonna open it?”
“Christmas ain’t ‘til next week.
“Yeah, I know but I’m afraid you two ain’t gonna open them at all. I wouldn’t want to see that.”
Rosco looked at MaryAnne, who glanced at her envelope and then back to her cousin. She smiled a little bit and then nodded.
“We promise to open them on Christmas,” Rosco said.
“You better,” Cletus said. “Cuz I’ll be quizzin’’ ya afterwards.”
MaryAnne giggled and then gave Cletus a hug. “Thanks, Cletus.”
“Oh you’re welcome. You’ll all make it through, don’t worry.” MaryAnne let go and nodded, as she looked to her cousin.
“Well, I better git out on patrol,” Cletus said. “I’ll see y’all later.” He then smiled and said, “Merry Christmas.”
Rosco and MaryAnne smiled back. “Merry Christmas, Cletus,” Rosco said and shook Cletus’s hand. The cousins then watched Cletus as he walked out of the booking room. MaryAnne was shaking her head.
“You know, Rosco,” she said. “It’s hard to believe he’s a Hogg.”
Yeah, it is, isn’t it?
* * *
Around the lunch hour, Cletus stopped at the Boar’s Nest where Bo and Luke were already taking a break from helping Cooter with Maverick. Cletus had seen the boys few and far between in the previous three weeks, so he immediately went over to their table to say hello.
“Well, now where the heck have you two been hiding out lately?” Cletus asked as he sat down at the boy’s table. “I don’t know about Rosco, but I’ve been getting pretty danged bored not having General Lee to chase after.”
Bo chuckled as Luke replied, “We’ve been helping Cooter with the repairs to Maverick.”
Cletus looked surprised. “Yeah? Huh, I didn’t think the car was being fixed at all.”
“Apparently MaryAnne didn’t want it to be, because she can’t afford it,” Bo said. “It seems to us that Rosco and MaryAnne are pretty strapped for cash right now, but Rosco asked for Cooter to go ahead and do the repairs.”
“Yeah, after he got Cooter to knock three hundred dollars off the price,” Luke said.
“And agreed to rip up six months of moving violations as repayment for me and Luke to help Cooter.”
“Well, I’ll be darned. I knew Maverick had been wrecked, but by the way Rosco and MaryAnne were talking it seemed more likely she’d end up having to sell it.”
The boys did a double take. “Sell it?!” Bo exclaimed.
“Yeah. Heck, we all took the same pay cut and Rosco and MaryAnne got a lot more bills to pay than I do, so I guess I can understand if she had to sell the car.”
“Pay cut? Whoa, wait a minute here. When did you guys take a pay cut?” Luke asked.
“About a month and half ago. Cousin Boss cut our pay so the county can pay some bill to the state DOT for some road construction projects.” Cletus shrugged. “I dunno, all I know is we all took a severe cut in pay.”
The boys looked at each other, now understanding things a little more. “They must be hangin’ on by the thread of a single dollar,” Luke said.
“Real nice of Boss to cut your pay now, right before Christmas,” Bo said.
“Well, it’s either that or the county gets sued by the state and we could’ve had our pay cut after Christmas. It was gonna happen one way or the other.”
“They’ve gotta be really hard pressed for MaryAnne to even consider selling Maverick,” Luke said.
Cletus nodded. “I’ve always considered Maverick to be as much like family to Rosco and MaryAnne as General Lee is to you Dukes.”
Luke smiled. “I think Rosco feels the same way. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have gone to all this trouble to see that Maverick could be repaired.” He looked at Bo. “Now we know what he meant when he said he didn’t want to see MaryAnne get rid of the car.”
Bo nodded. “Yeah.”
Luke took one last drink of his beer and then got up. “We better get back, Bo. Thanks for the info, Cletus.”
“Listen, uh, you didn’t hear it from me okay? I got the feeling that neither Rosco or MaryAnne want the whole county knowing.”
Luke nodded. “You got it. We’ll see ya later.”
Well, the boys kept their word and didn’t tell anyone what they knew. Not even Cooter. By mid-afternoon on Christmas Eve day, Maverick was done. All that was left was to let the paint dry.
