Lost Episode--New Stranger in Town

by Joe Gritton

Scene 1:
Goober reports a Stranger

Goober bursts into the courthouse.

Goober: Andy, Andy, there's a stranger fella in town! He knows more than he ort to about..

The noise of the door slamming startles Barney who is sleeping across the row of wooden chairs. Barney reaches for his hat to put it on his head, but when placing it there, realizes from the grin on Goober's face that he has just placed the feather duster that he was using to tidy up on his head. He pulls it off hurriedly, straightens his hair, finds his cap and puts it on.

Barney: What's up Goob? There's a stranger? Where?

Goober: He just came into the station. Says his name is sumthin Newton. He called me by name, got out of his fancy car and insisted on havin' a bottle of pop with me. He bought. He asked me about cousin Gomer, and my dog, Spot, and even (Goober talks softer now almost through clenched teeth) about how my love-life was.

Barney scurries around the desk to grab his holster. He puts it on and pulls out the gun checking it, and feeling his pocket for his bullet.

Barney: Stranger huh, Purty personal questions for a stranger. Newton his name? Was it Newton Monroe?

Goober: No, Newton was his last name I think. Where's Andy? Are you gonna call Andy?

Barney: You think I can't handle this?! You think I'm gonna over-react or somethin (under his breath) Where is that tear gas canister? Goober, go get Floyd, Jud, Otis anybody you can find for me to deputize. Lets throw a net over the whole town.

As Goober steps out, Aunt Bee strolls into the courthouse with Opie close behind.

Aunt Bee: Barney, do you know where Andy is? There's a stranger fellow looking for him

Barney: No, I think he's out on patrol, but I can't worry about some guy lookin for Andy when there's a stranger in town.

Aunt Bee: This guy IS a stranger. He said he was gonna go check in at the Mayberry Hotel and that Andy might find him out around Floyd's Barber Shop if he's not there. ..and tell him not to be late for Suppa.

Barney has taken out his notebook and hurriedly begins to jot things down.

Barney: Did he say where we was from, or where he was going? Do ya know how many nights he's gonna stay?

Opie: He's got out-of-state plates, but he seemed like a nice enough guy. He didn't say how long he was stayin'

Barney: Did he have any distinguishing characteristics? Did he have a scar? Did he walk with a limp? Did he wear a silver hat? Did he have 12 extra sets of hands? Could he make smoke come out of his ears? Did he jingle when he walked? Did he have an Englishster accent? Dutch? Spanish? Arabian? Latin?

Opie: No, he was just average

Goober bursts back in excitedly nearly knocking Aunt Bee down.

Goober: Floyd's not there, but the stranger fella is snoopin' around in the barber shop.

Barney: What's he doin? Is he around the cash box?

Goober: No, he was lookin at the magazines and was lookin' at the bottles on the shelf. (speaking more softly and through his teeth again) I think he took a sniff of the Witch Hazel.

Opie: Floyd don't care. He lets me smell it all the time. Did he take any lollipops out of the drawer? Maybe he's just waitin' for a haircut

Scene 2
The Investigation

By the time Barney and Goober go back to the barbershop, the stranger is gone. Barney continues down the street questioning everyone in sight if they have seen the stranger, or Floyd. When Barney reaches the Hotel, he comes in out-of-breath and starts ringing the bell at the empty desk. A person raises up slowly unsteadily from behind the desk. It's Otis Campbell.

Otis: You Rrrrang?

Barney: (obviously surprised) Otis, What are you workin' here for?

Otis: A buck and a half an hour, and a place to stay when your estabrishmen?. your facilitry ....er, my cell, is occupried

Barney: Do you have to be tipsy all the time Otis?

Otis: No, but is makes the day go a lot frastrer

Barney: Now listen Otis, this is official police business. Do you know of the whereabouts of an out-of-town guest registered at this accommodation?

Otis: No, but I know a thring er two about that stranger fella.

Barney: Well Give! What's up? What's his M O? Who's 'e workin' for?

Otis: Huh? I think he's a dentist or a barber because he carried in one of those white jackets with his clothes.

Barney whips around quickly to Goober

Barney: Do you know what this means?

Goober: I'm gonna have to have a check-up and get my teeth filled?

Barney: No no no, you'll never have police instincts Goober! You wouldn't recognize a muddy giraffe on a iceberg. Don't you see? He's kidnapped Floyd! He's tryin' to take over the Barber Shop!

