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
Yes, folks Rosco has an old flame... =)
Rosco stood next to his patrol car that was parked in front of Cooter's garage with the hood up and Cooter checking the engine.
Friends and neighbors, despite this lookin' like one of Rosco's daily visits to Cooter's garage, things are not normal in Hazzard County.
"What is it this time, Cooter?" Rosco asked.
"Well," Cooter straightened up from bending over the engine and looked at Rosco. "As much as you probably ain't gonna want to hear this, your fuel pump's shot."
Cooter nodded. "Yup. You know, maybe you oughta tell Boss Hogg to stop buying the cheap ones."
Rosco made a face and growled a bit. "How long's it gonna take to fix?"
"Oh I can have it done in a couple of hours."
"Oh. Well, I appreciate that." Rosco glanced toward the road and saw a green sedan coming into town. He was about to not pay much attention to it when he did a double take. But the car had already gone by and he couldn't see the driver.
Could it be?....nah.
"You okay, Rosco?"
Rosco turned back to Cooter. "What? Oh, yeah, I'm fine."
"Listen, I'll tell what I'm gonna do. I'll put in a good fuel pump for ya. It'll be a bit more than Boss will be willin' to pay for, but I'll only charge the County for the price of the cheap one, if you're willin' to chip in the rest of it."
"How much would that be?"
"Maybe fifteen, twenty bucks."
"Oh." Rosco thought for a moment. "Alright."
Cooter smiled. "And the only reason I'm doin' that is because I know MaryAnne's patrol car is due for a tune up soon, which means she'll probably be drivin' this one. And I know she won't want it to up and die on her."
"No, she won't."
Rosco started to walk towards the bank. The green sedan was now parked across from the courthouse, near the square. He looked at it as he walked past, wondering if it really was hers.
How many other green sedans are there out there? he thought skeptically. Besides, what the heck made him think that she would come to Hazzard anyway after two years? He tried to push the thought from his mind and continued on to the bank, where Boss Hogg was waiting.
The reason Rosco's acting so strange about that car, is because it looks similar to one driven by someone from his past. Two years ago, when MaryAnne was an exchange officer in Atlanta, Rosco went to visit her and ended up meeting up with Jennifer McIntyre, almost thirty years after they had last seen each other. Yes, folks, Rosco has an old flame.
Now I also said that things in Hazzard right now were not normal. You may recall about a week or so ago, ol' Rosco got into some trouble in Alabama, and since he's been back, things ain't quite been the same. He's barely chased after the Duke boys for one thing and friends, not only is that abnormal for Hazzard, it's downright weird.
"Well, I'll be darned," MaryAnne said as she came down from behind the booking desk and approached the woman standing in the middle of the room. "So you're Jennifer McIntyre. Heard about you two years ago, never got to meet you tho'." MaryAnne smiled and extended her hand.
Jennifer returned the smile and shook MaryAnne's hand. "Please, call me Jenny. I heard about you as well. It's a shame we didn't get to meet at the time. Rosco spoke very highly of you."
"He did. At first I thought you were his daughter, and even after he told me you were actually his cousin, it still seemed like you were his daughter."
"Gee, he spoke that highly, huh?" MaryAnne chuckled.
Jenny laughed. "Well, he must think fairly highly of you. You're a deputy in his Sheriff's Department now."
"Well, I think the fact that I'm related to him had more influence than my police skills," MaryAnne said. "Anyways, this is quite a surprise for you to show up. Although your timing couldn't have been any better."
"Yeah, I heard about what happened to him in Alabama," Jenny said. "MaryAnne, I never knew he was married!"
"Yeah, he don't like to talk about that. And he's been in kind of a slump since he got home. He ain't even chased the Duke boys like he usually does and I'd just about given up hope of getting him to snap out of it. Maybe now that you're here it'll help him get over what happened."
"Well, I hope so."
MaryAnne smiled. "He should be back pretty soon. If you want, you can wait in his office. That'll REALLY surprise him."
* * *
When Rosco returned to the courthouse, MaryAnne acted non chalant.
"Howdy, Rosco," she said.
"Hello," he said as he started to walk by and head to his office. He then stopped and looked back at MaryAnne with that look of 'what are you up to?'
She looked up from her paper work. "What?" she asked innocently.
He knew better but he shook his head anyway. "Nothing," he said and continued towards his office.
MaryAnne smiled to herself and watched him step toward the door.
Inside the office, Jenny looked up as the door opened. Rosco was removing his hat at the same time he was opening the door and didn't see anything amiss until he had his hat by his side.
Jenny smiled at him. "Hello, stranger."
Rosco looked at her for a moment. "Jenny," he said, obviously quite surprised to see her. He closed the door behind him as Jenny got up from the chair and approached him laughing softly. "Surprised ya, didn't I?" she said and gave him a hug.
"Yeah," he said returning the embrace. When they let go, he looked at her. "What the heck brings you here?"
"Does it matter? I finally found some time so I thought I'd come see you." She smiled slyly. "Is that okay?"
Rosco looked at her, recognizing that look on her face. "It's fine," he said and smiled for the first time in almost a week. "I'm glad you're here."
MaryAnne was standing by Rosco's office door and she smiled. She then made a fist and pulled her arm in towards her and mouthed the word, "Yes!" She stayed by the door for a few more moments and listened to them talk, despite not quite being able to hear them. And she certainly didn't hear Rosco ask Jenny if he could bring her over to the bank so he could introduce her to Boss.
When the door moved slightly, MaryAnne bolted away and ended up tripping up on her feet and landing on her butt in the middle of the booking room.
"Damn..." she whispered after she landed and the door opened all the way and Rosco and Jenny came out.
"MaryAnne?" Rosco said.
"Oh. Hello," she said, flashing her Miss America smile. "Don't mind me, I'm just uh...sitting on the...floor..."
Flash suddenly came over to MaryAnne and started rubbing her nose on MaryAnne's arm.
"...uh...visitin' with Flash." MaryAnne finished and lifted the basset up into her lap. Flash barked.
Rosco looked at her with a raised eyebrow. "Okay," he said. "Um, Jenny and I are goin' over to the bank for a bit."
"Okay. Have fun!" she said. "Bye!"
Rosco shook his head and then he and Jenny walked to the doors.
"Bye Jenny," MaryAnne called.
Jenny knew what MaryAnne had been up to. She turned back to her and winked. "Bye, MaryAnne."
After they were through the doors, MaryAnne sighed and hugged Flash.
"Thanks, Flash," she said. "You saved me from REALLY looking like an idiot."
"Doh, you don't have to agree with me!" MaryAnne exclaimed and then giggled.
Did any of you ever doubt that MaryAnne was really a Coltrane?? Well, that little scene should've helped reinforce to y'all that she's very much Rosco's cousin.
Now friends, Rosco and Jenny's visit to Boss Hogg seems like something that could be about as eventful as watching grass grow. Of course, y'all remember that this is Hazzard County and I'm willing to bet that watching grass grow could wind up in a car chase.
After introducing Jenny to Boss, Rosco was going to take her to the cafe for lunch. They were half way to the door of the bank when it suddenly swung open and two men came barging in.
Rosco looked up as Jenny gasped at the sight of the gun in Neely's hand. Neely smiled when Rosco made eye contact.
"Howdy, Sheriff," he said.
Rosco slowly turned around back to Boss. "Uh...Boss? We got company."
Boss had seen the two men come in and he now walked over to find out what was going on.
"What's the meaning of this?" he asked.
"Just a visit from an old friend, Boss," Neely said. "An old business friend."
"Yeah," Curt added. "Old business friends who never received their fair take on that job we did for ya a couple of months ago."
"Oh," Boss said, his facial expression reflecting the look of unpleasant rememberance.
