Part 3 out of 3
as to his identity, by asking the one question ever supreme in his mind.
He wished to know if his newly found brother Donald could not tell them
their mother's present address, so he and Jim could hasten to her and
beg her pardon for all the trouble their running away from their home
must have caused her.
Tears were welling into the judge's eyes when he pointed to the lady at
the table, and then with his voice choking with emotion he said: "This
lady is not a reporter, but is our own dear mother, and I am sure that
she will gladly forgive you for your thoughtless boyish prank, for you
plainly show how grieved and repentant you are, and how anxious you will
henceforth be to atone by true filial devotion in the future for the
nameless woe you have brought upon her life in the past."
As if spurred on by a common impulse, Joe and Jim humbly knelt before
the sweet faced lady in whose careworn face they readily recognized the
countenance of their own once so happy mother, and pleaded for her
forgiveness. While they were still waiting for the words which would end
a penance stretching over twenty weary years, she arose from her chair,
and trembling with emotion lifted her withered arms high above her head,
and with a face that bespoke the joy which had at last blessed her life,
she pronounced this benediction:
"Oh, Henry McDonald, my dear departed husband, how I wish that at this
happy moment you were standing beside me to assist me in blessing those
who have come home, and praising the good Lord above us from now until
my children bury me, for having this day, after so many sorrowful years,
mercifully answered my tearful prayers."
This maternal blessing was followed by a most affectionate greeting and
then the happy family repaired to Judge Donald McDonald's stately
mansion where they further celebrated their reunion.
When some weeks later Joe and Jim and the latter's family returned to
the Buena Vista ranch they not only had their sister Helen accompany
them, but had persuaded their beloved mother to take a pleasure trip to
their Colorado home, and according to the latest reports the judge is
having the time of his life trying to induce the happy mother to return
to her home in Canada.
This was Canada Joe's story.
[Illustration: The End]
[Illustration: A tramp]