Texas Rangers
A Rescue Ranger Short Story
by Chris Silva and Indy

Note: Dale and Foxglove are not married in the time frame of this story, even though they were in TTOTL, from which Bedivere Fairmont originated. Consider it a short story true to the series portrayals. Bedivere Fairmont and "Gallopin'" Gawain Fairmont are creations of Indy. The Rescue Rangers are copyright Disney and are used without permission but with the greatest respect. You are free to distribute, but do not modify.

       Dale came into Rescue Ranger headquarters, carrying a load of walnuts.
       "Am I interruptin' anythin'?" Dale asked. Chip and Monty were on the couch, in an animated conversation.
       "Well, Monty and I are talking about vacation spots. Remember, we’ve got a rest coming for a few days now," Chip said.
       Monty aimed his thumb toward the exercise room. "I think Foxglove's in the gym. Why don't you talk to her for a few minutes?"
        "I'll try, but if she tries to hug me again, I'm goin' out the window!" Dale said.
       Chip giggled as Dale headed toward the exercise room. Too late he heard the sound of wings.
       "Hi, cutie!" Foxglove cried.
       Dale’s eyes got wide as the amorous missile plowed into him.
       "IEEE!" Dale shouted in surprise.
        Smooch!!!!!!!!!!!
       Chip watched as Foxglove chased Dale hither and yon with total glee. "Better hurry and get your pack together, Gadget! I don't know how long he can hold out..."
       Dale ran back into the main room, Foxglove close on his heels. "Help me, Chip! I'll do anything!" Dale pleaded.
       "Anything, Dale?" Chip said, a smile forming. "You'd do anything?"
       Dale was getting worn down, but our favorite bat wasn’t and Dale sensed it. "Yes!!! Help!!!!!"
       Chip took off his fedora and scratched between his ears. "Welllll, I dunno. I could help, but I've got so many chores to do...."
       Dale is tackled by Foxglove. The shower of kisses wasn’t far behind.
       Dale squirms. "Anything!!!!!!"
       Chip handed him a list he'd prepared for just such an occasion. "…And after you get through with the laundry, you take out the trash on Saturday."
       Dale squirms some more. "Any time now, Chip!" Foxglove began kissing Dale.
       Chip reaches into his jacket pocket. "Well, okay then! Hey Foxglove! I've got a telegram for you!"
       While Foxglove was momentarily distracted by Chip's words, Dale began crawling away. She walked over to Chip, curious.
       "Do you really have a telegram for me, Chip?" Foxglove asked—a mixture of curiosity and excitement. "I’ve never received one!"
       Actually, Chip did have a telegram. It was marked "Hondo, Texas" and addressed to Foxglove Fairmont. Foxy’s wings shook as she tried to open it, finally managing to get at the letter inside.
       Foxy squealed in delight. "It's from my Uncle Bedivere!"


Uncle Bevidere
Charles Williams

Family Tree
       Dale gave Chip a withering glance. Foxglove handed the note to Chip and began dancing around the room. Chip read it:

Dear Foxy,

How's the prettiest little filly in the world? Yo're Uncle Bedivere's got a few days off and I'm headed to the old family ranch in Hondo. Bring the others and we'll have a rootin' shootin' time!

Bedivere

       "Come on, everyone. Let's go to Hondo!" Foxy said. "Uh, where is it?"
       Monty looked up from the couch, where he’d been enjoying his afternoon cheese break. "Hondo? Ain't that the name of an old western or somethin'?"
       Gadget came in from her workshop with a pack on her back. "Golly, the West! It'll be nice to get out of Ranger Headquarters and I can try out some of my new inventions!"
       Dale thought hard. "Uh, I think it had John Wayne or Jackie Cooper in it….that was on right before "The Gravy Monsters and the Spud Warrior of Rodan"."
       Monty paid no attention to Dale’s words, but shuddered at the thought of Gadget using the words "new" and "invention" in the same sentence.
       Suddenly, Dale caught up with the subject at hand. "Gee, Foxy. I didn't know your uncle had a ranch, what does he have on it?"
       Foxy took a seat. "Well, it's not his ranch--it's his father’s. Remember, Uncle Bedivere left the timeline when I was young. But the ranch should still be there!"
       Dale sat by her, totally forgetting the earlier frolicking now that his curiosity was up. "If he left the timeline, how is he here to take a few days off?"
       Foxy giggled. "Silly, don't you remember they said they'd be popping up some now? He's still outside our timeline because he's wearing a bracelet like the one Gadget made."
       Dale nodded slowly. "Oh! So how are we gettin' there to Hondo?"
       Gadget put new batteries in the Ranger Wing and ran back inside. "Everyone set?"
       Chip stood and faced the others. "Well, we did say it was time for a vacation. Why not?"
       Dale got a mischievous glint in his eyes. "You know, Chip. I bet Tammy would love to see the Old West…."
       Chip ducked the question, but Gadget came to his aid. "She’s off on vacation right now with her family, Dale. They went to Florida to visit some relatives."
       Dale sulked, seeing an opportunity to worry Chip slide by.
       Monty went to the door and turned back to look at Chip and Dale. "Are you two yahoos gonna quit jawin' so we can get goin'? I haven't had a good adventure in days!"
       Dale ran to the RangerWing. "Shot gun!"