Otis: So would you like a room for the Ev-en-ning or Not?

Goober: You better get Andy, Barn!

Scene 3
Consulting Sheriff Taylor

Goober and Barney hurry back toward the courthouse and hop into Goober's truck. They drive over to Andy's house. It's obvious Andy is home now because the squad car is neatly parked out front. Barney hops out quickly and runs toward the house, hollering Andy's name. From the bushes in front of the porch, Andy backs up, stooped-over, where he had been picking up some trash, right as Barney is running by. The next shot is of Barney laying flat on his back in the grass, having ran into Andy, and flipping headlong over him. Andy extends a hand to help him up.

Andy: Hey Barn, did ya have a nice trip?

Barney sits up, his hair all messed up and he is obviously shaken.

Barney: You oughta watch where your going, you know that! You could hurt somebody!

Andy: (smiling) Oops, did I not have my backup lights on again?

Barney: You're real funny, you are! Why don't ya go over to ole man Beasley's and put a crimp in his breathin' tube and see if he turns red!

Goober and Andy help Barney back to his feet and he brushes himself off. A couple kids can be seen in the background chuckling and pointing from the across the street.

Andy: What's going on! Whatcha got such a bee in your bonnet to find me about?

Barney: Its the Newton Case! It's a kidnapping! Its breakin' and entering. It's It's...?

Andy: It's Big, Huh?

Barney: Oh, Big ain't the word for it Andy.

Goober: I saw 'em first. This Newton stranger came to Wally's. He got out of his car and sat down at the station and bought me a bottle of pop. He knew my name, Spot's name, Gomer's name and he (embarrassed, speaking softly) asked me about my loooove life.?

Andy: Well, sounds like quite a notorious fella, this stranger.

Barney: But that ain't all Andy. Goober saw him snooping around in Floyd's Barber Shop when Floyd wasn't there. Otis at the Hotel saw him carryin' a white jacket thing, AND... Floyd's missin'! He's not at the shop!

Andy: What's Otis doing at the Mayberry HO-tel?

Goober: He's workin' there now. He gets 10 cents an hour more than I do and I been at Wally's for 5 years.

Barney: Well what are ya waitin' for Andy, lets go find this Newton character and rescue Floyd!

Andy: Now Barrrney...yer lettin' yer plow get out in front of yer mule here. We don't know that this fella's done anything wrong. You know Floyd leaves the barbershop unlocked till he quits at about seven. And a white jacket don't mean nothin. Maybe he's a Dentist....or, or an ice cream man.

Goober: I ain't gettin' no fillins unless he gives me laughin gas?

Andy: Have ya checked Floyd's house to see if he went home for a nap? (Smiling) Hey, I've got an idea. Lets go over to the HO-tel.

Barney: Well, your finally comin' around. Are we gonna go into his room and do a shakedown?

Andy: (Smiling) No, I wanna knock all the keys on the floor and see if the desk clerk can put 'em back in the right little cubby holes.

Barney: We gotta kidnapper on the loose and you wanna play tricks on the town drunk! Malfeasance..nuthin' but malfeasance!

Scene 4
Walker's Drug Store - Informal Town Meeting .

Andy and Barney walk into the Drug Store

Andy: How-do there Miss Ellie. Well, afternoon Mr. Mayor (Pike) What brings you out among the citizens this fine day.

Mayor Pike: It's that Stranger in town Andy. Why aren't you out trackin him down?

Barney: Well! (shaking head) at least somebody else in this government's got his eye on the wheel!

Andy: Are we agin' vis'tors Mayor? I thought we wanted tourists in Mayberry. Is this gonna be another case like that Sawyer fella that read about Mayberry in the newspaper and wanted to make it his home town, then the whole town nearly chased him away?

Ellie: Or are we all gonna mistrust the guy like SOME OF US did that guy who made a record from our local talent??

Barney: OR are we gonna all be takin' in like we were by those people supposedly filmin' a bank robbery in Mayberry, or those guys that wanted to give us medals for being crime-free while they robbed the town blind!

Ellie: (with big teethy smile) OR MAYBE he's a talent scout who sells shoes on the side?

Mayor: Well Andy? What do you think??

Andy shoves his hands deep in his pockets and rolls his head back

Andy: One thing we know for sure. We Don't know ANYTHING for sure, and we ain't got a very good record at figuring folks out. We're just gonna have to sit back and be neighborly, and see what this fella's up to.

