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Mystery in Hazzard Swamp


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BOOOOM!!

*Jesse pulls one of the double triggers on his antique 12 gauge double barrel shotgun. He slips his finger over to the second trigger ready to shoot at more than just the sky if necessary.

The monster flees for it's life while Jesse looks toward him to make sure he doesn't turn around. The beast doesn't slow down one bit as it disappears though the thick trees in the opposite direction Alice was located.

Jesse runs over to Bo and kneels down. Before he has a chance to see if his nephew is seriousely injured, Jesse hears Alice running down the hill yelling "Is Bo okay?!"

To Jesse and Bo's surprise, she is not alone. As Alice ran down the hill, a short and skinny old man followed, not running but walking. Jesse was too concerned about his nephew to wait to see who the old man was.

"Are you okay Bo. Are ya hurt very bad?"

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*Bo jumps and bites his lower lip from yelling out in shock at the loud gun shot only to seemingly increase the pain within his head. Cussing at himself, he slowly glances around the rock he had hid himself behind to find the beast running the other way with Jesse at a distance with the rifle pointed up at the air. Sighing heavily, he turns back around and rests against the rock as he silently begins to struggle with an explaination that would satisfy his uncle and wouldn't upset him any more than he probably already was at him. After all, he put himself in danger as well as Alice and Jesse as well as the beast. He had been instructed to stay close and yet he wondered away.

Once again, Bo jumps slightly as Jesse walks around the rocks and lets out a sigh of relief to see that it was Jesse and not the beast. A moment later a familiar voice calls out, "Is Bo OK?" Bo ignores the throbbing pain in his head to look around to see Alice running towards them with an older man, who from the distance only seems vaguely familiar.

"Are you okay Bo. Are ya hurt very bad?" Jesse asks, concern thick in his voice, to grab Bo's attention back to him.

Bo starts to nod only to come up short due the pain it inflicts. "Yeah. Other than this headache and a few cuts and bruises, I'll be fine," Bo forces out, feeling dumb to gather all this attention only for his own stupidity of walking around the swamp. A place he knew very little about. "I'm sorry Uncle Jesse. I didn't mean for all this to happen. I was just looking around and then he snorted and found him right in front of me. I musta scared him or something. Know he scared me!" Bo goes quiet for a brief moment. "I'm sorry, Uncle Jesse." He repeats as he attempts to stand up only for the pain in his leg to trip him back down. Once more Bo cusses in frustration and in embarrassment before he shakes Jesse's helpful hand away and grabs onto the stones to pull himself up, forcing himself to put pressure on the leg. "I'm fine, Jesse. Really." Bo takes a step away from Jesse without the help of the stone to feel the pain more tolerable than it had at first. Looking away from Jesse and back at Alice who is now a few feet away with the small older man. "Hard Luck Jones?" Bo exclaims, surprised at seeing the old moonshiner standing next to Alice. "What are you doing here?!"*

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*Jesse doesn't know who to pay attention to*

Bo, you sure yer fine? Hard Luck, what in the world are you doing out here in the middle of Hazzard Swamp? Bo, ya sure nothin's broke?"

*Finally things settle down a little bit and Jesse is reassured that Bo has no serious injuries*

"Hard Luck, now tell me, what's goin' on here?"

HL "Well, Jesse I done heard about this swamp monster running around here. I went and talked to Molly and she told me Alice was out here looking for ya so I thought I'd come out and help. She didn't mention Bo was here though. How many other folks is here?"

J "None that I know of but just stick around fer a little while and I bet someone else will show up at the rate we're going."

HL "No can do Jesse. Molly says I'd better git her little cousin back to the shack as soon as possible. This ain't no place fer folks to be out at night and it's gittin' perrty late. You'd better git going too."

J "Nope, me and Bo's making a fire, cookin' some vittles and sleeping in this here tent I have in the backpack. Oh my goodness it's 7:00 I told Cooter I'd call him on the CB. I'd better git it out of the back pack."

HL "Okay Jesse, me and Alice is gonna git back. I think yer a doggone fool fer spendin' the night out here but that's yer business."

