And in the middle of the garden sat a little boy and a little girl and they were making mud cakes.
And when John saw them he shouted with a great glad cry.
And Margaret sank down upon the garden path, for she was so happy that she couldn’t move another inch.
And the two children stopped playing and turned to John and Margaret and a look of wild happiness came into their faces, and Jackie jumped to his feet and ran to John and threw himself into his outstretched arms and cried:
And Peggs ran to Margaret and was hugged and hugged in her loving arms.
And all the time Kernel Cob was trying to understand what was going on, for he knew Jackie and Peggs the moment he saw them, but couldn’t get into his head that Margaret and John were their motheranfather.
“You dear, blessed children,” cried John hugging them first one and then the other, “and to think that we could have ever left you to go hunt for gold.”
“And to think,” said Margaret, “that these dolls should have been sent by Providence, way out to the Yukon to remind us that children are the greatest riches in the world.”
And she held the dolls up in her hands.
“It’s Kernel Cob and Sweetclover!” shouted Jackie and Peggs together, and in a jiffy they had them in their arms.
And they all had a wonderful party of ice cream and cakes and puddings and candies, the best party ever you saw.
“This is the happiest day of my life,” said Father.
“It is indeed,” said Mother.
“I never thought I could be so happy,” said Peggs.
“You bet,” said Jackie.
“Well,” said Sweetclover to Kernel Cob, “now do you understand?”
“Huh,” said Kernel Cob, “I knew it all the time, only I didn’t want to spoil the surprise for you.”
“But what I want to know,” said Peggs, “is how Kernel Cob and Little Miss Sweetclover never wilted like all the other flowers, but have kept as fresh as the day we made them.”
“I’ll tell you why,” said Jackie, and he looked very wise. “It’s because they are fairy dolls and everybody knows that fairies live on forever and forever!”
[Illustration: The End.]
* * * * *
Although we have been all over the world and even up to the moon, we have never seen any books that you will like better (we think) than the other books in the Volland “Happy Children” Series, to which we belong. Here they are:
By Nina Wilcox Putnam and Norman Jacobsen,
illustrated by Katharine Sturges Dodge
By Ruth Plumly Thompson,
illustrated by Arthur Henderson