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Enos looked to MaryAnne after she reassured about his sister and instructed him on his mission, "No MaryAnne, I don't have any."

He then glanced over to the man named Alex to see what he might be up against if there was a conferation. Just as he stepped in the direction of the cell the outside door swung open. Everyone looked up to see who it was.

It was Val. She stood in the doorway and looked madder than a cat dropped in a water trough. She turned her head toward the cells and glared at the Duke behind the iron bars. She didn't say a word to him. He was where he needed to be as far as she was concerned.

"Val! MaryAnne was right. You are ok!" Enos smiled and walked over to his sister then realized her demeaner, "What's the matter?"

She looked up at him with a slight hurt felt expression and spoke to him in a hushed tone, "I hate bein' lied to."

"Don't worry about that... I have to escort Alex over there." He gestured to toward Alex's cell.

"Escort?" She looked at him strangely.

"Yeah, all three of them are going to be escorted out of town."

"WHAT!" She hissed to her brother.

"Val! Easy... look if you want to help me ya can tag along if it's ok with MaryAnne. Unless she would rather you help her or Sheriff Rosco." He answered her.

"That turkey shouldn't be escorted out of town! He should be hung!" She whispered back to Enos as she thumbed toward Chet.

"Val! Bit yer tongue... it ain't yer call." Enos replied back then looked over to MaryAnne, "MaryAnne is it alright if Val helps me escort Alex? Or do you or Sheriff Rosco need help?"

(cue Anyone)

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"What...no breackfast before were shipped out?" Chest replied sarcastically.

His brow furrowed, his eyes cold and steady with anger. Both Brian and Alex knew what direction he was going. They would beable to find him with ease, he knew they weren't stupid, it would just be a matter of time before they back shot him right out of his saddle.

Chet began to strut around the cell's edge in furry, there was no point of even trying to run, he'd be better off letting MaryAnne and Rosco hang him right there in town. Furiously he threw his duster against the locked cell door and continued his enraged pacing.

The young Duke boy had been mad, real mad at what the two slicks had done to him, ruining all his plans and everything. Then Alex had the nerve to gut shoot him, and leave him lying in town for dead. Suddenly Chet slammed his back against the cell door and slide down it until he came to rest on the floor, his spurs racking there way across the floor.

"Its all nice and generous of you MaryAnne to let us off with just a warning to never come back to this town." Chet said his voice a snap and his back facing the deputies. "But why dont you just give Brian or Alex a gun right here, right now and let them kill me." Chet paused and his eyes drifted to the floor, admitting that he was beat was one of the hardest things he'd ever done. "Om' hurting from my wounds... I'll never get outta the state alive with them slicks knowin which direction Im going..."

Chet looked up, his cold eyes landing first on Alex with a vengful gaze and then gracing Brian's appearence with there stare.

(Cue Brian or Alex)

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Chet's outburst alarmed Brian. If the fool Duke ticked off the law bad enough, all bets could be off. And if MaryAnne got mad enough to hang one of them, she'd probably hang all three. She had, after all, given them the same deal at the outset.

Casting a quick glance at Alex, Brian shook his head in silent warning. They couldn't afford to react. Chet evidently felt he had nothing to lose, and was trying to get himself hung here and now. It might be victory enough for the bullet-ridden Duke, to see his enemies dragged to the gallows with him.

(Cue Alex )

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Alex sat quietly on his cot, his long legs drawn up close to his body. He listened to the plans made and the escorts assigned, giving no comment or protest. He would ride east with a pair of siblings which suited Alex just fine, at least it wouldn't be a quiet and lonely ride out of town.

His thoughts were broken by activity in the cell in front of him, Chet had asked the Deputy about breakfast and begun to pace back and forth. Alex rolled his eyes at this and shook his head, leave it to Chet to make a jackass out of himself at every given moment. The Deputy's decision to throw the three outlaws out of town instead of hanging them was a gift, but of course the horse thief didn't have the sense the good Lord gave a mule to see it that way. The more this rustler opened his mouth, the deeper a grave he seemed to be making for himself.

