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It was just an ordinary Saturday afternoon when Bo and Luke Duke drove their orange racecar in to town. They had started their day with beer and donuts together with their best friend Cooter Davenport at his garage. After this weekly ritual they had been putting up fences, they knocked over the day before during playing catch with Enos and now they drove in to town to run some errands their uncle Jesse had sent them for.

“If you keep driving like this ‘cus, I think I’m gonna hide your car keys someday.†Luke said with a complaining tone in his voice. “I’m not planning on putting up fences every Saturday ya know.â€

Bo gave him an annoyed look, “Cute Luke, very cute. It ain’t my fault Enos is driving better each day. He almost had us yesterday. If I didn’t drove us through oll man Davis his fence we would have ended up paying that speeding ticket.â€

Luke grinned, “Enos is getting better isn’t he. Guess we could’ve expected that, we’ve taught him everything we know.â€

Bo grinned back at his cousin. “Yeah we sure did, and it’s biting us in the tale now. Bo parked the car in front of the hardware store and the boys went in to get some nails, tools and other things Jesse had told them to get.

About 15 minute later while they were loading everything in the trunk of their car they saw an early teenage boy running out of Mr. Williams grocery store and just a couple of seconds later Mr. Williams himself came out with his fist in the air. “Somebody catch that thieve.†They heard him yell. Bo and Luke saw there was no need to for them to run after the little shoplifter ‘cause the boy was definitely out of luck and ran right in to the arms of Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane.

“Well well lookie here.†Rosco said to the boy with a mean grin on his face. “Thought you could get away right. Well not on my watch you don’t khee khee.†The boy didn’t say a word and only tried to wrestle himself loose from Rosco’s firm grip. “You just settle down boy before I cuff ya and stuff ya.†Rosco warned him.

Mr. Williams had joined them now and looked at the boy as if he looked at something really disgusting “Nothing good comes out those kids today.†He mumbled more to him self than to Rosco.

“Don’t you worry ‘bout a thing sir. I’ll take care of this one personally.†Rosco said while putting his chest up in the air. “If you just come to the station a little bit later this afternoon to press charges, I’ll make sure this little felon will get what he deserves.â€

“I don’t care who does what as long as it gets done.†The grocer said grumpy and he walked back to his store.

Bo and Luke had observed the whole scenario and though they didn’t had up a lot with steeling they couldn’t help feeling sorry for the boy, especially because of seeing Rosco having just al little to much fun in his job.

Luke was the first to open his mouth. “Hey Rosco.†He said in a loud voice while crossing the street. “Don’t ya got nothin’ better to do than bullying kids?â€

Rosco, who was never happy to see a Duke, especially didn’t feel like talking to one right now. “You just keep out of this Luke Duke. I’m just doing my duty as Sheriff here. Arresting little criminals is part of that.â€

“Now Rosco you know just as well as we do, Boss Hogg ain’t gonna be happy if you bring in a little kid who stole some candy.†Bo supported his cousin.

“And why would that be.†Rosco asked. “Well simple.†Luke said with a know-all voice.†‘'Cause it doesn’t bring in any money. You can’t put a fine on shoplifting and while you are wasting your time with this boy here you could’ve conned a whole lot of tourist what does make money for Boss.â€

Rosco looked a little bit stunned. “Oe hhmm well I didn’t think of that.†He stuttered.

“Well why don’t you just hand over the boy to us and you try to convince Mr. Williams later this afternoon not to press charges. We’ll take care of the boy and make sure he gets home and if Mr. Williams still wants to make a case out of it we’ll have him back whit ya in no time.â€

Rosco seemed to be thinking about Luke proposal, but than let the boy loose. “All right then but from now on you’re responsible for everything this boy does. If he’s steeling again I’ll make sure to throw all three of ya not in but under the jail.â€

“Yeah Rosco you do that.†Bo said with a mocking smile. Rosco looked a little offended and wanted to walk away.

Luke shied. “Rosco, don’t you want the boy to empty his pocket, so you can see what it is he stole and you can give it back to Mr. Williams.†He said on a ‘do I have to tell you everything’ kind of tone.

“Yes of course I want that, I was just getting to that. Boy, empty your pockets!â€

The boy hadn’t said a word the whole time and was just wandering who Boss Hogg was, why the Sheriff definitely didn’t seem to like these two men and why they were helping him in the first place. Because he didn’t wanted to ruin what looked like his saving, he did what he was told and came up with an apple and some candy bars.

“Inside pockets too please.†Luke said with a stern voice.

The boy frowned and reached inside his jacked. “I only have one.†He mumbled while digging up a box of matches and a pocketknife.

Rosco who seemed to be surprised how much stuff could come out of one kid’s jacked collected all the stolen goods. “Well I’m gonna return this immediately to Mr. Williams and you three better be gone when I get back before I change me mind about all this.†Rosco tried to sound superior.

“We will, Rosco.†Luke said while putting a hand on the boys shoulder. “We will.â€

Now Rosco was gone and they were walking to their car Luke thought it might be handy to introduce themselves. “My name is Luke Duke.†He said with a friendly voice. “And this is my cousin Bo Duke. What’s your name buddy?â€

“It’s Nick, and I’m not your buddy.†The boy said cross.

Luke and Bo looked a bit stunned at each other. “Well that’s not a very nice way to talk to people who just saved your sorry hide from the Sheriff now is it?†Bo reacted wound up. “Well I didn’t ask you to.†Nick said still a bit provoking, but with a much softer voice and his eyes searching the floor.

Bo, who didn’t had up a lot with children wanted to react again, but Luke beat him to it. “Well Nick we told the Sheriff we would take care of ya, so better get in the car then, or if you want we can bring you back to Rosco that’s fine by us too.â€

Nick looked at him for a second and then grabbed the door handle to open the door of the car. He was amazed to find it stuck.

“It’s a racecar.†Luke explained before the boy could ask. “The doors are welded shot. You have to clime through the window like this.†And he showed the boy how.

Nick tried to clime trough the window with the same skills, but he couldn’t help looking clumsy. Bo had to hide a grin what he didn’t do well.

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Just a couple of moments later they were driving out of the town. Nick had found his place at the backseat, Bo was behind the wheel and Luke drove shotgun. “So Nick, you also got a last name, or were you just born as Nick?†Luke asked. “It’s Taylor.†Nick answered shortly. “Then you’re not from around here are ya? ‘Cause the only Taylor’s we know here don’t have kids your age and definitely no kids that steel.†He said while looking over his shoulder.

Nick gave him a dirty look. “No I’m not.†he replied

“So where do ya folks live then?†He asked ignoring the look Nick gave him.

“My parents are dead.†The boy just stated.

“Ow, we’re sorry to hear that.†Bo said while looking in his mirror.

The boy just shrugged his shoulders. “Well they’ve been dead for about a year now, guess ya get used to it.â€

Again the cousins looked at each other with an astonished look on their face. They had both lost their parents and they knew you didn’t just get used to that.

“So you live in the Hazzard orphanage then?†Luke asked.

Nick shook his head. “No, I just live everywhere I can sleep. I was just traveling through when I bumped in to your Sheriff.†Luke just nodded without saying anything. He reckoned this might be getting more complicated then he had expected

“All right than Bo, better just head to the farm then. Uncle Jesse must be wandering what is taking us so long.â€

“You’ve got it cus’.†And he floored the gas pedal. Bo didn’t like the way this situation looked. He wasn’t very fond of children and if this boy didn’t had a home, he knew the Dukes-hospitality-rules described they would put him up for a while. At least until they found some better suiting accommodation for him. “Hey Luke, why don’t we take a shortcut here.†Bo said with a smile.

Luke saw those twinkling lights in his cousin’s eyes. “Well, I guess we could take the bridge that runs over dry creek.†He replied smiling.

“You do mean that bridge the destroyed two years a go and never put back up right?â€

“That’s the one.â€

“All right†Bo exclaimed and he took a right turn of the main road.

Nick didn’t know what was happening around him. He had never seen people drive like this and what about taking a bridge that wasn’t there? He didn’t say anything, because he didn’t wanted to look like a wimp but actually his hart was beating like crazy.

“Better hang on now Nick.†Luke said smiling. “My cousin here is about to jump that creek right ahead of us.â€

You’re kidding right?†Nick called out, but Luke didn’t need to answer his question cause just a couple of seconds later Nick heard Bo yell “YEEHAH!!!†and the car flew over the creek before smashing in to ground again and drove on without any sign of broken parts or what so ever. Nick had been pushed flat to the backseat and tried to get up again while checking himself for broken bones.

Bo grinned, “The man told you to hang on.†He said laughing.

“Man!!!, you guys always drive like this?†Nick asked with admiration in his voice.

“Well, he does.†Luke joked, while pointing at Bo. “Even when he drives to church.â€

“You’re just always bragging on me.†Bo joked back.

“Man!!!†Nick called out again. “No wonder the sheriff didn’t like you guys.â€

“Rosco dislikes us for a whole lot more than just our driving.†Bo said while sniffing a bit from contempt.

“And deep down that corrupt hart of his he loves us just as much, but most of the time he just doesn’t remembers that.†Luke added.

At that moment the Dukes pulled up the driveway of their farm and parked the car in front of the barn. Jesse Duke had heard the car pull up the driveway and was standing at the front porch waiting. “What took you boys so long?†He asked when they had come out of the car and dragged the supplies out of the trunk. Luke smiled and gave Bo the ‘I told you so’ look.

“We run in to Rosco.†Bo said with a grin.

Jesse sighed and put up a stern face. “You tell me ya didn’t get yourself in to any trouble now ya hear.â€

“We didn’t Uncle Jesse.†Luke said, calming the old man down. “But our new friend here did, come out of that car now Nick and give us a hand.†He called to the boy who sat still on the backseat of the orange car. Nick climbed out the car but wasn’t very eager to help.

“Well then, who’s our guest?â€

“This is Nick, Uncle Jesse. We kind of ran in to him at the same time we ran in to Rosco.†“Aha well hi there Nick.†Jesse said while offering the boy his hand. â€My name is Jesse Duke.†There was something about this man that made Nick feel a bit nervous and because of it he didn’t look the man in the eye while accepting the hand and stating his full name.

“Why don’t you just go inside the house already?†Luke suggested. “We come in as soon as we put all this stuff away.†Nick did as he was told and as soon as he had disappeared in the house Bo and Luke started to explain what had happened that afternoon.

“You see Uncle Jesse, it seems like he has nowhere to go. That is if he ain't lying about his parents being dead and I can’t imagine that.†Luke said.

Jesse nodded. “I think we can find a bed for him here, until we find some help for him.†Jesse said. Bo couldn’t help pulling a nasty face. “Is there a problem Bo?†Uncle Jesse asked.

“No sir, I understand we have to help they boy, but it’s just I don’t like kids that much and this one ain’t the most cheery one of them all either.â€

“That’s funny though, considering you behave like a child most of the time yourself.†Luke said teasingly. Bo gave his cousin a deadly look but decided not to react. Partly because he knew Luke had a point. He was 21 years old but felt like a teenager more than occasionally.

“One way or another, us Dukes have never let anybody stand out in the cold. Nor stranger, friend or enemy, and today is not gonna be the first time.†Jesse told his boys while walking in to the kitchen. “As long as they know there won’t be any steeling done in this house.†He said with a deep voice while holding out his hand in front of the boy with the palm up. Bo and Luke were surprised to see this ‘cause they had walked in to the kitchen at the same time as their uncle had done and they hadn’t seen Nick take anything. Though as always Jesse also seemed to be right this time cause after, what looked like a short period of doubting Nick started to empty his pockets again and pulled out a slice of bread, some cheese, two silver teaspoons and some small coins. ‘Dang, that boy is quick.’ Luke thought to himself. “It won’t be necessary to just take anything here.†Jesse said stern to the boy. “If you want something you can ask for it and we’ll get it for ya if we can. Got that?†Nick didn’t replied but let his eyes search the ground. Uncle Jesse laid the stuff he’d got back from the boy on the kitchen table and looked at him. Nick was not that tall and looked very skinny under those dusty clothes he wore. His hair was messy and greasy and Jesse couldn’t help thinking this boy could have been Cooter's little brother, if he had, had one. “I’ll guess you must be hungry.†The old man said friendly while he shortly laid his hand on the boy’s head as a comforting gesture. “I’ll ask Daisy to get you a bath so you can clean up while I’ll make ya sometin' to eat.â€

Nick didn’t see why he had to get cleaned up first, all he wanted was food, but considering the fact this man had just caught him steeling his things and still didn’t kick him out he didn’t

dare to object and just nodded.

“Good, then about you two boys, putting up fences you knocked over might be just fine, but it sure doesn’t get things done around here. Now there’re still a couple of windows that need fixing and that barn needs a good paintjob before it starts rotting away.â€

Bo couldn’t help a grin. “I’m not sure whether it would hold the extra weight, uncle Jesse.†He said laughing. “I’m afraid that when we even touch the darn thing with as much as a brush it will collapse.â€

“Well then you two just have to build it all up again now don’t ya!†The old man said a bit irritated. “Now you better get busy I’ll have supper ready within an hour and it would be nice if you had some work done by then.†Bo and Luke looked at each other and shrugged there shoulders at the same time, while both smiling. “Well cus’, guess you better take those windows, you’re the handyman around her, then I’ll start sanding that barn.†Bo suggested

“You’ve got it, Bo.†Luke reacted while slapping his cousin on the shoulder.

Nick watched the two men leaving the kitchen. Were had he end up? What kind of family was this? Two cousins, an uncle and someone called Daisy he hadn’t met yet. They all looked pretty close but the o’ll man definitely held the strings.

“Daisy would you get in here please.†He heard Jesse call.

Nick was watching the living room door when he saw this girl walking in that took his breath away for a second. Daisy Duke wore the shortest shorts he had ever seen and she walked in with a smile that could light a cave. “What can I do for ya uncle Jesse?†She asked in a cheery voice.

“Daisy, could you show our guest here the bathroom and look whether you can find some o’ll clothes from Bo or Luke that would fit him for a while.â€

“Sure, that would be Luke’s old clothes than, Bo was much bigger even than. You just come right along now sugar.â€

Nick followed her in to the back of the house and in to the bathroom. Daisy opened the water taps and gave the boy a towel. “Soap and shampoo are over there.†She said and pointed at the edge of the bathtub. “I’ll put some close in front of the door and if ya need anything else just holler and I’ll come and help ya.â€

Nick couldn’t help blushing a bit and mumbled. “I’ll be fine, thank you.†as Daisy left the room.

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While lying in the bathtub Nick was thinking what he had to do next. He could not deny he was glad these people had saved them from the sheriff and that he would have some proper food tonight, but what would they want from him in return? The last couple of weeks had taught him not a whole lot of people did anything without getting better of it themselves. And even if they did, they would probably send him to that orphanage he heard them talk about and he didn’t liked that at all. Should he make a run for it tonight after supper? He didn’t know why but something told him he shouldn’t, even though he knew sooner or later this family would send him away to somewhere he didn’t want to go. Just like al the others.

Still not quite sure whether he liked this situation, but at least clean and in clothes without holes in them, Nick walked in to the kitchen. Jesse was behind the stove. He was stirring in a pan with one hand and at the same time holding some plates in the other. “Ah Nick, would you please help me with this before I drop them.†He asked friendly. Nick took the plates from him and placed them on the table. “Thank you very much.†Jesse said sincere. “Now in that draw you can find the cutlery if you would be so kind to set the table a bit, I would very much appreciate it. The boys still out doing there chores and with Daisy of to work I’m some hands short and I wouldn’t want to spoil supper by burning it.†Nick didn’t want his food to get burned either, so he opened the draw and took out the cutlery. While standing before the table he looked troubled at the knifes, forks and spoons in his hand. “Knifes at the right, forks at the left and spoons at the top of the plate.†Jesse said without looking up from the stove. Nick wondered how this man knew what he was thinking. Earlier that afternoon he was sure nobody had seen him take anything. He had al that stuff already in his pockets before the men walked in and still Jesse Duke seemed to have known. Just when he had finished, Luke came in. “Already earning your keep I see.†He said jokingly. “That’s mighty nice of you, lending a hand.†Nick just smiled. He was given an awful lot of thanks for just setting the table. “Bo will be right in, he just putting the sand machine back in the bar.†Jesse nodded and Luke disappeared to wash up.

About ten minutes later everybody sat down at the kitchen table and Jesse placed the last pan at the middle of it. Nick who was starving didn’t waste a second and grabbed a spoon to fill his plate. Jesse gave a short cough to interrupt the boy. “We always say grace before starting our meal.†He said in a kind but firm voice.

“Don’t let me bother you.†Nick replied while continuing his actions

“Well, it does bother us.†Jesse said with a much more stern voice. “You don’t have to join us, but we do expect you to just wait a second and be quiet.â€

Nick didn’t know why exactly but somehow he didn’t want to wait, not even those couple of seconds and he definitely didn’t like anybody to say what he could or could not do.

“Ain’t it stupid to thank somebody who doesn’t exist?†He said provoking, while filling his plate to the edge.

Jesse seemed to need al his strength to hold his temper. “You listen carefully boy.†He said with an angry voice “You’re a guest in this house and it would not do you wrong to show some respect to the people that live in it. So make your choice, wait for a second or take your plate and eat somewhere else.â€

The angry voice had scared Nick for a second, but his pride did not let him back out now.

“Fine!†He said wound up and after grabbing his plate he stormed out of the house.

The men looked at him leaving and were so stunned they didn’t know what to say for a moment. “I’m sorry for that, boys.†Jesse said after taking a deep breath. “But the kid really riled my nerves there. “

“Don’t be sorry, uncle Jesse.†Bo said sincere. “The boy was out of line. He had no right behaving like that.â€

“No he hadn’t.†Luke agreed. “I’m just wondering why he did? Should I go after him, before he’s gone?†He asked his uncle.

The old man shook his head. “Neh, let him be for awhile. I don’t think he’s going anywhere. He might be eating alone, but at least he’s eating and I don’t think he’s gonna walk away from thatâ€

The Dukes said grace and enjoyed their meal. Jesse couldn’t help noticing though, Luke was being a bit distracted.

After diner Luke and Jesse took care of the dishes. Jesse saw a wrinkle on Luke’s forehead, what most of the time meant, he was given his thoughts a hard time.

“Luke you’ve been more quiet than a church mouse, now tell me, what’s on your mind?†He said in a caring voice.

“I was just thinking’ bout the boy, that’s all.†Luke said frowning a bit. “I wonder how he ended up like he did, all alone I mean.â€

“The boy gets to you don’t he?†Jesse asked.

Luke leaned at the kitchen sink. “Well he does bring back memories. That’s for sure. I remember quite some meals I had on that front porch there.â€

Jesse grinned. “Yeah, you were quite a handful growing up.â€

Luke thought back at his first years he had spend on the farm.†He hadn’t liked them at all, and had been sure to let everybody know that. Looking back now, he felt sorry for ruining those years, but was glad he was given a family who helped him through that.

Jesse could almost read his thoughts and laid a hand on his nephews shoulder. “Why don’t ya just go see where the kid is and try to straiten him out a bit. See whether you can get him inside again. I’ll take care of these.†He said while holding a plate in his hand.

Luke smiled. “Thanks uncle Jesse I will do that.â€

It didn’t took Luke long to find Nick hidden away behind the barn. He couldn’t help feel sorry for the boy, seeing him sit there like that. “Enjoyed your private dinner?†He asked while he sad down beside him. Nick didn’t respond, only gave him a dirty look.

“Now don’t you look at me like that? You’re the one who behaved like a pest in there.â€

“Well if I’m such a pest, why don’t you just leave me alone than.†Nick said wound up

“Cause we told Rosco we would take care of you and us Dukes never break their promise. And like my cousin said earlier, you could be a bit more thankful for that.â€

Nick pulled a grumpy face. “I didn’t say anything that wasn’t true.†He mumbled.

Luke gave him a stern look. “Now even if that were so.†He said with a slight raised voice. “On which I don’t agree with you, uncle Jesse gives a whole lot of importance to His Maker, we all do, and while you’re staying in his house you should find some respect for that.†He paused for a second. “But I think you know that just as well as I do and you were just acting tough. In there.â€

“I wasn’t acting tough.†Nick reacted while throwing a little rock in front of his feet.

Luke sighed. “Well than you were just behaving like a pest.†He said on an indifferent tone “One way or another you owe somebody an apology.â€

“I’m not going back in there. Your uncle doesn’t like me and I wouldn’t know what to say.†Luke spread his hands in a small desperate gesture.

“You can’t blame him for being upset. You’re only on the farm for about two hours and you already tried to steel his belongings and kept him from talking to his Good Lord. Any person would be upset, doesn’t mean he dislikes you though. Everybody is aloud to make mistakes, as long as you admit to them. Haven’t they never told ya that?

Nick hung his head and looked away. If Luke had meant his parents, the answer was definitely no, but he didn’t want to tell him that. “Still wouldn’t know what to say though.†The boy mumbled.

Luke stood op from the ground and gave him a smile. “Well, most of the time an apology includes the words ‘sorry’ and ‘won’t do it again’ but I’m sure you’ll think of something original yourself. Now com’mon or do you also wanna sleep outside after your outdoor supper, ‘cause that’s possible too ya know. We’ll get ya a sleeping bag and all. Wouldn’t advise it though, it’s get quite cold here at night. Believe me.â€

“Tell me something I don’t know.†Nick said barely hearable but he stood up and followed the man in to the house.

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In the living room, Bo was sitting at the table checking out his latest purchase, a Spiderman comic book and Jesse had sat himself down at the couch to read the newspaper. When Nick walked in to the room he found himself being the centre of their attention though. He didn’t know where to lo haok and felt very uncomfortable, what became even worse when Luke, who had stood beside him, took place at the table, leaving him to stand alone in the middle of the room.

“So you’re back.†Jesse opened the conversation.

Nick nodded and looked at the ground.

“Now there’s now need to search that oll floor, nothing to see there.†Jesse corrected him.

Nick looked up in shy kind of way. He wasn’t used to looking people in the eye.

