Episode 18: The Order of the Strate and Narrow

-Enos is Charge? Enos is made temporarily County Commissioner on founders day.

The town square was busy with shoppers, a gaggle of young teenage girls parading down the sidewalk. Old Lady Henderson was walking her dog. Business owners were coming back from their lunch breaks. The General Lee was parked right behind Uncle Jesse's truck. Jesse was loading his truck with groceries, Daisy helping with the big bags of food for the farm animals.

Bo was sitting on the window sill of the General, watching the young girls go by. The group of girls, turned and waved at him. "Hi." A few of them chorused flirtatiously, almost making Bo fall out of the window but he caught himself. The girls giggled even louder. He climbed out, recovering by straightening himself and waving.

"Would you stop?" Daisy made a acid comment toward Bo's womanizing antics. "And help me get these into the bed. This is supposed to be your job."

"She's right." Bo said, turning to Luke, peering inside at him. "We shouldn't let a pretty young lady handle all the hard work, let alone our cousin."

Bo almost fell out of the window but he caught himself. The girls giggled even louder.

"What's the worst she's gonna do?" Luke joined in. "She might break a nail."

Daisy scowled at him, hands on her hips. But then a smile spread on her face.

"Ok, that's enough you two." Jesse said.

At the same time, Rosco was patrolling the streets, waiting for traffic violators, pacifically the Dukes. The Duke boys were parked across the street. "I'm gonna get 'em now Flash." Rosco said through his patrol car window. Flash raised her head, looking at him weary-eyed before she put her head back down.

Now folks say Jesse Duke is the most strongest willed man in Hazzard County, no question about that. And Rosco is the most stubborn, I second that and Enos, they thought he wasn't the least bit smarter than Cletus.

Ya'll want to put that to the test?

Enos and Cletus walked out of the sheriff's department at the same time, getting stuck in the door frame. Cletus squeezes his way out, stubbles and bumps into Rosco nearly knocking him over.

Between Enos and Cletus, I think it's a draw.

"Jit, jit." Rosco instinctively put a hand to his gun but he did not draw it. He turned around to see, both Enos and Cletus standing behind him.

He hesitantly raised his fist at each deputy, wondering which one to yell at. "You….Which one of you done try to scuff me?"

Enos pointed at Cletus. Cletus saw Enos pointing at him.

"Enos." Cletus exclaimed.

"It was you that did it." Enos said honestly.

Cletus turned to Rosco. "It was an accident Sheriff."

"I don't care if it was an accident." Cletus stared at Rosco his mouth agape. The Sheriff continued, "Go on out on patrol. I don't want to hear from ye until you can prove yourself useful." Cletus made an attempt to protest but Rosco ushered him on. "Git."

Cletus stormed off upset.

Jesse and Daisy got into his truck and drove away from the curb. Bo was about to do the same, when he noticed Rosco wearing something other than his Sheriff's uniform. Bo and Luke watched as Rosco looked both ways, waiting for traffic to pass.

"What is Rosco doing wearing a white suite?" Bo asked.

"It's founder's day tomorrow." Luke reminded him. "I give you one guess who's running for temporary Boss."

"He looks better in that getup than Boss." Bo laughed.

"What do reckon he wants this time?" Luke nodded toward Rosco's direction, who was now headed toward them.

"Beats me." Bo said as he put the General in gear. "I'm not going to stick around and find out." Before Rosco got to the General, Bo reversed a few several feet and spun the General around. When they looked back, Rosco was standing in the middle of the street but he wasn't shaking his fist.

"You think he'll be trying to get us to vote for him?" Bo asked.

"It depends on who else is running." They would probably have to vote for Rosco anyway, if he was the only one running.

Enos was in Boss's office at the courthouse. He'd do a favor for the boys, if Boss was up to one of his schemes.

