Breathe!

by: Essy Jane

Hey y’all, welcome back. You sure like it here don’t you now? I do too. I think that Hazzard is like the colors of the painting. You know, it just lights up Georgia. Well this time is no different.

You see the Bo and Luke Duke were goanna…well let’s go back a little ways. You don’t wanna eat the soup before it is ready, do you now? There’s Jesse and Daisy packing up. Daisy is still on crutches but she missed Jose something awful.

You know, people always say that family is the closest thing to you. Daisy would walk through fire to visit loved ones. However, Jesse wouldn’t let her go alone. She still is on crutches after all. If my daughter were going on crutches…heck, I would wanna be with her too.

Jesse was having last minute thoughts. After all, them boys of his got in a lot of trouble on a regular basis. Who was goanna get them out of it? He wanted to make sure they were taken care of.

Although I think if Luke cooked, it would keep them out of trouble. Why? Well Bo and Luke would be in the hospital. I have tried his food, it is really bad.

“Are you sure you boys will be alright on your own?” Daisy asked.

“We’ll live,” Luke replied.

“I hope,” Bo added.

“What do you mean by that one, Bo?”

“Well simple, if you kill me before I go to school…”

“That ain’t funny.”

“Your oatmeal could patch the sole of my shoe.” Daisy began laughing.

“Yeah, sure fixed my high heel,” Daisy replied.

“That ain’t funny,” Luke grumbled.

“Sure it is, cousin, you could kill a donkey with your stewed prunes.”

“Probably rip his teeth right out,” Bo added. They began to laugh. Luke seemed ready to pop. “Don’t worry, Miss Tizdale said she would come over and give some cooking lessons.”

“How’d you get her to do that?” Jesse questioned as he set the suitcases down. Bo smiled. “You didn’t…”

“I sure did. I gave her my word and you know…”

“A Duke never breaks his word. You owe me big for that one.”

“Boy do I ever.”

“Now boys, I want you to look after each other. Luke, make sure Bo goes to school on time.”

“Yes sir,” Luke replied.

“Dana next door needs someone to mend her roof. I offered you two up.”

“Well that ain’t a problem,” Bo answered. He scratched his chin. “I’ll do it after school—I can handle that job myself. I have seen the hole.”

“Her husband is out of town Bo.”

“I know.”

“He will be back next Thursday.”

“I know.”

“She’s pregnant.”

“We know,” Bo and Luke said at the same time.

“I know you boys know but, she is due any time now. I want you to keep an eye on her. If she feels too lonely, get her to come and stay with us. I don’t like thinking of her by her lonesome. Dana has been good to the Duke family.”

“You don’t have to worry about a thing,” Luke reassured his uncle. Jesse didn’t seem to won over but then again, neither would I. This is Hazzard County ladies and Gentlemen. Hazzard always bring trouble. The people who stir up the majority of it is the Duke Boys.

“Uh huh.” Bo smiled as he high fived Luke. “You boys are goanna give my white hairs grays.”

“Not if we turn them white first,” Bo answered. Luke tried to hold the laugh in but couldn’t. Jesse gave Bo the look. He straightened up and tried to present himself like a gentleman.

“Now, y’all please do your best for me, please.” Bo nodded and Luke winked. “I mean it now. Please try and not start anything you can’t finish.”

“Yes sir.”

“Don’t worry Uncle Jesse, I have Cooter some emergency bail money,” Luke reassured him.

“Now don’t you dare get—get old Cooter into one of your messes. He is a father now,” Jesse scolded the boys.

“Come on, it’ll be okay, I promise,” Bo mumbled. Jesse rolled his eyes as he got in the car. He started it up and began to drive. Well we’ll see you later Jesse and Daisy. Hopefully they don’t go through too much trouble.

2

Well you should see Bo and Luke travel together. They are quite the team. Who is behind them? Enos this time—he doesn’t look too thrilled to be chasing the Dukes though. Luke is driving this time.

“Now why do I have to sit in the passenger’s seat?” Bo questioned. Luke shook his head as he smiled. “You know, I am a better driver out of the two of us.”

