Calliope Dean and the Purple Cricket

by: Tara

“Mr. Duke, visiting hours are over.” A nurse said. Blue eyes peered at the older man seated next to the bed.

“Thank you, miss.” Jesse replied. He rose from the chair, glancing at the sleeping form. His nephews had found their cousin lying unconscious on the barn floor, between the ladder and double doors. No visual signs of a struggle or intruder. Even a farm animal having startled Daney. A small bump partly hidden along the forehead hairline. The wound about the size of a jagged rock. And there wasn’t anything unusual about one of his nieces or nephews being in the barn. Chores or time alone.

From what the Sheriff’s Department gathered in their investigation. Boot imprints from the footwear she had on that evening, were only near the doorway. Quite simply, she had fallen. Hit her head at just the right angle to lose consciousness. She may’ve heard a noise and lost her balance.

“There’s some reading material for when you wake up on the stand,” Jesse spoke hoarsely. He’d spent most of the allowed morning visiting time, reading passages from paperbacks. He turned and looked at the uniformed woman in the doorway. “No one will move those will they?” He asked, walking toward the nurse. A few were from the living room bookshelf, the rest from the library.

“I’ll leave a note at our station,” the nurse replied. “If there is any change, we’ll make sure to call.” She paused, he stepped pass her out into the hallway. “Was she reading, the last time you saw her?”

“The four of them were playing cards and listening to the radio,” he answered. Jesse felt the young woman’s hand on his shoulder.

“We have people to talk with if you need too,” she offered.

“I’m alright,” Jesse smiled. “Appreciate it.”

“You’re welcome,” she smiled. “I should be getting back on rounds.”

“Luke, I don’t think he’s gonna let us.” Bo whispered. He and the oldest Duke cousin walked into Boss’s office at the Boar’s Nest.

“You boys scat onconna I’m busy,” the portly county commissioner greeted them.

“Nice to see you too,” Luke smiled. “We need just a minute of your time.”

Boss frowned. “Alright, your minute started ten seconds ago.”

“Wondering if you’d lift probation restrictions,” Bo replied. “Just for a few days.”

“Why would I wanna do that?” J.D. asked.

“Me and Bo was thinking we’d offer to work on one of Daney’s cases,” Luke confided.

“Oh?” Boss murmured. He glanced from the dark haired one to the blond, thinking the request over in silence. If their cousin was working on something in another county, it’d keep Bo and Luke out of his hair. They wouldn’t be around to stick their noses in his business. “Lemme make sure I got all the facts,” he smiled. “A few days unrestricted probation?”

“Yes, sir.” Bo nodded.

“I don’t know fellas,” Boss reached for a small book. He began thumbing the pages. His dark eyes scanning the text. “Hmm, hmmm.” He mumbled.

“C’mon, Boss what ya need to check that for?” Luke muttered.

Boss closed the book. And stared at the boys with a straight face expression. “And just what is this case?”

“Uh, we haven’t got those details yet.” Bo admitted.

J.D. watched the two cousins look at each other before saying anything. “I will but you fellas have to check back with me after getting those, ya hear?” He paused. “Even if it’s by message through a third party.” He reached for a pen. “I probably best give y’all a release paper to that effect.” Then he started to write.

“Thanks, Boss.” Luke said. “Much obliged.”

“I’m sure you are,” Boss answered, placing the pen onto the desk. He held the paper out. “That worded alright for you boys?” He inquired. Both reached for the document.

“Guess so,” Bo said after looking the paper over, then folded it and stuffed in his shirt pocket.

“If I get wind you boys aren’t doing what you asked for,” Boss pointed a finger at them. “I’ll write another paper to rescind that one.” J.D. declared as the boys turned to leave his office.

“Ok, Boss.” Luke agreed. He and his younger cousin stepped out into the tavern area. The town mechanic and Cletus were standing by the pinball machine. They strolled over. “Who’s winning?” Bo asked. They stepped close to the two men.

“He is,” Cletus replied. “You wanna play when this game is over?”

“No thank you,” Luke said over the pinball machine noise. “We gotta get going.”

“Headed over to the hospital,” Cooter surmised incorrectly.

“Actually we’re going to see if maybe we can take care of a case of her’s,” Bo informed them.

“That’s nice of you fellas,” Cletus smiled and turned from the machine.

“We thought so too,” Luke grinned.

“Is that allowed?” Cooter asked his friends.

Bo shrugged. “That’s what we’re going to find out now,” he paused. “See if any clients would agree.”

Cletus pondered quietly for a moment. It sounded good; the boys work or wrap up a case. He didn’t want to discourage them. “Hopefully one will.”

“Yeah,” Luke said. “See ya’ll later.” Cooter and Cletus nodded. The boys were about to step away when one of their many admirers flung her arms around Luke’s neck.

“Aren’t you gonna stay for awhile?” She asked. “I’d like too but me and Bo got something to do.” He answered in a muffled tone of voice, to the amusement of others.

She pouted. “What could be more important than spending time with me?”

“Well,” Luke hesitated. They could wait an hour or so. “Boss Hogg lifted me and Bo’s probation restrictions,” He paused, and brought his right hand up to her face. He ran his fingers lightly across her cheek. “So we can work on one of our cousin’s cases.”

“He did?” She asked.

Bo raised his hand, patted his shirt pocket. “Got it in writing.” He looked at Luke, then offered. “We both don’t have to go.”

“Boss comes out of his office…” Luke’s voice trailed off in disagreement. He sighed. “I’ll give you a call tonight.”

“You’ve said that before,” the blonde haired woman countered. “Well this time I’ll make sure too,” He kissed her on the cheek.

The sound of voices from Boss’s office over the jukebox interrupted any further discussion between Luke and his lady friend.

“Catch y’all later,” Bo said and hurried around his friends toward the tavern’s exit, followed by his older cousin in a hasty departure. Cooter and Cletus went back to their game, not much time left on their lunch break.

“Should we be concerned Boss agreed so easily?” Luke asked his younger cousin. The General Lee’s engine started.

“No,” Bo answered and settled into the passenger seat. “Where do we start?” He wondered aloud, glanced out the window at the familiar scenery pass by as Luke began to maneuver the stockcar out onto the road.

“Bail bond agency?” Luke guessed.

“The farm,” Bo replied. “ ‘Course we should probably get Daisy’s permission before going into their room.”

“Yeah,” Luke chuckled.

The boys headed home, Sheriff’s Office was tending to duties.

“Sure you want to sign off on this report, sir?” Enos was standing at the filing cabinet.

“There wasn’t any foul play or deliberate mischief,” Rosco continued cleaning out the desk drawer. “Can always make another.”

“Yeah,” Enos began to slide the folder in its place, trying not to mar it by jamming roughly into the slot between two other folders. Boss had already lectured them on using too many supplies for the month.

