Corky is drawing a picture of Bimbo when Joey comes over The boy says that Mrs. Gitano gave him the sketch pad, and Joey points out that she's been doing things for Corky. Corky says that Mrs. Gitano did say that if he got tired of living with Joey, he could live with her family. Joey assures him he won't get tired of him for a long, time, and advises Corky to go in and watch the Gitanos' act.
In the tent, Tim presents Maria and Julio Gitanos' bareback equestrian act. Corky takes care of their horses while they take another bow, and afterward Julio snaps at the worker for not handling the horses properly. Corky goes over to the trailer where three "lost" children are, and discovers only one of them, Gene, is there. Gene nervously backs away and finally says that he doesn't have any money. Corky tells him that the suckers he has are a present, and Gene takes two of them.
Later, Tim asks Joey to work up a few new clown routines. Joey confirms that Gene is still there and won't say who he is or where's from. Tim tells him to get Sheriff Thompson while he talks to Gene. Gene only gives his first name, and Joey brings Thompson. Thompson doesn't recognize Gene as a local, and figures that he's a runaway. When he says that he'll take him to the jail, Corky objects and suggests that Gene stay with them as his assistant. Joey leaves it up to Tim, who warns that Corky will have to be responsible for him. If Thompson doesn't find the boy's parents in three days, they'll have to leave Gene behind when they leave the town. The sheriff agrees to the arrangement.
That night, Corky tells Joey that Gene didn't say thanks for the help they give him. Half the time he just grabs things, and Joey figures that Gene has had a hard life. He explains that Gene has been damaged by things beyond his control, and doesn't know if they can "fix" him. Gene comes in and Joey tucks him and Corky in for bed.
The next day, Corky is working and Gene refuses to work. He says that he only promised to be Corky's assistant so they wouldn't take him away. Tim comes over and Gene quickly goes to work. As they get some water, Gene trips Corky and Bimbo sprays him with water. Gene comes to the Gitanos' horses and untethers one of them, and says that they'll be friends. The worker comes over and tells Gene to get away. Julio sees them and comes over, and tells the worker that Gene was doing his job. The worker throws a punch at Julio, and a fight breaks out. Julio soon decks the worker, and Tim grabs the man and tells him to get out. The performer asks Gene if he likes the horse, and offers him a job working with them. Tim agrees and Gene tells the Gitanos that Corky dumped the water on him and hates him. Maria doesn't believe it but Julio dismisses it and sends him to dry off his clothes.
Later, Maria praises Gene, calling him Geno. Julio tells him to rub down the horse, and discovers that Maria showed Gene a brooch that the King of Belgium gave her. He says that Geno was the name of his father and will someday be the name of his son, and warns that the boy isn't theirs and Maria shouldn't give him ideas. Julio assures that someday they'll have a son of their own.
At Joey's wagon, Corky shows him some of the gifts the performers have given them. Gene casually dismisses them and goes to bed. Later, Corky wakes up and realizes that Gene has snuck off. He dresses and goes after the boy, and finds Gene sleeping in the hay. Dreaming, the boy says that he'll work harder. Corky wakes him up and assures him that nobody is hurting him. Gene says that he likes it better there than at the wagon, and Corky tells him about what he was saying in his sleep. Gene says that it was just a dream, and tells the horse Paulo that he's going to stay with him.
The next day, Gene goes into the tent and asks the trainers to show him how to be a rider. They agree and they put a harness on him, and have him ride the horse around the ring. Julio and Maria come in just as Gene falls off, and Maria assures him that he was doing good. He tells them that he wants to be a rider just like them, and Julio tells him to feed the horses and clean their tent. Maria tells him that they'll see about training him after that.
As Gene cleans out the tent, Corky comes over riding Bimbo. He calls Corky over and shows him the brooch, and claims that Julio gave it to him. Gene says that he'll be in the Gitanos' act, and Corky quickly excuses himself. Maria and Julio come over and see the brooch, and Maria says that she told Gene that he could touch it. Julio takes the brooch away and the couple talk privately. Gene listens as Julio tells his wife that Gene is lying and has made a liar out of her. Gene comes in and says that his father is waiting for him and he's going home. The boy claims that his father wouldn't give him a boat so he ran away, and quickly leaves. Mario breaks into tears, much to Julio's disgust.
Eugene leaves the circus and runs off. Meanwhile, Thompson returns and tells Tim that he found out where Gene lives and is taking him home. They go to the horses to find Gene, and Julio tells them that Gene went back home with his father. Thompson explains that Gene is an orphan and the orphanage loaned him out to an abusive farmer, Stebbens. Stebbens beat the boy, and Gene has run away three times. Julio realizes that if he wants Gene, he could have him. The performer mounts up and rides out to find Gene.
Gene is walking through the hills when he sees Julio galloping toward him. Terrified, the boy runs off and Julio finally catches him. Gene explains that he lied because he doesn't want Julio and Maria to fight because of him, and Julio says that it was his fault and he wants Gene to come back. He assures Gene that he likes him, and they need a boy like Gene so they can be parents.
Soon, Gene is back in the ring training. Julio and Corky start arguing about which boy is cleverer, Gene or Corky. Maria finally breaks them up and everyone laughs.
Written by Gadfly on Jun 30, 2017