At Tri-County Hospital, MaryAnne and Matt hurried to the Emergency area and stopped at the desk.
“You have a man back there with a gunshot wound,” MaryAnne said. “Bill Maxwell?”
Seeing MaryAnne’s uniform, the nurse nodded. “Yes, go ahead in.”
“Thank you.” MaryAnne and Matt rounded the desk and the pushed through the doors to the hallway that led to the ER.
They reached the nurses station and spotted a white board on the wall. Maxwell’s name was written on line 12A, indicating what room he was in.
Matt took MaryAnne by the arm and started to lead her down the way to room 12. They were stopped halfway by a doctor.
“Are you looking for someone?” he asked, somewhat curtly.
“Yes, Bill Maxwell, he—“ MaryAnne started.
“He’s gone to surgery. Are you family?”
“Well, no, but—“
“I’m sorry, I can’t discuss any details of the patient’s condition. I can only say that he’s critical.”
“Um, Doc…” Matt said, “Perhaps you can’t see very well but this is MaryAnne Coltrane, Deputy Sheriff of Hazzard County.” Matt then showed his own badge. “I’m Detective Matt Franklin with the Atlanta Police Department. Mr. Maxwell is an undercover FBI agent who was shot while performing his duties as part of a joint investigation between the FBI, Atlanta PD and the Sheriff’s Department. With all due respect to your policies and procedures regarding patient privacy and all, we have to make a report to Agent Maxwell’s superiors in Atlanta. Commander Mayson will be anxious to know just how critical Agent Maxwell is and his prognosis. Now we don’t need diagrams of the wound but a brief report would be appreciated.”
The doctor sighed. “Then I’ll be blunt. If Agent Maxwell was really a soldier during the Civil War, he’d be dead on the battle field from that wound. The bullet entered here, on the side…” the doc pointed to his own right side lower rib cage. “The bullet shattered his rib here and sent bone fragments into his lung. However, were it not for the rib taking the brunt of this bullet, he would not have made it here alive.”
Matt glanced at MaryAnne, who was just staring at the doctor. He was almost afraid to ask the next question since the doc was showing such a lousy bedside manner. “You said he’s in surgery now. What’s his prognosis?”
“At this point, it’s touch and go. There was quite a bit of blood loss and there’s the damage to his lung. It’s too early to say. The fact that he was still alive when he got here is about the only positive thing he has going for him.”
Matt nodded. “Ok, thanks Doc…”
The doctor gave a nod and continued on his rounds.
Matt turned to MaryAnne. She looked at him looking like she’d been hit with a load of bricks. He took her by the arm and led her to the exit of the ER.
In the hall between the waiting area and the ER, MaryAnne was in tears. She quietly raised a hand to wipe them away.
“That doc should eat his stethoscope,” Matt grumbled. He looked at MaryAnne and realized she was quietly falling apart next to him. He stopped walking and turned her to him. “MaryAnne?”
She was too choked up to speak. Matt looked up the hall way and spotted an empty bench. He led MaryAnne to it and sat her down.
MaryAnne was trying very hard to pull herself together but couldn’t do it. The tears flowed freely, the thought of losing Bill with the doctor’s callous report was more than she could bear at the moment.
Matt sat beside her with a comforting had on her uniformed shoulder. He said nothing for a minute or two, just letting her cry. It broke his heart to see her this way. More than that it surprised him when he deduced why she was this way.
After another moment, MaryAnne drew a breath, putting a few pieces of herself back together. She sniffled and wiped her eyes with the cuff of her uniform jacket.
“I’m sorry,” she said with a jagged voice. She dug into her jacket pocket for a tissue to wipe her nose. “Unbecoming of an officer at the moment…”
“S’okay…” Matt said. “I told Maxwell he was crazy to come back up here after last night.”
“Why didn’t he listen to you?”
Matt chuckled softly. “I don’t think he listens to anybody. Pretty independent sort.” He studied her a moment. “You like him don’t you?”
MaryAnne just looked down at her crumpled tissue, trying to unfold it again without tearing it.
Her lack of an answer was answer enough. “I don’t believe it,” Matt said. “There’s a man out there that broke through your defenses.”
MaryAnne looked at him and seemed embarrassed. “He’s… a friend, Matt. That’s all.”
“No, he’s not. You and I are friends, MaryAnne. Bill’s more than that. A lot more…” He offered a gentle smile. “And there’s nothing wrong with that.” He studied her. “Is it mutual?”
MaryAnne sat quietly for a moment. “I…think it is.”
“There’s some things he’s said that seem to hint at how he feels.”
“How do you feel about him?”
She paused again. “Yeah, it’s… I like ‘em…”
“What are you afraid of?”