“Excuse me, gentlemen…” The two officers glanced over to a dark haired, violet-eyed woman strolling toward the desk. “I was supposed to meet a colleague. The bail bonds agency told me to come here for assistance.”

“Oh, we’ll try to help if we can, miss.” Enos said.

“Danielle Duke,” she replied.

“I-” the full name didn’t register with either sheriff or deputy at first. “Brown hair and hazel eyes?” Rosco’s blue eyes watched
for the woman to nod. “You mean Daney?”

She nodded again. “Yes, sir.”

“Well, she had a little slip out at the barn on the Duke farm,” Rosco paused, hesitant to confide any more to this stranger.

“She don’t like to worry her cousins or uncle,” Enos offered more detail. “Being unconscious, she wouldn’t be able to tell them.”

“That serious?” She whispered.

“It’s a doozy,” Rosco sighed. “We investigated, didn’t find anything peculiar.”

“For the moment, we’re speculated she heard something and fell.” Enos walked over to the desk. “They got all kinds of animals.”

“Wouldn’t necessarily have to have been a noise,” the woman stated. “You ever had an incident come back out of the blue?”

It was Rosco and Enos’s turn to nod their heads. “She’s still at the hospital?” the woman asked.

“You have some id, darling?” Rosco smiled at her. “A driver’s license, private investigator certification…”

“Right here,” the woman took two items from her coat pocket. She held them out to the handsome sheriff. “Oh, I should’ve introduced myself.”

“It’s allright,” Rosco took them. He studied the signature on both identification documents, then glanced from picture id to the woman. “Yes, miss. Far as we know, she is.” He paused and laid the ids down the desk. “Enos here could call and check for ya.”

“If it wouldn’t be any trouble,” she took the ids and placed them in her jacket pocket.

“Not at all,” Enos picked up the phone receiver and placed it to his ear. “Maybelle, any conversations regarding the Dukes’ cousin being released from the hospital?” He paused. Rosco and Miss Holliday stared at him. “Ok, can you patch me over to the hospital then, appreciate it.” There was another short moment of silence. “Yes, ma’am. This is Enos Strate. I’m calling about a patient you may have,” his left hand began fidgeting with the cord. “Daney or Danielle Duke.” He began to whistle when put on hold.

“Enos, please.” Rosco said. He normally didn’t mind Enos amusing himself but not while on a phone call.

“Sorry,” Enos looked sheepishly at his commandeering officer. “No ma’am not you. I’m at the Hazzard County Sheriff’s Department,” there was one last pause. “I understand, thank you.” He put the phone receiver back on its cradle. “Jesse left a message that any one who wants to know condition is to talk to him,” Enos stated, getting his other hand unwrapped from the tangled cord. “And he went home to do some chores, the nurse said.”

“A bit extreme,” Miss Holliday commented.

“You haven’t met any of her family?” Rosco asked.

Miss Holliday shook her head from side to side. “Not really.”

“Her uncle’s concern is just protection,” Enos explained. “Every one of them Dukes has been in some situation before.”

“Ain’t we all?” Rosco said before a discussion of those situations started. “I reckon you don’t have the farm address or y’all
wouldn’t have been meeting at the bail bond agency here in town.” He paused. “We’re about to go out on patrol, you’re welcome to follow one of us out there.”

“I came here on the bus,” Miss Holliday explained. “Daney mentioned a vehicle at the local used car dealer, I’ve been looking for just that year and model.”

“A business and pleasure trip,” Rosco replied. “If you don’t mind, one of us would be happy to take you over.”

“Might get a better deal too,” Enos speculated.

“Only if Boss isn’t there,” Rosco muttered, then smiled. “We could call out to the farm and see if anyone could come get you.”

“I like the idea of one of you escorting me,” Miss Holliday paused. “if it’s no bother, sir.”

“Not at all,” Rosco scooted the chair back and stood up. He dug into his pants pocket for his patrol car keys and started for the steps.

“Sheriff, the car dealer is on my route.” Enos commented.

“And the Duke farm is on mine,” Rosco stared at his deputy. “You could just stay and hang wanted posters.”

“We could switch for the afternoon,” Enos suggested.

Miss Holliday smiled. “Perhaps I should walk over to the car dealer and get directions to the farm from there.”

“No, no…” Rosco insisted and hurried down the steps. “Just funning miss,” Enos exclaimed, walking down the steps.

“Ok,” Miss Holliday said. With an officer on each side, she strolled to the double doors that led out to the courthouse hallway.

The boys were looking for a connection point, and here’s a possible lead in town. If only they hadn’t went to the farm.
Good thing for Bo and Luke, the Hazzard County Sheriff’s Department is on the case. And they don’t even know it.

“These look really nice,” Mr. Amos complimented the freelance reporter in his office. “The article may not make it in.”

Daisy replied. “Ok.”

The Hazzard Gazette editor held up one of the photos. “I think this will work for the Friday edition,” he paused.
“Maybe Saturday.”

“Check in the mail?” She asked. Mr. Amos had mentioned fees over the phone but not how he paid reporters.

Clyde chuckled. “Wouldn’t you prefer cash?” And sat the photo down on the window ledge that they stood by.

“Yeah,” Daisy laughed.

“Just a moment,” He leaned toward his desk, opened the drawer. Removed a small gray metal box from it. He placed it on the desktop. Pudgy fingers pressed at the number combination that kept the contents secured. “Twenty?”

“Um hum,” Daisy mused. Mr. Amos peeked over to see her staring out the window. He removed a twenty bill from the stack inside the box, then closed the lid. “Here you go, Miss Duke.”

Daisy turned from the window and accepted the money he held out. “Thank you,” she smiled. “Have a good afternoon.”
She walked toward the door. “You too,” she heard him answer, then walked out into the hallway toward the building exit.
She thought about what it would be like to work for the paper full time, instead of just an assignment here and there. “Excuse me,”
she heard and stopped just before colliding with another employee in the hallway.

“Oh, I’m sorry…” She started to explain.

“It’s ok,” The man replied. “You all right?”

“Was just thinking,” she admitted shyly.

“About your next by line?” He asked curiously.

Daisy smiled. “That probably won’t be for awhile,” she glanced at the floor then back at the blond gentleman. “I’m just a part time reporter.” “Everyone has to start somewhere,” he paused. “I used to be just a delivery person, doing the odds and ends around the photo shop down the street.”

“Dale?” Daisy exclaimed, she thought he looked familiar. “English class.”

He chuckled. “Yeah- you have time for coffee or maybe something to eat?” He smiled. “Assistant editors can take their breaks any time,” he paused. “Most of the time that is.”

Daisy glanced at the clock on the wall. “About a half hour, then I have to get over to the Boar’s Nest.”

