Fitzhugh and Barry are passing a house and a woman puts cookies out on her sill and a "Welcome" Thrombeldinbar sign with them. She knocks one cookie on the ground, and the two Earthlings grab it and head for a nearby fireplug. A police car drives nearby and they hide, and Chipper runs off into the bushes. Barry goes to get his dog while Fitzhugh runs into the park. A young boy, Garna, sees Fitzhugh and mistakes him for Thrombeldinbar. As Barry returns with Chipper, Garna picks Fitzhugh up and says that he caught him.
Barry follows Garna away, and Fitzhugh insists that he's not Thrombeldinbar. Garna says that he knows the rules and won't let Thrombeldinbar go once he's caught him. A Gypsy, Okun, and his pet monkey come by and Okun asks Garna what he has. He accuses Garna of stealing things, and Garna runs off. Okun spots Barry, realizes that he's one of the little people, and sends his chimp to catch Barry. Barry manages to hide and Okun assumes that he's seeing things.
Garna goes to the state children's home and Barry follows him there. While Barry goes to Spindrift to tell the others, Garna goes to his room. The manager, Parteg, sees him and goes into the room. Garna shares a room with his little brother Tobek, and Parteg asks what they're up to. He tells them not to go outside and leaves, and the boys but Fitzhugh in an empty box. Fitzhugh insists that they're making a mistake, but Garna says that they brought him the cookie on the Night of Thrombeldinbar. He says that the other children without parents were "spoken for" and taken home by adults. No one asked for them, and Fitzhugh offers them the cookie.
Barry tells the others what happened, and Steve has him take them to the orphanage.
Fitzhugh makes a paper hat to entertain the boys, and asks what they wish are. Garna says that they won't get their wish until they set him free, and gives them the "secret pledge of the elves" that he'll never fool them if they tell him when they're supposed to release him. Garna says that they let him go when the moon comes up.
The little people arrive outside and note that the orphanage isn't decorated like the houses in town. Dan scouts around for another entrance while Steve and Mark break into an air vent while Valerie and Barry wait outside.
Fitzhugh continues entertaining the boys, and Parteg hears them laughing. He comes in and Fitzhugh hides. Parteg demands to know what's going on and complains about the mess from the box they dumped out for Fitzhugh. He complains that he has to stay and watch them because nobody wanted them, and realizes that they're hiding something in the box. Parteg finds nothing and tells them to clean up, while Fitzhugh hides in the corner of the room under the bed. He writes out math problems for them to work on, and Tobek tries to look under the bed for Fitzhugh until Garna stops him.
Steve and Mark calls Fitzhugh over to the vent, and Fitzhugh tells them that he's not in danger and they think he's Thrombeldinbar. He explains that the boys are orphans and think that he's magic, and they'll release him at moonrise. Steve and Mark figure that something could go wrong, and Fitzhugh says that he'll be careful. Meanwhile, Parteg gives the boys the problems and tells him to solve them or they won't get any dinner. Parteg locks them in and Garna admits that he can't solve all of the problems. They look under the bed and find Fitzhugh there. He offers to help them solve the problems while Steve and Mark watch from the vent.
Fitzhugh has problems with the questions and says that he needs privacy. The boys sit on the bed, and Fitzhugh takes the questions to Steve and Mark to solve.
Don returns to Valerie and Barry, and they hide as Parteg walks around the building.
Fitzhugh gives the answers to Garna, and says that Parteg cheated. Parteg comes in and Garna gives him the paper. Parteg figures that they had help and looks out the window, but there's no one there. Fitzhugh hides as Parteg looks under the bed, and then gets back into the box. Garna says that Thrombeldinbar said that Parteg cheated, and Parteg tells them that he's going to lock them up without dinner and he'll question them again in the morning.
Garna tells Tobek that they won't be there in the morning because they're running away, and Fitzhugh calls to them. He says that they have to consider whether to leave, and Garna tells Tobek to get the paper bag. Fitzhugh starts to explain who he is, and Tobek puts Fitzhugh in the bag while Garna writes a note bag for Parteg apologizing for ruining his holiday. The boys climb out the window and tell Fitzhugh that they'll have to let him out when the moon comes up. Garna explains that to release Thrombeldinbar, they make a wish and burn the bag. When the smoke rises, Thrombeldinbar will grant their wish. Dan, listening in, runs off to tell the others. They run off after the boys.