“At the moment, I’m afraid of losing him,” she said. “I haven’t said anything about… how I feel…”
“A lot of reasons.” She looked at Matt. “He ain’t supposed to be stickin’ around Atlanta anyway. Assuming he...”
MaryAnne looked away before the tears shined in her eyes again. She stood up, suddenly needing to move.
Matt watched her. “His present situation aside, I ask again. What are you afraid of? What have you been afraid of all these years? You always kept your distance. I know, because I tried once to reach you.”
“I know… Matt, I’m sorry…”
“No. I’m the one that’s sorry because I didn’t have what it takes to reach you.” Matt stood up and stepped to her. “But apparently Bill does. If he’s the man you want to be with, MaryAnne, why aren’t you?”
“It scares me,” she admitted. “I felt like this once before for someone…but I was taken for a fool. A fool with a badge. I was just a silly little country girl, deputy sheriff, easy mark...” MaryAnne sighed. “I vowed never again…”
“So you’d rather walk away from a chance for happiness?”
“Matt, if he doesn’t survive, I’ve already lost. I lost a long time ago.”
“He’s not going to die, MaryAnne. He’s one tough Fed and when he pulls through this, he’s going to need someone to be there for him. My guess is, he’ll want you…”
MaryAnne’s eyes shined more and she became too overcome with emotion to speak. She brought a shaking hand to her mouth.
“Aw he has to survive,” Matt said. “I can’t stand seein’ ya cry…” He put an arm around her shoulders and pulled her toward him, letting her cry on his shoulder.
**** **** ****
Back in Hazzard, Rosco and Enos were locking Dale and Mike in the basement jail cells. Bo, Luke and Cooter hung around in case there was any trouble, but neither suspect gave any as they were processed. Dale voiced a few protests and reminded Rosco that he had rights and all and that he wasn’t going to answer any questions or say anything until he talked to a lawyer. Rosco reminded Dale that he had the right to remain silent and perhaps should consider doing so.
Mike, on the other hand, was quiet outside of answering identifying questions. He avoided the gazes of the Dukes and Cooter and even didn’t look at Enos much.
Once the two men were processed they were locked up downstairs. Enos couldn’t hold back his question to Mike. “How’d you get mixed up in this?”
Mike didn’t answer. He glanced at Dale in the other cell, who gave him a clear look that said shut up.
“Forget it, Enos,” Rosco said. “We’ll call Commander Mayson and let the FBI give these fellers the fourth, fifth and sixth degree. C’mon…” Rosco hung the keys to the cells on the wall and he and Enos returned upstairs.
“It just don’t make sense, Sheriff,” Enos said as he and Rosco emerged through the door and back to the booking area. “How did Mr. Blake end up trying to help Mr. Kingston escape after shooting Agent Maxwell?”
Rosco shook his head. “I haven’t the faintest idea Enos and Blake ain’t exactly been talkative. We’ll leave it to the FBI to figure out.”
“He had to be threatened,” Luke said. “Enos is right, it doesn’t make any sense for him to be willingly involved with what happened.”
“That’s gotta be, Sheriff,” Enos said. “He sure didn’t want to talk to us, and Mr. Kingston gave him quite the look downstairs when I asked.”
“Enos, the sooner I can get to my office to call the FBI the sooner we can find out what’s going on and git some answers! Now you Dukes, shoo! Thank ya for yer help but me and Enos got a lot of work to do. So git! You too, Cooter.” Rosco turned and headed for his office.
“That’s gratitude for ya,” Luke said.
“Hey, at least he said thank you,” Bo said.
“Yeah, he’s slipping in his old age,” Cooter said.
“Enos,” Luke said, “if you get the chance, let us know what’s going on will ya?”
“Sure thing, Luke.”
“Enos!” Rosco called from his office. “Will you get in here!”
“Comin’ Sheriff! See ya later fellas…” Enos scurried to Rosco’s office.
Down in the jail, Dale lounged on his cot with his back against the brick wall and the window above him, while Mike laid on his cot in his cell with his eyes closed, wishing the nightmare to be over.
It wasn’t. It was only just beginning.
“You did good keeping your mouth shut,” Dale said. “For your own best interest, you’d do good to keep it shut.”
“You’re not worried about my best interest, you’re only worried about your own.”
“You have just as much to lose.”
Mike opened his eyes and turned to look at Dale through the bars that separated them. “Oh no, I already lost. Whatever I have left to lose at this point is meaningless.”
“Including your life?”
Mike wasn’t sure what the penalty was for being an accessory after the fact to one murder and an accessory to the murder of a Fed but he figured, combined, it was probably pretty steep. “Maybe...” he said.
Dale wasn’t thinking about a possible future sentence. “In that case I am only worried about my own best interest. If you talk, Mike, they won’t have to worry about trying and convicting you. I’ll have you sentenced all the same.”
