The Kansas Experience

by: Essy Jane

Welcome to Wichita. No, there’s not a problem with our daily scheduled program. We’re live from Wichita…well the outskirts of Wichita. It is close enough though. The Dukes all consider themselves in Wichita, why shouldn’t I?

Well from the Duke farm in Kansas—if that makes you feel better. Don’t worry folks, it is a good place. Oh don’t give me that look; there are Duke Farms all over the world. Yeah well this one is run by the famous Jose Duke.

Now what are the Duke Boys in this half of the world up to? Simple, the boys are getting ready for school. Well then again that’s not an easy thing here. Coy has been in the bathroom for over an hour parting his hair.

Vance was pounding on the door. “You know, other people would like to get ready in this house, Coy. I need to go to the bathroom!” Vance exclaimed. Coy pulled his glasses slightly down and watched himself in the mirror as he rolled his eyes.

“I’m almost done,” Coy called back. Okay if you know anything about Coy Duke, you would know that he has his accustomed sunglasses on. The only time you see Coy without them is when he is asleep.

“Funny you said those same words twenty minutes ago! You’re such a woman. Hurry up!” Paige walked over to Vance and cleared her throat. “Hey Auntie Paige, what’s shaking?”

“Vance, you aren’t doing any better. I wish you were. What did I articulate on the subject of controlling your mouth?” Paige questioned her nephew.

“Umm…”

“No, sorry, I don’t think that is it.”

“Well I am glad you know what you said.” Vance banged on the door again. “Get out of the bathroom before everyone sees you as a mama’s boy.”

“My hair ain’t right yet,” Coy yelled through the door.

“How can your hair not be right? Everyone of them grows do they not, come on!”

“I’m in the bathroom for a reason, I am having a hair crisis.” Paige turned him around.

“Sometimes controlling your mouth will win you friends,” Paige commented. Vance shrugged.

“I can’t help it that you destroyed your eggs by lighting them on fire this morning or that you went outside in curlers,” Vance told her.

“Now what is wrong with me and my curlers?”

“You make everyone ashamed of living here. The mail man doesn’t need to see your hair up in rollers.”

“Vance, this is precisely what got you in trouble in school. Why do you think they suspended you?”

“I am not the perfect Luke Duke, my brother.”

“Luke is far from perfect but at least he tries.”

“He may seem to pass everything without a problem but he fights in school.”

“When Luke was in school, he didn’t start the fights.” Vance began pounding on the door again. “How would you feel if your cousin and you were in the same grade?”

“Honored that my school let me come back to school in the first place?”

“Bo and Coy are taking the exact same classes as me.”

“So?”

“So, Daisy and I were in the same grade and now she’s out of school.”

“That’s right she is.”

“Yay for the Bradey bunch—Uncle Jesse has the perfect kids and you’re stuck with us.”

“I love you kids. I just wish that you would smarten up that’s all.”

“Well you chose to have us. You should know what you got yourself into.”

“Are we going to talk about it?”

“About what, Auntie Paige, what do you want to talk about?”

“Cameron, your father, you know that’s what we have been trying to talk about since you came here. Look, at first you were okay with it but suddenly you developed this attitude. I know that you push it away but…”

“You want to talk about it, fine! He dropped us off in Hazzard County. Probably to go live with a cheating wife and I don’t want to think about it.”

“VANCE!”

“Well who cares about him? He left us, boo hoo. What am I supposed to do, cry about it?” Vance goes to bang on the door again, this time; he hits Coy in the face.

“Dude, my face!” Coy exclaimed.

“Sorry, I thought you were a door.”

“Come on buddy, look before you knock.” Vance rolled his eyes. He crossed his arms.

“I’ll try to remember that next time.”

“Hurry up man, we got to get to school.” Man, these two ain’t Bo and Luke is they now?

“What did you say to me?” Bo wouldn’t be caught dead standing in front of the mirror for more than five minutes.

“Hurry up, we do have school don’t you know.” And I certainly have never seen Luke pull that kind of stuff on Uncle Jesse like Vance pulls of Paige.

“You’re telling me to hurry up?”

“You heard me, make it quick.” Coy clapped twice and pointed to the bathroom door. You could almost see the veins pop out of Vance’s head.

“Look, who spent an hour in the bathroom?”

“But…”

“It wasn’t me. No, I think it was that kid with the blonde hair and the sunglasses. What is his name? I don’t know, Coy!”

“Hey, I have a reputation to keep.”

“Your reputation is not going to suddenly become bankrupt if you don’t spend as much time beautifying yourself as a girl does!”

“That isn’t very nice!”

“It wasn’t supposed to be.” Vance messed up his cousin’s hair before going into the bathroom.

“HEY!” Vance quickly locked the door. “Auntie Paige, can I go and use your mirror?” Paige rolled her eyes. She nodded.

