**** **** ****


Now that he was formally working on the case with the hit car, Bill spent the next morning doing a little homework. He attempted to get license plate numbers off the cars that he saw parked in the body shop’s lot for the past few days. He was only able to get one number, from a white Grand Prix. The black Mustang always parked backed in and had no front license plate and the Dodge truck parked next to it was parked at such an angle Bill couldn’t read the entire plate number. He ran the number from the Grand Prix through the computer and it spit back as registered to another auto repair shop in Atlanta.


A little after noon, Bill parked himself in a window booth at the deli across the street from the body shop. A half-eaten ham sandwich was on his plate and the coffee was growing cold. No more than two minutes after he had sat down, a beige four door Plymouth Fury sedan had pulled into the shop's yard. Four men exited the car. Neither the car, nor the men, had Bill seen there before. One of the men inside the garage came out to greet the men. There was an exchange of handshakes and short conversation before the four newcomers followed the other man inside the garage.


It seemed like they were in there forever. Bill absently picked up his coffee to take a drink and grimaced at the cold taste. He pushed the beverage aside and finished his sandwich, glancing up every so often to look out the window.


After ten minutes, there was no new action at the shop. The girl that worked behind the counter of the deli came over with the coffee pot and a new cup, pouring Bill a fresh serving. "Sugar, I dunno what you find so engrossin' about that auto body shop..." she said, putting the steaming cup down in front of him.


Bill glanced up at her. "Oh, uh...nothing really.” He gestured to the new cup of coffee. “Thank ya..."


"Yer welcome. You a cop or something?"


"Um, listen honey just pretend I'm not here ok?" He took a twenty-dollar bill from his pocket and slid it across the table to her.


The woman pocketed the money without a second thought. "Oh I can do that..." She picked up his cold coffee cup and returned to the deli counter.


Bill looked out the window again. Still nothing had changed. He sipped at his coffee, watching and waiting.


It was some thirty minutes later when the men came out of the garage again. The garage door itself was also opening. Bill sat up straight and watched.


The Dodge Charger rolled out, front first, from the garage and the sun gleamed off its new black paint job. Even from where he was sitting, Bill could hear the throaty growl of the car's exhaust. The windows were still tinted black and the front windshield was unchanged. The front of the car, however, no longer sported the metal plate. Instead, it looked to back to its original state or slightly modified. Bill knew some of the old Chargers had the flip up headlight covers and it appeared this car was now sporting that option. The entire front grill and headlight covers sported a flat black paint job while the front bumper was the same glossy black to match the body of the car.


The men gathered around it and talked for a few more minutes. Bill couldn't tell what the back of the car looked like, but he figured the metal plate that had covered the back window was gone now too. From what he could see, the car appeared more street legal than Diamante's version had been. The door handles remained shaved but there was a single side mirror mounted on the driver's side, also painted in black.


The wheels were different as well. The shiny rims that had graced the car previously were gone, replaced with rally style wheels.


Bill fidgeted. The all black paint job made the car look even more menacing than what Johnny Diamante had. It sat in the yard like a patient panther while the men chattered on about the car. They popped the hood and pointed out parts of the engine. There was nodding and a couple of malevolent smiles.


Geez, these guys like to carry on! 350 horsepower, bored over, balanced and blue printed, yamma, yamma... It was a few minutes later when the conversation finally broke up. The hood was lowered down and the men all shook hands before they began to disperse. The four newcomers broke into pairs with two returning to the Plymouth sedan while the other two climbed into the Charger. Bill quickly pulled money from his pocket to pay for his lunch and left it on the table. He hurried out of the deli.


He walked halfway down the block toward his Crown Vic with casual quickness. The beige Plymouth and the black Charger were waiting at the gate of the body shop to turn out across traffic. They would pass directly by Bill once they were on the street.


Bill got into his car, started it up and waited. The sedan and Charger soon pulled out onto the road and rolled past him. He waited as a couple more cars in the line of traffic passed by him before he could pull out to follow.


He tailed them through downtown Atlanta, keeping at least one or two cars between himself and the back end of the Charger. Eventually the Plymouth lead the parade to a north bound on ramp of I-75.