“I eh…I don’t exactly know how to eh …start this.†Nick stuttered.

“Now why don’t ya just start with taking a seat first?†Jesse said while pointing at the rocking chair in front of him. “And than just say whatever ya have to say.â€

Nick did as he was told and took a seat.

“I eh…I wanted to apologize for what I did at the table.†Nick said in a nervous but sincere voice. “I had no call behaving like that and I won’t do it again. If I’m still aloud to stay that is.â€

Although Jesse had been quite upset with the boy, he could see that Nick really meant what he said and he valued that.

“Well you sure were behaving badly.†Jesse said, starting of a bit stern, to ease up after it. “But I do appreciate you’re willing to admit that now, so apology accepted. Let’s just call it a bad start and leave it at that.†Jesse paused and looked at Nick for a moment. “Now to answer your question. we said you could stay here for the time being and that offer still stands, but we have to make some things very clear then.â€

Even though Jesse’s voice had sounded quite friendly, Nick couldn’t help looking at the floor again. Jesse saw it but didn’t say anything about it.

“In this house.†He explained. “We take a couple of things very serious and one of them is our faith in the Lord and our task to serve Him. We expect you to show some respect for that as long as you’re in this house, and because we can’t leave ya alone at the farm that also means ya have to join us at church tomorrow morning.â€

Nick put up a complaining face. “I can stay behind by myself, I don’t mind.†He said

Jesse frowned. “Well let’s just say we don’t know that yet.â€

“It ain’t that bad.†Luke added. “And Bo and me will take ya fishing after it, allright?â€

Nick sighed “Allright then, I’ll go†He said without a lot of enthusiasm.

“Good.†Jesse stated. “Then a second thing that might needs mentioning, this is a farm and everybody helps with the work that has to be done. Now you are our guest and we don’t actually want you to earn your keep but, it’s no good for a boy your age to just hang around doing nothing. Especially because I don’t believe you’re attending any school at the moment. So you’ll have to help out around here.â€

Nick’s face changed from complaining to nasty. He wasn’t a big fan of working and besides that he had never been on a farm. He wouldn’t know what or how to do anything.

“Is that clear then?†Jesse asked, because he wasn’t given any response.

“Yeah sure, what ever.†Nick said barely hearable and on a cranky tone.

Luke looked at him with disapproval. “I think ya meant to say ‘yes sir’ didn’t ya.†He corrected the boy on a tone that didn’t accept any objections.

Luke’s words seemed to strike target, because Nick looked up and gave Jesse a sad kind of smile. “Yes sir.†He said “I’ll help out.â€

“Well that’s settled then.†Jesse said with a kind smile while he got up from the couch. “Guess we better get that spare room ready for ya then.â€

Meanwhile in the Boars Nest, Daisy was bringing everybody their beers. Although see had big dreams about becoming a great songwriter or a journalist, she enjoyed here work and served every customer with a smile. She was just making small talk with Army Hitchfield when Enos walked in to the bar. “Hi there Enos.†Daisy said with one of her most loveliest smiles.†“Hehhehhi there Daisy.†Enos stuttered a bit. “You have a buttermilk for me?â€

“Coming right up honey.†Daisy poured the buttermilk and handed the town deputy his glass.

“So how’s the law enforcing these days Enos?†Daisy asked.

“Very good.†He answered with a big smile. “Good enough for me to find the time to come and say hi to you.â€

Daisy saw he was blushing a bit while he said it and had to giggle a bit. “While I really appreciate it Enos, just as much as I appreciate you didn’t arrest my cousins for quite a while now.â€

Enos pulled a sad face. “Now Daisy, you know I don’t like going after Bo and Luke, but if Mister Hogg wants it I don’t have a choice.†He sad almost apologizing.

“I know Enos.†Daisy sad comforting, feeling guilty that her little joke had mad Enos feel bad. “You’re a good deputy and I’m sure when you run for sheriff one day, you’ll make an honest town out of Hazzard.â€

“Well thank ya Daisy.†Enos said while taking a sip of his buttermilk leaving a white mustache. “I heard that ya’all took in that boy this morning.â€

Daisy nodded. “Yes, Nick is with us at the farm. He’s a nice kid I guess, I didn’t had a lot of time to get to know him though. I had to go to work right of.â€

“Well most of the townsfolk don’t think he’s that nice. There has been a lot of shoplifting taken place last few day’s. They can’t prove it, but now sheriff Rosco caught Nick at Mr. Williams’s store this morning they all think he stole from them too.â€

“Ah poor boy.†Daisy said sincere.

“Yeah, guess ya right about that.†Enos said while he stood up from his bar seat and put his hat back on. “I’ll have to go again now, duty’s calling.â€

“Sure honey. Why don’t ya come around for supper sometime?†Daisy asked him.

Enos gave her an excited look. “Ya sure Daisy? I would really like that.â€

Daisy gave him a warm smile. “Now that’s settled then, just let me know when you’re free and me and Uncle Jesse will make something good.â€

Enos was overexcited and backed in a couple of tables while he wanted to leave the bar.

“I’ll do that, I’ll have to go now, but I will let ya know soon.†He said while putting the chairs back in order and stumbling out of the bar.

When he’d got outside he had to take a deep breath first before he got in his car. “Possumonagombush,†He mumbled to himself. “Daisy asked me for dinner.â€

Inside Daisy was giggling about Enos clumsiness. In spite of that goofy way the deputy had over himself, Daisy could not help having this special feeling for. him She just wondered how Enos would be if he wasn’t that nervous around her al the time.

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Back at the Duke farm the spare room was all set and everybody was sitting in the living room again. Nick had noticed Bo’s comic book collection and was all over it. “Man, those are awesome!†Nick said impressed while he was sitting at the table and went trough them. “This is a first edition ain’t it?†He asked while holding up a Fantastic Four copy?†Bo stood beside him with a worried face, making sure nothing would happen to the comics

“Yeah it is. You like them?â€

Nick nodded enthusiastic. “Yes they’re great, but I like X-man better though. Nobody beats Wolverine.â€

Bo grinned. “Well I’m more a Superman kind of guy but I guess wolverine I okay too.†Nick looked a little suspicious at Bo. “I wouldn't have taken ya for a comic fan.†He said doubting. “Ain’t ya kind of old for that?â€

Luke almost choked in his coffee from laughing at that. Bo gave his cousin an angry look. “Well not a lot of people would I think.†He answered ignoring the last remark. “Actually it’s right up there behind cars.â€

“Make that third place and add girls to the list.†Luke said teasing.

Bo pulled a big smile “Well can’t argue with that now, can I?†He said laughing.

As Bo and Nick continued their friendly quarrel, arguing about who was stronger The Hulk or The Thing, Jesse came walking in the room with milk and a tray of homemade cookies, that Daisy had made that afternoon.

“Maybe it’s a good idea when ya tell us a little bit more about yourself Nick.†He said, while he handed the boy a glass and some cookies.

“Not much to tell there.†Nick said short and pretended he went on reading the comic books.

“Sure there is.†Jesse said patient while laying a hand on the boys shoulder. “Now you can trust us, we won’t judge ya, but we have to know what happened to ya.â€

Nick sighed but still kept his mouth shot.

“Why don’t ya start with telling us about what happened to your parents?†Luke said

Nick understood this people would not give up, so he took a deep breath.

“Well they died in a car crash. Me and Thom were at school when they told us.â€

“Thom is your brother?†Bo asked.

“Little brother yeah, he is 5 years younger than me, he’s 6 now.â€

“So what happened then?†Luke asked.

“Well we were brought to some aunt from our mom who we had never seen before, but she couldn’t take care of us. She was to old or something so they brought us to an orphanage.â€

“And you didn’t like it there much?†Jesse guessed.

“No I didn’t. When Tommy and I were together it wasn’t that bad, but he’d got adopted pretty soon so I couldn’t see him that much anymore.â€

“Didn’t they keep you two together then?†Jesse asked.

Nick shook his head and looked sad at the table. “I guess they tried, but id didn’t seem to work out. Everybody liked Thom ya know and that’s no wonder he’s great, but well, I ehh…I…eeh.†Nick didn’t know how to put it.

“That’s okay.†Luke said understanding. “We get what you trying to say, so those people adopted your little brother and you stayed behind. When exactly did ya decided to run away?â€

Nick thought back. “Three months a go, something like that. After the Yardley’s send me back I guess.†Nick paused. “They were the forth family in 6 months.†He added softly. “Guess I’m just not that good with people telling me what to do.â€

“We noticed that.†Bo said jokingly to cheer up the mood a little. Luke gave him an irritable look, but Nick seemed to handle the joke well enough and smiled.

“So you’ve been out there for three months.†Luke said shocked.

“Yeah something like that.†Nick said a bit indifferent. “I’ve been traveling around a bit, hitchhiking and stuff just went where I found somewhere to sleep.â€

“And nobody noticed you were out there on your own?†Bo asked.

“Guess not.†Nick said shrugging his shoulders. He didn’t really understand why anyone should have noticed or cared for that matter.

“So that was when you started steeling?†Luke guessed.

Nick shucked his head. “No, I mean I had to steel to have something to eat of course, but that wasn’t when I started with it. Hell no, Tommy and I’ve been steeling ever since we knew how.â€

“Now you watch your language boy.†Jesse said more out of habit than anything else and without sounding upset. “And that is not a good thing you’re telling us there, what about your parents, didn’t they know? Didn’t they were very upset with the both of ya?â€

Nick looked a little confused. “No sir, our dad always told us to go out there and make sure we had enough to eat. He only got mad when we didn’tâ€

It became very quiet in the Dukes living room, cause nobody knew how to react at that.

Nick looked nervously at the faces staring at him. Jesse felt like he had to say something, but even he wasn’t sure what would be the right thing to say at this time. “Now Nick I don’t want to speak ill about your family and I’m sure your daddy had his reasons, but that there is a sad story.†He started. “Steeling is not a good thing and no parent should ever make their kids do anything like that. Everybody is put on this earth to do their share of work. Now some might have to work harder then others and some might be given less money then others, but everybody has to work for there belongings, and if you can’t one way or an other, there are other ways out. Taking things that ain’t yours is just plain wrong!â€

“But sometimes you don’t have a choice right?†Nick asked confused. “I mean I know you aren’t suppose to, otherwise those cops wouldn’t come after ya, but if ya don’t have anything yourself, it’s not that bad right?â€

Jesse sighed. “You just picture yourself working very hard for something, cause most people have to, specially around here, and now imagine somebody just taking it from you. How would you feel about that?â€

Nick tried to think of something anybody could take from him. “Pretty angry I suppose.†He answered after a moment.

“Right, now wouldn’t ya do anything to prevent anyone feeling that way because of you.â€

Nick didn’t really know how to answer that question. He never really thought about it that way, but still thought there would be exceptions to any situation.

“Nobody should be starving of hunger of course.†Jesse went on. “But steeling is against the law and the law is there to be obeyed and like I said, there are always other ways out. There are people and services that can help a person.â€

“Except of course when that ain’t possible because of some kind of natural disaster blowing everything and anybody away or something.†Bo said jokingly in a ‘but that probably will never happen’ kind of way.

Jesse raised his eyebrows and gave his youngest nephew a disapproving look, for making jokes in a serious conversation. “Well then maybe.†He said a bit irritable and without sounding really convinced. “But the bottom-line is when ya take something that ain’t yours, people end up hurt and that’s just wrong.â€

“Is this making any sense to ya?†Luke asked in a caring voice?

“Suppose so.†Nick replied. He still had a lot of thoughts running around in his head.

“So you’ll be apologizing to Mr. Williams then tomorrow morning after church?†Jesse asked.

“Do I have a choice?†Nick asked on a skeptical tone

“Ya always have a choice.†Bo said

“Just be the wrong one when ya choose not to.†Luke added.

‘Man, what a family!’ Nick thought to himself

“Al right then I will.†He said, knowing that just meant he did not have a choice “But that fishing better be worth it.†He added. His pride not allowing him to just give in that easily.

The Dukes knew this was the best they could achieve in one day and left it at that.

“Good then.†Jesse said. “I think we better call it a night for ya then, and get ya of to bed. Tomorrow is a early morning. Toothbrush and pajamas if you please them, lie ready on your bed.â€

“Oh, no need to, I’m not tired yet.†Nick replied casual, but the looks he was given by Jesse and Luke told him that wasn’t a acceptable response.

“Allright, allright, no need to get wound up, I’m gone already.†He said a bit cross and he wanted to get upstairs.

“He kid!†Bo called after him in a heavy voice.

“What!?†Nick called out while he turned around and looked at the tall blond man, wondering what he did wrong this time.

“Here take this one with ya.†Bo just said and handed him the first edition comic book. “Ya can read it in bed before falling in to sleep.â€

Nick stared amazed at the comic before accepting it. “Ow, eh..thanx.†He said feeling very stupid for his reaction.

“Don’t mention it.†Bo said “Just keep it in one piece if ya can. Good night now.â€

“Yeah sure, good night.†Nick mumbled still a bit stunned and hurried upstairs.

The men watched him go up the stairs and shook their heads.

“So what are we going to do tonight?†Bo asked his cousin when Nick had disappeared

“Well, we told those little ladies in the Boars Nest yesterday we would be back tonight now didn’t we.†Luke said

“Yes sir we did and a Duke never breaks his promise.â€

“Sounds like a plan than.â€

“Now you two hold it for a second.†Jesse interrupted them. “With that young man with us tomorrow morning I don’t want you two sitting trough service as a couple zombies ya hear.â€

“Don’t worry uncle Jesse we won’t be back that late.†Luke said. “And Bo won’t be drinking so he sure be as fit as a fiddle tomorrow.â€

“Why ain’t I drinking?†Bo said almost insulted. “I’m 21 for quite some time now ya know. I don’t need you smuggling me drinks no more.â€

“Yeah two whole months that’s true, but you’re also driving tonight.†Luke said as that was an obvious thing.

“And why is that then?â€

“Well you always want to.†Luke grinned

“Not when we go to the Boars Nest I don’t!†Bo was getting quite riled up.

“Alright, alright, I make ya a deal.†Luke said while he headed to the stairs.

“ We split it fare and square I drive us to the Boars Nest and you drive us back. Alright?â€

“Alright!†Said Bo enthusiastic not yet realizing what is was he had agreed to. After a few seconds it hit hem though. “Now that was just down right mean Luke!†He called out to his cousin who was already halfway up the stairs. “You knew I would fall for that.â€

“Sure did cus. Now why don’t ya heat up the General for me in the meantime, I’ll be down in a sec.†Bo couldn’t believe he had been this stupid and sat down sulking.

Upstairs Luke knocked on the door of the guestroom and walked in. Nick was standing in front of the window wearing his pajama trousers. “Thinking of sneaking off?†Luke kidded.

Nick gave him a small smile. “No just thinking.â€

“Better save the thinking for tomorrow and go to bed now.â€

Nick nodded and stepped in to bed.

“You know, we’ve been telling you a whole lot of stuff we expect from ya today, but if we can do anything for you I want you to tell me okay.â€

“Yeah sure.†Nick said a little ill at ease. “Wouldn’t know anything though.â€

“That’s okay. Just let me know if ya do.â€

“What time do we have to get up in the morning?â€

“Well the farm life starts early, with the animals have to be taken care of before service, but I guess we’ll wake ya at 8 then you have ‘bout an hour to get yourself ready and we’re leaving at 9†Nick nodded.

“Alright see ya in the morning then.†Luke said while he walked to the door. “Sleep well now.â€

“See ya in the morning.†Nick replied. The boy doubted for a second but then called just before Luke closed the door. “He Luke!â€

“Yeah?†Luke reacted opening the door again.

“I’ve never been fishing before.†Nick said like it was a confession.

Luke smiled. “Well then me and Bo will teach ya some things. You just make sure you fit enough tomorrow okay?â€


Luke closed they door and after waiting a couple of seconds he saw the chink of light that run under it disappearing.

About an half hour later Bo, Luke and Cooter sat at a table in the Boars Nest. Luke had given in on driving anyway, so he was the only one with a Coke while they others enjoyed their beers.â€

“Guess you guys didn’t really impress those girls last night.†Cooter joked. “They ain’t here yet.â€

“Well maybe their daddy’s heard about us and didn’t let them.†Bo grinned.

“Well that won’t be the first time would it be Lukas?†Cooter asked. Luke had been sunken in thoughts though and didn’t react.

“Watch up with him?†Cooter asked worried now.

Bo pulled a mocking face. ‘He’s like that ever since we run in to that kid.†He gave Luke a elbow in the ribs to shake him up. “Luke I swear it if ya don’t let it go now I go searching for better looking company.†Bo said annoyed.

“Alright I’m sorry.†Luke admitted. “What were ya saying Cooter?â€

Cooter made a indifferent hand gesture “Nothing special, about something else though, are you guys entering that race that's hold in 2 weeks?â€

“Do dogs bark?†Bo said wholehearted. “Sure we are, we have to defend our title.â€

“Oh yeah, that’s true you won last year.â€

“And the year before that.†Luke said bragging.

“Well get ready to see some chancing in that then, cause you might not have that much luck this time.â€

“And why would that be?â€

“Cause I’m entering.†Cooter said smiling.

“Cooter, you were also driving last year, why would this year be any different.†Bo said cynical.

“Cause you haven’t seen that new engine I put in yet. You wait ‘till she is tuned up and nobody can stop her.â€

“Well we weren’t planning on stopping ya, just passing ya.â€

“Well give it your best shot, but I think you might get disappointed.†He held his beer mug up.†“That the best man may win!†The Duke boys raised their glasses and Bo acknowledged the toast with a good “YEEHAH.†All the men laughed end took a sip of their drinks.

“What’s funny over here?†Daisy came standing next to them.

“Cooter thinking he can beat us at the nevt race.†Luke filled her in.

“Well don’t neither of you all think yaselfs winners yet, I heard some guy from out of town is entering and he seems to be really good. Even did some NASCAR-racing.â€

“You know his name?†Bo asked excited.

Daist shook her head. “Sorry honey can’t help ya there.†And she walked to the bar again.

Luke frowned. “Why should somebody who drove NASCAR come to Hazzard to race?â€

“Maybe he wasn’t good enough to keep up with the big boys?†Cooter guessed.

“Or he just wants a change of scenery. You have to admit we have quite some good drivers around her.†Bo added.

Luke wanted to react but Cooter interrupted him. “Seems like those daddy’s didn’t hear about ya after all.†He said well pointing at the door. In the door opening they saw the two girls with long hair and skirts almost shorter than Daisy’s shorts. “Luke I think I’m in love.†Bo said smiling from ear to ear. “With the both of them!!!!â€

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While the two women joined the men at their table Daisy went on taking orders from her customers. Daisy wasn’t the clumsy type but tonight she already had dropped two glasses because of not concentrating and thinking of Enos. She had always had special feelings for the goofy deputy but lately it seemed to take her up completely. She didn’t know why exactly. She didn’t see in him what most girls saw in her cousins. Enos wasn’t tough or cool or even very handsome or smart, but he was cute, honest, sweet, kind and reliable and that were all quality’s she looked for in a guy. Besides that he was absolutely crazy about her.

Thinking of all this Daisy just wasn’t focusing and suddenly bumped in to a customer whit a full tray of beer in her hands. She tried to keep the tray steady bit couldn’t not prevent the classes from knocking over and spilling the beer all over the very large man with way to much hair on his face..

“Arhg!!!†The man cried out. “Can’t ya look were ya going, ya stupid little ****.â€

Normally Daisy wouldn’t let nobody talk to her like that, but she noticed the guy had a bad drunk hanging over him and didn’t want to create anymore trouble.

“I’m sorry.†She said apologizing. “Let me clean that up for ya.†And she tried to wipe the beer of him with a napkin.

“No, no. just leave it.†The man said angrily. “You probably mess that up to! Just do were ya good for and get me a beer.â€

Daisy thought the smartest thing to do was to get the man what he wanted and walked up to the bar. Bo, who saw the whole thing happen on the other hand, didn’t agree with that and stood up from his chair

“Now that is no way to talk to a lady.†He said when he was standing in front of him. “Especially not when she just said she was sorry.â€

“Why don’t ya just mind your one business, pretty boy.†The man said with out giving Bo a lot of attention and turning his back at him.

â€Well, you insulting my cousin is my business, so you just apologize to the ma’am before I’ll teach ya some manners.†Bo said in an aggressive voice.

The man didn’t take Bo’s advice kindly though. “I’ll teach ya something.†He said angry and before Bo really noticed it he had turned around and punched Bo in the face.

Bo stumbled back and kept standing there bended over, his face hiding in his hands.

“Guess you’re not as tough as ya are good looking, pretty boy.†The man said while he headed towards him. Bo had expected this though and as soon as the man was close enough he slammed in to him as he had done many years playing high school football, knocking the guy to the bar.

The man took another swing at Bo but missed. Bo turned his side at him and elbowed him hard in the stomach. The big man doubled up from pain before Bo’s right hook knocked him to the floor.

Luke had stood beside watching, knowing his cousin could handle himself. But thought this was the time to interfere. Bo was standing over the man, holding his fist in the air, when Luke put a hand on his shoulder. “Think ya thought him enough there cus.†He said keeping Bo from seriously damage the guy. Bo looked at the floored man with disgust, but took his cousins advice and lowered his fist. “Guess you’re right. Wouldn’t wanna waist no time having to drive this guy to a hospital.†He said while touching his face with a painful look. “He had you bad there, didn’t he?†Luke grinned.

“Well I didn’t expect he would throw a punch like that.†Bo said insulted.

Luke wanted to react, but Daisy interrupted him. “Are you alright sugar?†She said while hugging Bo and softly thatching his sore face.â€

“Yeah no big deal.†He said smiling. “Don’t worry about it.â€

“Well ya just should have let it pas!†She said angry now. And slapping him to the arm. “That guy was trouble to begin with and you’re just lucky Rosco didn’t walk in. He would have taken any excuse to throw ya in jail.â€

“I was just defending your honor. Nobody talks to a cousin of mine like that and gets away with it.â€

Daisy could not stay mad at him and kissed him on the check.

