Bo's Night Out
Balladeer: For once all is quiet on the Duke farm. Kinda makes you wonder how long that will last don't it? But knowing these young'uns I'd say this is the calm before the storm. Wouldn't you?
Jessie Duke sat down in his recliner for the first time all day. He and the boys had worked hard today but he was happy with all that they had accomplished. He was proud of all three of his young'uns and often told them so. And as he was quick to praise he also was quick to handle situations that required him to employ discipline. Like recently when he had found out that Bo had been jumping Luke's car across things. No one had enjoyed the consequences of that but Jessie knew that things needed to be brought out into the air and taken care of. And both boys had made him proud with the mature way they had handled themselves.
And as much as both of his nephews and his niece knew how much they were loved and cared for they also knew without doubt what to expect from their uncle. He had always been fair and just and they knew that he had their best interests at heart even if he had to punish them. But on days like today when they had all done their part and the family had been such a good team he was just darned proud. He knew that he could thank his late wife for a lot of the way that these kids had turned out.
While he was often the hand swatting their bottoms she had always been the warm embrace. And he knew that they had minded her as well if not better than they did him. And with both of them the children had always wanted nothing more than to make them proud. And they hated to disappoint him ever more than they hated to be punished. Yes his three were growing into some right fine people and he sent a thank you heavenward as he often did.
Each of his children had such different personalities though. Luke was the thoughtful, deliberate one always weighing things out in his mind. He had even been that way as a little boy and if you promised him a sweet at the general store he would ponder that decision like it was the most important thing in the world. And he still looked at life through those somber and serious eyes.
And his Daisy girl well she was just the sunshine, pure and simple. Everyone and everything made this child happy. And what she didn't realize is that she made them all happier and better people just because she loved life and all of them so. And the sound of her laughter filled both their lives and their hearts. And as she was growing into a real beauty Jessie was ever so proud that she was as beautiful inside as out.
Then there was Bo, he was the free spirit of the family. His eyes were always wide with excitement about whatever was ahead of him. As a toddler he wanted to see, touch and even taste everything. And little had changed in all these years. He was the adventurer in the group. When the boys were much younger Bo had taken to playing pirate until they played it so much that finally one day Luke refused to play pirate anymore and went to read a book. Jessie never forgot how upset little Bo had been.
He had come to Jessie crying and demanding to know why Luke would want to just sit in one spot and read a book when he could be on a pirate ship looking for hidden treasure. Jessie had tried everything he knew to convince Bo that reading could be fun too. Finally after much discussion the farmer had reverted to the age old 'Cause I said so that's why!' Thank the heavens that his late wife had gone to the library the next day and brought home some children's books that had pirates in them. Bo had been reading everything he could get his hands on in two weeks flat. (Well everything that had anything to do with pirates that was.)And that's the way that it always had been with Bo.
He excelled in whatever caught his fancy. Like cars for example, that boy could take apart an engine and put it back together in his sleep from the time he was ten years old. And his enthusiasm for life was remarkable. From the time he was a toddler he had been a blur of non stop energy. But unlike his older cousin he didn't often stop to ponder the long term effect of his decisions. If it seemed like a good idea at the time they he simply went with it. And more than once that had landed him in hot water with his Uncle.
But Jessie Duke was a smart man and he knew that some young'uns just need more direction than others did. And he knew that there was a process to growing up and some of the things that Bo had been doing lately were actually pretty normal for a teenager to be doing. Even given that is still seemed like the boy spent a fair amount of time getting his behind warmed for one thing or another. And unlike Luke who usually caught on after one whuppin Bo often needed a lesson repeated.
If there was ever anything worth doing it was seeing that these three charges of his turned into fine upstanding citizens. He owed that to his kin who had entrusted him with their care, and to his beloved wife and finally to all three of them. As is he had known that his Uncle was thinking of him Bo walked into the room and stood in front of his chair looking uncharacteristically nervous.
"Hey Uncle Jessie my friend from school wanted to know if I could go over to his house tonight and we was just gonna do some math homework that we had together. He has a car and could give me a ride and I really need some help with this here math."
Jessie noticed Luke sitting at the table listening. "Who was this friend again son?"