“Look, Uncle Jesse said make sure you go to school. I am goanna make sure you do—even if that means taking you myself,” Luke replied.

“Well I could have driven myself, I ain’t an indolent moron.”

“First off nice new word.” Luke took a jump and landed right on the ground. Enos did the same thing.

“Thanks.”

“You’re welcome.”

“Second of all…”

“You burnt your hand on the stove this morning.”

“Only because you scared me, Luke Duke—you and that megaphone.” Bo got in the back seat of the car. “You didn’t have to use it in the house. Especially while I was cooking.”

“Well it is cool. It will work well for the day camp this summer.” Luke jumped over Danny’s house and beeped the horn. Danny ran out of the house. He jumped in the window and moved into the back.

“Hey Luke, why are you driving?” Danny questioned.

“Uh…”

“Long story Danny,” Bo replied.

“I see,” Danny answered.

“It ain’t that long of a story. Bo was making muffins for breakfast. As he went to take them out, I used my megaphone in the house. I frightened him and he blistered his hand,” Luke cut in.

“How bad is it?” Bo pulled off the gauze and showed Danny. The skin was dark cherry on the outside. There was a big white blister on the inside. “Owe.” Danny rubbed his own skin as Bo put the white bandage down. He pressed on the tape.

“Tell me about it,” Bo replied.

“Hold on y’all,” Luke announced.

“You don’t have to tell us.” There was Hazzard Pond. Luke went over it with ease. Enos sank in the water. Luke stopped the car to see if he was okay. Enos got out with ease.

“Sorry Bo.”

“About what?”

“Burning you.”

“You didn’t burn me, the stove did.”

“Well sorry just the same.”

“Luke, don’t feel bad about it. My hand is okay. It’s just a blister. A little bit of swelling.” Luke beeped the Dixie Horn again, Lynn came out and got into the front.

“Hey, why is Luke driving?” Lynn asked. Danny and Bo started laughing. “What?”

“Don’t worry about it Lynn.”

“Alright Bo.” They made it to school. Luke sighed. He really did feel bad for Bo’s burn. He didn’t want to say anything else. Instead, he drove home.

Luke worked excessively in the fields. He was doing pretty good but knew he needed a break. As he walked over, there was Dana, standing there. Luke smiled at her and offered her a seat in the house.

Dana put her feet up. “I’m sorry Luke, I just don’t like being alone for so long. Patrick normally doesn’t go away for that long—I am worried about him,” Dana said.

“It’s okay,” Luke replied. He grabbed the ice cream and took out cheese wiz. “I am glad you came. I don’t have to be alone all day working on the farm.” Luke began to spread the Cheese Wiz on top of the Ice Cream.

“I don’t know, maybe I am worrying for nothing.” Luke handed her the bowl. “Thanks, I have been craving this all day.”

“You’re welcome.” Luke sighed. He got himself a bowl of regular ice cream. “Dana, I would always keep myself worried…keeps you from making dumb mistakes.”

“You think so Luke?”

“I know so.” Well he certainly knows how to comfort her. “Look, we’ll look for him…Bo and me.”

“Thank you both…God bless you.” Luke smiled. They continued eating their ice cream. Now I wonder what is going on…don’t you?

3

“Are you sure it was a good idea to leave her alone with Lynn? I mean she ain’t exactly the baby type,” Bo commented. Luke turned the corner.

“Well Danny offered to take the roof off of our hands and someone needs to stay with Dana,” Luke answered.

“You just had to choose Lynn. Hello, have you ever seen Cooter with a pregnant woman? He doesn’t know what to say to her. Lynn is just like him.”

“So?”

“So, she’ll say something wrong.”

“Bo, stop thinking so negatively and concentrate.” Luke thought for a minute. He snapped his fingers. “Bo, we have got to check the airport logs.”

“Just how are we goanna do that?”

“Well considering you is injured, I’ll be the diversion and you look at the records.”

“Great, I wish we could have it the other way around.”

“Well next time don’t burn yourself.” Bo rolled his eyes. Luke snuck in and looked at the security guards. He smiled at them. “How are y’all doing?”

“Okay,” All of them said at the same time.