“That’s your excuse for not being full time here?” He teased.

Daisy laughed. “Guess you could call it that,” she said. “Where have you been?” She asked, as they walked down the hallway.
He explained on the way out of the building.

At the Duke farm, the boys were standing on the porch. “We can’t just go through their room without asking,” Bo said. They had thought Daisy would be home getting ready for her tavern job.

Luke nodded. He even though Daisy and Daney would understand. It was just nice to have permission.

“The hayloft?” Bo mused aloud.

“And risk it getting ruined?” Luke shook his head. “Maybe Uncle Jesse’ll have an idea…” Luke smiled, the pick up slowly made
it’s way to a parking spot next to the General Lee. “Yeah,” Bo agreed. They waved to their uncle getting out of his vehicle.

“Howdy boys,” Jesse greeted his nephews and walked toward them. He could tell from their expressions, they were uncertain about something. “What’s on your minds?”

“That obvious,” Luke asked.

Jesse chuckled. “Yes,” the eldest Duke replied and stopped just before the porch steps.

“We were kinda thinking about helping out on one of Daney’s cases,” Bo said. “Except Daisy isn’t around to inquire about going through their room.”

Jesse nodded. He knew his nephews had assisted investigations before. “What are you standing around for?” He demanded softly.

“Wouldn’t be right to go through their things,” Luke responded. Hadn’t his uncle heard Bo when the younger man spoke.

“They’d understand,” Jesse turned to walk toward the barn. He had only left the hospital to check on the farm and chores. The boys had to consider that their actions might do more harm than good. Maybe they had and just decided to see if a client would agree. “If they have questions, I’ll take care of ‘em,” he stated. Not that Jesse thought there’d be any. “Besides I don’t think you’ll find any records without that backpack.”

“Do you know where that is?” Bo asked hesitantly.

“By the piano,” Jesse replied. “Few days ago.”

“We didn’t look around the bench,” Luke commented. The older Duke heard the screen door open, two pairs of boots step into the house. Jesse proceeded to the barn, the screen door closed. The boys had found nothing in a quick scan of the living room. Directed their attention to the girl’s bedroom. As the boys were peeking under the bed, they heard a car announce it’s presence on the property.

“Probably just Daisy,” Luke guessed. He and Bo scooted out from beneath the bed. “Let’s go see,” Bo suggested. Another car pulled into the front yard, peaking their curiosity about who was outside.

“Maybe Enos followed her home,” Luke commented. They went out into the hall and to the open front door. They paused, looking out at the familiar vehicles, except there was an unfamiliar woman getting out of the one car.

“It’s Enos,” Bo said, reached to push the screen door open. “But that ain’t anyone I’ve seen before,” Luke followed his cousin out onto the porch.

“Me either,” Bo whispered and smiled. “Howdy Enos, whose your lady friend?”

“This is Miss Holliday,” he shouted. “She was supposed to meet Daney at the bail bond agency.”

“Well Miss Holliday, she isn’t at home,” Luke started to explain.

Miss Holliday interrupted. “Yes, your sweet Sheriff told me all about her unfortunate incident.”

“He did?” The boys answered, a moment apart. They walked down the steps closer to the lady and Enos.

“Um hum,” she said. “Deputy Strate was kind enough to escort me out here since your uncle insisted any one wanting to see her, was to speak with him.”

“Oh,” Bo looked at the woman. “I wasn’t aware of that, miss.”

“He’s in the barn, miss.” Luke said.

“I’m right here,” Jesse’s voice was even toned. “Heard the cars pull in.” He looked sharply at the woman. “What can I do for you, miss?”

“Daney was kind enough to locate a car for me,” she paused. “I just wanted to leave the payment we’d agreed on.”

Jesse’s gaze darted to the car in the yard. He had seen it parked outside of the used car lot earlier in the week. “It’s a nice one,” he paused. “If you like could leave it in the house,” he smiled.

“I’d prefer to go to the hospital,” she said.

Jesse nodded. “Excuse me, I didn’t get your name, miss?” He inquired.

“Sabrina Eros Holliday, sir.” She smiled.

“Miss Holliday, evening visiting hours aren’t for a bit,” Jesse added truthfully. While this lady’s reason for being at his farm seemed decent enough, she was a stranger to him and the boys. “Enos, we appreciate the investigation that the Sheriff’s Department done.”

Enos blushed. They hadn’t treated the case any differently than if it had been a visitor to town. “Just doing what we’re paid for, sir.” He looked over to the 1971 dark purple four-door subcompact. “Sure is a cute bug,” he mused.

“Enos, that’s a car!” the boys said, slightly confused. Enos and Miss Holliday laughed.

“It’s a Plymouth Cricket?” Jesse asked.

“Yeah,” Miss Holliday confirmed. “I saw one at a car show and let some folks know I wanted to acquire one.”

“Maybe you could help us, Miss Holliday,” Bo suggested. “Me and Luke here want to help on one of our cousin’s cases.”

“Are you private investigators too?” Bree asked curiously.

“Not exactly,” Luke admitted hesitantly.

“I think that’s a sweet idea but as a legal official,” she paused and stared at the Duke cousins. “I encourage you not too.”

“You’re an attorney?” the boys asked.

Bree nodded. “Um hum,” she smiled.

“Not like Mr. Bronke at the courthouse,” Enos added. “She deals in the entertainment field.”

While the boys and Jesse are getting to know Miss Holliday with Enos’s assistance, why don’t we check in on Boss.

“Cooter, I need my car by four pm,” J.D. glared at the mechanic. “My lambykins will be arriving at the airport then.”

“The parts just aren’t available.” Cooter insisted. “I’d be glad to loan you a vehicle or why not send Rosco, Enos or Cletus?”
He suggested.

“They’re busy at the Sheriff’s Department,” J.D. replied. “Post office doesn’t close until five.” Boss added, in case Cooter
was thinking the Hazzard Cab Company might be an option. “I could maybe be persuaded to refinance your garage mortgage?”

Cooter shook his head. “I’d appreciate that greatly but the parts aren’t here.”

“Can’t you just close for an itty bit and get them?” J.D. asked. “It’s for Miss Lulu.”

“Boss,” Cooter began organizing some tools on the desk. “What about your used car lot?”

“Oh,” J.D. pursed his lips. “Lulu might think I got her new car.”

“Yeah,” Cooter nodded. “You’d rather not have to deal with that.”

“Uh huh,” J.D. said. He glanced outside and saw a couple walking along the street. “Thanks, Cooter.”

“You’re welcome,” Cooter replied. He waited a few seconds to peek where Boss had headed too.

Daisy saw the country commissioner amble briskly toward her and Dale. “Good afternoon, Boss.” She hollered politely.
There was no point in pretending she had not seen him.

“Daisy, honey… how would you like the afternoon off?” Boss said, as he got a few feet from them.