Now I don’t like this so far. I guess I can’t change it. I ain’t their parents. Still, I really wonder about these two.

Well Jose walked in the house. He doesn’t take too kindly to anyone disrespecting his wife which is good. Coy always seemed to be better with being nice to people. He still had a little attitude. This is probably why Bo and Luke can’t stand them.

Anyhow, Paige walked down the stairs. She pushed back her hair. As Jose looked into her eyes, he knew something was wrong. “Hey, what did he say?” Jose asked.

“Does it matter?” Paige asked. She shook her head as she sat down.

“Are you alright?”

“You know, at first, they were doing really well. Now Jose, I am always worried about Vance. Coy always wants to be a good looking guy. Even when he found out about needing glasses…”

“I know, they had to be sunglasses so they wouldn’t foil his image.”

“Oh I know, image is everything to that kid.”

“Sure is.”

“I wish that sometimes he would cool his heals. I remember the time he wanted to use my cover-up because he had a zit.” Jose began laughing.

“Well he is the character but you’re changing the subject.”

“I am not.”

“Admit it, there’s something you just don’t want to talk about.” Paige pulled away.

“Oh how would you know?” Jose walked up behind his wife and put an arm around her.

“What is worrying you about Vance?” Paige sighed as she stared into her husband’s eyes.

“How do you always know?”

“I wouldn’t be a good husband if I didn’t.”

“Since he got the last post card from his father…I don’t know, he’s been acting worse. You need to talk to him. Whenever you do it, Vance seems to feel better.”

“That and I am the only one who can.” Jose sighed as he shook his head. “I went through some things when I was a teenager. I was sometimes jealous of my brother Tony. You know, how good he was.”

“Exactly and that’s why he responds better to you. I can only talk about my over enthusiastic sister and what can I really say? Laurel was awesome.”

“Laurel was more than awesome, she was a godsend.” Paige smiled. “You should have seen what she did for Jesse. Laurel will always be in our hearts.”

“She would know what to say to him.” Paige sighed. She stood up, pulling Jose’s arms further around her. “I just don’t know what to do for Vance anymore.”

“Well I know and I will deal with it.” Coy ran down the stairs. He looked at Paige.

“Is it okay?” Coy asked.

“Is what okay?” Paige questioned. Coy began raving up above his head. You know, gesturing not touching his hair. “You mean is your hair okay?”

“Yeah, how does my hair look?” Jose and Paige looked at each other. “Is it too goofy or do you think I used enough gel?” Paige bit on her bottom lip.

“Your hair is fine, Coy.”

“Awesome.”

“Coy, why don’t you drive to school today—that way I can spend some time with Vance,” Jose suggested.

“Really?”

“Yeah sure, go for it.” Coy’s eyebrows rose dramatically. A smile rolled across his face.

“So you’re serious?” Coy was waiting for them to change their mind. Sometimes it happens. Coy is sort of a lead foot. “You are actually letting me drive?” The local law here is a little better than in Hazzard but Coy never gets a ticket.

“I am absolutely serious.”

“I’m driving today!”

“Yeah, you’re driving.”

“YAHOO! I get to drive!” Coy ran out of the house. He ran back in and kissed Paige on the cheek. Coy gave Jose a hug and walked out. You see ladies and gentlemen, they are Dukes—you wouldn’t think they are especially by looking at them but hey, they do love to drive.

Vance ran down the stairs as he heard the engine of the SUV. “Dad—I mean Uncle Jose, you let him take the car? You told him to speed off without me?” Vance asked. You see? They both love to drive and both love cars.

“Woe, hold the phone, I thought you could go with me this morning. I have been busy buying seed and stuff. I thought it was about time we did something together,” Jose replied.

“Really? Cool, let’s move—I’ll get my jacket.” Paige looked right into his eye. Jose winked.

“You think this will help?” Paige asked her husband.

“I sure hope so, Vance is a good kid. He just needs some man time I think. There’s nothing worse than talking your problems out with a mother like figure,” Jose answered. Paige put her hands on her hips.

“Now why not?”

“I don’t know, it just isn’t part of the man code.”

“There is a man code? Why don’t I know about this code?”

“You grew up with sisters.”

“I see. Well can you explain this man code to me? I really don’t understand.”

“Well it is really quite simple my dear.”

“Okay, prove it.”

“They don’t like to share their feelings with people. Men can share their feelings with grunts and groans. However, when a woman is around they clam up.”

“I see.” Now he is a pretty good father huh? Bo senior knew he would be. Hang on y’all, this is goanna be fun. Don’t worry, adventure is right around the corner for the Dukes.