"You, run for temporary county commissioner?" Boss asked in disbelief. Enos is charge that would be a disaster. He'd have to put Enos in as a candidate. He had no choice in the matter. Usually Lulu would be temporary Boss but J.D. had another idea in mind. Since Boss was leaving everything of his to Rosco, he had to make sure his county was in the right hands, or wrong hands, however you want to put it.

"No one else signed up, and it's not fair that only Sheriff Rosco is runnin. If you only had him running folks might be mighty suspicious."

"Alright, alright, alright." Boss said just to get him out of his hair, what was left of it. Enos didn't stand a chance, did he? But he was right.

"Thank you Mr. Hogg, sir."

Bo and Luke went free riding for awhile in the General, wondering why Rosco wasn't giving chase. Maybe he did want them to vote for him. They decided to double back, but that was a big mistake. Rosco was ready for them this time. As soon as he found them he lost them, as usual. He stopped alongside the country road.

Coming down the road a piece was Miss Tisdale on her motorbike. She worked at the post office for over forty years and showed no signs of slowing down or retiring.

"Delivery." She stopped in the middle of the Road. Rosco got out of his patrol car, slamming the door. "I need to see some Identification."

"What do you think you're doing? You can't park that there."

"Rosco Purvis Coltrane, don't you speak to me in that tone. I 've known you since you were a babe." Miss Tisdale said. She was eighty-seven (maybe eighty-eight.) and still going strong, still had her mind. Her husband had died almost three decades ago. She seemed to be there for everybody, she would be if you asked her to be.

She was there when Mrs. Essie Coltrane gave birth to her third child and only son. Growing up Rosco never got into trouble but he got into trouble by his oldest sister Hortense. That child had had a nasty streak. Where ever she was, Rosco was nowhere to be found. The oldest Coltrane sibling and the youngest Coltrane sibling always clashed. But Lulu and Rosco had always gotten along. She never once had seen them fight. Rosco tried arguing with Lulu's decisions on what's best for him on some occasions, but he eventually would give in. He had spent his whole life accepting what people thought was best for him, most of it from his momma.

Emma Tisdale had been friends with Essie for a long time. She was too over possessive of her son after her husband Eliot died. Emma had told her she had to "let the child breath." He needed some direction but too much of it; he wouldn't know how to make decision for himself. It was no wondered to her why Rosco let Boss order him around and carried them out even if he didn't agree. He did the same, pining after Joe Duke till the day he died. He still had grown into a fine young man, and grown man. He seemed cranky and rude to others all the time but there was too much love in him that Miz Tisdale didn't buy it.

"If you known me since then, you don't need my identification." Rosco said.

"It's in the job description." Miss Tisdale knew Rosco couldn't argue with that. Rosco believed in doing everything the job required.

Rosco sighed and took out his wallet. He showed her his driver's license.

"Pen please." Costumers were always wondering off with her pens at the post office. "Sign please." She handed him the clipboard she took out of her satchel. Rosco signed, with his left hand. His pa had been also left handed.

"Thank you." She took the clipboard from him. She handed him his mail and took off on her motorbike.

Soon everyone knew that Enos was running for temporary commissioner and it wasn't a surprise when he won the vote. It didn't make Boss too happy.

"Enos had a hundred votes and Rosco had four. Who did you vote for?" 104, that makes up all of Hazzard's population.

Bo was silent to Luke's question.

"You voted for Rosco?"

Enos was dressed in a gray suit and blue tie Daisy had picked out for him. He walked out of his temporary office at the courthouse, whistling. Rosco was sitting at the booking desk. It felt awkward for Enos that he was in charge of his superior officer. And it didn't feel right that he was playing double spy for both sides. He told Rosco that he was stepping out for a few moments. The Sheriff was too busy, filling out paperwork and watching over a young minor, who often got into trouble. Rosco just waved Enos away with looking up. The teenage girl sat in front of the booking desk, arms crossed.

Cooter was under the hood. He couldn't get the engine of the car he was fixing to sound right.