“Thank you for that then.†She said in a sweet voice. “Let me get you ya boys a drinkâ€

Bo shook his head grinning. That woman could change moods faster then he and Luke chanced tires. Together!

While the large hairy man was dragged from the floor by some of his buddy’s Bo and Luke went back to their seats.

Back at the table, the girl named Becky-Lee looked at Bo with admiration. “That was really cool Bo.†She said giggling.

Luke pulled a mocking face. “I don’t think it will look so cool in the morning.†He said pointing at his own cheekbone.

“Well you didn’t stand up for Daisy. I did!†Bo fired back at him.

“No didn’t have to I knew you would beat me even when I tried.â€

“Now I still think you were very brave.†Becky-Lee said and gave him a kiss on the lips.

Bo turned kind of red.

For that kind of reward he would let himself get punched in the face any day.

The boys kept their promise and went home at 12:00, what was a very acceptable time for a Saturday night. “You think Jesse is still up?†Bo asked from the passenger seat. “Luke shrugged. “Not sure, I think he’s in bed already, but I don’t think the man ever sleeps when we are out late.†He said with a soft smile.

“Yeah, we have to help him of that, sometime.â€

Luke looked at him with a sarcastic expression on his face.

“You coming home with that brose on your face will sure help a lot, that’s true.†He said laughing.

“Neh guess it won’t.†Bo had to admit.

Suddenly a sputtering kind of noise came from under the hood. “You here that?†Bo asked.

“Sure do.†Luke said with a concerned face. “Doesn’t sound good.â€

“Shell we take a look at it?â€

Luke shook his head. “Way to dark now. We are almost home, better hope we make it to the farm and look at it tomorrow.â€

But the boys weren’t in that much luck, cause just about “a quarter of a mile before they should reach the farm the sputtering sound mate a large ‘plop’ and the General gave up.

Bo slammed his fist on the dashboard. “Dang it!†He said irritated. “Now we have to call Cooter to come and get us.â€

Luke shook his head. â€Bo we’re broke.†He said on a sad tone. “We still own him money from that busted tail light two weeks a go. Now I’m sure he won’t charge us for towing the General, but I don’t like the idea of getting him out her when he just went to bed and we can’t even pay the man.†“Guess we’ll be pushing the General home then.â€

“Yep.†Luke said while he climbed out of the car. “Better prepare yourself for a long walk.â€

The next morning found two very cranky young men at the breakfast table.

“Any idea what’s wrong with the General?†Jesse asked while he got up to pour everyone coffee.

Luke nodded. “I took a look at it first thing this morning. Seems like a clogged carburetor, I tried to clean it out, and I think he’ll drive again but no way we’ll be racing it like this We have to replace it.â€

“Well we’re done then.†Bo said upset “No way we raise the money to buy one in time for the race.â€

“What clogged it then?†Nick asked while he feasted on Daisy’s pancakes.

“Well that’s the strange part about it. It was filled with red clay but I can’t remember we’ve been anyway near Bronson Canyon lately. That’s the only place you find that stuff.â€

As soon as Luke had mentioned the words ‘red clay’ he saw Bo’s face fall and when he added Bronson Canyon, Bo seemed to be looking away and rubbed his face just a little bit to obvious.

“Did you go there?†Luke asked

“Well might be possible I pasted it shortly, two days a go.†He said while he went trough his hair in a guilty gesture.

“What were ya doing there then?†Luke asked confused.

“Well nothing special, just driving around a bit.†Bo said, but gave Luke a ‘there’s more but can’t tell ya now’ look. Luke understood this look perfectly, but didn’t seem to mind Jesse or anyone else being in the room.

“Dang it Bo! When will you be starting to think with your head in stead of something else. You know you have to clean out the carburetor after you’ve been there. If you weren’t so busy making out, we wouldn’t have any problem now. â€

Bo took a quick look at Jesse and saw his disapproving face. “I didn’t say nothing about making out.†He said not really convincing. “But I wouldn’t be a Duke if I could do what you were saying.†He added jokingly.

“That will be quite enough!†Jesse spoke very displeased. “We’re having company.â€

Nick though, had the time of his life and looked at the arguing men, with a big smile. He already noticed that Bo and Luke were bickering at each other all the time, but that it was all just goofing around.

After breakfast the family took off for church. Bo, Luke and Nick took the General, who was driving again, but still made a concerning sound. Jesse and Daisy took the white pick-up. In the car Luke went on against Bo for awhile but had dropped the whole thing again even before they reached town. When Bo parked the car Nick didn’t hurried himself to get out. He felt stupid walking around in Luke’s old Sunday clothes, and he wasn’t comfortable being in the middle of so many people. “Come on Nick. On this pace service will be over before we even get in.†Luke encouraged him. “I was actually kinda hoping for that.†Nick mumbled loud enough for Luke to hear. Luke shook his head and smiled.

As they walked in to the church Nick had this feeling everybody stared at him and when they found a bench to take place he knew it wasn’t just a feeling.. He saw the looks of the townsfolk following him. “Can’t I just wait in the car?†He whispered to Uncle Jesse.

“Just sit over there and it will be fine.†Jesse whispered back in a calming voice. He saw how nervous the boy was. He put his hand on the boy shoulder as they shuffled along the benches and took their seats. Jesse first, followed by Nick, Luke and Daisy and Bo closed the line.

As the service began, Nick sunk in deep thoughts. His mind was going over the same things he had been thinking of last night in bed. What was it with this family that gave him this weird feeling? He had lived with a foster family that went to church ones. They had wanted him to come along but he had refused and locked himself up in his room. Now why had he agreed then on coming today? He didn’t have to. Maybe it would have upset them and maybe they would have been angry, but they couldn’t have forced him in to coming. The idea of the old man dragging him in to the church kicking and screaming seemed almost hilarious. He couldn’t even imagine why they would take that much trouble in the first place. What was different then this time? Nicks thoughts were interrupted when everybody suddenly stood up. Nick just quickly did the same, not wanting to stick out even more then he already thought he did. The minister spoke some words that seemed to be some kind of prayer and after that everybody including the Dukes started singing. Nick was really amazed how everybody seemed to know the song. Most people held a hymnbook but that was really thick. Even if you had the words you had to remember the melody of all those songs. He became tired even of thinking about it. After the song everybody suddenly set down again.

Nick started thinking again. The stupid thing was he just didn’t want these people to be mad at him. Normally spoken he wouldn’t care what anybody thought of him. He wasn’t staying anywhere for a long time anyway. Sooner or later he had to leave again so why go trough the trouble of obeying people against his own will? But this time was different, even as he knew his stay at the farm was only temporary, he didn’t wanted the Dukes to dislike him.

A lot of songs, prayers, a lecture, two bible readings and one and a half hour later the service was over. “So what did ya think?†Luke asked him when the stood outside.

Nick shrugged “Didn’t get a lot of it and it was quite long but the singing was okay I guess.â€

“Luke did you see Cooter anywhere?’ Bo asked.

“Neh, don’t think he’s here, he can’t sit still that long.†Luke joked.

“Hmm to bad, I wanted to ask him about that carburetor.â€

“I do see somebody else though.†Luke said while he nudged Nick in the arm.

Nick saw what the man meant and sighed.

“Want me to walk with ya?†Luke asked.

“Yeah better do that, think that man is capable of killing me otherwise.†Nick said with an anxious expression.

Luke laughed and threw an arm around the boys shoulder in a comforting gesture as they walked up to the grocer. When they stood in front of the grocer Luke took his arm away and let Nick do his thing.

“Eh Mr. Williams.†Nick said.

The grocer turned around and looked at the boy.

“Ow it’s you again.†He said on a crabby tone.

The way the grocer reacted at him, maid Nick feel rebelling again, but with Luke standing behind him he couldn’t walk away anymore.

“I just wanted to apologize for trying to steel your stuff†Nick said a little forced. “I shouldn’t have done that.â€

“Well that’s a true thing.†The man said still cranky. “But it’s okay as long as it wont happen again.†Mr. Williams looked shortly at Luke and than back at Nick. “Rosco told me you’all took him in. I think you would like to know I didn’t press charges kid. I guessed you’d be better of with Jesse than in jail.â€

Nick hadn’t even thought about that anymore, but was still relieved when he heard it. “Thank ya sir and it won’t.â€

“Well that’s all good than, better run of now, I’ve got more to do today.â€

Nick nodded and walked away.

“What a sourpuss.†Nick mumbled when he was on a save distance from the grocer.

“That sourpuss did save ya from a criminal record there.†Luke said

“Yeah I know that and I’m glad about that but that doesn’t make him Mr. sunshine.â€

Luke shook his head disapproving, but didn’t say anything.

Nick and Luke joined the rest of the family again.

“Did ya settle your things?†Jesse asked.

Nick nodded. “He didn’t press charges.†The boy just said.

“Well that’s very nice of Gilbert, guess you boys better see whether you can catch us some dinner than.†Jesse said smiling.

“Ya bet!†Nick said enthusiastic and run of to the General Lee.

The grownups looked at him laughing.

“I won’t be coming with ya.†Bo said as Jesse and Daisy walked away to the pick-up.

“Why not?†Luke asked him amazed.

“Well I just talked to Becky-Lee and we’re going out for a drive with her car.†Bo said with a big smile.

“Driving huh.†Luke said sarcastic. “Ain’t you doing a lot of driving lately cus?â€

“Well nothing wrong with that now is there?†Bo grinned.

“You just don’t do anything stupid now and make sure her daddy doesn’t kill ya.â€

“You don’t worry about that.†Bo said with a meaningful look while he started to walk over to Becky-Lee. “She’s raised very liberal.â€

“You just watch out for red clay!†Luke yelled after him, but Bo just waved his hand in the air while he started running to the girl.

“Where’s is Bo going?†Nick asked when Luke climbed behind the wheel.

“He eh..had another appointment.†Luke just said. “No you just get of that backseat and drive shotgun up hear.â€

“Alright!†Nick called out and when he had taken place Luke drove of.

About ten minutes later they were sitting at the edge of the Hazzard fishing pond.

Luke had shown Nick how to cast the line and they were now both waiting for the fishes to bite.

“If Rosco or Enos shows up here be sure to let go of that fishing pole, cause you don’t have a permit and they will fine ya for sure.â€

“Why are those guys after you’all so much?†Nick asked.

“That’s kind of a long story.†Luke said with a soft smile.

“Well were not going anywhere.†Nick said, really wanting to hear the story.

Luke gave in. “All right then, but after that it’s my turn to ask a question and you’ll have to tell the truth then. Deal?â€

Nick doubted for a moment, but his curiosity won. “Deal.†He answered.

Luke thought for a while.

“Guess it all starts with Boss Hogg. That’s our county commissioner. The man is more greedy than Ebenezer Scrooge and as fat as a baby elephant. The only thing he does all day is thinking op corrupt plans to make more money so he can eat even more.â€

Nick grinned wide.

“Well J.D. Hogg used to be uncle Jesse’s partner in the moonshine business.†Luke went on.

“Moonshine?†Nick asked.

Luke nodded. “Home made corn whiskey.†He explained.

“But that’s illegal right?â€

Luke nodded. “Yeah it is, and when Bo and I got caught running shine Jesse had to make a promise to the government that he would never make a drop of shine ever again, so we would get probation.†Nick couldn’t believe his ears, and listened with big eyes.

“Now like I said J.D. Hogg used to be uncle Jesses partner. He was greedy even then ,but with the years it became worse and today that man will do everything for money even if it harms the town he’s suppose to take care of. Now us Dukes believe you’re aloud to fight the system if the system ain’t doing what is suppose to do. That means we try to keep J.D’s corrupt plans from happening and he doesn’t like that at all.â€

“But what that has to do with the sheriff?†Nick asked confused.

“Well Sheriff Rosco used to be an honest lawman, but when his pension disappeared in the election rounds , he decided to become the best lawman money can buy and because Boss has the money he owns Rosco.â€

“Man!†Nick said impressed.

“Yeah you can say that.†Luke smiled. “Enos is okay though. He’s honest, but also loyal to his sheriff and to J.D. so that makes things difficult.â€

Nick was thinking. “Can I ask another thing?†He asked suspicious.

“Sure, shoot!†.Luke said.

“Well your Uncle Jesse was telling me about how you’re suppose to obey the law, but now ya telling me ya’all used to run shine. How’s that?â€

Luke had expected that question. “Well running shine was a family tradition long before the U.S.A. government told us that we couldn’t, and family is the most important thing, after the good Lord that is. Besides that, when we made whiskey, we did pay taxes on the corn.â€

Nick didn’t know what that answer meant exactly, but Luke sounded really sure of his case so he took it as true.

“Alright my turn then.†Luke said. “You told me and Bo you’d get used of your parents not being alive anymore, but that ain’t true right?â€

Nick looked away. “I don’t know.†He said truthfully. “It wasn’t always fun. Dad used to drink a lot, that was why the shop didn’t run and we never had any money. And mom never cared much for us. She was always out, don’t know what she was doing but she was just always out. †He paused. “But dad had his good moments, he took Thom and me to a racetrack once so we could watch the horses. And at least Thom and me were together.â€

Luke nodded understanding. “You took care of your little brother a lot?†He asked.

“Yeah, had to most of the time.â€

Luke started to understand the boys’ behavior a little better.

“My turn again right?†Nick asked.

“Right.†Luke answered.

“Why are you and Bo and Daisy living with your uncle and not with ya parents.â€

“Well, Daisy’s mom died giving birth to her and her dad and Bo’s parents were in a car accident just like yours. The three of them were on their way to a family reunion. Brakes failed and the car drove of a cliff I believe. None of them survived. So uncle Jesse took them in when Bo was 5 and Daisy 6†Luke stopped talking and cast his line again.

“What about you?†Nick asked on a careful tone

Luke swallowed for a moment. “I was already living on the farm, at that moment. My mom was very sick at the time, something with her longs, and I wasn’t that easy to handle back than. I guess ya could say I was quite an annoyance, always getting in to trouble. My parents decided it would be for the best if I would go and live with Jesse for a while. Well my mom died a couple of months later and some how not long after that my dad had a fatal hart attack. Guess he just couldn’t live without my mom and he died from grieve.â€

“Weren’t ya ever mad at your parents they had sent ya away?†Nick asked while he looked Luke in the eye.

“Sure I was.†Luke answered. “I’ve been furious. Uncle Jesse was much stricter than my parents ever were and I didn’t like the farm life at all when I first got here. I was mad at my parents, mad at Jesse, mad at everybody. Even when Bo and Daisy came living with us I spoiled the mood quite sometimes for everybody.â€

“But ya’all seem so thick right now.†Nick said.

“Yeah we are, that’s because although uncle Jesse might be strict on a lot of things, no matter what, he always loved us like we were his own and no matter how much we messed up he always was there for us when we needed him. He taught us right from wrong and the importance of family.†It became quite for a moment.

“It took some work straitening me out sometimes though.†Luke said laughing to lighten up the mood a bit. “Jesse was always there for that to.â€

Nick smiled softly he wanted to ask something else but at that moment something hauled hard at his fishing line. “ Al right!†Luke said enthusiastic while he dropped his own pole and went standing behind the boy to help him. “Just reel her in nice and easy.†Nick turned the reel as hard as he could and looked proud at his catch when he saw the fish coming out of the water. Luke took the fish and showed Nick how to unhook him. “Well done kiddo.†He said “Guess we’re eating bass tonight.â€

About an hour later Luke and Nick had filled their bucket with Fish and went home. Nick had been quiet for a while and Luke looked at him with a questioning look.

“What’s on your mind?†He asked.

“Just thinking about church this morning.†Nick replied.

“You had a religious enlightenment?†Luke asked jokingly.

“Nick shook his head. He didn’t exactly know what enlightenment meant, but he knew there was nothing religious about what he was thinking.

“What about it than?†Luke held on.

“Just that everybody was looking at me, and I didn’t know why.â€

Luke sighed. He had saw it, but had hoped Nick didn’t had noticed it.

“Well there has been a lot of steeling taken place lately and this being a small town, when a shoplifter is caught, news travels fast. Everybody hoping to get there stuff back.â€

“Ow.†Nick said. “Why didn’t they something then?â€

“Cause Enos already filled Daisy in on that last night and she called Jesse about it from the Boars Nest.â€

Nick looked confused at the man behind the wheel.

“Jesse figured things would become awkward for ya then this morning.†Luke explained. “So he maid some phone calls last night when you were already gone to bed. He’s been friends with most of the shopkeepers for quite sometime. He asked them to give ya a break and promised them you would give back everything ya still had.â€

“But I don’t have anything anymore, most of it was food and the rest of it has been used.†Nick said a little panicking.

Luke nodded. “Jesse figured so much, so he also promised he would have some shine hold back to compromise them if they whished. Jesse’s shine is quite famous ya know.â€

Nick didn’t know what to say. Nobody had ever done a thing like that for him before.

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â€Luke?†Nick asked suddenly. “Do you know those caves near that river with that white bridge?â€

Luke had to laugh about that vague description. ‘I think ya mean the o’ll Indian Caves. Yes I know them. Were not that far away from them as a matter of fact.â€

“Ya think we could stop there for a moment?â€

â€Yeah sure. Is there a special reason or are we just gonna catch up on our native history?â€

Nick shook his head. “No not really, just to get some stuff I left there.â€

“You used to come there then?†Luke asked.

“Used to sleep there when it was cold.â€

Luke nodded and took a right turn of the main road.

Not much later the two of them walked along the river up to the caves.

“Which one of them is it?†Luke asked.

“That one.†And Nick pointed to one of them.

“You do know bears use to sleep here do you?†Luke said joking.

Nick shook his head. “Never saw one, only thing I saw were people coming up here together, going in to the caves and leaving a couple of hours later. Don’t know what they were doing there though, can’t imagine it is fun just sitting inside there.â€

Luke had to keep himself from laughing out loud. “You remember seeing Bo here once maybe?†He asked with a full grin.

Nick frowned “No why.†He asked confused.

“Just wondering.†Luke replied still smiling from ear to ear.

As they walked up to the cave Nick had pointed out, Luke noticed there were fresh footprints walking in to the cave. Although normally lovers would leave some kind of mark by the entrance of the cave to let people no it was occupied Luke didn’t wanna take any risk with the young boy who was with him. “Maybe you better wait out here for a sec pall.†He said well standing in the opening. “I will go in and look for your bag.â€

“Why do I have to wait?†Nick asked offended.

“Just because!†Luke said harder then he intended, because he didn’t knew anything better to say. “What I’ll be looking for exactly?â€

“Brown backpack and a sleeping bag.†Nick said forced still upset he had to stay outside and not even new why. “There lying against the right whole not to far in to cave.â€

“All right just waits here then. I’ll be right back.â€

Leaving the boy behind, he walked in the cave. It was quite deep although his eyes got used to the dark he had trouble seeing clear. All of a sudden he heard a moving sound. “Anybody here?†He said in to the dark. There was no reply. “Just come to pick up some stuff some kid left here.†He called out again. Again there was now reply. Luke got his lighter out of his pocket and snapped it on. He looked around but saw nothing and just as he told himself he had imagined the sound he felt something tapping his shoulder. He turned around and before he noticed what was going on he was watching the barrel of a gun. Two men with leather jackets and balaclavas were standing in front of him. “Guess ya took the wrong cave to look for your stuff now farm boy.†The man holding the gun said, while he took the lighter from Luke.

“Guess you’re right.†Luke answered while putting his hands in the air where the man could see them. “I better get going again and leave ya two alone then.†He said and wanted to walk outside again.

“Hold it farm boy!†The man said while aiming the gun more precise at Luke. “You just go and stand over there.†And he pointed at the wall. “We wouldn’t want you waiting us up when we come out now.â€

“Alright alright.†Luke said calming the man down. “No need to get up set now, what ever ya want.†Luke walked over to the wall. He saw that the second man held a sack that didn’t look liked a kid’s backpack, but at a money sack that was used for transporting money by truck. “Now I don’t know what you nice men are doing here but I do know you won’t find no trouble from me. Just do your thing and I won’t tell nobody.â€

“Of course you won’t.†The second man said. “They have to find you first and by then we are long gone.†He said while he bended over to get a rope from the floor. At the same time from the entrance of the cave sounded a sharp bang. The man with the gun looked up and Luke knew this was his chance. As quick as he could he kicked the gun from the hands of the guy and shoved it in trough the dark. The second man headed towards Luke, but just at the moment he took a swing at him, Luke ducked causing the man hitting his own partner. Luke gave the guy a hard push in the bag so he stumbled over and both man ended up on the floor. Knowing he was outnumbered he didn’t stayed around to fight the guys any further but ran out of the cave as quick as he could, grapping the brown backpack, he had saw lying against the wall, on his way out. Nick had already started running ahead from the moment he saw Luke come his way and they arrived at the same time at the General. “What was that?†Nick asked panting with exhaustion.

“Don’t know, but let’s not stay around to find out, get in quick.†They both jumped in the car and Luke took off.

“Ain’t we gonna do nothing?†Nick asked.

“Sure we are.†Luke said while he pulled the car of the road and parked it backwards in through some bushes. “We gonna call the sheriff.â€

Luke got the CB and called for Rosco.

“This is Luke Duke calling Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane come in.†He said but was not given any response.

“Luke Duke calling Sheriff Coltrane, Rosco are you there, this is a emergency, come in.â€

“This is Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane, now this better be important Dukeboy.â€

“Rosco I just had a gun pointed at me by two guys with ski masks. Over.â€

“Now why would that be any of my concern. I’ve got more important things to do than caring about some Duke. You just probably made it up anyway.â€

“I didn’t make it up, and if you don’t care about me, ya might care about that money sack they were carrying. Over.â€

“Money sack oeh,†Rosco reacted. “That sounds like reward money when I catch those crooks khee khee.â€

“Well if ya don’t get here fast there won’t be any money to reward ya for cause they will be long gone. Now I run in to them at the o’ll Indian caves and if I’m correct they have to pass by me now any second at Choctaw Road. Just in front of Millers Bridge.â€

“Choctaw Road that’s a 10-4. I’ll be over there faster than Enos can say possumonagombush. I’m gone.â€

Luke shook his had and hung the CB back on his place. “And that is the only law we have around here.†He said more to himself than anybody else.