"We would have been here sooner, but because you had your Sheriff here arrest us when the job fell apart, we got held up in jail for awhile," Neely said. "So we're not only expecting what we're due, but with interest."
"Neely," Boss said, "look, you have to understand what was happening when you two got caught--"
"Oh we understand," Neely replied. "You and the Sheriff here couldn't be connected to a stolen merchandise operation, so me and Curt had to take the heat. Which means you owe us."
Jenny lost the rest of the conversation at that point. ...the Sheriff here couldn't be connected to a stolen merchandise operation. Jenny looked at Rosco, not wanting to believe what she was drawing for a conclusion about him. The guilty look on his face was enough of a confirmation though. The Rosco she thought she knew, was a crooked lawman.
"I ain't playing no games, Boss," Neely said. "Seeing as you used the Sheriff here to double cross me and Curt, I think it's only fair that I take him," he looked at Jenny, "and the pretty lady here as a bonus, in order for me and Curt to get what we rightfully deserve."
"Wait a minute--" Boss started.
"Shut up!" Neely grabbed Rosco's arm as Curt took a hold of Jenny.
"Oh now come on," Rosco said. "Let her go, you got me."
"Nope," Neely said. "Can't do that now. She's heard way to much to just walk away." He pulled Rosco up the steps to the door, followed by Curt with Jenny.
MaryAnne had just come out of the courthouse and was walking to her patrol car when Curt and Neely came out of the bank with Rosco and Jenny. She glanced over at the bank and saw her cousin.
Rosco was allowed to paused long enough to make eye contact with MaryAnne. MaryAnne immediately sensed something was wrong, and it was confirmed when she saw the gun in Neely's hand.
Neely saw MaryAnne and he aimed his gun at the back window of her patrol car that she stood beside. MaryAnne dove back towards the courthouse steps as the back window exploded.
"Move it!" Neely exclaimed, pushing Rosco into the car. He then pushed Jenny in as Curt got into the drivers seat. As soon as Neely was in the passenger seat, the car tore away from the curb and squealed down the road.
MaryAnne got up off the steps and bolted to her patrol car. After she scrambled into the driver seat, she slammed the gas and swung the Fury around in a 180 and then tore around the corner after the brown sedan.
Boss came rushing out of the bank just as MaryAnne flew by. "Ah!!" he exclaimed.
Neely, meanwhile, was watching the cruiser out the back window. "Step on it, Curt. That chick cop's gonna be in our trunk in a matter of seconds."
"I'm stepping on it," Curt replied.
"You won't be able to out run her," Rosco said.
"We'll see about that," Neely snarled. He turned back around in the passenger seat and then leaned out the window.
MaryAnne saw Neely lean out the window and she started swerve the patrol car to the left and right to hopefully prevent Neely from hitting her tires.
Neelly fired off two shots to start. The first one missed, the second one slammed into the windshield.
MaryAnne flinched. She looked at the spiderweb design on the windshield and then slammed her hand on the steering wheel.
"Damn!" she shouted. She kept the patrol car in hot persuit however.
Rosco saw the color of the windshield of MaryAnne's car change from clear to a bunch of white lines. He turned to Neely, who had come back into the car. Rosco was about to lunge toward him when Neely pointed the gun at him.
Jenny gasped and Rosco stopped, staring at the barrell.
"Come on," Neely prompted. "You can take the next one if you like?"
Rosco remained frozen for a moment then slowly settled back into the back seat.
Up the road, Bo and Luke were in the General Lee, coming to the intersection of Ridge Road and Old Mill Road. Luke brought the General to a stop and he and Bo watched the brown sedan and patrol car go flying by in a cloud of dust.
"What the--?" Bo started, then he saw the busted back window of MaryAnne's patrol car.
"Luke, did you see that?"
"I saw it," Luke replied. He stepped on the accelerator and General kicked dust back and joined the chase.
Luke picked up the CB mike. "MaryAnne, what's going on? Do you need some help?"
"Yes! These two dudes kidnapped Rosco and Jenny, although I ain't gotta clue why."
"Rosco and who?"
"Jenny, she's an old friend of Rosco's--oh never mind, I'll tell ya later. You gonna help me or not?"
"Of course," Luke replied. "We might be able to cut them off at Pine Road Gully."
"I wouldn't try it plough boy," a voice cut in. "The Sheriff and pretty lady here are only serving to make me and my partner a lot of money. I'd hate to have to waste them now, because you all decided to play hero. So unless you want me to throw them out of this car with two pieces of lead in each of them, you better back off."
MaryAnne rolled her eyes and heaved a defeated sighed. "Alright, alright," she said. "We're backing off."
"That's very wise, deputy. Very wise."
The channel broke and MaryAnne brought her patrol car to a stop. She got out of the car as the General came to a stop behind her and she watched the sedan disappear down the road.
She slammed the door angrily as Bo and Luke came up to her. She clenched her fists and even went so far as to kick the driver door, leaving a small dent and black scuff mark.
"Feel better?" Bo asked.
"No," she spat. "Damn, I can't believe this is happening."
"What did happen, MaryAnne?" Luke asked.
"I ain't sure. I was coming out of the courthouse and I saw Rosco and Jenny being escorted to a car from the bank. One of the kidnappers took a shot at me in town and severl more as I chased after 'em. I don't know why they were kidnapped. I mean, jeez, Rosco's been back home for only about two weeks now, he's still trying to get over what happened, and now this happens. Good grief."
"Look, why don't we go back to town, get you settled down and sort out why this happened," Luke said.
"And you can tell us who Jenny is," Bo added.
"Yeah," Luke said. "By the way that guy was talking, it sounds like they're gonna demand a ransom. We may be able to get 'em back when they try to make the exchange."
"Yeah, alright," MaryAnne said.
Neely was smiling as he watched the patrol car and orange stock car disappear in the distance behind them. He turned back around in the passenger seat and chuckled.
Jenny looked at Rosco out of the corner of her eye. "Nice going, crooked Sheriff," she spat.
Rosco looked at her. "Will you hush," he said.
"You have such nice friends now, Rosco. I'm so impressed by how they treat you."
"What does MaryAnne think of you being crooked? I hope that young lady's not going to end up like you."
"Hush! We have a more important concern now, and that's the fact that we've been kidnapped!"
"Which wouldn't have happened if you were an honest lawman like you used to be."
"Hey," Neely cut in, "why don't the both of you shut up. You're giving me a headache."
Rosco and Jenny fell silent. Jenny continued to glare at Rosco while Rosco looked down at the back of the front seat of the car.
Hmm, the lady get's right to the point don't she?
Well, while Rosco and Jenny were being driven to Chickasaw County to Neely and Curt's hideout, MaryAnne and the boys were back in town, finding out from Boss what happened.
"Boss," MaryAnne said evenly after Boss explained what happened, "you're turning out to be a fine specimen of ignaramus you know that?"
"MaryAnne, I'm sorry, but--well, how was I supposed to know they were gonna show up?"
MaryAnne shook her head and then looked at the boys. "Well, you were right about them demanding a ransom."
"They'll most likely call Boss here at the bank," Luke said.
"Yeah. And they take Jenny as a BONUS. Sheesh."
"Who is she, MaryAnne?" Bo asked.
"Oh, well two years ago...."
While MaryAnne was explaining to the boys who Jenny is, Curt and Neely were arriving with Rosco and Jenny at their hideout in Chickasaw.
Rosco and Jenny didn't say another word to each other until Neely and Curt got them into the hideout. Neely forced Rosco to surrender his gun belt and then the two crooks pushed Rosco and Jenny into a windowless room that was lit with a single bulb. They then shut and locked the door.