Bill followed, staying back and letting other cars weave in and out between him and the Charger. The miles passed and Atlanta's downtown gave way to suburbs. Symra...Marietta...Kennesaw... The time passed and the suburbs then thinned out to open country. Forty-five minutes north of Atlanta, Bill began to wonder where the hell he was and where the hell these guys were going.


Still they traveled on. Bill stayed with them as I-75 stretched out through the Georgia hills and pines.


Finally, after nearly an hour and half of driving, the sedan and Charger took a rural exit off the highway, turning on to a state route 76.


Great, Bill thought. Now I'm gonna get lost in Hillbilly Hell...


Bill had little traffic to hide in on Route 76. I-75 had been a consistently filled six-lane highway with cars and 18-wheelers and Bill could hang back easy enough and let other cars be between him and his targets. Now, there were fewer vehicles on this four-lane roadway. Bill hung back a distance but kept the two cars within sight. 


After a few miles, the Plymouth Fury and Charger turned off on to a two-lane road. Bill had absolutely no idea where he was at this point and he figured he'd never find his way back. The recent miles traveled had been rural, passing large fields, pastures with horses or cattle grazing and distant farmhouses. It was pretty country, Bill didn't refute that, but he was really going to be in a pickle if he got lost out in the middle of nowhere.


It wasn't long until he realized he was out in the middle of nowhere. The pavement had eventually turned off to dirt. There were no other cars around and it seemed like miles separated the houses.


The driver of the Charger had been watching his rearview mirror since exiting I-75. It seemed like they had the same car following a distance behind them. He picked up his hand held CB radio and called to his partners.


"I think we're being followed. There's been a car hanging back a bit ever since we left the interstate."


"Let's slow down, see if the car catches up to us..." came the reply.


The driver of the Charger let off the gas and let the Dodge slow down on its own.


Bill maintained his speed before he realized he was closing the gap between himself and the other cars. "Aw damn..." Not knowing if he had been spotted or not, he slowed down as well.


The driver of the Charger watched and saw that the other car wasn't catching up to them. "They're not catching up," he said into his CB. "It's a Crown Vic, Jay. It could be a Fed. I don't like it, I say we bolt."


"We certainly can't be too careful," Jay replied. "Let's lose him."


Suddenly the sedan and the Charger sped up, a cloud of dust abruptly spitting up from beneath the tires.


Bill saw this and reacted instantly, hitting the gas. There was no way, after having tailed this thing for over an hour and half, that he was going lose it now!


The chase barreled along over the dirt road, each car taking a small leap as it came up from a dip. Dust billowed up from the path and Bill pushed his Ford sedan hard to try to close the gap between himself and the other cars. The chase weaved through the gradual bends of the road and slid frantically through tight turns and twists.


Coming the opposite way and unaware of what was heading in their direction, were the Duke boys, Bo and Luke, in their orange Dodge Charger known as the General Lee. As the boys came around the turn in the road, the Plymouth sedan was barreling toward them.


Dark haired Luke Duke was suddenly alert in the passenger seat. He glanced to his cousin. "Uh Bo..."


Behind the wheel, blond haired Bo Duke was already turning the General to avoid a collision. The two cars skimmed past one another but the ride wasn't over yet. The black Charger was coming up fast.


"What the heck?!" Bo exclaimed. He turned the General in the opposite direction and the two Dodges weaved by each other.


Bo looked quickly over his shoulder at the fleeing black Charger.


“BO! Watch it!”


Bo spun back forward and swerved to avoid the Crown Vic barreling toward him.


Startled by this bright orange thing that had suddenly interfered with the chase Bill managed to avoid hitting the car but then spun wildly in the road turning completely around from the direction he had been going.


Bo hit the brakes and brought the General to a sliding broadside stop. He and Luke looked toward the Crown Vic that was in the middle of the road facing them.


With dust still swirling in the road, Bill didn't take any time for introductions or apology. He hit the accelerator and turned the Crown Vic back in the direction of the chase.


"Glad you're okay, buddy," Luke muttered, "we're fine too, thanks."


Bo just shook his head. "What do you suppose all that was about?"


"I don't know but I’m tired of people thinkin’ we don’t have traffic laws around here! Suppose it coulda been worse tho’.”