“Now how do you know those guys will pass her?’ Nick asked.

“Just a hunch.†Luke said. “I didn’t saw there car anywhere but I don’t think they were on foot so if they had stashed it somewhere this is the only road they could’ve take, that is if there ain’t driving 4-wheelers.â€

At that moment a light blue Sedan came driving by like it was chased by the devil himself.

“That must be them!†Luke called out. “Now Nick you get yourself at that backseat and stay low.†He said while he drove the General on the road again and started to chase the Sedan.

“Why can’t I sit up front?†Nick sat complaining.

“Cause I say so, now git!†Luke snapped.

“Well that ain’t fair, I did saved ya bud in there didn’t I.†Nick said insulted but climbed over to the backseat anyway.

“How do ya mean saved my bud?†Luke asked confused while he took a very sharp curve that swung Nick over to the other end of the backseat.

“That bang that got those guys attention was me with firecrackers.†He explained after he got himself up again. “Saw they had a gun at ya when I followed ya in. Guessed I had to do something to get you out.†Nick said feeling very good about himself.

“Now don’t you get to full of your self yet.†Luke said. “And I thought I told ya to stay outside waiting for me.â€

“Well ain’t ya glad I didn’t†Nick said smiling.

Suddenly Luke saw a hand with a gun attached to it coming out of the Sedan pointing at them. “Duck!†He yelled just before two bullets just missed the car and one came trough the windshield. Luckily Nick obeyed this command better then the one’s before and had thrown himself to the backseat just in time.

“How did ya get those fire crackers anyway?†Luke asked like there was nothing going on and they weren’t just driving 85 miles an hour on some dusty back road. “I thought we let you empty your pockets completely.

Nick grinned. “Ya did, but I had a hole in my inside pocket ya missed and I didn’t even got them at the grocery. I already had them.â€

“Duck!†Luke yelled again. And again three shots were fired from which two busted the back windshield.

“Darned!†Luke cold out. “If Rosco doesn’t get here quick..†He said not finishing his sentence. “You don’t happen to know how to shoot a bow and arrow now do ya?â€

“No not really.†Nick answered disappointed.

“Ah doesn’t matter.†Luke said. “The reinforcements are coming even before the sheriff does.†Seeing Daisy and Bo driving behind him in his rearview mirror.

“What do you mean?†Nick asked while he got him self up to look trough the busted rear window.â€

“Would ya keep ya head down, before I put ya outside!†Luke exclaimed. Daisy drove Dixie along the General’s left side making it possible for Bo to climb in the General. Nick didn’t believe his own eyes.

“What an unexpected surprise.†Luke said smiling. “Guess they run out of bullets or they would’ve shot ya within the second there.†“Well they didn’t.†Bo replied grinning. “We heard ya call Rosco and thought ya could use some help.â€

“Well ya thought right their cus, think you could also pepper that guy’s tailgate.â€

“Ya bet I can, Nick pall, ya can hand me that bow there lying at your feet.â€

Nick did as he was told and Bo aimed at the Sedan in front of them. “Any idea on who I’m shooting at anyway?†He asked while he tried to keep the bow steady.

“Nope.†Luke replied. “But I think they robbed some money truck and even if they didn’t I don’t take it kindly getting a gun put in my face.â€

“Can’t argue that!†Bo said laughing and took a shot. The dynamite arrow got stuck in the ground just behind the car causing nothing more than a crater in the road Luke had to avoid quickly.

“Nice aim Bo.†Luke said sarcastic.

“Well maybe if you were a better driver and kept that car steady I wouldn’t miss.†Bo fired back at him, while he took a new arrow.

“Just hit him now would ya please.â€

Bo aimed, let go of the arrow and hit the Sedan right in the left rear tire. “Yeehah!!!!!†Bo called out while the car flipped over whit a bang and ended upside-down at the side of the road.

Luke stopped the General just next to it and everybody got out of the car. Bo and Luke both pulled one of the guys, who were both still numbed from the crash they had made, out of their car and pushed them at against the car.

Daisy had joined them now and hold the shotgun, she took from the farm, aimed at the felons.

Bo looked in the backseat of the Sedan and reached for two white money sacks.

As he looked in them he couldn’t believe his eyes.

“Holey crap.†He called out. “This are all 1000 dollar bills.â€

And just at that moment they heard the sirens of Rosco’s patrol car heading to them.

“Well that figures.†Luke said. “Rosco is coming to collect the money after all the work is already done.â€

Rosco came driving in with a enormous speed and caused a humongous dust cloud when he hit his brakes but still slid 10 feet further almost slamming in to the General.

“Freeze!†He called out while he jumped out of his car holding his police gun in both hands but not seeming to aim at a particular person .

“I think they are already frozen Rosco.†Bo said pointing at the two sedated man which were still covered by Daisy.

“Yeah we already did the dirty work for ya so why don’t you just arrest them so we can go home.†Luke added.

“No you Dukes just hush.†Rosco said “Alright I admit, you might got them, but I would have done it myself if I was closer by, that’s for sure. And ya bet I’m going to arrest these criminals. I know who they are, there has been a wanting notice on them since they robbed that truck from the larges bank in whole Georgia yesterday.â€

“Well I guess that solves that mystery.†Bo mumbled.

“Now I’ll take that khee khee.†Rosco said while he reached for the sacks of money Bo was holding.

“Just wait a minute Rosco.†Bo said holding the money back. “What about that reward money, that would be ours now wouldn’t it, since we ‘re the one’s that catch them.â€

Rosco pointed his gun at Bo. “You hand over that money now Bo Duke before I arrest you for obstructing justice. And you just forget about that reward money, it wouldn’t surprise me if you were in on the whole scam and decided to sell your partners out.†He said while taking the money from Bo.

“That’s the biggest load of bull I ever heard Rosco!†Bo yelled all riled up. “We just risked our lives to catch those guy’sâ€

“Just forget about it Bo.†Luke said trying to calm his cousin down. “That’s what ya get when you got a jackass for a sheriff., let just get home. I had enough of this for today.â€

“Guess ya right cus.†Bo mumbled cranky and everybody went back in their cars and drove home, leaving Rosco behind with the two truck robbers.â€

In the car and back at the farm Nick was more overexcited than a toddler that ate a box of sugar lumps. The cousins decided he could tell the story to Uncle Jesse could he would keep interrupting them every ten seconds anyway.

“And than Bo blew the tire up, and the car flipped over.†Nick told Jesse when the were all sitting on the front porch. Bo and Luke were cleaning the fish while Daisy prepared the vegetables and Jesse was adjusting some leather straps of Maudine the mule’s bridle.

“So Bo and Luke dragged the guys out of their car.†The boy went on. “They weren’t really hurt I think but they were very much shook up and they didn’t even try to run away anymore. They had two big sacks of money lying in the car and when the sheriff finally came he said they had robbed the biggest bank of whole Georgia and he arrested them.â€

“Sounds like ya’all had a busy day.†Jesse said smiling.

“Ya bet!†Nick said stretching himself. The intense car chase had kind of worn him out, but he was still full of adrenaline. “You should have seen it.†He said still very overexcited. “Bo was climbing trough that window like it was nothing and we were going at least 65 miles an hour at that time†Nick tried to show Jesse how Bo had climbed trough the window stepping from the porch step on the porch swing but he lost his balance and almost knocked a pan of green beans of the table.

“Well you just calm down now before ya hurt yaself.†Jesse said in a firm voice. “Why don’t use that energy of yours for something useful and look whether the chickens laid some eggs jet.â€

“Ah do I have to?†Nick reacted complaining. He rather stayed at the porch telling about the chase.

“Yes you have to, and if ya finished with that their are some vegetable plants that need watering, so ya could do that before supper to.â€

Nick pulled a cranky face. He knew he had agreed on doing chores on the farm, but he didn’t like it.

“And without complaining please.†Jesse added stern.

“Al right al right. I’m on my way al ready.†Nick said and he jumped of the porch repeating Bo’s rebel yell as loud as he could.

“Luke Duke! What were ya thinking taking that boy with ya on a car chase?!†Jesse shouted at his nephew when Nick had disappeared in the barn. “That boy is more hyperactive than a wound up monkey.â€

“Well it wasn’t like I had a choice.†Luke defended himself. “How should I know we would run in to those guy’s?â€

“Well you could have chosen not to follow that car and let the sheriff handle it. That you boys want to risk your neck pulling dangerous stunts like you do way too often that’s your business, but ya can’t include a kid like that.â€

“I know Uncle Jesse.†Luke gave in. “I didn’t like it either, but ya know what happens if we let Rosco handle things. Then those crooks would still be running wild.â€

Jesse wanted to say something, but didn’t cause he saw Nick coming out of the barn with an egg in both hands.

“Shouldn’t we tell him he better get a basked so he can carry all the eggs at once?†Bo asked grinning.

Jesse shook his head. “Let him walk a couple of times. Maybe he will calm down a bit and still have a normal night sleep then.â€

That hope was vain though, cause even after his chores, Nick kept jumping and climbing of things and pretended to be shooting with bow and arrow all day. When he was getting bored with that he decided he wanted to try real shooting though and Luke could prevent him just in time from shooting an dynamite packed arrow at the barn.

At the end of the day bow and arrow were declared off limits, running in the house and jumping the couch was forbidden and still it took a very angry Uncle Jesse to get the boy in to bed that night. After Nick had refused 3 times to go upstairs because of not being tired Jesse threatened a whipping and although Nick wasn’t sure whether the old man would put his threat in to action he decided he didn’t want to find out and went upstairs.

Luke went up to his room again a couple of minutes later to wish him good night.

â€You tired yet?†He asked smiling. While he sat down beside the bed.

:Nick shook his head wild. “No not at all, but I don’t want to get my hide tanned.†He said a bit insulted.

“Very smart decision, but ya should have listened to Uncle Jesse immediately ya know. He shouldn’t have to ask ya three times.â€

“Well I did go didn’t I.†Nick said moping.

“Yes ya did, but something else now, I need ya to listen to me for a while.†Luke said serious. “ I guess I should tell you that what happened today ain’t how it suppose to work. Normally a sheriff would do his job and their would be no need for civilians to go and chase truck robbers. What we did today was very dangerous and it wasn’t the smartest thing to do.â€

“But it was exiting.†Nick said grinning.

Luke couldn’t help smiling. “Yeah you are right at that.†He acknowledged.

“So what are we going to do tomorrow?†Nick asked enthusiastic.

“Well there is a lot of work that has to be done, but if we have some spare time I could teach ya how to ride a horse.†Luke suggested.

“You have horses?†Nick asked

Luke nodded. “They are standing in the stables.â€

“Awesome.†Nick replied.

“And I think Jesse or me will be making some phone calls to social services.†Luke said serious again.

Nick’s face fall. “What did I do wrong?†He asked panicking. “I did the chores didn’t I? And I was quiet at the dinner table, now why do I have to leave already?â€

“Calm down, calm down.†Luke said soothing. “You didn’t do any thing wrong and you don’t have to leave already, but we have to let people know you’re staying with us. There might be still people looking for ya, you know. And with the state being your legal guardian we must have their permission, otherwise keeping ya here would be the same as kidnapping.â€

‘Ow.†Nick replied, not really at ease though. “But what if they don’t agree with it?â€

“Well, we have to see about that later then. No good worrying about that now, but you have to remember you have to go back one day. That’s just how things are.â€

“ I know.†Nick said a bit indifferent not wanting to let Luke know exactly how much he liked being at the farm. “But I just don’t feel like it now.â€

Luke gave him a smile. “Well we make some phone calls tomorrow and see how things are then. Now is time for bed and don’t ya stay up to late thinking of flipping cars now ya hear.†He said while he walked to the door.

“Al right I won’t, good night Luke.â€

“Good night kiddo.†Luke replied and he left the room.

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After he had left the room Luke went immediately in to the barn to look after the General. Bo came in a couple of minutes later. “Doesn’t look good does it?†He said while he put his hand on Luke’s shoulder. Luke came up from under the hood. “No it doesn’t. You felt him shake when we hit 90.â€

“Yeah I did, Good thing those guys were lousy drivers otherwise we’d never got them.â€

“So what we’re going to do?†Luke asked with a depressing face.

“You're asking me? You’re always the man with the plan.†Bo said grinning but with a light sound of desperation in his voice.

“Well I tried to think of something all day, but I don’t have a clue how to get us a new carburetor before the race.â€

“And new windshields.†Bo added. “Those bullet holes might be good for ventilation but those cracks sure don’t make you’re view any better.â€

“Well I suppose insurance will cover that. Or those guy’s will have to pay for it, but it will take a while before that’s settled, you can bet on that.â€

“What about looking for work in town?†Bo suggested

“And leaving Jesse alone with all the farm work? We need to start sowing any day now, before it becomes to cold.

“Yeah I know†Bo said a bit disappointed. “If Rosco ever looses that badge of him I don’t know what I’m going to do with him†He said angry now. “With that reward money we could have got the General fixed in no timeâ€

“Ease up now Bo.†Luke tried to calm him down “ We don’t even know or there was a reward.â€

“Well if there was we’re not gonna see a penny of it.†Bo said moping “With no witnesses, Rosco is gonna make sure he gets the credits and the money.â€

Luke shrugged his shoulders “Well that’s live in Hazzard, I think the only thing we can do is ask Cooter whether we can arrange some kind of installment payment.â€

“And hope he forgot we still own him money for those brake lines he replaced last time.†Bo added while he leant against the car.

After he had put some screws back in place Luke closed the hood and looked at Bo.

“Ya know, when I think of all the work the General needed lately I’m doubting about letting you drive it from now on.†He said irritable. “You’re pushing him all the time.â€

“Well good thing you don’t got anything to say about that then†Bo said grinning while they walked out from the barn. “The car is half mine ya know.â€

“Yeah and half Cooter’s if we don’t watch it.†Luke said sarcastic.

“I still think we should go to Rosco and claim that reward. We could always tryâ€

â€Yeah we could.†Luke said not really enthusiastic. “Bye the way, how was your drive this afternoon?â€

Bo almost maid a Rosco kind of giggle and there appeared a stupid smile on his face.

“Now sure you don’t wanna hear no details.†He said while he leant against the porch.

“No please save me.†Luke acknowledged “I have to say though, you hanging around the same girl for three days in a row, that’s a record.â€

He wasn’t even joking.

“Four day’s .†Bo corrected him. “She’s the girl I took to Bronson’s Canyon.â€

Bo saw the doubting look on Luke’s face.

“Well she is nice, smart and very pretty.†He defended himself. “She does a lot of volunteering for the church, she’s thinking about going to college and she makes great brownies for that matter.â€

“You thinking of showing her around here anytime soon?†Luke asked with a frown. He was a bit surprised about the way Bo was talking about this girl. Normally they didn’t made a lot of effort to get to know the girls they dated. He knew he didn’t knew a lot about the other girl that joined them that night at the Boars Nest.

Bo shrugged his shoulders. “Not sure about that yet, maybe. Just don’t start about it ‘round Uncle Jesse would ya please.†He said referring to earlier that morning. “Ya know how he thinks about stuff like this.â€

“He doesn’t have to!†Jesse’s voice sounded sharp from in side the living room. Apparently they had been talking louder than they had thought and didn’t paid a lot of attention to the open door.

“I know more than I would like to about the both of you chasing girls since you were thirteen!â€

The boys looked at each other.

“Ya think that man misses one thing that’s going on around here?†Luke said a lot softer now.

Bo shook his head. “Nope, he never did I think.â€

Sighing the cousins walked in to the house.

“If we start getting these Christmas catalogues any earlier they’ll be coming on the Fourth of July.†Jesse mumbled while he was going through the mail.

“Why don’t just throw them away? Not like we ever use them.†Luke said.

“I already know what you’re gonna give me.†Bo said while he let himself fall down on the couch.

“Same thing I give ya every year, and you give me every year.†Luke added

“The annual edition of ‘NASCAR-moments of the year’! Bo and Luke said at the same time and ended op laughing out loud.

“Well maybe we should get more original than.†Bo joked.

“You boys know what to do tomorrow?†Jesse asked while nudging Bo against the legs to remove his feet from the couch.

“Guess that barn needs finishing and we should start plowing if we want to sow anytime soon.†Luke replied.

Bo pulled a tired face. They had made so many long days behind that plough, he still hated the word even though they had a tractor now.

Jesse nodded. “I also asked Otis-Jay Harkins to come over tomorrow afternoon. Maudine is limping a bit and that man can work miracles with animals.â€

“Ain’t he got kids Nick’s age?†Luke asked.

Jesse thought for a moment. “I believe he does have two boys, one 11 and the other 12 years old. Both singing in the choirâ€

“Maybe you could ask him to bring them along. Might be nice for Nick to have some company his own age.â€

“Well wouldn’t know why not. You told the boy we’re going to make some phone calls tomorrow?â€

“Yeah, he immediately got more nervous than a trapped rattlesnake. Don’t think social services has a positive ring to him. â€

“Well he’s free to stay for a while, but he has to go back someday.†Jesse said while he grabbed a book and sat down in the rocking chair.

“Shouldn’t we get him back were he came from as soon as possible?†Bo asked. “Before he get used of being here I mean.â€

Luke stared in front of him with a frown on his face. “Think we’re a little late for that.†He said. “So those couple of days won’t make a whole lot differences then.â€

“Might it be you who’s getting used of the boy being here?†Jesse asked in a gentle voice.

Luke went with his hand trough his hair “Well I can’t deny being fond of the kid.†He said a bit apologizing. “He’s difficult but he had his share of trouble to make up for that, and I don’t think he means it all bad.â€

“Well he is funny.†Bo said grinning. “If he doesn’t almost blow up the barn.â€

“Or uses the couch as a trampoline and almost breaks every darn thing in this living room.†Jesse added.

“Or manages to rip his clothes within two days.†Daisy said while she walked in with a basket of laundry, and showed them the hole in Luke’s old shirt.

“Or makes a discussion out of every darn thing ya tell him to do, I know.†Luke acknowledged. “But like ya said its easy getting used of having him around.â€

Jesse looked at his boys with a soft smile. Bo getting serious about a girl and Luke worrying about this kid as he did. Would the day finally have come his boys started to grow up?

“Anybody in for checkers?†Bo asked while he jumped from the couch. “Looser does the dishes tomorrow.†Luke replied and also came up from his seat.

“Well better prepare yourself for some work then.†Bo said grinning while he punched his cousin playful in the ribs if as he made some kind of boxing combination and got the checkerboard out of cabinet.â€

“Don’t get ahead of yaself there cus.†Luke said grinning while he grabbed Bo in some kind of wrestling clutch. Before Jesse could say anything Luke threw Bo over the couch, causing the couch to flip over and Bo ended up on the floor behind it. Checker pieces were all over the floor.

Jesse sighed. How could he even have thought about those two growing up.

“You alright Bo?†The old man asked while he got up from his chair.

“Yes sir.†Bo said grinning while raised his head above the couch and shook it to loose the confusion.

“Well get up then and make sure this mess is gone before I’ll get back or you’ll both have it.†He said heated. “Worse enough having one teenager in the house again, can’t have the two of you behaving like one again.â€

“Yes sir.†The boys said serious but they had trouble to keep them selves from laughing. Jesse left the living room and took his book with him to the porch. Luke helped Bo to get up and they collected all the pieces from the floor, so they could start their game.

The next morning after breakfast Jesse started to make the phone calls. Because Nick, who didn’t wanted to miss a word, kept hanging around him in a nervous kind of way, Jesse decided to send the boy out with Bo to feed the animals, so he could have a normal conversation.

Jesse first called the social service department in Albany*(edited), where Nick had told he was from. The people working there found his file but Mrs. Walker, the social worker who handled the case as the woman on the phone called it, was out for a couple of days. She gave Jesse the phone number of the orphanage Nick had stayed.

The person he reached there was very glad to hear Nick was okay, but also told Jesse it wasn’t the first time the boy had took of. She advised him to bring Nick to the local orphanage until Mrs. Walker would be back and they could make the transfer.

Jesse didn’t felt like that so he phoned the Hazzard orphanage and explained the whole situation. Normally families had to be screened carefully before being aloud to take in a child, even if it was for a short unofficial stay. But Hazzard being Hazzard and everybody knowing everybody Mr. Crane, head of the orphanage and old classmate of Jesse, didn’t saw a problem when Nick stayed at the farm a little longer.

After lunch Luke kept his promise and showed Nick the horses. Nick had been helping out with chores all morning, not because he had to, but because he had nothing else to do. First he had been feeding the chickens, goats, and pigs. After that he had helped Bo sanding the barn and just before lunch he had driven the tractor with Luke. Well, Luke drove it and he sat next to him watching. Although nobody had obligated him to do anything, he was glad Luke took him to the horses and he didn’t have to do no chores anymore. Luke had saddled Sheila, the smaller of the two horses, and showed Nick how to get on it. “Just put ya left foot in the stirrup like this.†He said while showing how. “And then pull yaself up. Remember to keep ya right leg stretched and high otherwise you’ll end up kicking the horse instead of swinging over it.â€

“Like this?†Nick asked when he put his foot in the stirrup.

“Ya have to turn ya left side more to the horse, instead of standing right in front of it.†Luke explained and turned the boy’s shoulders. “Otherwise you kick her in the stomach and she’ll be walking before ya even get up.â€

Nick followed the instructions hew as given, pulled himself up, swung his right leg over the horse and sat straight up in the saddle.

“Very good.†Luke said enthusiastic. “Now just kick her gently with your heels and she’ll be walking.â€

“This is awesome.†Nick called out, while he got the horse to walk.

Luke told him how to hold the rein, how to steer, how to use his legs and how to sit.

“How do I make her go faster?†Nick asked after while when he got bored of just going at footpace.