Mike looked away from Dale and stared up at the ceiling of the jail cell.
The nightmare was only just beginning…
**** **** ****
At the hospital, MaryAnne had pulled herself back together enough to stand with Matt at a payphone while he called Commander Mayson in Atlanta. The call was fairly brief, as Mayson apparently was already aware of what had happened.
Matt hung up the phone and looked at MaryAnne. “He’s on his way up here with some agents. He’s talked to Rosco already. He and Deputy Strate caught the suspects.”
“Good,” MaryAnne said, relieved.
“Yeah, that’s at least one thing that’s gone right.”
“Did he say who the suspects are?”
“No. Listen, why don’t we head back to Hazzard and find out and catch up with what’s happened.”
MaryAnne paused, looking down the long corridor that lead to who knew where.
“MaryAnne, it’s out of your hands now.”
“I know. It’s just he’s fighting for his life somewhere in this hospital and he’s …alone.”
“He’s not alone. I’m looking at everything he has to live for right here. The best thing you can do for him, MaryAnne, is be the damn good cop that you are and pick up this case where he left off. I happen to know that Commander Mayson asked Maxwell to give you a piece of evidence to hold on to.”
MaryAnne nodded. “It’s locked up at the courthouse.”
“Good. I’m assuming Maxwell told you how he came about it?”
“He told me too. We got a lot of notes to compare, MaryAnne, and a lot of information to give to the Commander when he gets here.”
MaryAnne drew a breath, steeling herself. She knew Matt was right, they had to finish what Bill had started. “Okay,” she said.
“Allright. First though, we find a doctor, preferably one with a better bedside manner, and ask that they keep us apprised of Maxwell’s condition.” He gently took hold of MaryAnne by the arm and they walked away from the pay phone.
**** **** ****
Mayson’s arrival in Hazzard meant one of two things. The movie production was completely shut down by the FBI and the shooting of a Federal agent was definitely not something Commander Mayson took lightly.
As agents disbursed to take care of closing down the movie, Mayson entered the Hazzard County courthouse grim faced. MaryAnne and Matt were there with Rosco and Enos.
“Any word on Agent Maxwell?” Mayson asked, the condition of his agent being his first concern.
“He’s in surgery,” MaryAnne said. “Doc says it’s touch and go at this point.”
“How badly was he wounded?”
“Bad enough,” MaryAnne said.
Mayson sighed and looked at Rosco. “Where are the two suspects?”
“They’re locked up downstairs.”
“They’ve been apprised of their rights?”
Mayson nodded. “They’ll be taken into Federal custody, Sheriff. We’ll take them back to Atlanta for questioning there. Have they tried to contact anyone, an attorney or anything?”
“Not yet. I was waitin’ for you to get here before I let them make a phone call.”
“Go ahead and let them make a call. Tell them that if they call an attorney, he can meet us in Atlanta.”
“Whether they call an attorney or not, I want to know who they talk to.”
While Rosco headed for the door to the basement cells, Mayson turned to Detective Franklin and MaryAnne.
“I’d like a run down on everything that’s happened here, anything Maxwell’s told you or any leads he was working on.”
Matt nodded. “We got a lot to tell ya, Commander.”
“We can use Rosco’s office,” MaryAnne said.
**** **** ****
Downstairs, Rosco stepped through the gate and took the keys off the wall. “Awwright,” he said. “You can each make yer one phone call now. Who wants to go first?”
“I’ll go, Sheriff,” Dale said. “I’ll be making a phone call for both of us.”
Rosco looked at Mike. “Is that true?”
No, it wasn’t but Mike was leery to say otherwise. “Yeah, it is.”
Rosco nodded. “Ok…” He unlocked Dale’s cell and escorted the production manager upstairs.
Rosco let Dale use the phone at the booking desk. Dale made himself comfortable at the desk and dialed a number. He sat there for a very long time, listening to the ring.
“Didja dial the right number?” Rosco asked.
“Oh yeah. It takes him a little while to answer, that’s all.”
“Oh.” Rosco nodded, thinking that answer made perfect sense, until he thought about it some more. Why would somebody take so long to answer their phone?
After almost five minutes, somebody finally answered and Dale spoke into the phone. “It’s Dale. I’m in the Hazzard County Jail…. Listen, just do me a favor and call Rodney, I’m being taken into Federal custody. He can meet us in Atlanta in a couple of hours…. Just make the call, Michael.” Dale hung up and looked at Rosco. “Thanks Sheriff.”
**** **** ****
In Atlanta, Fehr sat half-dressed on his bed and hung up the phone on the nightstand with annoyance. Behind him, Mandy sat up and snaked her arms around his bare upper body and rest her chin on his shoulder. “What’s wrong?” she asked.
