What's so funny, Barn? You readin' on of those "Learn-a-month" magazines again? 1 Barney looks at Andy. "Hmm? What? Oh, this. Naw, this is one of them true crimes magazines. Boy, I'll tell you, if we'd a had clues like that, we'd a had them criminals lock, stock, and barrel weeks before them city police. Trouble is, nothin good ever happens here. Yeah boy, lock, stock, and barrel." Barney leans back in his chair and pulls his hat down over his eyes. 2
In a short while Barney nods off and begins to doze, before he is startled awake by the ringing of the courthouse phone - which he almost mistakes for his alarm clock back at Mrs. Mendlebright's boarding house. Andy answers, "Sheriff's office".
"Yes sir, what can I do for you?". As he listens, Andy's expression turns grave, "Is he armed captain?". Aroused from his drowsy stupor, Barney suddenly grows wide-eyed as he lifts the peak of his cap and swivels around in his chair to look at Andy. 3
Andy jumps up and says "Barn we better get the shot gun" "this could be big trouble" 4 Barney jumps up, with a look of fear on his face, he says "Big trouble Ange?" Andy says "I'm afraid so, That was the state police the Felts brothers have escaped from the State Prison in Meehawken, South Carolina." "again?" Barney said Andy replies "yep, They hid in a laundry truck. They were last seen heading our way."
By now Barney is all keyed up, and excited. That's a trait with the Fifes. He gets it from his mother.
"Ange, Let me check my gun." He excitedly fidgets around, and starts tugging on his gun, in his holster, the guns goes off shooting another hole in the floor. 5 "Barney!!!, I thought I told you to keep that bullet in your pocket!" Barney drops his head sadly "I know you did Ange, but it was turning green. Besides, I lost another one in the laundry again." Andy says "Barn, I told you before to take it out before you send your uniform to be cleaned."
6 Andy and Barney get in the squad car and hurry over to the fillin' station to enlist Gomer's help. "Oh, no Barney, you ain't duputizin' me again. Last time you made me stay awake all night on lookout. I need my sleep. I just don't feel right in the head when I don't get my sleep." 7
"Now Gomer, You mean to tell me, you're not going to help us in apprehending these desperate criminals." Gomer replies "Not, This time Barn I Just don't feel up to it." Barney by now is mad, he turns to Andy, and says "Boy o' boy Ange, how soon they forget." Gomer looks puzzled "Forget what Barn?" Barney looks at him and says "The time Andy saved your life." Andy starts working his jaw muscles, and looks at Barney "Barney I wish you hadn't got him started on that."
8 Gomer says "I haven't forgot it. I remember it just like it was yesterday. A roaring blaze swept through the filling station, and Andy battled his way in through the blinding smoke, and put out the fire. Why, If Andy hadn't come along when he did, that fire might have spread to the pumps, and the whole place would have went up. I would have been just sitting there, my life snuffed out, burnt to a crisp. So, I'll help yall Barn. This is little enough for the man that saved my life." 9 Andy takes Barney aside, "Barney, did you have to start this thing in all over agin...you beat everything, you know that?" Barney replies, "Now Ange, watch your jaw muscles..." Turning back to Gomer, Andy replies "Now Gomer, I don't want you to feel obliged to do something like this if your heart's really not into doin' it...and besides, you squared that matter quite a while back after saving my life. Remember?" Gomer ponders Andy's
words and responds "Well, I guess you're rahhyte.
But maybe I'll go with yahs anyways...if cousin Goober will take over my shift, and it's OK with Wally!" Barney says, "Now that's the spirit
Gomer. I'll get the extra uniform for you back at the courthouse and we'll meet you back here at 0:400! Let's go Ange!" Andy rolls his eyes and looks to the heavens as he gets into the passenger side of the squad car and drives off with Barney at the wheel.
10 Gomer walks back to the filling station to call up
Wally's house when a vehicle surrounded in white
smoke pulls up to the pumps. Gomer hangs up the phone and walks over to what, through the haze appears to be a 1957 white and red Ford cargo van with a driver and passenger inside. "Hey fellers.
Shazam, looks like you got yerself an overheated engine!" The driver replies "Yeah, can you take a look under the hood and see what you can do pal?"
After examining under the hood for several minutes, Gomer walks over to the two men who are now guzzling two bottles of pop from Wally's soda machine. "Hate to be the bearer of bad news fellers, but it looks like you're gonna need a new engine!" One of the men looks nervously at the other and asks, "How long would it take for you to fix?" Gomer replies, "Well my cousin Goober is good at fixin' rebuilt engines an' can probably get a good one from over in Mt. Pilot. I'd say she might be laid up for 2 or 3 days." The other man asks "Can you do something now, we're sorta in a hurry!" Gomer says "I really can't do nuthin' since it looks like I been deputized by the sheriff...so as I can help track down those Felt brothers who escaped from the state prison in a laundry truck!" The men walk slowly towards Gomer
as he looks over at the sign on the side of the van which reads 'Meehawken Laundry' and exclaims
"SHAZAM!!!" 11 Around this time Andy is being briefed over the courthouse phone by State police who are ordering an all-points bulletin as they inform him that the hijacked laundry truck was last seen heading north from Greenville county towards the vicinity of Mayberry. Andy is also told that state police from North and South Carolina would be converging near or in Mayberry within the next several hours.