Rosco pushed himself off the floor and brushed the dust off his uniform. He then extended his hand to Jenny to help her up.
Jenny glared at him. "I don't need your help. I don't need no help from no crooked Sheriff."
Rosco rolled his eyes. "Fine," he said and walked away, leaving Jenny sitting on the dusty floor.
"I can't believe you went crooked. You were never the type to give in to something like that."
"Jenny, the last time you knew me I was 21 years old, I was just a night rent-a-cop and the thought of retiring rated right up there with dying. I didn't start worrying about retiring until I hit forty and even then I never thought I'd lose my pension."
"I don't see why that makes a difference."
"It makes a big difference! I had been Sheriff for 16 years when they decided to cut my pension. Sixteen very long, very hard and very underpaid years. I had no choice."
"Is not. The only option I had was to retire broke and I sure as heck wasn't going to do that."
"What's the difference? You're not a real Sheriff anymore anyway. You're hired help with a badge."
"You haven't been here, Jenny. You wouldn't understand."
"Sure I understand. It's called greed."
"It is called surviving."
"Is it?" She looked around the small room. "So this is surviving huh? Being kidnapped by those you helped to double cross. Yup, you sure got the easy life, Rosco."
Rosco closed his eyes and took a deep breath. "Will you just forget all that for a moment and maybe help me figure how we're gonna get out of here?"
"Why don't we just wait until Boss Hogg pays the ransom?" she asked scartastically.
"Because I don't think Boss Hogg can pay no ransom, for you, for me or for anybody."
Jenny looked at him. Even in anger, he was speaking the truth. She sighed and then said, "Alright, what do we do?"
* * *
MaryAnne asked Maebelle to intercept all calls dialed to any of Boss's phone numbers and reroute them to the bank, even though they figured the two crooks would call the bank, they wanted to be sure that that was where the call was recieved, no matter what number was dialed.
Everytime the phone rang, however, Boss and MaryAnne would look at each other and then Boss would answer the phone. But the first few calls were not what Boss and MaryAnne were waiting for and when the phone rang a little over forty minutes after Rosco and Jenny had been grabbed, neither Boss nor MaryAnne were prepared.
MaryAnne was sitting infront of Boss's desk, her elbow on the edge of it and her head resting in her hand when the call came. She glanced at the phone as Boss picked it up.
"J.D. Hogg," he gruffed, figuring it to be just another call and not Neely.
"Don't do anything stupid or foolish. If you want to see the Sheriff and the lady alive again, listen carefully."
MaryAnne looked at Boss when he had said no more than his name. He was looking at her and he nodded. MaryAnne got up out of her chair and went over to the customer service desk, near the teller line and picked up the phone, hitting the button to listen in Boss's extention.
Neely continued, not knowing that someone listening.
"Six hundred and fifty thousand dollars in small bills you will deliver by yourself to the Chickasaw turnoff in two hours. This buys you back the lady. If everything goes well then, I'll let you know how you can get the Sheriff back and for how much. You got all this?"
Boss was trying to figure how to get $650,000 together. "Uh...yeah, yeah, I got it. Chickasaw turnoff in two hours. Six hundred...and fifty...thousand...dollars." It sounded painful to say.
"Very good. See you soon." The phone clicked.
Boss slowly hung up and looked at MaryAnne, who was shaking her head.
"With it being a split ransom, that throws getting both Jenny and Rosco back at the same time right out the window."
"MaryAnne, I don't even know if I can get together $650,000 to get Jenny back. There ain't no tellin' how much they're gonna demand for Rosco."
MaryAnne sighed. "And I ain't sure we can get away with shuckin' 'em either, by using the counterfeit stuff in the evidence lock up, assuming we still have it."
Boss noticed the cross tinge in her voice. "What's that supposed to mean?"
"Oh nothing. Just wondering if we still have it."
"MaryAnne, I'm on your side on this. I want to get them back as much as you do."
MaryAnne sighed and leaned back in her chair, bringing her hands to the sides of her head. "Oh I just can't believe this is even happening. I mean, gimmie a break, the poor guy was in enough of a mess just over a week or so ago and now he's been kidnapped. Again!! Sheesh."
Boss got up from his desk. "Well, come on. We've only got two hours to figure how we're gonna get $650,000 together."
MaryAnne got up and followed Boss to the teller line.
* * *
Neely went to check on the guests after he called Boss Hogg. He unlocked the door and opened it.
When he stepped into the room, he saw that Jenny was curled up in a tight fetal position on the floor with Rosco kneeling over her in concern.
Rosco looked up. "She's ill," he said. "I ain't sure what's wrong tho' I can't get her to talk."
Neely looked at the woman on the floor for a moment. She was breathing at an uneven pace and her face grimaced in pain. He stepped closer.
"When did this start?" he asked.
"Maybe twenty minutes to half an hour ago," Rosco said. "She just doubled over in pain. I'm really worried, you know, what if it's her appendix or somethin'? She could die right here."
"I doubt it. She's probably having her....you know. It's all in her head."
Jenny suddenly kicked her top leg out and slammed it into Neely's knee. Neely cried out as he collapsed to the floor.
"Ooo, see, now you made her mad," Rosco said as he quickly got up and went over to Neely with the piece of rope he had found in the room. He grabbed Neely's hands and put them on his back, keeping Neely face down on the floor.
"Hush!" Rosco said. He held Neely down to the floor with his knee in the man's back and tied the rope tightly around Neely's hands.
Jenny had found an old piece of a two-by-four and stood by the door with it at the ready. Curt came running from the other side of the hideout and into the room, right smack into the two-by-four that came swinging into his stomach.
Curt buckled and collapsed to his knees. As he struggled to breathe, Rosco and Jenny went running out of the room. Rosco grabbed his gun belt off the table in the other room and he and Jenny ran out of the shack. They both spotted the car of the crooks and Rosco walked over to the driver window, while putting his gun belt back on. When he finished with the belt he reached in to see if there were any keys in the ignition, but there were none.
"Dang," he muttered. "If MaryAnne was here, she could hot wire it." Instead, he pulled the latch to open the hood and then stepped to the hood and opened it.
"What are you doing?" Jenny asked.
"Well, seeing we can't drive it without the keys, might as well not let them drive it either." He looked at her. "Unless you wanna go back in and try to find the keys?"
"No, I don't want to go back and try to find the keys," Jenny shot back.
Rosco pulled out a couple of plugs and the fuel line. He then threw them into the woods off the side of the shack and slammed the hood down. "Alright, let's go," he said taking Jenny by the arm. They ran towards the road and disappeared around the corner just as Curt and Neely were stumbling out of the shack.
"Damn!" Neely exclaimed, throwing the rope off his hands that Curt had untied. He and Curt looked around for a bit.
"They might be on the road," Curt suggested.
Neely went over to the car and fished his keys out of his front pocket. He got into the car just as Curt was coming around the back side of the car. Neely turned the ignition but the car only clicked. He tried it again, but the engine did nothing more than click.
Neely slammed his hand against the steering wheel and looked out the driver window towards the road. Just when he had got Boss Hogg to agree to pay the ransom, he had nothing for Boss to have to pay ransom on.
* * *
Boss and MaryAnne loaded up a satchel full of a combination of real money and counterfeit that MaryAnne found in the evidence lock up at the courthouse. She also called the Dukes on the CB and asked them to come into town to help formualte a plan to atleast get Jenny back and possibly force Neely to release Rosco as well. But none of that was going to happen because no more than five minutes after the boys arrived at the bank, the phone rang.
Boss grabbed up the receiver. "J.D. Hogg."
"Well, you lucked out, Hogg," Neely said. "Your Sheriff just saved you $650,000."
"What are you talkin' about, Neely?"
