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Here my latest fanfic about the adventures of Betsy-rae. Read and enjoy. And guys please, give a little feedback this time? I would like to know what you think of the Betsy-rae series. Thanks.

When Uncle Jesse forbids Betsy-rae to attend a concert she sneaks out and goes anyway........and becomes the victim of an evil plot! (tissue warning!)

Betsy-rae sat in her room staring out the window and daydreaming. Tanya Tucker was going to be performing in Atlanta on Saturday and she really wanted to go but she was positive that Uncle Jesse wouldn't allow it. One it was in the city and two, the performance didn't even start until 11pm and that was 3hours past her curfew. Still, it was a special event and it was her favorite country singer. Maybe Daisy, Bo or Luke could go with her. Surely Uncle Jesse would allow her to go if she could get one of them to go with her. She decided she would have to ask them right away. Excited at the concept, she jumped up and skipped out to find Daisy, Bo and Luke.

She found Bo and Luke near the barn hunched over under the hood of the General. Gleefully she ran up to them.

“Hey Bo.......Luke!â€, she shouted.

“Hey ya lil Bit! What's on yer mind?†Luke asked

“Well, I was wondering, if y'all ain't busy this Saturday night if yous mind taking me to the Tanya concert in Hotlanta?â€

“Aww shoot darlin' we'd love to, but we already made plans with the McCracken sisters that night.â€, replied Bo.

“Oh, alright.†Betsy-rae replied looking dismayed.

“Don't look so gloomy sweetheart. We'll make it up to ya.†Luke said.

“Ah, that's alright.†Betsy-rae responded, not very convincingly.

Disappointed but not yet totally discouraged she walked off to find Daisy.

Daisy was pulling laundry off the line. Betsy-rae ran over to her.

“Hi Daisy!†Betsy-rae greeted her as she began to help her fold the laundry.

“Hey Betsy.†Daisy replied

“I wanted to ask you something.†Betsy-rae spit out.

“Well ask away.†replied Daisy

“Would you go with me to the Tanya concert in Atlanta this Saturday? Pleeaassee.†she pleaded.

“Ya know I would if I could sugar, but I have to work at the Boars Nest that night.â€Daisy answered.

“Oh darn.†Betsy-rae replied.

“I'm sorry honey. Maybe next time, ok?â€

“Yeah, I guess.†Betsy-rae replied.

Downheartedly, Betsy-rae helped Daisy finish with the laundry.

Later that evening Betsy-rae picked at her dinner. She was still thinking about the concert on Saturday. She just had to go. Maybe she could talk Uncle Jesse into letting her go by herself......just this once. She pondered how she would ask him.

“What ya thinkin' about Betsy-rae?†Uncle Jesse's question broke through her thoughts

“Nothin'.....much.â€, she replied

“Sure looks like yous got a lot on yer mind fer nothin.†Uncle Jesse answered

“I bet she's thinkin about the Tanya concert that's goin on in Atlanta on Saturday.†Bo piped in.

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Betsy-rae shot him a warning look. Bo shrugged and looked down at his plate.

“What's this about a concert?†Uncle Jesse asked.

“Tanya Tucker! She's performing in Atlanta this Saturday night. She's my favorite singer!

I'd love to go see her! Please Uncle Jesse, may I go? Please?â€, Betsy-rae blurted out fast.

“Whoa! Slow down, girl. Tell me more about this concert. What time is it?â€

“It's at 11at night, this Saturday.â€

“11 at night?â€, Uncle Jesse asked skeptically, “Do you have a responsible adult in mind that can go with you?â€

Betsy-rae sighed.

“No sir.......but she's my favorite singer and I really want to go....please, just this once?â€

Uncle Jesse walked over to Betsy-rae and embraced her.

“I'm sorry dear. I knows you want to go to that concert real bad, but I'm afraid I can't allow it. The city is to dangerous a place fer a young girl yer age that late at night.â€

Betsy-rae sulked.

“Yes sir.â€, she replied sadly.

“I'm sorryâ€, Uncle Jesse repeated.

The next morning Betsy-rae sat at the pond with her friend, Cindy Ledbetter.

“Are you going to the Tanya concert?â€, asked Cindy.

“I wanna but Uncle Jesse says it's to late at night fer me to be in the city without adult supervision and Daisy, Bo and Luke all have other plans and can't take me.â€, replied Betsy-rae.

“Ain't nothin gonna stop me from seeing that concert!â€, Cindy exclaimed.

“I sure wish I could go with ya.â€, Betsy-rae replied.

“Lenny is taking me!â€, Cindy said.