“Do y’all like your hats?” They all looked at each other. Luke pulled each hat off their head. He began to run with them. All the guards followed with ease. Bo smiled and shook his head.

He looked at the computer and began typing in different passwords until he got in. “Ah, I wish Daisy was here,” Bo grumbled. He began to type some more. “Ah here we are, Patrick Lopez—came in this afternoon at nine AM. Dang, right on time. Then where is he?”

Bo snuck around the counter and back outside. He hit the Dixie horn. Luke stopped running. He handed the hats back to one of them. “I’m sorry boys, I didn’t mean to be such a pest, can y’all forgive me?” Luke questioned.

They all nodded their heads. Luke got in the driver’s seats. He smiled. Luke slowly made his way back to the General Lee. Bo was applying some polysporn to his wound.

“Hey Luke, welcome back to the great General Lee, cousin!” Bo exclaimed. He took out a piece of gauze from the medical kit they had in the General Lee.

“Dang, no wonder you like distraction patrol. I had great fun being childish,” Luke replied.

“You know it is a hard job.” Bo bit the tape with his teeth, applying it to the four sides of the wound. “Someone has to do it. I am glad you had good times.”

“Okay but what did you find out?”

“He is in Hazzard. However, he didn’t come home at all. His plane was in this morning.”

“This is too weird for words. Come on, if he was in, where would be the first place he would go?”

“Dana said that Patrick usually goes to fill up.”

“So…?”

“So, let’s talk to Dodger…he’s working today ain’t he?”

“Yup.”

“Can I drive?”

“No.”

“Why not?”

“You burned your hand.”

“The top of my hand that doesn’t affect how I’ll drive.”

“You still burned it.” Bo rolled his eyes. “So if you will kindly move over to the passenger’s side…”

“I don’t think so.” Bo started up the engine. He began to drive. Luke shook his head.

“You are…”

“Stubborn?”

“Yeah.” Bo laughed.

“I guess that was just how I was raised.” Luke sight and smiled. He shrugged, leaning back. “Besides that, pity is not what we like in our house.”

“Sorry Bo, I just feel responsible.”

“Well when I am truly ailed then you can feel sorry for me.” They continued driving for a while, finally reaching The Davenport Garage. Now, Dodger was working away like always.

He was doing a good job on this car. It was one of these high priced new fangled ones. Dodger loved it. Cooter would have drooled over it. Now this guy was just thrilled Coot and Lynn were off to a car show or he would not have had such a treat.

“What can I do for y’all?” Dodger asked without looking up. Bo and Luke looked at each other. They smiled. “Well, are you goanna just stand there or are you goanna tell me Luke?”

“How did you…?” Luke began.

“Hey, my brother is teaching me the mastery of cars and their drivers.” Luke tapped his foot on the floor. “Alright, I heard the Dixie Horn all the way down the bend.” Now see what a little foot tapping can arrange?

“Patrick…”

“Lopez?”

“Yeah.”

“Zoomed through here at ten AM…went off towards the Lopez farm.”

“Thought so.”

“Why?”

“Well…he’s missing.”

“Hey side banana, why ain’t you talking about this?”

“Enjoying being the side banana for once, why do you ask Dodger?” Bo returned. Luke and Dodger were laughing it up. Bo winked and smiled. He was being his usual playful self.

“Okay, so why did you wanna know about Lopez?”

“He’s not back yet.”

“Woe, hold the phone now. He’s always back at the same time when he goes on these trips to see his brother. Every single time, Patrick comes home and gasses up and every time he calls your place to make sure all is well.”

“None of that happened, Dodger,” Luke cut in.

“Well, I wonder—what is happening?”

“Cooter hasn’t seen any strange characters hanging around here, has he?”

“Nah, it has generally been me all day.” Dodger scratched his go-tee. He pushed his hat up, making the Duke boys in more plain view. “You know, now that you mention it…there was some fella coming around here.”

“Oh?”

“Yeah, he said he was some friend of Patrick but I don’t know, he seemed kind of shady to me.”

“Where do you think he went?”