       Foxy did a few stretching exercises as the Rangers found their places in the Ranger plane. "I think I'll fly alongside for a while and get some more exercise," Foxy said.
       Chip got in the back and leaned forward to whisper in Dale’s ear. "See, Dale? I've already got you some leeway!"
       Dale tapped Gadget on the shoulder. "Let me fly the Rangerwing!"
       Gadget hesitated. "Uh, no offense Dale, but the last time you did that we ended up in Tibet..."
       Dale was not put off one bit. "Well...we still had a cool adventure anyway, didn't we?"
       Gadget shrugged and sighed. "Okay, Dale. Once I complete the VTOL sequence and get us in the right direction you can take over."
       Chip rolled his eyes. Dale rubbed his hands together with fiendish glee and chuckled darkly. Monty looked worried and Zipper buzzed with concern. Gadget flipped the power switch.
       "Contact!" Gadget cried.
       The RangerWing took off vertically, and when the wings switched to their regular position, Gadget used the compass to point them toward Texas. Dale glanced back at headquarters.
       "I hope I didn't leave the water running in the kitchen," Dale mutters.
       In a moment, the thought was forgotten as Gadget let Dale take over the controls. Gadget watched him very closely. "Okay, Dale! Just take it easy..."
       Dale pointed at a lever. "Gadget, what happens if I do this?" He pulled it.
       Gadget eyes got wide with warning. "Don't, Dale!"
       Too late. The RangerWing's landing gear detached. Gadget and the others watched it fall to the ground and break apart.
       "Uh oh. We got a problem....." Gadget said.
       Monty shook his head and thought to himself, "Only Gadget would install a lever that makes the landing gear fall off."
       Chip quickly looked down at his seatbelt to make sure it was secured, then he craned forward and bonked Dale.
       "What do you think you're doing?!" Chip shouts.
       Dale looked half-apologetic. "Don't worry! It won't be a problem unless we have to land for some unlikely reason."
       Monty tried to speak calmly. "Uh, Dale? You do realize we have to land eventually don’tcha?"
       Dale suddenly looked very worried. "Oopsie," he said quietly. Gadget took over the controls again.
       Chip leaned back and crossed his arms. "It's no use. Telling him about landing is like telling an ostrich to ride a bicycle!"
       Zipper squeaked up. "Since were VTOL capable, landing without the landing gear will be easy, we don't need a runway."
       Dale suddenly felt a lot better. "Hey, yeah! Zipper is right, we don't need no stinkin' landing gear."
       Gadget did her best to ignore the Cheech Marin impression. "Well, it would be if we didn't need the gear to keep the wings from fusing in the upright position..."
       Dale looked very nervous now. "Uh, a water landing maybe?
       Chip rolled his eyes again. "Oh, great! So all we can do once we land is go up?"
       Gadget nods. "Pretty much, until I can make some new landing gear. We're in the jet stream now, so we should be in Hondo in a few minutes."
       A lightbulb appeared above Dale's head. "We'll just fly into a haystack!" Dale cried.
       Gadget thought about Dale’s suggestion. "Hmm...well, that could work. Of course the reverse centrifugal force could also hurl us from the plane....."
       Chip lost his patience. "Let's just land vertical, and build new landing gear once we're down!"
       "We need to decide soon guys. According to my calculations, were right over Hondo. I'm taking us out of the jet stream," Gadget said, pointing the RangerWing down. The RangerWing descended to an altitude of a few hundred feet, revealing a rolling countryside complete with cows and barns--and yes, haystacks.
       Chip did his best to ignore the last item. "Get us low to the ground, turn the blades up and then cut the power and we should land relatively safe."
       Foxy flew close to the RangerWing, and pointed down. "Look, over to the right! That's the ranch, I'm sure of it!"
       Gadget followed Foxy’s wing. "All right, we're going in...."
       Dale pulled on a crash helmet, as did the others. "Ramming speed!" Dale shouted.