“Wanna go after ‘em, give ‘em what for?”


“Nah, we gotta get this stuff for Uncle Jesse,” Luke replied, holding up a list in hand. “Or he’ll be givin’ us what for. C'mon, let's go..."


The General drove on down the road.


Bill meanwhile had his Crown Vic flying down the dirt road. There was no sign of the hit car or the other vehicle ahead of him. He blew past a single story grey cinderblock building with a sign on it that read "Boar's Nest" and kept going.


Finally, the road he was on came to a four-way intersection. Bill stopped and got out of the car, leaving it running. He walked to the front of the Ford and looked in all directions. He could see nothing. He looked down at the tire tracks in the dirt but this intersection looked to be heavily traveled. There were marks all over the place and it was difficult to tell which were the freshest tracks. If they had come this far, Bill figured they may have slowed down as there were no skid marks indicating a fast turn in one direction or another.


"Terrific," he muttered. "Nice disappearing act…" Bill returned to his car, turned it around and headed back from the direction he had come from.


When he spotted the grey cinder block roadhouse called the Boar's Nest again he laughed. "Wouldya lookit this quaint little piece of southern hospitality..." He pulled his Crown Vic off the road and into the dirt parking lot, coming to a stop next to a royal blue late model Firebird. There was a white Jeep parked on the other side of the lot with just a few other vehicles and pick up trucks out front.


Bill stepped out of his car and looked at the front of the Boar’s Nest that boasted “Cold Beer” and “World’s Best Tastin’ Bar-b-que” across the front walls. He thought the collection of hubcaps that ringed the roofline was a nice hillbilly touch. In his mind, he pictured toothless rednecks in red plaid shirts and hunting caps, sitting at tables with checkered cloths, swigging down beer while arguing about the things Southerners cared about most: Guns, trucks and who had the better-looking woman.


Probably the one with the most teeth, Bill figured. He imagined the barmaids were the type that kept an extra pack of cigarettes rolled up in their t-shirt sleeves. He really didn't want to go into the place but had little choice. He had to get directions to the nearest town, if there was one, to get in contact with the local police, should there be any, to try to help track down the hit car. If it was still around.


Bill went inside and paused at the entryway, removing his aviator sunglasses. He looked around as his eyes adjusted to the light and didn't exactly see what he had been picturing in his mind. There were country folk, sure. One guy even had the red plaid shirt and hunting cap. But he had a full set of teeth. Otherwise, the few patrons in the place looked like ordinary folks, farmers and working people. They were drinking beer and munching on popcorn and pretzels. A steel guitar and Waylon Jennings' voice serenaded from the jukebox and mixed with the din of conversations, which all stopped briefly as everyone took a moment to gaze over at him.


He could read the label of him in their expressions. City slicker. He figured the three-piece suit gave that away.


Bill's second assumption about the place was soon quickly rejected as he looked at the two waitresses who were serving up drinks. They were not rough looking cigarette rolling girls but were both gorgeous, dark haired dames, with legs that would have given Bette Grable a run for her money. Both girls wore denim short shorts, one wearing a tight red short-sleeved low cut top that accented her curves, while the other wore a more modest short-sleeved white blouse, unbuttoned low.


Realizing he was staring, Bill snapped out of it as the second girl headed toward the bar. He walked over, tucking his aviators into the inside pocket of his suit jacket.


"Howdy," she said with a breezy smile. "Can I get you something?"


Bill couldn't help but grin back at her. She was cute. And she had all her teeth. "Well, gorgeous, I'm just looking for some information," he said, digging for his Federal ID badge. "I need to know if you have a town around here with a police department." He opened the badge. "Bill Maxwell, FBI."


The young woman looked at Bill's badge and appeared amused. "Well, Mr. Maxwell my name's MaryAnne. Welcome to Hazzard County. The town of Hazzard is just a few miles from here. You're gonna follow that dirt road out front here for about 5 miles and you'll hit pavement. Take a left and you'll go right into Hazzard. You can't miss the courthouse, it'll be on your left."


Bill smiled at her and gave a nod. "Thanks," he said.




Bill turned and left the Boar's Nest. He wondered if the beer was any good at the place. The service certainly seemed decent.


