Chapter 1: Planting Seeds for the Future
Okay, once again, I don't own the DOH. Only the characters that you do not recognize. Unfortunately, that doesn't include the infamous Duke Boys. Hope you enjoy. Thanks for the reviews. This is the next installment of the series that will be written solely by myself that started with my story, "Words Spoken in Jest" then "The General's Daughter".
I highly encourage you to read "Words Spoken in Jest" and "The General's Daughter" before reading this one. In the previous stories, Bo found out that he had a long lost twin sister, who just so happened to be his cousin Jebb's long-time girlfriend. They married, moved to Hazzard, and now have twin one year old little boys. Then we found out that Luke had been keeping in contact ever since he'd left the Marines with an old Marine buddy, Jo Hart. And it just so happened that Jo was a woman, not a man as Luke had let the family believe. She is now out of the Marines and after a long over-due whirlwind romance, the two were married at the end of the last story. In the last story, we were also introduced to Doc Appleby's niece Kim. Kim and Bo have always had a bit of a rivalry going between them but they called a truce after they were both kidnapped about six months before the beginning of this story.
That should catch everyone back up to speed and refresh the memories of all of my readers. Don't forget to review. Let me know that you are enjoying this story-line.
When Kim Appleby caught the bridal bouquet at the Duke wedding, she could literally feel her blood run cold. While she wished the new couple the best of luck, she had no desire to take a second walk down the aisle herself. She'd been married once before and there was nothing that could make her do it again. As the rest of the guests in the bar gathered around the bridal couple to see them off, Kim ducked out toward the back entrance so that she could slip out unnoticed.
When Kim arrived at the boarding house where she lived, she headed on up to her room with its attached bathroom. Once in the bathroom she caught a glimpse of her reflection as she got ready for bed. In general, she avoided spending too much time in front of the mirror. It still felt eerie to not be able to recognize her own reflection. To look in the mirror and see a stranger's face instead of the one that she'd been born with. The only part about her face that looked remotely like the girl she had been when she'd left Hazzard for medical school were her eyes. Still the sad, dull brown eyes that had been totally forgettable when she'd been in high school.
After making one final check of her room, including her overnight bag that she always kept packed in the closet; Kim switched the light off and turned in for the night. All the while going over her own wedding day in her head.
And how it had been the beginning of the end.
Weeks later, Daisy watched the crowd at the bar knowing that her youngest cousin would be in soon. He'd been coming in about the same time (like he always had) after the chores out at the farm were done. The only difference now was that he looked like he'd lost his best friend. And in a way, he had. Now that Luke was married her cousins no longer spent nearly every free minute together like they always had. Now, when the farm chores were done for the day, Luke was more likely than not to go out to the small cabin on Duke Land that he and his wife, Joanna, now lived in. Those two would come over for dinner, like Kira and Jebb, would with the boys a couple nights a week. Just as the whole family would go over to the other farm house for dinner from time to time. But Daisy knew that it just wasn't the same. At the end of the day, Bo was left alone in a room that felt odd now that he was its sole occupant.
Letting her gaze fall on the customers, Daisy saw that the bar was a bit crowded already. There were only a few empty chairs in the bar; and it was still early. Daisy knew that if her cousins didn't hurry soon, they wouldn't have anywhere to sit. With it being Friday, Bo would be the first to arrive, usually just ahead of Cooter. Next, Jebb was likely to show, sometimes alone other times not if he and Kira had dropped the boys off with Jesse. Last would be Luke. Again, maybe alone, maybe not. When he was alone, Daisy knew that Jo was over with Kira at the farmhouse. If one came the other likely would as well tonight. Of course, since Jo and Luke had only been married for a few weeks, they may not make it out here tonight at all. Planting season would be starting in earnest this upcoming week. Which meant that everyone would be dead tired at the end of every day. Daisy wouldn't blame the new couple if they tried to make the most of the weekend since the next couple of weeks would be especially hard.
Looking in the corner that was facing the rest of the bar, Daisy saw Kim Appleby sitting in what had become her usual table. She didn't drink so Daisy took her a refill for her soda. She'd asked Kim once why she came here every evening after finishing up at the clinic since she didn't drink. Kim had merely said that she didn't feel like going home to an empty room at the boarding house so early in the evening. She preferred to be out. Daisy guessed she could understand that. She wasn't sure how she'd like going home if no one was there either.
"Hey, honey. I brought you another drink. With things so busy, I figured I'd better do it while I could."