Daisy blinked in surprise. “Boss, you know I can’t afford to do that.”

“You’d be able too,” J.D. smiled. “I need a vehicle to pick up my Lulu from the airport,” He paused.
“And I’m willing to pay a fair price for the loan of your lovely jeep.”

“Boss, I don’t think I heard you right.” Daisy shook her head. “You want to pay to borrow Dixie?”

J.D. nodded. “To pick up Miss Lulu from the airport,” he repeated.

“Um,” Daisy hesitated. “I don’t know what a fair price would be and I wouldn’t want to over charge you,” she answered.

“Please,” J.D. whispered. “I’d ask Bo and Luke but I lifted their probation so they could go work on some case.”

Daisy stared at him. She had heard the boys talking outside the hospital, on her way to the parking lot after her uncle had
convinced her to go to work.

“Twenty five and gas?” J.D. offered. “Back in a couple of hours, you could even finish your shift.”

Daisy smiled. “The boys were going to work on a case?”

“That’s what they claimed,” J.D. said.

“I don’t think Uncle Jesse would like me charging you for borrowing Dixie,” she paused, dug the key from her jeans pocket.
“Boss, you can keep her until your vehicle is back on the road.” She held the key out to him.

“You sure?” J.D. took the key. “Cooter said it might be a day.”

“That’s no problem,” Daisy replied. “I don’t work tomorrow.”

“Allright,” J.D. smiled. “Thank you kindly, Daisy.”

“You’re welcome,” she waved at the county commissioner. “Tell Miss Lulu hi, please.”

“I will,” He agreed and scampered toward the white jeep.

“Daisy,” Dale waited to speak until Dixie was down the street. “What time did you need to be at work?”

She listened to Eldon on the radio station’s outdoor speakers announce some news and the time. “In about fifteen minutes,”
Daisy laughed.

“You can use a phone at the Gazette,” Dale suggested. “Then I could give you a ride to work.”

“You don’t have a cb?” She asked. That would be quicker than a phone call. They started walking toward the newspaper office.

“Not on my bike,” he answered.

“Yeah, what kind is it?” Daisy questioned curiously. He was finished telling her when they approached the building. Daisy went inside. Dale continued toward the alley where he had parked. A few minutes later, Daisy came out of the building. Dale was waiting on his ’59 Triumph Thunderbird. He was about to offer his helmet when they heard a spunky voice shouting.

“Daisy, I’m glad to see you!” Emma Tisdale hurried toward the young people. Some envelopes clutched in her tiny hands. “None of you Dukes stopped in for the mail today.”

“I’m sorry Miz Tisdale,” Daisy said. “Uncle Jesse might be at the hospital.”

“Oh, he hurt?” Miz Tisdale almost dropped the items onto the sidewalk.

Daisy shook her head. She lifted a hand to brush some hair out of her face. “He’s fine. It’s Daney. She tripped or something last night, hasn’t woken up.”

“I hope she’s better soon,” Miz Tisdale held the envelopes out. Her attention focused on the motorcycle. She whistled. “Maybe I’ll get one of those, next time I’m in the market for new wheels.” She glanced at the young man. “Drive pretty good?”

“Yes, ma’am.” He answered.

“Miz Tisdale,” Daisy smiled. “Our mail, please.” She held a hand out.

“Yes,” she laid them into Daisy’s out reached hand. “I gotta get back to work.” The petite postmistress smiled at Daisy and Dale.

“Take care Miz Tisdale,” they both said. Daisy took the helmet.

“You too,” Miz Tisdale commented. Emma chuckled, seeing Daisy put the letters into the helmet before putting it on her head.
She began to walk back her work place. She waved to them as the motorcycle mingled in the afternoon traffic.

“One of those will be fine,” Cletus informed the bakery clerk. “Maybe two of those,” He pointed an index finger toward some pastries on the middle rack. Careful not to touch the glass case. “Sure smells good in here,” he said. “What’s cooking?”

“Apple Betty,” the clerk replied. “For an order.”

“Umm,” Cletus lifted a hand to his face, rubbed his thumb along his jaw. “Cinnamon.”

“It’s for an order,” the clerk stated casually.

“Oh,” Cletus sighed. Rosco and Enos would have been surprised at the fresh baked treat. The clerk saw his expression.
“Would you like me to see if there will be any left over?” She asked.

Cletus smiled. “If it’s not too much trouble.” He said.

“All right,” she turned and went into the kitchen. Cletus was beginning to think she got lost, when she reappeared with a foil covered
aluminum pie plate. “Are you going to be able to carry all this?” She looked from the item in her hands to the counter.

“Sure,” Cletus answered and got his wallet from his back pocket.

“Because this is still very hot,” she commented about the apple betty.

“How much for all of it?” He asked and opened the wallet.

She smiled. “The baker said if you were taking it right to the police station, no charge.”

“I am going to the department but I have to pay for it,” he insisted. Cousin Boss wouldn’t approve of him accepting the items free.

“I’ll just charge you for what’s in the bag,” she said.

He took a bill out and put it on top of the glass case. “Five?”

“Yep,” she agreed, then put the pie plate on the counter. The clerk watched him close the wallet, and place it back in a pocket. Someone yelled from the kitchen. “Have a nice afternoon, Cletus.” She took the money and ran back to the kitchen.

“You too,” he said, put the bag of pastries on top of the pie plate. “Oooo,” he murmured. The clerk hadn’t been kidding about it being hot. He glanced toward the cash register and saw one of the bakery boxes laying sideways against the register. He took the box, then slid it under the pie plate. Cletus picked up the bundle and turned toward the door.

A few minutes later, Rosco had sat down at his desk with a cup of coffee when he heard the booking room doors open. He hadn’t even bothered to close the office door. “Enos, Cletus?” He called out.

“It’s me Sheriff,” Cletus answered. “Got you a surprise from the bakery.”

“A surprise for me,” Rosco got up from his seat, walked to the doorway. “From the bakery.” He smiled seeing Cletus set a pie plate and bag on to the bench that people waiting to speak with a law officer could sit on. “That wouldn’t be apple betty would it?”

“Yeah,” Cletus said. “Just the pie plate is.”

“Don’t just leave it there, bring it into my office.” Rosco replied. “C’mon.”

Cletus picked up the bundle again. “Fresh made.” He was about half way to the Sheriff’s office, when Enos came running in.

“Freeze Enos,” Rosco urged from where he stood. “Or I’ll have to arrest you for walk and assault on bakery goodies.”

“Bakery goods?” Enos asked, he couldn’t quite make out what Cletus was holding. “Ooo, you were at the bakery.”
Enos smiled. “You got plates and utensils, sir?” He asked.

“Course,” Rosco said. “Get you and Cletus a cup of coffee on your way in.”

