"By-Line, Daisy Duke" is the eighteenth episode of the third season of The Dukes Of Hazzard.
Boss Hogg hires a pair of thieves named Vic (Michael Greene) and Corey (Alex Kubik) to steal tractors and other heavy equipment from various farmers that Boss had given out loans to. Boss loaned them the money to buy the equipment seven years ago, when interest rates were low. Now that interest rates are higher, Boss feels like he is losing about 15% a year. Boss is having the equipment stolen from the farmers and brought to him -- he sees it as a way to recoup his losses. Boss plans to make even more money by selling the equipment to a buyer that he made a deal with. While Daisy moonlights as a contributing reporter at the Hazzard Gazette, Boss frames Bo and Luke for the thefts by having Vic and Corey set it up to where Daisy's snapshot of the thieves shows Bo and Luke instead of Vic and Corey. Boss does not plan to put Bo and Luke in jail right away, however -- he wants them to be free just long enough for Vic and Corey to finish the thefts off. Daisy's boss, Hazzard Gazette editor Clyde Amos (Richard Paul), wants the story, no matter who is in the picture. Daisy and Jesse beg him to not get Bo and Luke put in jail for something they did not do. Clyde tells the Dukes that the best he can do is give the Dukes the eight hours until press time to find Vic and Corey so that Bo and Luke can clear their names.
Balladeer: When you see the Duke boys poke along like they ain’t got a care in the world, you can bet that things on the farm are about to change. ‘Cause Dukes and trouble go together like cornbread and buttermilk. Now in the big city, robbers steal something they can tote. In Hazzard they think big, like a tractor.
Luke and Bo are driving on the road. Two men steal a tractor from a barn. The two men leave and Bo and Luke head toward Cotton Lake as Cooter told them it’s a good fishing spot for catfish. Bo suddenly sees the truck coming and tells Luke to do something before they end up in Sutter’s Pond. The truck refuses to move and Bo and Luke are ran off the road. Bo and Luke climb onto the windows, upset.
Hazzard County Gazette
Daisy goes in to see Clyde Amos with articles for her moonlighting job. As she shows the pieces she says she knows she isn’t a reporter or a typist as there are E’s and O’s missing but that is because the typewriter on the farm is at least 20 years old. The pieces include Mabel Horton’s chicken laying a five yolk egg, Cy Meeker gets laryngitis and withdraws from the county hog calling contest, Ed Purty wanting to swap his rooster that crows at 4am for one that crows at 5. The editor explains that he needs better articles but will pay Daisy for the ones she submitted and sends her to the Boar’s Nest to find out what the emergency town meeting is about, to her joy.
Balladeer: Now the town meeting at the Boar’s Nest was about the uncommonly large amount of tractor stealing in Hazzard. Uh…there goes another one. And after the town meeting was over, Miss Daisy decided to do an in-depth interview. Just like on t.v.
Boss tries to call the meeting to order as another tractor is being stolen. After Boss thanks Jesse for speaking up for him during the meeting. Jesse says all he did was keep some friends of his out of trouble. Daisy takes a picture of Boss and Rosco to their surprise and Boss asks what does she have to do with the Hazzard Gazette. She explains she is moonlighting as a contributing reporter and asks Rosco about information about the crooks. Boss says if she doesn’t stop poking her nose in police business she won’t have a job at the job at the Boar’s Nest. As Boss and Rosco leave, a third tractor is stolen. In Boss’ office, Rosco asks why are they stealing tractors from their kin, neighbors, and the people of Hazzard. Boss is working out and tells Rosco he isn’t doing that at all. He says that he’s correction a previous professional financial error. Boss says he loaned the money to people to get the tractors years ago when interest rates were low, but now they are high and he’s losing 15% a year so he’s taking back the tractors. Rosco says that is illegal and Boss says it’s legal and that it’s called re-loaning. He’s upset to see he hasn’t lost a pound and says he has to lose at least 20 for his life insurance. Rosco asks that he’s leaving his money to Lulu but Boss says he’s taking it with him.