2

Vance was driving the truck. Jose sat beside him and smiled at his young nephew. Vance seemed to sit close to the steering wheel. Jose shrugged it off as Vance being in one of his many moods. The road and rail network in Kansas were very nice. However, there wasn’t half as much vegetation as there was in Hazzard.

The Wichita area was filled with young and old. It was a very flat looking place. However, it was beautiful there. Jose seemed to make a very good life for himself. His children had grown and gone to high school. Now, he was taking care of Cameron’s two children.

Jose didn’t mind it too much. Sometimes, Vance was a bit of a handful or Coy was but they were relatively good kids. Jose loved them both with all his heart. He would walk through fire for them. Now friends, that is devotion, a commitment only a father like figure would hold.

Before we get into the big conversation that Jose and Vance are about to have, we should learn a little about these strangers. I mean it only makes sense. Them boys have been living in Kansas for a long time.

We have been concentrating solely on Hazzard. Which I feel somewhat red faced for doing. I really like that county. I know, there are adventures other places too. I guess we gotta try some variety huh folks?

So we’ll learn about Coy and Vance. After all, you know all about Bo and Luke. You know how Bo lives off luck. You know Luke is learning to become a leader.

Come on, how many adventures have we gone through with them? If I count correctly, nine adventures right? Oh I must be talented to remember that. However, you don’t know Coy and Vance.

Coy and Vance went to the Northeast Magnet High School. This school was appealing and normal for the two students. However, Northeast Magnet High School concentrates mainly on science, visual arts and law. That’s what makes it different.

Coy was really into law. He wanted to learn all about anything was law related. Coy had always wanted to either be a social worker or to work in a courtroom. He almost would rather work in a court room. He would love to be the center of attention and have everyone listen to him.

Vance, although a bit of a trouble maker, was a really good student. He really loved science. He liked taking things apart and seeing how they worked. This was especially the case with biology. Vance loved seeing how everything worked. Now folks, I think you are looking at a future doctor—if he becomes organized.

Well, that’s pretty good for now, I think you’ll learn more about them as we go along. Anyway, back to the drive, Jose was ready to open his mouth and talk about what was going on. Jose had an idea of what this was about. After all, he did know Vance pretty well.

It was almost amusing how Vance seemed to connect to Jose and Coy seemed to relate more to Paige. It was the just what the doctor ordered for the couple. This meant that Jose could handle Vance and Paige could keep an eye on good ol’ Coy.

“So, when you call me Dad it makes you feel bad right?” Jose questioned.

“Oh yeah, I get so angry because…hey, how did you know?” Vance asked. Jose smiled.

“I know because I know you.” Vance shook his head. “Come on, lay it on me.”

“Okay, look, when I first came here, I was pretty high in spirits with what was going on. I loved the horses and everything. I loved being around you.”

“Well we like being around you too.” Vance smiled. He was always pleased to hear that Jose loved him. “Something happened though between us that you didn’t like.”

“We became so close that I forgot my Dad.” Vance sighed as he pulled over on the side of the road. “You know, he sent me that postcard, I had almost forgotten about him.”

“Yeah?” Vance shrugged and lowered his head slowly. “You know, it isn’t a bad thing to forget about him for a minute.”

“Dad did something mean to us. He left us. Not only that, he found himself a new woman in a short amount of time. You would think that he would be mourning Mom. Instead, he throws her away like a shoe.”

“What makes you say that?”

“He’s writing us?”

“That doesn’t mean anything.”

“Well how about this.” Vance pulled a postcard out of his pocket and handed it to Jose. Jose scanned through the words. It didn’t indicate anything about a woman. “No, don’t read it, check the posting.”

“San Diego, so what?”

“No, the address he sends it from. It is a house number not on base. He sent me one last week too. Same place.”

“That doesn’t mean he has a wife.” Vance shook his head. “What?”

“You wouldn’t understand.”

“What do you mean I wouldn’t understand? Come on Vance, try me.”

“When Dad gave us letters from his away missions, the postage said it was from the US. He rarely came home.” Jose crocked an eyebrow.

“That doesn’t mean anything.”

“No seriously, he had vacation time—time between missions. People from his unit would come back to the base. He wouldn’t.”

“So what are you saying?”

“I think Dad was cheating on Mom.”

“Are you sure?”

“I am positive. I am so sure of it I would bet my life on it. He was a cheater. I know he was.” Jose’s eyes widened.

“Dang.”

“Yeah no kidding—I wasn’t too impressed by this either.” Well mine are pretty wide too. My eyes I mean. Jessie Duke and Jesse Duke were dang good friends.

Jessie was a wonderful mother. She not only loved her own two sons, Vance and Luke. No, Jessie absolutely adored Jesse’s kids and Cal’s kids. She would treat all of them like they were her own.