Betsy-rae grimaced slightly. Lenny was Cindy's Boyfriend. He was three years older than themselves, somewhat dim witted and a bit rough around the edges for her taste. He usually dressed in crude tank tops paired with ragged jeans and almost always sported a scruffy looking five o'clock shadow on his face. Furthermore, he drove a beat up old pick up truck that he flaunted around town as if it were the hottest thing on four wheels and he was a something of a showoff. Betsy-rae couldn't imagine what Cindy saw in him.

“You sure are lucky that you get to go.â€, she responded.

“Why don't you come with us?â€, Cindy asked, “There's room in Lenny's truck.â€

“Uncle Jesse said I couldn't go unless there was a responsible adult with me.â€, replied Betsy-rae, “Lenny is only 17 and I'd hardly consider him responsible.â€, Betsy-rae scoffed.

“Well, you want to go dontcha?â€, Cindy inquired.

“Yes, but I can't.â€, Betsy-rae answered.

“Haven't you ever snuck out?â€, Cindy asked

“No.â€, Betsy-rae answered honestly.

“Well......there's a first time for everything.†Cindy stated mischievously

“But, if I got caught, Uncle Jesse'd tan my hide!†Betsy-rae exclaimed

“So, don't get caught.â€, Cindy stated assertively.

“But.....how....â€, Betsy-rae began.

“Listenâ€, Cindy interrupted her, “Just act real sick or something that night and then say yer goin ta bed early. Then when yer uncle goes to sleep, just climb out yer window. Me and Lenny will meet ya 'bout quarter mile down the road. We'll be back before anyone gets up and alls ya gots ta do is climb back in yer window.â€

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Betsy-rae thought about it for a minute. Cindy's plan was against her better judgment but she really did want to go to that concert.

“Ok.â€, she replied, “I'll do it! You can pick me up at 10! By that time Uncle Jesse should be sleeping and we'll have just enough time to get there!â€

“You bet!â€, Cindy replied as she stood up and grabbed her bike.

Betsy-rae grabbed her bike as well.

“I have to go now.â€, Cindy stated, “Got to pick up some flour fer ma at Rheubottom's.â€

“Ok.â€, Betsy-rae replied, “See ya later.â€

“Bye!â€, Cindy called out as she rode toward town.

Betsy-rae got on her bike and rode toward home, her mind racing with thoughts of their conversation.

Saturday morning Betsy-rae awoke feeling conflicted. She couldn't wait to see Tanya Tucker, yet she was a bit apprehensive about sneaking out. Never before had she outright defied Uncle Jesse like that. On one hand, she felt guilty about her plans to sneak out, but on the other hand, she desperately wanted to see that concert and knew of no other way to do it.

A knock on her door interrupted her thoughts.

“Betsy-rae, breakfast is ready.â€, Daisy called

“Ok, be right there.â€, Betsy-rae replied. She quickly dressed in her favorite pair of jeans and light pink blouse with baby cap sleeves. Looking herself over in the mirror and deciding she was satisfied she scurried out to the kitchen to join her family for breakfast.

“Mornin Betsyâ€, Uncle Jesse greeted her.

“Mornin, Uncle Jesse.â€, she replied. She took her place at the table and waited quietly as Uncle Jesse said grace for the meal.

Breakfast looked delicious as usual. There were blueberry pancakes, light and fluffy scrambled eggs and maple smoked sausage. All some of Betsy-rae's favorites, yet she picked at her food to nervous about her plans for that night to eat.

“Something the matter?â€, Luke asked her

Betsy-rae shrugged. “Nah,.......I just don't feel well.â€, she answered.

“Perhaps we should call Doc. Applebee and have him take a look at ya.â€, Uncle Jesse said looking a little concerned. Betsy-rae flinched inwardly at the suggestion.

“No Uncle Jesse. I don't think that's necessary. It's just a bit of a sore throat is all.â€, she lied, “If I just rest I think I'll be alright.â€

Uncle Jesse looked skeptical but he relented.

“Alright I'll hold off on calling the doc for now, but I want you to go right back to bed and stay there for today. And if ya still feel ill tomorrow then we'll call Doc. Applebee.â€

“Yes sir.â€, Betsy-rae responded. She got up from the table and hurried off back to her room. Her mind was racing. She couldn't believe it had been that easy to convince Uncle Jesse she was sick. The plan for her to see that concert tonight was going better than she originally thought it would.

“I'll bring you some chicken soup in a little while, sugar.â€, Daisy called after her.

“Ok, thank-you.†Betsy-rae answered

“Hope ya feel better soon.†Luke said

“Yeah, and that goes double for me.â€, Bo added.