"Thanks. I see everyone decided to take their last chance to cut loose before planting season really starts in full force."
"It sure seems that way. And if those cousins of mine don't hurry, they'll end up standin' because we won't have no tables left."
"Don't worry about that, Daisy. I was planning on makin' it an early evening tonight. I'll stay 'til one of them shows up and then they can have mine."
"Oh, sugar, are you sure?"
"Absolutely. Just send em my way when they get here. Then I'll high-tail it out of here."
"Thanks." Daisy grabbed Kim's empty glass off of the table and made her rounds taking new orders, then delivered the drinks around the bar to those who had ordered them.
When Bo finally walked in through the door, it was as Daisy had expected, every table had been taken. Daisy hurriedly told him that Kim was saving a table for the Dukes. She told him to head to the corner table before she rushed back to the bar to get another tray of drinks. As Bo made his way over to the table that he knew that Kim tended to camp out at in the evenings he spoke to the folks that called out to him as he strolled by. He even surprised himself when he turned down a few offers from women to join them as he walked past.
"I never thought I'd see the day when Bo Duke would walk past so many women without laying down the charm," Kim said with a chuckle as Bo grabbed a chair and flipped it around straddling it. "Do I need to check to make sure that you ain't sick?"
"Real cute, Kim," Bo made a face at the lady doctor as he spoke. "I'm just still waitin' for the weddin' fever to run its course, is all. Seems like every woman in Hazzard has it and is tryin' to trap themselves husbands. And because of that blasted garter that Luke tossed to me at his weddin', I can't seem to go nowhere near a woman right now without them castin' a line my way."
"Well, don't worry, you're safe with me. I couldn't be less interested in trappin' you for a husband."
"Gee, thanks. I think," Bo said with a soured expression on his face.
"You know what I mean. Anyway, I'm glad you finally showed up. It's been so busy in here, I was starting to get some dirty looks sittin' here and takin' up a whole table by myself. I'll finish my drink and then you can start gettin' them looks instead," Kim said as she lifted her half empty glass.
From across the bar, Daisy glance at her cousin and felt a smile cross her face. She wondered if those two realized just how cute they looked together. Oh she knew that her Uncle Jesse would tell her that she was seeing what isn't there. After all, Kim and Bo have barely said a civil word to one another for most of their lives. It was only after the bank robbery last fall and they'd both been taken hostage that they seemed to come to a sort of truce. They still bickered from time to time. Not to mention that Kim was probably one of the few single women in at least four counties that Bo didn't even try to charm in his usual flair. But to Daisy, it looked as if Bo enjoyed not having to live up to the Duke reputation when he was around Kim. Well let's face it; it can be exhausting constantly having to be the playboy of Hazzard County. Even for a Duke.
Daisy also noticed that while Bo could wait a bit longer before coming out to the Boar's Nest, (since he knew that he'd be waiting a while before the other men would show up) he still showed up around the same time every day. And though he never would join Kim at her table, he usually would take the next table over. They would then spend a while chatting until Cooter, Jebb or Luke would show up. Kim would then finish her drink and leave. Neither seemed to realize the pattern that they'd fallen into; but Daisy had.
Perhaps Kim had just been a convenient substitute for Bo to talk to since Luke was off with Jo so much now. Knowing that she had absolutely no romantic interest in him, it gave Bo someone to talk to during some of his, now, unclaimed time without trying to flirt with her. Time that used to be occupied by chatting with Luke, fighting with him or even just riding around in the General Lee together.
At the same time that Daisy had been watching her cousin over the last few weeks, she also noticed that Kim rarely did more at the bar than drink her soda at her table. Folks would stop off at her table, get medical advice when they had an ache or pain and set up appointments but no one would ever just pull up a chair and chat a while. Come to think of it, even when she was younger Kim was always a bit of an introvert. Always off by herself, though since she hadn't been a member of the popular crowd, that might not have been so self-imposed as it seemed.
Daisy put another beer on her tray and made her way back to the corner table to give it to her cousin. When she walked up to put the glass on the table, Daisy heard Bo laugh out loud at something that Kim had said to him.
"Did I miss somethin'?" Daisy asked as she slid the beer in front of her cousin.
"I was just tellin' Bo about Rosco getting so excited when he came in today. I finally released him to go back to work and I swear, you'd think that someone told him that he'd just won the lottery."