“All right,” Enos laughed. He walked toward the coffee maker station, as Cletus followed Rosco into his office. Sure was nice
to see the Sheriff smiling. People in the police department having a moment to relax.

It sure is.

Jesse was startled by a harmonica sound from the hospital room. He peeked through the little window on the door, and saw a
curly haired child responsible. The music stopped, he watched small hands put the harmonica near Daney’s face. Little hospital gown clad shoulders shrugged, then the youngster brought the instrument back to their own mouth, played again. Jesse listened curiously. It wasn’t a recognizable tune, just random notes pieced together.

Bo, Luke and Miss Holliday viewed the older man standing at the end of the hallway. The boys looked at each other, not sure of why Jesse hadn’t gone into the room yet. “Maybe the doctor’s in,” Bo whispered.

“Yeah,” Luke agreed softly. They had arrived a few minutes before visiting time began. There hadn’t been anyone at the nurse’s station. As they got closer, they too heard the faint off-key melody.

“Mr. Duke, you all right?? Bree asked quietly.

He nodded. “Um hum,” he smiled at threesome. “Take a look.” Jesse whispered. He moved from the door so they could peer through the window. The boys let Miss Holliday step to the door first.

“Aww,” Bree mused. She moved away so the boys could glance. And they did, then glanced to their uncle with a puzzled expression on their faces.

“I don’t know,” he answered their unspoken question. As he guessed, they did not know the child either. “Don’t seem right to disturb her.”

Before anyone said another word, the door opened and the foursome stared at the small figure pulling the door handle.

“You want some help, miss?” Bo asked, nudging his cousin who was closer to the door. The little girl smiled at the dark haired man who placed his hand on the door to keep it open.

“That would be nice, mister.” She answered and pointed a finger behind her at the figure in the bed. “She was fussing.”

“Really?” Jesse inquired.

“I started playing, she calmed down.” The little girl paused. She observed each of the four facial expressions before saying more. She stepped into the hallway. “You bring this to room 127,” she pressed the harmonica into the blond man’s right palm.

“Ok,” Bo agreed, and closed his fingers around the mouth pipe. “What’s your name?” Luke questioned.

“Calliope Dean,” a voice sounded from the middle of the hallway. The little girl glanced at a nurse hurrying to the small group.

“I was bored,” the little girl informed everyone how she had arrived in another section of the hospital.

“Sweetheart, you can’t just go wander the halls,” the nurse said gently. She looked at the family. “I-”

“There’s no need to say anything, ma’am.” Bo said. “I get bored in hospitals too.”

“Well, we try not to let that happen,” the nurse smiled. “Calliope, I need to get you back to your room, honey.”

“Nurse, could you check the chart for this room before you do?” Luke asked.

“Sure,” the nurse walked pass everyone into the room. Calliope looked at Jesse. “He’ll remember?” She jerked a thumb in the boys’ direction.

“Yes, they will.” Jesse answered. “Room 127?” He winked at her. The boys smiled at the exchange between their uncle and little girl. She giggled. “Yeah, unless they transfer me somewhere else, what’s your name?”

“Jesse Duke,” he smiled. “And the boys are Bo and Luke,” he glanced to the young woman who had stood quietly in the background. “And this is our friend Miss Holliday.”

Bree smiled. “It’s nice to meet you, Calliope.”

Calliope nodded. “It’s nice to meet all of you too.” The nurse rejoined them. “A check was done about an hour ago but no changes noted,” she said. “I really must get Calliope back to her room.” She held a hand out. Calliope hesitantly took the white uniformed woman’s hand.

“Thank you miss,” Jesse said to the nurse and Calliope as the twosome stepped away from the group.

“You’re welcome,” they both said. The boys stayed in the hall, while Jesse and Miss Holliday went into the room.

I’m just a little curious what Miss Lulu’s reaction to the county commissioner will be…

“J.D., what in the world are you doing with Daisy’s jeep?” Lulu exclaimed. “You didn’t foreclose on their property again?” She
stared at her husband.

“Oh no, lambykins. I did no such thing,” J.D. insisted. He couldn’t blame his wife for the accusation. “Merely needed a vehicle to pick you up and offered a fair price to rent this.” He explained.

“Jefferson Davis, honey you own a car lot.” Miss Lulu chuckled.

J.D. nodded. “Yeah but this is nicer than anything on that lot right now.” He smiled.

“What about your own car?” Lulu asked.

“It’s at the garage, parts weren’t available.” J.D. replied. He could tell from her expression, she was not satisfied with his explanation so far. “I really didn’t feel like borrowing a clunker from Cooter.” He paused. “How was your trip?”

“Fine,” Lulu stared at him. “Aren’t you going to help with my bags?”

“Yes,” the county commissioner moved from the front seat to the back. “Just hand ‘em over.”

Miss Lulu lifted the suitcase to him. “Be careful, there is a new art print in there.”

“A new art print?” Boss’s eyebrows arched. “You didn’t say anything about that on the phone.”

“I didn’t have it then, got it and the provenance at the airport.” Miss Lulu said, watching J.D. fuss with the suitcase for a moment.
Then she picked up the smaller travel case and put it on the front passenger floorboard.

Provenance, J.D. thought to himself. Detailed history of an object; include where and when the item originated, alternations. He turned to view Miss Lulu buckling the driver’s seatbelt in place. “Lulu,” he said quietly.

“I hardly ever get to drive,” Lulu replied.

“All right,” J.D. agreed. Miss Lulu stepped on the gas pedal before Boss got comfortable in the front passenger seat.

Back at the hospital…

Luke leaned against the wall, a few inches from the phone he had used. He was thinking about going out to the General Lee and try to reach Daisy on the cb. No answer at the farm. Boar’s Nest bartender said Daisy had called with permission to be late. That was good, business was slow at the tavern. Mr. Amos had told the oldest cousin, that Daisy had left the Gazette about an hour ago. Maybe she had been on her way to the hospital and stopped to get the mail. There really wasn’t any reason to jump to conclusions.

“Cousin,” he heard and looked to the tall figure calling him from the hallway.

“Bo,” he said. “Something wrong?”

“Jesse, was wondering what was taking you so long.” Bo replied.

“Daisy seems to have disappeared,” Luke said hesitantly.

“I have?” a voice questioned. The boys glanced at Daisy walking from the hospital entrance.

“She don’t look disappeared to me,” Bo teased as the three formed a small group by the telephone.

“Boar’s Nest said you got permission to be late?” Luke asked.

“Yeah,” Daisy smiled. “Boss needed a vehicle to pick up Miss Lulu,” she paused. “Rented Dixie from me.” She and the boys laughed.

Bo cleared his throat. “Must have come into some money or something,” he smiled. “Lifted me and Luke’s probation for a few days.”