“That was Dale. He’s in jail up in Hazzard. Something’s happened, the Feds are taking him.”
“Did he take care of what he was supposed to?”
“I don’t know. I have to call Rodney have him meet Dale here in Atlanta when the Feds bring him down.” Fehr picked up the phone and dialed another number. “If he didn’t, the sonofabitch is going to have a lot to answer for…”
**** **** ****
After getting all the information he could from Matt and MaryAnne and coordinating with the agents who would remain in Hazzard to oversee the shutdown movie production, Mayson prepared to return to Atlanta with the two suspects. Although Dale had been short and vague in his phone conversation, since he used the name Michael, it was concluded that he had phoned Michael Fehr, the movie producer.
Before walking out of the booking room, Mayson and Roger Kelly paused at the doors with Dale and Mike.
“Agent Hamilton will be the point of contact for the agents that have shut down the production,” Mayson said. “I’ll have him report to you, Sheriff, with any updates or problems.”
Rosco nodded. “Ok.”
“Keep me apprised of Agent Maxwell’s condition when you hear anything?”
Mayson gave a nod and then he and Agent Kelly escorted Dale and Mike out of the booking room.
“That goes for me too,” Matt said to MaryAnne. “I’m gonna head back to Atlanta and get that information written up in a report for the Commander.”
MaryAnne nodded. “I will, I’ll let you know.”
“Ok.” Matt gave her a gentle smile. “You gonna be ok?”
“He’ll be okay, MaryAnne. You’ll see.” He stepped closer to her and gave her a gentle hug. “I’ll talk to you soon.”
MaryAnne nodded and hugged him back. “Thanks, Matt…”
He released her and smiled. He then turned to Rosco and offered a handshake. “Sheriff Coltrane, it was good to see you again.”
Rosco returned the handshake. “Same here.”
“Take care y’all.” Matt headed for the booking room doors and turned to exit backwards, giving a wave to the Coltranes as he did so.
Rosco watched the swinging doors for a moment and then turned to MaryAnne. “Now what’s wrong with him?”
MaryAnne sighed. “Rosco, please…”
“Well, he seems nice enough.”
“He is, but he’s also a little bit of a player.”
Rosco was surprised. “He is?”
“He’s Atlanta’s answer to Bo Duke. Falling in love with a new girl every week.” MaryAnne turned and walked up the platform to the booking area.
Rosco turned toward her. “Did he ever fall in love with you?”
“Yeah, he did. Once. I was one of those rare girls that didn’t play along though.” She sat down at the booking desk.
“Well, uh, you know there’s always second chances.”
“Rosco.” MaryAnne looked at him but she wasn’t annoyed. Just tired. “Please.”
“Well I’m just sayin’ that there’s opportunities out there, with other fellas. You know, you don’t hafta, uh, put all your eggs in one basket. Besides if Maxwell doesn’t—“ Rosco stopped himself short and left the words hanging.
“If Maxwell doesn’t what?”
“Well if he doesn’t, uh… “
MaryAnne suddenly realized what Rosco wasn’t saying. “If he doesn’t make it?”
“Jit, well now—“
“Rosco, I’m surprised at you! Are you standing there, hoping he doesn’t?”
“No! No, that’s not what I’m saying. MaryAnne, listen to me…” Rosco stepped up the platform to the booking area and stood next to MaryAnne at the booking desk, facing her. “I don’t want to see nothin’ bad happen to him, I hope he does survive. But sweetheart, this is the second time he’s landed in the hospital. He’s dangerous, MaryAnne, not only to himself but, I think, to you too.”
“Dangerous? Rosco, considering we got kin on the shadier side of the law and you and I both have had our near brushes with death and dismemberment, what makes Bill any different?”
“Well, it’s… jit…”
MaryAnne nodded. “And we’re right back to the stalemate we were at a few days ago. There’s something you’re not telling me.”
“I’m just afraid for you. With him. At least, when it was you and I facing down what we faced down I at least believed I could protect you, more or less.”
MaryAnne sighed. “And that’s what you’re still trying to do. Protect me.”
“I promised yer daddy I would.”
“Rosco…” MaryAnne sighed again, feeling very tired. It wasn’t that she didn’t appreciate Rosco’s concern for her. She did appreciate it and was grateful for it. But as long as there was something he wasn’t telling her in concern to Bill, she wasn’t being swayed by his argument. Certainly none of it diminished her immediate concern for Bill to survive. Because jumbled in with all the other thoughts going through her mind was the feelings she was having for him and the cold thought that she might not ever get the chance to tell him. All because she had been too afraid to.
If he doesn’t survive, I’ve already lost. I lost a long time ago…
Maybe that was it. Maybe she was destined to be a loser in love anyway.
