Yesterday had been a long trying day and though Beverly hadn't intended to do so, she had fallen asleep on what seemed an endless ride through the night to a still unknown location. She began to wake up when she felt the car stop. As she opened her eyes to the early morning light, it appeared that her father had stopped at a large airport. Sitting up rather quickly, Beverly now saw that they were at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Beverly quickly turned to her father who was getting out of the car, "Daddy? What are we doing here?"
"Beverly LeeAnn Hibbs just get your bag out of the trunk and come with me." Mr. Hibbs said.
She knew her father's tone of voice, there would be no talking to him right now. Once at the trunk of the car, Beverly opened her bags and quickly began making sure that she had her important things in one bag. She took the bag as her father closed the trunk. They made their way to the ticket counter of the airport where her father gave his name and paid the airfare with his credit card. The lady at the desk pointed them toward the proper gate.
After turning away from the counter Beverly asked, "Father where are we going?"
"Oh, I'm not going anywhere by plane anytime soon. I have to go help your mother set up our new residence. You my Dear, however, are catching a flight. As my gift you, you will get to spend your Senior year in high school studying abroad." Mr. Hibbs said very satisfied with himself.
"What?" Beverly gasped in disbelief.
"That's right. Nothing is too good for my daughter. Now when you get off the plane you will be met. I will set up a small account for you to get all your personal items. The rest of the bills have already been paid." Mr. Hibbs said.
Beverly began trying to make sense out of everything that had happened today. "But, Daddy, ..."
The airport speaker came to life with boarding information.
"There's no time, Dear. That's your flight boarding now." Mr. Hibbs said cutting his daughter's side of the conversation off.
Again, Beverly tried, "But, Father, ... I don't even know where I'm going, besides I don't want to leave. What about Cooter?"
Mr. Hibbs became very insistent, "Really, ... Beverly. It is every girls' dream to be able to study abroad. As I warned you earlier, the more you fight me on this the more sorry that grease monkey will be that he ever layed eyes on you." He harshly warned.
A final boarding call was made for Beverly's flight.
"Now, Beverly you need to get aboard your flight. We'll call you after your flight lands. Now run along." Mr. Hibbs insisted as he handed Beverly her ticket and an envelope containing a passport that Boss Davis had arranged to have made.
Beverly was torn between refusing to leave, which she had already seen what her father could do by getting her marriage annulled, Cooter's car towed and him arrested. She didn't want Cooter to suffer anymore because of her. Then a thought hit her, "Daddy to travel abroad you need a passport. I don't have one."
Mr. Hibbs smiled widely as he pointed to the envelope, "You do now."
Beverly frowned as she pulled out the passport and opened it. There in front of her was a passport with all her information.
"Now you must hurry." Mr. Hibbs insisted.
Not seeing any other choices at the moment she walked toward the boarding gate with her eyes full of tears.
Luke had done the exercises which as he figured brought on a coughing fit. As promised, Doc had brought back the cough syrup. After a healthy dose of cough syrup, something to wash it down with and a scrambled egg sandwich, Luke was more than ready to go back to sleep as Doc checked on what he hoped would be the last bag of antibiotics that he'd have to give Luke for a long while.
After catching up Luke's chart, Doc picked up the phone and asked to be connected with the Duke farm.
Bo Duke was just coming in to wash up for lunch when the phone rang. Bo hurried to the phone answering, "Duke Farm. This is Bo Duke."
Doc Appleby smiled at the greeting. "Bo is you Uncle Jesse there?"
Bo frowned in concern. "Is something wrong with Luke?"
Doc would have much rather spoke to Jesse about Luke's condition but he knew how close the two cousins were so instead of worrying the younger cousin unneededly, he said, "Nothing is wrong Bo, but I really need to talk to your Uncle about Luke."
Bo frowned. He still wasn't convinced that nothing was wrong. The way Doc was acting it sure didn't sound like nothing was wrong. "Uncle Jesse phone." Bo called through the house.
Jesse hurried into the living room of the house, "This is Jesse Duke."
Doc said with a bit of a smile, "Jesse after lunch I think Luke will be alright to come home. He's still got some healin' to do, but if he stays out of the night air and dresses a bit more carefully then he should be back to his old self in a month or so."
Jesse smiled, "Well, now Doc that is the best news I've heard in a long while now. We'll be right over."
"Don't hurry, Jesse. Finish lunch. Luke is resting from his last dose of medicine. Give him time to wake up." Doc explained.
"Alright, well we'll see ya after lunch." Jesse said and then added, "Thanks for calling Doc.
Bo and Daisy were waiting expectantly.