"I can hear him now." Daisy laughed. "I love police work," she said doing her best to sound like Rosco.
"Police work is my life." Bo finished with his own impersonation of Rosco, sounding eerily a lot like him. "So I guess this means that he won't be livin' over at Boss and Lulu's no more now that he's all healed up."
"Probably. I could have let him go back before now but I figured that since it is almost a guarantee that he'd go chasin' after certain persons in an orange race car, he might need a few extra weeks before he goes to jumpin' his car across that pond."
"I promise I'll take it easy on him for a little while." Bo laughed as he got the image of a familiar sight of Rosco's police cruiser in the middle of the Hazzard Car Wash in his head.
"I hope so. Rosco ain't a young man anymore."
Kim lifted her glass and drained the last of its contents which Daisy knew was her way to signal that she was ready to leave. Sure enough, she got up and bade both Dukes goodbye and headed on out toward the door. When Daisy looked down at her cousin, she saw that he was following Kim out with his eyes before turning his attention back to his female cousin.
"Ah-ha! Caught ya," Daisy said grinning.
"What are you talkin' about?" Bo asked as he lifted the glass of beer to his lips. "Caught me doin' what?"
"I caught you watchin' her that's what. You wouldn't happen to have your eye on Kim now, do you?"
"Daisy, I think you've been workin' too hard. You're imaginin' things," Bo said as he set his glass back down.
"Admit it, Bo Duke. You've got a thing for her don't ya?"
"Daisy, I can't think of anyone that I'd be less likely to have a thing for than Kim Appleby."
"Oh I don't know, Bo. I mean you and Kim have been spendin' an awful lot of time together."
"What are you talkin' about? The only place I ever see her is here at the bar. And this is the first time that we've even shared a table."
"Here at the bar on nearly a daily basis, Bo Duke," Daisy said with a smile. Bo was getting irritated which only served to spur Daisy on. "Come on, you'll feel better if you just admit it."
"Admit what?" Jebb asked as he walked up to take a seat across from Bo.
"I think Bo has the hots for a certain lady doctor but he won't admit it."
Jebb looked back and forth between his cousins in response to Daisy's declaration. "Daisy, I could use a beer. How about gettin' me one, 'kay? And as for Bo, he ain't ever been one for holdin' much back when it comes to who he plans to date. If he ain't admittin' to nothin' then I'm guessin' there ain't nothin' to admit to. Now, I think Boss is watchin' ya so ya might want to head back off to the bar."
Daisy turned and saw that Boss was indeed watching her so she headed on back over to the bar.
"Thanks," Bo said once Daisy was out of earshot.
"No problem. She really does read too many of those trashy romance novels, doesn't she?"
"Put it this way. If somethin' ever happened where none of us could go chop any firewood for a while, Daisy's novels would heat the house for about a week alone."
"She'd kill you for considerin' that though." Jebb laughed at the image that Bo painted for him.
"Then she'd better cool it with the match makin'. Ever since the weddin' it seems like every woman in Hazzard is tryin' to rush me to the altar right in behind Luke," Bo scowled.
"Should I go find someone to play a violin for you?" Jebb smirked. "Oh, wait, didn't Kim Appleby use to play one in the school band?"
"Everyone's a comedian today. You heard from Luke or Cooter. They far behind ya?"
"Cooter had a last minute tow job. I thought that Luke was right behind of me. Wait a minute, there he is." Bo turned and saw Luke walking through the bar not looking all that pleased. "Glad ya made it, Cuz. What crawled up your britches? You look just a mite put off."
"I found out that Rosco is back on the job. The hard way," Luke replied to Jebb.
"What d'ya mean?"
"He threw nails all across the road down near the end of Old Mill Pond Road shortly after you two left. They blew out two of my tires and then he came up to give me a ticket for blocking traffic."
Bo laughed as he stated, "He's back! And he knew that he'd catch a Duke for sure. We're practically the only ones that drive down that road anymore."
"Yeh, well, I CB'd Uncle Jesse and he came down with the large magnets that we used last fall when we worked with sheet metal to fix the roof and we dredged the road to find all of the nails while I was waiting for Cooter to drop me off some tires on his way to a tow job."
"Well, it could have been worse, I suppose. He must have been plannin' that the whole time he's been out with that gunshot wound," Bo said.
"I guess this means that Cooter's business will pick up a little. It's been a bit dead without havin' to put Rosco's car back together on a weekly basis," Jebb said as Daisy dropped two more beers off at their table as she headed off to the next table.
