Tilford is the boyfriend of Arabella, a woman who works in the local welfare office. When a group of runaway boys arrives in town on a train, Arabella is going to take them back to San Francisco. However, she sprains her ankle stepping on a roller skate while getting out of a car, and implores Tilford to take her place; otherwise she will never speak to him again. Tilford does not like kids, calling them sticky little things, but reluctantly boards the train with the gang, who has traded places with the real runaways in an effort to see a new place. While on the train, the gang causes all sorts of havoc, and an inebriated novelty toy salesman adds to the mayhem. When they arrive in San Francisco, Tilford receives a telegram informing him he has the wrong group of boys and has to take them back home. By then he is practically insane, and is loaded wearing a straitjacket into a van in which the authorities are eager to lock the gang in as well for the return trip.
Tilford was played by William Gillespie.