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Christmas Season of Hope


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*Not long after seeing Bo and Luke take off with Connor, Jesse glanced out the window and noticed the sheriff's car go by. He wispered something in Daisy's ear and excused himself from the room.

Daisy continued to teach the students the songs for their upcoming concert.

Outside, Jesse explained to his old friend Ira Grant about the sheriff's car. Ira suggested that Jesse take his car and make sure everything was okay. Jesse thanked him and drove Ira's green 1964 Ford Mustang in the direction the two vehicles were heading*

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"Oh c'mon," Connor states as he watches the sheriff's car behind him a moment before turning around to face Bo, "you're not doing nothing wrong. Why don't you step on it and lose him as you always do?"

"Because you're in the car," Luke quickly answers before breathing in deeply and looks ahead at Bo who continues to drive forward despite his warning to pull over, "Mr. Grant wouldn't trust us with you or anyone of the kids at the orphanage if he found out we were involved in a car chase with you in the car. Especially running from the sheriff. Not only is it dangerous, it is also wrong to go against authority. Like it or not, Sheriff Coltrane is the authority of Hazzard."

"If it's so wrong, then why are the two of you so known for escaping Sheriff Coltrane and for all them car chases y'all are involved in?" Connor questions.

Luke eyes Connor and then up at Bo as the siren continues to wail closely behind them. "Bo, pull it over. Now!" Luke states impatiently before turning to Connor, "Well first of all, it's just us in the car. No kids. Second of all, we only do it out of neccessity of it due to the sheriff's and commissioner's constant tricks. C'mon Bo, not with Connor in the car."

Bo slowly nods in the front seat while his foot remains on the accelerator slightly, keeping within the speed limit. Exhaling loudly, Bo slowly takes his foot off of the accelerator and taps the brakes as he parks The General on the side of the road. "Well Lukas, explain to me how you plan on getting Connor back to the orphanage when we're in jail," Bo states out frustration.

Silence filters in the car as all eyes are on the sheriff who slowly makes it out of his patrol car while they are lost in their own thoughts and emotions.

"Well boys," Rosco states as he leans into the car before his eyes fall upon Connor in the back seat with Luke. Rosco's eyes light up in anger and shock as he looks accusatory at Luke and then up at Bo. "Bo and Luke Duke, I pulled you over for speeding. Now I know why. . ." he let his sentence hang for a moment, "you're kidnapping that poor boy!"*

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*Driving alone, Jesse fishtails Ira's Mustang through the twisty curves of Miller's Creek Road, kicking up dust behind him. He was hoping that he could catch Rosco before he caught the boys. Hopefully Rosco would be in in a generous mood this close to Christmas and Jesse could talk him into leaving the boys alone to help Connor.

As Jesse rounded the next curve, a motorcycle was crowding his side of the road. Jesse swerved to miss the careless dirt bike driver, but in doing so, swerved off to the side where an old rusty piece of farm equipment was parked. Jesse only grazed the old hay baler but he was close enough that both tires on the passenger side popped.

The motorcycle came to a stop and the driver pulled off her helmet.....*

Jesse scolded the rider "Emma Tisdale, that's not like you to drive so reckless! Now, what in the world's gotten into you?!!"

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"Now wait a minute, Rosco," Bo says pleadingly, "we're just giving Connor a ride in The General. We're not kidnapping him or anyone else. Neither were we speeding." Bo had to insert the last part.

"Like I am going to believe that, Bo Duke! You and Luke are liars and now you are kidnappers on top of it. You've tried to do some ornery stuff in the past, but you've gone too far!" the sheriff snaps before looking back in at Connor to make sure he looks OK. "You OK Connor? They hurt you any?"

"No sir," Connor states confidently, "Bo's right. They were just taking me for a ride to visit my parents' grave."

"Great. Now you're making the poor innocent boy lie on top of it. You're a bad example to the rest of society," Rosco rolls his eyes at Bo, "OK Bo and Luke Duke you are under arrest for the kidnapping of an innocent boy. Now get out of your junk car nice and easy now and perhaps I won't have to shoot you in front of Connor."

"Rosco," Luke protests as he watches Bo slowly pulling himself out of the open window, "why don't you go and call Ira Grant at the orphanage. Ask him yourself?"

"Because I don't have to. I have all the evidence sitting before my eyes as we speak," Rosco snaps at them, "now get out."