"Try pressing down the throttle." The familiar voice made him look up.

"Maryanne I tried that already…"

Maryanne bent under the hood and then less than a few seconds, the engine was purring like a kitten. Cooter stood there, shocked and impressed. "You're something else, you know that?"

Maryanne grinned. "Yeah, a lot of people tell me that.

"Maryanne, I was wonderin' somethin…" Cooter began. He was starting to wish he had dropped the thought. But it had been bugging him the day Maryanne returned to Hazzard. It surprised him when she knew what he was talking about. He just didn't get woman, especially Maryanne. She was something else. And he meant that in a good way.

"Me too. I sometimes wonder if I woulda saw you first I woulda fallen in love with you."

"Ye really think so?" Cooter looked up at her as she sat on the hood of the firebird.

"Nah, I don't feel the same as I do with Rosco. There'd be too many problems between us."

"Ditto." He whipped his hands with his stained oil cloth. "If it'd been in a reverse situation, the Lord forbid."

"Eh." She said a bit offended.

"Maryanne, you are one attractive female. " He paused. "But you're just not my type."

With that she smiled.

Liza Jane was at the Sheriff's department for the third time in six weeks.

"I told you didn't have to call my pa, I didn't steal anything." The teenager had her arms crossed, sitting in front of the Sheriff's desk. She was bored that she was playing with the stapler, shifting it hand from hand, turning it over. It was getting on Rosco's nerves. The Sheriff reached over and grabbed the stapler from her.

"Would you like me to speak to your pa or would you rather do hard time?" Rosco said sarcastically, getting up from the booking desk.

Her arms crossed again, she rolled her eyes when the Sheriff's back was turn. Your typical rebel teenager, even Hazzard has 'em. "You don't understand he blows everything out of proportion."

A blonde haired woman and a man wearing black walk into the Sheriff's department. The man had a sucker in his mouth, yeah that's real threatening for a thug. A second man wearing a baseball cap came in.

"Something I can do you folks for?"

"Howdy." The man said, "We thought you could give up a little help."

The man with the hat closed the blinds.

"Sit down." The woman ordered Rosco. She pushed him into the chair and slapped him across the face.

Luke entered the Sheriff's department. The instant he walked in a gun was pointed at him.

You see, when the Dukes don't go lookin for trouble, they walk right into it.

America pointed her gun at the first sign of movement, just another country bumpkin. "Stay right there. We're just talking to the Sheriff." She had improvised by tying the Shers hands to the chair's arms with his gun belt and used his other belt to use as a gag.

"Who's doing the talkin? You are the gun?"

The blonde woman only smirked.

"We're uh…lookin for a friend of ours." Vince said. "The Sheriff he hasn't been accommodating this far."

Luke looked over where a young teenage girl sat frightened. She gave him a desperate pleading look. "I can take you to anyone you need to find." Luke said. "Let them go. I know this town's back roads better 'n anyone."

"This isn't an negotiation."

"It is to me."

"Ok." Vince reached inside his jacket and pulled out a gun. "Let's negotiate." He pointed the gun at the Sheriff. He walked over to him and backed ended his fist, holding the gun, at the Sheriff's head. He'd leave a good sized wound, to tell the country boy they weren't messing around. But Vince wanted nothing more than to stick the pig.

"That's enough." Luke shouted.

The man from outside came in, pointing a gun into Luke's back, bad mistake. Luke spun around and easily snatched the weapon from the assassin's hand. And put him in a headlock. "Put the gun down." Luke ordered.

"You let him go first or your Sheriff friend bites it."

"I ain't his friend." Rosco said.

"You got that right."Luke said, straightening. "But he is the sheriff."

"Why don't you go ahead and do it." Liza had take the gun pointed it at the blonde woman. "If you try, she gets it."

"Get the gun off the girl." Rosco said to Luke. "Before she shoots herself."

"Fat chance. My Pa taught me how to fire one of these. He takes me hunting all the time."