Andy hangs up and relays this information to Barney who excitedly tells Andy "This is big, this is REAL big!!" As they exit the courthouse, Floyd
is sitting outside the barber shop and yells "Go get 'em Andy, Barney...bring back those escaped cons dead or alive! Oh, and you're looking a little shaggy in the back there Andy!" Barney
turns to Floyd and says "Do you mind keepin' outta
this Floyd, this is official police business and we DON'T need any interference from plain civilians when we got more important things on our minds!" Barney then turns to Andy and quietly
says "The back of your head does look a little straggly Ange!" 12
Andy and Barney got back into the squad car, with Andy behind the wheel. Barney switched on the radio in case there were any developments. Andy looks at his watch. "It's gettin' near 'bout 4:00, so we better go get Gomer. You got his uniform?" "It's in the back seat, Ange. I threw an extra gun back there for him, too."
The filling station looks quiet. TOO quiet. Andy and Barney drive up in front, but nobody's around. Gomer's usual eager presence is nowhere to be seen. Andy and Barney get out of the squad car and take a look around inside. Nothing. "Take a look out back, will ya Barn?" Barney opens the back door and what he sees sends chills down his spine. "ANDY! Out here, QUICK!" Andy comes running, and sees the object of his deputy's anxiety: A red and white cargo van with 'Meehawken Laundry' printed on the side!
13 "Ange, Do you think Gomer is in that van?" Andy replies "I don't think so Barn, Those men would have needed a hostage. We better check it out anyway, just in case" Just as they start to look inside, they hear a noise out front. Andy looks at Barney and says "Barney, I think there is somebody out front." Barney is getting nervous and says "Do you think I should take my gun out?" Andy says "Not just yet let's find out who it is first." Then they sneak along the side of the building, very quietly. As they approached the corner, they see a man's shadow. Andy whispers to Barney "Are you ready?" Barney nervously shakes his head yes. They both leap out at the man throwing him to the ground. After a brief struggle the man gives up. Andy looks at the man's face and says
"Goober!!! What are you doing here?" Goober looked up at Andy and said " I Just come down to get a bottle of pop, and see if Gomer wanted to go see the new John Wayne movie at the picture show in Mt. Pilot." 14 After Goober gets up Andy says "Goober I hate to tell you this but Gomer is not here." Goober smiles and says "I know Andy I just saw him drive by, while I was walking over. Funny thing though, He didn't even slow down when he passed me." Andy looks at Goober with a shocked look, and says "Goober you just saw Gomer! Was he alone?" Goober answers "No, There was two men with him." Andy said "They did get him." After filling Goober in, he insists on going with them. 15 Andy discovers Wally's cash register is open and totally cleaned out. The threesome jump into the squad car, and as Andy steers in the direction Gomer was last seen headed with the strange men, Barney turns around to interrogate Goober in the back seat. "Now Goober do you remember what they looked like, what were they wearing, did you see a weapon, did Gomer look like he was in any immediate danger...?" Goober says "Well they was definately two of them, not countin' Gomer...an' that's about all I can remember Barn, Gomer was drivin' the tow truck so fast, theys all just looked like a whoosh!" Suddenly there is a crackling on the squad car radio. It soon becomes clear that the radio is on the same frequency with Wally's radio in the tow truck, and it appears
Gomer had either left the mike open intentionally or by sheer dumb luck. Andy hushes Barney to make what they can of the conversation, and between the static hear Gomer's say "For shame for shame for shame, evil thoughts and evil deeds always lead to ill-gotten gain..." They then hear one of the men reply "Shaddup rube and just keep drivin' if you wanna see the sun come up tomorrow!!"
16 Andy and Barney have their eyes fixed on the road and their ears glued to the squad car radio as they then hear one of the strangers reprimand Gomer "Whadda you think your doing now Hiram?" Between the static they hear Gomer reply
"I'm slowing down cause thars a stop sign up ahead!" The man says "There's no traffic at that intersection so just keep your foot down on the petal until I say not to, and follow that sign for Highway 43....pass me the cigarettes Ralph." At that moment they lose their radio transmission. "What do you think happened Ange?" Andy replies "My guess is that one of the Felt brothers must've accidentally knocked the mike over when he was reachin' for the cigarettes!" Goober then says "Boy, them Felt brothers sure do sound like tough hombres!" Andy's face then lights up "Wait a minute, if they're at a stop sign and just a few miles from Highway 43 they must be 'bout 5 miles north a' here on Willow Creek Road....Barney pass me the microphone!"
17 Just then the left front tire, on the tow truck, blows out. The truck swerves off the road into a ditch. The passenger door flies open, throwing all three out on to the ground. The gun falls free from Ralph's belt, landing on the ground nearby. Gomer grabs the gun leaping to his feet yelling, "Citizen's Arrest!!! Citizen's Arrest!!!"
Just then, The squad car drives up. Andy gets out followed by Barney, and Goober. Andy says "Well...., It looks like Gomer has everything under control." Moments later the State Police arrive. Andy turns the Felts' brothers over to them, after a short briefing, they congratulate Gomer for his brave deed. As they leave Barney turns to Andy and says. "I told you Ange, We'd have them criminals lock, stock, and barrel before them city police."
After fixing the flat, they all go back to town, and once again all is safe in Mayberry. 18
1. Allan Newsome (email@example.com) on Friday, March 26, 1999.
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