"Rosco, where's your Christmas spirit at?" Bo asks as he begins to envisioning spending Christmas and New Year's in jail.

"The likes of you two ruin Christmas. For me. For everyone. Now hush and turn around," Bo slowly does as he is told to do as he watches Luke climb out of The General and helping Connor out as well. As Rosco clamps the cuffs tightly around Bo's wrist and Luke gets besides him, Bo whispers, "I hope you're happy now, Lukas. The poor kid gets to be a witness to our arrest just because you wanted me to pull it over. Merry Christmas."

Luke rolls his eyes as Rosco walks over to him and forcefully turns him around and yanking his hands behind his back to place the handcuffs on his wrists. "Let's go," Rosco roughly grabs the back of Bo's and Luke's shirt to begin escorting them to the sheriff's car.

"Hey Rosco," Bo begins to question, "you going to leave an eight year old kid alone on the side of the road?"

"Of course not! You hush it Bo or I'll charge you for back talking." With that the sheriff turns his head to look at Connor who stands near The General with tears rolling down his cheeks, "Connor, you need to come with me. You can ride in the passenger seat while these two criminals will be locked in the back seat where they can't get to you."

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Emma "What in the world are you doing in Ira Grant's car Jesse?"

Jesse (angry) "Well, that don't make no difference now since you done run it off the road and I bet old Ira only has one spare in the trunk."

Emma "Were you coming in to see me? You said you would."

Jesse "I was eventually but fer now I was on a mission to help someone out."

Emma "I can take ya where need to go. Besides, I told ya on the phone I got a problem I need to talk to ya about."

Jesse "Well I suppose....so long as ya don't go ridin' no wheelies."

*Jesse got on the back of the Yamaha dirt bike and put on the spare helmet Emma had strapped to the back. Emma popped a wheelie and drove off*

Jesse "EMMA!!!!! Now what'd I just say!!?"

*The bike sped down the twisty dirt road.*

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Connor eyes the back of the Duke boys and then at the sheriff before he slowly begins to walk towards the sheriff. Knowing better than to disobey authority even if it seems to be the best idea."They weren't hurting me, Sheriff. Honest, they were giving me a ride to the cementry and the church. It was all my idea. Not their's," he finally states as he joins up to Bo's side, "please don't do this to them."

Rosco eyes Connor and the tears down his face. Half wanting to believe him while his other half still remains engrained to his normal negative thinking of the boys. "You really have that child brain washed don't you, Bo? Or perhaps you two threatened him not to tell," Rosco finally states clinching tighter to Bo's neck to inflict pain. Somehow in Rosco's eyes, he sees and feels that it is the youngest Duke the most responsible for putting an innocent child through all of this. "Look Connor. It don't matter any more. Where they are going, they won't be able to hurt you or any one else." Rosco eyes Bo as they reach their car and he yanks open the back seat, "How many other children you got kidnapped?"

"Well Rosco," Bo smiles sarcastically, "I'd tell you we haven't kidnapped any. Including Connor. But I know you and Hogg won't believe it anyhow. So why don't you do your job and find how many kids we have kidnapped? Perhaps by this time next year you'll be releasing us and apologizing us for arresting us under false accusations."

"You hush it, Duke. Get in!" Rosco shoves Bo into the car harder than he had thought and Bo cries out in pain as his head hits the outside of the car, "Watch your head. You too Luke."

Connor watches in horror as his two new friends are locked in the backseat and arrested for kidnapping him. Arrested for doing him a favor. And yet there is little to no way Connor can think of to help his new friends out. Especially when the sheriff was unwilling to listen to him.

"C'mon Connor. We'll get you home. I'm sorry you had to go through all of this," Rosco states as he helps Connor to the passenger seat.

"Look Sheriff. You of all people know you nor anyone else will ever be able to get me home. My home was taken from me when my parents and my brother died! The orphanage is no home. It's a prison!" Connor snaps with tears rolling down his eyes, surprised that he was talking back to the sheriff like that. "Second of all, I didn't go through anything! Bo and Luke were just giving me a ride in their car. That's it. They didn't kidnap me. They didn't threaten me. Nothing. So maybe you should let them go and apologize to them otherwsie when I get back to the orphanage I'll call my dad's friend at the newspaper compnay and I'll tell him everything. I can gaurantee you that you will be reading about your false accusations on the front page tomorrow morning!"

