The Man He Used to Be, ch. 5

by: Marty Chrisman

Bo and Jesse looked up from their work as a black horse came galloping across the field towards them. As the horse got closer, they could see that the rider was Shelby Lynn. From the way she approaching, both Dukes knew something had to be wrong. She reined Lobo in and jumped off his back at the same time. Breathlessly, she said,

“Somebody just grabbed Luke up on Hunter Ridge.”

“What?” Jesse and Bo both exclaimed simultaneously

“There were two men on Hunter Ridge Road acting like they had car trouble. Luke pulled over to help them and they pulled guns on him.”

“Is he hurt?” Jesse asked anxiously.

“I don’t know. He tried to fight ‘em but they got the best of him. I think they knocked him out before they put him in the car.”

“We best get to the house and call Roscoe.” Jesse said grimly “Shelby, you best come with us. Roscoe will most likely wanna talk to you.”

“Uncle Jesse, maybe I should go see if I can find Luke.” Bo said in a worried voice

“No, you best stay here till we get hold of Roscoe. You don’t even know where to start looking.” Jesse told him firmly

“You think Roscoe’s gonna care about a Duke?” Bo said sarcastically

“Now, Bo…” Jesse said “Roscoe may not care for you boys much but he ain’t gonna stand by and let one of ya get hurt.”

When the Dukes and Shelby got back to the house, Jesse called Roscoe and told him what Shelby had seen. Even though he sounded skeptical, he agreed to come to the farm immediately. True to his word, Roscoe arrived twenty minutes later.

Roscoe listened as Shelby repeated what she had seen.

“Now who on earth would want to grab one of you Dukes?” Roscoe said

“That’s your job, Roscoe. To find out who took Luke.” Bo said dryly

“Well, everybody knows you Dukes ain’t got no money, so it can’t be no kidnapping.”

“Roscoe,” Jesse said in an irritated voice “You’re the sheriff…now, it’s your job to find my boy before something happens to him.”

“Now settle down, Jesse.” Roscoe spluttered. He didn’t want to get old Jesse riled up. “I’ll take a drive out to where this little lady said she saw them men grab Luke and see if I can find any evidence that he was even took.”

“I ain’t lying, Sheriff.” Shelby said, her eyes narrowing. She didn’t like being called a liar. “I saw two men with guns grab Luke and put him in a car and take off with him.”

“Maybe you did and maybe you didn’t. That’s up to me to decide.” Roscoe said

“Roscoe!” Jesse snapped “Quit your jawing and get out there looking for Luke!”

“HeeHeeHee..” Roscoe snickered “I’m gone.”

As the sheriff left, Bo looked at his uncle and said in a disgusted voice, “Roscoe’s gonna be about as much help as a bull at milking time.”

“Is he always like this?” Shelby said with a frown. “If he is, he’s poor excuse for a sheriff.”

“Welcome to Hazzard County.” Jesse told her with a thin smile. “Old Roscoe used to be a pretty good sheriff till his pension got turned down. Then he joined forces with Boss Hogg and got more crooked than a dog’s hind leg.”

“So what are y’all gonna do?” Shelby asked

“Same thing we always do, darling” Bo told her with a grin “Take care of it ourselves.”

“Do y’all mind if I stick around?” Shelby asked “I’d kinda like to see how things turn out.”

“Of course ya can.” Jesse told her “If it weren’t for you, we wouldn’t even have any idea what happened to Luke. Looks like us Dukes are obliged to you again for your help.”

“Jesse, I can’t sit around here” Bo said in a worried voice “I gotta go out looking for Luke.”

“Alright,” Jesse told him “But you be careful and keep in touch on the CB.”

“Yes, Sir.” Bo said as he hurried out the door.

Jesse poured two glasses of lemonade and handed one to Shelby. Sitting back down at the table, he said, “Looks like Luke was lucky you happened to be passing by and seen what happened.”

“Actually, I wasn’t just passing by.” Shelby admitted “I was coming over to see y’all. I found some stuff of granddaddy’s and there was pictures of you and him from the old days that I thought you might like to have.”

“Well, I appreciate that.” Jesse told her with a smile “That’s mighty kind of ya.”

“I’d have brought by sooner but….” She paused, a slight flush creeping into her cheeks “I didn’t wanna give Luke the wrong idea.”

“The wrong idea about what?”

“I saw his wedding ring…..” Shelby said in an uncomfortable voice

“Oh…” Jesse said. He had forgotten that Luke still wore his wedding ring. “Well…I think maybe you got the wrong idea.” When Shelby looked at him with a puzzled frown, he said “Luke’s wife is dead. She died about a year ago.”

“I’m sorry.” Shelby said “I didn’t know.”

“With you living up there on the mountain instead of down here, there’s no way you could have know.” Jesse said

“I saw the ring and just assumed…” Shelby started “Well, never mind what I assumed. I should have known that wasn’t Luke’s style.”

“I think Luke feels like if he takes off his ring, it’ll be like losing her all over again.”

“Now I feel terrible.” Shelby said

“You shouldn’t.” Jesse told her “You should be flattered. You’re the first girl Luke’s been attracted to since Kelly died.”

“What happened to her?”

“She was murdered.” Jesse said solemnly

“What?”

“She was run down by a car on their wedding day. She died six days later and Luke’s the one who had to make the decision to pull the plug.”

“Oh, my god!” Shelby exclaimed, instantly feeling sorry for Luke and what he had been through. “Did they ever catch whoever did it?”

“Yeah,” Jesse shook his head “Some guy who said he was paid to do but he’s never told a soul who hired him.”

“Poor Luke.”

“We were all really worried about him for a ling time. He took it real bad when she died.” Jesse told her. “He’s pretty much back to himself now but you can tell he still misses her.”

“You don’t think what happened to her and whatever happened to Luke today could be connected, do ya?”

“I never thought about that.” Jesse said thoughtfully, mulling over the idea.

“If there is a connection, then it seems to me that it would have to be something they both had in common or somebody they both pissed off.” Shelby said “It might be a place to start looking anyway to try and figure out what’s going on.”

“You could be right,” Jesse said slowly “and if you are then Luke could be a whole lot more trouble then we think.”

 

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