Now tell me ladies and gentlemen, how fair would that be? To have someone you loved—I couldn’t imagine it. Oh well, I guess we’re holding on for more on this subject. Don’t worry y’all, the mystery will be solved by Bo Duke later on in Hazzard County.

3

“Honey, I need to get back to work tilling the ground,” Jose announced as he walked out of his house. Paige ran out and gave him a kiss.

“Did you think you did any good talking to Vance?” Paige asked. She kissed him again. Jose nodded. “Good, you always can play the man talk button.” Jose kissed Paige affectionately. She smiled.

“You are a wonderful wife. I hope you always know how much I love you.”

“I do, Jose, I really do.”

“Thank goodness.”

“You are the best husband too. You do so much for this family.”

“None of it would be possible without you my love.”

“Do you have any idea how hard it is for me to leave you right now?” Paige began to laugh as she shook her head. “No really, you are so beautiful and so wonderful. I just can’t leave.”

“I know you don’t want to but I know you need to.”

“One dance is all I need.” He pulled Paige close. She began laughing as she shook her head.

“There’s no music.”

“Sure there is.” He grabbed her arms and put them around his neck. They slowly swayed to the music. “Can’t you hear it?”

“Nope.”

“It is a Trace Adkins song.” Paige laughed.

“I haven’t heard him for years.”

“Mostly on Dad’s CD player huh?”

“Yep, right on my Dad’s CD player.” Jose twirled his wife around and around. She brought him closer, resting her head on his shoulder.

“Here comes the good part.” Jose grabbed Paige’s hand, he twirled her around and dipped her. Paige couldn’t stop laughing. He dipped down to her level and kissed her gently. She laughed through the kiss.

“Thank you for this dance.”

“Now, I have got to get to that tractor.” Paige nodded. Jose walked out towards where he normally left the tractor. He had a huge smile on his face. After all, the dance with his wife was wonderful. I would have been smiling too.

As the tractor came into focus, Jose noticed someone playing under the hood. Now friends and neighbors, there are two things you don’t do to a man. One, you don’t injure his pride. Two, you never look, long or steal anything out from under his hood.

Now I know this is a tractor but to Jose, that is his life line. Tractors are just as much a part of the family as a car. So don’t you mess with them y’hear? It just ain’t nice.

This man here was not only looking and longing. No, this man did want to have his parts. For what reason, you ask? Why to sell of course. Why else to crooks like to go under the hood of a vehicle?

“HEY!” Jose exclaimed. The man looked up at Jose, you could see the anger in both men’s eyes. “Fella, this is my farm and my stuff. If you want to have it you’re going to have to go through me.”

“My pleasure,” The man replied. He laughed hard as he looked at Jose, a mature middle aged man. “I shouldn’t fight someone as old as you.”

“You’re calling me old?”

“Your skin speaks for itself.”

“Well you young inexperienced tick, you have no idea what you’re up against.”

“Yes I do, someone old.”

“I am goanna enjoy this.”

“Not as much as I will.” His dark brown hair waved in the wind. He was a younger man, in his mid twenties. The man was large looking to say the least. Who would have thought all of that could be muscle?

Jose got into a fighting stance. The crook made the first shot, right in Jose’s nose. As Jose’s eyes teared up, he hit him in the stomach which knocked the wind right out of Jose. He continued to beat on Jose, punching and kicking.

The minute Jose wasn’t able to get back up, the crook laughed—almost cackling like a witch. He grabbed onto the screw driver and finished the job. He pulled the engine apart, piece by piece. All the while Jose lied there groaning and moaning.

Now friends, this doesn’t look too good do it now? Poor Jose is stuck on the ground unable to move. All he can do is watch as this thief goes through his car parts. Now would you be upset? I am just watching it.

“Thanks for the car parts mister,” The crook said.

“Don’t—get—too—comfortable with them,” Jose said, through the pain.

“What are you going to stop me? Your neighbors didn’t stop me, what makes you think that you can you old man?”

“You—you will find out. You—you can’t stay hidden forever. Soon—sooner or later you’ll be dragged in.”

“I am sure I will. In the meantime, I will drive away with my new found goods.”

“I hope—you—you like prison.” The crook growled at Jose.

“You shut up.”

“You know—people don’t—really—really like to let people like you go free.”

“What would you know about it?”

“I—I just know.”

“Well I will show you what you know, you stupid man.” He kicked him in the head.

Back at the house, Paige was not aware at all of what was going on. That is until she saw a strange car driving on her property. She ran out to find her husband. Paige seemed baffled as she called for Jose; especially when her husband didn’t answer back.

As she saw him though, lying by the mutilated tractor, she screamed. Paige bit on her bottom lip. She tried to revive her husband but it was no use. She knew what she had to do, call an ambulance.