The chimp hears the boys running through the park, and the monkey runs off to chase a squirrel.
Fitzhugh tells the boys that he won't be able to do anything if they burn the bag. They refuse to let him out, and see Okun's fire. They sit down on the park bench and wait for the moon to come up.
The Earthlings spot the fire and head over.
Okun finds the boys and asks what they have in the bag. Garna says that they have Thrombeldinbar, and Okun says that he's glad to have them stay. The chimp grabs the bag and runs off, and Okun goes to get him.
Steve and the others see the chimp up a tree with the bag. They circle around it, while Okun arrives and takes the bag, figuring that a little person is inside. The Gypsy assures Fitzhugh that he's worth more alive, takes a bag from a nearby garbage can, and puts a rock in it to simulate Fitzhugh's weight. Okun then gives the fake bag to the chimp to take back to the boys
Mark, Valerie, and Barry spot the chimp. They hide beneath a garbage can, and it climbs up on top of the can and swings the bag around.
Tobek tells Garna that Thrombeldinbar could still come back to them and grant their wish. Steve and Dan spot them and head over.
Okun finds his monkey and sends him to give the fake bag to the boys. They head back to the fire, and the Earthlings follow them.
Steve and Dan watch as the monkey gives the boys the bag. They look inside and assume that Fitzhugh turned himself into a rock. Steve and Dan can't make out what they're saying and go over. Meanwhile, Garna wishes for a home where they want them and tosses the bag into the fire. Okun is nearby and sees them, and tells Fitzhugh that he saved him from burning. Fitzhugh yells for help, and everyone hears him. Okun realizes that Fitzhugh is yelling to his friends, and that he can capture more little people for the reward.
Mark and the others find Steve and Dan, while Okun grabs Garna and demands to know where the other little people are. Garna says that Thrombeldinbar came by himself, and then ties them to a tree and says that he'll kill them if they don't tell him where the others are. Meanwhile, the Earthlings spot the chimp up a tree holding the real bag. Okun comes over and ties the chimp to a tree, tells it to watch the bag, and goes back to the boys. They insist that they know nothing, and Okun carves a switch.
Steve figures that they need to ask Parteg to help them. No one has a better idea, and Steve and Dan go to get Parteg while the others figure out a way to rescue Fitzhugh. The two men go to the orphanage and throw rocks at Parteg's window to get his attention. Steve addresses him by name and says that Garna and Tobek need help. Dan hides and Steve calls Parteg over. Parteg insists that he locked the room, and Steve says that they climbed out the window. Dan calls out that Parteg is holding a sack behind his back, and Steve asks him what he's going to say when the authorities investigate the boys' disappearance. Parteg goes in to confirm that the boys are gone. He sees their note apologizing for spoiling his holiday and complains that they're ingrates before leaving. with the cookie.
Steve and return to the others and say that Parteg is coming. Parteg calls to the boys, and Okun gags the boys. Meanwhile, Mark and Dan go to cut the boys free while Steve, Valerie, and Barry rescue FItzhugh. Okun hides and then jumps Parteg when he arrives. The two men struggle while Dan and Mark cut the boys free.
Steve goes to divert the monkey, and Barry spots the cookie. Valerie goes with him and Barry explains that they can feed the cookie to the chimp. Meanwhile, Steve calls the chimp over and throws rocks at him. It reaches the end of its tether and yanks on it, while Fitzhugh punches his way out of the bag. The chimp breaks free and advances on Steve, and Valerie and Barry arrive and throw the cookie off to the side. While the chimp picks it up, Barry and Valerie run off.
Okun and Parteg continue fighting, and Mark and Dan free the boys. The boys leap on Okun and distract him, long enough for Parteg to recover and drive the Gypsy off. Fitzhugh joins the others and they watch as Parteg figures that they don't like him. They point out that he helped them and he doesn't like them, and Parteg tells them that Thrombeldinbar is far away and apologizes for how he acted earlier. He suggests that they start new and they'll talk about it over holiday dinner.
Written by Gadfly on Dec 24, 2017