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Newspaper Page Text
boy he had lost He was looking
over Tom's, toys and shaking his
"He would never say he was sor
ry,'"!" he muttered. "Let him say he
was sorry. If he said that I'd forgive
him. Let him say it"
As he fingered the drum the con
vex edge, brittle with age, parted in
hls hands. The drum came apart.
To the old man's astonishment, he
saw that the interior was filled with
scraps of paper in a faded, childish
writing. Ha recognized it as Tom's.
He picked up one of them.
, "Dere father," he read, "I am sorry
that I broke, the pain bf glass yes-
Josiah gtarted. iThe pane of glass V
He remembered that as well as he
remembered anything. Tom had
thrown a stone and it had gone
smash through the window.'. Tom
had- hung his head when taxed with
it, but had refused to say he had"
Josiah picked up another. "Der
father," it ran, 'T am sorry that I tor
my trousis yestidday."
Josiah did not remember that Tom
must have had a good many pairs of
"trousis" in his boyhood. , .
"Dere father,'" another read, "I am
sorry that. I got a bad report from
That Josiah remembered. Tom had
done very badly that term and he
had been willfully defiant. He had
even bragged of it
Josiah picked up scrap after scrap.
There must have been fifty of them,'
covering almost the entire period of
Tom's boyhood. The latest"of them,
in the firm writing of a young fellow
of 19, ran thus:
"Dear Father: I have never heen
M able to say that I was sorry for any
thing and I am unable to do so now.
-4 want to, but I can't Perhaps our
natures are- pretty much the same.
Perhaps you would be able to under
stand If you were ever to see this.
But you never.. will. " '
"You think me idle and worthless
because I threw, over that position in
theJ)ank. It is not that father. I
am throwing it up because I mean to
start out for myself in the electrical
business. I would have told you if
you had been willing to listen to rea
son. But you would have it I-was
wrong. And so I have said nothing.
For having wounded you I am sorryz"
Josiah laid down the drum and put
back the scraps of paper. Tom had
made good. Tom had been right
And that was the one time where he
should net have said he was sorry.
He, Josiah, had been wrong there.
The tears came into his eyes as he
thought of the ten years of loneli
ness. Ten years of missed happi
ness and not many more to come. At
75 one does not look forward to a
great deal. The old man wept
Presently,' moved by an uncontrol
lable impulse; he took up a pen and
paper. "Dear Tom, I am sorry for
everything," he wrote and thrust the
scrap of paper into the drum.
He glued the broken ends together
lightly and went out with bowed
The next day a wonderful thing
happened to little Jimmy. His grandfather-gave
him a drum.
It "was so amazing that he was
quite incoherent when he got home
with his treasure. He showed it to
"What did he say?" she asked ex
citedly. "Nothing, mamma. He just put it
in my hand. Look what a fine drum!
Give me something to hit it with,
That evening, when the little boy
was asleep in bed, she told her hus
band and showed the drum to him.
Tom looked and looked at it.
"It's my old drum!"' he cried. "I
recognize it Jean, do you suppose
the old man means anything by it?"
"We can't tell, dear," she an
swered. "Oh, Tom, if only you could
say you are sorry."
"And I'd give everything in the
would if I could, Jeanie," answered