When she hadn’t spoken further, Rosco put a gentle hand on her shoulder. “I’m sorry, MaryAnne. I won’t pester you anymore about it now.” He looked at the work before her on the booking desk. “Them reports can wait. You’ve been through a lot this morning. Why don’t you take a break for a while?”
She shook her head. “I’d rather stay busy. Or try to at least. Otherwise, I’d just fret about Bill. Not that you want to hear that.”
“MaryAnne, I ain’t ignoring how you feel about him. I know you’re worried about him. I don’t want to see anything bad happen to him either, I mean that.”
“Then if it’s all the same to you, I’d rather stay here and stay busy.”
Rosco nodded. “Awright. I gotta run out and do a couple of things for Boss, then I’m gonna stop at the Busy Bee to grab lunch, want me to bring ya back a sandwich?”
“Yeah, please. My ususal.”
“Roast beef and a root beer. You got it.” He grinned at her and stepped down from the booking area. “I’ll see ya in a little bit.”
“Okay.” MaryAnne watched Rosco leave and listened to the fading echo of his boot steps down the hall. Completely alone in the booking room, she ignored the reports on the booking desk and thought of Bill. It was so much easier to breakdown without witnesses…
**** **** ****
A few hours later, Fehr was getting all the bad news from his attorney, including word that his production had been shut down. The attorney’s report wasn’t encouraging especially when he mentioned that Michael Blake had also been arrested and Dale had told the attorney he was concerned that Blake would talk to the Feds, despite his own dirty hands.
As far as Fehr was concerned it was Blake’s fault for the whole thing unraveling. Nonetheless Fehr was going to need some help.
After talking to the attorney, Fehr placed another phone call. After connecting, he spoke.
“Joey? Michael. Listen, I need you to do something for me…”
**** **** ****
Throughout the afternoon, every time the phone rang MaryAnne jumped. Around quarter to five, Rosco came out of his office after a phone call.
“That was the hospital,” he said. “Maxwell’s out of surgery. They think he’s through the worst of it but he’s still in serious condition.”
At the booking desk, MaryAnne was visibly relieved. “That’s good to hear. Where is he now, in ICU?”
“They usually only allow visitors for a short time… “ MaryAnne paused in thought. “If you don’t mind, Rosco, I’m gonna leave a little early. Cooter called a little while ago and offered to pick up Bill’s car and bring it into town here, which got me thinking that somebody should go collect his stuff from the motel room he was using. So I thought I’d go get his things before I head out to the Boar’s Nest. I think I’ll stop at the hospital and see him too.”
Rosco nodded. “Ok. If you want I’ll meet ya at the motel and help gather his things and bring them here to the courthouse, that way you don’t have to have all kinds of luggage in your car.”
“I figure Bill traveled pretty light, it’s probably only one suitcase. I don’t mind lugging it around.”
“Ok. Agent Daugherty told me that with the movie shut down a lot of the extras were on their way out of town. Boar’s Nest oughta be fairly quiet tonight.”
“Yeah. Maybe that means Joey’s gone too. Wouldn’t that be nice?”
*** **** ****
After leaving the courthouse, MaryAnne scooted home, changed into her Boar’s Nest outfit, fed Bandit (since Flash was with Rosco) and grabbed a quick bite to eat herself before rushing back out the door again. She pointed Maverick in the direction of Tri-County Hospital.
There, she went to ICU and was allowed in to see Bill with no arguments. He was still unconscious, a nurse explained, and MaryAnne was told she shouldn’t attempt to wake him but she could sit with him for five minutes.
At Bill’s room, the nurse went in ahead of MaryAnne, making sure a chair was available. The room was dark, except for a soft box light over the head of the bed and the light that spilled in from the hall, which were turned down low to begin with. The woman then did a quick look at Bill’s vitals on the machine and nodded to MaryAnne.
“Thank you,” MaryAnne said softly. The nurse smiled and stepped around the bed, leaving the room.
MaryAnne stood next to the bed and for at least a solid minute just looked at him. Even in the minimal light, he seemed pale but otherwise looked to be resting comfortably. For the whole five minutes, MaryAnne stood at the bedside, never sitting down. Other than a whispered “hi, Bill…” she said nothing. She watched him breathe, comforted by the steady movement of his chest. The machine on the other side of the bed ticked off readings on a green screen, showing blood pressure, heart rate and other things MaryAnne didn’t know.
She looked at him again and reached to smooth his hair back, fixing the unruly locks that were down over his forehead. A couple of strands wouldn’t stay and drifted back down over his forehead again.
She gave a small smile. Hospitals were no place for vanity.
“Come back soon, eh?” she whispered. “I want you to be okay…”
MaryAnne looked at her watch. She had been a little more than five minutes. She had to get going to get to his motel room to pick up his belongings and then make her shift at the Boar’s Nest. Before she left, she leaned over to him and softly kissed his forehead. She stepped away from the bed before she started crying again.