4

Coy and Vance walked into the emergency room as fast as they could. As they saw their aunt, both walked even faster towards her. Paige was bent over. She had her hands clasped on her forehead. Now considering her husband was in the hospital, she seemed to be doing okay.

Vance cleared his throat. Paige looked up and tried to smile weakly. “Auntie Paige where’s da—I mean Uncle Jose?” Vance questioned.

“Yeah, is he okay?” Coy asked.

“Cool your heels boys,” Paige said.

“How can we?”

“We got a call out of class and told to drive to the hospital? How would you react?” Vance inquired.

“I don’t like this at all…what happened to him exactly?”

“He’s been x-rayed poked and prodded. Your Uncle has a few broken ribs. He has a bad concussion,” Paige began.

“What about internal bleeding?” Vance queried.

“The doctors say there’s no sign of internal bleeding.”

“That’s good.”

“The nurse said he was pretty lucky that it was only the ribs that were broken.”

“Anything else wrong with him?” Coy asked.

“He is pretty bruised and banged up but he’ll be okay. There is one problem though.”

“What?”

“He’s going to have to sit the rest of the planting season out. With you boys in school…”

“Auntie Paige, I don’t have to go. Vance and I will stay home and…”

“I don’t think so.”

“But Auntie…”

“Coy, you may think that this would be a help to us but really, it wouldn’t be.”

“Call me crazy Auntie Paige but you know as well as I do, you can’t handle a tractor to save your life,” Vance pointed out.

“Yeah, I know that, Vance.”

“If we don’t get the seeds planted we’re in big trouble. Think about it, milk and egg money only goes so far. We’ll be in poor town before you know it.”

“I thought of all of that. I know that’s the least of the problems. This all happened to your uncle because someone was robbing our tractor parts. That model is useless. I need to take out a second mortgage to pay for it.”

“Oh great, how are we going to have enough money to live now?”

“Yeah? So you will let us stay home?” Coy asked.

“I don’t think so,” Paige replied.

“Then what are you goanna do?”

“I called up your Uncle Jesse, he’s going to send Daisy to help around here—just until the planning season is done.”

“Daisy? A girl?” Vance said, rather surprised.

“I’ll have you know that before you boys came here, Daisy stayed practically every single summer. She can drive anything and everything.”

“Do you think that’s a good idea?” Coy asked.

“Yeah, that’ll kill Uncle Jose’s pride. I mean he always loves to work out there. I am sure if you give him a couple of weeks he’ll…” Vance started.

“No, the doctor said no heavy lifting for six months. Broken ribs are a serious deal, boys. You know, if he moves the wrong way they could break off and do some real internal damage,” Paige cut in.

“You’re right. I still think Uncle Jose won’t like the help though,” Coy mumbled.

“Yeah well that’s tough.”

“Tough what?” Jose asked as a nurse wheeled him out of the room. You could see the bruises on his face.

“You’re going to bed right when we get home.”

“Paige I’m…”

“Broken?”

“Okay, okay…I’ll go to bed but in a couple of days…”

“You’ll rest.”

“I’ll rest—I don’t see why you have to be so hard on me.”

“Mrs. Duke I need you to fill out some paper work for me,” The nurse cut in.

“Sure,” Paige replied. She looked at Jose and then at the boys. Coy and Vance shrugged, thinking they did something off beam. “You boys better keep an eye on him.” They nodded. Paige walked away.

“What happened?” Vance asked his uncle.

“Yeah, why didn’t you cream the sucker? You could have killed him,” Coy added. Jose shook his head.

“Nah, this cream puff was more like a hero sandwich,” Jose replied.

“That big?”

“Uh huh, Coy…I could say he was bigger.”

“Like King Kong big or Godzilla big?”

“Godzilla without the fire power—well unless you count the punches.” Vance shook his head.

“How can you make jokes at a time like this?” Vance asked.

“Oh come on, he has just been through something terrible, it is good to laugh it up,” Coy replied. Vance messed up his hair. “Oh my gosh, why did you do that? Where’s the bathroom…oh never mind, I will find it myself.” Vance began laughing.

“Why do you do that?” Jose asked.

“It’s funny,” Vance replied. Jose glared at his nephew. “What? When he learns his hair isn’t all that important he’ll be a better man.”

“You honestly think he’ll learn that?” Vance’s eyes shifted.

“No.” Jose laughed as he shook his head. He grabbed onto his ribs.

“Don’t make me laugh it hurts.”

“Sorry Dad—err, I mean Uncle Jose.”

“Hey, if it makes it easier you can call me Dad.”

“Are you serious?”

“Yeah—Vance, Coy has wanted to call us Mom and Dad for the longest time. When he hears you call us Paige and Jose, he rather does a three sixty.” Vance smiled.

“Thanks—Dad.” Jose had a big smile roll across his face. “Do you think Paige will mind?”

