By Randall Taylor
The young sheriff Andy Taylor was the only officer in Mayberry, and he needed help. The town was growing, soon to have a new movie theater, which would bring new visitors into the town and increase traffic. Barney Fife was fresh out of the army and his cousin Andy was trying to work him into the sheriff ‘s office as his deputy. Opal Taylor, Sheriff Taylor’s young bride, had just announced she was pregnant.
But there was a mystery needing solved in Mayberry. One of the Pruitt brothers had gone missing: Jim Pruitt had simply vanished without a trace, and his twin brother Jeff offered no clues as to where he might have gone. Town gossip fueled the situation until almost the whole community was calling Jeff Pruitt “the Mayberry Murderer.” Sheriff Taylor tried to remind everyone no charges had been filed and no evidence of murder was ever found. But for young Barney Fife, ever wanting to be the detective, he felt this was the perfect situation for him to launch his career.
The year 1953 would be an exciting one in Mayberry, filled with fun and laughter and mystery and suspense. But before the year would close, a test would be placed upon Sheriff Taylor and the whole community. It would be a test of faith.