Bo shot a look in Luke's direction. "Well it's Drew, Drew Stevens."
Luke stood up and walked into the room. "You know he's older than you, and he's always in trouble too."
Bo walked to Luke and gave him a nasty look. "What do you even know about this cousin? Just stay out of my business."
Jessie got to his feet as he had seen things turn ugly real quick just this way. "All right Bo but you best have your behind back in this here house by eleven o'clock, and no riding all over Hazzard in his car either. Just to and from his house. Understood?"
"Yes sir!" Bo gave Luke another nasty look as he went past to use the telephone to call his friend.
"C'mon Luke lets go sit out on the porch for a while." Luke did as his Uncle asked and as soon as they were out of earshot of Bo, Jessie started to talk to the boy.
"I know that you just have his best interests at heart son but he needs to have friends." Luke remained unconvinced.
"This kid is trouble Uncle Jessie, I know Bo needs friends and he has a whole bunch but this guy
Jessie interrupted his nephew. "We need to trust him to be able to make the right decisions Luke. It ain't like he's a wee one anymore."
He could see that Luke didn't feel the same way. "If'n he ain't no "wee one" anymore then why is he always acting like he's about four?"
Jessie smiled at that remark but had to agree that while Bo was always telling anyone who would listen how grown he was he often acted like the baby of the family that he was.
"So now let's just us talk a little bit about how things is a doing with you Luke."
And they talked about all the things going on in Luke's life. Jessie felt proud that Luke would confide all his feelings and secrets with him and soon Bo's friend showed up and they left. Daisy came out on the porch and as usual had them smiling with her talk about her friends and her hopes and dreams. Jessie thought he couldn't imagine a nicer way to spend an evening than with his young'uns.
Eventually they went back into the house and watched some television together. Soon Daisy was getting ready for bed and Jessie was getting thoroughly trounced at checkers by Luke. The phone rang and Daisy answered it and came to get Luke. Jessie watched with interest as Luke held up his end of the conversation with his friend. The farmer saw the look on his nephew's face when he came back and knew even without being told that there was trouble.
"That was Cooter he says he was driving by the high school field and a pack of boys was over there drinking and playing with fireworks. He said that as he was driving by he noticed that one of them had a big ole mop of blond hair and he knew it was Bo."
Jessie took a deep breath to calm himself and Luke continued. "He said Bo's drunker than a skunk but he managed to get him into the truck and he's bringing him home now."
Jessie got up and went into the kitchen and poured a glass of water and took a sip.
"Well he ain't exactly the first Duke male in this here family to find out about the evils of alcohol now is he?"
He noticed that Luke's face got red and the boy immediately looked at his shoes as he knew that his uncle was talking about the first time he had gotten drunk. "And he'll find out right quick what happens as a result of that vice."
Jessie could see Luke grimace at that memory. The farmer would have thought that his younger nephew would have remembered too. But this was Bo they was talking about.
It had only been a half an hour and they heard Cooter's truck pull up. And they heard Cooter struggling to convince Bo to come into the house. Apparently the boy did have some sense as he didn't want to face Jessie. "Luke go on out there and help Cooter for the love of heaven."
Luke did as he had been told and before too long he came back into the room with an arm supporting Bo. Jessie turned to Cooter. "I just want to thank you for looking out for my boy here. And tomorrow he will come by the garage and thank you himself right proper like."
Jessie knew that Cooter had been Luke's friend a long time and he had no doubt that even Cooter knew what was gonna happen to Bo, and if he had any doubts the mechanic dispelled them in the next breath. "Well Lukas it's been fun, but I sure as all git out don't wanta be our boy Bo here come morning. It will be a contest betwixt his head and his behind as to which is hurting the most."
Jessie noticed that Luke nodded grimly in agreement and told him goodbye as Daisy walked him to the door.
The farmer's attention was focused on his youngest at the moment who was barely standing with the help of his cousin. "Beauregard Duke" he began to scold with thunder in his voice. The boy flinched and pulled closer to Luke at the angry sound of his uncle's voice.
"Unsle Jussie, Unsle Jussie, I juss feel like
I feel like
." And then to the farmer's amazement he leaned over and threw up the contents of his stomach onto Jessie's shoes.