“Mind what?”

“If I call her mom.”

“Mind? Heck, she’ll have a bird she’ll be so excited. You know, Vance you never give her enough credit. She loves you.”

“I always felt like a burden to her—and to you.”

“You know, not matter where we go or what we say, I’ll always love you. You’re never a burden.”

“You mean it?”

“I do, I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t mean it Vance. When Jesse asked if y’all could stay here, I was thrilled to say the least. I wanted y’all here.”

“You’re just saying that.”

“No really. You two have helped me in more ways than you’ll ever know. Some people find a great void when their children leave.”

“You miss them a lot.”

“I do.”

“So having us around…kind of helped you out in that situation?”

“Helped? Vance, it saved us both. Paige and I needed something to come into our lives. When Coy walked in with his weird girly habits, it made me laugh.”

“Funny, it makes me want to hit him.” Jose laughed and shook his head.

“I love you.”

“I love you too.” Vance smiled. He gave his Uncle a hug. Now ain’t that a nice change? Well you know what though? There’s goanna be a big happenings around. After all, the boys don’t like when their kin is abused like that.

5

Daisy walked into the house, completely parched. She looked at Paige who was just coming out with a tray of food. “How is he?” Daisy asked as she grabbed a glass from the cupboard.

“Asleep. You know, this took a lot out of him,” Paige replied. Daisy filled up her cup of water. Paige put the dishes down on the counter. She opened up the dishwasher and stuck them in.

“Yeah, well that would take something away from anyone.” Paige smiled and shook her head. “You know, he really does love the adventure.”

“I know he does.”

“When I took him his dinner last night, he was telling me how much he missed Hazzard sometimes.” Paige smiled.

“So do I but I think of all the memories we have made for ourselves here.”

“You have a lot of memories.”

“Yeah I do, both in Hazzard and here. My children grew up here. You came over and spend time with us which was wonderful to say the least. I have a change of heart every single time I think of the memories.” Paige closed the dishwasher.

“Oh I think of Hazzard County the same way.”

“Oh yeah? I thought you said that you loved Hazzard.”

“Oh, I do. I absolutely adore Hazzard County. Oh Paige, I don’t know how you could have left.”

“Sometimes, I don’t know either.” Daisy smiled. She began showing her mime abilities as she talked.

“Oh the car chases are amazing. One time, I was driving General Lee and there was this huge car behind me. I was so worried because he was shooting and everything.”

“What did you do?”

“Bo and Luke were borrowing Dolly to go Boar hunting. Well I drove, they took the guy off the road by shooting out the tires.”

“Sometimes….”

“Sometimes I miss Chicago.” Daisy sighed. She smiled weakly. “I don’t know why but I guess it is just like that. I miss my friends. I miss my mom at times.”

“That’s perfectly normal.”

“You think?”

“Oh yeah, it is very normal to miss everything.”

“Yet at the same time, I love Hazzard.” Daisy smiled. “Other times I miss Wichita. Still, the memories in Hazzard County are so wonderful.”

“You know, I always wondered why you didn’t run away to Wichita. Your mother thought that would be the first place you would go to.”

“You wanna know a secret?”

“Sure.”

“I was planning on coming here.” Paige began laughing and she shook her head. “No really, I wanted to come here. Being here was the best thing that ever happened to me.”

“What happened?”

“I got on the wrong shipping truck.” Paige suddenly looked at her watch. “What is it?”

“They should have been home an hour ago—they have a half day today because the middle school is coming to see what the school looks like.” Paige swallowed hard.

“What?”

“I think they…pulled a Bo and Luke.” Daisy’s eyes widened with excitement. “Woe, hold on a minute.” Paige put up her hands, almost as if she was trying to hold back Daisy’s thought. “I am not sure about this. I am just guessing now.”

“Oh boy, you think they went after the crook?”

“Well ten additional farms have been hit.” Daisy rubbed her chin. She thought about reasons why Bo and Luke would have been upset. “Two more men were beaten up.”

“Yeah, that and I was telling stories about my cousin’s many adventures.”

“What? Last night?”

“Yeah, I must have given them ideas.”

“You don’t think that made them do anything do you?” Daisy went silent. She looked away. “Daisy Duke! Answer me young lady.”

“I don’t know, when I first got hold of what they did in Hazzard County, I wanted to do everything the same as my cousins.”

“You have got to be kidding me. Those were stories. What makes you think my boys with go for it?”

“Simple Auntie Paige, they have got Duke Blood running through their veins.”

“What is that supposed to mean?” Daisy tried to think of how to explain it. She looked confused until finally, something popped into her head.

“Dukes are born to go for adventures. You can stick a Duke in a boarding school and he or she will be so bored they’ll find adventure.”

