. . . there was always something to do, so Tommy didn't have to find freaks for friends and put up with Mom dating a creep while looking for an acting job. Now, instead of abalone diving with Pete in Santa Barbara, Tommy's living two blocks from Hollywood Boulevard, down the street from an abandoned estate where he meets two of those outcasts--runaway Joel and ex-cabbie Little Horse--who overpopulate children's books. He talks constantly of Pete, a real hero till he and Tommy's mother quarreled, and expects that same camaraderie from the new friends. But Joel's too caustic and Little Horse too remote, so he hitchhikes to Pete, confronts him harshly, then writes him off as too cowardly to patch things up. Pete takes him home just in time for Tommy to spot the fire that threatens Joel and Little Horse, make a dramatic rescue, and enjoy Pete's reconciliation with Mom. Rigged from the start and unusually facile despite the boy-needs-dad message.