Luke Duke had never been the trusting sort. Growing up in Hazzard county often meant that you had to look over your shoulder. With Boss Hogg's schemes, and Roscoe's dirty police work, it was always hard to find someone you could trust. Which was why, when Uncle Jesse said he was going to hire a ranch hand for the farm, Luke was rightfully skeptical.
"A ranch hand?" Luke asked over breakfast that morning. Cousin Daisy, probably the prettiest girl this side of Georgia, had outdone herself with breakfast that morning. Eggs, bacon, hotcakes, and three different kinds of biscuits. It was a special day after all. This was the day Jesse's new ranch hand would finally come by.
"Yeah," Jesse said as he reached for a biscuit, "He's commin' all the way from Wyoming, lookin' for work. Said he used to be a shepherd up on Brokeback Mountain."
"Well," Luke said, "If he's lookin' for work, why not stay in Wyoming? Hazzard county's an awful far place just to find work."
"Aww, come on Luke," Bo said with a mouth full of bacon, "That ain't friendly like at all. Fella's just tryin' to make a living like the rest of us. Least you can do is not be so suspicious."
"That's right Bo," Daisy said as she sat down with a fresh plate. "Give the guy a chance, maybe you'll grow to like him."
Luke scowled, "What exactly was this guy's name again?"
"Ennis," Jesse said, "Ennis Del Mar."
Ennis Del Mar was, as Luke noted, nothing short of an enigma. He was tall and broad shouldered, with hair cropped close to his scalp. His eyes were as brown as the forrest Luke and Bo used to run through as kids. But the strangest thing about him was how quiet he was. Luke had always thought himself reflective, the "thinker" of the family, the one who kept his cards close to his chest. But then came Ennis Del Mar, and shoot, the guy made John Wayne look like a talk show host. Uncle Jesse had charged Luke with showing their new ranch hand around. Getting him used to the animals, showing him where the horses were kept and the like.
"So, you're from Wyoming?" Luke asked as the two passed the old barn.
"Yup." Ennis said.
"Must a been pretty cold up there," Luke said.
"A bit," Ennis replied.
The Dukes had offered to put Ennis up in their ranch, but the new hand politely refused. He had already made accommodations in town. Rented out a small apartment with his left over money. From there he could walk into town, work the farm. Right away, Luke could tell Ennis was the type of guy who kept to himself. Normally, that would put Luke at ease. Honest man, just wants to work, and go home. Simple enough. But there was something about Ennis Del Mar that didn't set well with Luke. All throughout the tour Ennis kept looking over his shoulder, his eyes a washed in a strange gleam, as if he were trying to forget something...or perhaps, see something once more.
Ennis took to farm life like a baby took to milk. It didn't take much instruction from Luke, and by the end of the day, Ennis was hauling, milking, and ranching with the best of them. Luke had to admit, the guy could ranch. And when the sun touched down onto the horizon, all the work had been completed.
With Ennis on board, the job went by twice a fast.
"Hoo-wee," Bo said as he parked his butt on the front porch. "That's proa'bly the quickest we've ever finished."
"True that," Luke said.
"And it's all thanks to our ranch hand Ennis Del Mar," Bo tipped his hat to the sullen young man who sat next to him. "You know, Ennis," Bo said, "Since you're new to Hazzard n' all, how 'bout Luke and I take ya' to Boar's Nest? It's the most popular place in town. Everyone goes there, and I'm sure we could introduce you to some folks."
Ennis smiled gently, but shook his head. "Thanks, but I gotta rest up for tomorrow. Ain't we branding the heard in the mornin'?"
Luke was shocked, that had to be the most Ennis had said all day.
"Aww, come on," Bo coaxed. "It won't hurt none to have one beer. It's a Duke family tradition to buy a newcommer to these parts their first beer! Especially if that newcommer happens to be one of our new hires." Bo simply patted Ennis on the shoulder and grinned, "Trust me, you'll love it."
Bo had never been afraid of people, and that had to be one of the things he loved most about his cousin. But, family tradition aside, there was something strange about the Duke family's new ranch hand...something Luke couldn't quite put his finger on.