Rosco stood in Cooter’s garage next to Bo and Luke admiring the 1978 Firebird with it’s fresh coat of paint.
“Khee, looks good, looks good!”
The boys and Cooter smiled.
“You fellas did a really great job,” Rosco said. He looked at each of them. “I do appreciate all this you know.”
“I’ll tell you what we’re gonna appreciate,” Luke said. “Seeing MaryAnne tearin’ around Hazzard in this ol’ boy again. Because your car does her NO justice!”
“Amen to that!” Cooter said.
Rosco giggled as the boys and Cooter laughed. “Yeah, my car don’t look too good right now does it?” Rosco said with a grin.
Bo chuckled. “Hey, you and MaryAnne are coming to the farm tonight right? Enos and Cletus said they’re already coming.”
Rosco nodded. “Yeah. MaryAnne already informed me this morning that we would be there, no matter what.”
The boys grinned.
“Have you figured out how you’re gonna spring this surprise on MaryAnne?” Cooter asked.
“Pretty much. I do have one last favor to ask you.”
“Could you leave your garage unlocked tonight? When she does her patrol around 10, I’ll take Maverick to the house and hide him in the barn. She’ll never suspect a thing, khee khee.”
Cooter smiled and nodded. “No problem. I’ll slip the padlock key to you at the Duke farm later. Just make sure you lock it up when you leave.”
* * *
Friends and neighbors, if you want to find out what a true country Christmas is, you should spend Christmas Eve at the Duke farm. It was the only time of year where all the Dukes and Cooter sat in the same room with the Hazzard law.
MaryAnne and Daisy were in the Duke kitchen cutting the pies to be served for dessert. The Dukes Christmas tree was decorated in silver and red, which Rosco was admiring some of the hand made ornaments that the Duke kids had made and Jesse had held on to for all these years. The tree he and MaryAnne had, had the same kind of history. Heck, it even had ornaments HE had made when he was kid. There were just some things you never get rid of.
Like a certain car, Rosco thought with a smile. He turned back to the living room just as Daisy and MaryAnne were coming in from the kitchen. Rosco returned to his spot on the couch, next to Enos who had Flash on his lap. Bandit had claimed a spot on the floor next to the chair that Luke was sitting in.
Rosco caught the spirit a little now. The Christmas music playing in the background, the plate of warm pecan pie and the sound of all of them laughing made things...well..merry.
Have yourself a merry little Christmas....
Rosco was enjoying himself so much, he lost track of time. He glanced at his watch and saw it was ten minutes to ten.
“Ooh, jit jit,” he said.
“What’s wrong?” MaryAnne asked.
“Well, nothing but it’s almost 10 o’clock. You gotta do the last patrol so we can all be asleep by midnight before Santa Claus comes.”
MaryAnne and everyone giggled. “Um, Rosco, I was pretty sure you didn’t believe in Santa Claus anymore.”
“Yeah, maybe. But he’s gonna be coming this time.”
“Well, Santa’s already been to our house. Those six presents under the tree, remember?”
“Yeah, I know,” Rosco said. “But he forgot one.”
Rosco grinned. “Yeah.”
MaryAnne looked at everyone who were grinning too. “Oh. Well then, I guess I better get out and do that patrol huh?”
Well, the Hazzard law said their goodnights for the evening and after all the wishes of a Merry Christmas were given Cooter gave that key to Rosco.
MaryAnne had stepped out of the farm house ahead of Rosco. Cooter already had the key out and he handed it to Rosco just as the Sheriff turned back to him.
“Good luck, Rosco,” Cooter said. “And Merry Christmas.”
“Thanks, Cooter.” Rosco looked at Bo and Luke. “And I wanna thank you boys too.”
Luke smiled. “You’re welcome, Rosco. Merry Christmas.”
“Merry Christmas, y’all.”
After Rosco saw MaryAnne off on her patrol, he drove back to town with Cletus following. The town was quiet and bare and Rosco quickly went to the doors of Cooter’s garage. He unlocked the padlock and opened up the doors wide so he could drive the car out.