Rosco eyes Connor in shock, not knowing what to make of it or what to do. He finally had the Duke boys arrested in his back seat. Hogg would be excited and happy with his success. But would the boys kidnap Connor? Threaten an innocent child? Deep down, no matter what he thought he saw, he knew they wouldn't. But did it matter what he thought or knew? He was the sheriff and who was to say that Connor hadn't made that story up if the kid was telling the truth about going to the newspaper?

"Look Connor. You need to get in the passenger seat and I will take you to the orphanage. I am sorry about messing up there. You're right, I can't take you home. About the boys, well, we'll have to figure it out later," Rosco states tiredly and Connor eyes him disappointedly that his speech didn't help persuade the sheriff. "Now Connor."

"Yes sir," Connor states as he slowly climbs in the passenger seat and sends an apologetical look at the boys who offer him a small smile to say it's OK.*

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*Emma piloted the Yahama dirt bike to the next intersection and then turned left on Willow Road. She drove another half mile ignoring Jesse's yelling...... questioning where she was going.

After crossing through the covered bridge over Willow Creek, she pulled the bike over in front of a small farmhouse that had a blue spruce in the front yard that was beautifully decorated for Christmas. The cozy house was decorated too.

Emma pulled off her helmet and then then wiped a tear from her eye.*

Emma "Well, Jesse things are never gonna be the same again"

Jesse (softly and respectfully) "Emma, this here's your dear departed sister's house. Not that I mind 'er anything but why are we stopping?"

Emma "I've been wanting to come see the place but just haven't had the strength since my sister's passing. I thought maybe I could do it if I had a shoulder to cry on. I see the new owners have it fixed up pretty nice. They even decorated her tree for Christmas. She planted that herself."

*Jesse (now off of the motorcycle) hugs Emma*

Emma "The folks who bought the house are real nice. They're a young couple from over there in Hatchapee County. He's a truck driver and she just got a job at the library."

Jesse "I'm sure yer sister's smiling down from Heaven at them."

Emma "She loved Christmas so much. She's probably smiling at how beautiful the place looks."

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*Bo Duke sat silently in the backseat, staring out through the side window as he feels his heart sink heavily within him. Christmas was always his favorite holiday, his favorite day of the year. He may be grown, but deep down, he felt the same child like excitement when December came around. Excitement that grew and grew with each day that got them closer to Christmas. Though it was different than when he was a kid. When he was a kid, he had been always glad to be with his family, happy to give gifts, but was excited to see the gifts that were wrapped under the tree for him. Now that he was older, he was grateful for what everyone gave him for Christmas, but his excitement was in spending time with the ones he loved and to give them gifts to show how he felt. But this year, with no money and barely any food on the table, he was unable to buy anything for anyone. And for the first time that he could remember, he almost felt dread with the thought of Christmas coming up. Which was silly and selfish, because he knew that gifts didn't express his true feelings and he'd still be with them, but it wouldn't be the same with everyone worrying about the upcoming year and whether or not they'd have enough money and supplies to make it til spring.

But the trip to the orphanage had opened his eyes to how lucky and blessed he was to have the family he had. Jesse could have easily denied Luke, Daisy, and him when their parents died and chose to live his own life free of any kids. Free of any chaos and trouble that they gave him over the years. Could have looked the other way. But he didn't and instead of growing up in the orphanage as Connor and the other kids are, they got to grow up in a loving and caring home.

But now as he leans forward as not to squish his handcuffed hands any more than they already are, reality sinks in. Reality that Luke and him will be spending their Christmas behind metal bars without a big Christmas dinner that Daisy already made. Without a Christmas tree. The only time they'd have a chance to celebrate Christmas together was to be seperated from Jesse and Daisy by bars and during the limited visiting hours Rosco would surely give them. Things just kept getting worse.

"Well, well, well, look what I see," Rosco mutters almost gleefully in the front seat to break the thick silence in the patrol car, "now ain't that Ira Grant's car up there?"

Both Bo and Luke glance away from their windows towards the front where Ira's familiar car is parked on the side of the road with flat tires and ding marks on the door. "That's Mr. Grant's car," Connor states out of recognition of it.