“Just spur her on with ya heels, but not to hard. Don’t want ya to fall of on your first ride.â€

“I won’t.†Nick said convinced and gave the horse a firm kick and the horse started to walk faster

“Sure ya won’t, but just keep her like this ya hear.â€

Nick had got exited though and spurred the horse on again, which immediately went in to trot. Luke tried to catch the rein but he was too late. “Ease her up now Nick, that’s enough, just pull the rein and lean backwards.†He called out, but Nick was having to much fun and didn’t wanted to quit yet. This being the first time he sad on a horse though he couldn’t manage to keep his legs still properly and this time not on purpose he kicked the horse again and she broke in to a gallop. This was too much for Nick to handle and within a few seconds he lost his balance and fall of the horse. Luke hurried up to him. “You alright?†Luke asked when he kneeled down to him. Nick sat up and rubbed the back of his head. “Yeah think so.†He said still a bit shocked. “Man, she suddenly went of like that.†He didn’t really understand what had happened.

“Well I told ya to slow her down.†Luke said while he pulled the boy back on his feet. “Why didn’t ya?â€

Nick shrug his shoulders. “Guess I thought I could handle it.â€

“Well ya guessed wrong.†Luke said firm. “And you should’ve listened. You’re just lucky you didn’t break anything.

“Well can I try again?†Nick asked with non-stop enthusiasm.

“No, I think we’re done for today. I don’t put ya up there if I can’t trust ya to listen.â€

Nicks face fall and he stared at Luke for a moment with out saying a word.

“Ah please?†He asked then. “You can trust me, I’ll do anything ya say, I swear. Please let me try again, please.â€

Luke held on to his decision though. “You can show me that next time then.†He said stern but not unkind. “For today we’re done. Ya can help me bring her back to the stables though if ya want.â€

Nick doubted what he should do. He could walk away upset to show Luke he was mad or he could go and help Luke and still have some fun.

“Okay, but can I try again tomorrow?â€

Luke smiled. “We’ll see.†He said while he got the horse, that waited patiently a couple of yards away from them, by the rein. “Lets just get her back to the stables now, I think we have company.†And he pointed at the pick-up truck that pulled up the farmyard.

*oops kind of mixed up states there, well Arizona -Georigia watch the different just about 1250 miles :p

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  • 2 weeks later...

It took them about ten minutes, to bring the horse back to her stable and free her from her riding gear. “Who are they?†Nick asked when they were walking up to the house and he saw two boys his age standing next to a man who was talking to Uncle Jesse.

“That is Mr. Harkins and his boys, Uncle Jesse asked him to take a look at Maudine.â€

They walked up to the large black man dressed in blue overalls and his two kids who were wearing striped t-shirts and jeans.

“Good afternoon Mr. Harkins.†Luke said neighborly while he shook the man’s hand.

“Good afternoon Luke.†Otis-Jay responded with a friendly smile. “And you most be Nick†He said while he offered Nick his hand. Nick nodded without saying anything and accepted the man's hand.

“Well this are my boys Randy and Max.â€

“Hi I’m Randy.†The larges of the two boys said.

“And I’m Max.†The second boy with a green baseball cap followed his example.

“Wanna come with us to the lake? We’ve got a tree house there.â€

“Yeah sure.†Nick said enthusiastic. “I mean eh….I think….†And he looked at Uncle Jesse and Luke. “That’s okay right?â€

“Sure it is.†Jesse said. “Just make sure you’re back in time for supper. Say about 7 o’clock.â€

“We’ve got our bikes in the back of the truck. You’ve got a bike?â€

Nick looked again at Luke with a questioned look.

“We might have one stashed back in the barn, but I’m not sure whether it’s still running. Must be about 6 years since it’s used.†Luke said. “I’ll go look for ya.â€

As Luke walked in to the barn Nick saw the boys were making up their minds about him.

“Are you going to our school?†Max asked.

“No, I’m not going to school.†Nick mumbled. He was afraid they would think of that as strange so he added: “I’m helping around on the farm.†His voice sounded determined like it was his own decision.

Jesse smiled. “Yeah you sure worked hard today.†He said giving the boy a compliment.

“Well when you are going to school you’ll probably be in my class, you’re 11 right?â€

“Yes I am.†Nick said not wanting to explain he wasn’t sure for how long he would stay in Hazzard. Mr. Harkins saw Nick felt embarrassed talking about this so he changed the subject.

“I still got that peaces of corrugated sheet laid back boys. You want me to bring it over bye the tree house so ya can use it for the roof?â€

Randy seemed to be thinking. “Well actually no grown-ups are allowed.†He said sincere. “But I think we can make an acceptation ones.â€

The man laughed. “I practically build half the house for them.†Otis-Jay said grinning to Jesse. “And now I need an acceptation to come near it. You figure that.â€

At that moment Luke came out with Bo’s old BMX bike. “Well you can ride it, but if ya want to use it more often we have to fix her up. She really needs oiling.â€

“Well ain’t it good we didn’t give that thing away then.†Jesse said.

Nick took the bike from Luke and looked at it. It was really dirty and it maid a rattling sound but he loved it.

“So why don’t you boys get of and have some fun than.†Mr. Harkins said.

“You remember what time you’re supposed to be back here?†Luke asked.

“Yes I do. At 7.00, can we go now?†Nick said in a bit of a bored tone.

“And what’s the time now?â€

Luke asked without answering the question.

Nick wanted to reply but found out he couldn’t... “Eh…I don’t know.†He said with a disappointed face. “I don’t got no watch.â€

“So how did ya figure to be back on time than?†Luke asked.

“I don’t know, didn’t think of that yet. Guess we have to watch the sun than, I now where it

supposes to be at six. It’s at the right side of the lake then.â€

Luke smiled. He hadn’t think of the boy to be that inventive, but he didn’t trust Nicks boy scout capacities that much yet. “Well better take this anyway.†He said while he handed Nick his own watch. “You can check whether the sun is right to day.â€

Nick took the watch and looked at it with big eyes. “Ya sure?†He asked doubting. “What if I loose it?â€

Luke took the boys wrist and helped him to put the watch on. “Just keep it on your wrist and nothing can happen to it.†He said reinsuring “Just go now and have fun.â€

Nick seemed to be doubting for just a moment but when he saw Randy and Max standing ready with there bikes he decided not to worry about the watch any longer and they took of.

“So you live here all your lives?†Nick asked while the rode their bikes to the lake.

“Yep, we’re both born here.†Randy replied. â€What about you, we never saw ya before.â€

“I just arrived here two weeks a go. I’m born in Albany.â€

“So you’re just staying over with the Dukes or something?†Max asked confused.

“Yeah something like that.†Nick replied mumbling.

Randy also noticed now Nick didn’t like talking about himself.

“Well ya probably like it here. You won’t get bored that’s for sure. There is always something happening here in Hazzard and especially when ya living with the Dukes.â€

“Why’s that?†Nick asked curious. He thought this to be an opportunity to find out more about his caretakers.

“Well cause the Dukes always end up chasing bad guys.†Max said grinning. “You have to see them drive and if they do the whole town is one big mess.â€

“Yeah I heard yesterday they were chasing bank robbers, but I’m not sure whether that’s true or not.†Randy said exited.

“It is true.†Nick replied. “I was in the car when they did, but it were no bank robbers it were truck robbers. Didn’t guess it was a daily thing for them though.â€

“You were there?†Max cried out while he looked at Nick with excitement. “How did it go?â€

Nick enjoyed being the centre of attention now and told them the whole story, full of pride until the arrived at the tree house.

In town, Daisy was doing grocery shopping. She had decided Nick couldn’t keep walking around in Luke’s old clothes and she picked him up some new shirts, jeans and underwear. After that she went in to the grocery store to get some ingredients for tonight’s supper and she ended with some window-shopping in front of Mrs. Lambert dress shop.

“Are you gonna buy a new dress Daisy?†She heard suddenly from behind her. As she turned around she saw Enos standing, strange enough without his uniform, but in civilian clothes.

“Oh Enos, it’s you†She reacted surprised. “No I’m not buying anything, I love them all but they are way to expensive and I only wear them on Sundays.â€

“Well I like what you’re wearing now just fine.†Enos said with a innocent smile.

“That’s nice of ya Enos.†Daisy said. “But what happened? Why ain't you in uniform? Boss Hogg didn’t fire you did he?â€

“No he didn’t don’t worry.†The deputy reassured her. “Today is my annual day off, so I’m just doing some shopping like you.â€

“Don’t you wanna do something more fun on your day-off? You only got one each year.†Daisy said grinning.

“Well now ya mention it.†And Enos cheeks turned red. “I would be honored if ya would join me for ice-cream in the park. If ya have the time that is.â€

“I would love to Enos.†Daisy said. “Just let me put this stuff in my car and I’m yours.â€

As he heard that Enos blushed so much his face looked like a tomato, but luckily Daisy had already turned a round and didn’t see it.

Hazzard Park was nothing more than a medium size lawn with some wooden benches, a couple of trees, an a small pond with goldfish.

“I just love those goldfish,†Daisy said while they sat down on a bench close to the pond enjoying there ice-cream.

“Me too, they look really happy with al those colors. I used to have one when I was young, but it jumped out of his bowl, all by himself.â€

“Ah that’s sad.†Daisy said with a soft smile.

“Well I’d always rather wanted a dog.†Enos said grinning.

“I didn’t saw ya in church Sunday, where were ya?†Daisy asked.

“I was visiting my sister, you know the one that moved to Atlanta. Her youngest had a recital and I promised the girl last time I saw her I would come.â€

“Well that’s cute, which instrument she plays?â€

“The violin, and she’s quite good at it too. She got that from her Mom. Lizzy is very musical too.’

“How is Elisabeth anyway?†Daisy asked “I didn’t see her since she moved to Atlanta and that looks likes ages ago.â€

“Well I think it’s four years ago she married Jake.†Enos said thinking. “Yes two years after high school. She is doing great though, they’re very happy together and they’ve got beautiful kids.â€

Daisy and Enos both became quiet. They remembered high school like it was yesterday. Luke, Cooter and Enos had been sitting in the same grade. Enos and Cooter came over at the farm a lot to do homework together. Well at least that was what they wanted Jesse to believe, cause most of the time the boys were just exchanging car magazines and thinking of there dream cars they would be driving when they had grown-up. And Enos had come just as much to see Daisy as he did to see Luke. Sometimes even more. But he never had the guts to say a something to her, not even talking about having a conversation.

Suddenly Enos put his hand slowly on the hand Daisy had resting on her knee. “You remember that time Luke and me were doing our English homework and he was laughing at me when you came in?â€

Daisy thought back. “Yeah I think so, but you threatened to tell Uncle Jesse about him ditching biology class if he told anyone.â€

“Yeah well we had to write a poem and Luke found my first draft.â€

“Well what was so funny about it, that it almost knocked Luke of his chair?†She asked curious.

“Well…eh.†Enos stuttered “I wrote it about you.â€

“Ooh Enos.†Daisy said in a caring voice while she put her other hand on top of Enos’s.

“I liked you a lot back then.†Enos confessed. “And I still do.â€

Daisy didn’t knew what came over her. Enos had made insinuations like that before only never as open as he did now. Not knowing why, but somehow, at that spot, Daisy dropped her doubts and gave in to the thoughts that had been haunting her the last couple of days. She reached over to the deputy sitting besides her and grabbed him gently by the lapel of his jacket when she gave him a long kiss on the lips.

“I’m eh…I’m almost afraid to ask.†Enos stuttered when he looked at Daisy’s laughing eyes “But does that mean you wanna give us a chance?†He asked whit a hopeful look on his face.

“Well if you wanna.†Daisy said smiling.

Enos jumped from the bench and lifted Daisy up in his arms. “Of course I want that.†He said while he spun her around.

“Enos put me down!†Daisy cried out laughing.

“Well you can’t blame me Daisy.†He said smiling when he put her feet back on the ground. “I want to hold you like that for more than 10 years.â€

“Well what about just walking me trough the park? Would that be okay too sugar?†She asked.

“It sure will.†Enos replied enthusiastic, and he wrapped his arm around her waste and walked her through the park, hoping that everybody could see them.

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  • 1 month later...

In the mean time the boys arrived at the tree house.

“We build it together with our dad.†Randy explained. “We wanna make a rope at the point of that branch and we can swing ride in to the lake.â€

“Good idea!†Nick said. “How long did it took ya to build it?â€

“Not that long.†Max said. “Dad is really handy. Grandpa was a carpenter, so he wanted dad to follow him up at that and taught him a lot about woodwork.â€

“So is your dad is a carpenter?†Nick asked.

“No.†Randy said laughing. “Used to be for awhile but dad likes working with his hands but not al the time. He went to college in the evenings and now he’s a Vet, that’s why Mr. Duke called him to look at your mule today.â€

“Ow, that figures.†Nick said, wondering why he didn’t think of that himself.

“Come lets go upstairs.†Max said end he grabbed the rope ladder.

The tree house was decorated with old pillows and small wooden caskets.

“We’re still working on it at the inside. Mom said she has some old table we can put up here and dad said he would fix us some chairs.â€

“Well it’s looking awesome already.†Nick said impressed.

“Look this is the best part.†Max said and he lifted one of the floorboards. A small space appeared and he pulled out a baseball clove and ball. “We can hide all our things here.â€

Randy looked a bit disapproving as his younger brother revealed their secret, but then also lifted a board and pulled out his baseball bat. “Normally we never show this to anyone.†Randy said. “But I guess since ya living with the Dukes you’re alright and we can trust ya.â€

.“You can trust me.†Nick acknowledged. “I won’t tell nobody I swear.†he said honestly en gave a sad grin. “And even if I wanted to, I don’t know nobody around here to tell it to, so.â€

Randy looked at him up and down for one more time. “Well you’ve got us now as your friends.†He said smiling, while closing the secret hiding space again. “Wanna play ball?â€

Nick beamed of pride en joy. Friends! The word echoed through his head en with an enthusiastic smile he replied: “Definitely!â€

After a while the boys where fully wrapped in their game. It wasn’t hard to notice though that Nick hadn’t played a lot of baseball before.

“Men, no offence but you really suck.†Max said with a big smile when Nick struck out for the fifth time in a row. “Don’t they play baseball in Albany?â€

Nick just smiled a bit, he knew he was very bad, but he didn’t mind. He walked back, grabbed the ball from the ground and threw it back to Max who was pitching.

“We can do something else ya know.†Randy suggested. “If you don’t like this we can go swimming or something.â€

“Neh don’t be crazy.†Nick said grinning. “It’s way to cold to go swimming. Bye the way, I might suck at this, but I like it, and the next one I won’t miss, you watch, so don’t worry about it.†“All right.’ Randy said shrugging his shoulders. “Whatever you want well let him have it Max.†Max tapped his cap and prepared to throw the ball. Nick raised himself and watched the ball in Max’s hand. As he saw the ball coming towards him he grabbed the bat firmer and swung. Nick was surprised to see he actually had hit the ball and he followed it with his eyes through the sky. He saw how the ball flew through the sky way further than were Randy had been standing to catch it. “Well, he did hit it.†Randy said laughing.

Max shook his head. “Still think we better go swimming or something.â€

“Alright, alright, we’ll go swimming but don’t blame me as we’re all ice cubes when we get home.†Nick said laughing. “I’ll get that ball first.†Nick ran to the ball while the other boys gathered their belongings and walked up to the lake.

The baseball seemed to had rolled a whole lot further then Nick had expected, cause when he

walked up to where the threes started to gather he still hadn’t found it. He searched the ground carefully ‘cause he would hate it if he had lost it. Suddenly, just when he wanted to give up two boys appeared in front of him. One of them wore dark jeans, a white shirt and had his hair in a short tale. The other wore a blue cap, black and white army pants and a black t-shirt. They were obvious much older then him and Nick couldn’t help being impressed by their appearance. “Lost something?†The boy with the cap asked and threw him the ball. “Eh yeah thanks.†Nick replied while he caught the ball in a clumsy sort of way.

“You’re new here ain’t ya?†The boy went on. “Never saw ya before.â€

“Yes, eh no I mean I’m just staying here for a while.†Nick stuttered.

The boy in the white shirt seemed to find the whole scenario very funny and grinned but didn’t say a word.

“Alright, so you are new. Bet ya, you don’t know much people her then do ya?â€

Nick didn’t really want to talk with this guys but he had a feeling they wouldn’t just let him walk away. “No not really.†He said short while observing the boys carefully. They didn’t seem really unfriendly, at least the one with the cap didn’t, but still there was something that made Nick nervous.

“Well my name is Danny and this is my friend Paul. If ya like we could show ya around, being good neighbors and all.â€

Nick shuck his head. “Can’t do that, I’m hanging out with them.†And he pointed at Randy and Max who were waiting by the lake.

“Are that friends of yours?†Paul asked in a critical voice.

“Well yeah, that is Randy and that is Max. We were just playing some ball, I guess if ya want ya can join us.â€

Paul had to laugh again, but Nick really didn’t understand what was funny.

“No that wouldn’t be possible.†Danny explained. “You are new around here, so I don’t blame ya for not knowing some things, but ya have to watch with who you’re hanging out ya know. There are good people to have as your friends and there are bad people and those two just ain’t good.â€

Nick looked at Danny with a very confused face. He didn’t get anything of what the boy was saying His new friends hadn’t been anything else but nice and fun to hang out with so what was this guy talking about?

“If ya come in to town with us we show you who you should have as friends and who ya better keep away from.â€

Nick was getting enough of this conversation and just wanted to go back to the lake.

“Thanks, but no thanks I think I better stay here, were having fun. Maybe I see you guys around another time and we can hang out then.â€

Danny grinned. “Sure, but don’t say we didn’t worn ya.†He nudged Nick in the arm just a bit to hard to feel friendly and turned his back to the boy. “Come Paul we’re out of here.â€

As the boys took of Nick returned to the lake. When he joined his friends again he was given a pretty angry look by Randy. “What were ya doing talking to those guys?†He asked with disgust in his voice.

“They found the ball.†Nick explained. “But they asked me exactly the same thing about ya’ll. Are you in some kind of fight or something?†Nick asked

“They are jerks.†Randy told him. “Dad calls them racist, mom says they just raised bad, but I think there just assholes.â€

“They wrecked my bike last year.†Max said. “So dad went to there dad to pay for the costs it had take to fix it up again. Well, don’t know what happened but I’d never saw dad as mad as when he came home that day. Mom had to bring him a brandy to calm him down.â€

“O didn’t know that.†Said Nick still a bit confused. “Well they asked me whether I wanted to come with them, but I said no, because I wanted to stay with ya guys.â€

“Bet, they said ya shouldn’t hang out with us right?†Randy said.

Nick looked away. “Well, eh…yeah but I didn’t listen to them, so that’s cool right?.â€

“Yeah, that’s cool enough.†Randy said with a smile.

“Can we finally go swimming then?†Max asked in an inpatient voice. “Otherwise we have to go home already.â€

“Last one in the lake is a chicken!†Nick called out. Randy and Max followed his example and as quick as they could stripped down to there underwear and ran in to the lake. Screaming because of the cold water they kept slapping there arms around them selves and splattering water to each other.

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It didn’t took them long though to get used to the water and within a couple of second splattering water turned in to a huge mud fight in which every man was on his one.

Later on Mr. Harkins came around to drop of the peaces of corrugated sheet. Because it was already half past six he offered to bring Nick back to the farm. Nick glad fully accepted, cause he hadn’t be sure or he could have found his way back. Because they were still quite messy and covered with mud, the boys had to sit in the back of the truck with their bicycles, but they loved it. Around 6:45 Nick arrived at the farm again. When they split up they agreed to meet at the tree house around 4 in the afternoon that next day, to work on the roof together.

When Nick walked in to the kitchen Daisy was preparing dinner. She was standing behind the stove, with her back to the door, but without watching she could hear it was the young boy who entered the kitchen. Nick let himself fall down on one of the chairs at the kitchen table and looked with hungry eyes at the stove. “You’re hungry sugar?†Daisy asked without looking.

“Yeah very, what we’re having?â€

“Potatoes, carrots and fried chicken. Is that okay with ya?†She replied laughing

“Definitely!†Nick said.

Daisy turned around and looked at him. “Sweetheart what have you been doing?†She called out kind of amazed when she saw his wet hair, sticky clothes and the mud on his face.â€

“We’ve been swimming in the lake.†Nick said with a big smile.

“Swimming are you crazy? It’s the beginning of October, ya can’t be swimming no more now.â€

“Well it was kind of cold in the beginning, but you get use to it.â€

“Yeah sure, and ya gonna be sick in the morning if ya don’t watch it. Better get yourself cleaned up ya here, supper is ready in about ten minutes.â€

“Alright, but don’t start without me.†He shouted while running to the bathroom.

When Nick told at supper what had happened at the lake that afternoon, he almost thought he heard Uncle Jesse swear for the first time.

“If people wouldn’t be so da.n intolerant with each other, this world could be a lot a nicer place for everyone.†The old man said from the bottom of his heart.

“Better avoid does guys kid.†Bo said. “They’re nothing but trouble that’s for sure.â€

“Just hope they won’t come back tomorrow when we’re working at the tree house.†Nick said with his mouth stuffed with carrots.

“Wouldn’t worry about that to much if I were ya.†Luke reassured him. “Sure it will be fine.â€

“Uncle Jesse, I asked Enos for supper tomorrow, that’s ok right?†Daisy asked while she filled up Nick’s plate again.

“Well sure it is. I’d never denied any guest at my dinner table, and definitely not Enos. He’s been here so often we can’t even call him a guest no more.â€

“You’ve been seeing an awful lot of that guy lately.†Luke said intrigued. “Anything ya should tell us?â€

Daisy couldn’t help turning red. “I don’t have to tell you anything Luke Duke. Who I see, how many times is none of your business.â€

“Sure it is.†Bo said grinning. “We’re your cousin’s right, we’re supposed to keep an eye on you. So tell us, ‘cause if he’s getting obtrusive we’re going to arrange a heart to heart with our dear deputy.â€

Luke couldn’t help laughing out loud. “Enos obtrusive! That will be the day. That man is still the oldest virgin of Hazzard, I’ll bet ya that.â€

“Boys, that’s enough.†Jesse said firmly. “Daisy is old enough to make her own choices about who she’s seeing and who not.â€

“Thank you Uncle Jesse.†Daisy said sincere. “And for your information.†She snapped at her cousins. “Enos didn’t do much more than holding my hand while walking threw the park.â€

“So you are seriously seeing him!†Bo called out.