Cooter sits with the Dukes while Daisy starts typing. Jesse says they need to find the thieves before people start taking the law in their own hands. Jesse tells Daisy to wait until they get an ending to type the story. Luke says they suspect Boss being at the end of this. Jesse says he and Cooter are going to look around for some strangers. Daisy says she’ll interview the farmers who were robbed. Bo and Luke are told to go hire themselves out to the people who haven’t’ been robbed yet. Bo and Luke agree, but aren’t happy about it.
Rosco reminds Boss that Daisy will be able to trace the tractors to them but Boss disagrees as he gets on a rower, saying once the serial numbers are off the tractors you can’t tell one from the other. Rosco says Daisy is desperate for a story for the Gazette. Boss gets an idea and says they are going to get Daisy a story. Rosco asks that they are going to arrest themselves and Boss says they are going to pin it all on the boys.
Balladeer: Well the search began, Jesse and Cooter both scouring the country side, Daisy digging with pad and pencil, and Bo and Luke just digging and digging like they’re just digging to be digging.
Bo and Luke work on a farm building a fence and Bo says they can put fences around half of Hazzard before they find the thieves. Luke tells him they learned a trade. Bo hears something and shows Luke the truck from earlier. In the truck the two notice the boys and become alarmed. Bo and Luke chase after the two in the borrowed pickup. Bo reminds Luke to take it easy on the truck. Vic and Corey head up Ridge Road and stop, taking the tractor out. The tractor moves down the hill and falls in behind Bo and Luke. Vic backs the truck down and Bo and Luke see they are trapped. Luke decides for them to bail and they start running down the hill. The truck is flipped and rolled after them and Bo and Luke avoid it as it rolls down the hill. Bo and Luke watch them leave and Luke checks on Bo.
Cooter toes Bo and Luke back to town and Luke says he thinks this was about earlier that morning. Cooter laughs asking that they are telling him the same people ran them off the road twice in one day. Bo tells him not to rub it in.
Lulu drops off lunch for Boss with Cletus and leaves to man a speed trap. Rosco and Boss talk about lunch when Bo, Luke, Daisy, and Jesse storm in. Jesse says they are there to report Len Hickey’s tractor being stolen. Boss asks how they know and Bo says they just saw it. Rosco asks if they have a description of the truck, surprising the others. Boss says it couldn’t have been anything but a truck and Boss insinuates the Dukes did it. Jesse tells him to fry a snowball and the Dukes leave. Boss then kicks Rosco out.
Outside Jesse greets Charlie before venting about Boss and Rosco. Bo says they can’t pin it on their family and Luke says they will find away. Jesse says he and Cooter are headed to Deer Springs and for the boys to check elsewhere and Daisy will go to the Boar’s Nest. Bo and Luke spot the two guys again and take off after them in the General. They all pass Cletus speed trap and he falls in behind the Dukes. Luke says they could use the help. Vic and Corey talk about the cop and decide to flee as Cletus has no idea who they are. Corey pulls across the road, blocking it. Bo and Luke are forced on two wheels to keep from flipping, as is Cletus. Cletus then stops in front of Bo and Luke and the two men drive off. Cletus is one a ticket quota and Cletus gives Bo a ticket.
Vic and Corey go to see Boss, who is on a bike. Boss becomes alarmed when they threaten to deal with Bo and Luke permanently. Boss and Rosco say there is no need for violence and Boss says he has a plan, they just need to temporarily borrow the last tractor they stole and the truck. As Boss gets on the scale, Rosco asks how they can take tractors with the Dukes in jail. Boss says he didn’t say they were putting the boys in jail and when all four look at the scale, Rosco says Boss has actually gained weight. Boss lays out the plan.
Jesse arrives at the farm to hear the phone ringing. He answers and it told by Vic, claiming to be a friend of Bo and Luke’s telling him to check the barn. Jesse goes back and sees the truck with Len Hickey’s tractor in the back. He hears Bo and Luke arrives and calls them behind the barn. Luke says they need to get rid of it.
While in a steam box Boss sees his clock and says it’s time for the other call Vic calls the main bar and speaks to Daisy, asking for the Sheriff. Rosco goes out and in front of Daisy comments that the tractor thieves struck again and says they got a truck and a tractor. Daisy sits down to listen and Rosco goes into the main office. He tells the others that Daisy bit the line. Daisy has Mabel call Mr. Amos for her. Boss tells Rosco to have Cletus watch the Duke Farm and let them know when something happens. Rosco and the two men leave and Boss is stuck in the steam box. He breaks out but the box shorts out.