MaryAnne turned to Boss when she heard Neely's name.
"Their ain't gonna be no exchange. The Sheriff and lady jived me and escaped."
"Yeah, escaped. But don't get too excited, cuz this don't mean you're off the hook with me and Curt. You still owe us, Hogg."
"Ha! I ain't gonna pay you one red cent! And as far as I'm concerned, this conversation is over." He hung up the phone.
"Boss, what was that all about?" MaryAnne asked.
"Rosco and Jenny. They escaped from Neely and Curt."
"They WHAT?!" she exclaimed.
"Escaped! Now we don't have to pay any ransom."
MaryAnne's face was about to light up but it darkened just as quick. "Oh no," she said and looked at everyone. "Now we don't know where they are."
Everyone was silent with the realization that they were probably worse off than they were before. MaryAnne then picked up the phone.
"Maebelle? This is MaryAnne. That call that Boss just got. Do you know where it came from?"
* * *
Rosco kicked a pebble with his boot and watched it skip ahead of him in the dusty dirt. Jenny trailed behind him a bit and neither had said anymore to one another since they fled the shack.
Rosco didn't even know where he was or where he was going. He was reasonably sure that he was heading towards Hazzard, but how far away the county line was, only the Lord knew.
This just ain't been my day, he thought. Or my week, or my month, or my year. Sheesh.
He knew Jenny was furious with him about him being a crooked cop, just like MaryAnne was. But MaryAnne knew of the circumstances leading up to that fateful decision and Jenny didn't, so how could she judge him the way she was?
Heck, she wasn't even around when I was first elected Sheriff, which nobody thought was gonna happen.
Jenny realized that, but as she walked behind him, glaring at him, she just couldn't comprehend a reason for why he had gone crooked.
"Okay, crooked lawman, what do we do now?"
"Oh leave me alone," Rosco snapped.
"No. You're the Sheriff. Well, technically you're a Sheriff and you should have some idea of what we're going to do now."
"Will you knock it off. Jenny, you have no idea what's been going on in Hazzard in the last thirty years. You up and left here with what's-his-face and now you've come back and you expect everything to be the same as it was, and it ain't. So if and when we get back to Hazzard, you might as well just go back to Atlanta."
"His name was Benjamin."
Jenny rolled her eyes. "Jackass," she whispered.
"I heard that."
"I don't care. I'll say it louder if you like?"
"Go ahead, if it'll make you feel better."
"That's SHERIFF jackass."
Hmm, Jenny's gonna have to find something stronger to call Rosco to really get his attention. Boss has called him jackass more often than he's called Rosco by his own name.
After finding out from Maebelle that the call came from Chickasaw County, MaryAnne got on the horn to Sheriff Little to ask for help.
"What the heck is Colbrain into this time?" Little asked after MaryAnne explained what was going on.
"Sheriff, I'm serious," MaryAnne replied firmly. "Now my cousin was kidnapped by these two men and has now escaped and is wandering around your county somewhere. I'd appreciate a sense of professionalism and duty from you to help me locate the two crooks and locate Rosco and Jenny.
"Alright," Little said. "I'll have my deputies be on the look out for that car and for Rosco and the woman."
"Thank you," she said and then hung up the phone. She got up and started towards the door.
"Where are you going?" Luke asked.
"Where else?" MaryAnne replied, turning back to the boys. "I'm going to Chickasaw County. After that phone call, I have about as much faith in Sheriff Little finding Rosco as I do in Boss here turning an honest dollar." She paused and looked at Boss. "Which none of this would be happening if he was already doing that anyway." MaryAnne turned and walked out of the bank.
Boss got up from behind his desk and rushed over to the door, trying to catch up to MaryAnne. The boys followed.
"MaryAnne," he called as she headed across the street towards the courthouse. She didn't stop and continued on.
Boss came up behind her and literally grabbed her by the arm and turned her around to face him.
"You listen to me little girl. I don't care that you blame me for this happening, but don't you forget that Rosco is my brother-in-law. And I know that you can't go into Chickasaw County by yourself and expect to find him and Jenny any more than you could find a needle in a haystack."
"Boss is right," Luke said. "If we all go with you then we can cover more gound."
"Yeah," Bo said. "That's assuming Boss here will give me and Luke permission to go into Chickasaw."
MaryAnne looked at Boss.
"Yeah, yeah, alright," Boss said. "And I'm goin' too."
MaryAnne regarded Boss and the boys for a moment. It was an unlikely combination of help, that of a Hogg and Dukes joining together to help a Coltrane. But then again, this was Hazzard County where even the things you thought you could count on you sometimes couldn't count on.
MaryAnne snorted. "Fine," she said. "Let's go."
While the boys, Boss and MaryAnne were heading towards Chickasaw County, Neely and Curt had got their car repaired and were getting ready to try to get out of Chickasaw. Let's see how Rosco and Jenny are doin'.
Jenny pushed a strand of her hair away from her face and sighed. Rosco heard it but said nothing. He figured the last thing she needed to for him to say was that he now had no idea where they were.
They continued to walk until they came to a small bridge that had collapsed. They both stopped and looked at the situation before them.
The bridge once covered a small creek that was maybe eight feet wide and about three feet deep. When the bridge collapsed it has broken up and parts of it remained above the waterline, leaving places to step and get across. The distance between the waterline and the ground level was about six inches.
Rosco went first and then stopped and turned back to Jenny, reaching his hand to her.
"Give me your hand," he said.
Jenny hesitated and then stepped down onto one of the partially submerged planks of the bridge. She took Rosco's hand and the both of them walked across the creek.
Rosco stepped up onto the shore and then turned to help Jenny. She planted her foot on a piece of board, to use as a step, that was part of a bigger piece that was laying against the edge of the shore line. She reached up to Rosco and as she put weight on the board, it suddenly gave way beneath her.
Jenny gasped loudly, certain that she was about to go sideways into three feet of water. She grabbed for Rosco who already had a hold of her arms. She quickly placed her foot on another board and paused as she tried to collect herself.
"You alright?" Rosco asked.
After a breath, she said, "Yeah, I'm fine." She pulled herself up to the shore and briefly fell against Rosco while trying to get her footing and stand up straight.
"I'm alright," she said when she finally stood on her own. They looked at each other for a moment. The anamosity between them seemed to fade a bit, but Jenny looked away and stepped ahead of Rosco.
Rosco watched her, wanting to say something, but Jenny probably wasn't in the mood to listen. So, he refrained and followed after her.
* * *
Boss's Cadillac, MaryAnne's Maverick and the General Lee came into Chickasaw County and then split up off to different roads. MaryAnne was determined to find Rosco and Jenny. She was also determined to find the two jackasses that kidnapped them.
Flash was in the passenger seat of the Firebird, her front paws on the arm rest and her head peeking out the window, keeping a sharp eye out for her daddy. Bandit was in the back seat and he too, was looking out the window for Rosco. MaryAnne was still in uniform. With Rosco's patrol car still at Cooter's and her's with two busted windows, the only car left in Hazzard to drive was Maverick. When Enos found out what was going on, he volunteered to drive to Chickasaw as well, but MaryAnne told him it would be best for him to stay in Hazzard, since the county couldn't be without a lawman.
She picked up the CB mike and pushed the talk button.
"Songbird to Lost Sheep and the Chief. Anybody seen anything yet?"
In the General, Luke picked up the CB. "Negative, MaryAnne," he said. "We haven't seen anything."
"I haven't either," Boss said. "Although I did pass a Chickasaw deputy's car a while back."
"Well, I suppose that's a good sign," MaryAnne said. "Assuming Little has his men out looking."
"I'm sure they are, MaryAnne," Luke said.