"I'm sure that he'll appreciate that," Luke said grabbing his beer.
From there, the men began to discuss the coming week and all of the work that they would have to do to get both plots of farmland seeded. The family had taken to farming much in the same way that Jebb's mother's family did. Everyone pitched in together at each farm instead of everyone trying to do everything themselves separately. Between the three of them and the farm hands that Jebb had hired to help out for the season along with his year-round farmhand, Ryan, the boys had hoped to be able to convince Jesse to take it a bit easier this year.
They were all well aware of the fact that their uncle wasn't a young man anymore. Of course Jesse, being a Duke, vowed that he'd show his nephews that he was just as capable of putting in a hard day's worth of work as any of them. The men agreed that they would keep a watch on their uncle just to make sure that he didn't overdo it in the coming weeks. The real trick would be in doing it without him realizing it; if that was even possible.
Bo finished up the morning chores and headed in to get cleaned up before breakfast. He'd finally started to get used to doing the morning chores by himself after a lifetime of doing them side by side with his cousin. Oh, Luke had offered to still come over for them but that seemed a little awkward. He'd have to get up even earlier than usual in order to get here to help with them. Instead, it was finally agreed upon that Luke would just wait to come over to the farmhouse after breakfast during the week. He then would head home after the chores of the day were finished so he could clean up. From there, there were no plans; though starting today, it wasn't like they'd be finishing up for the day until about sunset anyway for a while.
Bo loosened the muscles in his back as he walked into the house and made his way to the sink and washed the grime of the morning off. Daisy had a huge breakfast ready on the table and Bo had to bite back a chuckle. She hasn't learned to adjust her cooking for one less Duke yet. Surely she didn't really think that just the three of them could eat all of that food. She had scrambled eggs, grits, toast, hash browns, bacon, sausage and biscuits.
"Daisy, if the three of us eat all of that food this morning, we won't be able move. Much less do any work."
"Bo, I didn't fix all of that food just for the three of us. Luke and Jo will be coming over in a minute. I figured that it would be nice to have a large family breakfast today." Daisy grinned. Bo lifted his brows at the news that Luke and his new wife was coming over for breakfast. "Once you fellas are out of here, Jo and I will meet up with Kira and get some more work done in the gardens. We already have taken care of the weeding and gettin' them ready to plant. I figured that since we are all goin' to be workin' this mornin' outside, we could all use a big breakfast."
Moments later, Luke and Jo walked in the door and breakfast was sorted out as everyone took their seats. Out of habit, Luke took his place next to Bo while Daisy slid down to the next seat to allow the blonde woman to sit across from her husband. Grace was said over the breakfast then each of the men piled their plates high knowing that they need every bit of if to keep themselves going throughout the morning. Daisy or Kira would bring out baskets of food out for lunch so that the men wouldn't have to stop long enough to come in from the fields to eat at the farm houses. Daisy explained to Jo that while the men handled the crops to sell to keep the farm running, the women have traditionally maintained a garden for the family's personal use. Anything that they could grow in the garden would be one less thing that they would need to buy from the store. Then at the end of the growing season, everything that could be, would be canned or dried and stored in the root cellar.
Daisy also explained how Kira was still learning gardening since she'd grown up in the city. It was clear that her thumb wasn't quite as green as the rest of the Dukes but she still enjoyed digging in the dirt with Daisy and getting her hands dirty. And now that the twins were walking it was bound to be a bit interesting watching them trying to help this year, too. The conversation continued well after it was time for the men to head out to meet Jebb and his fulltime farm hand, Ryan, out in the fields along with the men that Jebb hired to help out through the planting season.
Daisy and Jo cleaned up the dishes from breakfast and headed out to the small garden that she had kept for years, the same one that Duke Women had tended for generations. They were there when Kira pulled up in Jebb's blue Charger that had been dubbed the Stonewall after General Lee's right hand man Stonewall Jackson. Once Kira unbuckled the blond twins, they climbed out of the car and went toddling as fast as they could to their aunts. Daisy gave a huge hug and kiss to each of them and waved to Kira as she walked up behind them.
"Mornin', sugar. You still look a mite tired. You just get up?"
"I wish. Mikey has already been going at full speed since about five o'clock this morning. At least Jay doesn't want to wake up before seven. I'm glad only one of them have the annoying Duke habit of being a morning person. I couldn't survive if they were identical in personalities like they are in looks."