"Tsk, tsk, tsk," Rosco shakes his head in the front seat as he slows his patrol car down to a halt behind the damaged car, "I bet y'all ran him off the road when he tried to get Connor back from you. Your list of charges just keeps getting bigger and bigger." He pauses as he opens the door and steps out. Looking back at his prisoners, he grins and says, "I love it, I love it. Khee!" He eyes them in the back for a long moment before he eyes the parked car and the surroundings. "I'm going to have a look see to see if he's hurt. You as much move, I'll use my gun. Don't make me have it use it on the both of you...it'd ruin Christmas for that poor Uncle Jesse of your's."

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*Jesse was respectful to Miz Tisdale but was also concerned about Connor and his nephews*

Jesse "Um Emma, if you wouldn't mind I really do need to look for my boys."

Emma "I understand Jesse. Family's important and I'll take you to them now. Um, wheresabouts did ya say they was?"

Jesse "Well.....I really don't know. They could be anywheres by now."

Emma "We'd better get going"

*Emma starts to get on the bike*

Jesse "Now you just hang on there Emma. You've already given me about a heart attack per mile so if you don't mind, you can be the passenger this time. This is one old ridge runner who want to live to see Christmas"

*Emma nodded her head in approval, put on her helmet and got on the motorcycle behind Jesse*

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Bo and Luke eyes him hardly before Rosco closes the door and stiffly walks up to the parked car. "Boy Luke," Bo turns to Luke, no longer able to contain himself, "I bet you're pleased with yourself, now ain't you? This is the best idea you've had yet." Sarcasm drips from each word before he imitates Luke, "Bo pull over. Not with Connor in the car." Bo pauses as he shakes his head at his cousin, "Yeah, Luke, great idea. Now we'll be spending this Christmas and the next twenty Christmases behind bars. Hope you like bread and water, because that's all we'll be having for the next twenty years or so."

"Damn Bo. You are so immature sometimes," Luke eyes his cousin angrily, forgetting momentarily that they have young ears in the front seat, "look. I am just as upset about all of this as you are, but out running Rosco with a kid in the car is a horrible idea. We'd never be welcomed at the orphanage again once Ira heard we ran from the law with Connor in the car. Plus, what if he got hurt in your process to get away from Rosco? Could you live with that?"

Bo eyes Luke for a long moment before letting out a breath he had been holding, upset at Luke for always being right. Always having a point to make. And always making him look wrong.

When Bo doesn't answer, Luke states, "I didn't think so. As I said, I'm not happy about this either, but you made the right choice. Look," Luke goes silent, understanding Bo's anger and frustration he had shown towards him only seconds ago, "Rosco will stop by the orphanage to drop Connor off and he'll have to talk to Ira about what is going on. Which Ira will confirm our story and Rosco will have to let us go. We'll get out of this."

Bo eyes Luke questionably and as he opens his mouth to say something, Rosco opens the door and quickly sits down. "Well he ain't in the car. You two better hope that he walked back to the orphanage. Better hope he's OK," Rosco states as he starts the ignition and pulls back out onto the road, "as I said, your list of charges keep growing. Now," he looks at Connor and his voice changes from hard and angry to soft and caring, "we'll take you back to the orphanage and see if Mr. Grant is there. He'll be glad to see that I have rescued you from those hardened criminals back there."

"They're not hardened criminals, Sheriff. They were taking me for a ride, just as I said back there. They didn't threaten me to lie to you. I'm not lying," Connor pauses, "but if you don't believe me, ask Mr. Grant. He'll back my story. Wait and see."

Rosco grunts. "I guess we'll see here in a couple of minutes," he states before he glances in his rear view mirror, "y'all gone and scared him bad, didn't you? Your Uncle Jesse is going to be ashamed of y'all when he hears you went and kidnapped an innocent boy and threatened him into lying to authorities. Namely me. So sad that you would pay your uncle back like this after all he's done for you."

"Keep dreamin', Rosco," Bo states, annoyed with the sheriff's constant harsh statements towards Luke and him, "he won't be ashamed, because he already knows we took Connor for a ride. He'll be embarrassed by the incompetent law we have here in Hazzard. Namely you."

Luke can't stop from laughing aloud at Bo's statement despite the disrespect he has shown Rosco.