No longer wearing out the floor, Chet had turned his attention to the cell beside him. A cold and hateful gaze came Alex's way, the promise of led reflected in Chet's eyes. Alex returned the glare, though unlike the staring weasel, he kept his mouth shut.

Turning in the direction of the other cell, Alex saw Brian shake his head and gave a short nod of acknowledgement. Alex wasn't about to say one word that might inspire the Deputy to change her mind.

The lipflapping skunk was right about one thing though...now the three men knew exactly which direction each of them was going. Whether this was a good or bad thing, remained to be seen...

(Cue Anyone!)

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  • 2 weeks later...

(Call me the worst names in your vocab you slicks, but I aint leaving this town the same time you are. Not unless Im strapped over the back of my horse and dead as a bug in a hot skillet!!!)

An idea suddenly struck Chet, he knew if he left that morning at the same time as Brian an Alex that he would never have a chance to get away from them. An there was no way of striking out infront of them but.... there was a way of making sure he left after them.

It was going to be a somewhat stupid and rash move on his part but it was the only way he could think of to make sure he left behind Brian and Alex. The black haired Duke boy turned over onto his knees an grasped the bars of the cell doors in each fist.

For a long moment he stared at the bars, was this really what he wanted to do, was there no other way? No... this was the only way without facing shear death in itself. Chet looked up at the female deputy from where he knelt on the floor of the cell. His face rough looking and dirty from the scuffle that had occured during the night.

Long moments passed as he stared at her, unsure if she should plead silently for her to help him escape the grasp of the two slicks or if he should plain plead for more mercy. What ever he pleaded for he hopped some how she would understand why he did what he was about to do to himself. He glanced at the two slicks, his exspression wide eyed and crazy looking, but also a cold glare of vengence.

Suddenly he attention returned to the bars before him, with all his strength he grasped them tight and pulled himself into them bring his forhead down as hard as he possibly could. The move Chet made was effective in the exact mannor that he intended.

The dull ringing of the bars echoed through the building as Chet's body slumped to the floor chest down, the top of his head against the bars. As the bars ceased there ringing from being stricken the Duke boy lay on the floor unconscious, a stream of blood seeping from a fresh gash on his forehead.

(Cue Brian, Alex or MaryAnne.)

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The errant Duke slumped to the floor of his cell. Ordinarily, Brian wouldn't have been displeased at the sight. But he understood Chet's motive; the rustler didn't want to be hunted down.

He wanted to do the hunting.

However, Chet had made a serious error in knocking himself out, and Brian started to laugh as he realized it. He gripped the bars, threw back his head, and laughed like a maniac. "KHEEHAHAHAHA!!BAHAHAHA!!"

When he noticed that Alex was watching with genuine alarm, Brian explained. "Reeelax, drifter. It's obvious Chet wanted to be the last to go, since he knows our directions and he can pick up our trail. But there's just one thang."

Brian turned to look towards the Hazzard law. "Ya see....MaryAnne is tough, but she's fair. And if she's really serious about givin' us all a sportin' chance to get away from each other....or kill each other later...she'll change those directions, now. One of us will go west instead of Chet...the other will go in an opposite direction than originally stated."

Giving a grim smile, Brian waited for Alex's reaction.....

(cue Alex! )

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Alex had climbed down from his bunk when Chet had hit the floor. He watched the pool of blood form around the less than bright outlaw from the gash in his forehead, courtesy of the cell door. At the sound of Brian's maniacal laughter, Alex turned around and stared at the man in black.

At Brian's explanation, Alex glanced back over his shoulder at the unconscious fool that had mamed himself in the name of safety.

"Desperate men do desperate things Brian, and most of the time they're not the smartest thing to do either."

With a sigh, Alex returned to his cot. "It sure wasn't wise of Chet to insult the Deputy by thinking he could scheme just to get released last." He grinned suddenly and hopped back off the cot and went to the wall where Brian stood.

"Hey...maybe MaryAnne will wake this moron with a bucket of water and make him go first regardless! What do you think?"

(Cue Brian!!)

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"We'll find out in a minute, ah'm sure." Brian's face becamse serious again. "Still, there's a chance Chet could trail one of us. He just can't cherry-pick which one he's followin', not knowin' the directions."