“Example?”

“I used to pull pranks on teachers. The not getting caught part was the adventure.”

“You don’t do that in Hazzard do you?”

“No, but that’s because I get what I need out of Hazzard.”

“So you think they are out there?”

“No, I don’t think they are out there.” Paige sighed, a great sigh of relief. “I know they are out there.” So much for that huh? Now Paige looked worried once again.

“Are you sure?”

“Uh huh, I sure am.”

“How do you know?” Ladies and gentlemen, it seemed like Paige was taking Daisy in circles. Daisy and Bo have one thing in common. Both don’t like to repeat themselves. Daisy will do it anyway—simply out of protest.

“If Coy and Vance have any Duke in them, they will be looking for this guy who bashed in someone, who has been a father to them.”

“They’ll do this because of Jose?” Daisy nodded softly. Paige placed her hands on her hips.

“Oh yeah, of course they will. Soon, they will get themselves in trouble.”

“Why?”

“Because that’s what all Dukes do.”

“I see.”

“After a long set of trouble, the crooks will get rid of them. Therefore, I am goanna take my Dolly and look for them.”

“Daisy…”

“You stay here and take care of Uncle Jose.”

“Daisy I…”

“Don’t worry, they’ll be fine—if I find them.” Paige shook her head. You could see the fear in her eyes. Daisy knew it too. “I promise, nothing will happen to me.”

“You shouldn’t go.”

“Come again?”

“If anyone should be going, I should. I mean one they’re my boys. And two, I don’t want anything to happen to you. Do you understand that?”

“Are you kidding me?”

“No, I think you should stay here.”

“I think that you’re worrying for nothing.”

“Daisy, if they’re in trouble you will be caught right in the middle of it.”

“I brought my dynamite arrows with me.” Daisy walked out of the house. Paige followed her, shaking her head the whole time. “A precaution I always take when going on an adventure.”

“You may be an adult but we’re in my home. We’re going back inside to discuss this.” Paige pulled Daisy back into the house.

“The longer we discuss this, the longer it will take to get your boys back. That means that we might not get them back if you understand what I am getting at.”

“You don’t think they’ll have guns?” Daisy rolled her eyes and crossed her arms. “It is a simple question, do you think they will have guns.”

“Of course they have guns.” Daisy shook her head no. “Oh come on Auntie Paige, I have done it thousands of times. Look at me, I am still standing.”

“In Hazzard, you have.”

“There is no difference.”

“There very well could be.”

“I could go after people in Asia and still be able to do it. I have gone against tougher crooks than that. Coy and Vance have no experience. You said it yourself, you’re more of an indoor girl.”

“Well…”

“Thanks Auntie.” Daisy kissed her aunt on the cheek. “You’re the best.” Daisy walked out of the house and got into the car. Okay, I told you the action was starting. Y’all had better hold on, you know that this is goanna be rough.

6

As Daisy was driving, she noticed a tractor heading for Arkansas River. Now even if that were normal she would have gone to see what was going on. When you see two figures running behind it, you certainly know there is something wrong.

Daisy turned onto the grass. She pulled up beside them. Yup, sure enough, it was Coy and Vance. “Oh Daisy thank goodness its you. We can’t stop the dang thing,” Coy announced.

“Don’t worry. I’ll get ya out of this,” Daisy replied. She drove ahead of them.

“I thought she was getting us out of this not leaving us.”

“Coy, don’t be so…shameless, she’s coming back,” Vance told his cousin. Daisy drove to a tree heading in their direction.

“What is she doing?” She climbed up faster than a monkey. “Woe, I wish I could do that.”

“You could if you weren’t worried about ruining your hair.”

“You’re right.” As the tractor came along, Daisy jumped in the driver’s seat. “YAY GO DAISY!” She turned it off just before in went into the water. Now Daisy was staring at the two boys.

“Thanks Daisy, you saved our bacon.”

“I mean we thought we were goanna die.”

“You stopped it.”

“Thanks for caring enough to save us.”

“Yeah we mean that.”

“You were almost drowning pigs. Y’all were so close to the bottom it ain’t even funny. What possessed you to do such a thing? Ya don’t go after crooks without something to help you,” Daisy lectured.

“Daisy—it was a matter of pride and…” Vance began.

“You don’t fight for pride. You fight because it is the right thing to do. What does pride bring? Do you have any idea?”

“Ah…”

“That’s what I thought, pride brings greed and greed breaks you down until you have nothing left. You both almost let that happen today.”

“We didn’t mean to get ourselves in this much trouble.” Daisy grabbed a sewing kit out of the back of her jeep. She took out a pin. Daisy began undoing the handcuffs.

“How did you learn how to pick locks?” Coy asked.

“Your brother taught me,” Daisy replied.

“Bo?”