**** **** ****


The directions from the girl at the roadhouse had been good. Bill found his way to town and to the Hazzard County courthouse with no difficulties.  He parked his Crown Vic behind a white Cadillac convertible.


The little town of Hazzard was exactly that. Little. A roundabout made up the center of town where a large gazebo stood in the middle of a modest park in the circle. For a little town, it wasn't dead however. Light traffic moved around the roundabout and there were a few folks sitting on the grass or the benches in the park enjoying the sunshine. Foot traffic was also on the sidewalks in front of the old buildings that stood watch over the town square.


Bill closed the door of his Crown Vic and started to walk around behind it when a yellow motorbike suddenly pulled up to the back bumper of his sedan. Bill jumped onto the sidewalk and then turned to look at the offending driver.


"Watch it!"


"Sorry about that!" the woman driver replied. She was a petite older woman with glasses, wearing a flower print dress and white crocheted shawl over her shoulders. A bright blue motorcycle helmet protected her head and black elbow length driving gloves covered her hands. "I gotta have Cooter check that brake for me again." She pulled her helmet off revealing her grey hair wrapped up in a bun on her head.


Bill looked at her, incredulous. This little old lady was driving a motorbike?! He watched her get off the machine and remove a bag from the back of it marked US MAIL. The bag was nearly as big as she was. She slung it over her shoulder and stepped up onto the sidewalk.


He was still staring at her as she glanced up at him. "What's the matter?" she asked. "Never seen the mail delivered on a motorbike before?"


"Uh, well, no. I mean, yeah. I mean--" Bill shook his head and pointed to her mailbag. "Can I help you carry that in ma'am?"

"Sorry, as the Postmistress, I'm responsible for this bag of mail and I can't let anyone else handle it unless they're a postal employee. Regulations." She started for the courthouse steps.


Bill followed her. "Oh. Well, I can at least hold the door open for you can't I?"


"Why ain't you a polite young man, after I nearly ran you down. Of course!"


Bill grinned. "Well, I dunno about young..." He walked with the old woman up the steps to the courthouse and went for the door, holding it open.


"Thank you," she said. Once they were both in the hallway, she looked at him again. "You're not anybody I recognize from around here, all doody'd up in your suit there."


Bill removed his aviator sunglasses. "No, ma'am, I'm a Federal agent from Atlanta. Bill Maxwell."


"Ohhh. Emma Tisdale. You're a darn sight better lookin' than some Federal agents I've seen. Especially the new postal inspector they got now." She shook her head. "You must be looking for the Sheriff?"


"Yes, I am."


"Well, if he's not out sleeping at one of his speed traps, he oughta be in..." The woman pushed open two swinging doors marked "Hazzard County Sheriff's Office" on the frosted glass. Bill followed her.


Inside the office, a deputy sat at a desk on the left, situated up on a platform. Behind him was a holding cell. The deputy was a young man, with dark hair and an innocent looking face. He smiled wide at the postmistress. "Hi, Miz Tisdale."


"Hi, Enos," Miz Tisdale said. "Got some mail here for ya." She walked up the few steps to the booking area and slid the bag off her shoulder. She dug through it briefly and brought up a few bounded envelopes, handing them to Enos.


"Thank ya, Miz Tisdale. I woulda come over and got it tho', you didn't have to deliver it special."


"That's awright, Enos. I'm out deliverin’ anyway so I thought I'd stop by. Before I go any further tho' I gotta stop at Cooter's and have him check the brakes on my bike. I nearly run over this nice fella here." She pointed to Bill.


"No harm done," Bill said. "But yeah get those brakes checked will you?"


"That's where I'm going now," Miz Tisdale said. She adjusted her mailbag on her shoulder and stepped down from the booking area. "See you later, Enos!" she called as she passed Bill on her way out of the booking room.


"Bye Miz Tisdale! Be careful!" Enos put the mail down on the booking desk and looked at Bill. "Can I help you sir?"


"Yes, Deputy..." Bill pulled out his badge. "Bill Maxwell, FBI Los Ang--I mean, Atlanta. I'd like to talk to the Sheriff if he's available."


"I'm sorry Agent Maxwell. Sheriff Rosco's in a meeting with Mr. Hogg right now and isn't to be disturbed."