“Thanks.â€, Betsy-rae responded meekly as she entered her room. She quickly closed the door behind her and took a deep breath. The plan was going well, but she felt so guilty at deceiving her family like that. Not guilty enough to give up going to the concert though. Figuring that she might as well relax till the time came to go, she grabbed a few of her favorite magazines off her dresser, crawled into her bed and settled in to read.

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The day dragged on and on almost forever, it seemed to Betsy-rae. Then finally it was 10:00pm. Quietly Betsy-rae slipped out of bed and cautiously crept to her door and peaked out into the hall way. The house was dark and all was quiet. She stepped out of her room and stood silently in the hall and listened for a couple minutes. She didn't hear a sound. She knew that Bo, Luke and Daisy were not home and wouldn't be until much later. She wasn't worried about that. When they came home they'd go straight to bed, she was sure of that. She lingered in the hall until she was confident that Uncle Jesse was asleep. Then she went back into her room and closed the door. She tiptoed over to her window and silently opened it. She took a deep breath, gathered her nerve and hopped out. Without looking back she ran across the yard and the quarter mile up the road to meet Cindy and Lenny.

“What took you so long?â€, Cindy asked her.

“I got here as fast as I could.â€, Betsy-rae replied as she climbed into the truck.

“We got to fly.†Lenny sneered

“Ok, let's go!â€, Betsy-rae replied

Lenny lurched the truck forward and they sped off.

The concert had already started by the time they arrived. Not wanting to miss any more, Cindy and Betsy-rae hurried in and scrambled to find their seats. Lenny lagged behind and caught up with them a couple minutes later. Betsy-rae had felt a little guilty all day but as she got into the show she forgot everything else. She sang along with the songs and clapped and cheered. She was having the time of her life. When the show ended it was nearly 1:00am.

“We got to hurry and get back.â€, Betsy-rae announced. “Uncle Jesse 'll be getting up in a few hours to start the mornin chores.â€

“We'll have ya back in no time.â€, Cindy replied. “Come on Lenny, let's get out of here.â€

The three hurried back to Lenny's truck. They was just about to pull out of the parking lot when a man and woman ran toward the truck shouting and waving madly.

“You need somethin?†Lenny asked them.

“We'd sure could use a ride.â€, the man replied.

“Yeah, we'd be happy to pay ya for it.â€, the woman added, waving a twenty dollar bill in Lenny's face.

Lenny smirked, snatched the bill and growled, “Ok, you can ride in the back.†he said, ignoring the protest from the girls.

“Thank-you.â€, the man said as he and the woman climbed into the truck bed.

“Don't mention it.â€, Lenny said as he pocketed the twenty dollars. “Where ya need ta go?â€, he asked.

“Jist a couple miles up the road that-a-way.â€, the man said pointing ahead of them.

“On our wayâ€, Lenny replied, putting the truck in gear and pulling out of the parking lot.

They barely reached the road when they noticed an Atlanta police car was following them. Suddenly the squad car's lights went on and the siren whaled.

“Pull over!†a booming voice demanded them through a bull horn.

Swiftly the man riding in the back of the truck pulled a gun from his pocket and stuck it through the rear window of the cab and thrust it into the back of Lenny's neck.

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“Keep going and lose that smokey!â€, he ordered gruffly.

Lenny turned pale and floored the gas pedal. Betsy-rae and Cindy screamed and clutched each other.

They sped through the streets of Atlanta, turning this way and that as the strangers in the back ordered. All the while the squad car racing behind them with the siren blaring. Suddenly there was another squad car looming ahead of them, blocking the road.

“Git around it! Don't stop!â€, the man with the gun barked.

Lenny whipped the truck at a sharp ninety degree turn, cutting through a couple of lots and crashing through a fence before coming out on a side street. He quickly turned a few more corners finally losing the cops. Betsy-rae and Cindy were now both crying hysterically.

“Good.â€, the man replied. “We lost them. Now make sure they don't find us again! Turn down that ally down there.â€, he ordered pointing to an alley a few yards ahead of them.

Lenny did as he was told. When they got into the ally, the man ordered Lenny to pull over. When he did so, the man and woman jumped out and then ordered Lenny and the girls out of the truck. The man tied them up and then shoved them all into the back of a car which he and the woman had stashed in the ally.

“Why are you doing this?â€, Betsy-rae sobbed, “We got you away from the cops, let us go!â€

The woman sneered at them.

“No way!â€, the man replied, “You've seen us and our car, you could rat us out!â€

“W..what are you going to do with us?â€, Betsy-rae stammered

“We're gonna keep ya around for a little while in case we need some hostages and when we're through with ya, we'll get rid of you!â€, the woman answered, scowling.