       Chip and the others hung on as Gadget piloted the RangerWing lower and lower. Soon a sprawling dude ranch enveloped their view and Gadget took the RangerWing down for a vertical landing. There was a slight crunching sound on impact.
       "I hope that wasn't something important…" Dale said.
       Gadget hopped out and looked at the plane. "Golly, I was afraid of that. The wings are fused upright now. We'll definitely have to build new landing gear."
       Chip turned to Dale. "Way to go, Baron Von Dummy!" Chip then turned to Gadget, smiled and took her hand.
       "Gadget, I have complete confidence in your problem solving abilities," Chip said.
       Gadget ignored the innuendo. "Golly, thanks Chip! Hey, someone's coming.."
       It was an old gray bat, but the jump in his step and the sparkle in his eyes let everyone know he’s lost nothing of his spryness. He was dressed in a white cowboy hat, with a brown leather vest and red bandana over a bright orange shirt. He also wore leather chaps and custom made cowboy boots. In other words, he was the very picture of a Texas prairie-bat.
       "Uncle Bedivere!" Foxy said, running to him.
       "Well as I live an' breathe! Y'all made it! YE-HAW!" Bedivere shouted, in good Texas drawl.
       Dale waved to Bedivere. "Yep, got here in record time, thanks to my expert flyin'!"
       The old but energetic bat came up and hugged everyone Texas style--read "bear hug". Foxy hugged her uncle back.
       "Uncle Bedivere, it's so good to see you again!" Foxy said.
       Bedivere looked at his niece lovingly. "It's great to see you again, darlin'. Is this the young fella that's courtin' you?" He walked up to Dale.
       Dale offered his hand. "Uh, hiya! Nice to see ya again!"
       Bedivere shook his hand and his whole body. Bedivere laughed good and hard, then slapped Dale on the back—knocking him down.
       "Pleased as a possum in a gumbush to see ya again, buckaroo!" Bedivere boomed.
       Dale looked nervous and shifted his weight. "Uh, Foxy and I just..."
       "Set the date? Glad to hear it! You're like me, hombre. When you see a proud filly, you go right after her!" Bedivere said. Bedivere poked him hard in the ribcage with his elbow and Dale fell again.
       Chip walked up and picked Dale off the ground. "Dale just can't wait!" Chip chuckled.
       Bedivere offered his wings to Foxy and Gadget. "C'mon, lemme show you around my pappy's place here!"
       Foxy and the others oohed and aahed at the big ranch buildings, the horses in the corral, the bulls in their corral, the chuck wagon and the rustic ranch house.

       Chip started to ask a question. "Mister Bedivere…"
       "Call me Uncle Bedivere, boy!"
       "Uh, okay. Uncle Bedivere, this is a human ranch. How come it's your pappy’s?" Chip asked.
       Bedivere stopped a moment. "Well, my pappy didn’t build ‘er, but he was the resident bat at the old Bar-None ever since the first roof was raised! If it ain’t his, whose is it?"
       Chip couldn’t argue that logic, and the tour continued.
       "Everything is so nice here," Foxy said. "The blue sky, the green grass…"
       "Tumbleweeds!" Dale shouted.
       Foxy looked at Dale curiously. "Dale, the tumbleweeds aren’t nice," she said.
       Dale turned her head toward the barn. "No, tumbleweeds coming! Stampede!"
       Bedivere grabbed up a lariat. "Tumbleweeds?! YE-HAH!" Bedivere pulled out a rope, snared a tumbleweed and tied it up in 9.7 seconds flat.
       Dale was very impressed. "Wowie zowie! This place is neat! So what did ya wanna see us for? Is there an evil rancher trying to force you off your land for grazing/oil/gold that's secretly been discovered here by him? Huh, is it? Huh?"
       Bedivere released the tumbleweed on the far side of the yard and returned. "No one like that 'round here, cowpoke. We Texans don't tolerate tinhorns like that fer long!"
       Dale pouted a bit. "Great, now what are we gonna do for fun here?"