That same deputy's car Boss had spotted slowed to a stop when he reached a four way intersection. He then turned right and drove on.
Coming from the opposite direction was Curt and Neely. They saw the police cruiser and they slowed down, hoping not to be spotted in the deputy's rearview mirror.
"You think he's looking for us?" Curt asked.
"Probably. If Coltrane and the lady got to the cops, you can bet they're looking for us."
Well, ol' Neely's only half right. But no sense in any of us tellin' him that tho'.
After walking up the road a bit, Rosco and Jenny stopped by the creek and sat down on the incline that led down from the dirt road to the edge of the creek. The sun was wanning deep in the western sky and they were no closer to Hazzard then they had been all afternoon. And with the night approaching, they're chances of reaching atleast the county line were fading at the same rate.
Rosco rested his elbow on his knee and his chin on the heel of his hand. He gazed at the waters of the creek in thought.
Jenny looked at him. She recognized that look of concerned thought and wondered what he was thinking about. She refrained from asking though, since it seemed all they'd done since just before escaping from Neely and Curt was speak bitterly to one another. She still couldn't believe that the same Rosco she knew some thirty years ago was now a crooked lawman. Then again he was right, she hadn't been around the past thirty years to understand why he gave in to the temptation. It just didn't seem like he'd ever do something like that.
They both were quiet for several minutes. Jenny looked at the creek and country side and listened to the birds chirping. When she couldn't refrain any longer, she finally took a deep breath and spoke.
"Rosco, I'm sorry I got mad at you back there," she said.
Rosco didn't move or speak right away, but he did turn his eyes from the creek to the ground in front of him.
"I guess, we're not the same people we were thirty years ago, huh?" he said.
Jenny shook her head. "No, I guess not."
Rosco paused a moment and then turned and looked at her. "You didn't come to Hazzard for just a surprise visit did you?"
Jenny hesitated, dropping her gaze from Rosco. "Yes and no," she said. "Rosco, I heard about what happened to you a couple of weeks ago in Alabama." She looked at him. "You never told me you were married. When I asked you two years ago, you said no."
"Well what was I supposed to say? 'Yeah, I was married for about four hours, she was shucking and jiving me the whole time and it ended up beng annulled?' Please."
Jenny watched his blue eyes flash in anger. He stopped from saying more and looked back toward the creek.
"I suppose I can understand you not saying anything at the time," she said.
"Yeah...so you came back to Hazzard because you felt sorry for me?" he asked sharply.
"Rosco, I came to Hazzard because I was worried about you," Jenny replied firmly. She stopped, realizing they were becoming cross with one another again.
He looked at her, his expression softening a bit. "You were?"
"Yes." She paused, studying him for a moment. "She really broke your heart, didn't she?" she asked softly.
Rosco's gaze dropped again. He shrugged. "Fools rush in, as they say."
Jenny placed her hand on his that was resting on the ground. "I'm sorry you had to go through that, Rosco. Maybe I shouldn't have come here. I've probably only made things worse for you."
Rosco looked at her suddenly. "No," he said quickly. "No, I--" he looked at her hand in his and then at her, "I'm glad you came. Although, I don't think being held kidnapped and then ending up stuck out in the middle of nowhere with me acting like a bear was what you had in mind."
The corner of Jenny's mouth turned up into a partial smile. "Well, you have reason to act the way you have been. And being stuck in the middle of nowhere with you hasn't been all that bad."
Rosco raised an eyebrow to her.
"Well, okay if you don't include the fact that we've practically been at each other's throats since this all started, things haven't been all that bad."
Rosco chuckled. He then paused a moment, his expression becoming serious. "I can't help what I've become, Jenny. I don't like it any more than you do or MaryAnne. But this is just the way things are now. I'm just sorry you had to find out this way."
"Well, it sure beat the heck out of you just straight out telling me yourself. Not that you would have."
"No, probably not."
Jenny giggled. That was a typical Rosco straight forward answer.
Rosco smiled and then looked towards the sun. "I guess we better keep goin'."
Jenny nodded. They both got up and walked back up to the road.
* * *
MaryAnne turned Maverick off a dirt road and on to pavement. The afternoon was becoming late and there was still no sign of Rosco and Jenny or of the two men who had kidnapped them. MaryAnne was starting to worry, wondering if maybe Curt and Neely had been lying about Rosco and Jenny having escaped at all.
What if something happened? she wondered. What if them two idiots harmed Rosco and Jenny in some way? Or maybe even k--
MaryAnne shook her head not allowing the thought to continue. "Good grief," she whispered. She propted her elbow on the open window and then brought her hand to her head, drawing her fingers over her forehead. After a moment she decided she better tell the boys and Boss, despite it being such an awful thought.
She took her elbow off the window and grabbed the steering wheel while she picked up the CB mike with her other hand.
"Hey, fellas, I just had a really terrible thought, but I think it's something we should consider."
"What is it?" Luke asked.
"What if Curt and Neely were lying? What if Rosco and Jenny never escaped from them because they couldn't?"
"MaryAnne, you don't think they killed them do you?"
"Oh Luke, I don't know what to think. But the thing is, when we were chasing after them, Neely was ready to toss them right out of the car. Who's to say he never did?"
"Because he wanted at least $650,000 for Jenny," Boss said. "Nobody's gonna demand a ransom for something they ain't got."
"What if something happened after Neely called with the ransom? Some kind of scuffle or something? And then boom, that's it, all over."
"MaryAnne, you're letting your imagination make yourself paranoid," Luke said. "I'm sure they're alive. We just gotta find them that's all."
MaryAnne sighed. "Yeah, alright," she said. "But we better find them by dark, or else I'm gonna--" She stopped when she saw a grey car just like the one Rosco and Jenny had been forced into, come towards her.
"MaryAnne?" Luke said.
MaryAnne watched the car go by and she saw and recognized the two men.
"HA!" she exclaimed. She dropped the CB mike on the passenger seat and yanked the steering wheel around, swinging Maverick around and leaving a semi circle of tire marks on the pavement.
In the General, Bo was looking at the CB set. "What happened to her?"
"I don't know," Luke said. He lifted the mike. "MaryAnne, you there? Are you okay?"
MaryAnne didn't respond. More or less because she was too busy driving.
In the grey sedan, Curt looked out the back window. "Who the hell is that?"
Neely looked in his rearview mirror. "I don't know," he said just as the blue Firebird pulled out from behind them and came up the driver's side.
MaryAnne floored the accelerator and cut ahead of Neely. She pulled ahead a little and then swung Maverick to the side, forcing Neely to a sliding stop.
"What the hell is this?" Neely wondered aloud. He then saw MaryAnne get out of the car and, still dressed in her uniform, both Neely and Curt recognized her immediately.
"Oh geez, it's that chick cop again," Neely muttered.
Flash and Bandit were suddenly all wound up and were looking out the window at the sedan as MaryAnne walked around Maverick with her gun drawn and pointed at the two men.
Them two better be REAL careful. I've the feeling MaryAnne may decide to shoot first and ask questions later.
"Out of the car," she commanded.
"You ain't got no jurisdiction here," Neely said.
MaryAnne looked at him and then pointed the gun to the front tire of the sedan. She pulled the trigger and the tire went flat.
"How's that for jurisdiction?" she asked. "Now get out!"
Neely and Curt did as ordered and got out of the car.
"You," she said, pointing at Curt who was on the passenger side of the car. "Over here."
Curt walked around the back of the car and stood next to Neely.
"I want to know what you two did with the Sheriff and the woman you kidnapped?"
"We didn't do nothin'," Neely said.
"Correction. You KIDNAPPED them and tried to demand a ransom from Boss Hogg. But then you turn around and claimed that Rosco and Jenny escaped. I don't buy it and I think you were jiving Boss Hogg."