By the time she got to the motel, MaryAnne had pulled herself back together again. She parked Maverick near Bill’s motel room door and went to the office to see the manager.
Knowing she was a deputy sheriff, and knowing what had happened to Bill, the manager provided MaryAnne a key to the motel room. She thanked him and promised to return the key once she was done packing stuff up.
At Bill’s motel room, MaryAnne unlocked the door and stepped inside. She found the light switch on the side of the door frame and flipped it on. She tucked the key into the pocket of her shorts and closed the door.
The room looked hardly occupied. MaryAnne found Bill’s suitcase in the open closet where he had hung up a few clothing items. Next to the suit case was a worn tan colored small leather duffle bag. She pulled the suit case and the duffle from the closet and placed them on the bed.
She did a quick look of the duffle and found he carried his gun and extra ammo clips. She picked up the .45, popped the clip out of the bottom of the handle and found it was fully loaded and clicked it back in. She engaged the safety on the weapon and returned it to the bag.
She then turned back to the open closet and took the clothes that were hanging up down and laid them on the bed by the suitcase. She then checked drawers for any additional clothes.
The drawers were empty. MaryAnne went into the small bathroom and found a well-worn leather shaving kit bag on the sink top. The kit was unzipped and there was tattered but still readable lettering across the top. William Maxwell US Army 36th Infantry Regiment, 72nd Armored Division 0303289. She gathered up his shaving items that were on the sink and packed them into the kit. She lifted the kit up, holding the bottom and attempted to pull the zipper to close it. It jammed and she ended up sending the kit flying out of her hand and to the floor.
Everything spilled out of it and the small travel size can of shaving cream rolled across the floor. She retrieved it and then set the bag upright again on the floor and started putting everything back in.
One item that had spilled from the bag was a black flair pen. MaryAnne looked at it for a moment, finding it odd that Bill would keep a pen in his shaving kit and not, say, in his suitcase. Typically he had two pens clipped to the vest of his suit when he was in full FBI mode. With being undercover, however, he obviously wasn’t wearing a pen clipped to his shirt.
MaryAnne put the pen in the bag and picked up the other items, comb, shaving brush, and small bottle of aftershave. The last item was the double edged safety razor that was in its own box.
The box had spilled apart, razor, display tray and all. MaryAnne picked up the bottom of the razor box and then the display tray. That’s when she saw it.
A small flip notebook. Similar to what Bill carried in his suit pocket usually but this one was an inexpensive spiral bound. Just small enough to fit under the display tray of the razor, hidden away.
MaryAnne flipped it open and recognized his handwriting. He’d made notes during his undercover stint. Things he had heard, names, places, questions he wondered. She flipped to the last pages…
House party – Fehr’s place – Atlanta
Meeting w/ Peter Nelson. Study/office has docs of deals. Shipments. Kilos.
Money in drawer. .45 automatic
Found diamond earring in study. Furniture rearranged. Stain on carpet. Jacy killed here?
Shipment moved Friday night. Joey’s car (Chrysler – GA plate 4456RT. His? Rental?). Had someone else with him. Attempted to tail. Lost. Shipment picked up at closed store front, Peachtree St. Delivery point unknown.
It was all there. The notebook had pages of notes about the case, including Bill’s thoughts on the weirdness from Michael Blake and the young man’s conflicting stories. She closed the notebook, glad she had decided to come and pick up Bill’s things before anybody else thought to go through the room. She tucked the notebook in the back pocket of her jean shorts, figuring to take it straight back to town and lock it up with the diamond earring Bill had found. She picked up the razor and its box and situated it back together, tucking it into the shaving kit.
She pulled the zipper again and after a couple of tugs, got the bag to close. She stood up with it and walked to the other room, tucking the kit into his suit case.
Outside, a cream colored Chrysler pulled up a few doors down from Bill’s room. Joey looked toward the room and could see the light spilling out from the window. He frowned. He figured to check the room himself to see if the Fed had left anything incriminating but apparently someone had beat him to it.
He exited his car and walked along the front of the building. As he got closer he recognized the Firebird that was parked in front of the room.
He smirked. This couldn’t be better.
Quietly, he stepped up to the door and then carefully peered into the window next to it. He saw MaryAnne, in her waitress outfit, folding clothes and placing them into a suitcase. He watched her move around the room, checking drawers and the night stand and walking to the tiny bathroom.
Joey moved to the door and quietly turned the knob. He eased into the room and stepped quietly toward the bathroom.
When MaryAnne came back out again, he was right there and she collided into him. He grabbed her as she looked up at him.
“Hey baby,” he said, “so nice you got us a room…”
MaryAnne resisted in his grip. “Let go of me…” she said, trying in vain to relieve her arms of his grasp. “I mean it, let go of me!”