       Bedivere slapped his chaps. "Buckle my boots! I must be getting’ old! What I called y'all down here fer is first to join me in a Texas hoe-down, and then to find the treasure my pappy left me!"
       Dale was instantly at attention. "Did you say treasure?" Dollar signs popped up in Dale's eyes.
       Bedivere sat down on a stump in the ranch yard and the Rangers joined him. "Why shore buckaroo! My pappy, "Gallopin'" Gawain Fairmont, was the meanest, toughest hombre of a bat you'd ever meet! And the richest...."
       Dale couldn’t wait to hear more. "And, and?"
       Bedivere looked away, a smile of family pride on his face. "Gallopin' Gawain made his stake in the oil business. Had the best radar sense of any bat I've known! He'd show 'em where the Texas Tea was and charge 'em by the hour!"
       Dale’s face had a big smile now. "Black gold! Get me a gun and let's see if Jed Clampett was right!"
       Foxy was enthralled by the story of her grandfather. "Wow, so he made enough to buy this ranch?"
       Bedivere spied a rogue tumbleweed and eyed it hard. It left the yard in a hurry. "Well, once the wildcat strikes were over, my pappy spent a lot of his livin' making due. But he held back one thing he'd never sell. The gold ring given to him by his old friend Jacob Astor!"
       Foxy looked confused. "Just a ring? But it wouldn't be worth much..."
       Gadget interrupted to explain. "Foxglove, the Astors were one of the richest families in America around the turn of the century. They perished when the Titanic sank, I think."
       Bedivere waited a dramatic moment. "Well, a ring alone might not be worth much. But how about if it was attached to the biggest diamond to ever see the shores of America?"
       Foxy’s eyes sparkled. "A diamond?"
       Monty’s interest was piqued too. "Now, the biggest diamond that I ever seen was back in '62 when I was in the Amazon..."
       "Sounds like a mystery to me!" Chip said. Chip's face brightened with the thought.
       Bedivere nodded to Chip and turned back to Foxglove. "Yep. And this was a bit before Astor found his way on that big tub Gadget mentioned. It's said to be worth nigh onto a million. I want to give it to you, my little filly. It'll be your inheritance."
       Foxy’s eyes got big as saucers. "M..m.mmine?" Foxy fainted and Dale caught her.
       Bedivere smiled big. "Now ain't that jus' like a gal? She gets rich and falls right over!"
       "Hey!" Gadget said, sticking up for females everywhere.
       Chip ignored the exchange. "Where do we begin the search, Uncle Bedivere?"
       Bedivere jumped off the stump. "Not so fast, hombre! First, the hoe-down! Let's go over and join the others for a rompin' stompin' time. YA-HOO!"

       Dale was still working on reviving Foxy. "Foxglove, speak to me!" Dale looked alarmed. Foxglove opened her eyes and quickly kissed Dale
       "Gotcha, cutie!" Foxglove giggled.
       The hoe-down music started up, and the Rangers turned a corner around an old barn to find a bevy of bats, mice etc., dancing on a set-up dance floor of wooden planks.
       "Everybody join in!" Bedivere shouted, grabbing up a partner from the crowd and goes at it. Monty quickly waded into the group and spotted a lovely lady mouse. Chip turned to Gadget.
       "Gadget, shall we dance?" Chip said, bowing.
       Gadget considered it a moment. "Hmmmidunno…well, sure Chip!" Chip was elated as he led Gadget onto the dance floor. Gadget took his arm and soon surprised Chip with her dancing skill.
       "Too-ra-loo! The lass kin dance!" Monty said. "Always did take after me, though."
       Dale looked as intimidated as Foxy did eager to dance. "Uh,...Foxglove....uh....would you like to dance with me?"
       "Let’s go!" Foxy said, dragging him out onto the floor. Once Dale got used to it, he started enjoying himself, and spun her around.
       Meanwhile, Chip had only one person on his mind. "Gadget, now that we have this moment together, there is something I've been wanting to tell you..."
       Bedivere came at them for behind and "yahooed" right in Gadget's ears.
       "What, Chip? I can't hear a thing!" Gadget shouted.
       Chip leaned closer. "I said I love you Gadget!"
       Gadget looked confused. "The bed I love, grab it?"
       Monty was cutting a fine rug, or dance floor at least. "I haven't danced like this since doin' the wombat watutsi back in my old 'omeland!"
       Dale saw Monty’s moves and his competitive blood got going. "C'mon, Foxy! Let's show your uncle some real moves!"
       Dale began to dance faster and faster. Chip saw him as the spinning couple made their way around the floor.
       "Uh, Dale it might not be such a good thing for you to do that..." Chip said.
       Foxy got really dizzy. "Dale, look out!"
       Dale was spinning them toward an ornery looking badger. Suddenly, Dale and Foxy collided with several couples, creating a domino effect. In seconds, everyone but the daring dancer was on the ground since Foxy can't stand on her feet either. Dale looked at the scene with satisfaction.
       "They don't call me the "Tango Twister" fer nuthin’," Dale said proudly.
       Chip looked for a certain gray bat. "Oh, great! Now Bedivere's gonna be mad with us!"
       Dale stuck his tongue out at Chip. "Yer just jealous cause you don’t have my moves!"
       Bedivere was anything but mad. He came over and slapped Dale on the back, sending him careening.
       "YE-HAW! That's the way to dance em down, buckaroo!" Bedivere shouted.
       Dale picked himself up and made a face at Chip. "Ha! Mr. Smarty No-Pants!"
       Bedivere picked up a dinner triangle and rang it fast and loud. "Let's grab some grub!"
       Dale was immediately lured by the dinner bell. "YE-HAW!"