“He told me,” Daisy informed them with a mirthful expression. She lifted her hands and placed the left one on Bo’s left shoulder, her right hand came to rest on Luke’s right shoulder. Then gave her cousins a gentle squeeze. “That’s so sweet.” She was quiet as the boys glanced away, their cheeks reddening slightly at the compliment. She brought her hands back to her sides; they looked at their middle cousin again. “He probably thought it’d keep y’all out of his hair,” she playfully teased.

“Yeah,” the boys agreed. “I ran into Lindsay Dale at the newspaper building,” she said. “He’s an assistant editor.”

“Mr. Amos said your piece should be in sometime this weekend,” Luke smiled.

“Um hum,” She reached her hands behind her back and pulled out the mail that she had tucked in between her belt and jeans waistband. She had only put them in the helmet so they wouldn’t blow away. The envelopes came into view for the boys.

“Anything for me?” Bo asked.

“Why don’t we divide this in the room,” she suggested.

“All right,” Luke replied. Walking down the hallway, the boys told Daisy all about Calliope Dean, Bree and the purple Cricket.

“Hmm, that was good Apple Betty.” Cooter said, placing the empty plate and plastic fork into the trash bin. He sat on the corner of his desk, grabbed a rag to wipe his hands.

“Cletus got it fresh at the bakery,” Enos smiled. “Observed you working through Sheriff Rosco’s window.”

“Spying on me?” Cooter teased.

“We weren’t,” Enos replied. “Already thought of who we’d share with, so it wouldn’t go to waste.” He paused. “Checking if you were still at the garage.”

Cooter smiled. “I appreciate it.”

Enos nodded. “Rosco went out on patrol, I got phone duty. Take it easy, buddyro.”

“You too,” blue eyes glanced at Enos going outside, then at the rag. “Got to gather some items for laundry detail,” the town mechanic muttered. He left the building about thirty minutes later with a grocery bag of soiled rags and t-shirts. He waved to the Sheriff getting out of his patrol car. The town mechanic got into his truck. He saw Rosco waving at him in the side mirror. Cooter tooted the truck’s horn, then headed home.

At the Hogg house, J.D. and Miss Lulu sat on the porch swing sipping coffee. “You make sure Rosco and Enos got uniforms pressed for my event.”

J.D. sat the mug on the window ledge. “Official police work, they aren’t going to be able to stay.”

She sat her cup on the porch floor. “You hire security?” Lulu asked.

J.D. nodded. “Cletus.”

“Ok,” Lulu said, and her head tilted down to rest on J.D.’s shoulder. He raised his arm and put it around Lulu’s neck, his hand was touching her shoulder. She scooted a little closer to him. “Nice out here ain’t it?” J.D. patted her shoulder in response. Dark eyes focused on a truck driving by, then at stars in the sky.

Nice but we haven’t seen the boys help on a case or have we? Let’s check back in at the hospital.

“Bump ‘em, bust ‘em and bag ‘em.” A male voice on the television set spoke authority.

Bo whistled. His eyes on the screen image gray-jacketed man. Luke wrinkled his nose. “That outfit.” He commented on the red suit that Maxwell’s friend Ralph was dressed in. Without the belt and cape, they might substitute for pajamas. “C’mon, the doctor says we can go in now.” Daisy announced to the boys. They got up from their seats and followed her. The three cousins were greeted not only by a wave from Jesse, by one from Daney. The phone receiver pressed against her left ear.

“The doctor isn’t releasing me until tomorrow morning,” she was explaining to the person on the other end of the line. “There isn’t any way for you to pick them up here at the hospital or my uncle’s farm?” She sighed. “Ok, I could ask my cousins to bring them, please hold.” She glanced at the boys. “Would you two be interested in assisting on a case?” She whispered.

“Yeah,” Bo answered for himself and Luke without getting any further details. She smiled and returned to the phone conversation. “They’ll be on their way to you very soon. Thank you.” She placed the phone receiver back into its cradle. She saw a notepad and pen on the stand. “Uncle Jesse, could you write for me please?”

“Sure,” Jesse got the items from the stand. “Geyer Boulevard exit, 321 Crannell Street.” She answered. Looked again at the boys. “Brown house, mailbox slot.”

“Isn’t that against the law?” Daisy asked.

“Client instructions,” Daney replied. Jesse laid the paper with instructions on the bed, placed the tablet and pen back on the stand.

“What are we suppose to deliver?” Luke inquired.

“Paperwork,” Daney’s face lost some color. “Did anyone happen to get the mail today?”

“Yeah,” Daisy smiled at her. “On the stand, you want me to find something?” She moved to the little bed table stand.

“Please,” Daney whispered, her face returning to its normal color. “Anything from out of state?”

The boys and Jesse watched Daisy separate the pieces into different piles. “Um hum,” Daisy held the two envelopes out for her cousin. She looked at the boys. “Nothing for either of you.”

Daney took one of them. “This and a manila envelope marked Josie Allison with green ink from my backpack by midnight if you don’t mind.”

“No problem,” Bo grinned at his cousin. He stepped over to the bed and reached for the envelope. Luke came to stand beside him.
“Just one question before we go, Daney.”

“How much are we getting for this?” Luke asked. He actually wasn’t expecting anything.

“Luke,” Jesse said.

“It’s ok, Uncle Jesse.” Daney replied. “Being late, I’m not sure how much- boys can have ninety percent.”

“I was just teasing,” Luke leaned over to hug his cousin. “But we won’t refuse if you really want to pay us.”

Daney hugged her cousin. “Fair is fair.” She gave him the envelope and address paper after he released the embrace.

Then Bo leaned down to hug her. “Where’s your back pack?”

Daney reached her hands up around his neck to hug her youngest cousin. “Bedroom closet.”

Bo smiled and hugged her, then quietly stepped away from the bed.

“Sorry it’s not a more exciting assignment,” Daney said, the boys walked toward the door.

“It’s all right, just glad we’re able to help.” Luke glanced over his shoulder with a smile. He was actually glad it was something simple like it was.

“Be careful,” Jesse said.

“We will,” Bo replied. He and his older cousin left the room.

“Daisy, aren’t you suppose to be at the Boar’s Nest?” Daney asked.

“Boss said I could be late,” she explained how Boss had rented Dixie. She had called the tavern while the doctor was in with Daney when she woke up. The bartender had said not to come after all. Then Jesse told Daney about Bree and Calliope Dean.

The General Lee was maneuvering out of the parking lot; Daisy, Daney and Jesse arrived at room 127. The little girl’s attention was on the television show closing credits that Bo and Luke had been watching in the lounge. A harmonica on the table stand.

“That’s a neat show.” Daney said, walking into the room.

Calliope Dean turned toward the voice and saw the three people who came to visit. “You woke up.” She smiled. Hazel eyes peered curiously at the other unknown woman. “Who are you?”