"You hush it Bo Duke! I have half the mind to lock you in a cell all by yourself down stairs and permanently lose the key!" Rosco laughs, "I'll put Luke in a cell upstairs. That'll be my Christmas present to Luke. Separate him from his disrespectful and annoying cousin. Bet you'd appreciate that, huh, Luke?"

Luke rolls his eyes and shakes his head before he looks back out of his window as he attempts to lose himself in his thoughts. Thoughts of ways to get him and his cousin out of their current trouble.*

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*Jesse rounds a curve on the remotest part of Willow Road when the dirt bike shuts down after sputtering for a few seconds. He pulls the bike over, takes off his helmet and dismounts. Emma gets off the motorcycle as well, takes off her helmet and scratches her head. Jesse takes off the gas cap and looks inside*

Emma "I can't figure out why it'd quit. Cooter just tuned it up last week. Put in a new spark plug, air filter and everything."

Jesse (after looking in tank) "Well Emma, two stroke gasoline engines run better when they have gasoline in the tank."

Emma "Lord have mercy Jesse. I've been so upset about my sister passing on and her house being sold, I've been pretty scatterbrained lately."

Jesse "Well if that don't beat all. Here we are, miles from the nearest house with no gas, no CB and a storm coming in."

Emma (looks off to the west at the ominous black puffy clouds) "And Elton Loggins on WHOGG said that the clouds are bringing in freezing temperatures. He said we might even have a white Christmas. Imagine that. We ain't had a white Christmas since back in '38. It sounds like a chance to cuddle in front of the fireplace to me."

Jesse (rolls eyes in disgust) "We ain't go no fireplace out here but we sure could use a fire if that cold front gets here before a car does. It's a good thing I got matches in my pocket. I'm going to get some wood together in case nobody comes around before the cold front hits. Sometimes it can be days before anyone comes down this old cowpath."

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*Bo inhales heavily as he pulls himself out of his thoughts to realize for a moment that they have passed the orphanage and they are almost to town. He looks questionably at Luke who only shrugs his shoulders at him. Only to upset Bo more than he already had been at Luke for his attitude towards him minutes ago and for his idea to pull over. Bad enough they were going to jail in time for the holidays, but Luke didn't seem to even care that they were wrongly arrested or care of what Rosco was doing.

"Rosco," Bo speaks up to shatter the silence, "I think you've gone and lost it. You passed the orphanage and -"

"You hush it, Bo Duke! I've lived in this here town twice as long as you've been alive, don't you think I know where I'm at?!" Rosco snaps at the youngest Duke before stealing a glance at his passenger who sits slumped in the passenger seat, staring silently out through his window. Glancing away from the boy and into the rearview mirror he glances at the complaining Duke and a smile crosses his aged face at seeing the Duke's anger and frustration. All of this was working out better than he had expected. "Not that you are of a right to know where I am going, but since it is almost Christmas, I'll give you an early Christmas gift and tell you where I'm taking you. I'm taking the two of you to where y'all belong." He goes silent for a long dramatic moment. "To jail."

Bo rolls his eyes, knowing too well that he was fighting a losing battle. Especially if Luke wasn't willing to join in with him. "Whatever Rosco," Bo states as the tall court house looms ahead, "we at least get our one phone call. Mr. Grant should be more than willing to take a trip into town to clear our names. Right Luke?"

"Wrong. Mr. Grant will already be there to pick Connor up," Rosco answers before Luke can say anything, "perhaps you should save your phone call to call your poor ol' Uncle Jesse to tell him he will only need two plates this Christmas. One for him and one for Daisy."

Bo opens his mouth to speak only for Luke to shut him up by saying, "You're wasting your time, Bo. Rosco won't listen to you. You of all people should know that by now."

Bo shakes his head and looks back out his window as the patrol car comes to a halt and Rosco turns the ignition off. "OK Connor, why don't you slide out my door so you can get out on the side walk," Rosco states as he opens the door and stiffly stands up. Connor eyes the sheriff questionably before looking back at Bo and Luke who slowly nod. After Rosco helps Connor out on the side walk, he slowly walks to his back seat to throw open the back door. "Get out. Nice and easy like."