"Well, could you interrupt him? It's very important. It involves Federal business."


Enos hesitated. "Well, okay. Just a moment..." He turned and walked to an office door at the far end of the booking room, marked County Commissioner, J.D. Hogg. Enos knocked lightly on the door and opened it.


Inside, the portly County Commissioner J.D. "Boss" Hogg and his Sheriff, Rosco P. Coltrane stopped talking and looked over at Enos. Boss, dressed in a white suit, scowled at the deputy.  "Enos, what is it?"


"I'm sorry, Mr. Hogg, but there's an FBI agent here to see Sheriff Rosco."


"FBI?" Rosco said. The middle aged Sheriff waved a hand dismissively. "Tell 'em I'm busy, Enos."


"I did sir, but he wants to see you right away. Says it's urgent."


"They all say that," Boss said. "Just tell him he's gonna hafta wait, we're in the middle of a very important meeting here."


"Yeah, very important meeting..." Rosco echoed.


"Yes sir..."


"That's it, Enos, go on now..." Boss made a shooing motion with his hand for Enos to leave. The deputy obeyed and closed the door.


"Now, where were we...?" Boss asked, turning back to Rosco.


Outside in the booking room, Enos apologized to Bill.


"I'm sorry, sir, they're in the middle of a very important meeting."


Bill drew his shoulders square and looked at the office door the deputy had just come from. "Is he in there?"


"Yes, sir... but--wait, Agent Maxwell!"


Bill wasn't about to wait around. He brushed past the deputy and went straight for the office door, bursting through.


"AAH!" Boss exclaimed, looking up at the stranger who had entered. Enos was directly behind him. "What the--? Enos, I told you we were busy!"


"I won't take up too much of your time," Bill said, showing his badge. "Maxwell, FBI. I simply have a request of your Sheriff's department."


"Then why don't you fill out our standard request form and we'll get back to you?" Boss said, miffed.


"I don't have time." Bill tucked his badge away into his suit jacket. "I need the services of your Sheriff's department to locate a car, one I pursued through here just a little bit ago but I lost them. I figure if I can get a description to you and your department any of your deputies that are out on patrol can be on the look out for it."


Enos laughed. "All the deputies of the department are here. Well, except one but she's working her other job."


Bill looked back and forth between Enos and Sheriff Coltrane. "What? You mean, you two are it? You're the entire Sheriff's department?"


"What you see is what you get," Rosco said.


"Oh boy," Bill griped. "A real Mayberry I have to end up in! Geez!"


"Well now Mr... uh..." Boss looked at Bill not recalling the name.




"Mr. Maxwell, we may be a small town with a small police force but that don't mean we can't do anything. Now what's so all fired important about this car you were chasing through here?"


"It's Federal property that was stolen and I'm trying to get it back."


"A stolen car?" Boss said. "You're all fired up over a stolen car? Who's driving it, Bonnie and Clyde?"


"Khee!" Rosco grinned.


"No," Bill said calmly. "This car was stolen out of a Federal impound lot in California three weeks ago and was brought to Atlanta for some reason. The car is specially modified and I think whoever has it has something in mind to use it for. I tailed them from Atlanta to here and when they realized they were being followed they took off. Now it's possible the car isn't even in the county anymore and it's long gone and I'll never find it, but I would appreciate a little professional consideration."


Boss Hogg smoked his cigar thoughtfully for a moment. What Agent Maxwell didn't know was that Boss Hogg had a pulse on any criminal activity that took place within Hazzard County, not because he was the police commissioner, but because he was the one in charge of whatever criminal activity there was. And although he didn't know what this car might have been, it sounded like there was the chance that whoever was connected to it might have set up shop within Hazzard County. After all, there was a lot of miles between Atlanta and Hazzard and the fact that the federal agent tailed the car to Hazzard specifically, told Boss that the odds were good the car was in fact still within the county. And if that were the case, Boss saw an opportunity.


"Well I certainly understand your plight and as I said we are a small town with a small police force. We can get stuff done but we do have limited resources. We can certainly be on the look out for this car but by any chance is there any kind of reward for the recovery of this vehicle?"