In the faint light from the street lamp, Rosco saw the grill of the Firebird. He smiled and pulled his spare key from his key ring on his gun belt. He paused a moment after he sat in the car, thinking how nice it was to be able to sit it in it again. Rosco then
stepped on the clutch and turned the ignition.
Maverick roared to life instantly. Outside the garage, Cletus grinned, glad to hear the Firebird’s healthy exhaust note. The dual headlights blazed on and Rosco brought the car out of the garage bay. Even in the light of the street lamps, the body of the car seemed to gleam like shining armor.
Rosco stopped the car, and before getting out to close and lock the garage doors, he lightly ran his hand over the steering wheel.
“Khee, good to have ya back, Maverick,” he said softly. “Good to have ya back.”
* * *
On Christmas morning, after all the presents were unwrapped, Flash peaked out from under some red wrapping paper as Rosco handed MaryAnne the present that ‘Santa forgot.’ The two cousins were seated on the floor, just like little kids and MaryAnne had not seen the box under the tree. It was big enough to hold a piece of jewelry, possibly a necklace or bracelet and MaryAnne looked at it for a moment and then at her cousin.
“Now Rosco, you didn’t go spend money we ain’t got on something frivolous did you?”
Rosco shook his head. “Nope, I didn’t.” He then smiled. “Go on, open it.”
MaryAnne opened the package and took the lid off the box. Inside were two keys that MaryAnne immediately recognized as the spare set to Maverick that were Rosco’s. There was no mistaking the scratch over the ‘M’ in the General Motors logo.
“Rosco, what the...?” MaryAnne looked at him for some kind of explanation but he just continued to grin. He then got up and put his hand out to her.
“I’ll show ya,” he said.
MaryAnne took his hand and Rosco helped his cousin to stand. They then went out to the barn and Rosco grabbed the big old door and pulled it open.
“Ta-da!” Rosco exclaimed as soon as the sunlight hit the car.
MaryAnne just stared. Her jaw dropped a bit as she looked at her car, looking as if it had just rolled off the assembly line. Everything that had been broken or bent, had been fixed, replaced and straightened. It was a sight she didn’t think she would see for a long time, and certainly didn’t expect it on Christmas morning.
“Rosco,” she whispered. “How in the world....?”
“Now, MaryAnne don’t get mad. It didn’t cost as much as you originally thought.”
“Rosco, Cooter told me it was gonna cost about twelve hundred dollars to get everything fixed. We ain’t got that kinda money!”
“It didn’t cost twelve hundred. It only cost six hundred.”
MaryAnne did a double take. “Six?? How’d you manage that?”
“Well, Cooter took three hundred off at first, than I ran to Atlanta to pick up the parts and that saved another couple hundred on shipping charges than when I got the parts the fella in Atlanta gave me a 20% discount because I’m a Sheriff.”
“I’ll be darned,” MaryAnne said. She continued to gape at the car and Rosco saw that her eyes were starting to tear up. She looked at the keys in her hand and then at the car again. “Six hundred dollars....but Rosco we don’t even have that.”
“We do for a little bit,” Rosco said. “I got a loan.”
“At Boss’s bank?”
Rosco nodded. “Boss himself wouldn’t loan me any money, but Terry, one of the loan officers, did. We’ll have money for a little while, MaryAnne. I’ve got two years to pay it all back.”
“How much did you borrow?”
MaryAnne was quiet for a moment, and Rosco thought for sure she was going to give him heck for what he’d done. But all she did was wipe away a tear and then suddenly throw her arms around him in a hug.
Rosco returned the embrace. “You knew I wasn’t gonna let you sell Maverick. You won’t have to do anything like that, MaryAnne. We’ll be all right. We’ll make it.”
MaryAnne nodded and then looked at her older cousin. She sniffled a little and then smiled. “Thanks, Rosco.”
“Oh heck, twern’t nothin’. Khee!”
MaryAnne giggled and hugged her cousin again.
Friends and neighbors, in Hazzard County there is a such a thing as Christmas miracles.
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