"America, take the gun off the girl sweetheart." Vince said.

America gave him a disbelieving look. Luke got to the gun first.

"Don't make me shoot this." Luke shot the gun but it didn't shoot. He wasn't going to shoot the man, only to distract.

"That must've been disappointing." Vince laughed.

The man in Luke's grasp easily got out of Luke's hold once he loosened it.

"See I'm one step ahead of you. " Vince said. "You think I'd let you carry a loaded gun after what you did?"

"What do you need from me?" Luke asked, stepping forward.

Vince traced his gun on him. "Like I said before we got a friend missing in the woods. You're gonna help us find him."

The man in the cap spoke, "We think he's gonna cross the border on foot."

"The Sheriff stays but the girl comes with us. If you follow us Sheriff you're gonna be short two civilians." He turned to Luke. "And you if you mess up and try to get out of this, this girls blood will be on your hands. Can you dig that?"

"Yeah." As Luke hollowed the hit men out, he gave Rosco a wink. That was a signal to call for help, which meant Bo and Jesse.

Rosco nodded.

The journey through the woods was silent except for a few birds chirping. Behind him the man with the hat and the dark skinned man, who's name was Tom, were exchanging words but Luke couldn't heat what was being said.

"We're gonna be ok, kid. We're gonna get out of this." Luke said to Liza Jane. He didn't see a way out but it gave the girl hoped. He hoped she wouldn't see the same. If she did he'd let her down. Like he would let his family down. He'd still be in the marines until he retired. Ten years ago he came back and not because "he missed everybody and he had been discharged." There was another reason why he had gotten discharged. He had been let go from the marines for "mis orderly conduct." Uncle Jesse, who had been a Korean war and WWII vet, would be disappointed. He'd let his cousins down, whom both looked up to him. He wasn't worried about disappointing them. He hadn't deserved to be kicked out of the marines, the other guy had started the fight. It hadn't matterd to them. He got kicked out and the other guy stayed.

He could handle these guys, if they didn't have their guns. He noticed the ones holding them hostage, only a few of them had guns, two at least. If they pointed the gun a certain way, he could grab it from their hand. But that'd leave the other one free to fire. Bo would be a little of help right now. Luke believed in working together made you stronger and it evened out the differences. But sometimes the kid was more bullheaded than Rosco. Luke had done a lot of growing up the past twenty years. Bo on the other hand was still his reckless self but he wasn't as careless as when he was a teenager.

He felt dizzy from where the gun had connected with the side of his head. He tried struggling with the bonds but it was no use. Then Enos entered. "Sheriff you wouldn't believe it. Maryanne's been fixin cars over at Cooter's. She….." The sight before him made him stop mid sentence. Seeing his superior tied up, he rushed over and untied him.

"What day 'n age you livin in? You haven't seen a woman fixin a car?" He walked to the other side of the room to where the CB was.

"Sheriff, what happened? "

Rosco grabbed the CB mike. Before he could press the button, disorientation set in. His vision was a little blurry causing his to stumble into the desk. He put his hands on the desk, CB mike still in one hand. He closed his eyes hoping after a second the dizziness would go away. He wanted to put a hand to his throbbing temple but hesitated.

"You took a quite knock to the head." Enos took note as he walked up to the Sheriff. He was acting pretty strange.

"Oh yeah…this…." He raised his free hand but hesitated yet again. Instead he pointed at it.

"You should get that taken care of. I'll call Doc Appleby for ye."

"No." Rosco shouted. He had to reach the Duke farm. Maybe he'd do it in his patrol car. He walked toward Enos. He couldn't stand it anymore he had to touch the side of his head.

He put his hand to his temple and withdrew it. He couldn't stand the sight of his own blood. Rosco leaned forward; Enos who stood in front of him grabbed him and lowered him halfway to the ground. He let him fall from his grasp.

Enos waited till the Sheriff came around.