Barney: And poor Floyd's probably tied up somewhere. It's Barber-Napping, that's what it is, I telll ya, Barbaric Barber-napping!

Mr. Foley walks in the the Drug Store.

Mr Foley: Peroxide Miss Ellie? Got a cut.? (Ellie looks in the cabinet) Boy that new fella asks alot questions doesn't he?

Barney: You talked to him? Where'd he go? Did he have a body bag?

Andy: Barrrney!

Barney: What wuz he asking about?

Mr. Foley: Oh, nothin' special. Just seemed like he wanted to learn a lot about the town. He asked questions about everybody. He said somethin about some kinda mail. I spose he was gonna stop by the post office, and then he was goin' over to spend some time with Sarah.

Mayor: Sarah, the operator? Nobody's ever seen her in person! What's 'e doin over there.?

Barney slaps both hands against his sides, pushes his tongue deep into one cheek. His head tremors and he raises one finger.

Barney: Are ya happy now Sheriff! Are ya feelin' neighborly now? He's probably tampered with the US Mail, and now he's over at Sarah's cutting off communications with the outside world! DO YA THINK ITS TIME TO BE CONCERNED YET?

Scene 5
Back at the Courthouse

Andy and Barney are back at the courthouse as dusk begins to set. Barney is nervously pacing. Andy is talking on the phone

Andy: Uhn-Hunh, Yes...I see. Thats what he talked about? Nice Fella huh? OK, Thank You...OK, Thanks Sara..You'll call me back then when he gets back? Yeah, I'll be here.

Andy hangs up the phone.

Barney: Well? Is he there?

Andy: No, but he's been there...and you'll be glad to know that we still have communications with the outside world. He went to check in with Floyd she said, and then he was coming back to finish talkin' to her.

Barney: To check in with Floyd? He's probably tied up somewhere and he's just gonna pull the gag out of his mouth long enough to give him a sip of water...OR POISON!

Andy: I've got an idea!

Barney: I suppose yer gonna go up to a room at the Hotel and ring for linens to see if Otis can make it up the stairs er sumthin!

Andy: (chuckling) Well, that would be worth a try. I want you to go down main street and stop at every store on the street.

Barney: Yeah and....Do ya want me to launch into counter measures in the event of a 602?

Andy: No, I want you to do a 'shakedown' of each door to make sure its locked, and I'll take the squad car and go get a cup of coffee

Barney: Boy, your a real Marshall Dillon, you are! Floyd may have cut his last hair and yer worried about missin your evening coffee. Why don't you just go drain the water trough so if the crook makes a run for it, his horse will die of thirst.

Barney walks out and slams the door...time passes When Barney returns to the courthouse, he immediately notices that there are two people sitting in the chairs talking to Andy. To his great relief one of them is Floyd. His great detective mind tells him the other one must be the new stranger in town.

Floyd: Oh, Hello Barney (chuckling a little) Here am I in one piece! I understood you thought I was missing, or...or kidnapped or something. (keeps laughing, turns to stranger) He's a nice man. He means well. Just gets a little (Floyd gestures with his hand spiraling upward)... wound up. (Floyd turns back to Barney)

Floyd: Barney, this nice fella came to visit with me. He wants to learn all he can about me, so we went to my house to visit and go through my Photo albums. He wants to?(Floyd throws his head back proudly) follow in my footsteps!

(Barney speaking quickly, curtly, obviously a little perturbed)

Barney: Well, That's fine. Welcome to Mayberry Mr. Newton. But just tell me one thing. What were you doing talkin to the town operator?

(The stranger stands, turns to Barney extending his hand for a handshake)

Stranger: It's a great pleasure to meet you Deputy Fife. Like I was tellin' Andy and Floyd here. I came here in a time machine. I'm from 1999. (Barney's eyes get big) This is a wish come true for me. My name is Allan Newsome, not Newton. I have a bunch of friends there who I correspond with via Electronic mail. We call it the Digest. They all love your guys and this town. I was askin' Sara what its like being the main communicator for the whole town because I sort of do that with the Digest. I also like to do impressions of Mr. Lawson here, so I just wanted to watch him in person for a while.

Barney: (stammering) The what, The future 1999? Electronic Mail? What do you do, plug your typewriter into hot plate or something?

Allan: You wouldn't believe it Barney, you just would believe it...?

Camera fades out as Barney sits down with Andy Floyd and Allan for a long visit...Allan's dream of a visit to Mayberry come true.