Jesse hung the phone up and said, "After we get finished with lunch, we can go over and pick Luke up." He knew better than to tell his two youngest that they didn't need to go.
Bo cut loose with a loud rebel yell that rattled the rafters of the old farm house.
"John David." Pauline said as she took the phone from Jeb.
"Pauline I talked to Jeb about last night and I'll talk to him more when I get home." John said hoping table any further talk of last night between his wife and son.
"But John David, this needs to be taken care of now, not later. I mean just the thought of what they were doing,..."
John heard his wife beginning to get as worked up as she had been the night before so he cut her off in mid-sentence, "Now Pauline just settle down. I said I took care of it until I can get there. If thinking about what you saw upsets you, then stop thinking about it and I'll handle it." He said trying to calm his wife down as well as re-assure her that he had taken care of the situation.
"I just can't help it. I know what I saw, but my Lord, if he is doing things like that at sixteen then what will he be doing by the time he graduates?" Pauline asked.
John was a male Duke. He knew that he and likely most of the other Duke males had done far worse by the age of thirteen than what, as Jeb said, the girl had done to him, but he wisely kept that thought to himself. "Besides, with Jeb hurt I know he won't be out of your sight until I get home." He said as the one minute warning came on the line. "Just make you a hot cup of tea and relax. Worry about the two baby girls, not the two that are nearly grown."
Pauline so wanted to argue that neither Karen or Jeb were nearly grown but knew she didn't have the time to get into all that now. "I'll try. I love you John, ..." She heard the phone hang up before she even got out his name.
On the other end of the line, John let out a sigh of relief that the phone conversation was over. He needed to be at home to handle this situation, as well as to take care of Jeb, Karen, ... well all his children and wife. As he turned away from the phone he saw Dean watching him from the table.
The floor officer took that moment to come down the hall asking if any one was going outside to the recreation yard.
Dean like most of the younger guys usually went outside but for some reason he thought he'd wait and go out later today so instead of putting on his tennis shoes he stayed seated at the table.
A few minutes later, all of the others had gone outside except for Green who wouldn't be up for a couple hours yet, John and Dean.
John had picked up the paper as if he were reading it, as was his habit when he wanted to think without being bothered. He had taken a seat at the other table in the cell while the others were rushing around getting ready to go outside. Before John knew it, Dean had joined him at the table.
"Something wrong at home?" Dean asked.
Even with John Duke being the private person he was, most of the guys in the cell knew of his and Danny McCoy's situation. They also knew there was no love lost between Green and the Duke family, but John had tried to keep as much information about his family life to himself. John looked around the now empty cell. Except for the sleeping Green, he and Dean were alone. John rubbed his hand around the back of his neck and sighed in hopes of relieving some of the stress he felt before replying, "Nah, nothing really."
Dean nodded knowingly, "Ok." He said but never moved. He had seen John Duke's type before and though Duke was younger than his grandfather, Dean couldn't help but be reminded of him each time he talked to Duke.
John attempted to pick up the newspaper and try to read something that would interest him but after a few minutes he gave up, folded the paper back up and tossed it aside.
Dean just gave him a questioning look, but never asked or pushed for any information.
John looked around the cell again to make sure that Green was still asleep, then quietly said, "My wife is a bit high strung and tends to blow up little things. Sometimes it's hard to get her settled back down even when I am at home, but from here, ..."
Dean gave a slight smile of understanding, "Yeah. For me it is easier if I don't hear from my family and as for my 'friends', ... well you've seen how much mail and visits I get. I pretty much figure all the people I graduated with will be off to college, married and settled down, or just moved away by the time I get out of here." Dean said with a bit of sadness.
John admitted to hearing Dean and Danny's conversation when Danny had first been brought to the cell, "When your friend McCoy first came in I couldn't help but hear ya'lls conversation. Of course I was interested in just what he had to say before he knew I was here so I also heard you talking. You said you are here over a fight that happened prom night?"
Dean nodded 'yes', "That's right."
"You went before Hardcastle for Fighting and he gave you a year?" John questioned.
"Battery was the formal charge, but they were trying to get me on Malicious Wounding." Dean explained, "A few of us had went to the prom together, had a really good time, after-wards several of us went out to a local place that stays open late to maybe get something to eat or just keep having a good time with each other."
John nodded, "The Dew Drop Inn?"
Dean looked totally surprised that the older man knew where he was talking about. "Yeah, how did you know?"
"Nevermind, go on." John said.