After a pause, the black-clad Coltrane made an offer. "Tell you what, Alex. I'll make a pact with you heah and now. If that Duke cowpie picks up your tracks, and manages to bushwhack you on the trail..."

Brian glanced darkly in Chet's direction. "...then I'll find him, if I have to ride through the streets of Hell. And you'll be avenged...ah swear it. I only ask that you'd do the same for me."

(cue Alex.......)

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Standing face to face, Alex considered Brian's words carefully and the jovial expression dropped from his face. He was right, Chet couldn't follow the both and since he had scores to settle with both of them, it was anyone's guess who Chet would go after. At the offer, Alex nodded and after a moment's consideration he stuck his hand through the bars.

"It's a deal Brian, and I vow the same. I'll follow that low down mangy egg sucking fool 'til Gabriel's trumpet to avenge you. You've got my word on that." His hand held out, he waited for Brian to shake it.

The man in black did without hesitation, their two right hands clasping in a strong shake that not only sealed their pact, but perhaps Chet Duke's fate as well...

(Cue MaryAnne!)

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Rosco and MaryAnne both turned when Chet hit the floor. The two law officers just looked at the pile of outlaw on the floor and both shook their heads.

"That was bright," Rosco commented.

"Damn fool's bleedin' all over my floor..." MaryAnne complained. She sighed and then turned to Rosco, Enos and Val. "Val, you can go with Enos if you like. Rosco, help me pick Chet up off the floor and we'll get this over with."

Rosco nodded. The cell door was unlocked and first MaryAnne took Chet's bandanda and tied it around his head to keep him from bleeding to death. She then picked Chet up by the arms, while Rosco grabbed the young Duke's feet. The hauled him out of the jail house to where the horses are tied.

It took a few minutes, but they managed to get the inert form slung over his horse. To keep the outlaw from sliding off, MaryAnne used Chet's own rope, looping it through his belt, a couple of times around the saddle horn and then tying it around his left arm, near the shoulder.

The two then returned inside the jail house.

MaryAnne's orders were quick and efficient. She told Rosco and Enos to go ahead and let Brian and Alex out of their cells. While they did that, she collected what was left of Chet's guns and whatnot and brought them outside, packing them into the outlaws saddle bags. Everything on Chet's horse, including him, was secured and MaryAnne grabbed hold of the reins, leading the horse closer to Phoenix so she could mount her ride.

Rosco, Enos, Val, Brian and Alex were shuffling their way out of the jail house. MaryAnne mounted her Appaloosa and then sat in the saddle looking at everyone.

"Rosco, Enos, Val...." She waved them closer.

She then leaned down and whispered a course direction correction to them, along with some additional information. "Remember," she said, straightening up in the saddle again, "two miles and then you watch to make sure there's no doubling back."

Rosco nodded. "Don't worry, MaryAnne."

She nodded in return. "I'll see y'all back here later." MaryAnne nudged Phoenix's flanks and the Appaloosa backed up and then turned, heading down the street. The horse moved at a gentle gait, and Chet's tethered horse followed. She appeared to be heading west....but she turned Phoenix down another street and disappeared from sight of the jail house, her final destination, and direction, unknown to Brian and Alex who had been watching.

(cue anyone!)

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While that was going on at the police station…

Bo, Luke, Daisy and Daney were on their way to take the last three horses back to the gentleman they had been stolen from. Chet wouldn’t like it, but Jesse had asked them to right the grievance that the younger boy had committed. It was a quiet journey, the sun shining and a rainbow in the far distance.

(cue anyone!)

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Brian watched MaryAnne ride off with Chet and his horse in tow. There was nothing but cold business in MaryAnne's demeanor; and Brian guessed that Chet was just as well off, being unconcious.

Try as he might, Brian wasn't sure of the direction MaryAnne was heading for. This troubled him; he wasn't keen on the idea of MaryAnne riding off alone with the rustler, and he would have no way of helping her.

He also wouldn't know what direction Chet would be coming from, should the erstwhile Duke decide to intercept an enemy.

Hell, Brian didn't know what direction he was going to be headed for. He opened his mouth to make a wiseacre remark to the Sheriff, thinking to question Rosco's grasp of east vs. west.