"Dag nab it!!!"
Luke practically picked up Bo and drug him into the bathroom where Jessie could hear him throwing up again. Daisy came running into the room with some rags and a bucket. She threw them down on the floor next to the chair. "Damnation."
Jessie looked at her as if he hadn't heard correctly. "What did you just say Missy?"
She looked at him with tears in her eyes. "Well I'm sorry but if brains were dynamite Bo couldn't blow his nose! What could he have been thinking- he could have been killed riding around drunk and playing with firecrackers and all?"
And just as he was going to scold her too she broke out into tears. He stepped out of the mess to pull her into a hug. "There, there baby he just has to learn some things the hard way I reckon."
As he said his piece they could hear the boy throwing up in the bathroom again. They cleaned up the floor together and opened all the windows to air out the house. Luke stayed put in the bathroom making sure that Bo was all right. Finally Daisy gave up and went to bed and Jessie went into the bathroom to check on both boys.
Bo was curled up in a fetal position on the floor and Luke was sitting with his back against the wall with one hand on Bo's back. "He sure is gonna wish he was dead tomorrow Uncle."
Jessie chuckled. "Ain't too many of us that ain't been in that position some time or another."
Luke looked at him with serious eyes. "You ain't gonna punish him tonight are you?"
The farmer shook his head. "No son, did you really figure I was gonna be that hard hearted? Anyways by tomorrow he wouldn't remember too much if'n I did. And this is gonna be one lesson I surely want him to commit to memory. Why don't you go on to bed?"
He wasn't surprised to see Luke shake his head no. He went back out to the recliner and stretched out and closed his eyes for just a moment. When we woke up he noticed with surprise that it was almost three in the morning. Stretching he walked to the bathroom and noted with not much surprise that both of his boys were asleep on the bathroom floor. He lightly shook Luke's shoulder and he woke up. "C'mon son time for both of you to go to bed."
Luke nodded and together they got Bo between the two of them and got him into his bed. Luke kicked off his boots and crawled into his bed and Jessie put the waste basket by Bo's bed and pulled the covers over him. He was ready to leave when Bo grabbed his hand. "I'm sorry Uncle Jessie, I'm so sorry."
Even though he was madder than a wet hen at the boy it was a genuine and honest apology. "I know we can talk about it tomorrow now close your eyes."
And for once in his young life he obeyed and Jessie went and crawled into his own bed for the small amount of time left before he had to get up and begin the chores.
The sun came up and when it did it found Jessie Duke in his bed with his eyes wide open thinking about what the day would bring. He got up and got dressed and rather than wake the boys just went outside and began the chores. He figured Bo still wouldn't feel up to doing too much and Luke had earned a little extra sleep by keeping watch over Bo in the bathroom most of the night last night. He took on the chores one at a time and finally decided that he had gotten enough done that he would go in and have some breakfast.
When he got into the house his angel Daisy already was up and had breakfast almost on the table. "Oh now ain't that sweet? You made me those blueberry pancakes I have such a fondness for?"
She smiled and he kissed her on the cheek. "Did you want me to wake the boy's Uncle?"
He shook his head no. "Let's let Luke sleep a little while longer and I'll wake Bo up myself later on."
She got the same look on her face that he had seen last night. "Sometimes I could just shake that one."
Jessie didn't fight the grin that came over his face at her comment. For he knew his niece very well and she was as spunky as they came. But in all of her life she had never one single time been intimidated by her male cousins. He could actually recall one instance when she was a little girl and she had gotten mad at Luke and she had hauled off and socked him in the jaw. And just lately she had called Bo to dinner and he hadn't wanted to stop what he had been doing and after three attempts she had gone into the living room and brought him to the table by the ear.
So while most of the time she was sweetness and light there was also a backbone of steel in that one and he knew it would serve her well in her life. "Don't worry honey I'll take care of everything later."
They had just sat down to eat and Luke came running into the room pulling on his boots. "Dang it all why didn't someone wake me up it's nigh on ten o'clock now!"
"Just slow down and sit down and eat with us. I didn't wake you up cause I knew that you was tired."