“What did you two do anyways?â€, Cindy demanded

“Wouldn't you like to know?â€, the man scoffed.

“They talk to much. Gag them.â€, the woman replied. The man did and then he and the woman got in the car and they headed off down the road.

A while later they pulled up to a large two story house. The man and woman, who had referred to each other as Hank and Ruby, got out of the car and roughly yanked their hostages out. They half dragged them into the house where they were locked into the basement and left alone.

At this point Betsy-rae was very frightened. She wasn't sure what these people had in store for them, but she knew they had to get out of there. She closed her eyes tightly to get a grip on herself. Opening her eyes she looked around and studied their predicament. They were still all tightly bound and gagged. They were in a large bare room. It was musty smelling and there were cobwebs dangling in the corners. Apparently the room wasn't used very often. On the far end of the room there was a small window which allowed just enough moon light in to see. Cindy was sitting a couple inches away from her on her left and Lenny was a couple of inches on the other side of her. Cindy looked terrified and was whimpering. Lenny just looked angry and defiant.

Fighting to maintain control and think clearly, Betsy-rae strained her eyes through the dark trying to find something they could use to get the ropes off them. She almost gave up when she spotted a broken pipe with a slightly jagged edge lying on the floor about a half dozen feet in front of her. Remembering a trick which Luke had taught her, she began to wiggle her way toward it. Slowly and with much difficulty she inched her way closer and closer, until she was finally able to reach it. Grunting with effort, she layed down and clutched the pipe in her hand. Then closing her eyes and praying silently to herself, she began to rub the broken end against her restraints in effort to cut through them. It was a slow and agonizing process but she refused to give up. At last about thirty minutes later, the ropes around her wrist broke free. Breathing a sigh of relief, she quickly untied her feet and removed her gag. She took just a moment to get her bearings than proceeded to untie Cindy and Lenny.

“Those scoundrels!â€, “I'll show em!â€, Lenny growled shaking his fist.

“Those scoundrels?â€, Cindy mocked him, “We wouldn't be here if you hadn't agreed to give them a ride!â€

“Shhh!†Betsy-rae pleaded with them. “Listen, Lenny, they have a gun so if yer smart you won't do nothin' except git out of here!â€

“Yeah, let's split!â€, Cindy agreed.

“Shhh!â€, Betsy-rae said, “They might hear us.â€

“And jist how do you two geniuses plan to get us out of here anyway?â€, Lenny scoffed

“Through that window over there.â€, Betsy-rae replied, pointing to the window.

“There's no way I'll fit through that!â€, Lenny replied

Betsy-rae considered his statement for a minute.

“Alright.â€, she replied, “Cindy and I will go through the window. You wait here and we'll send back help.â€

“That's no fair!â€, Lenny protested.

“Do you have a better idea?â€, Betsy-rae demanded

Lenny sulked. He didn't have a better idea. He didn't have any ideas.

“Fine.â€, he relented, “But you two hurry up!â€

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Cindy and Betsy-rae walked to the window. Betsy-rae reached up to open it. She grunted and tugged and tugged but the window wouldn't budge. Cindy tried but she couldn't open it either.

“Now what?â€, Cindy whaled.

“I guess we'll have to break it.â€, Betsy-rae answered.

“But won't they hear that?â€, Cindy asked

“Maybe, but it's jist a chance we'll have to take.â€, Betsy-rae replied. Turning to Lenny, she continued,

“Hey, Lenny, let me barrow your shirt.â€

“What fer?â€, he asked.

“You want to git out of here, dontcha?â€, Betsy-rae asked him matter of factly.

Lenny grunted but he took off his shirt and handed it to Betsy-rae.

She took it and wrapped it around her hand and arm. Then taking a deep breath and closing her eyes she swung her arm with all her might and crashed it through the window.

They all held their breath and listened for a minute. No one seemed to have heard.

“Ow!â€, Betsy-rae said, just noticing that she had cut herself and blood was oozing out of a small gash in her arm.

“That doesn't look to good.â€, Cindy said looking at the cut.

“It'll be fine.â€, Betsy-rae replied, “We have to git out of here.†She carefully removed the jagged pieces of glass from the window frame and then pulled herself out through the window, and helped Cindy out.