But one look into the Sheriff's eyes, and Brian shut up. He had no interest in being flung over his horse like a sack of grits for the ride.

(Cue anybody!)

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Enos and Val had lead Alex out creating an armed guard around the prisoner so he wouldn't leave their sight prematurely. Enos to the right of the bandit, Val was behind. There would be no funny business on their watch. No sir. Enos Strate took his job seriously and his sister knew that. She held her rifle acrossed her chest as she escort the criminal out. If the blond drifter made any false move, she'd spin that rifle into firing position and send a hole through him like a worm through an apple.

But for now, that seemed unessary. Val kept her eyes trained ahead as they approached their mounts.

"Alright, Mr. Jackson, sir, I'm gonna mount my stead while you stand still infront of Val. Now after I have mounted, you can mount your stead. If you try anything, Val here will make ya into baby swiss. Once we're both mounted Val is going to saddle up, then we're headin' out. Do ya have any questions, sir, for we git movin' ?" Enos asked the drifter.

(cue Alex or anyone)

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As MaryAnne had instructed Alex was led out of his cell, escorted by the Strate siblings. He went outside to where the horses were tied and watched with a fair amount of satisfaction at the way Chet Duke had been tied to his saddle. With his rear in the air, the unconscious outlaw looked pretty undignified in that position and Alex almost smiled at the wayward thought of the bound and helpless Duke running into a few lonely cowboys on the trail.

He watched as MaryAnne rode away and sighed, knowing it probably wouldn't be the last time either he or Brian saw the horse thief. Chet would probably come gunning for one or both of them the moment he was awake. These thoughts were suddenly broken by the voice of Enos Strate, Alex listened to all he had to say and shook his head.

"No, no questions." He then moved and stood directly in Val's line of sight while Enos got on his horse, then turned and climbed onto Showdown's back. He gave the buckskin's neck a pat as he watched Val mount her horse.

Whether he liked it or not, he was ready to ride out of Hazzard.

(Cue Anyone!)

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It wasnt long before Chet began to come around an return to consciousness, only ten minutes outside of town he released a groan and wrinkled his brow in discomfort. The steady but bumpy trot of his own horse just about jolted his brains out of his skull. After a few short moments of gathering his thoughts he blinked his eyes and opened them, his mismatched eyes glanced around.

It was obvious that he was slug over his horse and tied down to his saddle in a rather uncomfortable, undesirable position. Slowly he tried to move but found himself securely held in place by his very own rope. Chet bent his head up an tried to look over Red's thick neck, but unfortunetly he could not bend far enough.

"Could you please untie me so I can sit up..." His head spun with dizziness for a few moments before he could reply with anything more. "My wounds are killing me."

(Cue Anyone.)

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"You really think sittin' up in the saddle is gonna be any more comfortable?" MaryAnne made no move to stop her horse or Red but did slow to a more comfortable walk. "Besides, I've been a deputy long enough to know atleast three or four tricks you could pull the minute I let you down off that saddle. You knock me cold, take off on your horse and probably take mine with ya, seeing your found of horse theivin'. Nope, you're stayin' like that until we're two miles out."

(cue anybody)

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"Whatever you say deputy, but just so you know. I could pulled alot of stunts on you back there to hurt you... but did I? No I didnt." Chet paused and pressed against the ropes holding him in irritation.

"My quarrels not with you anyway... Sure I'm a horse thief so what, we all make our living some how. Even you! Especially you deputy!" Chet said matter a factly.

(Cue anyone.)

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"What the hells the difference?" Chet replied looking to make a point here. "We both do things to make a living and survive, I know your just doing your job and I respect you for that. But Im still a human being, an as soon as we get 2 miles out your gonna untie me an send me on my way." He paused an leaned against the ropes holding him.

"Whats the difference between untying me now an letting me ride proper like in the saddle for the next mile and a half er' so, then not untying me and leaving me in this unpleasant position? My point is, you got to untie me anyway, why not do it now and let me ride comfortably."

(Cue Anyone)

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Enos and Val flanked both sides of Alex. They started toward the edge of town and Enos guided Alex in the direction in which MaryAnne had instructed. In his mind he kept thinking about her instructions. Two miles then no doubling back, two miles and no double back...