“Their cousin Daisy,” Jesse said, referring to the boys and Daney. “We stopped by to make sure you got your harmonica.”

Calliope grabbed it off the stand. “Yes, they were here during the last commercial break.” She laughed.

“Thank you,” Daney said.

“You’re welcome,” Calliope answered.

Jesse heard footsteps in the hallway. “We’d love to stay and chat but you know how the nurses are.” He commented.

“They’re just doing their job,” Calliope yawned.

“It was nice meeting you,” Daney and Daisy said. Both wanted to say more but a nurse came into the room. One who had heard about Calliope wandering to another room, but no other details.

Jesse stepped over to the woman and conversed with her in a whispered tone as his nieces said good night to the little girl who had fallen fast asleep. The nurse smiled at the story. And told the family a little more about Calliope’s history and what had brought her to the hospital.

As they were walking down the hallway, Jesse mentioned to his niece. “Calliope mentioned you were fussing, I meant to ask her more about that.”

“Maybe she’ll tell us tomorrow when we visit,” Daney replied. “Daisy, can you-”

“Pick her up a thank you gift,” Daisy finished the sentence.

Daney nodded and smiled. “I’ll give you the money tomorrow.”

“Mr. Amos paid for my article and photos.” Daisy told her cousin and uncle.

“That’s great,” Jesse smiled. Whether his niece became a full time reporter or not, at least she was trying something new.

“It sure is,” Daney agreed. “When’s it suppose to run?”

“He wasn’t sure on the article,” Daisy paused. “At least one of the photos sometime over the weekend,” she smiled.

“Better than nothing,” Jesse commented.

“Um hum,” Daisy said and looked at her cousin. “I’ll be here after getting Dixie from Boss.”

“Sounds like a plan,” Daney answered. “Could you bring a change of clothes too?” She asked.

“What do you want me to bring?” Daisy inquired, as they approached Daney’s room.

“T- shirt and jeans,” she replied. Daney turned to give her uncle a hug. “Thanks for the reading material.”

“You’re welcome,” he answered and hugged her. “Daisy, you wanna grab that mail before we go.”

“Sure,” Daisy went into the room. She got not only the mail parcels, also the envelope that Miss Holliday had left.

She came back into the hallway where her uncle and cousin stood. She handed all but the one piece to Jesse.
Daisy held it out to her cousin. “Sabrina left this for you.”

“Oh,” Daney said and took the envelope. She peeked inside and hugged her cousin. As Daisy returned the hug, she whispered what to do with part of the contents. They stepped away from each other with a smile. Jesse smiled at them curiously.

* * *

Next afternoon, Jesse took his truck into town to get new tires. He had gone to the Post Office for the mail; got a newspaper from the drug store. He saw Billy Joe Fong coming out of the bank. He walked toward the younger man. “How are you today?” He inquired.

“Fine Mr. Jesse, sir.” He said.

“How’s business?” Jesse asked. He had a little money left from what his nephews and nieces had given him. With household goods taken care of and no other car repairs, Jesse thought of a nice surprise for not just his kin but also folks important to the community.

“Oh not too bad,” Billy Joe smiled. “For middle of week.”

Jesse smiled. “Are you on lunch?”

“Just an errand,” Billy Joe replied.

“How long would it take for an order?” Jesse said.

“That depends on what you want and how many it is for,” Billy Joe paused. “Usually not too long.” He looked at the older gentleman.
“Maybe you wish to look over selections.”

Jesse nodded. The elderly farmer followed Billy Joe over to his place, to the kitchen. After fifteen minutes of discussing choices and recommendations, Jesse placed an order he would pick up after his truck was done. A second order delivered to the Sheriff’s Office, the garage and Miz Tisdale.

“How much extra for delivery?” Jesse inquired after Billy Joe had the receipt written.

Billy Joe smiled. “No charge if you tell me a story about running mountain dew.”

“Sure,” Jesse agreed. One story led to another as Billy Joe prepared the orders.

Dixie and the General Lee were parked along Scarbury Road near a decent fishing area. At least usually it was, so far the boys hadn’t caught anything. They had decided to stop for the day and already put their gear away, when Daisy and Daney stopped to see how they were doing. “I’ll get something later at the drive in but Jesse,” Luke rambled concerned.

“I think there is some left over stew,” Daisy said.

“Yeah,” Bo agreed. He looked at another cousin, to help change the subject. “You have any other cases you need help with?”

“What?” Daney asked. Not that she would mind them helping again, some cases required a lot more time than a few hours.
Or dropping off papers.

“There is some time left on the probation restrictions lift,” he replied.

“Maybe,” she smiled. “Robyn was pleased with you fellas last night.”

“When did you talk to her?” Luke asked curiously.

“Little while ago,” Daney paused. “She called the farm.”

“Really?” Bo inquired. Him and Luke hadn’t stayed too late, they had been there long enough to get acquired. “She seemed nice.”

“Glad you feel that way,” Daney looked at her blond cousin. “She was wondering if one of you would escort her to dinner tonight.”

“And what did you tell her?” Luke barely squeaked out. He had made plans last night. While Bo had taken the item back to the little girl, he had phoned his friend.

“That you’d call as soon as you got home,” Daisy answered. “If she didn’t hear by a certain time, then you probably weren’t available.”

“I don’t have any plans,” Bo stated. “But I ain’t sure if I got the right clothes for a fancy soirée.”

“Cousin, how about we go call her first, then panic?” Luke teasingly suggested.

Bo smiled. “Let’s go.”

“See you at home,” Daisy and Daney waved to the boys, then got into the jeep. The orange stockcar’s horn sounded a reply.

Jesse had put the food onto plates to stay warm in the oven. He was heading out to the barn, when Dixie and General Lee came onto the farm property. One vehicle used the driveway, the other trailing across the back acreage. He did not see any police cruisers in hot pursuit of either, no wailing sirens in the warm autumn late afternoon. “Where’s going on?” He asked, glancing from the girls exiting the jeep, the boys getting out the orange stockcar.

“Bo and Luke have dates,” Daisy answered.

“And we’re going to help them get ready,” Daney added.

The four cousins saw their uncle chuckle and rushed inside. Bo to the telephone, Luke toward his bedroom and the girls followed their older cousin.

While they work out the details, let’s peek in at the courthouse…

Rosco and Enos had barely gotten through the booking room doors from patrol, the county commissioner’s bellowed for them to report to his office. “Sheriff, something smells good.” Enos commented. They walked to Boss’s office. The county commissioner was seated behind his desk. Cletus sitting on a folding chair. “Howdy,” the younger Hogg greeted.

“Howdy,” Enos replied.

“Boss, what did you want to see us about?” Rosco asked.