Alice "You be safe Bo"

*Hard Luck pulls Alice away from Bo and the two of them walk down the path back to Molly's. Jesse gets out his walkie talkie*

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*Bo watches as Alice and Hard Luck Jones begin to walk away before glancing up at the sky and for the first time noticing that it is getting dark. Ignoring the constant throbbing in his head, he begins to think of the long night ahead of them. He may be tired, but he doubts that he'll ever be able to find sleep out in the middle of the swamp with that wild beast that nearly had him killed was running free and loose. But who was he to argue with Jesse? Sighing heavily, he painfully walks over and begins to help Jesse unload the tent and walkie talkie out of the bag and to put the tent up. After a moment, he glances up at Jesse and states, "Why you go send them away like that for? We could go elsewhere to sleep...like somewhere safe and where that thing won't eat us for a midnight snack. And come back out in the morning to look for that thing. Instead, you may just have signed our death sentence." Bo can't help himself but to complain of seeing what seems his only chance to survive the night to walk away as it had. Even if it had came in the form of Hard Luck Jones and Alice. They had to have been at least a little better than the beast. After his own run in with the beast only minutes ago, Bo cared very little to ever see that thing again. Especially being woken up by it in the middle of the night just before it was getting ready to eat them.*

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"Now you sure yer okay?"

*Bo nods head yes*

"Well, I got my reasons fer not stopping them from going home. I'll explain it after this thing's all over but fer now I have a score to settle with this monster and I'm planning on doing it tomorrow or even tonight. He's done hurt my nephew and there ain't no way I'm letting him hurt you again or anybody else fer that matter.

Hang on a while....

*Jesse turns on the CB/walkie talkie*

"Breaker one breaker one, this here's Jesse Duke. Crazy Cooter you got yer ears on?"

"Yes sir Mr Uncle Jesse. This here's Crazy Cooter, how you two surving out in that God forsaken place?"

J "We've been better. Is everything fine with the farm?"

C "Yes sir and I got some big news."

J "Well, spit it out."

C "Luke called and him and Daisy's coming home sometime tomorrow. He said y'all have some kinfolk up there in Charlotte who's coming down to take over caring for your other kinfolks or something....shucks, I can't recall any of the names."

J "That IS big news Cooter! Thank ya very much fer relaying that message."

*Jesse pauses as he and Bo smile at each other*

C "Uh, is there anything else?"

J "Naw......well...... there is one other thing. If you don't hear from us by this time tomorrow, send help....lots of help....'cause that means things didn't go so well.

I'm gone."

*The click of the walkie talkie turning off sounded ominous as the lives of the two Duke men lie in the balance*

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*"Yee Haa!" Bo lets out an excited yell at Cooter's news only for the throbbing in his head to scream back at him in pain and to recieve a stern look from Jesse. "Sorry Uncle Jesse," Bo wobbles over to a big rock and sits back down on it to rest, "but after hearing Luke and Daisy are coming back, well, I couldn't help myself." Bo goes silent, thinking of his argument with Luke, silently wondering if he'll be back on talking terms when they return home. "As for all of this," Bo motions around them, hinting upon what Jesse was talking about before he went on the walkie talkie, "As long as you are sure he won't eat us tonight, I'm more than willing to help out in any way I can. Even if it includes a sleepless night in the swamp." Bo swallows hard at the last thought. He would rather come back and stop the monster come day light, but he wasn't about to be the one to coward out of it for the night. Especially when he felt he had a score to settle with the beast. "How you plan on stopping the beast before it hurts anyone else? And without it hurting us in the process? I don't see it just walking in a cage and letting us lock him away for eternity. . .and you seem reluctant upon shooting it with your shot gun. What else you thinkin' of doing?" He turns and watches his uncle in anticipation of his answer.*

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"Now you just let me worry about the monster. You need to focus on getting some rest."

FAST FORWARD FIVE HOURS

Past midnight, Jesse throws another part of a dried up dead branch on the fire as Bo slept inside the tent. The old-timer then laid on a plastic sheet with his head on a dry log listening to the night insects and sounds of the bullfrogs. He thought back to his youth and the adventures he had in the Hazzard Swamp. For a moment he forgot all about the monster and the shotgun by his side. He had no intentions to fall asleep as he daydreamed back to his happy youth before he got called off to fight overseas. Tonight was the first night since the war that he had planned to spend the night on guard duty. His thoughts then drifted to that war and then those thoughts continued onto the homecoming and his happy years as a married man in the prime of his life.