They all said grace and Luke kept sneaking looks in his uncle's direction And knowing Luke as well as he did he figured that he was about to plead Bo's case as he usually did. "Are you gonna punish him Uncle?"
"Do you even need to ask me that question son? You lived here all of your life and you came home drunk one night and I'm sure you remember just what happened. So yes I am gonna punish him."
Luke looked like his breakfast wasn't sitting too well with him. "But Uncle Jessie
Jessie just shook his head. "But nothing Luke and that is that. Now after breakfast you and me are gonna work on the rest of the chores. Then you and Daisy are gonna git into your car and drive into town."
Luke looked at him as if he had lost him mind. "And do what exactly?"
"Well first you are gonna have lunch at Mabel's and then you're gonna catch what ever is a showing at the afternoon matinee at the Hazzard theater. And I expect the both of you to have a good time and I don't want to see you until dinner time."
The farmer saw Daisy and Luke exchange a look. "You're just trying to get rid of us while you punish Bo."
Jessie saw some of the defiance in his nephew that he thought he had gotten rid of. "Yea well the other idea is that you could continue to sass me and end up getting your behind blistered today too. Does that sound like something you would like to do Luke?"
He saw Luke swallow hard. "No sir."
Jessie nodded and took out his wallet handing Daisy enough money to pay for their day. "But Uncle this is a lot of money
He turned to her and shook his finger in her face. "Now you listen hear girl I been a saving that and if'n this is what I want to spend it on then that's how it will be."
She rewarded him with a hug. "Thanks Uncle Jessie."
And so Luke and Jessie had finished all the rest of the chores and Daisy had cleaned up the dishes and gotten ready for an afternoon with Luke. Once the chores were done Luke also cleaned up a little bit and he and Daisy got ready to go. Their uncle walked them to the car and told them again to have a good time and waved them off.
He walked into the house and went straight into the boy's room. He looked down on his still sleeping nephew and shook his head. How was it that the boy had the face of an angel and yet it was the devil that most often appeared in his behavior? Jessie sat down on the edge of the bed and began rubbing his back and calling his name.
The boy sat up with a start and groaned putting one hand to his head. "Oh I am so sick."
Jessie grimly nodded. "Oh I have no doubt of that son. Now get on up and go wash your face and brush your teeth and come into the kitchen."
Bo suddenly looked green at the mention of the kitchen. "Please don't say you're gonna make me eat breakfast Uncle Jessie."
Jessie smiled at the boy. "Course not, cause it's lunch time now."
He walked into the kitchen and almost laughed out loud at the boy's groans of distress. But he heard Bo get up and go into the bathroom and do as he was told. And soon a pale, quiet version of the teen sat down at his usual place at the table. "Uncle Jessie I
Jessie could sense the tears not far underneath the surface. "We'll talk about it all, just in a little bit."
He placed a slice of dry toast and a cup of weak tea in front of the boy.
"Eat this and drink the tea."
Bo shook his head and as he did tears streamed down his face. "I can't Uncle Jessie, I just can't."
The farmer walked over to stand behind the boy and placing hands on both shoulders began to lightly massage. "But your gonna try just for me right?"
Bo didn't say anything but picked up the toast and took a nibble. Jessie kept on rubbing his nephew's shoulders and encouraging him to eat. Before long the toast was gone and Jessie gave him two aspirins to take with the tea which he did. "Now go on and take a shower and put on some fresh clothes."
While the boy did that Jessie changed the sheets on his bed and cleaned up the kitchen. After a short time Bo came out of the bathroom and while he looked a little better he still was pale. Jessie took his arm and steered him back to his bedroom while Bo looked at him with a puzzled expression. "Now climb back into this bed for a while longer Bo and when you wake up we'll straighten things out between us."
Bo shook his head no. "But Uncle Jessie?"
The farmer pulled back the covers on the freshly made bed. "Climb back into this bed boy and do it now!"
Bo looked as if he might cry again and did as he was told. Jessie sat on the edge of the bed and rubbed his back alittle and has he had suspected the boy was almost instantly asleep again. Jessie stood up and went back into the kitchen and began preparing a thick chicken soup which was one of Bo's favorite dishes for supper.