"Mikey just took after his daddy, is all," Daisy said as she giggled and handed a small toy shovel to each of the twins. "Both Jebb and Bo were high-strung. I even remember once when Uncle John brought the family out for a visit when Jebb wasn't even two yet. Pauline and Lavinia had been baking all morning and Jebb waited until they'd both left the room then climbed up on the counter trying to reach the cookie jar on top of the ice box."
"You're kidding?" Kira asked.
"Nope. By the time anyone had gone back into the kitchen, Jebb was actually on top of the ice box and had pried the lid to the cookie jar off. Of course Pauline about had a heart attack when she saw Jebb up there."
"So what happened?"
"The cookie jar wasn't kept on top of the ice box anymore," Daisy said with a grin.
"I'll remember that," Kira said filing away the tid-bit of information from Jebb's childhood.
Throughout the morning, Daisy told more stories of the Duke childhoods. Sharing stories of all of her male cousins, especially the ones who live in Hazzard. Daisy told Jo of some of Luke's escapades that had resulted in him eating his meals at the mantle. Even told of the time when Luke had knocked a hole in the wall, using Bo's head of course, during a fight that he'd had with the younger cousin. Looking at the men now, one would never had guessed that it had been Luke who had the uncontrollable temper while growing up. As an adult, Luke tended to analyze situations before reacting while Bo tended to jump in with both feet before he looked to see if there was any water in the pool.
As the morning progressed Kira constantly had to call Mikey back over to where the garden was since his curiosity kept pulling him off just a bit further away than the young mother was comfortable with. Jo smiled as she watched her fight the small battle with her oldest. Meanwhile, the younger twin seemed perfectly content to play with his shovel in the little bit of loose dirt that had been dug up at the edge of the garden.
Part of Jo felt a bit envious of Kira. Strange, she had never even given much thought to having children before her miscarriage back in the fall. Now, she couldn't help but wonder what her baby would have looked like. Would she have had a little boy that, God help her, would have had Luke's childhood temperament? Or would she have a little girl who would have wrapped her daddy around her little finger? Would she have a baby as active as Mikey or as laid-back as Jay? There were so many questions and what if's going through her mind. None of which could really be answered.
Jo shook her head at the spectacle in front of her as she turned back to planting the vegetables that the family had decided to grow in the garden this year. Her attention, however, was quickly returned to the toddlers when she heard one cry out in pain and fear. Looking up, Jo saw that Jay was the one screaming out while his face was turning beet red and his arms flew about. Before she could figure out what had cause the child to cry, his mother was already halfway to him when Jo saw the movement of a copperhead snake strike out once more at the youngest Duke.
Jo jumped up from where she had been kneeling in the dirt and ran over as she watched Kira grabbed the snake by the tail and pulled it away from her baby. The snake tried to curl up on itself to bite at Kira but she dropped it and brought her thick soled boot down on the snake's head trying to crush it. She kept stomping on the snake until she was sure that it was dead. Anything that dared to harm one of her babies deserved to die. When Kira turned from the dead snake, she saw Jo spit. It appeared that she had tried to get the snake's venom out of the wound in Jay's arm.
"We need to get him to a hospital for some anti-venom. That thing got him twice in the arm," Jo said as Kira snatched up Jay from the ground. "Try not to let him move it around. It will keep the poison from traveling as fast." Jo told Kira as she removed her belt and wrapped it around the toddler's arm above the two snake bites.
"Daisy?" Kira hollered at her cousin.
"I got em. Go," Daisy said in answer to the unasked question and picked Mikey up and took him with her toward the house as Jo and Kira headed toward the blue Charger.
Jo drove as Kira tried to calm her crying child on their way to the hospital. When they were nearly at the hospital, Jay started to throw up his breakfast and Kira could already tell her son was going into shock as she urged Jo to drive faster. Jay's skin had gone cold and clammy. Something that scared Kira to death. Holding her small little boy as she felt his pulse weakened, she was certain that his breathing didn't sound right. When Jo pulled the car up at the emergency room entrance, Kira jumped out of the car and ran in with Jay without waiting for the car to fully stop.
I had Jo treat the snake bite in the way that snake bites USE to be treated. Now, it is recommended that no tourniquet should be applied to the affected area, nor should you try to suck out the venom from the wound. But these standards have been changed recently. Which means that in the late 80's and early 90's this is the method that would have been the immediate first-aid issued for a snake bite.