Then something happened he hadn't planned on. He fell asleep.

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*Staring at the inside of his eye lids, Bo silently forces himself to think of old NASCAR stats from his favorite driver before switching over to stats of Luke's and Cooter's favorite drivers. Anything to keeps his mind off of the beast that continues to lurk somewhere around the swamp as well as the throbbing pain that insists on keeping him awake. Five hours into the night and yet he has yet to get even a minute of actual sleep as his thoughts and the pain refuses to leave him alone. Yet he remains too stubborn to open his eyes, to sit up, or to stretch out his throbbing leg. Knowing Jesse planned on staying awake after stubbornly insisting on keeping guard through out the night, Bo refused to let Jesse know he wasn't sleeping. That he couldn't sleep. Even if his head, back, and leg continued to throb. It would only worry Jesse and it would accomplish anything if he were to open his eyes and let the truth be known to Jesse.

Finishing the stats, his thoughts begin to fade back to the beast of being thrown to the ground and the beasts hateful eyes staring down at him. Frustrated, he forces his thoughts away from the beast and back to NASCAR, this time of sitting down with Luke and Cooter to watch a race on Cooter's fuzzy TV set. Of the race at his favorite track, when his driver out drove their driver to win the race on the last lap. Of Luke's and Cooter's yells in frustration that Bo's excited cheers had drowned out.

Abruptly the thick and intense silence that had captured the swamp is shattered by a loud grunting sound, just as the beast had made when Bo had accidently walked upon it, and followed by, what sounds to Bo, like large heavy foot prints running around. No longer able to control himself, Bo shoots up yelling in fear as his earlier encounter with the beast hits him strongly. Of the fear and the knowledge that he wasn't getting out of the swamp alive. That the beast will be the last thing he would see before he fell into the other side. Of the pain that the beast could envoke upon him. More pain than what he had already was feeling due to the attack.

Breathing hard, Bo forces himself to be silent as he bites onto his lower lip as the dark tent seems to spin rapidly within him as his quick movement to sit up sends his throbbing head to hurt worse than it already had. "Damn it," he cusses aloud before thinking of Jesse nearby and he guiltily looks up at Jesse to find him asleep on the chair. "Jesse!" Bo hears him call out, half thinking of taking his shot gun himself to see what is out there and half thinking he don't want to go and see what is out there. His last experience with the beast was enough to last him a lifetime, if not more so.

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*In the middle of dreaming about fighting in the war Jesse wakes up to the commotion. It takes him awhile to seperate his dreamworld from reality*

"What's a goin' on 'ere?!"

*Jesse finally figures out where he's at and hears a nearby grunting sound. He makes a move for the shotgun but steps in the fire and catches his pantleg ablaze. Panicked, he runs to a deep puddle and puts out the fire before his skin suffers any damage. On the way back to the gun he trips on a root and his foot gets jammed underneath it.*

"Bo!....Bo!...Where ya at boy? Git the shotgun!"

*Jesse removes the flashlight from the pocket of his overalls and turns it on, pointing it in the direction of the grunting*

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*Concerned for his Uncle, Bo glances over at him first to see if he's OK before slowly walking over and picks up the shot gun off the ground before hearing the grunting sound once more. A moment later, finds a bright flash light that he shines around the area before it stops upon a large wild boar several feet away that is now stopped and is bent over eating something from the ground. With the light on it, the boar grunts louder and runs off and into the swamp. For a moment, Bo's instincts grab a hold of him and he takes a couple of steps forward towards it in thought of going after it and killing it before his mind returns to Jesse and he comes to a halt. Bo quickly runs over to Jesse to help free his foot while feeling the heat melting away from the fire onto Bo's bare back. "It was only a wild boar. Too bad we weren't back home, I'd have. . ." he lets his sentence fade away before asking in great concern, "You OK Uncle Jesse?"*

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*Jesse stands up and brushes himself off*

"Yea, I'm all alright.....a wild boar huh?......it's a good thing it wasn't the swamp monster 'cause yer uncle fell asleep on the job. If you're okay I reckon we should both catch some shut-eye. I guess I'm just not up to pulling an all-nighter anymore. The years are catchin' up to me."

*Jesse gave his nephew a hug*

"Thanks fer your help.....good job"

*Relieved but feeling like a failure Jesse says no more. He went inside the tent and fell asleep*

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*Bo watches his uncle go into the tent, frustrated at letting the boar go, but glad that Jesse was alright after his incident. Sighing heavily and feeling exhaustion sweep over his aching body, he too makes his way into the tent to stiffly lie back down where he had been before the boar had startled him. He goes to close his eyes with thoughts of returning to the stats to block out any more thought of the beast, but surprisingly, falls fastly asleep and into vivid scenes of the beast running after and attacking them.*

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*Morning comes to Hazzard Swamp. Jesse lets his tired and sore nephew sleep in while he got up and made coffee after restarting the fire from the burning embers.

He sat on a log sipping the fresh java contemplating his next move. He watched a water snake slither from one puddle to the next as he considered all the options. Unfortunately for Jesse all the options turned into dead ends. As much as he hated to face the truth there was only one possible conclusion that could keep the residents of Hazzard safe.

The swamp monster must die....hopefully today.

Jesse heard Bo starting to stir around inside the tent. He wondered if he was waking up or if he just just rolling over to make himself more comfortable before falling back asleep.*

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*Bo abruptly awakes, startled and confused over the vivid dream that had plagued his sleep and for a long moment he stares through the dim light that slowly makes it's way into the tent. After a brief moment, realization sinks in that it had only been a bad dream and that he is back in the tent; only for surprise to settle depely within him. Surprise that he had actually fallen asleep despite his aches and pains and the constant fear of the beast; which had probably led to his nightmare.

Sighing heavily in relief, Bo sits up and slowly puts on his boots and another wave of dizziness only momentarily hits him and he is once again reminded of his throbbing head and back. Ignoring the pain, he continues to put on his boots and his shirt while noticing the absense of his uncle. Stiffly crawling over to the entrance of the tent, he slowly pulls open the flap to see his uncle sitting on a log with cup in his hands and staring out over the swamp as if lost in thought. Bo blinks back the brightness of the morning as he makes his way out into the swampland and his body instantly yells and complains at him through his leg, back, and head; to remind him of how stupid he was to wonder off. "It could have been much worse if Jesse hadn't come when he had. . ." the thought replays itself in his tired mind only to lead his thoughts over all that could have happened.

"Morning, Uncle Jesse," Bo nods at his uncle as he makes his way to the fire, his stomach beginning to join in complaining with his aching body, "how are you this morning?"*

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"Pretty good...and you?"

*Bo rolls his eyes causing Jesse to realize that his nephew was still feeling the effects of yesterday's incident. Bo takes a cup of coffee offered by Jesse and sits on the log*

"Ya know Bo, when I woke up this morning I realized something. Today's Halloween. It's kinda funny when ya think about it. Here we are running around a spooky swamp during a full moon chasin' a swamp monster who wants us dead. If we do got outta here alive yer likely to get a hug from Cousin Alice. That'll probably hurt yer ribs more than the swamp monster"

*They both smiled*

"Do ya wanna give up and go home right now 'er do ya wanna give it one more try? If we haven't killed him by evening we'll head home before it gits too dark out. It's up to you."

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*Bo gives his uncle a surprised and startled look at his questions before he sets his cup of coffee down and quickly stands up to greatly regret doing so as he fights off a heavy wayve of dizziness. As the world comes to a halt around him, Bo asks with his voice full of emotions, "Give up? Just like that you wanna pack up and go home? What in the world would that accomplish?" Bo pauses as he attempts to inhale deeply to control his emotions which is always hard for him to do. "I'll tell you what it'd accomplish. Nothing. We'd have came out here for nothing. I nearly got myself killed by that beast and you just want to walk away? We just quit and go home now, all this would be for nothing." He points at himself. "Don't get me wrong, Jesse, I'd love to get outta this place and go back home. Go home and take a nice hot shower, take some pain pills, and go to sleep in my own bed. Your idea of quitting, is appealing and tempting. But since when have you so easily quit when people's lives are at stake? I could have been killed. I was lucky that you showed up when you had. . ." He lets his voice trail off momentarily. "But next time? Next time who ever it is, may not be so lucky. Next time it could be Andrew, Molly, or Alice or any other crazy swamp person to surprise him or get in his way or upset him in some way. If that happens after we give up, then their death is on our shoulders for walking away."

Bo shakes his head and inhales deeply. "Despite what I want, I don't think giving up and going home is an option. Not until that beast is put to rest or captured or whatever you have planned to take care of the beast to get him out of harm's way." Bo goes quiet and slowly makes his way back to his log to sit back down. Looking at Jesse he states, "It's Halloween? Ain't life ironic."*

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*Jesse smiles at his nephew's fightin' spirit.*

"After yer done with yer coffee I got something fer ya."

*Jesse reaches beside the log and gets a cup full of a steaming liquid that he'd been hiding*

"Tea....This morning I gathered up a few medicinal swamp leaves.....and one root....and made up Grandpa Duke's famous all-natural pain killer. It'll cure what ails ya and even what ain't ailing ya. It doesn't taste too good but I gaurantee ya, it'll put a spring in yer step......or yer money back"

*Jesse smiles again*

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"All right but if you don't drink it I will. It'll make my arthritis go away.....well, fer a few hours at least. I'll be running circles around you all morning. Then after that I'll wrastle that swamp monster with my bare hands.

So, do you want to rest a little while longer or start packing up? I brought some apples, bananas and granola bars if yer hungry."

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*Bo finishes his coffee and sets his cup down only to question his own stubborn pride that had denied Jesse's offer to help with his aching body. Stiffly standing up just to move around, Bo slowly states, "If it'll help you, you better take it." Bo pauses as he eyes the tent and shakes his head and looks back at Jesse, "I'm not going to be resting any more, so we might as well as pack up."*

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"All right then let's get going. I'll eat along the way"

*Bo and Jesse tear the tent down, pack everything away, throw water on the campfire and head down the path in the direction the swamp monster had last gone. Jesse was eating an apple he held in his left hand. The loaded shotgun was in his right.

After an hour of walking Jesse pointed something out to Bo*

"If we keep going this way it eventually will take us out to Old Stump Road. If we make it that far I suppose we should call Cooter on the walkie talkie and get a ride. After that I don't know what we should do. The Duke name holds some clout in Hazzard but that doesn't mean anybody will believe us.....especially Rosco and Boss.

Of course we still have to make it that far. I reckon that'll be easier said than done."

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*Bo nods. "Hogg and Rosco wouldn't believe you if you told them you saw a dog out here not alone a beast," Bo states sarcastically, "I wouldn't count on them to believe you or give us any help. Best bet is to go with Cooter." He goes silent as he rubs his fingers upon a medium sized gray smooth stone he had found before they had left the campsite, seeming to find comfort upon the smooth texture of the stone. *

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*Bo continues to run his finger around and around the stone he had picked up as he continues to follow Jesse before Jesse comes to an abrupt halt and quickly alerts him of the noise. The noise he had blocked out with his empty thoughts. Bo hears himself gasp aloud and his throbbing head and back is quick to remind him of what his last encounter with the beast. He was lucky enough to escape death the first time, could he be as lucky the second time?

Bo takes an unconscious step backwards as he forces himself to remain calm despite his pounding heart within his chest. A moment later the beast steps out of the bushes, his fiery eyes staring angrily down upon both of them. Looking at Jesse, Bo states, "Yeah. Here we go again. Now what?" Bo goes silent. "I'd vote we make a run for it. Anything you throw at him is only to make him even more upset than he already is."*

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*Jesse stands his ground. He appears to be hypnotized by the swamp monster's eyes as the beast cautiousely inches towards the two Dukes.

Jesse hears Bo gasp and his nephew's fear makes him snap to action.

He points the double barrel 12 gauge shotgun toward the beast and, once again clicks the safety so it's ready to fire.

Immediately the monster lunges at Bo. Jesse aims the shotgun at the beast's chest and uses two fingers to fire the double trigger at the same time. The boom shatters the silence of the Hazzard Swamp.*

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