He knew what he needed to do when Bo woke up again and while he wasn't looking forward to it he would see it done. But at least when all was said and done Bo could have something he liked for dinner to look forward too. He had gotten the soup on and the kitchen cleaned when he heard something and looked up to see Bo standing before him. "It ain't been more than an hour son since I tucked you into your bed. Now why in the name of heaven are you a standing there now?"
He saw Bo drop his head. "Because I can't sleep anymore, I just want to get it over with."
Jessie shook his head in disbelief. Maybe Bo was finally growing up after all because he always was trying to talk his way out of a whippen and never had he just wanted to see it done. Luke was always the one that volunteered to go first and always just wanted it to be finished. Bo on the other hand always wanted to change his Uncle's mind about the punishment right up until the first swat landed. The boy must have a pretty strong idea of just how wrong his actions had been.
The farmer turned the soup down to low and taking the boy by the arm went into the living room and sat both of them down on the couch. "Well first off how ya feelin?"
Bo sent him the weakest of smiles. "Like somebody done drove the tractor over my head."
Jessie didn't fight the laugh that escaped him. "Yea alcohol will do that to a person. But you already knew that didn't you cause this ain't the first time we had us a discussion about drinking is it?"
Bo shook his head no and Jessie could see tears weren't far away. "But I gotta say you did her up right this time. You may have drunk before but last night had to be some kind of record. What exactly was you drinking son? It had to be more than beer considering how sick you are."
Bo looked as if he didn't want to answer but to the boy's credit he did. "Vodka Drew took a bunch of bottles from his dad's bar. He said we wouldn't get caught cause you can't smell it like beer."
Jessie chuckled at that. "Oh and I suppose the fact that you was fall down drunk wasn't gonna give you away."
The boy looked down at his shoes. "I know it was stupid but he called me a baby and told me I didn't have enough guts to drink cause I was too afraid of you."
Jessie thought that now at least he understood why the boy had done it even if it was still wrong. "Well Bo you showed him didn't you. And if'n you had any sense at all you would have been afraid of what's about to happen now."
Jessie knew he couldn't start the punishment until it was all out in the open and so he continued. "And what about me telling you not to drive all over Hazzard County in this boy's car, which by the way is exactly what you did."
Bo looked guilty, a look that Jessie had seen many times over the years. "I didn't figure you'd find out. I know I was disobeying you and as long as I'm telling the truth I didn't have no math homework either."
The farmer stood up and took a little walk around the room trying to calm himself down as he really didn't want to punish Bo in anger and that was exactly what he was feeling right about now.
When he felt that he had a little better control over his feelings he sat back down beside his nephew. "You know how I feel about lying don't you boy?"
Now the tears did start and Bo replied "Yes sir."
Jessie patted his lap. "Well then that's where we will start."
Bo started to lean across his Uncle's lap and felt Jessie stop him. "Them jeans will need to come down son."
Usually the boy would argue but this time he just did as he was asked. And as much as he figured he should Jessie just didn't have the heart to take down the boy's boxers and so he just began.
He started swatting hard and fast and for once his nephew remained still and quiet. But he knew that Bo was already crying and the quiet sobs tore at his heart but he continued. All too soon the boy was squirming trying to avoid the hard hand that was punishing him and soon after that came the promises of being good and still he continued. Finally when he had covered close to every inch of the boy's behind he felt Bo just give in and wail and he knew this part of his job was done.
The farmer let him continue to cry for a little while and pulled him to standing. Bo reached down to pull up his jeans and Jessie shook his head. "Not yet we ain't done son."
He sat the still crying boy down on the couch next to him and wrapped an arm around his shoulders. "Now, then there's the whole gettin yourself good and drunk last night."
Bo began to shake his head and implore his uncle. "Please Uncle Jessie no more"
Although it hurt Jessie more than the boy knew he was aware of the fact that he had to do his duty by this child. And when Luke had come home drunk the first time punishment had been no different. "Now you know that you ain't legal drinking age and you coulda ended up in jail what with drinking on the school grounds and having firecrackers to boot. And then there's the whole riding around in this boy's car knowing that he was drunk too. You're dang lucky that he didn't kill the both of you."
