Three children are exploring the garden of a sinister, old house near Aidensfield when the youngest of them, Peter, suddenly disappears. The whole village takes part in the search. The police concentrate their efforts around a mysterious van that Gina saw racing by just as the two elder kids pass her and PC Wetherby in the street; the police fear the boy has been kidnapped. Luckily he is soon found in a well near the old house, and a major rescue operation is launched. The rescue draws nationwide attention and soon Aidensfield is invaded by journalists from all over the country- including the prominent Sheridan Ralph who is very upset when he can't get a room at the Aidensfield Arms. Aunt Peggy does not hesitate to take advantage of the situation and offers him a room at her place - for at small fee of course. This decision is one she soon finds reason to regret since he is a very bothersome customer..