The Man He Used to Be, ch. 10

by: Marty Chrisman

Rainbow Canyon was full of hidden valleys and hollers and unless you knew your way around, it was easy to get lost in there. They drove deep into the Canyon towards the location Pete had given them. It took some doing to get there since there was no road leading to the barn anymore but finally the rundown old building came into view. Not wanting to alert anyone who might there besides Luke, they parked the vehicles a short distance from barn. As they all climbed out and gathered together to discuss their next move, Daisy suddenly grabbed her Uncle’s arm and said in a loud whisper “Uncle Jesse, look!” She pointed towards a large lake not far from the barn. “Down there on the dock!”

Alerted by Daisy’s sharp eyes, everyone turned their attention towards the lake instead of the barn. They could see two men and a woman standing on the old deck at the edge of the lake. There was a third form crumbled on the deck in front of one of the men. They could only assume that the body on the ground was Luke. Slowly, the group started to edge their way closer to the deck.

“You two stay here with Jesse.” Bo said, glancing at Shelby and Daisy. They were within a hundred yards of the trio on the deck and, so far, luck was with them. They hadn’t been noticed. Jesse nodded, putting an arm around each of the girls. Bo, Roscoe and Enos slowly crept closer to the deck.

One of the men reached down and grabbed Luke, who was either dead or unconscious, Bo couldn’t tell which. He lifted Luke’s body into an upright position just as Roscoe announced their presence by yelling “Freeze! Just Freeze! You’re all under arrest!”

The man holding Luke responded by pulling a gun and pressing the barrel against the side of Luke’s head. “Stay back!” he yelled back “Or I’ll put a bullet in his brain right now!”

Unable to help herself, Daisy screamed Luke’s name when she saw the man holding a gun to her cousin’s head. Instinctively, the man holding Luke swung his gun in the direction of Daisy’s scream and fired. That was when all hell broke loose. Several things happened simultaneously. Roscoe fired back at the man holding Luke. He hit him and the man fell backwards into the lake, taking Luke with him. The other man tried to run only to be tackled by Enos who wrestled him to the ground. Bo and Shelby both took off running towards the lake, Bo hit the water first with Shelby not far behind as they dove in to try and rescue Luke. And Christy darted to the left to try and get to her car which was parked behind the barn only to run into Daisy who raised her fist and punched her in the jaw with a perfect right hook. Christy went down with Daisy on top of her. Filled with rage at what the other woman had done, Daisy kept punching until Jesse grabbed her arm and pulled her off the other woman. Christy was out cold.  Enos handcuffed his suspect and Roscoe handcuffed Christy, while Daisy and Uncle Jesse both ran to the edge of the deck, their eyes anxiously scanning the surface of the lake for some sign of Luke, Bo or Shelby.

Meanwhile, Bo and Shelby were frantically looking for Luke, trying to see through the murky water of the lake. Bo finally saw a body lying on the bottom of the lake and dove down, relieved to discover that it was Luke and not the other man. He grabbed Luke under his left arm (Luke’s hands were tied behind his back) just as Shelby appeared beside him and grabbed Luke under the right arm. Together, they headed for the surface with Luke between them.

They were both gasping for air as they surfaced a few feet from the deck. Jesse and Daisy both reached out frantically to help get all three of them out of the water. They grabbed Luke and pulled him onto the deck, laying him on his back just as Bo and Shelby climbed out of the lake. Leaning over his cousin, Bo quickly felt for a pulse.

“He’s not breathing!” Bo said anxiously. Immediately, Bo and Shelby started CPR, with Bo doing the chest compressions and Shelby breathing into Luke’s mouth. Tears streamed down Daisy’s face as she watched Shelby and Bo trying to get Luke breathing again. Jesse wrapped his arm around Daisy and held her close, praying silently that they weren’t too late. Even in the darkness, they could all see Luke’s cut and bruised face. He had obviously been severely beaten. They also saw the other injuries on his body, the cuts, the burns, the scratches.

Every few seconds, Bo would pause while Shelby checked Luke’s neck for a pulse. Fear gripped Daisy and Jesse’s heart each time Shelby shook her head, indicating that Luke still wasn’t breathing. They had been joined by Roscoe and Enos, who were watching just as anxiously and hoping just as hard that Luke wasn’t dead.

“He’s breathing!” Shelby said the fourth time she checked for a pulse.

“We gotta get him to the hospital right now.” Bo said, gathering Luke up in his arms. There was no time to worry about any other injuries Luke might have, to save his life they had to get him medical help immediately.

“Git him in the truck!” Jesse ordered “I’ll drive”

“Enos’ll give you an escort.” Roscoe said “I can take care of things here.”

Enos ran to his squad car, while Jesse, Shelby and Daisy ran to other cars. Bo followed with Luke in his arms. After gently laying Luke in the back of the pickup, it was quickly decided that Shelby would ride in the back with Bo since she knew CPR too, Jesse would drive the truck and Daisy would drive the General. With Enos’ squad car in the lead, the siren blaring, they took off for the closest hospital which was in Chickasaw County just across the county line, approximately a fifteen minute drive. Ole Jesse made in eight. At the hospital, an emergency team quickly disappeared with Luke through the swinging doors into the emergency room, leaving the family to wait anxiously for news.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *