To Have a Strate by Your Side
Marie "Val Strate" Roach
Enos was about to shoot the basketball into the hoop attached above the barn doors when it was forced out of his hands.
Venus!" He exclaimed.
"Oh 'E'", Val smiled and dribbled away.
Enos got a big smile on his face with a glance at his two-inch shorter sister. She shot and he blocked it. The ball bounced off Enoss hand and to the ground. The twins stopped for a moment. They looked at each other, then scrambled for the ball on the ground.
Its mine, Val insisted.
Mine! Enos insisted.
Ok, Val let go and sent him backwards to the ground.
Enos eyed his sister as she broke into hysterical laughter. He got up and tackled her to the ground, then tickled her. She gently pushed him away on his back. The two looked at the sky as they caught their breath and saw how the remainder of the light glistened off the clouds which gave them an orange hue.
That one looks like the General! Val giggled.
It does doesnt it? He smiled and said to himself... Thank you Lord, for giving me my sister Venus Marie Strate.
We better get up off this ground before we catch a cold, Enos stood up and held his hand out to her. She reached out and took hold as he helped her up.
Val followed her brother to the house as he carried the ball back. After he sat the ball in a large basket next to the porch, they walked into the house. Val went to her room up the stairs. Enos went to the living room. He turned on the small TV and sat down on the couch. He leaned back and put his feet on the coffee table after getting absorbed in the comedy. He was almost falling asleep when he heard a voice scold him.
E, thats not a foot stool! Val stood with her arms folded over a long white terrycloth bathrobe and her hair was up in a red towel turban since that was her favorite color. Green stuff was all over her face.
"Possum on a gumbush!" Enos exclaimed.
Its a mud mask, Val informed him.
Youre not going to bed as 'Swamp Thing' are ya? Enos giggled and his sister playfully punched him in the arm.
Im going to wash it off here in a minute before my snack.
Ok, this will be over in a minute, so I can wait.
Val went to the bathroom and washed off her face. She began to make a snack for them while Enos went and took a quick shower. After all that, they headed to their rooms.
Good night 'V', Enos said, walking into his room.
Good night, 'E', she replied, then went into her room.
Val lay back on the bed and whispered a small prayer...
Thank you Lord for giving me my brother Enos Michael Strate.
b b b b b
A blonde haired woman about 57 wearing blue jeans,
a red lace halter top, and Foster Grant sunglasses busted
the door open to the Boar's Nest.
Daphne, remember me! she sneered, walking up to the bar where two brunettes were working behind the counter.
The names Daisy, one of them replied.
The woman leaned in close and whispered, "Or maybe it's Phewtuna!"
Why you little--" Daisy bit off the rest.
Me? Youre the one who started it! The blonde sneered again.
How? Daisy asked.
You ruined my winning streak, you little witch. The blonde snipped.
"Trisha Hawkens the 'Blonde Bandit.'" Daisy retorted, "More like the 'Blonde Bimbo' if ya ask me!"
"Im here for a rematch! This time Im not gonna lose!" Trisha blew a bubble from the gum in her mouth.
I hung that racket up years ago, Daisy replied.
Youre a Duke. Racing is in your veins I want a rematch!
I told you NO!
You just dont have the guts! Trisha shouted.
Im not scared of you. I beat you once, Daisy retorted and glanced to her cousin, "Daney did too. Now get out of here."
Trisha moved in close to Daisys face, You'll be scared when something happens to those hotties you call cousins, that cute Deputy and that stupid Sheriff you call friends! she hissed coldly.
You touch anyone close to me and youll wish you were never born! Daisy hissed back.
Then face me on the track, hick girl, or else! With that the blonde spit toward both of them.
Daney wiped the counter off. She had planned on staying out of this like all four cousins had promised each other they would do when something like this happened but Trisha was really annoying. The Sheriff'll be comin' in soon, I suggest you leave.
The blonde grabbed a hold of the Dukes shirt and pulled Daisy over the bar and threw her on the floor. Daisy got to her feet and tackled the blonde. Daisy and Trisha wrestled on the floor, as Daney came around to stop them.
The Strate siblings came inside about that time to see a blonde girl step close to Daney and tried grab her hair, but ended up flat on her butt when Daisy kicked her.
"Crickets and Crocodiles," Val exclaimed and grabbed a brunette while Enos grabbed the blonde.
Enos hurriedly read the Miranda rights as he finished putting the handcuffs closed around Trisha's wrists. "You have the right to remain quiet..."
The brunette that Val had taken waited till they were on the road and almost to town before she announced with a smile, "Game Warden, you got the wrong Duke."
Val looked at her. Yep, she did. "Oh Daney, I'm sorry."
"It's ok. Can you take me back, otherwise I'm gonna have to report ya for false arrest and violating my rights."
"But go ahead and check on Enos first."
b b b b b
Just at that moment Enos opened the patrol car door to remove his prisoner. "Ok, Miss..." Trisha popped up out of the car without handcuffs on.
Startled by the woman, Enos didn't realize he was being handcuffed by his own cuffs till it was too late.
Get in the car! she commanded.
Wha- Enos looked puzzled.
NOW! she motioned for him to get into the back seat.
Enos obeyed and she slammed the door shut on him. Then she got into the patrol cruiser and pulled away from the curve. Val and Daney saw this as Cricket rounded the corner.
What is he doing? Val reached for the CB, Gemini One this is Gemini Two, come back . Valerie spoke into the mike.
Trisha heard the CB transmission and pressed the talk button on the cb in her hand, Me and the deputy are taking a little drive.
This is the Hazzard County Game Warden, Val Strate and I am ordering you to pull over for kidnapping an officer of the law! Val commanded into the CB.
Game Warden, you dont mean squat to me, and from what it sounds you and the good deputy here are related. Am I correct? Trisha laughed. She looked in her mirror at Enos sitting quietly, She related to you?
Shes my sister.
The CB came to life, Deputy Strate and I are related.
Thats what I hear, so if you ever want to see your dear brother again, youll do what I say, Trisha cackled. The box came to life one more time. You want to see your brother alive again, tell Black Bandit to tell Brown Bandit to face me one on one at the fairgrounds tomorrow at high noon for a race! This is the Blonde Bandit and Im gone!
Val turned to Daney with a puzzled look as Cricket came to an abrupt halt.
"Racin' names Daisy was Black Bandit and I was Brown Bandit. The team owner thought it would get more folks." Daney explained.
The white police car disappeared up the road.
Val picked up the CB, This is the Game Warden calling Hazzard County Sheriffs Department
Rosco had heard Trisha and Val over the CB but the only one he heard clearly was the last one, where the distressed Game Warden called for help.
Rosco picked up the CB, This is Sheriff Roscooooo P. Coltrane here, whats wrong?
"Enos and I went to lunch, we walked in to see this blonde and Daisy fighting I seen Enoss car take off. I followed the car and tried to call E, the woman answered. She told me that if I didnt Daisy tell Daney about the race My car blew a tire and I cant follow cause and she has Enos! Crickets and Crocodiles.
Rosco listened to the mike the best he could but Val was rambling too much, Jit Jit can you calm down and repeat that?
Clam down?! Im perfectly clam! Val retorted.
Daney took the mike out of Vals hand.
Sheriff, well see you at the courthouse after we fix this flat, She hung the mike up and looked at the older woman.
"We have to get this tire changed and get back to the courthouse."
"Your right." Val replied and the two got out to change the flat. Once the vehicle was back on all fours, they headed back to the courthouse.
At the courthouse, Val, Daney, and Rosco discussed the situation.
This floozy is holding Enos hostage and will let him go if Daney races her, Rosco repeated what he had been told.
Daney said, Ill race Trisha and Ill beat her too but Id rather find Enos and get him home safe instead."
Let's go out and search for them then, Val agreed. She looked at her watch, "We only have about two hours of day light left then itll be dark "
Then I suggest we use those two hours wisely," Rosco said.
I think you should lead the search, Sheriff. Daney smiled.
"Alright, let's not waste any time here...." The Sheriff quickly pulled together a search plan and explained it to the girls as they walked to the courthouse door.
Well use channel 15, thats the channel me and 'E' use, Val stepped off the stairs. Daney, Ill drop ya off at your place to get the General or Dixie.
Sure, Daney agreed.
The two headed to Val's car and Rosco ran after the girls with Flash in his arms.
Jit, jit, wait for me! Rosco called.
Well call Enos 'the cub' for now, in case Trisha knows. Val said.
The girls took off for the Duke farm while Rosco started searching. After telling the rest of the Dukes what happened they all agreed to help.
Val headed north of Old Mill Road, Bo and Luke in the General Lee headed south of Old Mill Road, Jesses pick up headed east over to Old Ridge Road, Daney in her car headed west towards the swamp and Daisys jeep went through the back forty to check.
Rosco seen smoke coming up over the edge by Razorback Mountain. He drove towards the edge and parked his car. Watching the dark black smoke as it traveled lightly up through the air, he started to step out of the car, when Flash whimpered.
I know, darlin', I don't like it either...stay here."
He told his beloved velvet ears and walked closer to the
edge, peering over when he was close enough
remains of a car were at the bottom. Rosco squinted, trying
to make out what kind of car it was. He could see it was
white and when the wind shifted the smoke away just enough,
he saw the brief gleam off the gold star on the door. The
metal mounts for gumballs could be seen a little too.
"Oh, Lord," He said outloud and swallowed hard at the sight. The Sheriff headed back to his patrol car and picked up the CB mike.
Gemini Two, I found something that you uh might want to know about, Rosco spoke calmly.
Val picked up her CB, Whats your twenty?
Razorback Mountain, Rosco said.
Everyone arrived within a few minutes except for Daney and Val.
Ya think hes really gone? Bo asked.
I dont know, Luke answered.
The boys, Daisy, Jesse and Rosco looked silently over the edge.
Daney pulled up at just that second. She seen everyone gathered at the ledge and had a feeling that it was not good. She got out of her car and went up to the group.
What did you find? Daney asked.
Luke gestured to over the side.
Here comes Val, Bo announced.
Ill break it to her, Rosco said softly.
Let me, Daney insisted.
Val came up with the usual optimistic Strate smile on her face. She was hoping that Rosco found a clue or two. He was a good Sheriff.
Well? Val's went from chipper to dipper seeing the look on everyone's faces. Whats wrong? she asked softly.
Val," Daney paused. "We think Enos is gone.
The Sheriff stood behind her. A blank look went over the Game Wardens face.
Yeah, hes with that kidnapper, right? So hes gone for-r-r now. Val stumbled over the words.
No, Val hes gone, Daney said.
No Val replied.
Rosco gently took Val by the arm to the ledge. In the last few seconds of daylight, Val began to cry seeing what the others had seen earlier.
Val, Rosco said to the young woman.
Hes not dead! she screamed and tears filled her eyes. She shook Roscos hand loose from her arm. She tried to storm away but the Duke boys grabbed her.
Val Daisy started to explain but the older woman cut her off.
"This is that little blond h- I cant even bring myself to say it! Val exclaimed
Settle down. We dont know for sure if hes passed on, Jesse ordered even though he expected the worst.
Jesse, if he is alive, he's probably in more danger, Rosco interrupted.
How do ya figure that? Luke asked.
If theyre cruel enough to do this Rosco whispered.
I think we should go home and try to get some rest. Well investigate some more in the mornin', Jesse suggested.
We can look better, Daisy tried to cheer everyone up.
Val nodded, Ill see you all at the courthouse tomorrow at ten. I have some reports I have to run over to the main office in Chickasaw.
Sounds fine to us, Jesse said.
With that the boys, Jesse, and Daisy went to leave.
Daney looked at Val and then hurried to step in front of them before they left. Im going see if Val wants me to follow her home.
Yeah, she does need someone, Jesse smiled.
Daney waved good-bye and she walked back to where the Game Warden was getting into her car.
You gonna be alright? Daney asked.
Val opened the door to her vehicle, then turned and pulled the Duke in a hug. Daney felt the soft tears on her shoulder.
Im gonna follow ya home. Is that alright? Daney said.
The Strate nodded and turned her head to see Rosco still looking over the edge.
Daney, I want to go look one more time before I go, Val sniffled.
Alright, Daney said, the two women walked to where the Sheriff stood.
Sheriff? Val whispered.
I was just remembering him, Rosco said softly.
Thank you, Sheriff. Val said when Rosco turned to face her. Val then gave him a hug.
You're welcome, he said to her.
Courthouse at ten? Val said softly.
The Sheriff nodded and then left. Val stood there a moment.
'E', if you really are dead your death wont go unpunished. If youre not Ill find you no matter what, Val vowed firmly and walked back to the cars with Daney.
Daney followed Val to the Strate twins homestead. She noticed the basketball hoop that was above the barn doors as they walked to the steps.
You want to come in for a minute or do you have to go home? Val asked.
I can stay for a minute, Daney said softly followin' the Strate inside.
The kitchen walls were cream colored and there was a border done in red, red cows everywhere. There were cows on the dishtowels, wall hangings of cows, hooks on the walls had a cow design. Cows everywhere you looked. Daney stood in the door way as Val took off her hat, then went towards the stairs.
Im going to change out of my uniform. Make yourself comfortable! Val called.
Daney walked into another room, which was also done in cream but the half border in dark blue. The carpet was a light tan color and the room appeared to be the living room. A dark blue sofa sat at one end of the room and a wood entertainment center sat across it. There were two big blue armchairs adjacent to the sofa. The furniture was a matching set. In the center was a wooden coffee table. A wooden gun rack hung on one wall with some deer antlers mounted at the top. Then there was a deer hide on another wall There was also a trophy case mounted on one wall, along with some of the trophies were pictures of either Val or Enos getting that award. There was a banner on the wall that was purple and gold, the writing on it read: Ohio State Fair Grand Champion Steer.
She went across the hallway to another room done in mauve pink. A big floral patterned love seat sat in this room with a matching armchair. There was a huge Victorian mirror on one wall and a big picture of Val and Enos on another. The picture had to be fairly recent because they had only been living together for about four months now. Daney noticed a recent picture of the Strate family... Joanne, Ed, Josephine, her husband Alan, their daughter, Enos, and Val.
She also noticed a picture of Val and an older couple... her adoptive parents. A small brass plate at the bottom read: The Sterns Family Michael, Val, and Kim.
Daney went back and sat down in the dark blue room after turning the TV on to one of her favorite shows, she didn't often get a chance to see. Daney put her feet up on the coffee table, something she didn't normally do.
Val came down the steps and into the room where the young woman was.
Daney, thats not a foot st-t-tool... She began when she seen her friend sitting exactly in the same position her brother had the night before. She broke into tears and turned away.
Oh, Daney. Last night I scolded Enos for doing the same exact thing and now hes gone! Val wept.
Daney stood up and held her close. She sobbed into the Dukes shoulder.
I dont think Enos is dead,
Trisha aint like that.
Why did she do that?
Maybe she just wanted to get rid of the car?
You think well find him?
You want me to spend the night with ya so that way you aint alone?
"If youd like to I dont mind."
Do you want me too?
Val was quiet for a moment, then looked at the younger woman. Yes, Daney. Please stay the night with me.
Daney smiled, "Long as I can sleep in the living room."
"Ok, there's a set of sheets and two pillows behind it. Be right back." Val said and scurried away to one of the other rooms.
Daney reached behind the blue sofa and got them. When she was done fixing the sofa, Val was coming in the room with a neatly folded t-shirt and sweat pants.
The t-shirt and sweats are for you to sleep in, Val said softly.
Daney smiled and went to the bathroom around the corner to change. When she was done, she walked into the kitchen to see Val sitting at the table with a mostly empty glass in front of her.
Val reached up and fidgeted with the pigtails in her hair as she watched Daney come in.
Im sorry Im not better company, Val said softly.
Im here to comfort you, not for you to entertain me! Daney came to the table and sat down.
Im sorry, Daney. Im just worried about him thats all,
Whether he is gone or alive, we'll find him.
Thanks, Daney. Val took the final sip of the chocolate milk. Oh, this is rude of me! Here I am enjoying chocolate milk and I didnt even ask if you would like a drink. Val got up and put her glass in the sink. She then reached into the cabinet and pulled out a clean glass for Daney.
Then she opened the fridge. We have chocolate milk, regular milk and Val dropped a carton of buttermilk and burst into tears.
Daney rushed over, Youve had a hard night. She guided Val to the stairs and up to her room. Daney stood in the doorway for a second as Val got under her covers.
Val looked at her, I gotta clean up the mess in the kitchen.
Ill clean it up --Would Enos want ya carrying on like this now? Daney asked.
No, but he wouldnt like it that I dropped his buttermilk either, Vals sigh turned into a yawn.
Good night, Daney walked out of Vals room.
Night 'E', Daney heard the older woman say.
Daney went back down the steps to the kitchen. She cleaned up the floor with a sponge from the sink and threw the carton away.
She then walked into the pink room with the floral couch and sat down on the couch, she noticed a lamp stand beside the couch. There was an old Victorian style lamp and a framed picture sat on the stand. Daney picked up the picture and looked closer.
It was of the twins standing behind a table with a birthday cake on it. Enos had his arm around Vals shoulder and Vals arm was around his waist. The frosting on the cake read 'Happy 34th birthday Enos and Val'.
The picture had been taken about a month ago in August. Daney put it back and walked to the blue sofa where she'd put her clothes. She took the clothes, entered the bathroom and changed. After picking up a piece of paper she found on a ledge that held the phone, she walked into the kitchen. She sat down at the kitchen table and wrote
I cant stay here doing nothing. So I am going to go find Enos. I know how much you love him. I can see it everywhere in this house. If he really is dead-- If I dont make it home, tell Rosco and the boys at the courthouse tomorrow.
She put the note on the table and removed her keys from her jeans while walking outside.
b b b b b
Meanwhile, Enos sat in the corner of an abandoned shack with his hands cuffed behind his back. He was blindfolded and tied to a chair. Right now he wished he was at home, lying on the sofa watching TV with Val, with two aspirin and some buttermilk. At first he hadnt remember who the blonde was but then he remembered
Trisha Hawkins, a driver for the Bandits.
Amy Creevys racing team that Daisy and Daney had been on. They had all been good friends till a few weeks before the end of the season, when Bo and Luke unexpectedly caught Trisha with the guys their cousins were suppose to be seeing.
Daisy beat Trisha for the most popular driver award and the race. Daney had finished the race a second behind her cousin and several minutes before Trisha. Then both Duke women gave Amy a good beating when she'd mouthed off about their beloved oldest cousin. That's how most families were, they could talk trash about their family but anyone else risked getting the tar beat out of 'em if they did. Bo and Luke was the same way when it came to the girls.
Outside the abandoned shack at that moment, Daney peeked over a window ledge to see deputy Strate tied to a chair and blind folded.
Enos! Daney exclaimed and felt a shove from behind. She then walked into the shack were the voice commanded.
Trisha stepped in front of Daney and chuckled, "Look who dropped in!"
Youll never get away with this, Daney said.
I already have. Trisha grabbed Daney who offered no resistance out of concern for Enoss well being.
Trisha then tied Daney to a chair... but didn't blindfold or gag her.
So what are you gonna do now? Daney asked.
You are going to hand Enos over to some guy named Scanlon-- Trisha whined.
Daney? Enos interrupted. The name Scanlon not registering in his mind at that moment.
Yes. Im here, Daney frowned. She remembered Scanlon, if it was who she thought it was, it was bad news.
Shut up! No one told ya to talk! The blonde screamed. I should just waste ya right now!
Please dont kill us!
The deputy here is going to die tomorrow and I have no one to race... So why shouldnt I kill you? Trisha snapped.
Because theres someone else you can race! Daney announced.
Who? Trisha asked.
Enos, your sister use to race right? Daney inquired.
Sprints. She never raced stock cars before, Enos whispered.
You can race Val, Daney paused. Shes a sprint car driver not a stock car driver.
Sprints? Trisha asked.
"Yep," Enos and Daney said.
Trisha smiled. Now she had a new idea.
b b b b b
Daney! Time to get up! Val shouted, stepping into the blue living room with a big Strate smile. She noticed the couch hadnt been slept on.
This is no time to be playing games, Daney! Val called out. She walked into the kitchen and saw the note on the table. She picked it up and read it. She folded the note and put it in her shirt pocket. Val got her keys and ran out the door. She started her car and tore out of the drive.
She arrived at the courthouse twenty minutes later and pulled to a stop behind the Sheriffs car, in the spot where Enoss patrol car should've been but wasnt. Val entered the Booking Office a few seconds later and found the Sheriff with a deputy's hat in one hand, a paper in his other hand. Rosco looked up to see the Game Warden.
He handed her the paper and she handed the Sheriff the note she from her pocket.
The Sheriff read the note and smiled. He sat the paper down on the desk, then held the hat out for her to see. Two strands of hair, both brown in color, were tucked in the gold band around the brim. One long and straight, the other short and wavy.
Val picked up the shorter one and closed her hand. Her eyes teared up as she read,
To the Game Warden of Hazzard County,
I hear you were a Yankee sprint car driver. If you wish to have 'E' back safe and sound, meet me today at noon at the fairgrounds ready to race. If you win, your brother won't go to L.A. in a pine box.
The Blonde Bandit
The note crumpled in the young woman's hand.
Rosco spoke, You know what this means dont ya?
Enos is alive
Val stepped closer to the Sheriff and wrapped her arms around him in a hug.
Im gonna bring 'E' and Daney home, Val sniffled.
Val, I want Enos and Daney home too. But sugar anything can happen, Rosco said softly to the young Strate, letting go of her tight embrace.
Val handed the strand from her hand to Rosco who put it back where it'd been. He laid the hat on the desk. A moment later, the Dukes came through the booking room doors.
Wheres Daney? Jesse asked.
Val took the notes Daney and Trisha had wrote and handed them to the Duke patriarch. Jesse was silent reading the notes. He handed them to the boys and Daisy. The young Dukes huddled around each other to see what information the papers held.
Jesse looked seriously at the young Strate, "You going to go through with this?"
Do I have a choice, Mr. Duke? I cant let that maniac kill my brother and your niece my best friend, Val said solemnly.
Jesse could tell she was scared but she knew what she must do. Young lady, whatever happens I wont blame you, because I know you tried. If something does happen to you, I just want ya to know Im proud of you and yer family. You're definitely Ed and Joanne Strates little girl. Now go get that blond hussy!
Yes, sir, Mr. Duke sir! Val smiled.
The boys and Daisy hugged Val.
So where do we get started? Bo asked.
I got an idea!
Daisys plan went like this: Jesse, Rosco, Val and her would to go to the track. While the boys searched for Daney and Enos. While Val was busy with Trisha, they figured they could get Enos and Daney freed.
b b b b b
At the shack, Daney and Enos awoke in their chairs. There was only one door to the place and Trisha had kept close watch on them.
Daney yawned and looked around the room to see Trisha was gone.
The deputys head hung like he was asleep, it was hard to tell because of the blind fold that had never been removed, he answered her clearly. Yes, Daney.
Trisha isnt here!
Cause she left to post a note to Val and to meet that Scanlon fella,
Daney noticed a hand held CB on the table just then. From where she was at she couldnt reach it
Did Trisha take the keys for those cuffs from your gun belt?
I dont think she took my keys,
Daney noticed the gun belt lying on the table beside the CB. Why dont she just give us a car to drive away in too! Daney scooted her chair across the floor as best she could. Enos heard the movement.
Daney, what are ya doing?
Getting us outta here," She bumped the table, she'd reached the CB and gun belt fell on the floor.
She squirmed around on the floor until she had the hand held CB in her hands. She then scooted back over to Enos. She lie on the ground tied to the chair. Her hands were behind her back so she had her back facing him.
Enos, when I tell ya too, lean down and call the Sheriff for help.
The Sheriff aint here,
I got a hand held CB in my hands. My hands are behind my back so I cant talk into it, you have to,
Possum on a gumbush!
I guess so.
Daney pressed the talk button, Youre on the air.
Enos spoke loud and clear into the CB. Breaker one, Breaker one, This is Hazzard Two and Scout on the Hazzardnet, Gemini Two, Hazzard One, the Lost Sheep, Bo Peep, Shepard, Crazy C, anyone got your ears on? Come back
Daney released the talk button and waited.
The CB came to life.
Gemini One! This is the Lost Sheep, we hear ya loud and clear. How are ya and Scout whats your twenty? the CB crackled.
Where we at? he asked.
Were at an old abandoned shack by our family still site near Razorback Mountain. Daney hit the talk button again.
Lost Sheep, were at an old abandoned shack by the still site near Razorback Mountain. Over
The CB came to life again. Ok, Gemini One. The Lost Sheep'll be there soon.
Thank you, Lost Sheep.
10-4, were gone. Tell Scout we love her."
The transmission end.
Daney wiggled back to the table. Enos could hear her movement.
Whats going on?
Im trying to get your gun belt, she had wriggled over to the gun belt to find a key. She was right. Trisha forgot to pull the handcuff key from Enoss belt. The gun was still the holster. Daney took the key and squirmed back to Enos who sat still. She wiggled to the back of his chair and extended the key to his hands.
"Enos, yer, gonna have to help me here. Im handing ya the hand cuff key,"
He strained his fingers grasping it but managed to pull it up into his hand.
"Take your time and stay calm. You can do this, but whatever you do, dont drop the key."
Enos took a deep breath and exhaled. He then got to work on unlocking the handcuffs. Soon he felt a click and the cuffs fell to the ground.
Possum on a gum bush! I did it! I did it! Enos exclaimed.
Now untie yourself, Daney said.
The deputy wriggled around in his seat finding it difficult to untie ones self while blind folded but he found the knots to free his arms and body from the chair. He then took off the blindfold and untied his legs. He saw Daney all tied up on the floor and stood up. He bent down and pulled her chair upright and started to untie her.
Your gun belt is over on the floor, everything but your patrol car keys are there.
"Thank you, Daney."
For what, Enos?
He swallowed as the last of the ropes came off and Daney stood up and faced him.
For saving my life, he said softly. He couldnt hold it in. He felt crocodile tears form in his eyes, turning from her to pick up his gun belt.
Daney saw the teary look in his face. After he picked up the gun belt and put it on, Daney pulled him around and hugged him.
Im just glad this is going to be over soon, Enos.
Me too, Daney.
Ya know Val is worried sick about ya,
Yeah, Ive been worried bout her too
Well, I just hope we find Frank and Trisha before anything happens.
Frank Scanlon, that fella who followed you here from California, oh Enos dont tell me you forgot who he was!!! Daney exclaimed.
The look on Enos's face told the PI that he now remembered who Scanlon was.
b b b b b
Meanwhile at the Hazzard County Fairgrounds, Val had just finished
a practice lap. Jesse watched and stood next to Daisy who
had timed Val.
She drives like Jacob and her folks, Jesse said aloud.
Jacob? Whos that?
Val and Enoss uncle,
The boy who died in that terrible crash many years ago and Enoss daddy was put on probation.
Yes, he was and that's when it happened.
Val pulled her vehicle to a stop at the finish line. Daisy looked at the timer.
Thats a good time, Daisy called.
The Strate got out of the car and looked at her watch. She then walked over to the Dukes.
I think I can do this, Val said.
Val sugar, we know you can do this! Daisy encouraged.
b b b b b
Trisha was talking with the man who had come to pick up Enos up.
So you have the deputy? He inquired.
At the hideout right now, She replied smugly. I also have a present that the boys in Atlanta might want A PI.
Sure I can deliver her too for an extra five hundred.
Where are they?
Trisha smiled, There is a little, abandoned shack about 5 minutes away from Razorback Mountain, about ¼ of a mile past the curve and off to the left about 1000 feet from the road.
b b b b b
Daney ran to the abandoned shacks door after hearing a noise and opened it to see Bo and Luke standing there.
Dont ya ever do this again, you about gave Jesse a heart attack, Luke snapped.
Luke, if Daney hadnt come I might not be talking to ya now, Enos said.
What ya mean Enos? Bo asked.
Well, she talked that girl into racing Val instead of just killing us, besides shes the one who rescued me. She got the key for the cuffs and the CB, Enos explained.
Luke looked at Daney.
Dont even bother saying it, cousin. She paused a second. You remember Frank Scanlon?
Bo and Luke nodded, then the foursome bolted out the door and got into the General Lee. The orange Dodge took off as Luke and Daney hatched out a plan.
b b b b b
At exactly the stated time, a yellow mustang with the multi colored letterin' 'Spice' on its sides came tearing onto the track Cricket came off the line about a second after the mustang roared by.
b b b b b
Meanwhile, the man arrived at the shack to find that there
was no deputy and no girl. This ticked him off, so he headed
towards his hotel to make a new plan.
b b b b b
As the two cars finished the first lap, The General pulled up behind the grandstand. The boys, the deputy, and PI got out and walked to different parts around the race track incase Scanlon showed up. No weapons but stationed close enough that at least two of them if not all four would be on Scanlon quicker than a fly on honey.
Luke, it sure seems strange looking at the track from this view.
It sure does, Bo.
From their appointed posts, they watched as the vehicles were neck and neck. Then Val fell back a few car lengths.
C'mon Val Enos whispered.
Cmon Val Bo, Luke, Daisy, Daney, Rosco and Jesse all echoed Enoss sentiment at the same moment without knowing it.
On the straightaway Cricket got a burst of energy and crossed finish line, an inch behind was Spice.
The Game Warden came out of her car and up to the other one.
Get out of the car, Val commanded.
Trisha got out with her hands in the air, mocking the Game Warden.
Wheres Enos and Daney? Val demanded.
You're too late, Pippi Longstocking, Trisha smiled. Enos is on his way to the LAPD in the sky and Daney is six foot under in Atlanta.
Anger burned into the Strates eyes. She reached out suddenly and grabbed the Blonde Bandit by the shirt with her free hand and pushed her against the mustang.
You promised to let them go! Val screamed.
Yeah, I did, didnt I? The blonde laughed in her face.
The Game Warden glared at the troublesome female racecar driver.
The Game Warden hands trembled. A strong but gentle hand came over Vals own. She felt an arm come around her waist and gently hold her. Tears filled her eyes.
Rosco came up and hand cuffed Trisha, while Val turned to see her brother standing there. The twins embraced and Val wept uncontrollably into his chest as he held her.
After a few minutes, Val glanced up to see Daney behind Enos. The rest of the Dukes behind them. Val pulled Daney into the embrace which in turn caused Enos to start crying.
I love you both so much, I dont know what I wouldve done if ya both left me!!! Val sniffled.
Val, sugar were here now, Enos said.
Bo, Luke, Jesse and Daisy watched. Rosco started to read the Miranda rights while escorting a mouthy Trisha to his patrol car.
"What's goin' on here? You can't do this, I didn't do nothin'!"
"If I was you darlin', I'd hush!!" the Sheriff said sternly and reinforced his statement with a firm tug on Trisha's arm, keeping her on course across the track to his patrol car.
So you guys gonna come with us to the Boars Nest like that, or do we need a crow bar to get ya apart? Bo teased.
Daney just smiled at him.
Val and Enos laughed.
Well see ya there in a bit. I wanna go home and clean up, Enos said.
Ok, see ya later, Daney agreed. She bent down and picked the object up that had been kicked by her feet, when Enos and Val stepped away from the mustang. She grinned. "Hey Enos, you lookin' for this?"
"Possum on a gumbush! How'd that get out of my belt." Enos exclaimed, taking the gun from her. He missed Bo and Luke smiling because he'd turned to Daisy. "You should know if they ain't told ya Frank Scanlon in on the loose."
Daisy's eyes widened, remembering the things Scanlon had done last time he was in town. "Oh sugar, you alright?"
"Who's Frank Scanlon and what did he do to you!" Val demanded, still a little riled from Trisha. She thought she won the battle but she now realized it wasn't over.
Enos inhaled a deep breath, "When I was in L.A. I captured him." He looked over at the Dukes. They each gave him a nod of encouragement. "He came here to kill me. He kidnapped Daisy and we ended up foolin' him by havin' everyone dress in deputy uniforms. I caught him and sent him back to prison again. Don't know how he got hooked up with Trisha."
Val's eyes widened, "Crickets and Crocodiles! Oh Enos...we need to find this guy."
Bo looked at Val, "Scanlon is a master of disguise, Val. He could be anywhere."
"What are ya sayin'?" Enos asked.
"I say we let Scanlon come to us... all of us." Luke smiled. Daisy and Daney nodded in agreement.
b b b b b
About an hour later, a blonde haired man in jeans, a white
t - shirt and tennis shoes strolled cautiously up to the
counter in the Boar's Nest. He gave a polite smile to the
table of county bumpkins who sat the middle table with a
It was then he spotted Enos Strate. The woman sitting next to the deputy, had her back turned to him. He was placing his order with the brunette's look a like, when Enos got up off the stool and headed for the bathroom. Too many people He thought as the waitress behind the counter placed a mug in front of him. He took a sip and stepped over toward the woman. "Can I buy you a drink?" he asked the gray-eyed woman.
"Oh! You startled me." Val replied.
"I'm sorry miss. It is miss, isn't it-- Was that your boyfriend who was just sitting here?"
"That's my twin brother, Enos. I'm Val... Val Strate." She extended her hand out to the polite acting stranger, with that big Strate grin on her face.
Luke and Bo were too engrossed in talkin' about the General's latest repair bill with Cooter that they hadn't given the stranger another thought. But Daisy had the same statement on her face... Daney snapped her fingers in an old ridge runner gesture.