“Perfect Bo?” Vance questioned.

“Who ever said he was perfect?” Daisy inquired. Coy and Vance looked at each other. “They’s on probation ain’t they?” Coy’s arm was freed. He grabbed onto his wrist, rubbing it tenderly.

“We always just saw them as…”

“What, you thought they were saints?”

“Yeah,” Coy replied. Daisy laughed and shook her head. She began to work on Vance’s hand. “They always seemed to do so much better in school than us.”

“Well let’s see, Bo sleeps through class and has detention practically everyday. He leaves his socks everywhere in the house. Why? Well he doesn’t want to wear them and only does because he has to.”

“Luke is perfect though,” Vance mumbled.

“Ha! Luke burns everything he has ever tried to cook. He is always reading.”

“How is that a bad thing?”

“When you do it almost all the time?” Daisy smiled as she shook her head. “Luke may do service but most of the time, he has his mind on what he reads.”

“So they’re not perfect at all?” Coy questioned.

“Not by far, Coy…not by far.” Vance’s lock was undone. He too began to rub his sore wrist. “Well let’s get a move on…oh wait.” Daisy turned the key and the tractor began going again. Everyone walked backwards.

“What did you do that for?”

“To give us an advantage. Now they think you’re dead.”

“We’re not trying again are we?” Vance asked.

“Yeah.”

“Well you saw what happened.”

“I did Vance. That’s why this time, we’re doing things my way.”

“Okay but I think that you’re nuts.”

“We’re goanna have fun. Y’all will figure out how to do it.”

“Hazzard style?”

“I wouldn’t have it any other way.” Uh oh, Daisy is goanna turn them into Bo and Luke? Well this I have to see. These boys are far from Hazzard material. I say that in the nicest way.

Now, they drover over to a very hush-hush hide out which was of course an enormous barn. You see they needed a place for their giant operation. Now I wouldn’t have believed it if I didn’t see it. I mean really, a chop shop for tractors. Most of the men just loaded the tractor on the truck.

The biggest man that Jose was talking about, Randy, would take them apart. Why? Well he knew he could defend himself against anyone. When you’re a big man like ol’ Randy, of course you’re not goanna be afraid of anyone.

One man, Don, was on the phone. He was talking about orders for tractors being shipped to Hazzard County Georgia. I almost choked on my gum when I heard that. Now ain’t that funny how that works?

Bo and Luke would have had to deal with this anyway. So the weird shop that was down the street was goanna have to go out of business. Daisy wondered where these people were getting parts for Hazzard.

Now Bo and Luke were goanna have some fun—well along with them. Daisy smiled and shook her head. She climbed down the backside of the barn.

Daisy walked back to where the boys were hiding out. Coy and Vance seemed very quiet. Daisy knew this would use up her Auntie’s minutes but she was goanna phone Bo and Luke, you know, to have them fix things on their end.

As she made the phone call, Coy and Vance were sort of guarding Dolly. They seemed to think everyone was goanna find them. Daisy had to keep pulling them down. Coy and Vance are jumpy characters, don’t you think?

After making a call to Bo, Luke and Paige, Daisy made one more—to the police. This was pretty smart of her, calling those men in blue I mean. Think about it, there were lots of them. Now for the fun part.

So watch closely y’all, there ain’t no instant replay button. It ain’t been installed. The Dukes are too quick for one anyway. Like watch this. Daisy pulled out some dynamite with longer fuses—low charges though. She wanted to get the men out of the building and then blow it sky high.

Well not before capturing all the evidence on camera. Since Daisy earned a little money over the summer by babysitting. She bought herself a digital camera. Daisy went back in the building yet a second time, despite of worries by the boys.

She shot all sorts of nice pictures from the raptors. You know, them chopping whole ones. Parts being boxed and men talking on the phone. Daisy knew she watched as all these parts were flipped on a truck.

Daisy got out again. She grabbed her bow and arrows. She let the first one fly over in the far corner. The people naturally came out to see what all the hullabaloo was about. As they all made their way out, Daisy shot two arrows, one after another.

As they blew, the building walls crashed down, which ruined the barn. However, the parts were still unharmed and most importantly, practically undamaged.

While Daisy was letting off charges. The boys let the air out of the tires. So when the police came, no one could leave. Pretty good for a short days work, ain’t it?

The crooks went to jail. Daisy got her camera back after all the pictures were downloaded into the police computer. That made her happy. And how about this for an encore presentation? The Dukes were rewarded with a five thousand dollar reward which was used to pay off their loan for the tractor. What did they do with their old tractor?

Well Daisy taught Coy and Vance how to make go-carts. Pretty funny huh? They called Daisy a girl and yet she was better at things like that. Well there you have it folks, a happy conclusion for the Dukes of Kansas.

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