“Probably back to his hideout I guess.” Dodger was in the stupor of thought. “Wait a minute, he did have a mucky residue in his tires.” Luke snapped his fingers.

“The swamp.” Bo shook his head.

“Great, we’re never goanna get through there without getting lost.”

“Well we have got to try. Dana’s baby is coming soon and…” Bo began.

“You think I don’t know that? I wanna find him just as bad as you do but we’re goanna need some help.”

“From who?”

“Cousin Alice’s Granddaughter.” Bo shook his head.

“Oh no, last time we got help from them we…”

“Bo, you know they are the only ones that can guide us through the swamp.”

“I ain’t going anywhere with her.” Now once you have made up a Duke’s mind, there ain’t no way of going back. Bo wasn’t goanna go for no one.

“Fine, I’ll take Danny.” Bo nodded sharply. He laughed as he shook his head.

“What?”

“We’re goanna have to wait until tomorrow before you can even find cousin Mandy.” Luke rolled his eyes and laughed. “Well I am right ain’t I?”

“Well see y’all tomorrow, bright and early. I’ll give you the motor to my boat,” Dodger cut in.

“Thanks Dodger,” Luke replied.

“Come on y’all, you know it ain’t a problem.”

“It is when Luke is driving the boat,” Bo cut in.

“Hey…” Luke began.

“I was only kidding.”

“Yeah sure.”

“Dodge, I am sure he’ll only break the boat once.” Luke glared at his cousin. Now, wasn’t this goanna be interesting? I can’t wait to see what happens. Can you? Hold onto that remote and don’t change the channel, ya hear?

4

“Bo—I…” Dana began. Bo’s eyes widened. “Sorry, I didn’t think they were contractions because of last night and…” Dana winced in pain.

“How many minutes apart?” Bo questioned.

“Two.”

“Great, we’re giving birth here. Just one problem.”

“What’s that?”

“I ain’t ever done this before.” Dana screamed this time as the pain was more intense. “Oh good gravy, we’re in trouble.”

“Do you think you can…”

“I have to.”

“Alright, what do we do?”

“First—we get you back to bed.”

“And then?”

“We call Uncle Jesse.”

“Jesse?”

“He’s the best at delivering babies.” Bo grabbed the portable phone and helped Dana all at the same time hopefully getting the young woman back before anything major happened.

She hopped into bed. Bo began dialing in desperation. When he got the answering machine, Bo slammed down hard on the bed. He needed someone, anyone to help him. Bo snapped his fingers. He began dialing.

“Hello, Hogg Residence, Daisy speaking how can I help you sugar,” Daisy commented.

“Daisy, I need your help this woman is in labor and Uncle Jesse ain’t answering and…”

“Woe, hold it. It’s okay Bo. I know what to do.”

“You’re my hero.”

Meanwhile, far in the swamp, we meet Miss Mandy Harrington. Now, she is a relative of the Dukes. By some miracle, Alice got married. She had her baby, Bonita Duke—for short they called her Bo—after the one she wanted to marry.

Now Bonita chased after Jesse Duke. And Mandy—well, you get the idea. They seemed to want to have the cute Duke men. Hoping that since they was distant enough maybe the bride would be her. Well good luck.

So the fact that Bo wasn’t there, really seemed to help things. “You ain’t as pretty as your cousin,” Mandy announced. She smiled. “I didn’t say you were any less pretty neither.” Luke pulled at his collar.

“Well…we have a job to do cousin Mandy—let’s get it done before we talk about my beautifulness.”

“Whatever you say, Luke, you will say hi to Bo for me won’t ya? I mean you always tell the truth.”

“We don’t have time for this foolishness.”

“Well I wanna know that you’ll tell him. Oh, say to him that we need to wrassle.”

“Sure cousin Mandy, I promise. Now can we keep going?”

“Yup.” They walked further and further into the swamp. Now there was the house they wanted. Mandy knew it all too well. The Debris abandoned it when the revenuers came. Luke rubbed his hands together.

“What do you think Danny?”

“I think that this would be the perfect place for a hideout,” Danny replied, looking at the smoke. Luke nodded. Danny began to peer around the place. “You notice how the birds are steering clear? Someone disturbed the nest over there.”