Bill sighed. He wasn't surprised by this, however. The political systems in small towns usually were dependent on two things: connections to all the right people and all the right money. He wasn't sure the promise of any kind of a monetary reward for the car would get much results since the Sheriff's department only consisted of two, maybe three, officers, so he wasn't willing make any such guarantees. So he tried to offer a compromise.


"Well, Mr. Hogg, currently no, there isn't a reward for the car. But that doesn't mean that you and your Sheriff's department won't be properly compensated for any help and assistance you can give me--"


"Cash on the barrel head," Boss said. "Or you can comb all of Hazzard yourself looking for that car."


Bill leaned on the desk and looked at Boss. "How'd you like to be combing through a rock pile at the Atlanta Federal Pen?"


"What-what? What are you talking about?"


"Extortion, sir. Demanding money in exchange for the services of your Sheriff's department, tsk tsk..." Bill stood up straight, took out his little black notebook, and flipped open to a new page to take a note.


"Ooo," Rosco said.


"Ah ah ah! Wait a minute, wait a minute! I was merely inquiring if there was a reward for the recovery of this vehicle. Naturally, the resources of my Sheriff's department are at your disposal. Enos! Get the description of that vehicle from Mr. uhhh... Mr...I’m sorry, what'd you say your name was again?"


"Maxwell." Bill put the notebook away. "Agent Bill Maxwell. Remember it."


"Yes, yes, Mr. Maxwell here. And then get out there and start looking for that car!"


"Yes sir, Mr. Hogg!" Enos replied.


After giving the description of both Diamante’s car and the Plymouth that was with it to the very eager Deputy Strate, Bill left the booking room. Outside, he walked down the steps of the courthouse, annoyed, and put his aviators on. He'd be lucky he ever saw that car again and who knew what the rotten thing was going to be used for. Me and my gut instincts, he lamented. Next time anybody sees that car it'll be when they pull whatever job they're gonna pull and I'll get hell for not busting them sooner.


The yellow motorbike was long gone from behind his Crown Vic and he circled the back of the car and got in. He drove away from the courthouse and rounded the side of it, where he saw a small automotive garage located across the street. The bright orange Charger he had tangled with earlier was parked out front where the two young men were talking to the mechanic. They both looked as Bill passed them, the dark haired one pointing to the Crown Vic.


Bill suddenly had a thought and he stopped his car. He backed up in the road and then turned into the garage next to the orange Charger.


The Dukes and the mechanic, Cooter Davenport, stopped talking and all stood watching as Bill got out of his car. As he approached them, he reached in for his badge. "I'm sorry for what happened earlier," he said. "Bill Maxwell, FBI.” He showed his badge. “I hope there wasn't any damage to uh..." He looked at the car now, seeing the large Confederate flag on the roof and the words GENERAL LEE along the side of the flag. Real rednecks he was dealing with. "...uh, to your car here." He tucked his badge away.


"Oh we're just fine mister," Bo replied, apparently still irritated from what had happened on the road. "Luckily."


"Coulda been worse, the way you were biting on that guy's rear end," Luke said. "Did you catch 'em after all that?"


"No. I didn't. And after the warm welcome I just got from your local police, I'll be lucky I see that car again."


"Boss Hogg and Rosco gave you the red carpet treatment eh?" Cooter said with a chuckle.


"Is that what you call it?" Bill replied.


"Lemme guess," Luke said. "Ol' JD Hogg was only willing to help if you were willing to put a price tag on it."


Bill looked at Luke. These boys may have been rednecks but they knew how the game worked. "That’s exactly what happened."


The boys exchanged glances and chuckled. "What were you after that car for anyway?" Bo asked.


"Well, to make a long story short, that car was stolen out of the Federal impound in California a few weeks ago. For some reason it's now here in Georgia. It’s specially modified and my job is to either find out why whoever has the car has it, or just get it back."


"Specially modified how?" Luke asked.


"Specially modified to launch an attack against someone. A hit car you might call it."


"A hit car?" Cooter said, furrowing a brow. "You mean like to kill someone?"




The boys exchanged glances again. "Did you tell Boss that?" Luke asked.




"Boss Hogg," Luke explained. "The fat guy in the white suit."


"Not him, no. I did give the details to the deputy. Your Boss Hogg thought I was being a little ridiculous to be so upset over a stolen car."


