Sergeant Carter had some news for Gomer. He was outside in the sunshine when Carter walked outside. Gomer saw him come closer.
“Hi, Sergeant Carter.”
“Good afternoon, Pyle. I do have some news I would like to share.”
Gomer looked at him, and waited for him to tell his story.
“What’s the news?” he asked.
“Pyle, the surprise I would like to tell you is very good news.”
“Tell me, Sergeant.”
He was really giving Carter his full attention, and he did see that Gomer was listening.
‘This will be the only way to get Pyle to leave me alone,’ Carter told himself.
“Pyle, we’ve been through a lot together in the past several years now. My news is that you will be discharged.”
‘I hope he will take it well,’ he told himself.
Gomer understood what the sergeant was telling him.
“Does that mean I won’t be able to see you anymore if you let me free?” Gomer asked.
“That’s right, Pyle. You will be able to leave for home next Monday.”
“Why are you letting me free?”
“You’ve served your time, Pyle. I am finally letting you go since there is more to the story.”
Gomer still had his full attention, letting Carter go on with his story.
“Pyle, the reason I am discharging you is because I happen to retire. When you leave next week, I will be one hundred percent retired.”
“How long have you kept this secret from me, Sergeant?”
Gomer wasn’t liking this news, but he would be happy to return to Mayberry.
“About a year or two,” he answered.
“You should’ve told me instead of waiting at the last minute, Sergeant. I will miss you,” he said.
Carter didn’t say anything right away.
“I want to keep in touch with you, Sergeant Carter. I would go home to Mayberry and they will hear that you let me go. Is that your final decision?”
“Yes, Pyle. This is the only chance that I can get rid of you after all of these years.”
“You really don’t mean that, do you?”
“Yes, I do mean it. I have wanted to do this since you first joined. Nothing worked until I came up with this idea. Maybe it will work this time.”
“I just thought of something, Sergeant.”
“Why don’t you come home with me and you can meet my friends? It would let them have that chance with you.”
“Not going to happen, Pyle.”
What he had just said was true, and not once had he changed his mind.
Sergeant Carter wanted to keep his retirement a secret from Gomer until he decided when the right time would come, and it did.
He talked more about it with Gomer.
“What time do I have to leave on Monday?” Gomer asked.
“That’s up to you, Pyle. I will leave sometime after you do. After this, we won’t be talking or seeing each other anymore. Do you understand?”
Gomer was starting to get the picture: the sergeant didn’t like him since day one. That hurt his feelings, and that was something he never liked hearing.
He would call Goober tonight and let him know about his being discharged. At least Goober would be happy to have him back.
Gomer looked at the time, which read 7:15 PM. He thought it wasn’t too late to make the call. He left Sergeant Carter alone so he could do what he wanted to.
He walked to the nearest telephone and dialed his cousin’s number. He listened to it ring for a few times until someone picked up.
“Gomer, is that you?”
“Yes, it’s me. I have some news I want to share.”
“I will be discharged Monday, so we can see each other then.”
“Why are you being discharged?”
“Sergeant Carter said he’ll be retiring that day also. I just wanted to let you know.”
“That’s great news! I will pick you up at the airport.”
“Okay. I will look forward to it. I really did miss you.”
“Same here. Will talk to you later.”
Then they ended their call. Gomer was happy to go back to Mayberry because that’s where he called home. And that’s where his friends are.