       A chuck wagon was pulled up to the dancing area and the food was dished out. Bedivere talked between bites.
       "Tex-Mex, the hotter the better!" Bedivere said, downing a taco.
       Dale looked cautiously behind the chuck wagon to make sure no dog was chasing it. Bedivere put a red jalapeño pepper on Chip's taco while he was looking at Gadget. Chip doesn’t notice until he took a bite.
       "There, boy! That'll clean ya out!" Bedivere said, slapping him on the back. The pepper went straight down.
       "YEEEEEEEEOOOOOOOW!" Chip shouted. Chip breathed fire, and ran for the water bucket and stuck his head in. Dale rolled on the ground laughing, then took a bite of his taco--not noticing the pepper in his. Dale started jumping around.
       "I'm on FIRE!" Dale cried. Dale was soon in the water bucket with Chip
       Gadget put her taco down. "I think I'll just stick with the salad..." Gadget didn't notice the pepper in her salad.
       Monty gobbles up his taco, covered with a strange sauce. "Jalapeño cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeze!"
       Bedivere shook his head at the "greenhorns." "I better get another bucket of water up here, fast!" Bedivere said.
       Gadget started to perspire. "Uh, that bucket's looking good!" Soon there were three at the trough.
       Monty patted his midsection. "Ah! Nothin' to put in fire in the tummy like fresh jalapeño cheese!" Monty then downed another huge wedge in a single bite.
       Bedivere slapped him in the back. "That’s my special recipe! Triple red hot!"
       Monty's eyes turned red and his moustaches pointed out in several directions as his ears spouted smoke.
       "WATER!" Monty shouted. Bedivere threw an entire bucket of water in Monty's mouth.
       Monty fell over, steam coming from his ears. "Ahhhhhh......." Meanwhile, the bucket brigade was recovering.
       "Whew! Are you supposed to enjoy that stuff?" Chip asked.
       Monty walked over, still steaming a bit. "Chipper, lad. This is the spice o' life!"
       Dale looked up wearily. "I think "endure" would be the word for it....."
       Gadget jumped off the bucket. "Golly, it's certainly a taste that lingers."
       Bedivere called Foxy over. "Gather 'round Rangers! I've got the saddlebags packed. Let's go find us a ring!"

       The soggy Rangers gathered around Bedivere. Dale pointed at the bags on the ground. "Saddle bags? Where's the horses?" Dale asked.
       Bedivere laughed, and this time Dale ducked before he could slap his back. "We ain't ridin' horses, we're riding prairie dogs!" With that, some of the bats led a team of prairie dogs up to the Rangers.
       Dale grabbed up a saddlebag. "Hi-Yo Silver!"
       Chip took another bag. "Are you sure they're safe?"
       Dale gave Chip a sidelong glance. "Chip, you worry too much!" Dale looked in his saddlebag. "Let's see, dynamite, nitro, blasting powder, yep, everything we need is packed and ready to go."
       Bedivere grabbed a saddlebag and jumped on his mount. "Dale’s right pardner! Course they're not safe! What would be the fun if they were safe?!"
       Monty followed suit with Bedivere. "That's the spirit, mate!"
       Chip had one of those "I know I’ll regret this" looks on his face, but he got on a prairie dog. Gadget and Foxy carefully got on theirs. Zipper got on Monty’s shoulder.
       Chip turned to look at Bedivere while keeping his prairie dog under control. "What clues do you have to the location of the ring?"
       Bedivere rummaged in his saddlebag. "Here's the note my pappy left me, hombre..."
       Chip manages to grab the letter and reads it with a bouncing voice:

Bedivere,

You old horsefly hunter! I'm a leavin' you mah ring if'n you can find it! First find mah spur and mah saddle--then you'll find the ring under the pommel.