“This,” J.D. pointed a chubby index finger at paper cartons and Styrofoam containers covering his desk.

“I didn’t order any dinner,” Rosco looked suspiciously at the items.

“Me either,” Enos said.

“The delivery person didn’t ask for any money,” J.D. paused. “Was already paid for.”

“You already took it out of our pay?” The Sheriff questioned.

J.D. shook his head. “Rosco, apparently Jesse’s the culprit.”

“You want us to go find out how come he did this?” Enos inquired.

“I want you to get what your gonna eat,” Boss smiled. “So’s I can take the rest home with me.”

“If you insist,” Rosco grinned.

“Cletus, why don’t you go first?” Enos suggested. “Allright,” Cletus agreed. He started to open one of the containers.

“J.D.,” Lulu’s voice interrupted any further conversation regarding why Jesse might have done this. “Did you forget you were supposed to take me somewhere?”

“Of course not,” Boss replied as Lulu walked into the room. “But we got time to eat first don’t we?”

Lulu blinked in surprise at the scene. “Is there any fortune cookies?” She smiled.

“Haven’t seen ‘em yet,” Enos said, then looked curiously at Boss. “Did Jesse drop this off?”

“It was delivered,” J.D. replied.

“Here’s one,” Cletus held out a fortune cookie for his cousin in law. “And it’s not all broke.”

“Thank you,” Lulu took it and removed the plastic wrapper off it. The others continued getting their plates fixed. “Um,” Lulu chewed for a moment and swallowed the treat. She read the tiny slip from the cookie. “An ending can be a new beginning.”

“No numbers or word translations?” Cletus asked.

Lulu turned the paper over and shook her head. “They don’t always,” she answered.

“Hey Boss, did Ace Parker get a hold of you today?” Rosco looked at his brother in law.

J.D. laid his fork on the plate with a few bites of rice left on it. “Was he suppose too?” He reached for a napkin.

“Uh huh,” Enos said. “Sold a vehicle yesterday.”

J.D. smiled. “I’ll just stop and see him on the way to the appointment Miss Lulu and me have,” he replied, wiped his hands.
And tossed the napkin onto the plate. “We’ll be late for if we don’t get going,” Miss Lulu suggested, stepped over to the door.

Boss glanced at the clock on the wall. He pushed his seat back a little and got out of it. “Which we certainly don’t want to do.”
He joined Lulu at the door. “Y’all don’t leave a mess in here, please.” He requested.

“We won’t,” Cletus answered cheerfully to the couple walking out to the booking room.

“You two can clean up while I work on reports,” Rosco said.

“Sheriff, I wanted to take that money I got earlier and get some new comics before the book store closes.” Enos said.

“You can clean up when you get back,” Rosco replied. “If you didn’t have the money, you wouldn’t be worrying about spending it.” Daisy had stopped by the station before lunch with an envelope for him and Enos. It contained the commission for assisting Miss Holliday with acquiring her purple cricket. Daney had only felt it was fair that the Sheriff’s Department divide the fee between themselves, since they had taken Sabrina over to the car dealer.

“Rosco, wasn’t that nice of Cousin Boss to lift the boys’ probation?” Cletus said, beginning to clean the items from the desk.

“What?” The Sheriff looked at him. “When did he do that?”

“Yesterday,” Cletus answered. “They came into the Boar’s Nest and talked with him.”

“You’re kidding me?” Rosco glanced to the calendar beneath the mess of containers.

Cletus shook his head. “Cooter was there too.”

“That was sure nice of Mr. Hogg.” Enos said. He picked a few items up to put in the trash.

“Yeah,” Rosco agreed. “And how long was this to be for?”

“Just a few days,” Cletus answered. The mess almost cleaned up.

“It’ll be like vacation,” Rosco smiled. He liked that idea a lot. The Sheriff was feeling a bit sleepy after the meal. “Enos weren’t you going to the book store?”

“I’ll go tomorrow,” Enos glanced at his watch. “They closed an hour ago.”

“Which one was you interested in, I might have it at home.” Cletus offered. “May not have even read it, be almost like brand new.”

“I’d have to see the cover,” Enos replied. “Thanks Cletus.”

“You can do that when you drop him off while you’re out on patrol,” Rosco suggested. “You need a ride don’t ya Cletus?”

“No, uh yes.” Cletus corrected his reply. “That’ll be nice.”

“Few more things and we can leave,” Enos pointed down to the desk.

“I’ll get them,” Rosco said and grabbed the items. He put them in the wastebasket that was almost full. He got the sack from the trash receptacle. Tied it closed. “You wouldn’t mind throwing this in the dumpster before you go?” He held it out for one of them to take.

“Not at all,” Cletus took the white trash bag. “Have a good night, Sheriff.”

“You too,” Rosco replied. “Enos, take your time. No need to rush back.”

“Enjoy your nap, Sheriff.” Enos smiled. He quickly left the county commissioner’s office with Cletus. Enos didn’t think there was anything wrong with Rosco or himself taking a nap, especially if they had not gotten much sleep the night before.

Let’s peek in on the Dukes again…

“You really think this is allright?” Bo asked. He stood in the yard, dressed in a long sleeve red shirt, beige dress pants and boots.

“It’s casual,” Daney replied.

“You don’t get going, you’ll be late.” Jesse had his pocket watch in his right hand.

“I know but,” Bo paused. While his family all seemed confide his attire would be fine, he just was not sure.

Daisy smiled at him. “You look nice.”

Luke came out the front door then, wearing a white long sleeved shirt, jeans and boots. “Thought you left already.”
He smiled at his youngest cousin, stepped close to the rest of the family.

“He looks dressier than I do,” Bo exclaimed.

Luke shook his head. “No, I don’t.” He retorted calmly.

“That’s good, get the tension out before you go.” Jesse commented. Figuring it was just nervousness the young man felt.

“Yeah,” Bo replied. “Cousin, I’ll race you to Post Road.” He pulled out a set of keys from his shirt pocket.

“Sure,” the dark haired man agreed. He made a dash to the orange stock car. They had already discussed he’d drive that, Bo would borrow his cousin’s jeep. Jesse had said Daisy and Daney could use his truck if they needed a vehicle “Have fun you two,” Daney yelled over the roaring purr of the two engines. She, Daisy and Jesse watched Dixie and General Lee speed out of the driveway onto Mill Road.

“Laundry should be dry now,” Daisy said casually. They had put it out earlier in the morning before going to pick up Dixie from Boss.

“Yeah,” Daney agreed. The two cousins walked over to the clothesline. Jesse went inside and got the newspaper. Then came back and sat on the porch steps with it. Jesse had finished reading, and placed the Gazette next to him. Daisy and Daney finished the last chore for the day. They came over to enjoy watching the sun begin to set.

In Hazzard County, never know who will show where or doing what.

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