Luke is the first to get out and Rosco roughly grabs him by his upper arm to shove him against the car before he does the same to Bo. With both boys out, he grabs them both by the upper arm and begins to force them forward with Connor holding onto Bo's elbow. "Boss is gonna love my Christmas present to him. Khee khee," Rosco laughs in their ear as they reach the front door, "perhaps I should wrap y'all up in a red bow when I bring you in to him. I may even get a Christmas bonus this year. Khee, khee! Plus I'll have the two of you locked away. The town of Hazzard will once again be safe from the likes of you."*

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*Two hours later Daisy ended the Christmas concert practice. She walked outside and looked around, very concerned. After Ira Grant explained that Jesse had borrowed his Mustang and not returned, Daisy's concern grew deeper.

Back on Willow Road, Jesse had a crackling fire going just as the cold front was arriving. The temperature had already dropped 10 degrees in the short time they had been there. Emma sat on a log by the fire, gazing into the flame as her ears were focused on listening for the sound of distant oncoming vehicles. Jesse gathered up a lot of firewood to prepare for the possibility that they could be spending a lot of time there before being rescued. He then sat beside Emma who put her head on Jesse's shoulder.*

"Do you think somebody's gonna come by Jesse?"

Jesse's response sounded confident "Why sure they will Emma." But inside, the old ridge runner was getting nervous.

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*Connor grips tightly onto Bo's elbow all the way into the sheriff's station until he sees Ms. Patricia sitting at a desk with a couple of young people. "Ms. Patricia!" he exclaims before letting go of Bo's elbow to run over to Ms. Patricia to give her a hug and she warmly gives him one in return. "Please tell the sheriff that they didn't kidnap me! I only asked them for a ride to go visit my parents' grave, I didn't mean to get them into trouble," he speaks loudly and quickly as tears once more fall from his large eyes, "and now they're arrested all because of me."

"Shhhh Connor. It's OK. The sheriff is only doing his job," Ms. Patricia states caringly and puts a hand up to halt Connor when he goes to object, "I know the boys were trying to help you and that they didn't do anything wrong. We all know that. It's just a misunderstanding that will be taken care of. Just wait and see. Meanwhile, the sheriff is only doing his job. Whether it is correct or not."

Connor slowly nods and lets go of Ms. Patricia to look up at Bo and Luke and then over to the sheriff who eyes the couple and Ms. Patricia for a long moment. "That's right, Connor," Sheriff Rosco Coltrane states seriously as he turns his back on Ms. Patricia and the couple to face the boys who look questionably at each other and then back at Rosco. "All of this is a misunderstanding. On y'all's part." Rosco giggles, no longer able to contain his laughter, his happiness.

"On our part?" Bo is quick to question, "You threw us against the car and put handcuffs on our wrists while saying we were under arrest. How did we misunderstand you?"

"You hush it Bo Duke. Your mouth will get you in a heap of trouble one of these days," Rosco states half serious and half joking, "you are just lucky it's Christmas tomorrow. In my Christmas spirit, that you seem to think I am lacking, I will turn the other way and pretend I am not hearing you." Rosco goes silent for a damatic moment and Bo rolls his eyes at the sheriff. Finally he states, "Bo and Luke Duke, turn around so I can uncuff you. Khee khee."

"Uncuff us?" Luke now questions as he follows Rosco's orders, "What is all this about?"

Rosco remains quiet as he unlocks both sets of handcuffs and repockets them and the boys slowly turn back around to face him, rubbing their wrists. "What's this about you ask, huh? Well, y'all took Connor before his new parents could come and pick him up, so I had to think of a way to get y'all here to meet up with them. I got you good this time. Khee! I love it, I love it," he laughs to recieve questioning looks from Connor and the boys, "You see Mark and Karen Jelter just moved to Hazzard from Hatchapee County a couple of weeks ago. They have been searching for the right town and the right house to raise kids at. Well, they figure Hazzard and their new house is the best place there is and since they can't have children, the opted to adopt."

"They were at the orphanage last week to get info and to look around and fell in love with Connor here," Ms. Patricia speaks up, "and was adament about wanting to adopt him. And with Christmas coming up, they wanted it to be a surprise."

"You're adopting me?!" Connor questions excitedly, "You mean, taking me out of the orphanage?"

"Yes sir," Mark laughs as he takes a step forward to place a caring hand upon Connor's head before bending down to his level, "I am so sad and sorry to hear about your real parents and your brother. We will never be able to replace them nor are we wanting to try to. We just want to take you in and care for you and be your new parents...not your old ones. Does that sound OK?"