Jessie could tell by the look on his nephews face that he understood just how deep he was in this time. "So as much as I don't want to do this, you ain't left me with no choice."
The farmer reached over to the coffee table where earlier he had put Grandpa Duke's oak hairbrush. And as he had done when Luke came home drunk the first time he intended to make his point understood with the brush. And from that experience he knew that it was an effective deterrent for bad behavior.
If'n he was to admit it he would have to confess that he knew first hand just how much the dang thing stung. That was probably why he had only used it the one time and it had been for a serious offence with Luke. Jessie's own daddy had taught him several lessons with that very hairbrush and he had wanted to use it as sparingly as possible with his boys. But unfortunately Bo had earned it tonight, as Luke had done before him, which was always the way it seemed to be with those two.
Jessie wasn't surprised to see Bo sob when he saw what was on the coffee table. He had figured that Luke had told Bo about how he had been punished for coming home drunk and probably how unpleasant it had been. He hardened his heart and pulled the lanky teen across his lap. Picking up the brush he delivered a solid smack to each side of Bo's behind and wasn't surprised to hear him wail. Quickly so as not to prolong the discomfort he swatted Bo eight more times and then turned and pulled the boy onto his lap. He was sure that he felt as bad as Bo did and he wiped tears off of his own face.
"There, there sweetheart it's all done now. It's gonna be just fine. I love you little one and I always will." He just held on and let the boy cry for a while.
"I'm so sorry; I shouldn't done none of that stuff. And that dang hairbrush hurt worse than Luke said it did." The farmer held onto his nephew and Jessie knew that now would be the best time to re-enforce some of the behaviors that needed improvement.
"First off you understand about no more lying right?" Bo still crying nodded his head that he did.
"Cause if'n I have to repeat that lesson it's gonna be on a bare behind. Did you want that to happen?"
As if to answer Bo sobbed and put his head on his uncle's shoulder. "No sir."
Jessie rubbed his back in a comforting way. "Good then and how bout drinking do you think you'll be doin any of that again soon?"
If he hadn't been so emotionally overwrought about punishing the boy he would have smiled at the look that the teen gave him them. If a look could speak this one would have asked him if he had lost his mind somewhere in the last ten minutes. "Not ever Uncle Jessie I swear!"
The farmer smiled at the intensity with which Bo made that promise. The boy turned to look at him with a frown. "It ain't funny Uncle the vodka made my head feel a drum being pounded and you made my behind feel the same way with that brush."
Jessie chuckled. "It ain't as if you didn't work hard for both results son, now is it?"
Bo just shook his head and then put it back down on his Uncle's shoulder. "I just don't know why I don't think about these things before I do 'em. I shoulda listened to Luke."
Jessie continued to rub his back. "Now Luke ain't no saint Bo, he has spent his fair share of time over my knee as well. And no one in this here house expects you to be Luke, or anyone else other than just Bo. Maybe what you need to do is to start thinking a little more about the things you do before you do 'em. And when all is said and done you need to remember that I'm always gonna be here for you. To correct you when you need it, to help you if I can and always to love you Bo. Always to love you."
It seemed to Jessie as if he could feel the boy relax a little after that and he made no more to get off of his Uncle's lap. And soon Jessie knew that Bo had fallen asleep. He wasn't sure if it was the hang-over or the spanking but he knew that the boy was plum exhausted. He just held his nephew for a while. These children were growing up so fast and as much as he loved all three of them he often yearned for the more uncomplicated times when they were all young. Soon both of his boys would be full grown men and while he was proud of them, he missed the little boys that they once had been.
But as it often tends to do reality set in as his legs soon became numb from the weight of his "little boy" on his lap. He put an arm under both Bo's knee's and his back and stood up with the boy in his arms. Jessie smiled as he felt how heavy Bo had become and suddenly knew where all the groceries had been going lately. He walked with the still sleeping boy in his arms back into the boy's bedroom and gently laid Bo down on his bed on his side.