They nervously looked around. The entire house looked dark. There was a large fence surrounding the property but the yard appeared vacant except for them. The girls took a deep breath of fresh air and ran to the fence. The gate was securely locked. Undaunted, the girls began to climb the fence. Betsy-rae made it to the top and jumped down to the other side. Cindy wasn't so fortunate. Just before she got to the top, she lost her footing and fell back down. She screamed involuntarily. Betsy-rae started to turn back to help her but froze as lights flickered on from inside the house. Before Betsy-rae could think, Hank was out of the house and running toward Cindy. Betsy-rae hid behind a bush and watched helplessly as he grabbed Cindy and dragged her back toward the house. Betsy-rae could hear her friend crying and screaming. She wanted to rush to her and help her but she knew to do so would be both pointless and foolish. Such an attempt would only result in herself being captured again and none of them ever having any chance of getting out of there. The only logical thing she could do was keep going, without Cindy, and get some help. She prayed she'd be able to get them help in time.

As soon as Hank was inside the house, Betsy-rae took off running as fast as she could. She needed to put as much distance between herself and that house as fast as possible because she knew it would only be a minute before Hank and Ruby realized she was gone and came looking for her. She dashed this way and that, cutting through yards and alleys and turning down one street after another until she wasn't able to run any more. Exhausted, she collapsed to the ground and gasped for breath.

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When her breathing slowed, she sat up and looked around. Nothing looked even vaguely familiar and she had no idea where she was. She glanced at her watch, holding it under the glow of a street light so that she could see it. It was nearly 4am. Uncle Jesse would be getting up soon. He wasn't going to be happy to find that she had snuck out. Even so, there was no chance now, of getting home before he got up and discovered she was gone and more importantly, she realized that the situation that she and her friends were in was far more serious than any trouble she'd be in with Uncle Jesse and that she needed help. She had to call Uncle Jesse. She gathered all of her strength and got to her feet. She looked around searching for a pay phone. There wasn't any in sight but she spotted a parked car with the windows rolled down. She walked over to it and peered inside hoping to find a CB. She was in luck. She took a final look around and then cautiously reached in through the window and flicked on the CB. Quickly she turned it to the emergency channel which she knew that Uncle Jesse always monitored. She swallowed then spoke briskly into the CB.

“Breaker, breaker! Lil Bit to Uncle Sheppard........This is Lil Bit calling Uncle Sheppard, come in.â€

there was static for a couple minutes then Uncle Jesse's voice came booming over the CB.

“This is Sheppard. Are my ears deceiving me or did I hear, Lil Bit to Uncle Sheppard?!â€

“No, you heard right.â€, Betsy-rae answered weakly.

“What in tarnation is goin' on? I thought yous was in yer room sleepin. Where are you?â€, Uncle Jesse demanded.

“I...I don't know where I am.....I....I snuck out and went to the Tanya concert with Cindy.........â€

“You did what?â€, Uncle Jesse interrupted her, “Young lady I'll......â€

“Uncle Jesse, I know.â€, Betsy-rae broke in sobbing, “I'm sorry. I need help. Some bad people have Cindy and Lenny. They had me but I got away........I don't know where I am.....I.......I.......â€, she trailed off, crying to hard to speak any more.

Uncle Jesse's tone softened a little.

“What? Are you ok? What's this about bad guys and getting away?â€

“These bad guys....they took us and I got away...Cindy and Lenny....they still have them.â€, Betsy-rae repliedâ€

Uncle Jesse took a long breath to calm himself.

“Young lady I's want you to find out where in blazes you are. Then find a police officer. Tell them all about these bad people. When ya do, call me! In the meantime, I'll call the Atlanta authorities and see what they can do. And we's gonna have a long talk about yous sneaking out when this is over.â€

“Y..yes...s...sir.....10, 4â€, Betsy-rae stammered. She put the CB down and turned it off. She took a deep breath, wiped her teary eyes and set off to do as Uncle Jesse had instructed.

A while later Betsy-rae stumbled across a pay telephone. She took a mental note of her surroundings and the name on the street sign where she was. Then she went to the phone and dialed 911. She described her whereabouts to the operator and requested for a police officer to come meet her there. She also learned that she was in Decatur.

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Back at the Duke farm everyone was on edge. Uncle Jesse had informed everyone that Betsy-rae had snuck out during the night and taken off to Atlanta and now was in some sort of trouble and was lost.

