Andy was the first one to reach the courthouse. After hearing the scream, he had bolted down the street, elbowing through the stunned mob. Barney followed close behind him. Andy stepped over the uprooted door and gauged the situation in an instant. Herman stood outside the door to the locked jail cell gazing curiously down at a pair of men who quivered in the far corner.
"Herman!" Andy called, "how'd you get in here? What's going on?"
"Oh, Sheriff," said Herman, "I'm glad you're here. I came to ask you about Grandpa and the department store, but when I got here, these two men with spray paint locked themselves in this cell and refuse to talk to me. Now, I'll be honest with you, if that's a reflection on the rest of this town, I think you'll have to reevaluate your policing method."
Barney stepped in behind Andy, took one look at the seven-foot green giant, and passed out, tumbling down the steps with a moan of terror. The rest of the town crowded around the open door, trying their best to get a good look inside. Andy marched over to the cell and stared down at the two men.
"Well?" he asked, "what were y'all doing in my courthouse with those cans of spray paint?"
They didn't respond.
"Maybe it would be better if you could speak with them face to face," Herman offered. To back up his statement, he grabbed the iron door and promptly ripped it off its hinges with one yank. The crooks turned pale with terror.
"We did it, Sheriff!" cried Riley. "We broke the window on the department store! We stole those chickens! We wrecked the clerk's office! And we were gonna do the same this place!"
"But we'll never do it again, Sheriff," Lester gulped, "honest, we won't! We'll do anything, just promise that your goon won't hurt us!"
"Would you care to make that confession to the rest of the town?" asked Andy.
"We will! Just show us where to go and we'll confess everything!"
"Then come with me."
Andy beckoned towards the broken-down door where half the town still struggled to catch a glimpse inside. The criminals slunk past Herman, who still held the cell door in his hands, and followed Andy just outside the courthouse. At this point, Barney stirred and sat up, dazed from the shock of the entire day. He woke up just in time to hear Riley and Lester confess their wrongdoings to the town from the courthouse steps. The stunned mob had grown so quiet, you could've heard a hen cluck. When they'd finished, Andy added his own statement.
"That's right, it was all caused by these two. And if it weren't for our friend, Herman Munster, they would've gotten clean away with all our money. Now, aren't you folks ashamed of the way you've been acting lately? You nearly ran a hero out of town like a common criminal. What d'you have to say for yourselves?"
"We sure are sorry, Andy," muttered Goober from the front of the crowd.
"Where is this hero, anyway?" asked Floyd.
"Bring him out! We'd like to congratulate him!"
Andy nodded to Herman, who hadn't moved from his position.
"Why don't you come on out?" Andy said. "This town's gotta meet you sooner or later."
Herman leaned the iron door against the wall, and stomped over beside Andy. The entire town held its breath as he emerged from behind the door. Everyone poised to run.
"I told ya I seen a monster," Goober whispered in Floyd's ear.
Realizing he was the object of everyone's attention, Herman grinned a wide, goofy grin and waved.
"Well, howdy!" he laughed.
"I'm Herman Munster. I sure hope we can get to know each other."
No one stirred. Even Herman began to feel the tenseness. He cleared his throat.
"You know, I feel an awful lot like Captain Courageous when his secret identity was revealed to…"
"You read Captain Courageous?" Goober squealed.
"Who doesn't? I've collected almost every issue!"
"Do you have the one where Captain Courageous is captured by the giant slug monsters from Venus?"
With the ice broken, the crowd began to relax. Anyone who enjoyed the same comic books as Goober couldn't be all bad. Andy chuckled to himself as he led the prisoners into the last cell. The town of Mayberry was finally headed in the right direction.
About a week later, everything had settled back to normal, if you could call it normal. With a little haggling from Andy, Herman was given the job at the funeral parlor, the only one in town. The efficiency of the parlor was already improving with the extra help. The town was more than grateful for what his capture of the criminals. It took Herman all he had to keep from swelling up like a proud balloon. In less than three days, the family was swamped with thank-you casseroles and flowers. Lily had joined most of the lady's clubs and used them to share her many unusual recipes. Even though none of the other ladies had much of an interest to try out a lizard liver casserole, at least she was happy to share.
One day, on her way home from one of the ladies' brunches, she happened to pass by the barbershop. Inside, Herman chatted away with his new friends; Goober, Floyd, and Howard. It had taken them some time to warm up to him, but after a few days, they had become some of his best friends. As she walked by, Herman let out a deep laugh in response to a smart remark and stamped his foot in excitement, causing several bottles of shampoo and tonic to tip off the shelves.
Lily shook her head and continued on until she reached the schoolhouse. Peering in nearest classroom window, she found Grandpa standing at the front of the classroom, proudly demonstrating his magic to an enraptured classroom. Using a disgruntled Deputy Fife as his subject, he snapped his fingers. With a puff of smoke, Barney disappeared, leaving a badged raccoon in his place. The class erupted into laughter, which lasted until Grandpa waved his hand. The raccoon turned back into Barney though another puff of smoke. As Lily continued down the road, the school bell rang. Children swarmed out the door where Spot waited to play fetch with Eddie and his pals. The dragon's tail stretched across half of the road, but it didn't seem to bother the quiet community. They'd grown used to the fire-belching creature chasing after their cars and digging pits on the outskirts of town. Spot trotted past the courthouse with Eddie and Opie on his back. Andy glanced out from between the blinds and smiled to himself. Hardly a minute later, Barney stepped in the back door and used the mirror to start combing his hair back.
"Big date tonight, Barn?" Andy asked.
"Oh, you bet, Ange."
"You know the Munsters' niece, Marylin? This'll be our second date in a week."
"Oh, boy," Andy replied with a teasing glimmer in his eye.
"Now, Andy, it's hardly anything yet. We're still just getting to know each other."
"Right, Barn. But aren't you glad you didn't run the family off?"
"I'll say! Though I'm still not too sure about getting turned into a raccoon."
Andy chuckled to himself. Sure, they still had some adjusting to do, but after some time he figured the Munster family would fit in to Mayberry just fine.