and forged his father's name to several checks, amounting to nearly a hundred thousand; then, overcome by shame and remorse, he had fled in the night, no one knew whither. His father payed the full amount of the debt, without even betraying his son's guilt, and then for years employed the most skillful detectives, trying to bring back the wanderer to the love and forgiveness which awaited him; but in vain, no trace of him existed. The father had long ago given up all hope of ever seeing his boy again, and doubted whether he were living. Only the sweet-faced mother, strong in her mother-love and in her faith in God, believed that he would yet return, and was content to watch and wait.
Meantime, Everard Houston had become like a son to Mr. and Mrs. Cameron. After leaving college, he had been taken by his uncle as a partner into his enormous banking house, and intrusted more or less with the charge of various departments of business with which he was connected, and he had proven himself worthy of the tru