“Sure became time for it. That boy had a crush on you since 7th grade.†Luke added.

‘But please don’t tell him I told ya’ll already.†Daisy said begging. “I promised him he could ask you for permission first Uncle Jesse, before we told anyone else.â€

“Well Enos doesn’t have to ask for my permission, he got it already!†Jesse said with a smile. “You have that boy dangling for way to long now. I’m very happy for ya honeyâ€

“I know that Uncle Jesse, but ya know Enos. He wouldn’t never take me anywhere without you’re permission.â€

“Well that’s why I like him that much.†Jesse joked.

“It will be a very special dinner then tomorrow.†Bo said grinning. “Better get our tuxes out Luke.â€

“O boys please, you’re not gonna give him a hard time do you? You know how nervous he can get.â€

Luke decided they had teased her enough for one night and gave her a reinsuring look. “Sure we won’t. We’re happy for ya you know that and we won’t give Enos a hard time we promise.â€

Nick had followed the whole scenario with big eyes. He was really curious now about that Enos-guy, that was for sure.

After dinner Daisy took of to the Boars Nest and Bo and Luke were doing their evening chores.

Nick had done the dishes with Jesse and was now looking for something to do. He wandered around the farm a bit to explore the surroundings. As he came along the barn his attention was drawn by the General Lee. He walked up to the orange car and tried to hop in just as smooth as Bo and Luke had done so many times. His legs though, were much to short and he had to swing his right leg twice before he could hook it threw the window. After he pulled himself in and settled himself at the driver’s seat he started to feel really big. Man what an awesome car this was. He looked at the keys which the boys had left in the car. If he just turned them a bit he knew the radio would go on. As he turned the keys he saw lights flicker and he searched for a radio station where they played some music. While he grabbed the wheel he thought back about the car chase that day before. He pictured himself chasing the truck robbers with Bo besides him with the bow and arrow. “Watch it they’re shooting at us!†He cold out his imaginary shotgun driver. Totally wrapped in his game he let his hands slight over the stirring wheel just like he was taking some nasty curves and grabbed the CB “This is Nick Taylor, calling Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane.†He said in his best Luke impersonating voice. “Sheriff are ya there, cause I’m chasing two truck robbers on Choctaw Road and they are shooting at us, better come out here to cuff ‘m and stuff ’m.â€

“Guess we have to take care of this ourselves Bo†He went on after a couple of second. “You think ya can pepper that guy’s tailgate?†As he saw Bo in his imagination hanging out of the window with the bow and arrow he decided the felons where shooting again. “Duck!†he shouted. While ducking under the steering wheel himself he accidentally bumped against the claxon. A loud Dixie horn scattered through the barn. The noise startled him for second but almost immediately he continued his game. Moving his hands wild alongside the wheel he was taking curve after curve. Suddenly he thought to himself the game would be al lot more real if he could here the engine of the car running. After hesitating

a moment he twisted the keys fully and the engine started to roar. With his attention completely focused on the car keys Nick hadn’t seen Bo and Luke, alarmed by the sound of the horn, come running towards him. As he looked up he saw both man, each standing at one side of the car, not looking to happy.

‘What ya doing son?†Bo asked obviously hiding some anxiousness in his voice, while Luke reached for the car keys to stop the engine.

“Chasing truck robbers.†Nick answered like that would be obvious.

Bo gave his cousin an angry look, like this was totally his doing.

“Don’t look at me like that.†Luke defended himself. “I already admitted it wasn’t the smartest thing to do.â€

Nick looked confused at the cousins, not knowing what was wrong.

“Better get out of the car kiddo.†Luke told him.

“But I’m just playing.†Nick reacted defensive.

“Yeah well a car ain’t exactly like a toy.†Bo replied. “And definitely not when the motor is running.â€

“I wasn’t going anywhere.†Nick kept arguing, still looking up to the men from the driver’s seat, with, his hand tightly wrapped around the steering wheel, like he was afraid it would walk away. “I just wanted to hear the engine.â€

“So you’ve heard it now, come on, out!†Luke insisted.

“No I wanna play!†Nick said stubborn. He didn’t saw what he did wrong and why he couldn’t continue his game.

Luke sighed. Why was this kid giving them such a hard time? “Well ya just can’t always get what ya want.†He said tense. “Now like Bo said, a car ain’t no toy, you’ll drive it when ya old enough, until then car keys are off-limits, and if ya don’t come out of that car right now it’s straight up to bed with you, ya hear!â€

Nick pulled a sour face but chose to give in. “Can I play in the car without the engine running?†Nick asked while he was have way through the window

Bo’s face turned just as sour hearing the request, but Luke seemed to disagree.

“Yes ya can.†He said while helping Nick out of the car. “But not today no more.â€

“Why not?†Nick asked offended.

“’Cause I had to ask ya more than once to get out of that car and I don’t like that.†Luke said. “And besides, Jesse will be having milk and cookies ready by now.â€

Nick sighed. He knew that meant he had to go to bed anyway. Well at least he could have the milk and cookies instead op being send to bed immediately. He liked it when everybody sat together in the living room and talked, just as he liked having dinner together.

When his parents were still alive they never had dinner together. They just sat in front of the TV and no word would be spoken. That was when his mom had prepared dinner at all, ‘cause most of the time he had to explore the fridge himself, or he took his little brother with him to a dinner, from the money he had stolen and didn’t gave to his dad.

Going to bed hadn’t been a ritual at all. Most of the time he just felt a sleep on his bed with his clothes still on, after reading comics ‘till late or watching TV.

In the foster family’s thing had been different, although there were two of them where children and grownups didn’t eat at the same time and the nanny brought ya to bed. He hadn’t liked that either.

As he looked up to Luke and saw his somewhat upset face, Nick felt bad, screwing up twice on the same day.

“I’m sorry.†he mumbled barely hearable.

Luke gave him a soft smile and laid a hand on the boys shoulder.

“That’s okay, you just run up to the house already we’ll be following ya in a minute.â€

Nick followed his instructions literally and took of like a rabbit.

As Luke looked at his cousin he saw an angry look on the man’s face.

“What’s wrong with you?†Luke asked him.

“You’re not seriously thinking of letting that boy play in the General right?†Bo replied unhappy.

“Sure why not? As long as he lays of those keys it won’t be a problem right/â€

“Well what if he wrecks something inside, or doesn’t lie of the keys and drives the General trough this here barn?â€

“Come on Bo, how many times didn’t we play moonrunners in Black Tilly as we where kids.†Luke said, thinking of his cousin to be nagging.

“Not with Uncle Jesse knowing ‘bout it.†Bo defended himself.

“Sure he did.†Luke argued. “And even if he didn’t, we never wrecked Black Tilly inside or outside so I think Nick will be fine in the General.â€

Bo maid a low unsatisfied sound. “If ya say so sow cus, but if he does, you’ll be paying for the damages ya hear.â€

“Sure cus.†Luke laughed and slapped his cousin on the shoulder. “Let’s go inside and look or Jesse got some milk and cookies for us to.â€

‘At the sound of cookies Bo’s eyes twinkled. “Yeah guess that’s the advantage of having a kid walking around.†He said laughing while he laid his arm around Luke shoulder in a brotherly way and they walked up to house. “You forget by the way that time we did slam Black Tilly against that stack of wood. You were 14 and I was 11.â€

Luke pulled a painful grin. “I don’t think I wanna remember that incident.â€

“Yeah Jesse had quite a fit then, tanned both our hides good, after you told him what happened.â€

“No wonder if something happened with that car we didn’t had no incomes what so ever.†Luke said. “What I do remember though is it was your idea and you almost begged, me to take that car for a drive. And when we crashed it you panicked and didn’t dare to tell Uncle Jesse about it, so I had to and in the end I’d get the bigger lot of Jesse’s anger to deal with, because of being older and have to take care of you.â€

Bo grinned. “Well ya shouldn’t have given in to me.†He said laughing while they stepped in to the house. “After all, you were older.â€

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That next day Jesse and Daisy were in the kitchen most of the day preparing a special dinner. Bo and Luke had teased Daisy about making such a fuss about it, for all it was only Enos who was coming over and he had been coming over since they were kids, just as long ‘till she couldn’t handle it anymore and threatened her cousins out of the kitchen with a frying pan hold up high in her hand.

When Nick had took of to the tree house around 4 p.m., Bo and Luke went in to town to find Rosco and ask about the reward money again. They didn’t had much luck and as soon as they even opened their mouths in the sheriffs station, they got blown off bye an angry Rosco telling them they could get there windows fixed on costs of the sheriffs department , but then not to come back anymore.

“That guy is unbelievable.†Bo moaned.

“Like we didn’t know that already.†Luke sad from behind the wheel of the General. “Well at least the window’s get paid for, that’s something.â€

“They wouldn’t have been broken if we hadn’t have to do his job.â€

Luke decided not to argue. He agreed with Bo for the full 100% but he just knew complaining about it wouldn’t help them.

“While drumming with his thumbs on the stirring wheel, he drove up to Cooter’s Garage and parked it in front of it. Bo and Luke got out of the car and went in to the garage where they found a pare of fresh polished shoes stinking out from under a patrol car.â€

“Hey Luke look at that beautiful pare shoes coming from under that car.†Bo joked. “To whom would they belong, wouldn’t be our best friend Cooter Davenport now would they.â€

“Neh.†Luke said grinning. “Can’t be. Cooter works way too hard to pay any attention to his shoes.â€

At the sound of his friends voices Cooter rolled from under the car.

“If it ain’t our local comedians†He said sarcastic, while he got up. “Ain’t ya’ll Uncle Jesse never told ya, ya can’t make fun of a fellows shoes.â€

The boys grinned.

“Sure he did, but he also told us we could always make an exception if it concerns you.†Bo said cheery.

“Cute.†Cooter said while he put his cap back on. “Where can I help ya two with?â€

“New windshields.†Luke said

“And Rosco is paying for them.†Bo followed.

“Must be an expensive week for the sheriff then, this is the second car I got from him this week.†And he pointed at the patrol car.â€

“But that is Enos’s car right?†Bo asked. “What did he do, drove it in to the pond again?â€

“No.†Cooter said while he walked up to the street where the General was parked. “Bumped it in to a tree, I swear that boy is more ‘out there’ lately then he already is usually. And he didn’t even seem to mind, he just walks around with that smile on his face you don’t wanna know.â€

Bo and Luke looked at each other and laughed. The wanted to spill there guts more than anything, but remembered they promised Daisy not to tell anything.

“You boys know something I don’t?†Cooter asked curious.

Luke wanted to make a bad joke about that one, but decided he wouldn’t figuring he still needed Cooter to fix there car.

“No not really.†He just said and handed Cooter the keys from the general.

“Man that is one sad looking car.†Cooter said, well scraching under his cap.

“Well ya saw here worse.†Bo said. “When you think ya can have her running again?â€

“Well I could have her done tomorrow morning, if I drop al my other doings for ya.â€

“So you’ll have her ready in the morning†Bo grinned knowing Cooter would always help them first.

Cooter smiled. “And how’s that carburetor coming?†He asked.

“Not that good, he’s holding on, but no way we’ll be racing it.†Luke explained.

“Want me to replace that to?†He said while opening the hood, to take a look.

“No leave it. We just ain’t got the money to pay ya know.†Luke mumbled.

“But what about the race than?†Cooter said surprised. Normally this guys would beg him to give them the parts on credit.

“We’ll be looking for some temporary jobs or something and otherwise I’ll guess we just won’t enter.â€

Cooter couldn’t believe his ears. “Ya guys know ya can pay me later right? I mean, not that you’re going to win or anything, but I still would like to have ya as opponents and beat ya.â€

“Thanks Cooter.†Luke said sincere. “But we can’t ask ya that. We still owe ya for a taillight and those brake lines.â€

“Well Lukas Dukas, ya’ll won’t be asking I’d be offering.†Cooter sad with almost an upset look on his face. He had really hoped on beating his best two friends in that race.

Bo had already opened his mouth to thank Cooter from the bottom of his heart, but Luke interrupted him.

“Sorry Cooter but we can’t do that. Let us find a way to raise the money ourselves first and if that ain’t working we can’t always come back to ya. We still have about a week and a half to prepare ourselves.

Bo glared at his cousin and Cooter shrugged his shoulders in a defeated way but both accepted the older Duke Cousin’s decision.

“Alright then, wanna see that engine I was telling ya about?†Cooter asked

“Sure thing!†Bo reacted. Both cousins followed Cooter to his racecar an when he opened the hood they looked at a professional racecar engine. “Hot da* n..†Luke reacted impressed by the shining silver colored metal.

“Ya can say that cousin.†Bo seconded him. ‘Ya can say that.

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After staring at the engine for a while, and asking Cooter to keep them informed about anything he heard that included work or making money, they left in a borrowed car and headed for home. Bo wanted to ask Luke why he didn’t accepted Cooter’s offer, but decided not to, knowing Luke would have his reasons and if they couldn’t raise the money in time for the race he would give in eventually.

“So how is Becky-Lee?†Luke asked. “I heard ya talking on the phone for over half an hour yesterday evening.â€

Bo blushed, Luke was right, normally he never talked long over the phone, but this girl made him laugh so much he forgot the time.

“She’s fine, she’s starting as a waitress at the Boars Nest tomorrow night. Saving money for college.â€

“She’ll be working a lot then, with the salary Boss is paying, it will take her years.â€

Bo shook his head. “She said her parents paid most of it, but she wanted to tip in herself.†“Than she’ll probably be seeing a lot of Daisy.†Luke noted.

Bo frowned for a moment. “Hmm didn’t think about that.†He said like it was actually a surprise to him. “Guess I better won’t be teasing Daisy then about Enos to night. Or I’ll be getting it back as soon as she finds out.â€

“Ya sure will cus.†Luke said stretching himself on the passenger’s seat of the car.

‘You think Enos and Daisy are getting married soon?†Bo asked.

Luke shrugged, “Don’t know, if it depends on Enos I think they’d be in church tomorrow, but if I were Daisy I would try the guy out before I’d got married.â€

“Yeah you wouldn’t even marry a girl at all before ya tried her out right!†Bo said laughing out loud.

“Ha-ha Bo!†Luke said annoyed. “I wasn’t talking ‘bout that. Man I don’t even wanna think about that if it’s concerning Daisy! I meant that if I were Daisy I would just start dating for a while, see how things work out. After all Enos is a nice guy but would you wanted to be married to him?â€

Bo took a right turn “No I won’t but than of course I ain’t a girl and if I could chose a guy for Daisy to date it would be Enos. At least ya know he’ll be good to her.â€

“Yep you’re right about that!†Luke agreed.

“Would you do it though?†Bo asked curious.

“Would I do what?â€

“Would you marry a girl before ya..ya know ‘explored the hayloft’ together?†Bo explained a bit hold back.

Luke looked astonished at his cousin. He wasn’t used to Bo asking him this kind of questions. Although they could talk about everything, this subject hadn’t come up anymore since Bo was 15, having his first serious girlfriend, and decided he could use his older cousin’s advice. After that the only time the subject came to mention was during bragging or teasing each other.

“Well I don’t know Bo.†Luke said seriously thinking. “Never thought about that, never had to that is, never met a girl who didn’t wanted to.â€

It became quiet for a while.

“But if ya did met one?†Bo continued after all.

“Would ya stick around or would ya just leave it?â€

“I really don’t know Bo. Maybe if I really felt in love or something, but don’t think that’s gonna happen soon. I’m not ready yet to stay around the same girl for long, not even talking ‘bout settling down so….I guess I wouldn’t.â€

Bo nodded to show is cousin he’d understand.

“But why you asking me this?†Luke asked while he frowned. “Something wrong with you and Becky Lee?†.

“Well I wouldn’t say something is wrong with her.†Bo said a bit ashamed. “But she doesn’t wants to.â€

Luke had to put al his efforts in not to laugh, but he didn’t do a good job and ended up making a snorting sound.

“It ain’t funny Luke!†Bo reacted upset. “I really don’t know what to do about it.â€

“I’m sorry Bo.†Luke said sincere feeling a bit sorry for his younger cousin. “But what would you want to do about it? Not like ya can force her or something.â€

“I know that and I would never do such a thing but….well I don’t know. …If I could just change her mind or something.â€

Luke gave his cousin a worried look. “If she doesn’t wants to, she doesn’t want to, better not try to change that, cause before ya know it you do something stupid and hurt her.â€

“I would never hurt her, I like her very much.†Bo defended himself.

“Well did she tell ya why she dont wants to?â€

Bo shrugged his shoulder. “Saving herself for marriage I believe.†He muttered. “Not like we don’t do nothing at all, but she doesn’t wanna go all the way.â€

Luke couldn’t help laughing again. “Well cus, I think your done there, guess those liberal parents did a good job after all.â€

Bo sighed. “Well I like being around her a lot, so I guess I can pull through for a while, but if this thing lasts I’m not so sure whether I can.â€

“Sorry Bo, but I can’t help ya there. That’s something that you have to find out for ya self. Or ya have to propose to her of course, than all ya problems will disappear.â€

Bo didn’t felt like reacting on that joke and just muttered “Get real.†in a low voice while flooring the gas pedal.

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At the farm, Nick had returned around 6 p.m. already, because his friends had to be home early. With Bo and Luke not being there yet he had to find himself something to do. He already had read the comic Bo gave him twice and he decided to search the cousin’s room or there where some more. Walking in to Bo’s and Luke’s bedroom he immediately noticed the difference between the two sides of the room. At the left where Luke’s bed was standing everything looked pretty alright but the right side of the bedroom was one big mesh. Clothes and comics were spread on the floor and used towels hung over the bed.

Nick kneeled down at the end of Bo’s bed where the comics were scattered. As he went through them he was amazed about how many comics one person could have. Having the time of his live checking the title’s and different volumes he shot him self completely of from the world not noticing the bedroom door opening. Suddenly he felt a hand resting on his shoulder, which made him almost jump to the sealing.

“Can I help ya with something?†Uncle Jesse asked him gentle.

“O sorry sir, I didn’t hear you come in.†Nick said still regaining his nerves.

“Were ya looking for something?†Jesse asked again in a soothing voice, ignoring the apology.

“I was just looking for comics.†Nick defended himself panicking. The thought occurred to him, Uncle Jesse might think he was stealing something now he saw him sit like this.

“I finished the one Bo gave me and I just wanted to borrow another one. I was going to return it really!â€

Jesse smiled and helped the boy of the floor, and ruffled his hair. “I know you were.†He said to calm the boy down. “But ya better wait until Bo gets home, so you can ask him whether he is alright with it. That’s more polite ya see.â€

“Ok, but what I’m going to do until he comes back then?†Nick asked while following Jesse in to the living room.

“Well did ya ever consider reading a book?†Jesse asked while he walked up to the bookcase.

Nick pulled an ugly face. “Well I don’t know. Never used to have much of them around at home.†He said doubting “We had to read one at school but I remember it hadn’t a lot op pictures in it. Not like a comic.â€

“Well why don’t ya give it a try?†Jesse said while handing him a book from the bookcase. “Try it for about 15 minutes and if ya don’t like it, I’ll get ya one of Bo’s comics myself. Deal?â€

Nick looked at the book fore a moment like it was really dirty, but than accepted it.

“Alright deal†He said with a bit more enthusiasm and sat himself down on the couch.

The book was really thick and had a brown jacket. ‘Winnetou’ the title said. ‘by Karl May’.

As Nick opened the book he saw luckily it had some pictures in it, but it weren’t a lot. The drawings of the Indians intrigued him though and slowly he started to read.

During the first couple of pages Nick kept looking at the clock. As he pulled through for just 8 more minutes he would get his comic. But slowly the story got his attention. He had to chuckle as ‘The greenhorn’ lifted mister Henry like he was made of feathers and he’d got curious what this grumpy old man wanted with the young man from Germany.

While reading Nick forgot all about the time and didn’t even notice, first Bo and Luke and later Enos walking in.

When Bo saw Nick sitting on the couch he frowned en gave Luke an amazed look.

â€Is the kid reading now?†He whispered like it was a holy happening.

“Looks like it?†Luke whispered back. “He must be bored out of his mind wanting to read a book.â€

“Yeah, only time we ever read something was when we had to for school and Jesse made us.â€

“Well I read Tom Sawyer for fun once.†Luke said after thinking a moment.

“Yeah but that was when you were ill with the flu and ya had to stay in bed for over a week.†Bo reminded him.

“Guess ya right there cus.†Luke admitted. “Come on, better leave the boy alone and see whether Jesse needs help setting the table.â€

Bo nodded but looked over his shoulder one more time before entering the kitchen. “Tseee..reading!?†he said shaking his head, but Nick was in a whole other world, not hearing a thing the boys had said.

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In the kitchen Bo and Luke only found Daisy, cause Enos had asked whether he could talk to Jesse in private and the two of them had settled down on the front porch.

‘I really wanted to thank you for having me over tonight Mr. Duke.†Enos said formal. ‘Really appreciate it.â€

“That’s nothing special Enos; you have come ever since you and Luke went to school together. You’re always welcome ya know that.â€

“I know that Mr. Duke, but wanted to say thanks anyway, cause I haven’t been around lately as I’d use to do.â€

“Well, you’re very busy being a deputy so no need for feeling sorry about that. But some how I think that’s not the reason ya wanted to talk to me is it Enos?†Jesse said with a soft smile.

“No sir, it ain’t but I’m not sure where to begin ‘cause what I want to talk to you about is something very serious.â€

Jesse shook his head. “Just say what ya mean and mean what ya say, there’s no need for stalling.†He said a bit stern, ‘cause he knew Enos would be capable of stuttering on for half an hour.