"If this car is what you say it is, you've got reason to be upset," Bo said.


"I've got more reason than just that..." Bill looked at the Duke boys and Cooter. "I take it you fellas are local boys?"


"Yeah," Luke said. "We are."


"If you saw that car again, or the other car that was with it, would you recognize them?"


"Sure," Luke said. "Couldn’t miss that black Charger. It’s a couple years older than the General here."


The General? Bill looked at the orange Dodge. Then he remembered the lettering on the roof. He nodded and looked at the boys. "Uh, right." He reached into his suit jacket and took out his small black notebook and pen. "It's probably long gone from around here, but if you boys should see it, could you let me know?" He wrote his name and office telephone number down and then ripped the paper off handing it to Luke. "I hate to ask but I'm not all that confident in your Sheriff's department..."


"We'll keep our eyes out," Luke replied, taking the paper. "By the way, my name's Luke Duke, this is my cousin Bo and this is Cooter Davenport."


Bill nodded at the introductions, managing to keep a straight face at the names. Luke Duke? Cooter?  "I appreciate the help," he said.


"Sure thing," Luke replied. "Good luck finding that car."


"Thanks," Bill said. "Hopefully I'll find it before something happens." He turned and walked back to his Crown Vic. A moment later, he drove away.




"Hey Boss?" Rosco said, looking out the window from Boss's office. "That Federal agent's across the street at Cooter's talkin' to him and the Dukes."


"He's what?" Boss stepped over to the window to look. "Argh! Dang blast it, can't them Duke boys keep their noses out of anything?"


"You think he's askin' them for help in findin' that car?"


"He better just be asking for directions out of town!" Boss said. "Oh Rosco, the last thing I need is for some goody two-shoes Fed to be crawlin' around Hazzard looking for some dang car, getting the Dukes involved and end up stumbling on one of my operations!"


"Well, don't you worry Boss. Me and Enos can handle it. We'll find that car!"


"Oh you will huh?"




"Well then what are you standing around here for?!"


Rosco turned and grabbed his black Stetson hat off Boss's desk. "Jit! I'm gone!"



**** **** ****


Meanwhile, gathered at a long abandoned hunting cabin out in the woods of Hazzard, the four men that had picked up the Charger in Atlanta were in the midst of discussion. One man in particular was especially agitated and he paced back and forth as he spoke.


"That car chasin' us was a Fed, Jay! A Fed!” the man stopped and faced the leader of this group, a sandy-haired Lee Marvin type man named Jay. “We're too close to the zero hour to have the law figuring us out now."


"Relax, Ronnie, the law has no idea what we're up to," Jay said calmly.


"Then why was that Fed following us?” Ronnie resumed pacing again. The dark haired wheelman wasn’t assured. “I swear he tailed us all the way from Atlanta, which means he probably knows about the body shop. Which means if they go digging they're gonna find out---"


"They're not gonna find out anything," Jay said.


Ronnie spun around to face Jay again. "Well they must know something!"


"They know nothing."


"What if he goes to the local fuzz, Jay? We could have every cop in the area looking for that car."


"You make the assumption that they even know what we're up to. You also make the assumption that there’re enough cops to cover the territory."


"Well, yeah, the local sheriff's department."


"Which consists of a small number of officers, three to four by my estimate. And the Sheriff is as crooked as they come. Even if they have a description of the car, they're not going to find it because we won't be driving it much until Zero Hour." Jay paused and looked at his small team of men. "Gentlemen, I picked Hazzard County as a base for our operation for a reason. Because we would not be noticed or bothered as we made our final preparations. Nothing is going to stop us from our mission. Not a Fed. Not the local law. Nobody. So I don't want anymore panicking about this. We all know the rules of this game. Any cop gets too close to nailing us…we take care of him. That's it. Why the Fed was tailing us today, I don't know. It could just simply be mistaken identity. But the plan and the mission will go forward. Is that clear?"


Ronnie glanced at the other two men, Carl and David, who apparently weren’t as upset about things as Ronnie was. The men collectively nodded to Jay.


Ronnie sighed, seeing he was outvoted. “Yeah, awright.”


"Good. Now...we have work to do..."


~Chapter 7~