Daisy nudged the boys. Bo looked toward the blonde guy with a frown. He was about to get up from his seat since he didn't see Enos sitting next to Val. Luke raised his hand after seeing Enos walk out of the bathroom, "Sit down, let's see what happens next."
Bo gave Luke a look and Daisy rolled her eyes.
Daney had an odd feeling it was Scanlon in front of her. But she knew he wouldn't come right out and tell everyone his true identity if it was him.
Daney saw Enos walking up, then she peered over the counter at Val. Neither one of them has their weapon on them. She reached down behind the counter and grabbed the .45 from the cash box under the counter, it was Mike the bartenders. She held it to her side. She looked from Enos to Val to her cousins. Luke flashed her a go ahead sign.
Daisy and Bo both gave her a look. She raised the gun and hit him.
He tumbled the opposite way. When he stood up, he had a tight grasp on the Game Warden.
"Oh Lord, oh no..." Enos cried softly seeing his twin in the clutches of Frank Scanlon. "Don't you hurt her, Scanlon."
Frank stepped so his back was against the wall, so he could see everyone.
Enos started to run towards him but the Duke boys grabbed him. It took Bo, Luke and Cooter Davenport to hold the angry Strate back.
Daney had a perfect shot from where she was standing. She raised the weapon and aimed after seeing Val shake from fright.
Enos shouted, "No Daney, ain't you Dukes already done enough? It's all your fault--can't you Dukes ever stop playing superhero!"
Val heard the fear and anger in her twin's voice.
Daney turned toward Enos. Bo, Luke, Daisy and Cooter all held the same statement as she did "Good Lord, Enos has lost it!"
They'd never seen Enos so angry. He was acting out of love, something the Dukes done many times when one of the others was in trouble. Daney looked over at Scanlon.
She was a good shot but Daisy was the best shot in the family or so Jesse always boasted, Cooter and the boys were good shots too... but this was Enos's fight. Daney stepped from behind the bar after putting the gun back.
Scanlon's eyebrow rose as he wondered what the hick was up to.
The Duke boys and Cooter stepped away from deputy Strate.
Bo and Luke grabbed their cousins, then stepped back several feet. They had a clear line to the front door same as Scanlon.
"You let her go. I ain't going to tell you again." Enos warned. His voice softened, "Don't you worry Val, ain't nothing going to happen to you." He could hear the Dukes and Cooter's whispered plans behind him. He turned to them, "This is my fight."
"I know..." Val said softly, " I love you."
Enos turned back and smiled smiled, "I love you too."
Just then the stock room door banged opened. It was enough of a noise for Enos to push Scanlon without harming Val.
The Dukes and Cooter ran over while the stockroom door shut as if a breeze had done it. They took a hold of Scanlon while Enos stood up while Val pulled him into a hug.
Tears were in her eyes, "Enos..."
He hugged her tighter and she whispered again, "I love you so much."
"I know Val. I love you too. I don't want anything to happen to you," He replied as a lump caught in his throat.
Daisy smiled as she cuffed Scanlon and started to recite the Miranda rights. Since Daney had reminded her all about a citizen's arrest, after they stopped at the police station to bid farewell to Trisha before they came to the Boar's Nest. Trisha was on her way back to the women's prison from which she'd escaped. Rosco had found that out when he got back to the station.
The Duke girls then walked Scanlon to the jeep outside with the Strate twins, Cooter and the boys behind them. Enos looked at the Dukes and Cooter, "Thank you."
The three men smiled, "You did it."
Enos shook his head, "Yall helped me. If ya didn't help me just that little bit like you always do..."
"It was nothing," The boys and town mechanic echoed.
"Thank you," Val gave Bo a hug, then Daney, Daisy, Luke and Cooter one too.
"Game Warden, shall we bag'em and tag'em?" Daisy said, then got in the drivers seat of the jeep while Daney got in the passenger seat.
Val giggled, "Just take him to the Sheriff." She smiled and went to her car with Enos.
Bo turned to the others, "Who opened the door?"
Cooter said, "Maybe Mike."
Luke shook his head, "His car is gone."
Daney smiled, she knew who it was. "Y'all go clean up that mess while we drop Houdini off to Rosco."
The boys and Cooter smiled, then walked into the Boar's Nest while the two vehicles took off.
After takin' Scanlon to the Sheriff's Department, Daisy pulled off the side of the road and picked some flowers with Daney. She drove over to the Hazzard Hillside Cemetery.
Daney placed the flowers on a headstone that read "JJ Strate"
Daisy smiled. Val would've adored her uncle if she'd known him he'd big brother, friend and defender of Enos.
b b b b b
As the stained glass windows reflected the morning light the
next day at church as they sang the closing hymn. Enos with
a big Strate smile stood beside his twin sister. He then
looked at the Dukes, Cooter, Rosco, Lulu and Boss
was good To Have a Duke, a Davenport, a Coltrane or a Hogg
By Your Side.