"They did escape!" Neely said. "Why would I say that if they hadn't?"
"Maybe because you did something to them and you couldn't get the ransom from Boss Hogg anymore because you had nothing to get a ransom for."
"Yeah, so, maybe I did. How are you ever gonna know?"
MaryAnne's eyes flared in anger and then she narrowed them sinisterly and slapped Neely hard across the face. It was like the sound of bullwhip cracking and Neely turned his whole body from the force of the blow and Curt even flinched.
"Now, unless you want the next slap to be a closed fist you better start giving me some better answers," she said.
Neely turned back to her. "Why you so concerned about the Sheriff anyway?" he asked as he rubbed the side of his face.
"Because he's my cousin," MaryAnne said. "And if I find out you harmed him and Jenny in any way, I may decided to turn you and your friend here into a couple of hood ornaments. If I don't fill ya with a buncha holes first!"
"Alright, alright," Neely said raising his hands in surrender. "We didn't do nothin' to harm them, we only grabbed them to get Boss Hogg to pay ransom for them. But they escaped. The woman faked being ill and she and the Sheriff were able to get the drop on me. They fled from the shack and I don't know where they went."
"Where was your shack?"
"Over by the Chickasaw Turnoff."
MaryAnne nodded and then pulled out two pairs of handcuffs. She grabbed Neely's hand and slapped one cuff on his wrist and then grabbed Curt's hand and pulled him to the other side of the open driver door. Through the open window she attached the other cuff to Curt's wrist. She then slapped the other pair of cuffs on to Neely and Curt's other wrists, leaving them as a human loop through the open window of the sedan.
"Okay, boys, don't get too comfy now, because you probably won't be here for long." MaryAnne walked back to Maverick and got in. She changed the channel and then picked up the mike.
"This is MaryAnne Coltrane calling Chickasaw County Sheriff Ed Little. I've found the two kidnappers and they're all yours. You can find them here on Highway 231. However, I'm still lookin' for Rosco and Jenny, so this ain't over yet. I'm gone." She changed the channel back to the one she had been on.
"Listen up fellas," she said, "I need y'all to meet me over by the Chickasaw Turnoff. I think we'll be able to find Rosco and Jenny if we start from there."
* * *
The sun disappeared behind a mountain in the distance and Rosco and Jenny felt they had walked for miles. Jenny stopped for a moment to look at the orange and purple clouds off in the distance.
"What a beautiful sunset," she said. Rosco stood beside her and looked at the colors too.
"Yeah," he said. "There's been times when I'm doing an early evening patrol and I'll see a sunset like this. Makes me wish I had my paints with me."
She turned to look at him. "You paint?"
"Yeah," he said. "I took it up a couple of years ago."
She smiled. "So why don't you keep an easle, canvas and paints in the trunk of your patrol car?"
"I wish I could," he said, "but Boss won't let me. So I guess I'll just paint the picture in my mind." As he spoke he found himself looking into her eyes.
They both stood there for a moment and Rosco knew he was caught in a vunerable moment. Over thirty years time seemed to melt away and neither of them said anything as Jenny stepped closer to him and their arms gently found one another. She brought her right hand up to his shoulder and as her fingers slipped into his dark grey hair, the way she used to all those years ago, their lips met in a kiss.
It lasted for a moment or two and then their lips parted, but Rosco held on still. He drew Jenny back to him and they kissed again. When they parted, he looked at her almost as if he were about to apologize for something.
"Rosco, what's wrong?" she asked.
He looked at her, trying to sort through his feelings. "I--I ain't sure I should've....done that."
"Oh Rosco," she whispered, lightly touching his face. "It's okay. There was nothing wrong with that. I think that both of us have had enough of broken hearts and being lonely, that's all."
"Shh," she said, bringing her fingers over his mouth. "It's okay, Rosco. It's okay," she whispered. She brought Rosco closer to her and they stood there holding one another for a moment.
Rosco didn't realize how much he'd been hurting until that moment. His anger over what had happened in Alabama was clear, but he was angry not only for what SueAnn had done, but because it hurt so much.
Rosco closed his eyes as they started to sting with tears. He was trying to be brave but it wasn't working any more. He couldn't continue to act like what had happened wasn't affecting him, because it was affecting him and profoundly.
"Let it go, Rosco," Jenny said. "Just let it go."
Rosco opened his eyes and a tear rolled down his face. "I wish...she had never...come back," he rasped. "Never!"
Jenny didn't say anything and let Rosco get it all out of his system.
"She lied to me," he continued. "Twice, she lied to me. I should have learned my lesson after the first time. I should have just said, 'no, I ain't gonna help you' and left it at that. But I didn't." He pulled back from Jenny a bit and looked at her. "I don't know why I didn't."
Jenny gently wiped away the tear. "Because you were never one to hold much of a grudge," she said.
Rosco made a face and nodded. "Yeah," he said. "Maybe I should try to from now on."
"You never held a grudge against me did you?"
"If I did, it didn't last long," he said. "But you never lied to me, Jenny. It hurt like the dickens when you told me that there was somebody else that day, but you never, ever lied to me."
Jenny looked at him for a moment. "Rosco, do you ever wonder what it would have been like if I had never left Hazzard?"
He paused a moment. "Sometimes. But things that are meant to be always find a way, and you staying in Hazzard with me just wasn't meant to be. I don't know who he was, but I'm sure he gave you a lot more than I could have. Plus, he gave you a beautiful daughter."
Jenny smiled a bit and then chuckled. "Do you remember two years ago, when I thought MaryAnne was your daughter?"
Rosco smiled. "Yeah."
Jenny kept a straight face and said, "I still think she's your daughter."
Rosco laughed. Jenny giggled too and continued, "And like any daugter, she's probably wondering where you are."
"Yeah," he said and paused. Suddenly his expression clouded over. "Uh...oh boy."
Y'all reckon ol' Rosco just realized that he don't even know where he is?
"What's the matter?" Jenny asked.
"Um, Jenny, I don't think you're gonna like me telling you this."
"Tell me what?"
"That I have no idea where we are."
She stared at him. "Rosco..."
"Jit, jit, I'm sorry," he said. "For all I know we're heading towards Lampton County instead of Hazzard."
"Rosco! How's anyone going to find us?"
"I don't know," he said. "We're gonna have to find a farm house or some place to use the phone." He paused. "Jenny, I'm sorry about all this."
Jenny shook her head. "Rosco, this isn't your fault," she said. "None of this is your fault."
"Hush," she said gently. "None of it, Rosco."
Rosco looked at her for a moment and then nodded. "Alright," he said.
Jenny smiled. "Good. Now let's keep moving, and try to find a phone."
* * *
MaryAnne arrived at the Chickasaw Turnoff first, followed by the Dukes and then Boss. She told them what happened and how she found Curt and Neely and that their hideout had been near the Turnoff.
"Rosco and Jenny can't be too far from here," she said. "So I figured we can start from here and split up."
"Alright," Luke said. "And don't leave us hanging on the CB like that again."
"Sorry," MaryAnne said. "But I was kinda busy you know. It does take two hands to drive." She smiled.
The boys chuckled.
"Woof!" Flash barked.
MaryAnne turned and looked at the basset, who was leaning out the open passenger window. Flash wimpered and moved her paws on the edge of the door a couple of times, almost as if she were trying to figure a way to get out of the car.
"She's getting restless," MaryAnne said as she turned back to the boys and Boss. "And it's getting dark, so we better get moving."
"Alright," Luke said. "First one that sees anything, hollar on the CB."
"Right," MaryAnne said and turned back towards Maverick.