Enos took a deep breathe. “Sir you know I like Daisy a lot. Really a lot.â€

Jesse nodded. “That has been a common known secret for years.â€

“Yes it has, hasn’t it?†Enos smiled, a bit blushing. “Now Daisy said she likes me to, so I would really wanted to ask your permission to she her and take her out sometimes. I would be really looking out for her and take good care of her. I promise that.â€

Jesse couldn’t help thinking it would be Daisy who had to look out for Enos, but he know Enos would treat her right.

“Daisy is a grown woman Enos, and she allowed and capable of making her own choices. If she wants to go out with ya, she doesn’t need my permission.â€

“I know that Mr. Duke, but it would mean a real lot to me if we had your consent.â€

Jesse laid a hand on Enos shoulder in a fatherly way. “Enos you have had my consent ever since you escorted Daisy to her first prom. Now I trust you to treat her right and to maker her happy.â€

“I will Mr. Duke I swear it.â€

“Well if that’s settled than, we’d better go see in the kitchen ‘cause dinner should be ready.â€

“Yes sir.†Enos replied and stood up from the porch.

Before they walked in to the kitchen Jesse turned around ones more and looked at Enos with a gentle smile.

â€And Enos.†The old man said. “Since you might be becoming part of the family, why don’t ya just call me Uncle Jesse.â€

Hearing that Enos face just beamed with pride as he replied “Yes sir, Uncle Jesse I will!â€

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When finally everybody was assembled in the kitchen, Jesse said grace and everybody could enjoy there dinner. Daisy and Jesse had worked very hard on making an excellent gumbo following the family recipe and it had worked out great.

“This tastes really great.†Enos said sincere. “Haven’t been eating as good in agesâ€

Daisy smiled. “That means I have to be cooking a lot more for ya then.†She said in a sweet voice.

“Hasn’t been always like that.†Luke said. “Remember that time Daisy baked her first cookies Enos?â€

“I sure do.†Enos grinned. “They were totally black, but we had to eat them anyway, ‘cause otherwise she would get mad.â€

“Well you ate them.†Luke said laughing. “I only pretended to and threw them away later. Man those things were hard.â€

“Luke Duke that ain’t a nice thing to say.†Daisy said insulted.

“Well you’re a great cook now.†Luke defended himself. “Wouldn’t now what to do with out ya, but when you just came from the city to the farm, you didn’t new nothing.â€

‘I was only six!†Daisy reacted.

“You where so funny, when we first came here.†Bo said with his mouth stuffed. “Always afraid of getting your clothes dirty and you were terrified of the goats. Didn’t dear to com near them.â€

“Well I now some stories about you to Mr.†Daisy fought back in the friendly quarrel. “You were afraid of almost everything as soon as the light went of. Monsters, wild dogs, the boogieman you name it and you were afraid they would come in to your bedroom. I think there even lived a mean dwarf in your closet. And then Luke had to scare them a way for ya otherwise you wouldn’t go to sleep.â€

Nick laughed out loud. He couldn’t picture Bo being scared for the boogieman, but the idea was very funny.

“And you didn’t used to like that at all in the beginning.†Bo said to Luke with a grin. He was so used to people teasing him about his childhood fears he didn’t even get worked up about it anymore.â€

“As I recall right, you didn’t like us coming to the farm at all.†Daisy added.

“Well I didn’t like a lot of things at the time.†Luke almost said apologizing. “But can you blame me. I used to have the farm all bye myself, and then all of a sudden this city girl and a overexcited kid who’s running al the time and nocks everything over, come to disturb the peace.â€

“I wasn’t a real city girl.†Daisy argued.

“Yes you were, you were from Atlanta and a definite city girl.â€

“The story I like most of all, is how you boys became friends after all.†Jesse said

“Well that’s Luke’s story to tell.†Bo grinned.

“Oh would you please?†Nick asked ‘cause he saw Luke didn’t really felt like it.

Luke sighed. “Al right then, one more time, but after tonight this story is dead, buried and not coming up anymore.â€

Luke shoved his chair a bit back and started to tell.

“Well Nick, like I told ya already, during this time I wasn’t the easiest person to hang around.â€

“Make that, almost impossible to stand.†Jesse corrected him

Luke rolled his eyes. “Alright, Alright, I was trouble. The point is, at that time being in 4th grade I met some friends who were trouble too and Uncle Jesse here didn’t want me to hang out with them. Of course I didn’t listen and one day these boys asked me to come to their secret hiding place after school. I knew Uncle Jesse would never agree to that, and because he’d come and pick us up every day after school I needed an alibi. â€

“So of course he came to me.†Bo said grinning.

â€Yes I did, Bo and me weren’t friends yet, but I knew he wouldn’t rat me out, so I told him what I was about to do, but told him he had to tell Uncle Jesse I was gone home with some other kid making homework.â€

“I was pretty worried at that time cause I knew those kids were pests and I tried to stop Luke by telling him Jesse would never buy it.â€

“I didn’t listen though, just told Bo not to be such a drag and went anyway.â€

“He was such a nice guy.†Bo said sarcastically laughing.

Luke sighed. The reason he didn’t liked telling this story was it confronted him every time what a jerk he had been and he didn’t liked that.

“So after school me and the three other boys went to a little deserted shed somewhere in an alley.†Luke’s face started to become al little pale. “We had some fun for a while, but then all of a sudden one of the guys told me that if I wanted to belong to there group I had to take a test.â€

“What kind of test?†Nick asked curious.

“Well they would lock me up in the shed and I had to stay inside for about 10 minutes. That was it.†Luke explained. “Of course I thought did would be easy. The worst thing that could happen to me was a boring 10 minutes, and of course I wanted to belong to there group desperately so I would have done anything.â€

Nick looked doubtful at Luke’s face. He found it hard to imagine, that this fully grown man, who jumped his car over a creek, and to whom he looked up to had wanted to belong with a group so bad, he let himself be locked up.

“So they locked the door and I stayed in waiting until the 10 minutes would have past. Now of course these guys wouldn’t just do nothing. They wanted to test me and tried all kinds of different things to get me out. Now one of these boys had a pet snake he carried around with him everywhere he’d go. They let the snake slide through under the door, hoping it would make me burst in to the door and get out. Now I’ve never been very fond of snakes, but have lived on a farm all my live, my parent al so used to own a farm, I knew if ya would just let them be, they wouldn’t do ya no harm. So there first attempted failed.â€

Nick listened with big eyes totally forgetting about his food. He couldn’t believe Uncle Jesse liked this story , ‘cause it scared the he** out of him.

“Secondly they tried to throw firecrackers at the shed, which except for making a lot of noise couldn’t do much harm and maid me glad I was inside instead of outside, but with a jumpy snake in there still not very pleasant.†Luke stopped for a while to take a bite from his food and then continued.

“Well finally, the most bright one of them all decided they could make a fire at the side of the shed.†He said in a sarcastic tone. “So the smoke would come through the cracks of the shed and I would get out. The thing they didn’t realize though was the leaking cans of gasoline that were standing against the shed.â€

Enos who had never heard this story before looked at him with his mouth hanging open. “You mean Luke they….â€

Luke nodded. “The cans caught fire and so did the wall of the shed.â€

“So they got you out right?†Nick asked.

Luke shook his head. “Nope guess the fire scared them so much they just run away, with out even thinking of me in there.â€

“No kiddin’†Nick said shocked, he could not imagine anyone do such a thing.

“No kiddin, now luckily Bo here was still as nosy as he is today.†Luke said grinning. “He had followed us to the shed and as he saw the boys running away he came out of his hiding place and got me out.â€

“Ain’t I a hero?†Bo said mockingly about himself.

“Yes ya were.†Luke replied in a bit of a bored voice. Not that he wasn’t grateful his cousin had saved him, but the fact he already had to hear this most of his live made it a bit old.â€

“That’s quite a story Luke.†Enos said impressed. “How old were ya 9 or something?â€

“Yep something like that, Bo was only 6 that’s for sure just out of kindergarten.â€

“So what happened then?†Nick asked feeling there was more to this story.

“Well first we run to a telephone box to make an anonymous call to the fire department and then we sat down in the park to regain from our shock.â€

Bo grinned. “I remember me being even more upset than you were at that time.â€

“Yeah that’s true. Strange thing was I never really got scared being in the shed. I saw the smoke and heard the fire, but not being able to see much of the flames I didn’t panic. You on the other hand had saw the whole thing happen and were scared out of ya mind. In the park you were crying and I had to calm ya down saying everything was alright. And after I explained to you why I was in the shed you got raving mad at me. ‘Why would you let yaself get locked up to be friends with some morons if ya can be Daisy’s and mine friend for free.††Luke smiled at Bo. “Guess after you saving my life and telling me that I had to like ya whether I wanted to or not.†He grinned. “True thing cus, but I think us facing Uncle Jesse together did the most of the bonding work.â€

Luke looked at Nick again. “While we were sitting there in the park all of a sudden we heard a very, very angry voice calling our names from the other site of the street.†He went on. “Because Bo had followed me and Daisy didn’t new anything about my plans, there was nobody to explain our absence when he came to pick us up.â€

“First I thought those boys had worked themselves in to detention, but when I went in and nobody could tell me where they were, I got worried sick.†Jesse told them.

“Well there we were, Bo still in tears from the shock, me still coughing from the smoke and Jesse coming towards us ready to kill us. ‘Where have you boys been.’ He asked us. ‘I’ve searched half of this forsaken town and now I find ya here. What happened and why is he crying?’. I was about to tell what happened when Bo suddenly opened his mouth.â€

“This wasn’t the first time Luke got in to trouble ya know.†Bo said “I realized that If Jesse at that time heard what had happened Luke would be a goner.â€

“You better be sure about that.†Jesse muttered.

“So I told Uncle Jesse I had been bullied by some older kids and they had chased me from the playground. Luke had come after me to help me and freed me from my attackersâ€

“And you believed that, Uncle Jesse?†Enos asked.

“Well at first yes, until I wanted to give them boys a hug and I smelled the smoke on them.â€

“But still ya didn’t say anything at that time.†Luke said. “You pretended to believe our story.â€

“Yes I did, ‘cause although I didn’t take kind of being lied to I could see whatever had happened, it changed something between the both of you and it definitely had changed something in you. Whole the way home, you had your arm wrapped around Bo comforting him and whipping away his tears. It was the first time I saw you really care about somebody. Besides you told me the truth all by your self later that day, so I didn’t had to ask ya about it no more.â€

Luke gave a shy grin. “Guess my conscious had reached their limit and I needed to tell somebody what happened, if it meant getting disciplined for it.â€

“But it didn’t.†Bo said. “Uncle Jesse thought of being looked up in a burning shed was punishment enough and he got away with it.â€

“After a very long lecture about obeying your elders, choosing the people you hang out with and always telling the truth.†Luke added

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Everybody had to laugh.

“Why haven’t I never heard this story Luke?†Enos asked. “I remember hearing about that shed burning down at the time, but I never knew you had something to do with it.â€

“Well it wasn’t exactly the most happiest day of my live ya know. I didn’t go blabbering about it to everyone , and we weren’t really friends yet at that time.â€

“How did you become friends?†Nick asked, wanting to hear more stories. “Well that’s a whole lot shorter story.†Luke said “When we were in 6th grade Enos got bullied by some 10th graders. Me and Cooter saw him almost being lifted in to a trashcan so we stepped in.â€

“I was glad you did ‘cause just a couple of seconds later and I would have been in there. And it had been ‘Tuna-day’â€

“You and Cooter were strong enough to take them older kids?†Nick asked

“Seemed like we were, but don’t you underestimate Cooter. He was then just as crazy as he is today. He might even have calmed down a bit by now. If he came at ya you better hide.â€

Many stories were told during dinner and desert and Nick couldn’t get enough of them. Most of them were about them all as kids, but Bo also told a story about the first time they’ve got chased by Enos. “I couldn’t believe ya wanted to become a deputy.†Bo said “But I guess we’re all glad ya did now, being the only honest lawman in town.â€

“Guess it will be strange though, you chasing us while you’re dating Daisy.†Luke commented.

“Yes is will, won’t it.†Enos said a little disappointed. He already had been afraid about that being an issue for the Dukes to accept him seeing Daisy.

“Well we figure something out.†Daisy said smiling, while she wrapped her arm around him and gave him a quick kiss on the cheek, not wanting the mood to be spoiled.

“Alright who’s doing the dishes?†Jesse asked while he was clearing the table.

Luke looked at Nick who had almost slid under the table to make himself invisible.

“Wanna help me sport?†Luke asked with a smile.

Nick knew this wasn’t really a request and slowly got up from his chair answering “Yes sir.â€

After the dishes were done Nick wanted to continue his book, but when he entered the living room he saw Bo was holding it.

“You actually reading this right?’ He asked the boy. Nick nodded, he didn’t really get were Bo was up to.

“And ya also like it?â€

“Yeah it’s okay.†Nick answered.

Bo shook his head, he was truthfully amazed about a boy who wanted to read without anyone making him.

“May I have it back?†Nick asked.

“Well sure ya may, if ya really want to.†Bo said in teasing kind of way.

“Yes I want to.†Nick said getting up-set. Why was this guy annoying him?

“Alright here ya are.†Bo said with a smile, handing Nick the book. “I just thought you might want to come with me and take the car for a drive that’s all, but if ya rather stay here inside and read that’s fine by me to.â€

“Ya serious?†Nick asked surprised. Until now he had only done things together with Luke, but no with Bo.

“Yes sir, definitely.†Bo said jokingly.

“Alright!†Nick called out and he stormed at the car, not even thinking about the book anymore.

In the door opening Luke had been watching. “You’ll be careful cus?†He asked Bo not completely trusting him.

“Don’t I always?†Bo said grinning.

Luke sighed but decided not to be a drag and walked back in to the kitchen, while Bo ran towards the car.

From the porch swing Daisy and Enos saw the boys driving away.

“Hope they don’t going to race.†Enos said worried.

“Oh Enos relax.†Daisy said loving. “You’re not on duty tonight.â€

“Your right Daisy, I’m sorry.†Enos said while placing her hand in his. “Besides Bo probably won’t do nothing stupid with the boy in the car.â€

Daisy wasn’t so sure about that, but she didn’t tell Enos that. Softly she let her head rest on his shoulder. “I love being her with you Enos.†Daisy whispered

“So do I sweetheart.†Enos whispered back. “So do I.â€

Driving on the Hazard County back roads Bo and Nick were having quite a good time. Bo decided not to push the borrowed car, but was sure to show Nick some of his driving abilities.

“You enjoying yourself kid?†Bo asked while taking a sharp turn.

“Yeah!†Nick said smiling. “This is cool, I never saw nobody driving like this.â€

“Well you haven’t been long in Hazzard then, cause around here everybody drives like this.â€

“How old were you when you first drove a car?†Nick asked curious.

Bo thought for a second. “Well we could take the cars out on the field so I think thirteen or something, with Luke besides me telling me what to do.â€

“Ain’t it hard?â€

“No not when you know what to do. It’s just something ya learn along the way and Luke and me have invested a lot of time to practice.â€

“You race a lot?â€

Bo nodded. “We used to race our cars every Saturday a long the river since we were 16. Now we only race in official race’s organized in town.â€

“Like the one in two weeks.â€

“Yeah like that one.†Bo said a bit down, realizing this might be a race they had to miss.

“Ya think the General be fixed in time?†Nick asked.

“Sure hope so kid.†Bo said heartfelt while increasing his speed.

Nick looked at Bo with a begging look. “Can I try?†He asked hopefully.

Bo had suspected this question and seemed to be doubting but didn’t gave in. “Sorry kid, I’m afraid you’re a bit to young for that and we ain’t on private ground so when the cops come we’re screwed.â€

Nick pulled a disappointed face.

“But ya can drive the stick if ya want?†Bo said.

A full smile appeared again. Bo slowed down and put the car in 2nd.

“Alright ya see the numbers on the stick?â€

“Ahhah.†Nick nodded

“Well those are the different gears. Now I’ve got him in second, when I say ‘now’ try to put in 3rd, just by pushing it up. But not earlier ‘cause I have to use the clutch firstâ€

Nick laid his hand on the stick and waited full of excitement. Bo made the car accelerate. “Now.†He said and looked at Nick’s hand.

A bit stiff but correct Nick moved the stick to 3rd gear.

“Good, next one will be 4th, just push it down when I say so.â€

Bo increased his speed again and said: “Now!â€

Smoothly the car went in to 4th gear.

“Not bad kiddo.†Bo said smiling. “Ya might have a touch for it.â€

Nick glowed with pride.

After practicing for about 15 minutes Bo drove the car around for another half an hour and than they returned to the farm. Half way though suddenly the heard a siren gaining on them.

“O darned Rosco!†Bo shouted, while looking is his rear mirror and he floored the gas pedal.

“We weren’t even going over 55.â€

“Yes we were.†Nick said who had been watching al the lights and needles carefully.

“You wanna pay the ticket?†Bo asked him cranky.

“No not really.†Nick reacted a bit hold back.

“Well then we weren’t†Bo said determined and the next 20 minutes they were spending on loosing Rosco.

At the farm Jesse had been on the look out, it being long past Nick’s bedtime. As the two boys finally walked in to the kitchen Jesse gave Bo a disapproving look. “Well we had to shake Rosco.†Bo said defending himself without a word was said.

At that remark Jesse’s eyes were firing daggers at Bo, causing him to flee out of the kitchen. “Better get ready for bed quickly kiddo.†He said while ruffling the boy’s hair. “Otherwise I think Jesse is gonna kill me.â€

“Sure Bo.†Nick said suddenly noticeably willing and he ran up the stairs. “O and Bo.†He called from the top of the stairs “Yeah?†Bo replied. “Thanks, I had fun tonight.†Bo smiled. “Me too kid.†He said truthfully. “Me too.â€

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When Bo and Luke went to see Cooter the next day the General was completely fixed and tuned up. Cooter had replaced the windows, done some bodywork and oiled everything that needed to be oiled. Actually the only thing he hadn’t fixed was the carburetor to respect their wishes. “Cooter your crazy ya know that.†Bo said in a thankful way. “You put way to much work in it, how we gonna pay ya for that?â€

Cooter grinned. “Well that’s what my name says, but I might be crazy but I ain’t dumb so let me worry about the costs okay. Better yet let Rosco worry about the costs. I got this feeling windshields are quite expensive at the moment.â€

“Cooter you’re the best.†Luke said while slapping his friend on the shoulder.

“I know that.†Cooter said laughing. “But she still ain’t racing ya here. If ya’ll ain’t changing that carburetor, she’ll be driving but she ain’t racing.â€

“We know Cooter, we know.†Bo sighed while giving his cousin an angry glare.

That evening while Nick was already in bed he heard Bo and Luke arguing. It’s wasn’t one of the friendly quarrels they had all the time, but he could here they were actually angry with each other. The men had been looking for some extra work all day but hadn’t found none and Bo was getting worried. “I’m not gonna let this race go by ya here.†Bo said up-set. “Were talking about 500 bucks worth of price money, and is not like we can’t use that. Definitely not with an extra person to feed and put up.â€

“I know that Bo, but I just don’t want to owe Cooter anymore then we already do. I’m sure he needs it himself just as well.â€

“Cooter doesn’t mind Luke!†Bo said desperately. “He wants us to take him up on his offer so he can race us. You heard the man, ‘We ain’t asking, he’s offering’â€

“Sure he is, he’s a true friend, but that doesn’t mean we have to take him up on it.â€

“Well if you don’t want to I’m gonna ask Cooter about the part. The general is half mine so I can put any part in that I like.â€

“Well yeah you do that!†Luke replied upset, while smacking hit hand on the table. At that point Jesse interfered and told them settle down, or at least to keep there voices down. So Nick couldn’t hear anymore. He had heard enough though and in his thoughts a plan was made, of which it would have been better if he had forget it right away.

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It was 3 A.M. that night when Luke parked his car in front of Cooter’s garage. 20 minutes earlier the phone had woken up the entire Duke family. Bo and Luke could here Jesse scold. “Who on earth calls in the middle of the night and hails a man out of his bed.†As they walked in to the living room they saw Jesse answering in a low sleepy voice “Duke Farm Jesse speaking…..Cooter what are ya calling on this unchristian hour for…….He what!!??.........alright we’ll be over in a second……You to Cooter thank ya for calling, bye now†The three cousins who had assembled in the living room looked questioning at their uncle. “Better get dressed boys.†The man told Bo and Luke. “ ‘Cause you’ll be heading of for town.â€

After a short family session they had decided Luke would be the one to drive to Cooter’s. Bo had offered to come with him, but Luke kindly declined and told him to go back to bed.

As he got out of the car he saw the lights in the garage were on and the door was open. He went in knowing he wouldn’t like what he was about to hear. Inside he saw Cooter sitting behind a workbench, he had to look twice though to find Nick sitting In a corner of the garage with his head hung.

“Hi there Cooter.†Luke said not that cheery while he slapped his buddy on the shoulder. “What happened?â€

“Hi there yourself Lukas, glad ya could come this quick, he just ain’t the company I like to see in the middle of the night.†Cooter said pointing at Nick and holding a carburetor in his hand. “Caught him trying to steel this here thing. I startled him good though, let the goods drop right out his hands.†He said with a grin, and showed Luke the broken parts.

“Can ya still fix it?†Luke asked worried.

“Is Boss Hogg fat and crooked?†The man said laughing.

Luke smiled. “Thanks for taking this thing so well.†He said sincere. “You could have gone to the sheriff just as well.â€

“Well don’t worry about it, just lucky I was here, besides a couple of hours sleep and a couple of 10 minutes work it didn’t cost me anything.â€

“What are you doing here anyway?†Luke asked confused. “Are you this hooked on your job you even sleep her nowadays.â€

“Well something like that, I’ve been very busy lately. Hogg raised my mortgage so I had to take some extra customers and with the race coming up I want to work on my own car some more, so I just sleep here above the garage, saves me some time.â€

Luke nodded understanding. Cooter had always been very devoted to his job, but he wondered whether one of these days it would get to him to bad.â€

Luke turned to Nick with an upset look on his face. “Wanna explain any of this Nick?â€

Nick didn’t respond and kept starring at the floor.