“I jist don't know what got into that girl, sneakin off like that.â€, Uncle Jesse said

“It shouldn't surprise ya. I mean she's a teenager. Somethin like this was bound to happen sooner or later. Remember all the trouble Daisy, Bo and me got inta when we's were that age?â€, Luke replied

“Oh I remember.â€, Uncle Jesse replied, “You's still get yerselves inta trouble. That's why I gots all these white hairs!â€

“Now Uncle Jesseâ€, Daisy replied, “Don't git yerself riled up.â€

“Don't git riled up? Don't git riled ya say. I told that girl the city was to dangerous fer her ta go ta that late at night. She off and goes anyway. Now look. She's got herself in a pickle and on top of that, she don't even have a clue where she is! Now we's can do nothin but sit here worried sick and ya tell me don't get riled!â€

“Well at least she had the good sense ta call ya when she found out that she was in over her head.â€, Daisy replied, “I'm sure she'll call back soon and let us know where she is.â€

“Why are we waitin fer her ta call back? Why don't we jist get the General and go find her?!â€, Bo exclaimed

“We can't do that Bo. Atlanta is a big place and she could be anywhere, if she's even still in Atlanta fer that matter. It'd be like looking fer a needle in a haystack.â€, Luke reasoned.

“The Atlanta police are lookin for her. In the meantime we jist have to stay strong and wait fer her call.†, Daisy replied.

“Well we's might as well git started on the chores whiles we's waitin.â€, Uncle Jesse replied, “This farm ain't gonna run.....â€, Just then the phone rang, interrupting him.

He answered it on the first ring.

“Helloâ€

“Hi.â€, Betsy-rae replied. Her voice sounded small and weak. “I...I'm in Decatur.â€, she stammered. “I got a ride to the police station. They said I could wait for ya here.â€

Uncle Jesse cupped his hand over the mouth piece of the phone and addressed Daisy, Bo and Luke.

“It's Betsy-rae.â€, he said with some relief in his voice.

Uncle Jesse spoke back into the phone.

“Did they git the people that was after ya and find yer friends?â€, he asked

“N...no.â€, she replied, “They's still lookin fer em. They said that the people that kidnapped us fit the description of a couple of people that's wanted fer fraud, ticket scalping and conspiracy. Theys been goin around ripping off the profits from concerts and all sorts of major events. Guess the laws been after em fer awhile.â€

“Well thank the lord ya managed to git away from them. People like that, they git desparate enough, no tellin what they'll do.â€, Uncle Jesse replied

“Yes sir, but Cindy and Lenny...â€, Betsy-rae began.

“We don't know everything yet.â€, Uncle Jesse interrupted her, “Lets not assume the worse right now. First things first. Now we's on our way to pick ya up. Then we'll figure out how ta help yer friends.â€

“Yes sir, ok.â€, Betsy-rae replied

“We'll be there soon.â€, Uncle Jesse said and hung up the phone.

“She waiting fer us at the police station in Decatur.â€, he said to Daisy and his nephews. “Let's high tale it over there and git her, I'll fill ya's in on the rest along the way.â€

“Yes sir Uncle Jesseâ€, they replied as they all scrambled out of the house and jumped into their vehicles.

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A little while later they arrived at the Decatur police station. They went inside to find an exhausted and frightened Betsy-rae waiting for them.

“Uncle Jesse.....I....I'm sooo sorryâ€, she sobbed and rambled incoherently, “It's....awful...poor Cindy....those people....I'll won't sneak out again ever.....I swear.....so sorry......â€

“We'll discuss it later. Now is not the time.â€, Uncle Jesse replied sternly but in a soft tone.

Daisy sat down beside her and began to stroke her hair.

“Any word on yer friends or those sidewinders that nabbed ya?â€, Luke asked

“No.â€, Betsy-rae answered.

“If I git my hands on those people they'll wish they were never born!â€, Bo exclaimed

“Ya got that right!â€, Luke agreed.

Suddenly the CB on the sergeant's desk crackled. A deputies voice came over the speaker.

“This is deputy Carl Reynolds requesting back up. I have the suspects in site. They still have the hostages with them and they are armed and dangerous. I repeat, I have the suspects in site, this is a hostage situation and suspects are armed and dangerous! Back up is needed!â€

“Carl Reynolds, that's the officer after the people thats got Cindy and Lenny!â€, Betsy-rae announced.

The CB crackled again. A couple deputies were responding to Officer Reynold's request. The Dukes listened as the location was given.

“Bo, Luke you go and see if yous can find out about Betsy-rae's friends. And be careful!â€, Uncle Jesse ordered.

“We're on it!â€, Bo replied. He and Luke ran out the door and took off in the General.

Uncle Jesse waited with Betsy-rae and Daisy at the station.

Luke and Bo arrived at the scene and pulled over to the side of the road a few feet away from the squad cars. Five deputies were circling around the house on foot with their guns drawn. Suddenly the door burst open and Hank and Ruby stepped out onto the porch. Hank was holding a gun and both of them held Lenny and Cindy up in front of them like human shields. Lenny appeared to be struggling a little but Cindy seemed motionless. Both looked like they'd been roughed up quite a bit.