"Most of the bunch that I hung around with were pretty close, but there were some that were with us who had dates for the prom that had never been around us. One of the girls had went out with this guy who wasn't from around here. He's from over in Hazzard or Chickasaw. Anyway the guys name was Tommy Rogers. One thing lead to another as the night went on and I hadn't really been paying too much attention earlier in the evening, but after we go to the Dew Drop Inn I started noticing that he was really trying to play all touchy, feely. I guess at first the girl didn't mind but by the end of the night he was really coming of way too strong for what the girl was comfortable with. She was the type who never got asked out much and usually only went out with us when we went out as groups not on single dates. Well, she must have been trying to get him to back off for awhile before I noticed anything was wrong. I talked him into going outside for a drink that I told him I had in the car. Once we got outside, I tried to talk to him and tell him to leave the girl be. Turns out he'd had been into the liquid courage all evening, ..."
"And you trying to talk him down had the opposite effect?" John figured.
Dean frowned as he nodded 'yes', "How did you know that?"
John replied calmly, "I've seen it happen before, Son."
Dean continued, "Well, after he'd told me how he was going to get his way with his girl whether she wanted him too or not, he came at me hard. We ended up on the ground out back of the place. Now I've played ball, lifted a few weights, but mainly I've worked out by working at the feed store and at home. I've also been in a fight or three, but I got to tell you there was something about him." Dean paused for a long moment, "It may have been the alcohol, it may even had been that he thought he was going to have the girl that night, but whatever it was that was his driving force he was hard to handle. Oh, he knew I was there and all but I just couldn't get the upper hand, then the next thing I knew he had a beer bottle and was coming at me. We struggled. I finally was able to jerk it out of his hand to take it away from him. When I jerked it out of his hand the bottled hit him in the head and wouldn't ya know it, ... that was the exact time the police showed up, ... you know the rest of the story."
John looked at the young man in front of him. He could see a lot of himself in Dean, but what scared him was that he also saw a lot of his son and nephews in the young man before him. "So you are doing a year for Battery to keep the guy front taking advantage of a friend of yours?"
"That's about the size of it." Dean said.
"And the other guy?" John asked.
"Rogers?" Dean shrugged his shoulders, "I guess he's looking for his next conquest. I heard since then that he likes the to pull the 'put out or get out routine' on his dates."
John shook his head at the in justice of the young man's situation but his reply was cut off by the others coming back from outside.
Karen had been listening to her Mother and brother talking from the living room when her Dad had called. Jeb must have went into the panty to talk to him because Karen wasn't able to hear any of their conversation. All she had heard her Mother say to Jeb was, "Jeb Stewart Duke just what were you thinking, ..." before the phone rang.
Then as her luck would have it Emma woke crying who woke Emily up. Karen had both her sisters calmed down and fed. She still hadn't heard Jeb or her mother come out of the kitchen. She managed to get back downstairs and in hearing range when she heard her mother say in mid-sentence to Jeb, "But, I just could not believe what I saw when I turned the corner of the barn. I was just mortified. Your father told me he has already spoken to you about it and would deal with you once he was home. I just want you to know this is not over by a long shot Jeb Stewart Duke and I have NOT forgotten about that motorcycle business or your getting hurt racing it when I would never have approved of you even riding one of those aweful things."
Being the good and respectful son that Jeb was he sit there in silence until his mother's rant had lost steam before saying, "I'm sorry for all that Mother. I never wanted to upset you."
"Upset me? You think that you have upset me? No, you haven't upset me, you have aged me at least ten years, I nearly had a coranary, ... in just the few days your father has been gone. Between you, him and Karen I know I'm likely to have all grey hair by next week!" Pauline said with her second wind. "If you were really sorry, you would promise me that you'll not ever ride on of those blamed things again."
Jeb had thought for a few minutes after he had gotten off the phone with his father that he was saved from this conversation. Well, at least how this conversation had started out anyway. Some how, and he wasn't sure how, his mother had turned a rant about him and a girl behind the barn into wanting him to promise not to ever even ride a motorcycle again. Jeb would do anything for his mother if he could but he knew deep down that he couldn't make this promise. If he did he would be telling an all out, bold face lie and that was something Dukes just never did. They may fudge the truth a bit for a good shuck and jive, but they didn't lie. Jeb was looking at the floor trying to come up with something as his mother stood with her arms folded, tapping her foot, waiting for him to answer her. He began by addressing her as he had at age three, because right now that's about how old he felt, "Momma, ... I love and respect you. Please don't ask me to make that promise to you."
Pauline stood her ground. "Promise me."
Jeb looked her in the eye and saw her pain, but he truthfully replied, "Momma I can't promise you that or I would be lying to you."
Pauline dipped her head with a slight nod before replying calmly, "Go to your room. You need to rest."
Jeb stood up and slowly walked back toward his room. He knew rest had nothing to do with the reason he was sent to his room. He knew he was grounded even without him having being told.
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