He chuckled, his hands tight around her arms and squeezing tighter.
MaryAnne yelped with the pain. She flailed her hands as much as she could, trying to keep him away from her as he pulled her closer. “LET GO OF ME!”
“Are you a screamer, MaryAnne? I love screamers…”
Joey just laughed. He moved to try to kiss her and MaryAnne turned her head away, getting a disgusting wet kiss slobbered on her neck. She continued to struggle with him, his grip on her arms painfully tight and his mouth trying to get to hers.
“NO!” His brute strength scared her but MaryAnne had plenty of fight in her. Although her arms were in vice grips, her legs and feet were free and she lifted one foot and swung a good hard kick into Joey’s shin.
He hollered in pain and his grip on her loosened but didn’t completely let go. MaryAnne kicked him again in the other shin.
Enraged, Joey suddenly threw MaryAnne bodily in to the nearby corner. She hit the wall, stumbled but remained standing. Bill’s little notebook fell from the back pocket of her shorts.
MaryAnne heard it hit the floor but she kept an eye on Joey, expecting him to come charging at her.
He saw the notebook. “What’s that?”
MaryAnne didn’t answer. She didn’t move, still standing defensively and keeping an eye on Joey. She knew she’d never be able to take him down by brute force, he was too strong, so she would have to outsmart him otherwise.
Joey was suddenly interested in the notebook. After all, his original mission was to find any evidence Maxwell had collected and destroy it.
“Whatchya got there?” he asked taking quick steps toward MaryAnne. She squatted down to grab the note book, the same time he lunged for it.
MaryAnne held on to the notebook for dear life. She tried to turn away from Joey to protect the book, protect the evidence and, in an odd way, protect a piece of Bill. She held the book with both hands.
Joey pulled on the book, at the same time he was pushing – crushing - MaryAnne against the wall with his weight. “Give it to me…” he growled.
“GIVE IT TO ME OR I’LL KILL---“
“TAKE YER BEST SHOT YOU STUPID *#($&!”
Joey suddenly let go of the book and wrapped his hands around MaryAnne’s neck.
“—ACK!” Automatically, MaryAnne grabbed at his hands and dropped the notebook altogether. Joey pinned her to the wall, still grappling her neck.
MaryAnne was facing the wall and was finding it increasingly difficult to breathe. She kicked back at him, turning her foot side ways to wrap him in the shin again and drive the point of her high heel down into the top of his foot.
She then dug her fingernails hard into the skin of his hands.
“YOU LOUSY BITCH!” He pulled MaryAnne away from the wall and threw her bodily toward the bed, knocking the lamp on the night stand off along the way.
MaryAnne hit the bed, landing face down and hard on Bill’s open suitcase. Now she had more places on her body to be sore from, but she didn’t care. Being able to breathe again was worth it but she also realized she lost the notebook.
Joey picked up the notebook from the floor and flipped it open quick, finding a man’s handwriting, in black ink, and names like Michael Fehr, Peter Nelson, and words like dope shipment, payments and kilos. Joey even saw his own name in there.
He would definitely have to destroy the book.
He looked at MaryAnne, who was slowly climbing off the suit case and kneeling on hands and knees on the bed. She looked at him.
“Well,” he said, holding the notebook up. “Agent Maxwell kept a lot of notes. Be a shame for the wrong people to have this so I’m just gonna have to take it for safe keeping...” He tucked the notebook in to the back pocket of his jeans. His urge to kill her had subsided – for now. He would have to take care of her, unfortunately. But not before he had his own fun.
“I’m gonna take you too…” he said to her.
MaryAnne said nothing. Bill’s open suitcase was between her and Joey. Off to her side was Bill’s small leather duffle, his bag of tricks where he carried his guns and ammo. Joey had no idea what was in the bag and if MaryAnne was lucky it would be too late for him once he did know.
**** **** ****
Meanwhile, at the Boar’s Nest, Daisy was looking at the clock. MaryAnne was almost a half an hour late. It wasn’t like her, especially to not phone and say she would be late.
With the movie production shut down most of the actors, workers and extras had pulled out of Hazzard. The Boar’s Nest was more or less at a normal capacity, and back to mostly local patrons. Handling the crowd wasn’t a problem for Daisy, she’d handled as much on her own before. But MaryAnne’s absence bothered her for other reasons.
One of which was the conspicuous absence of Joey from the Boar’s Nest. His two buddies, Nick and Andy were there and when Daisy casually inquired as to Joey’s whereabouts, they didn’t know where he was but said he was supposed to meet them.
A few minutes later, when Bo and Luke showed up, Daisy expressed her concerns.
“Where’s MaryAnne?” Bo asked.