Jesse asks where the boys are going to take the truck as Bo gets in the driver seat. Luke says as far away as they can. Jesse says he’ll follow in the General and Bo tells him they’ll stay on the road until Hidden Pines. Luke says they might even be able to take it back to Len Hickey. Cletus watches the farm and sees the Dukes pass in a truck. He radio’s in to tell Rosco what he saw. Rosco and Boss head toward 74 going toward Hidden Pines. Rosco tells him to follow the boys, which Cletus does. Boss tells Rosco to slow down though so they don’t lose Daisy, who is following with Amos.
Bo vents about Boss and Rosco and Luke sees them ahead. Jesse tells them Cletus is behind them and Luke tells them to swerve around, Bo goes right and Jesse goes left. Rosco and Cletus crash and Daisy turns around to follow the truck, not knowing it’s Bo and Luke. Daisy decides to get the bow and arrow to stop the truck. As Bo and Luke celebrate losing the officers, Bo sees Daisy standing up with a bow and arrow in the jeep behind them and says now they just need to figure out what Daisy is up to. Luke looks and Daisy goes to shoot out a back tire. Bo yells at her not to do that but Daisy shoots out the front tire.
Bo and Luke are forced to stop. Daisy pulls up with Amos as Rosco, Boss, Cletus, and Jesse all arrive. Bo and Luke get out of the truck and Daisy sets up the camera to take their picture before looking up to finally see it’s Bo and Luke. Daisy is stunned. Jesse runs over and tells them that the boys wouldn’t steal tractors. Rosco sends Bo and Luke to the General while he and Cletus stay with the truck and Boss talks to Amos. Bo and Luke leave. Boss and Rosco chase after them but Boss reminds Rosco they don’t want to catch them. Luke is suspicious when they aren’t’ gaining on them and tells Bo to slow down. Bo gives him a look but does so. Boss and Rosco slow down too and Luke realizes they don’t want to catch them. He tells Bo just drive and get out of there. Luke says he figures Boss isn’t done yet.
Daisy and Jesse try to explain to Mr. Amos that he can’t’ print those pictures. Amos says he knows how they feel, but they print things as they happen. Jesse says they didn’t see how things happened and he tells them that they have 8 hours until print time and if they can prove that the pictures lie, then he won’t’ run the story of Bo and Luke stealing the tractors. Daisy and Jesse agree.
Bo and Luke climb onto the roof to spy on Boss’ office. Boss, Rosco, Vic, and Corey are together, Boss promising someone on the phone to deliver five tractors at the end of the week. He tells the person on the phone to bring them money and hangs up the phone. In his hurry to get up, Bo nearly drops Luke. Bo and Luke also nearly get spotted due to smoke being blown in their face. When they men leave, the boys head out to follow them.
Jesse, Cooter, and Daisy meet at the garage, hoping to hear from the boys. Jesse tries again. Bo and Luke answer, having just arrived in town as the two men are staying at the hotel. Jesse says they need to get everything together at once. Luke says he’ll come over and tells Bo to keep an eye on the hotel instead of the girls who pass by. Bo says if he did that he wouldn’t’ be a Duke. Luke heads to the garage. After they all catch up, Luke tells Daisy to call the hotel and tell the men that Boss wants to move the tractors within the hour. Luke tells Cooter that about 15 minutes later to run over to see Boss and convince him that his men cut down suddenly. They say they’ll follow them all to the meeting place and Daisy gets the pictures to clear the boys. Luke heads out and Daisy makes the call.
Bo sees the two men leaving and Luke returns to the car, filling Bo in on the plan. The boys follow the two. Cooter goes to Boss and Rosco at the Boar’s Nest and tells him the two men from the hotel split town without paying the bill. Boss tosses Rosco out and assumes they are double crossing him. Bo and Luke watch Vic and Corey load up the tractors and go to follow but are approached by Mr. Perkins who wants to make a citizen’s arrest. He sends Bo and Luke to stand by his truck so he can call the Sheriff. While he’s distracted, Luke put it in neutral and Bo yells at Perkins to let him know his truck is rolling. The three stop the truck and while Perkins checks it over, Bo and Luke leave.