“He tried to run away.†Cooter explained. “Fighting me, kicking and screaming to get out of that door, but after he noticed it wasn’t gonna work he gave up, and just sat there, not saying a word.â€

Luke walked up to the kid and put a hand on his shoulder while he crouched down to eye height of the boy. “Now Nick you listen to me carefully.†Luke said with a firm voice. “I won’t lie to you. I’m pretty mad at ya right now and ya put yaself in a whole lot of trouble, but keeping your mouth shot ain’t gonna do you no good, just making it worse that is. Now I really would like to hear an explanation of all this.†Nick looked at Luke for a moment, but his eyes returned to the floor immediately. Luke sighed and straightened up. “Al right have it your way, we better go home than.†Luke said stern. “We can’t keep Cooter up any longer than we already did you just get in the car I’ll be there in a moment.†Without looking at anyone Nick got up from his chair and walked out the door.

The two man looked at each other. “Sorry yet ya took him in?†Cooter asked grinning.

“Neh wouldn’t put it like that.†Luke said with a soft smile. “But I have to admit he’s more trouble than I’d imagined.â€

Cooter stretched himself and yawned. “Well you just straiten him out while I’m of to bed again. I’ve had enough excitement for one night.â€

“Yeah sure, thanks again buddy.†Luke said “You just let us know if that carburetor gives you any trouble. We think of a way than how the boy is repaying ya for your time or parts.â€

“I will. Good night now.â€

“Good night.â€

A couple of minutes later the atmosphere in the General Lee was tense. Nick hadn’t said a word yet and Luke was getting more and more upset. Not just because of the fact that Nick didn’t wanted to talk, but more because he had thought the kid was making progress since he came to the farm, but now the were right back to zero. “I’m very disappointed in you kid.†He said from behind the wheel. “I thought we talked about steeling being a bad thing, now didn’t we?†Nick just shrugged his shoulders and looked out side through the window.

“Al right so you don’t care.†Luke said angry. “Ya almost got your bud thrown in jail again, but you don’t care. And you don’t care about taking something from somebody who worked really hard to earn it. Darned Nick Cooter is our friend.â€

“ I didn’t say that.†Nick reacted irritated. He didn’t want Luke to be angry at him, but he didn’t get why he was this upset. Didn’t Luke see he just wanted to help? If they didn’t help their selves he had to, didn’t he? And now he was getting blamed for everything.

“No you haven’t said anything yet.†Luke said more calm “So why don’t ya tell me what you were thinking then.†He tried to give the boy some space to explain himself, but Nick didn’t seemed open for conversation.

“What does it matter!?†He called out in a impertinent voice. “It didn’t work out anyway.â€

“No thank God for that, cause if Cooter had reported a beggarly and they found out it was you later he just might have pressed charges.â€

â€If he’s such a good friend he wouldn’t do that now would he?†Nick said provoking.

“Well maybe he should’ve!†Luke reacted with eye’s that could kill. “And you better chance that attitude of yours cause I’m this close of tanning your hide you hear!†Holding his thumb and index finger less than a inch from each other.

‘You can’t do that.†Nick said “You’re not my father, your not even my guardian. You’ve got nothing to say about me.â€

Nick had been shocked by his own words but not as much as he was shocked by the sudden stop of the car which made him glad he wore his seatbelt . Luke had swung the General over too the side of the deserted road and hit the brakes. “You! Out!†He said while he climbed through the window. Nick, who was still shook up by the blow the car had made, didn’t hesitate.

Luke had walked around the car and stood in front of the boy. He didn’t like what he was about to do, but he knew if he wouldn’t do something right now it would do a whole lot of more damage then when he did. “Nick my boy, I hope ya know I care about you a lot but I won’t have ya talking to me like that. Not ever and especially not when, after all we did to keep ya out of trouble, you still pull a stupid stunt like this. Now you better bend over the hood of that car before I put you over it myself!.â€

Nick had lost the nerves to object, he just stood there and looked at Luke’s angry face which told him there was no way out.

“You heard me.†Luke said stern, but almost melting for the sad look he saw in the boy’s eyes. Nick did as he was told and Luke took his belt and whipped the boy.

After the punishment Luke put the boy back on his feet. He could see Nick had tears in his eyes but pretended he didn’t see it and gave him time to hide them. It were no tears of pain though. Nick hadn’t made a sound during the whole punishment, but the words Luke had spoken made him feel really low.

Luke sighed and leant against the car, his arms crossed. After he had given Nick the time to gather himself, he wanted to have the whole affair over and done with before the reached the farm. “Are ya ready to talk, ya think?†He asked in a gentle voice.

Nick rubbed his eyes ones more and then nodded.

“I didn’t like doing this, but you were really out of line there.†Luke explained. “You can’t talk to people like that. â€

“I didn’t mean it like that. I was just angry.†Nick said softly.

“Angry about what?†Luke asked.

Nick shrug his shoulder. “I don’t know, just angry.â€

“Well try to explain anyway.†Luke encouraged him. “Ya can tell me anything as long as your honest and ya say it in a normal way.â€

“Well..†Nick said while he looked at Luke. “Just that I only tried to help ya so ya could win the race and you got upset about that. I didn’t think that was fair and I got angry. And if I get angry I don’t wanna listen to nobody.â€

“And is that a good thing ya think?†Luke asked

“Guess not.†Nick replied looking away

:â€No it’s not, you’re just a kid and ya can’t always have things your way. You have to listen to the people who take care of ya, cause they only want what’s good for you even if ya might not agree with it always. And because they only want what’s good for ya they deserve your respectâ€

“But I do respect what ya did for me.†Nick said in a complaining voice. “That’s why I wanted to help ya’all, so you and Bo could win the race.â€

Luke frowned. “Now how is steeling from a friend helping exactly?†He asked with a bit of sarcasm

“Well ya could fix the General and after ya won the race you could have paid Cooter back from the price money.â€

“Did ya really think we could do a thing like that?†Luke asked disbelieving. “We told ya steeling is wrong and I rather don’t race at all than to win a race by steeling stuff.â€

Nick looked at the floor. “I just thought if I had already stolen that carburetor you would use it any way.â€

“Well ya thought wrong than.†Luke said stern. “And by doing that you didn’t only get your self in danger of getting caught, you also put our reputation at risk. Jesse stuck his neck out for ya asking the townsfolk to give ya a break last time. What do ya think happens if they hear you were at it again?â€

“I didn’t think of that.†Nick replied in an panicking voice, feeling the tears come back in his eyes. “I’m sorry, I really am. I heard you and Bo fight and I didn’t wanted for you to be upset with each other no more. I just wanted to help and I didn’t want to have to go back to the orphanage.â€

Luke gave the boy an amazed look. “Now who said anything about you having to go back anywhere?†He asked.

“Well I thought if you couldn’t fix the General and you couldn’t race anymore, there wouldn’t never be enough money for me to stay with ya’all. Now I know it’s just temporary stay, but I didn’t wanna leave yet. Please don’t be upset no more.â€

Luke could see Nick meant what he said and started to feel sorry for the kid. It must be hard never having any certainty. “You come over here†He said in a caring voice. He pulled the boy close to him in a fatherly way and let the back of the boys head rest on his chest, while he himself still leant against the car.

“It’s okay already.†He said soothing. “You’re right, there will be a day you’ll have to go back, but today ain’t that day and when it is, I’ll tell it to you face to face so you won’t have to be doing guess work about it until then. And I’ll promise ya money will never be the reason for it ya hear.â€

Nick nodded silently, still fighting tears a bit. Although he’d never felt really affectionate to any adult and he thought of himself to be pretty grown-up already he couldn’t deny it felt good to be hold by Luke like this. Funny enough during the circumstances it felt save.

“You just have to remember from now on that there is no excuse for steeling. Doing a wrong thing for the right reasons doesn’t make it right, you understand that?†Luke asked

Nick nodded again.

“And you will have to make up with Cooter, let us just hope he can fix that carburetor ya dropped otherwise we have to find a way to pay two of them.â€

“I’m really sorry.†Nick responded sobbing. “I’ll pay for it myself, I swear.â€

“And how were you thinking of doing that?†Luke said a bit sarcastic but with a grin in his voice.

“Well I don’t know.†Nick said in a disappointed voice. “But I’ll find a way, maybe I can get a job somewhere.â€

“Well we see about that. But that’s clear then? No more stealing, ever!â€

“Okay.†The boy reacted in a long stretched ‘if it has to’ sort of way, but immediately thought to himself this wasn’t the way he was suppose to react. “I eh mean yes Sir I promise.†he corrected himself quickly.

Luke smiled. “Good, one more thing though.â€

“What?†Nick asked.

“I want you to start acting like a kid again. Just let us take care of you and don’t worry about things like money, you understand what I mean?â€

Nick sighed and gave Luke a sad smile. “Yes sir I will.â€

“Well if that’s settled we better go home, I think the others will be wondering what’s keeping us so long.â€

Nick nodded, he had almost forgotten they were standing at the site of the road, but when he tried to climb in the car, he remembered again why they were. Very stiff and with a painful face he climbed trough the window and took his place on the front seat. ‘Man’ he thought to himself ‘next time he would think twice before he ever told Luke he couldn’t do something again’

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When Nick and Luke arrived at the farm Jesse and Bo were still up, Jesse out of concern, Bo out of loyalty to Luke. As they walked in to the living room Jesse was on the edge of his nerves and wanted to have a firm conversation with the kid. The reinsuring expression on Luke’s face though let him know there was no need for that anymore and things had been solved.

“Better get straight to bed son.†Luke said giving Nick an excuse to leave the room as soon as possible.

Nick nodded almost thankfully and walked to the stairs, however turning around before leaving the room. He looked shy at the two man who were hanging over their cups of coffee. “Uncle Jesse, Bo I’m sorry I caused so much trouble and I get ya’all out of bed. It was stupid and I won’t do it again.â€

“That’s alright.†Jesse muttered . “Just go to bed now.â€

Nick nodded and the three man looked at the stiff moving boy walking up the stairs and disappearing from their views.

Jesse sighed. “Do I wanna hear the story now?†He asked Luke.

“Nothing that can’t wait till tomorrow.†Luke said calm, really longing for his bed.

“Alright and how was Cooter?â€

Luke grinned. “Cooter was fine, Cooter is always fine even if ya get him out of bed at three in the morning.â€

“Can’t say that goes for everyone.†Bo yawned while getting up from his chairs. “I’m of to bed.â€

“Same her cus.†Luke agreed. “Goodnight Uncle Jesse.â€

“Goodnight boys.â€

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The following days were pretty busy for the Duke family. After the fields were plowed the sawing of the winter grain started together with the painting of the barn. Also Cooter had kept his promise to keep his eyes and ears open and found Bo and Luke an evening job crushing old car wrecks at the junkyard, which was good for their financial position but not for there amount of free time. Bo and Luke weren’t the only ones busy though. After the brake in, Nick had tenderly been forced to apologize to Cooter immediately the next day. Although Cooter had been able to fix the carburetor it hadn’t been worth as much as it had been new but he refused to charge his friends with any costs. They did decide though Nick would help out in the garage, two hours each day for a week, to make up for the trouble he caused. Nick wasn’t particularly thrilled about that, first of all because he had to help out at the garage on the same time school was out and he usually used to play with Max and Randy at that time. Secondly, he didn’t knew Cooter at all besides their midnight come together and he couldn’t help being a bit intimidated bye this greasy looking man who maid weird rimes all day and could cheer out all of a sudden just because he had found the right screw to match a hole. Nick was smart enough not to complain though and so he let himself be dropped of at the garage without showing any objections.


With everybody busy as they were days went by quick, but Bo wouldn’t be a Duke if he didn’t find time to spend with a girl. After he and Luke had worked on the junkyard he had picked up Becky Lee and drove her to the river. They talked, kissed, laughed, kissed told each other stories, kissed some more, rolled through the grass together in a playful teasing way and ended up holding each other watching the sunset. Bo couldn’t remember feeling so happy to be around a girl since his first crush in 7th grade. He actually liked listening to what she had to say, she made him laugh and most of all he would actually miss her if he couldn’t see her anymore. A deep sigh escaped from his longs while he stroked her long blond hair. “What you sighing about?†Becky-Lee asked him laughing.

“Nothing much.†He said dreamy. “Just that I was thinking how lucky I am laying her with a beautiful, smart and funny girl like you in my arms.â€

“Yeah right.†Becky-Lee said in a sarcastic kind of grin.

“Well yeah I think you are really special.†Bo said sincere while he tried to kiss her, but she moved a way and sat up straight with her back towards him.

“You shouldn’t say those things Bo.†She said in a sad voice.

Bo looked surprised at her with a desperate look on his face. This was not the kind of response he expected to get. “Why not?†He asked upset.

“Cause it ain’t true!†She sniffed.

Bo could hear the tears in her voice and got up and tried to face her but she kept winding her head. “Why would you say something like that?†He said panicking. He didn’t want her to be upset just because he tried to say something nice and he didn’t quite get what made her act like this all of a sudden when they were just having fun.

She looked at him flaming eyes. “I know you Beauregard Duke and I know your reputation. You never hang around a girl for long. Now I like you and I like being with you, oh Lord help me but I can’t do nothing else but like you but we both no you gonna get bored with us being to getter sooner or later. So just let us enjoy this while it lasts, but don’t go and fool us both be saying stupid things like you think I’m special okay?â€

Bo was shocked by her reaction. He had never guessed she thought like this.

“No, not okay. Becky that ain’t fair.†He said almost insulted. “You can’t say you know me just because of what other people say about me. Even if what they say is true.â€

“Ain’t it then?†She asked while whipping her tears.

“Well yeah I guess, but that doesn’t say nothing ‘bout you and me. Becky I really do think your special. O Lordy, I never felt ‘bout a girl like I feel about you. You make my head spin when you’re around me and to be truthful that scares me sometimes. Heck, I even talked with Luke about you.â€

“Well that don’t say nothing, men are always talking bout the girls they scored.†She said, but on a bit calmer tone.

“I don’t mean I bragged about you.†Bo defended himself. “I mean I really told him about you and how I like being with you and I don’t wanna loose you.â€

Becky now looked at him with hope in her eyes. “You really mean that?†She asked

“Yeah I really do. Don’t get me wrong now I don’t mean like settling down or something, I mean I really do care about you but I’m not ready for that not by long, but I really don’t wanna loose you neither.†He said while whipping a tear from her check. “Bye the way, I didn’t even score you yet so I couldn’t even be bragging about that anyway. Not that I mind.†He quickly added.

Becky grinned. “Yeah sure ya don’t.â€

Bo blushed. “While maybe a little, but not a lot. It’s your choice and actually I kind of respect ya for it.â€

“O Bo that’s a really nice thing to say and I respect you for being honest.†She said with a soft smile.

“So are we okay then?†Bo asked with an insecure look.

â€Yeah we are.†She said and gave him a kiss on the lips. “And I’m sorry I behaved so emotional.â€

“Well you’re a woman ain’t ya?†Bo said grinning.

“Yes I am. So tell me Bo Duke.†Becky said a bit smug, while tossing her hair back regaining her self-confidence again. “What exactly do you like about me?â€

Bo smirked. “Hmm let me think.†he said while he bowed over her, pushing her in to the grass and holding her arms pressed to the ground “I like how you’re so modest and how you never ask for any compliments, but most of all.†He said while giving her a kiss after every part of a sentence. “I like how you like me.â€

“Argh! Bo Duke, you are terrible!†Becky called out, playfully trying to push him of her, but Bo wrapped his arms around her, holding not intending to let her go anytime soon.

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And so days past by and it became Monday. There were just 6 days before the big race that weekend. ‘Cause their temporary employer had agreed to pay Bo and Luke in advance Luke left the General at Cooter’s garage when he dropped of Nick that afternoon and Cooter went to work on it right away.

It hadn’t taken Nick long to get used to Cooter over the last couple of days. His first task had been sorting screws and bolts which was totally boring, but did gave him the opportunity to observe the odd mechanic with while he worked. Nick didn’t know much about car mechanics but he did love cars and he was fascinated by Cooter working on them. Cooter also loosened up around the boy as he saw Nick was serious about his work and gave him more fun things to do like running errands in town and washing cars.

That Monday Cooter noticed Nick was watching him again while he worked on the General.

“He Nick, if you’re just standing there, think ya can hand met that fuel inlet nut wrench from that there toolbox.†He asked from under the hood.

“Which one is that?†Nick asked while laying down the boxes he was stacking.

“The grey steel one with the vinyl grip.†Cooter specified.

Nick took al look at the toolbox and grabbed the first thing he imagined a nut wrench would look like.

“This one?†while handing Cooter the tool.

“No that’s a plier wrench doesn’t even looks like it.†Cooter grinned.

Nick took another look at the toolbox, almost all the tools were maid out of grey steel “This one then?†He gave it a second try.

“Nope, that’s a combination wrench but you getting closer though. Just hold this here fuel line for me would ya please, but make sure it stays put.â€

Nick held the metal fuel line, but couldn’t help letting it slip from its place. “I’m sorry.†He said while trying to stop the small bits of fluid that appeared, with his fingers.

“No harm done.†Cooter just said while he returned with the wrench. He took hold of the line, attached it to the engine again and whipped everything clean.

“Won’t take to long before this oll car is purring like a kitten again.†Cooter said looking content.

“Cooter can I ask ya something?†Nick asked with a frown on his forehead.

“Sure shoot.†Cooter said while he lifted himself on his workbench swinging his legs.

“Don’t ya wanna win the race?†Nick asked.

“Sure I want to, better yet, I tell you I’m gonna win it, no doubt about that.â€

“So why you’re going to all this trouble to fix the General? Bo and Luke are your competition right? If they couldn’t race, you would have a better chance.†Nick reacted truthfully wondering about this. Cooter scratched under his hat before he answered.

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“Well ‘cause they’re my buddies of course.†He said in a ‘that’s obvious’ kind of way.

“They would do the same thing for me, better yet they did ones.â€

“Bo and Luke fixed your car so you could race?†Nick asked not understanding why this would have been necessary.

Cooter grinned “No they raced for me ones, that is Luke did. It was quite an important race back then. I needed to win so I could sell the car I was racing in and pay the mortgage on my garage. Boss Hogg who organized the race had made the whole thing in to one big scam though. If you lost the race, you lost your car, that was in the small prints on the bottom of the entrance form. So if the boys would lose they’d lose the General and if I lost I would lose my garage.â€

Nick listened careful. He loved these stories. “So what happened, who won and did you get in to a fight? Must be hard to stay friends in situation like thatâ€

Cooter smiled about the questions bursting out the little fellaw.

“No we didn’t get in to a fight. While at least me not with them. Thing happened though I unfortunately broke my leg so I couldn’t race, I did try of course but it wasn’t working so Luke offered to drive for me.â€

“But then Bo and Luke had to race against each other.â€

“Yes sir, they had to and if Luke won I would be saved but they’d lose the General Lee. Ya can imagine I wasn’t to third about the situation, though the worsted things was seeing rivalry making those boy go off at each other. Now they had never raced against each other and although Uncle Jesse always told them Dukes don’t fight Dukes they almost took a swing at each other.â€

“Just because they had to race against each other?†Nick asked.

Cooter nodded. “Ya bet, both of them have a lot of pride going around ya know and some times very short nerves. But like I said is almost became a fight but they figured out their differences were stupid and they settled them quick enough. During the race though they were both eager enough to win. I didn’t know whether I was supposed to cry or cheer watching that race.††.

“But you still have hour garage and Bo and Luke still have the general,†Nick said still confused.

“Yeah well it could only happen in Hazzard but they finished at the same time and made it a tie. It was nerve-racking until the end though. Bo had to cross the finish line backwards cause he lost his front gears and Luke had lost all of his engine power, like I said it could only happen in Hazzard.â€

“What could only happen in Hazzard?†Luke asked while he walked in to the garage. After he had dropped the General of by Cooter he had been repairing some windows for Widow Baxley, done some shopping and picked up Daisy’s Jeep at the Boars Nest.

‘You and Bo finishing first, both in a car that has broken down.†Cooter said while getting of his workbench and bended over the General again.

Luke laughed out loud. “I guess in the end it is all in the driver and not in the machine.â€

“O yeah?†Cooter said a bit daring. “Want me to stop working on the General and see or ya gonna make it like this, mister hot shot driver?â€

Luke grinned. “No Cooter, we couldn’t do without you, ya know that. We owe you big time for all the last minute work you put in to this car.â€

â€Goes without saying.†Cooter mumbled. “Tomorrow morning she’ll be ready for you and Bo to wreck again.†He said joking.

“Great.†Luke said walking up to Nick and wrapping an arm around his shoulder. “He Cooter, if ya ain’t putting this guy to work anyway, ya mind if I take him home?†He said smirking while putting his knuckles on the top of the boy’s head. With a moaning sound Nick tried to wrestle him self loose from Luke’s grip but with out much luck.

“Sure, he worked hard enough for one day.†Cooter said and then gave a teasing look to Nick. “But I hope that kid is one heck of a driver when he grows up. ‘cause he sure ain’t no mechanic.â€

Luke gave Nick a questioning look. Nick just shrugged his shoulder a bit apologizing “I can’t help it I don’t know what a nut wrench is.†He muttered lightly insulted.

Luke laughed. “Like having Bo working on your car right?†He said to Cooter. “Better push it over a cliff yourself and save on gas.â€

“Your right there Lukas Dukas, but maybe there is some hope.†And he grabbed a wrench from his toolbox. “He Nicholas what kind of wrench is this?†He said teasingly.

Nick sighed. “It’s a plier wrench alright, can we go home now?†He asked, having enough of the men making fun of him.

â€Yeah we’re going home.†Luke said. “You just go and grab your things from the back okay?â€

“Alright.†Nick said and ran in to the back.

Cooter scratched under his hat. “He’s funny ya know, didn’t thought that the first time I met him and he tried to scratch my eyeballs out, but he’s a nice kid.â€

“Yeah he is.†Luke affirmed

“Alright I’m ready!†Nick entered yelling.

“See ya later Cooter!†Luke said while putting his hand on the boy’s shoulder.

“See you tomorrow Cooter!†Nick said and together they walked out of the garage.

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