Connor excitedly hugs him before backing up shocked and embarassed at himself for letting his emotions get the best of him. "I mean, yes sir," he says stepping back.

"You don't have to call us sir, son. Just call me dad. If that's OK with you. If not, I guess you can call me Mark," Mark answers standing up.

"OK Dad," Connor answers and then looks at Karen and says, "Mom." Karen quickly gives him a hug and kisses him on the top of his head.

Standing back, Bo lets out a rebel yell in excitement at seeing the best Christmas gift to be given to Connor. The gift of a family.

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*It didn't take long for the temperature to drop yet another 10 degrees. The cold front had not only lowered the temps dramatically, it brought a massive black cloud that pushed through the area like a monsterous wall of misery.

Then it happened. One moment a few light snowflakes fell and minutes later, the snow was falling so hard and fast, it was tough to see anything farther than 100 feet away*

Emma was frantic as she gripped Jesse's arm. She started to cry. "Jesse, whatever are we going to do? Nobody ever comes down this road to begin with. Now that it's snowing this hard, nobody's going to be even leaving their house."

Jesse tried to calm her "Don't worry Emma. My boys will find us. I can almost hear that dixie horn now"

Emma then said something that scared the daylights out of Jesse "I hate to tell you this. Mind you, I didn't hear the whole conversation so I'm not exactly sure what's going on but I did overhear Rosco at the Boar's Nest this morning promising Boss your boys will be in jail before the day's over."

*The snow covered Jesse's red hat, turning it white as his hopes to be rescued faded.*

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*Smiles were contagious in the police station as everyone's eyes seemed to be focused upon Connor who grinned excitedly. Deep down he knew that it wouldn't be the same. Nothing would ever be the same as it had been that fateful day that he lost his parents and his brother. But this would be the closest to the real thing that he will ever get at having a real family and Connor was excited at the thought of belonging to a family once more. Someone to return home to. Someone to confide in. Someone to trust in.

"Well Connor," Mark breaks the silence, "we already did the paper work that was need to fill out and Ms. Patricia has packed your stuff in our car. Just tell us when you are ready to go see your new home and we'll be ready to go."

Connor nods. "OK," he slowly states before he leaves them and walks over to Bo to give him a hug. "Thank you for everything."

"Not a problem, Connor. You just ask your parents, perhaps once it gets warmer out, we could go fishing or something," Bo suggests and Luke nods while putting a hand on Bo's shoulder.

"Thanks Luke," Connor looks up at Luke before returning to Karen and Mark, "I'm ready."

They nod. "Good thing. I hear Santa already has your new address and has a few things ready to drop off for you under your tree tonight," Karen beams in pride and love.

Connor smiles before shrugging. "You've already given me something Santa could never bring me. A family. Thank-you." He states to receive a hug from them both.

***********************************************

Silence fills Ms. Patricia's old car as Bo sits in the passenger seat and Luke sits in the back seat. Together they follow Mark, Karen, and Connor on their way to Connor's new house for some coffee and cookies that was offered before they were to ride back to the orphanage to meet up with Daisy and Jesse. Who by now was probably starting to worry or wonder what was taking them so long.

"Well look at that," Bo states to break the silence, not one to stay too silent for too long, "it's snowing. We may be having ourselves a white Christmas this year."

"The kids at the orphanage will love that," Patricia states, "not very often they get to play in the snow. Build snowmen or to have a snowball fight."

They ride in silence once more, everyone's thoughts remain upon Connor and the great surprise he had been given while watching the snow fall from the darkened sky.

As Patricia leans forward to turn the heater up on her car, Bo looks away from the sky only to spot a couple of people sitting on a log with a fire. From the distance he is unable to see who it is other than they didn't seem dresseds for the weather. "There's a couple of people up ahead on the side of the road. I wonder if they are in need of help," Bo ponders aloud and as they gain a few feet closer to them, his heart stops in recognition, "It's Uncle Jesse and Miz Tisdale! What in the world are they doing out here on the side of the road?!"

Luke peers forward as Patricia slows the car down to a halt next to the motorbike before jumping out first into the cold wind and snow. "Jesse," he states as Bo joins him, "what are you doing out here?"

"Dang it's cold out here," Bo gripes before looking at Jesse, "you ok Uncle Jesse? Miz Tisdale?"*

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Miz Tisdale jumped up like an excited little girl. "It's a Christmas miracle! We're saved!"