Gallopin' Gawain

       The Rangers looked at each other.
       "Spur?" Chip said.
       "Saddle? Jeepers, sounds like we’re after an old horse!" Gadget said
       Dale had a smug look. "A railroad spur perhaps?" He stuck his tongue out at Chip
       Bedivere shrugged. "I don't rightly know what all it means, neither. But I figgered your group'd figure it out fer me!"
       Chip handed Bedivere the letter. "We'll find that ring! Rescue Rangers, away!"
       Monty thought out loud, "What would Dad do?"
       "What would Ernest do?" Dale mused.
       "What would Stephen Hawking do?" Gadget wondered.
       Chip considered it. "What would I do?"
       Zipper thought, "What would I do if I was a mammal?"
       Foxglove asked herself, "When is Dale going to propose to me?"

       The Rangers took their thoughts and headed out for the canyons in the distance to the south. Soon they came to a railroad spur
       Dale cried out, "Sweet, sweet vindication!"
       Chip turned to faced him. "Oh yeah? Where's the saddle?"
       Dale's smile faded. "Hey, you're the detective, you figure it out! I can't carry you the whole way!"
       Bedivere held up a wing. "Hold on a spell. I seem to 'member there bein' a rock formation called the Saddle near here..."
       Gadget looked round and her eyes locked on something. "Look!" she said.
       From the angle of the railroad spur, Gadget pointed to a nearby mountaintop. Only from their vantagepoint would it have shown its shape to be a saddle
       Bedivere twirled his hat in the air. "YE-HAW! There she be!"
       Dale pointed his prairie dog toward the hill. "Well, what are we waitin' for, let's find that treasure!"
       "Wait a minute, Dale! How're we going to get up there? We can't fly right now, remember?" Chip said.
       Dale thought a moment. "Well, Foxglove and Bedivere can fly up there."
       Foxy shook her head. "No, I think we should all be in on this. Is there another way, uncle?"
       Bedivere smiled suddenly. "Well, comes to think of it there is!"
       Dale got a slightly fearful look. "Dangerously unsafe mine shafts perchance?"
       Bedivere jumped off his mount and yodeled. The Rangers dismounted a moment later.
       Monty had a look of admiration. "I haven't heard yodelin' like that since the world yodelin' competition back in '78..." Chip walked up to Bedivere, curious.
       "What did you do that for?" Chip asked.
       Bedivere watched the rocks on the steep hillside. "Just calling for some help, hombre...and here it comes!"
       In a few minutes, a mountain goat appeared. "Baaa...did someone want help?" the goat asked.
       Bedivere called him over. "You're plumb tootin’ right we did! We need a ride to the top of the hill!"
       The goat lowered its head. "Well, cliiiiiimb aboard!"

       Chip and the others joined Bedivere on the goat. "Goat, the only way to travel," Chip joked. The goat quickly hopped to the top of the hill. Soon they were at Saddle Rock.
       "Okay, spread out and look for clues!" Chip ordered. "Foxglove and Bedivere take up aerial survey." Chip took out his magnifying glass.
       Bedivere reined him in. Now, ‘member, the ring’s 'sposed to be under the pommel--that's at the front 'er the saddle!"
       Gadget’s face shone as she pulled a device out of her pack. "Hey! I'll look for it with my new invention!" Gadget revealed what looked like a mouse-sized pen. "It's my new ultra-compact electromagnet!"
       Monty looked at the device warily and muttered, "Please don't say it..."
       "And it should work with no problems!" Gadget said with glee.
       Chip ran toward her, his arms up. "Don't say that!"
       Dale looked for a place to hide. "Too late!"
       Gadget flipped the device on, and it went haywire. The entire Saddle began to tremble.
       Monty dodged a boulder. "That thing's got the screaming heebie geebies!"
       Gadget tried to turn the machine off, but of course it wouldn’t. "Is there any iron ore in these rocks by any chance?" The strong electromagnet flew out of Gadget's hands and zoomed straight toward the rock face and plowed through it.
       "Look! A hidden cave!" Chip shouted. "Inside, fast!"
       Dale ran for it. "Let me blunder in blindly and get into trouble!"
       Foxy was right with him. "Only if I can blunder in with you, big boy…"
       "We'll blunder in together!" Dale said. He took Foxglove's wing and they went in
       Bedivere went inside. "C'mon, time's wastin’. Like my pappy used to say, ‘when the cotton's white, it's time to go git it!’"