MaryAnne ended up bein' on the right track after that. She found the shack and from there headed in the direction that Rosco and Jenny had gone.
The sky was turning a deeper blue and MaryAnne had Maverick's dual headlights on. She found the shack Neely and Curt had used for a hideout and was about to continue to drive on when Flash started barking.
"Flash, he's not here."
"Woof!" The bassett was leaning her head out the passenger window and she continued to bark.
"Woof, woof, woof!"
"Sweetheart, he ain't here now. You probably smell his scent, but he ain't here."
MaryAnne sighed. "Alright, I'll look." She put Maverick in park and pulled the handle on the door. At that exact moment, Flash got down from the window and turned to get out of the car with MaryAnne.
"Wait a sec, let me get out first," MaryAnne said, gently holding Flash back from walking right over her lap. She stepped out of the car and then let Flash jump out. The bassett then shot off into the dark towards the shack.
I don't know about y'all, but I think Flash may end up finding Rosco before MaryAnne does.
MaryAnne sighed and went to the trunk of Maverick. She opened it and pulled out a flashlight and then closed the trunk.
"Stay here, Bandit," she said as she walked towards the shack. She clicked on the flashlight and swept the beam over the ground.
"Come on, Flash. When I find Rosco I don't want to have to tell him that I lost you." Nothing stirred in the early evening air and MaryAnne called Flash again.
"Flash. I wanna find Rosco just as much as you do, but I can't do it if I gotta be lookin' for you too. Now come on and get back here." MaryAnne swept the beam over the shack and off towards the woods.
"Flash, come on darling."
Flash barked and MaryAnne flashed the light in the direction of the sound. All she saw, though, was trees, then Bandit started barking.
MaryAnne sighed and figured Flash was hot on the trail after Rosco, so she turned and went back to Maverick. She got in the car and started to drive down the road.
Flash came out of the woods and up on the road just as MaryAnne was coming around the corner.
"There you are!" MaryAnne exclaimed when she saw the basset in the shine of the headlights.
Flash barked and wagged her tail.
Y'all feel like we're watchin' an episode of Lassie?
MaryAnne brought Maverick to a stop and opened the driver door. "C'mon Flash, get yer posterior in here and we'll go find Rosco."
Flash barked again and started to trot along down the road. MaryAnne closed the driver door and Maverick slowly followed the basset. They made it to the bridge that was washed out and Flash stopped at the edge of the creek, pondering how to get across. MaryAnne stopped Maverick again and she got out.
"Alright, Flash," she said, coming up behind the dog and picking her up. "You ain't gonna git across yourself, so let's get back in the car and we'll jump it." She carried Flash back to the Firebird and got back in.
There was no way MaryAnne was going to spend a bunch of time looking for another way to get across an eight foot wide creek, so she backed the Firebird up to get a good run at it.
"Okay, guys," she said, looking at Flash and Bandit. "Hang on." She then stomped on the gas and Maverick threw dirt back as he lunged forward towards the bridge. The front wheels hit the embankment and the car leap frogged over the creek and bounced upon landing on the other side. MaryAnne then kept the car continuing on down the road.
Rosco and Jenny, meanwhile, were walking along the road, about two miles ahead of MaryAnne. With the sky getting darker, their ability to see the road was becoming more difficult, but they trudged on.
Jenny took a hold of Rosco's hand. "I don't know about you, but my feet are killing me and I can barely see anything."
"Same here," Rosco replied.
"Don't you think we should have found some sign of civilization by now?"
"I was hoping we would have by now."
Flash had settled herself right on MaryAnne's lap and had her front paws on the arm rest and was barking out the window.
"No, Flash, I ain't letting you out of this car again," MaryAnne said, keeping her arm around the basset. "It's too dark for you to go off by yourself."
"We'll find him, don't worry."
Rosco looked up the road into the darkness when he saw what looked like the headlights of car in between the trees. The car came around the corner about sixty feet ahead of Rosco and Jenny and both of them heard it slide threw the turn.
They stopped and watched the car, at first being relieved to see a car at all, but the erratic driving pattern and the speed at which the car was coming closer caused Rosco concern.
The car was all over the road and Rosco grabbed a hold of Jenny and pulled her out of the road. They went tumbling to the side of the road and down into the ditch just as the car went zooming by.
MaryAnne saw the headlights on the ground ahead of her before she saw the car. When the car came into view around the corner, it was heading straight for her.
The other driver apparently came out of their drunken stupor long enough to blare the horn. MaryAnne grabbed a hold of Flash tightly and turned the steering wheel with one hand, sending Maverick sailing across the road, tires trying in vain to continue to grip the gravel surface. She turned the wheel back the other way after the other car barely skimmed by her and she stepped on the brake, bringing the Firebird to a sliding stop in the middle of the road.
She was still holding on to Flash and she looked back down the road, watching the red tail lights disappear in the distance.
"Man..." she breathed. Flash wimpered a bit and MaryAnne realized she was still holding her tightly.
"Oh Flash, I'm sorry. Are you all right, sweetie?" She let go of Flash, who adjusted her paws and stayed on MaryAnne's lap.
"Y'all right, Bandit?" she asked, turning her head to look at the German Shepherd in the back seat. Bandit moved his head forward between the front seats and MaryAnne gave him a pat. She then took her foot off the brake and turned Maverick back in the direction he had been pointed in originally.
"Jenny? You okay?" Rosco asked, getting to his knees. He brushed the dirt and gravel off his hands.
"Yeah, I think so," she replied. She started to move and then stopped. "Ooh, ow."
"I think I twisted my ankle. Which is better than almost ending up as a hood ornament I suppose."
Rosco took a hold of her arm and helped her to sit up.
"You did it again, you know," she said.
"You pushed me to the ground!" she said. "Rosco, are you going to do this everytime we get together?"
"Well, no..." He was about to launch into an apology when he stopped and remember what had happened in Atlanta. He started to chuckle and tried to stifle it but he couldn't and ended up laughing.
"It's not funny you know," she said.
"Yes, it is," he said before laughing again. "I remember, I promised you that if you came to Hazzard we wouldn't get shot at. And we didn't. So what happens instead? We dang near get run over, and I STILL push ya to the ground." He laughed again. "I'm sorry," he said. "You're right, it's probably not funny, but I can't help it."
Jenny was quiet for a moment and then she too started giggling. "Atleast you're consistent," she said.
"Khee khee." He gently took her by the arm. "I am sorry, Jenny."
"Will you stop apologizing and just help me up."
Rosco smiled. "Do you think you can make it back up to the road?"
"Alright." He helped her to stand and she put her arm around his shoulders. "Now don't lean your weight on your ankle, lean it on me."
"Sure," she giggled. "Maybe I can push you to the ground too."
She giggled again as Rosco started to walk her back up to the road.
MaryAnne, meanwhile, brought Maverick around the turn. Rosco looked up when he saw another set of headlights coming towards him. He squinted and recognized the four square headlamps of Maverick.
"I don't believe it," he said.
When the headlights shined on the figure in the blue Sheriff's uniform, MaryAnne couldn't believe it either.
"Flash, look we found 'em!" she exclaimed. Flash started barking as MaryAnne brought the Firebird to a stop. She quickly threw the transmission in park and jumped out of Maverick along with Flash.
"Rosco!" MaryAnne ran to him and Jenny and she hugged them both. "Man, am I so glad to see y'all."
Rosco hugged his cousin back, happy to see her once again too.
"We're happy so see you too," he said.
"Looks like I got here just in time too," MaryAnne said, stepping back and looking at the two in the glow of the headlights. "You guys okay?"
"Scuffed no more than usual," Rosco replied. "Jenny twisted her ankle when we dove out of the way of that car tho'."