"Bo called on the CB, said Luke was missin. Liza Jane's pa called. She's missin too." The deputy offered a hand to Rosco. Rosco ignored it.

"They took off with 'em. I can't send anybody…"

"I better take you to the hospital."

"No. I need to call Jesse." He was starting to pull himself up but to no avail.

Enos put out his hand again. "Let me help you up sheriff."

"No." Rosco pushed his hand away. Rosco didn't like having anyone's help. He didn't want anyone to see him vulnerable and weak. They thought he was incompetent. He didn't want them to call him weak too. He couldn't be weak for this job. He put on his "Sheriff's mask" the best he could. He ignored the unsteady thump of his heart. He slowly pulled himself up and walked back over to the CB.

Enos had a feeling that the Sheriff was ill and it wasn't just the head wound.

Boss came out of his office.

Enos had hold around the Sheriff's arm to steady him. Rosco quickly

"He ain't goin' nowhere."

"Mr. Hogg, I'm temporary Boss and I say he's goin home to rest."

"I need to contact the Dukes first..." Rosco was intrupted

Boss gasped. "You weren't jokin. You must be ill."

"Three fellas and a gal came in here and they took off with Luke and the Alderson girl."

"Liza Jane, the one who went missing?" Enos asked.

"Boss, I saw it with my own eyes, the wacked me upside the head and kidnapped Luke and..."

"What do you know, you know nothin. That knock to your head probably scrambled your brains more you don't know what you saw."

"But Boss..."

" Just get home and get some rest until yer brain starts working for what's normal for you."

Rosco took in a sharp intake of breath. It seemed to hitch in his throat. Then he turned and ran out the courthouse. Enos never seen him so upset before.

"I'll send you and Cletus on it right away." Boss said.

"Sheriff Rosco said he couldn't send anybody, they must mean law enfocement. That could put Luke and Liza Jane in danger."

"Then you and Cletus get out to the Duke farm right away. And make sure Sheriff Rosco doesn't set on foot on that property."

Rosco climbed into his patrol car and CB'd the Duke farm. To his distaste Bo anwsered, he'd rather it was Daisy or Jesse even. He filled Bo in about what happened. "They headed for the woods."

"Does Rosco know what direction they's went?" Bo asked.

"They're armed and dangerous."

"So we'll have to be packing some serious fire power." Bo was talking about gathering as many bows and arrows and dinomite as he could. Bo hung up and told Daisy and Uncle Jesse.

Bo got Daisy and Uncle Jesse up to date about what was happening and where Luke was. But Bo was finding it might suspicious.

"Rosco would never lie about something like that." Daisy said. It surprised Bo.

"Daisy's right." Jesse said. "When a Duke's in danger a Coltrane never lies even if there's a rotten one in the bunch."

"Yeah." Bo said. He guessed that he was right.

"I'll reach Cooter at the garage and tell him what's up. Like you said we need some serious fire power."

Bo looked at him questioningly. All Jesse gave him was a mischievous twinkling in his eyes as he left the kitchen.

Bo taught Daisy how to tie sticks of dynamite to the arrows and balance it out so the wait of the arrow wouldn't be to heavy. She was as stubborn as Bo at first trying to do it all herself.

They had Enos help, but to insure they didn't know he was law enforcement they had him dress in civilian clothing. Cletus on the other hand was miles down the road setting up a roadblock. That didn't stop the hit men, they just plowed right through Cletus's patrol car. Just when they thought they made a clean getaway, they were assaulted by Bo and Daisy's arrows. Jesse shot out one of the tires with his rifle, that didn't stop them. Up the road, Cooter had the road blocked with his tow truck that finally stopped them for sure.

Well they got Luke and Liza Jane home safe, saved by the Hazzard Calvary. Hazzard is full of surprises, I don't know where you've been if you didn't know that by now. You know what they say a little help can go a long way, even for those in Hazzard County.