Val kept Whisper steady and her rifle across her lap as she rode. She also kept a trained eye on Alex. She watched with suspicon and caution as they rode. Enos was depending on her to make sure Alex didn't cross the line.

"Just keep riding the direction 'E' tells ya and you'll be fine." She replied watching the drifter.

(cue Alex or anyone else on another thread)

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Alex sat atop of Showdown, gripping the Buckskin's reigns firmly. He rode between two armed siblings, who seemed to be taking the job the Deputy had given them extremely seriously.

Enos seemed deep in thought and Val kept an eagle eye on every move Alex made. She looked ready to dispense some frontier justice at a moment's notice, and that thought didn't set well with the outlaw. Val's words forced Alex to look at her once more, seeing the way she held her rifle across her lap, with a quick snap of a wrist she could have it cocked and aimed right at him. But despite this fact, he raised his chin and looked Val straight in the eye as he answered her.

"A lot of things can happen in two miles Miss Strate...perhaps you best remember that."

With that, Alex turned back and stared straight ahead as they rode towards the end of Hazzard and the woods beyond it.

(Cue Anyone!)

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MaryAnne sighed and was about to tell Chet to just be quiet when she noticed a cloud of dust on the trail in the distance ahead of her. The dust cloud was heavy, indicating more than one horse and that they were coming at a good speed.

Phoenix pulled to stop before MaryAnne had even pulled on the reins. Red stopped too the ears of both horses were flicking back and forth. Something was coming....and MaryAnne couldn't help but think it was trouble.

MaryAnne pulled her bowie knife from her saddle bag and pulled on the tether rope for Red to move up. The ropes that held Chet were cut in quick strikes.

"Get in the saddle, Chet. Company's comin'....and I don't think it's a welcoming commitee..."

(cue anybody)

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"Someones coming?" Chet asked.

He quickly pulled himself up right in the saddle, his feet diving into his stirrups, he grabbed hold of Red's reins as he adjusted his hat. The alarmed sound in the deputies voice made him wary, who could be coming there way at this time of day. Chet gave the reins a gentle pull and moved Red up closer to the deputies horses rear, hopping that the mare would not kick. Red's tethered rope still in the deputies grasp.

"Please let go of my horse, I'm unarmed and I've got no where to run." Chet whispered pleading her to release her hold on his horse.

The young rustler knew that he had no gun an that settling behind the deputy would be a wise decision, after all she got paid to get shot at. None the less a feeling of worry and wonder settled over him.

"Who do you think it is?" He asked, his eyes intent in the direction of the dust.

(Cue anyone.)

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Enos kept a mental tally to himself as they rode. They were approaching the two mile line. Soon he'd have to turn Alex loose, and the statement he just made seemed unsettling for some reason. Yet Enos knew that sometimes assuming things could get a person into more trouble. He knew his sister however was watching Alex like a hawk.

Slowing his horse down as they drew nearier to the two mile line he glanced over at Alex and Val answered in an uneasy breath, "Yer right alot can happen in two miles... but let's all make sure not much happens"

He looked toward the wooded area and gauged a place where he would tell Alex that it was time for them to part ways. A Georgia pine tree stood in Enos's view and he choose it as his point for Alex's release, "When we reach that pine, I'm turnin' ya lose."

(cue anyone)

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Alex gazed up ahead at the tall pine tree that Enos mentioned and nodded. The sooner he was released and free of the double helping of Strates, the better he would be. He had an uneasy feeling in the pit of his stomach, his instincts warning him of trouble that might be coming.

The vow Alex had made to Brian stuck out in his mind, a pact between the outlaws to avenge one another should Chet take his revenge. But was Chet the threat that flared his instincts? Or was it someone else?

The question would remained unanswered until Alex reached the two mile mark and was allowed to go free.

The pine tree loomed up ahead and Alex could feel his hands tighten on Showdown's reigns. When the word was given he would urge the buckskin to take off as fast as he could, but whether Alex was riding from trouble or straight into it, the outlaw couldn't be sure...

(Cue Brian!)

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