"Yeah, he almost hit me too," MaryAnne said. "Well, come on, let's get y'all in the car and back to Hazzard." MaryAnne stepped to the other side of Jenny and she and Rosco walked her to the passenger door of the Firebird.
After they got her settled in, Rosco and MaryAnne went back to the driver side. MaryAnne pushed the seat forward and Rosco climbed in the back with Bandit. MaryAnne then picked up Flash and got into the car. After a moment, they were on their way back to Hazzard County.
MaryAnne called the boys and Boss on the CB and told them the good news. MaryAnne then told Rosco and Jenny how Curt and Neely had been caught and how she, Boss and the boys had been combing Chickasaw County trying to find them.
MaryAnne tried to conceal the movement of her hand to wipe away the tear that had fallen from her eye.
Rosco saw it though. "You alright, MaryAnne?"
"Oh yeah, I'm fine," she said. "It's just been one of those days, you know."
"Yeah," Rosco said. He looked at Jenny, who was watching MaryAnne. "Yeah, I know what you mean."
When they arrived back in town, the boys were already waiting in front of the courthouse and Boss was coming in right behind MaryAnne.
MaryAnne pulled the Firebird up to the curb and smiled at them.
"Hey," she greeted.
"Welcome back," Luke said. "How you doin' Rosco?"
"Rosco! Jenny! Are you all right?" Boss called as he ran up to the Firebird.
Rosco peeked out the window. "We're fine, Boss," he said. "Jenny's a little scuffed, but otherwise okay."
As Boss sighed in relief, Bo leaned and looked into the car. "Is this Jenny?"
"Oh," MaryAnne said. "Jenny, this is Bo and Luke Duke. They're the Duke boys I was telling you about."
"Hi," Jenny said.
"Howdy," Bo said, with Luke giving a nod in greeting as well.
"Listen fellas, I wanna thank ya for helping me out," MaryAnne said. "And you too, Boss."
Boss nodded. "I'm just glad everyone's alright and that them two jokers got caught."
MaryAnne smiled. "Rosco and I are gonna take Jenny here to Tri-County. She twisted her ankle."
"How'd that happen?" Luke asked.
"We dang near got run over," Rosco replied.
"Yeah," MaryAnne said. "The car nearly hit me as well. Some drunk driver. But anyways, I'm just glad this dang day is finally over with."
That was pretty much a unanimous sentiment. Jenny was treated for her twisted left ankle and then released from the hospital. Rosco and MaryAnne brought her home and MaryAnne fixed up the guest room for her for the rest of the night.
"If you need anything let us know," MaryAnne said. "My room's right next door here and Rosco's across the hall."
Jenny nodded. "Thanks, MaryAnne."
"You know, you don't necessarily have to leave tomorrow. Especially if your not feeling so great in the morning."
"I know, but I hadn't intended on staying the night. Plus, I think it would be best if I went back to Atlanta in the morning anyways."
"Alright," MaryAnne said. "I guess I'll see you in the morning then."
Jenny nodded. "Good night, MaryAnne."
After Jenny disappeared into the guest room, MaryAnne went downstairs where Rosco was sitting at the table in the kitchen with a cup of coffee in front of him. She didn't say a word as she sat down in the chair across from him and looked at him.
"Okay," she said. "What happened?"
Rosco looked at her. "Duh...we were kidnapped."
"I don't mean that, Rosco. I mean what happened between you and Jenny?"
Rosco didn't answer immediately and took a sip of the coffee. MaryAnne watched him and waited to see if he was going to speak after he took the drink, but when he finished he only put the cup back down and remained quiet.
MaryAnne knew better than to try to pry when he clammed up like this but after what happened in Alabama, the last thing needed was to find out was that his heart had been broken again somehow.
"I'm not being nosy," she said. "But way too much has happened to you in the past couple of weeks and I'm just worried about you that's all. You don't have to tell me what happened, if anything did. I just want to make sure you're all right. That you're not having your heart broken again."
Rosco looked at her. He shook his head. "No," he said. "It's not that."
"Oh. Well, that's good to hear," she said. She then looked him in the eye. "You ain't jivin' me are ya?"
"I ain't jivin' ya."
She studied him another moment and then nodded. "Alright. Whatever did happen you better make a decision about it by the morning because you do realize Jenny is going back to Atlanta then?"
MaryAnne looked at him sympathetically and then nodded. "Well, you better get some rest. As for me, despite all that's happened, a Sheriff's work is never done." She got up and pulled out the keys to Maverick from her pocket. "I'll give Enos a call on the radio and let him know he might have to do the early morning patrol."
Rosco shook his head. "I'll do it."
"After all you went through today? I really think you should let Enos do it."
"No, I'll do it. It'll give me some time to think. So you can leave the keys to Maverick on the table here when you get back."
"Alright," she said. She then gave him a hug. "I am glad to have ya back home."
Rosco smiled and returned the hug. "Glad to be back home."
Well, that early morning patrol had Rosco out at four a.m. patrol kept him on the road until almost nine that morning. Which gave him plenty of time to think over what had happened and what he was going to say to Jenny before she left to go back to Atlanta.
When Rosco pulled up to the courthouse, MaryAnne and Jenny were already waiting outside. He brought Maverick to a stop and got out. He approached the two women.
"Well, you're just in time to see Jenny off, Rosco," MaryAnne said. She looked at Jenny. "By they way, I hope what happened doesn't spoil you ever coming back."
Jenny smiled. "Well, if I'm ever looking for some excitement, I'll know right where to find it."
"Bye, Jenny. Take it easy on that foot."
Rosco walked with Jenny as she limped back to her car. Before she got in, she turned to him.
"Uh, Jenny listen, about what happened--"
"Rosco, there's no need to apologize. What happened, happened. We were both caught at a vunerable moment and I think we should just leave it at that. Unless you want it to mean something."
Rosco paused in thought. "I ain't sure I'm ready to try that again."
She nodded. "It's alright," she said. "You just need a time to heal, Rosco, that's all. You'll know when your ready again."
She smiled and paused a moment. "Well," she said, "I guess I better get going."
Rosco nodded. "You'll come back sometime?"
"Of course," she said. "But do you think maybe next time we could just have a nice quiet lunch or something? None of this running away from kidnappers and diving out of the way of drunk drivers and being at each other's throats?"
Rosco smiled. "Well, we can try." He paused. "It'd be a nice change wouldn't it?"
Rosco? Stay out of trouble? The day I sell that beachfront property in Tennesse maybe.
Jenny turned and opened the door to her car. She got in and Rosco closed the door for her.
She looked up at him.
"I ain't saying it," he said.
"I'm not either," she said and smiled. "So I'll just say I'll see you soon."
Rosco nodded. "Drive careful."
Jenny started the car. "I will."
Rosco stepped away from the car and Jenny pulled away looking back at him one last time. As Jenny drove into the square, MaryAnne came up beside Rosco.
"Yeah," she said, hooking her arm around his. "Hard to believe that my cousin could have a LOVE interest, former or not. Better not let this get around town or there'd be a lot of girls in this county that would be very heartbroken, Rosco."
"What?" He looked at her, at first not quite catching what she had said. "Doh...MaryAnne," he said when it finally clicked and he took his hat off and lightly slapped her with it.
"Hey!" she giggled and let go of his arm. "You can't hit me, you can only hit Enos and Cletus with that hat."
Rosco looked at his cousin out of the corner of his eye. MaryAnne read the thought before he even lifted his hand again.
"Oops," she said and then turned and started running to the stairs of the courthouse, with Rosco right behind her, hat in hand.
Shoot, all this time I thought Rosco would never try to do that. But then again, knowing MaryAnne, she'd most likely turn around and hit him with her hat. Just another example of Hazzard Equal rights.