“Let the hostages go and drop your weapon!â€, one of the deputies ordered them.

“Stand back and let us through or I'll shoot them!â€, Hank sneered in response.

Hank and Ruby charged forward. The deputies cleared a path for them fearing that Hank would make good on his threat if they didn't. Hank and Ruby ran to one of the parked patrol cars and shoved Lenny and Cindy into the back. They dove into the front and sped off in it. Quickly the deputies got into the remaining squad cars and gave chase. Bo quickly put the General in gear and followed closely behind.

Hank and Ruby sped recklessly through town. They cut through yards and crashed through fences. The squad cars raced behind them. The leading patrol car closed in on them are started to pull up alongside them in an effort to make them stop. However, Hank swerved the car he was driving sideways, knocking the patrol car into the ditch where it rolled over on it's side. Bo slowed the General down briefly so he and Luke could check to make sure the deputy in the wrecked patrol was alright. Seeing that he was, Bo stepped on the gas and they sped up again and continued chase with the remaining squad cars. The deputies made one failed attempt after another to block the culprits in and get them stopped. Hank darted and swerved his stolen squad car this way and that with reckless disregard for his surroundings. One by one he wrecked and eliminated the squad cars till finally only the General was left.

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Bo gave Luke a sideways glance.

“You ready?â€, he asked.

Let's hit it!â€, Luke replied.

Bo sounded the horn and the notes of Dixie filled the air. At the same time he floored the gas, lurching the stock car forward with tremendous speed. The General hit a dip in the road and launched upward, swiftly gliding through the air. It came down with a thud as Bo skillfully landed it on top of the car which Hank and Ruby were in, bringing them to a halt.

Luke and Bo climbed out of the General and pulled Hank and Ruby from the car. They handed them over to the authorities and turned to tend to Lenny and Cindy.............

Back at the police station, Betsy-rae, Daisy and Uncle Jesse paced the floor nervously, refusing the sergeant's request that they sit and relax while they waited. They waited over four hours then at last they seen the General pull up out front. A very weary and distraught looking Bo and Luke climbed out and headed inside the station.

“They got those miserable varmints. They're on their way to the main jail in Atlanta.â€, Bo announced. Then before anyone could question them about anything else, Luke and Bo pulled Uncle Jesse aside to talk to him in private. The three of them talked in hushed tones, occasionally sending a worried glance in Betsy-rae's direction. A few moments later they walked back over to the girls.

“Let's go home.â€, Uncle Jesse said in a weary tone.

“But...what about Cindy and Lenny?â€, Betsy-rae asked.

“Yes, they found them too.â€, Uncle Jesse replied, “We'll talk about it in the morning, fer now we could all use a decent meal and some rest.â€, he stated firmly giving a look that clearly said not to question him further. Betsy-rae thought it was odd that no one would tell her how Cindy was doing, but she was to tired and hungry to argue.

That evening Betsy-rae fell asleep almost immediately after dinner. She was so exhausted that she slept soundly through the night and did not awaken until very late the next morning. When she did wake up, her first thoughts were of Cindy. She stumbled out of bed, dressed quickly and went off to find the rest of the family.

Everyone was gathered in the living room waiting for her. Betsy-rae entered the room and took a seat on the sofa.

“How's Cindy doing?â€, she asked immediately. She was meant by somber glances from everyone.

“Well?â€, Betsy-rae pressed, “How is she? Is she home? May I call her?â€

“Oh Betsy-rae.â€, Daisy replied sadly, moving over to sit next to her and stroke her hair.

“What?....What's going on?â€, Betsy-rae responded frantically

“Betsy....honeyâ€, Uncle Jesse began in a grim tone, “Lenny's in the hospital, he's hurt bad.....Cindy....Cindy had a lot of serious injuries.....I'm sorry honey.....she didn't make it.â€

Betsy-rae sit sat there dumbfounded and speechless for a moment. Then she spoke in a small voice barely audible.

“What...do you mean...she didn't make it?â€, she asked, already knowing the answer but not wanting to believe it.

“Awww Betsy-rae, sweetheart.......we're so sorry.â€, Bo replied softly

“Noooo!â€, Betsy-rae shouted the full realization of what they were telling her finally sinking in.

“No, No No! Cindy's not dead! She's not! You're lieing! Y'all are lieing!â€, Betsy-rae screamed at them. She got up and ran out of the house. Tears streamed down her face as she ran across the yard. She ran and ran until she got to the Hazzard pond. There she slumped down to the ground and cried.

