Benson, Gov. Gatling's director of household affairs, is doggedly searching for a set of irreplaceable wooden bowls that are to play an important role in a banquet/ceremony honoring the visiting Emperor of Karasia. Benson questions Kraus, the cook, on their disappearance and tells her to get rid of 200 chickens cooked for the dinner and replace them with a meat that the Karasians do not hold sacred. Kraus angrily stalks off into the deep recesses of the mansion's cellar to search for the illusive bowls and some peace and quiet. When Kraus does not return from her cellar safari, Benson too, descends into the mansion's far-reaching subterranean network and with a push of a little used massive door, discovers a thoroughly chilled Gretchen Kraus. Her ecstasy quickly fades when Benson allows the door to swing shut behind him, trapping them both in a freezing storage room. A few hours later, Marcy, the governor's secretary, and Taylor, his aide, are in a panic. Not only is there no dinner for the eminent guests, but Benson and Kraus have disappeared. Meanwhile, the two freezing prisoners walk the floor trying to stave off sleep, which could spell out their demise. Benson forces Kraus to stay on her feet with a gruesome tale of death by cold, its symptoms being weakness, delirium and then the end. The long period of walking tires them, and they huddle together in an attempt to cheat the grim reaper. Kraus is lost in memories of a boy named Hans. In her hallucinations she confuses the reluctant Benson with her childhood love. Benson decides that Kraus is in worse shape than he had previously thought. He lights a fire under an old air vent, hoping that the smoke will draw attention to their plight. The copious billows bring the fire department into the mansion and drive and 200 guests and the Emperor of Karasia out onto the lawn. When the fire fighters do find the source, they also discover a relieved Benson and a starry-eyed Kraus. All ends well: the Emperor is happy to have an opportunity to wear a yellow slicker and ring the fire engine's bell, while the governor is made an honorary fireman. © 1980 Witt/Thomas/Harris Productions. All Rights Reserved.