       Foxy and Dale suddenly echoed, "Help!"
       Gadget ran in the hidden cave "Oh my! Dale! Foxglove!"
       The others ran in as well, but they stopped just short of a deep hole. Fortunately, Foxy grabbed Dale before he could fall too far. Bedivere grabbed a lariat out of Chip’s bag.
       "Here's a rope, pardners! Grab on!" Bedivere roped the tiring Foxglove and then let a rope down for Dale. Shortly a second rope was strung across the void, and the Rangers began the perilous crossing. Foxy and Dale made it back to safe ground and joined the others making their way across.
       Once they crossed the deep chasm, the group took a brief rest. Dale looked back at the hole.
       "Oooo, it's dark and spooky down there!" Dale said. Dale's voice echoed back several times. "But the echo’s neat!"
       Foxglove moves closer to Dale. "Don't be afraid, Dale. We bats can get around in the dark. Just hold me close."
       Dale did so. Foxy smirked at him. "Hold me closer, Dale," she giggled.
       "Uh, Gadget. You better take my hand," Chip said. He added in his thoughts the word "PLEASE!"
       Gadget hesitated a moment then took his hand, thrilling Chip. "You're right, Chip. It would be safer!" Then she began to look around. "By the look of the calcified limestone, I'd say this cave has been here for a long time. We're probably in the right place...."
       Dale began to search every nook and cranny, the treasure fever taking over. "Now if I was a priceless ring, where would I hide?"
       Chip thought a moment. "Well, the letter said "under the pommel". There's a tunnel to the left here that looks to place us right under it! Let's go!"

       Gadget stopped and pulled Chip back.
       "Wait, guys!" Gadget said. "I forgot my flashlight, and there’s not enough ambient light down there!"
       Chip pulled out a candle and lit it. "How about this?"
       Gadget shook her head. "If that candle goes out and we can’t relight it, we’d be in big trouble!"
       Bedivere walked up to the entrance of the tunnel. "No problem! We bats have a way of handlin’ the dark! Ev’ryone link hands!"
       Soon a living link was formed, and Bedivere used his echolocation radar to guide the group. At the end of the tunnel, the bats could "see" a wooden chest. Bedivere ran up to it as Chip’s candle showed it to the others.
       "Paydirt!" Bedivere shouted.
       Dale jumped around. "Oboy, oboy, oboy!"
       Gadget let go of Chip’s hand and pulled out another device. "Here...we can use my electromagnetic lockpick to....."
       Chip grabbed her hand again. "Careful, it could be a trap!"
       Dale laughed, "Don't be ridiculous, Chip! There’s no danger here!"
       Gadget used the light of Chip’s candle to illuminate the old, rusty lock. She inserted the lockpick, and after a few moments’ humming it popped open.
       "I can see something inside! Bring the candle closer," Gadget said.
       Foxy’s knees were buckling. "I'm afraid to look..."
       Bedivere pushed his way frantically to the front. "Somebody look!" Bedivere knocked against Chip, snuffing out his candle.
       "Oh, great! I dropped it!" Chip said. "Now what?"
       Dale fumbled with his pack. "Here, I'll light one of these candles that I got out of the saddle bag!" The candle started to hiss.
       Gadget looked alarmed. "Dale, that's trinitrotoluene!"
       Everyone but Gadget said, "Huh?"
       "Dynamite!"
       Dale cried out in alarm and tossed it to Chip. Chip threw it to the far side of the cave.
       "Run for it!" Chip shouted.
       The bats linked hands with the others, Monty holding the box and Zipper. They all dove for it as they reached the entrance.

       KA-BOOOOOOOOM!

       The tunnel was sealed, but everyone made it out okay. Bedivere slapped Dale on the back yet again. "YEE-HA! You shore do keep a fella on his toes!"
       Monty put his hand into the box, and came out with…..the ring! He held up the ring into the light. It glinted magnificently
       Gadget admired the sparkler. "Monty, you got the ring! It’s beautiful!"
       Bedivere smiled a Texas-sized smile. " Jus' the way my pappy told me bout it..." He fights back a tear or two.
       "Wowie-zowie, look at it sparkle!" Dale said.
       Monty handed it to Dale and whispered something into his ear. Dale looked nervous and took the ring from Monty's hand and approached Foxglove
       "Uh, here Foxglove...this is a token of my esteem and....and...."
       "Affection," Monty whispered.
       "Uh, affection...." Dale added.
       Foxglove looked disappointed for a moment, but she smiled anyway and hugged Dale-- she could wait. Dale slipped the ring onto Foxglove's wing. She grabbed Dale and gave him a kiss that made the fur on his head stand on end.
       Gadget looked over at Chip. "You can let go of my hand now." Chip appeared disappointed, but he obeyed.
       "Well, I guess we'd better be getting back before it gets dark...." Chip said.
       Bedivere slapped Chip on the back this time. "Right you are, cowpoke! ‘Cross the rope we go!"
       Before Chip could get out of the dirt of the cave floor, Dale had made it across the rope. "Back to the goat express!"