Boss and Rosco get in Boss’ car, unable to find Alex, and Boss says they are going to the Old Livery Stable as that is where the tractors are. Daisy follows in her jeep. Bo and Luke pull up to a crossroads, one way to Ridge Road, one to Cedar City, one toward Finchburg, and one to Elderberry Lane. They wonder which way to go and Luke calls Daisy but the CB isn’t working. Luke says looks like it’s time to teach Bo more about electronics. Daisy calls over the CB to say they are going toward Wild Hollow. Jesse says that is the Old Livery Stable and tries to call Bo and Luke but can’t reach them. Boss and Rosco arrive at the Stable to see the tractors are gone and tells Rosco to go to Dry Creek Road and Willow Corners.
Luke fixes the CB in time to hear Daisy saying where Boss is going. Boss catches up to Vic and Corey and has Rosco pull them over. The four all stand on the side of the road, arguing about what happened. Daisy pulls up and gets out her camera, taking pictures. Corey hears a clicking noise and they all see Daisy taking pictures. Rosco, Vic, and Corey all pose and Boss screams for them to stop and get the camera. Daisy runs and puts the camera in Bosses car to escape. Thinking she still has it, the four drive after her.
Daisy calls the others to tell them she’s on Rocky Ridge Road and that she had to put the camera in Boss’ car. Luke says to go down Shady Tree Lane and Luke asks Jesse and Cooter to help. Luke climbs out of the General and onto the roof. Jesse and Cooter help slow down Boss while Luke jumps into a tree that Daisy and the others pass under. He drops down into Boss’ car, startling them and Bo turns around. Luke gets the camera and throws it to Bo as he passes by. Everyone starts chasing Bo. Bo takes out the film and hands the camera to Daisy. Daisy tries to throw it back to Bo but Boss gets it. As Boss celebrates, Bo explains he has the film. Luke climbs back into the General while they are all still driving. Luke jokes they need to get the doors to open.
The paper prints to show the real thieves.
Balladeer: Well that was Daisy’s first headline. And it cost Boss about $5,000 in contributions to the Hazzard county orphanage not to have his picture shown with Vic and Corey who went to jail. Bo and Luke were cleared of all charges and Boss managed to put on five pounds. All that exercise gave him some kind of appetite. But one thing was working, Boss’ Celebrity Speed Trap. And this time it nailed Miss Dottie West. Ain’t it nice to know there is a place in this whole world where things never change?
Dottie West is caught in the speed trap and signs. Daisy and Cooter sit at the bar with her as Cletus and Boss stand nearby. Bo, Luke, and Jesse sit in the front row watching her. After the Dukes thank her and Jimmy takes his place behind the bar. Cletus asks her to autograph his ticket book. Boss brings out an old book of traffic ordinances to show which one she broke, blowing off the dust which Jesse tries to shield Dottie and Daisy with his hat from. Dottie says Boss isn’t charging admission and Boss says he’s charging everyone $10 to get out. Everyone laughs thinking Boss is joking but Bo points out that he’s not and Cletus is collecting the fee at the door.
- Tom Wopat as Luke Duke
- John Schneider as Bo Duke
- Catherine Bach as Daisy Duke
- Denver Pyle as Uncle Jesse Duke
- Rick Hurst as Cletus Hogg
- Ben Jones as Cooter Davenport
- James Best as Rosco Coltrane
- Sorrell Booke as Boss Hogg
- Waylon Jennings as The Balladeer
- Richard Paul as Mr. Clyde Amos
- Michael Greene as Vic
- Alex Kubik as Corey
- Kevin Hagen as Farmer Perkins
- Town of Hazzard
- Boar's Nest
- Duke Farm
- Old Livery Stable
- This is the second mention of Daisy's ambition to be a type of writer
- In Daisy's Song Daisy had wanted to be a song writer. In this episode she wants to be a reporter.
- Daisy expresses wanting to take a correspondence modeling course and have a signing career
- Dottie West is caught in the Celebrity Speed Trap and performs "Even If You Were Jesse James"
- Flash was absent from this episode