Even Jesse could barely contain his excitement. "Emma's motorcycle broke down. If you wouldn't have come along we'd have probably been out here all night in this blizzard!"

Emma got in the car and commented "Hey those folks in that car in front of you look like that nice young couple who done bought my sister's house. I didn't know they had a son. I heard they didn't have any kids at all."

Jesse brushed the snow off his shoulders before getting in. "If that's what I think it is, we may have more than one Christmas miracle on our hands."

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*With Emma and Jesse in the backseat with Luke and Bo still in the front with Ms. Patricia, they follow Karen, Mark, and Connor to Connor's new house. Bo excitedly fills Emma and Jesse in on all that has happened that had led them driving by them when they had. Luke listens in silently while he remains silent in thought of what all Connor must be feeling and going through in the car ahead.

After a few minutes, they come to a halt in front of Connor's new house where Mark and Karen pull to a halt next to Daisy's jeep. "Look, Daisy's here," Bo states as he unfastens his seat belt. Ms. Patricia's old car comes to a halt besides Mark's and Bo throws open his door as well as Luke and Jesse.

"Hey y'all," Mark states as everyone gathers by the porch steps, "Connor here likes hot chocolate. How about we all go in and celebrate Christmas, Connor, and family with a hot cup of hot chocolate? Karen does have some coffee if y'all perfer that."

"Hot chocolate it is," Luke states, his fingers lost in his back pockets.

Mark hugs Connor as he leads them all up the front steps. "Let's go see your new home," he smiles down at his new son as he opens the door and they walk in. Bo is quick to open the door for everyone to follow them inside before he follows Karen into the large kitchen.

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Emma sits down in the living room and Jesse follows her in. After asking Mark permission to start a fire in the fireplace Jesse has one crackling in a matter of minutes.

Emma smiles from ear to ear as she comments to Jesse "I just can't get over how beautiful this place is. My sister would love seeing it so full of love, life and Christmas spirit. Mark and Karen have decorated this place so wonderfully for the holidays, it seems like I've gone back in time to when my sister and her family were at their happiest. You know it just makes things so different now. I'll never again go past this place and be sad. Already Mark, Karen and Connor feel like family to me. It truly is a Christmas miracle."

Jesse smiled at her and put his hand on her shoulder.

Overhearing Emma, Daisy walked over and hugged her and then kissed her uncle on the cheek.

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*Bo sits on the floor taking everything in; from his family, to the warm house and it's decorations, to Connor and his new family. A smile crosses his face as he is hit with a startling thought. This is the best Christmas. Ever. There may be no gift under the tree for him or his family or Daisy may not even be able to fix their big Christmas meal they always have this year. But they are together. They are a family. Not only that, but he was able to witness something he may never see again. A miracle being born for a sad and troubled young boy who was lost without a home. Now found with a loving and caring family with a bright and happy future that looms ahead of Connor.

Bo looks up as Connor approaches him and silently gives him another hug. "Thanks Bo," he grins, "for everything."

Bo shrugs and as he goes to say something, Connor walks away over to Karen and Mark to give them both hugs. "Thank you. For everything," he grins up at them, "this is the best Christmas. Ever." Everyone applauds at Connor's statement.

As the room goes silent, everyone's attention is grabbed as Boss and Rosco walk into the room with a bag of gifts. "Merry Christmas everyone," Boss smiles at everyone, "I think Santa left these at the office for everyone."

"Oh goody! Look! I see one with Connor's name on it!" Rosco pulls out a large wrapped gift out of the cloth bag and hands it to Connor and as he gives it to Connor, Connor hugs Rosco tightly before backing up with the large gift. Rosco watches as Connor drops to his knees and rips open the large box to see a large remote control General Lee car within a clear box.

"For me?! Look!" Connor jumps up and takes it to Bo and Luke, "It looks like your car! Can you open it?"

"Sure can," Luke states with a smile as he carefully takes it out of Connor's hands and slowly begins to open it while he begins to sing "O Holy Night". Everyone joins in with him as Rosco gleefully begins to hand out gifts to everyone.

THE END

**************************************

Thank-you for all who took time to read this. I hope everyone had a very special Christmas that was filled with happiness, laughter, and with great company of family and friends. Hope you all will find good health and happiness in 2011.

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