ROTFL Lew. It isn't squeeky bum time yet! Before you go running out of the door waving your arms around, let's see if the problem is related only to one topic or template. If you create a new topic using the said template do you get the same? If not, try removing the template from the said topic, saving it and readding it. If this doesn't work, try creating a new topic and copy/paste the content. If all else fails, try recreating the template and attaching it to the appropriate topics.
Read the RoboColum(n) for mutterings on RoboHelp, Technical Communication Suite and technical communication.
You might also find out whether the .htm files are in source control or have just been made read-only in Windows Explorer. Our template .htm files are locked down tight in RoboSourceControl, but RoboHelp occasionally thinks we want to change them anyway. The results are...varied.
This is not the same problem you're having, just a warning that RoboHelp tries to update the templates, and if it doesn't have access to them, it can get creative with its solutions.
Thank you, Elisa and Colum. I've been "retasked" for the afternoon with a completely different brand of work. But will refer to your gracious answers and explore this issue tomorrow!