“Yeah, I see it.”

Back at the farm, Dana began screaming and Bo joined him. “I ain’t ever goanna look at a woman the same again!” He exclaimed.

“Calm down Bo, it’ll be okay,” Daisy tried to reassure him over the phone.

“Calm! Daisy, this is as calm as it gets!”

“Well work harder, scaring Dana ain’t goanna help that baby come out any faster.”

“Yeah—I figured that.”

“Come on Bo, concentrate.”

“I am working on it.”

Now Luke had better hurry up, babies wait for no man. Speaking of which, Luke and Danny were assessing the situation. “You mean this place is being guarded by one man?” Danny questioned.

“Can I wrassle him?” Mandy asked.

“Mandy you—yes you can,” Luke announced. Mandy rubbed her hands together. She rammed the door down also hitting the man who was holding Patrick. The gun flew out of his hand.

“Why did you let her do that?” Danny questioned.

“Figured she could take him out in one hit. My cousin wrestles grizzlies bigger than that,” Luke replied. Danny began laughing. He shook his head.

“You know, I love you Dukes—and your kin.”

“I love us too.”

“Now you’re starting to sound like Bo.” Luke smiled.

“Someone has to.” They walked in as they saw Mandy right on top of him.

“Yeah, it ain’t the same without him on one of the many adventures.”

“I got him Luke,” Mandy announced.

“Yeah, I see that,” Luke replied.

“Good work Mandy,” Danny added. Luke and Danny walked over to Patrick. Danny pulled his knife out of his pocket and cut away at the ropes. Luke took the gag out of his mouth.

“Oh man, am I glad to see you three. I thought I was a goner,” Patrick announced.

“Patrick, I know this ain’t my business but do you know why you were kidnapped?” Luke questioned.

“Yeah, that man over there is named Billy Anderson.”

“The corporate show off?”

“Yeah…I went to New York every year to visit my brother…”

“Like you always do.”

“Uh huh, when I went a few years ago, I met Dana who was living there at the time. I fell in love with her and knew I had to marry her. However, Billy was engaged to her.”

“And he wanted her back even after all the years you have lived here.” Patrick nodded.

“Well he won’t be bothering you anymore,” Danny said.

“Yeah, he’s mine now,” Mandy said. She began petting his head.

“You can keep him.”

“Dang, really Luke?”

“Really,” Luke replied. They walked out of the cabin with Danny, Patrick, Luke, Billy and Mandy—this was one adventure I am glad I got through. After showing the boys where their boat was, the two made their way back.

“Bye Luke, bye Danny,” Mandy yelled.

“Bye Mandy,” they both said at the same time.

“Say Bye, Billy.”

“Bye, bye,” Billy yelled hesitantly.

“Mama’s goanna love you.” Billy’s eyes shifted as they walked away.

“I don’t love you.”

“You’ll learn.” Well now, if there ain’t goanna be a shotgun wedding here then I am loosing my grip on Swamp traditions. I wouldn’t be surprised if mama moved to New York with Billy and Mandy.

Well, don’t worry, they will have a good life together. Mandy is a good woman. As for Patrick and Dana’s life…well, come on y’all, follow me back to Hazzard’s famous Duke Farm.

There she was, Dana’s baby girl. They were laying there in bed. Luke stared at Bo. “How in the world did you…” He began. Patrick held onto his wife, kissing and hugging her. Bo and Luke walked out of the room, leaving them to cleave to each other.

“Luke, I don’t know about women,” Bo announced.

“Well this is a first.”

“No really, I don’t know how they do it. Men think they have so many problems.”

“Well…”

“Dang, she pushed and pushed.”

“I know.”

“She kept on going when she thought she couldn’t. Dana was amazing.” Luke smiled at his cousin.

“You know, I think of how our mothers did when they gave birth. How they must have felt when they saw us. They would give anything for us.” Bo sighed.

“Your mother gave up her life for me.” Luke put a hand on his cousins shoulder. Now friends, don’t worry about Bo. He is thrilled to have his cousin. Got to love the love in Hazzard County.

THE END.

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