Deep down she knew that they weren't lieing to her. She knew they'd never lie to her about something ike that. She knew that Cindy was really gone, but she didn't want to believe it. She didn't want it to be true. Cindy was her best friend. They did everything together and told each other everything.

A short while later she felt a hand on her shoulder. She looked up to find Bo and Luke standing beside her. They said nothing but sat down next to her. Bo scooped her into an embrace and sat holding her as he stroked her hair and gently rocked her as she buried her face in against his shoulder and sobbed. They sat there for a long while in silence except for the sound of Betsy-rae's muffled cries. Finally her sobs subsided. She took a deep, ragged breath and wiped her eyes.

“I want to go home now.â€, she said in a sad small voice.

“Sure, Lil Bit.â€, Luke replied. The three of them stood up and slowly headed home.

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Over the next few days Betsy-rae wondered around in sort of a daze. She felt out of touch with reality. Her appetite dwindled and activities which she had previously enjoyed seemed to become of little interest to her. She had attended Cindy's funeral and sat there while tears flowed freely down her cheeks, but it had not felt real. It had seemed as though she was watching a sad scene on a movie. She wouldn't talk to anyone about it. Any attempt made to snap her out of it proved futile. Everyone was beginning to wonder if she'd ever be whole again.

A week after the funeral, Betsy-rae was lieing on her bed just staring at the ceiling when she heard a knock on her door.

“Come in.â€, she replied half heartedly as she sat up. The door opened and Bo entered the room.

“There is somebody here to see you.â€, he said.

“I don't wanna talk to anyone.â€, Betsy-rae replied.

Bo ignored her and stepped aside to let someone in the room. Lenny walked in and leaned awkwardly against the wall.

“I'll leave you alone to talk.â€, Bo said and left the room.

“Hi Bets.â€, Lenny greeted Betsy-rae.

Betsy-rae just stared at him for a minute. It was so weird seeing Lenny without Cindy with him. He looked more disheveled than usual. His hair was uncombed and he had dark circles under his eyes as if he hadn't slept in days.

“It's all my fault.â€, Betsy-rae blurted out suddenly, “What happened to Cindy is all my fault.â€

Lenny looked at her in astonishment for a moment.

“What makes ya think it's yer fault?â€, he asked.

“It just is.â€, Betsy-rae replied, “If I hadn't been with ya's then Cindy probably would have stayed later. Ya know how she always like to hang around till the last minute at stuff like that. But she didn't hang around at the concert. She was in a hurry cause of me. Because I wanted to git home so's Uncle Jesse wouldn't know I's snuck out.......If I hadn't been there, you's would have stayed later.......those people wouldn't have been around when you left.â€

“It's not yer fault.â€, Lenny replied, “Heck, if it's anyone's fault, it's mine. I'm the one that agreed ta give those two a ride jist cause they offered me money.†He looked away and gazed out the window for a moment. Then he turned back to Betsy-rae and spoke again.

“Anyways, that what I came ta tell ya. After Hank brought Cindy back to the basement, he was furious ta find you was gone. He roughed us up pretty good and swore we'd wouldn't leave there alive.........Well anyway, Cindy knew there was a chance we wouldn't make it......She knew you'd blame yerself if we didn't too........She begged me that if I made it and she didn't ta tell ya it's not yer fault.....Cindy wanted you to know that it's not yer fault.â€

Betsy-rae looked at him for a long moment. Then, for the first time since the concert, she smiled, just a little. Everyone had told her that it wasn't her fault, but somehow, maybe cause it was a message from Cindy, when Lenny told her, it seemed to lift a tremendous weight off her. She felt better. Not great, but better than she had felt in several days.

“Thanks.â€, she replied to Lenny, “And I think she'd want you to know that it wasn't yer fault either.â€

“Yeah...sure.â€, Lenny replied, returning the smile.

Betsy-rae walked Lenny to the front door and stood on the porch and watched as he got in his truck and drove away. Then she went back inside and closed the door softly behind her. She strolled into the living room and stood in the doorway for a moment. Uncle Jesse sat in his chair reading the paper. Daisy sat in the other chair busily mending a dress. Bo and Luke sat on the sofa watching tv. It all looked so cozy. So warm and inviting. It was just what she needed. She walked across the room and sat on the sofa, snuggling her way in between Bo and Luke. Daisy looked up from her mending and Uncle Jesse looked over the top of his paper at her. Bo stroked her hair softly and asked the question that was on all of their minds.

“Are you ok?â€, he asked.

“No.â€, Betsy-rae replied honestly, “But I will be.†she said and flashed them all a small smile.

And for the first time in a long while, she knew she truly would be alright.

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