       Back at the ranch, the hoe-down was still in full swing. Cheers went up when they saw the group return. Bedivere held up the prize, still on Foxy’s wing.
       "Look everyone, we found mah pappy's ring! Let's buck and stomp!" Bedivere shouted.
       Dale grabbed Foxglove and they went spinning around again, knocking people over left and right. Gadget took Chip by the hand (again, much to Chip’s satisfaction) and they began dancing as well--but far out of range of Dale and Foxglove.
       Monty sat on a nearby bench, eating another taco. "Well, it was one bonzer adventure..."
       "Golly, it sure was," Gadget said, as she and Chip passed by.
       Chip nodded. "Yep, sure was! Say Gadget, now that we have a moment alone..."
       "Tumbleweeds!" Dale shouts.
       A herd of rogue tumbleweeds came though and sent everyone scattering. Dale grabbed a hot pepper and ate it whole, and soon he breathed fire at the tumbleweeds. They retreated and scattered, and so did Dale—to the bucket. The Rangers got a good laugh out of it, along with Bedivere. At that moment, a buzzer went off on Bedivere's time bracelet.
       "Well, slap my mouth an’ call me a polecat! It's already time fer me to get back to th’ future!" Bedivere said.
       Foxy came over and hugged Bedivere. "Aw, so soon?" Bedivere wiped Foxy’s tears away.
       "I'm afraid so, sugar lump. The time council’s expectin’ me. But I'll be back soon! Thanks for the great rip-snortin' time!" Bedivere pressed a button on his bracelet and a white oval-shaped time portal appeared.
       "Thanks for letting us come along!" Chip said.
       "And for the inheritance, Uncle Bedivere," Foxglove added.
       Monty finished his taco. "Thanks for the cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeze!"
       "Golly, thanks for the unique experience!" Gadget said.
       Zipper added a "Buzzzzzzz!"
       Dale waved goodbye from the bucket. "Thanks for the peppers and the ring! …and your niece."
       Foxy was overwhelmed with joy. "Dale!"
       Smoocherama!
       Monty put a hand on Chip and Gadget's shoulders. "Does that give the two o' you any ideas?" Gadget blushed and Chip blushed harder.
       Bedivere waved goodbye and stepped through the portal. It disappeared behind him momentarily. The hoe-down was over, and the Rangers’ thoughts turned to another problem.

       "Golly, we've still got to fix the RangerWing!" she said.
       One of the bats came up. "There's some spare parts in the barn if that'll help..."
       Gadget totally forgot everything else. "Great! C'mon everyone! I'll have us some new landing gear in no time!"
       Monty shrugged at the disappointed Chip. "Sorry, Chip. I gave it me best shot."
       Dale was busy entertaining Foxglove by eating peppers and belching fire. Chip sighed and followed Gadget into the barn. In a half hour, the landing gear was ready. Using the prairie dogs, they towed it to the RangerWing. Ropes and prairie dog power tilted the plane enough to slide the new gear into place.
       Dale ran up just as they finished. "Can I fly it?!"
       The Rangers spoke as one--"NO!"
       Chip plunked Dale in the back seat and took over shotgun. "You've done enough flying lately! Just sit back and enjoy the ride."
       Gadget switched the engine on, while Dale sat in the back seat, his arms folded and an annoyed look on his face. Foxglove landed next to him and snuggled him. He was unable to maintain his frown.
       "This new landing gear should work with no problems!" Gadget said.
       Chip ignored the threat of the words, since he was now riding shotgun. The leader of the Rescue Rangers pulled down his fedora a bit. "Gadget, take us home!"
       Gadget aimed the RangerWing north. "Roger, Wilbury!"
       Monty settled back and switched into story mode. "This reminds me o' the time when Chuck Yeager and me were up in the..."
       The Rangers groaned slightly as Monty started another adventure tale. The RangerWing got smaller and smaller in the screen as it flew into the sunset.

M A I N P A G ED I R E C T O R Y
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