Thankfully Bo usually slept on his stomach and as soon as Jessie laid him onto the bed he rolled into his usual sleeping position with his face pushed into the mattress and one arm thrown over his head. Jessie pulled off his boots and pulled the covers over him and kissed his forehead before walking out the door. The farmer went into the kitchen and stirred the soup thinking about how the day had gone. He then went back into the living room and sat down in the recliner thinking he would just rest his eyes for a moment and before he knew it he was asleep.
He felt a hand on his shoulder and heard Luke calling his name. Jessie opened up his eyes and jumped to his feet. "Oh good heavens I musta feel asleep, is the soup okay?"
He heard Daisy's laugh from the kitchen. "It smells just fine Uncle Jessie; I think it's about ready to eat."
He sighed in relief and turned to Luke. "How was your day son?"
He saw Luke look towards Daisy and they both laughed. "Lunch was just great and the movie was even better. Thanks for making us go."
Daisy joined them in the living room and gave Jessie a hug. "Yep, we had a great time. Luke took me by the general store and I bought some material for a new skirt and I can't wait to get started on it. And we even brought you a slice of Mabel's famous gooseberry pie."
Jessie smiled at their thoughtfulness and kissed her on the cheek. "I put it in the refrigerator for later Uncle. I am going go and get started on my skirt before dinner. Is that all right?"
Jessie just smiled so happy to see his girl so excited. "Sure it is sweetheart."
Both he and Luke watched her leave the room. He looked towards his dark haired nephew and wasn't surprised to see he didn't look quite so happy. Jessie followed his gaze to the hairbrush, which he had forgotten to put back in his room. He cursed himself for falling asleep before he had taken care of that little chore. "You spanked him with the hairbrush Uncle Jessie?"
Luke didn't ask as much as accused and the tone was none to polite either. Jessie knew that he had to get control of the situation and fast as Luke while not often seen had a devil of a temper. "Yes I did and even Bo knew he deserved it."
He could see Luke struggling to get a hold of his anger. "But Uncle Jessie he..."
Jessie cut him off in mid sentence. "Now you listen and listen good boy- I decide who gets punished and what for and you have nothing in that. That is why I made sure that you wasn't even here today. But for the record if'n I have to paddle you too over this I will."
Looking at his nephew he noticed that Luke didn't look as brash as he had a moment before. "Now as I recall you went out and got drunk and faced the music and the hairbrush, so Bo had to know what was a gonna happen. But that didn't stop him, did it?
You know as good as me that sometimes that boy's just got to do it the hard way. Now I know that you always feel responsible for protecting him, but ain't you got enough bad memories about that brush without adding today?"
Luke looked down at his feet and Jessie could once again see the little boy who had struggled so hard to get a rein on his temper. "Yes sir, if I got a choice I'd rather not- I kinda like eating dinner sitting at the table instead of standing at the counter."
Jessie smiled but wanting to make sure that his nephew had truly forgiven him he held out his arms and Luke walked into his embrace.
"He's okay though isn't he?"
Jessie nodded and he felt Luke relax against him and he pulled back to look into his face. "You didn't think I was gonna kill him did ya?"
Luke rewarded him with a smile. "Well he is a real bonehead sometimes."
Neither one had seen Bo standing in the doorway. "Thanks cousin I'm glad to know you ain't saying bad things behind my back."
Luke smiled at his sorry state; he had whispered what he said as if even talking hurt and his eyes were still swollen from crying. "You know dang good and well that I say that to your face all the time cousin."
Bo rewarded him with a small grin followed by a grimace as if even smiling hurt. "Fair enough cousin."
Jessie just smiled at the unusually close relationship that these two had, brothers in every way. "Bo you go and get a pillow for the dinner table and Luke put that darned old hairbrush away and then tell Daisy dinner is ready. And then all three of you come into the kitchen for some soup."
He gave each of his boys a small kiss on the cheek as he went into his kitchen and thanked the Lord above that they had made it through another rough patch for all concerned.
Balladeer: And so the Duke family sat down to eat and Bo was glad to see one of his favorite dinners even though he wasn't feeling too well. Daisy was excited about her new project and Luke was happy that Bo was out of trouble again. And Uncle Jessie well he was just happy that they were all safe and sound and together. And that my friends, is as good as it gets in Hazzard County.
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