“That’s what I’m worried about,” Daisy said. “She should’ve been here half an hour ago.”
“She say she was going to be late?” Luke asked.
“I haven’t heard from her. I know a lot happened this morning and I know she was upset about what happened to Agent Maxwell, so I can understand if she wasn’t going to be here tonight, but it ain’t like her not to let me know.”
Bo looked at Luke. “Maybe we oughta find Rosco and see what’s going on?”
Luke nodded. “Yeah. Maybe she just forgot, Daisy, after all that happened. We’ll check with Rosco n’ let you know.”
The boys turned around and left the Boar’s Nest.
Outside, they sat in the General Lee and called Rosco on the CB.
“What do you mean she ain’t there?” Rosco said. “She shoulda been there by now.”
“Was she going somewhere before coming here?” Luke asked.
“She was gonna go up the hospital to see Maxwell and then go to his motel room to collect his belongings. Far as I know she was heading straight there afterwards.”
“Don’t suppose she’s still at the hospital?” Bo wondered.
Luke clicked the talk button. “You reckon she might still be at the hospital?”
“Maxwell’s in ICU, he’s still in serious condition. I doubt they’d’ve let her stay very long.”
“That just leaves the motel,” Luke said. “Do you know where he was staying?”
“Diamond Hill Motel over on County 7.”
“Tell ya what, Rosco, me ‘n Bo will head over and check.”
“I’m on my way out too. I’m gone…”
Bo started the General and drove away from the Boar’s Nest.
**** **** ****
At the motel, the momentary standoff continued. Still on her hands and knees, MaryAnne made no sudden moves for the duffle next to her and for the time being she had Bill’s open suit case between her and Joey.
Joey was just looking at her lecherously. She was right where he wanted her to be, he only needed to think of a move so as to pin her down on the bed. The suit case, however, was in the way.
MaryAnne kept a steady eye on him and when he suddenly went for the suit case, she did too. She pulled it toward her and when he tugged it back, she threw her weight behind it and pushed the case toward him, sending him tumbling back toward the doorway of the bathroom, suit case and all. As he went stumbling backward, MaryAnne reached into the duffle.
Joey managed to not go down himself and dropped the suit case to the side, the clothes spilling out of it. He started to charge back at MaryAnne...
…and saw the silver .45 Colt in a two handed grip.
He stopped short. “What the--? Where the #$*& did you get that?”
“My guardian angel. NOW SHADDUP and put yer hands up! You so much as move a twitch without me telling you, I’ll pick off each and every finger one by one.”
Joey raised his hands up.
MaryAnne scooted back on her knees to get off the bed, never lowering her aim or taking her eyes of Joey. Standing on the floor again, she kept the bed between herself and Joey.
“Gimmie the notebook. Toss it on the bed.”
“Yer not gonna shoot me—“
MaryAnne snapped the gun up toward the ceiling and fired off a shot, punching a hole through the drywall and sprinkling the damage down to Joey’s right.
“Next one creases yer forehead,” she said. “Now hand over the notebook.”
He did as told now, removing the notebook from his back pocket and tossing it on the bed.
“Good boy. Now turn around and face the wall, keep your hands where I can see ‘em.”
Outside the motel room, car engines were heard racing up. A moment later the door behind MaryAnne burst open and Rosco and Dukes came rushing in.
“Jit jit!” Rosco exclaimed, seeing the situation. He already had gun in hand.
“Hey fellas! Thanks for dropping by!” MaryAnne said, genuinely relieved to see the men. “Rosco, if you’d be so kind as to slap some cuffs on Joey there.”
Rosco obliged, walking over to Joey to handcuff him.
“Are you okay, MaryAnne?” Bo asked. He and Luke looked around the trashed motel room. “What happened here?”
“I’m a lot better now,” she replied, keeping an eye on Rosco and Joey until Rosco had the cuffs secure. Only then did she finally lower the gun she held. “I came to pick up Bill’s things and Joey here apparently had the same idea.” She picked up the notebook off the bed and turned to the boys.
Luke saw the shadow on her neck and he gently pushed MaryAnne’s hair back to see the bruising.
“Yeah…” she said. She held the notebook up. “Bill kept notes and Joey was ready to kill for them.”
“Glad he didn’t succeed,” Luke said.
Hearing this, Rosco was both relieved and angered. “Yeah, me too,” he concurred and pulled on Joey’s arm to take him outside to the patrol car. “I gonna put you under the jail…” he said as they headed out of the motel room.
“And we’ll help,” Bo added.
“Amen,” Luke said. He looked at MaryAnne. “We’ll help ya clean up here, MaryAnne.”
As the boys turned to pick up Bill’s suitcase, MaryAnne looked at the .45 she still held in her hand.
“Thanks, Bill…” she whispered.