At the home of Martha Nielson, Victor McGregor arrives and her butler Cecil takes him to the library. He says that he's found the boy, and Martha dismisses him as a street urchin. Victor points out that the boy is her nephew and the sole remaining member of his family and is with the circus.
Corky is training Bimbo while Martha and Victor arrive at the white wagon. Tim calls Joey in and introduces them, and Martha shows him a photo of Anna Falcon. Martha explains that Anna ran away with Jim Falcon, and Joey realizes that she was Anna's sister. She says that her father didn't allow her to speak Anna's name after Anna left, and the father died a year ago. Victor explains that Martha only recently learned of her sister's death, and asks to see Corky. Joey takes her outside and calls Corky over. Tim has Corky show her around the circus and she nervously goes with the boy.
When Victor says that Corky will have to get used to leaving the circus, Joey says that Corky will always be there. The lawyer points out that even if Joey has legal adoption papers, Martha is Corky's legal guardian and Corky will eventually inherit his great-uncle's estate. Victor tells Joey that Martha can give Corky security that Joey can't. Corky brings Martha back and goes to do his homework, and Martha says that she's surprised that Corky is so well-behaved given where he grew up. She offers to pay Joey for taking care of Corky, but he refuses. Martha asks him to tell Corky that she's his aunt, and Joey agrees.
Joey goes to the wagon and tells Corky that he's going to have a nice home of his own. He explains that Martha is going to take Corky home with her. Corky insists on staying with Joey and the circus, and Joey points out that they're not related and Martha is Corky's aunt. He says that Corky has to go with her, and tells Corky that he has his own life to live and if he didn't have Corky to wear about then he could enjoy himself. Joey tells Corky that it's the best thing for both of them and Corky leaves, orders Corky to pack his things, and walks out.
Later, Corky packs to leave and says goodbye to Bimbo. Tim says goodbye to Corky, and Joey told him to tell Corky that he's working on his own act. Corky asks Tim to say goodbye to him and they hug. Martha takes Corky to her manor and sends him to his new room. Before he goes, Corky shakes Victor's hand. Martha wonders how Corky acquired such good manners, given he was raised by circus people. Victor points out that they weren't rude, and Martha says that she'll make up for everything that Corky has missed.
Martha goes to Corky's room and tells him to call her "Aunt Martha". She asks him to join her for lunch but Corky says that he's not hungry. Martha tells him that he'll have to learn to eat at mealtimes and goes, and Corky starts writing a letter to Joey. He says that it's a wonderful place and he'll like it there.
Corky continues writing to Joey for two weeks, and Joey reads every one of them. They all say that Corky is doing fine, and Tim tells Joey that his act is getting sad and Joey has to snap out of his funk. Joey says that he's going to tell Corky that his new act is a new success and he doesn't need him, and walks away.
Martha tucks Corky in and admires his circus decorations. There are several pictures of Joey, who Corky calls "Uncle Joey". He says his prayers and mentions his circus friends, as well as Martha, Victor, and Cecil. Martha kisses Corky goodnight and leaves, and Corky dreams of the circus. His dream turns to a nightmare of Joey in a fire, and Martha runs in and assures him that it was just a bad dream. She promises that nothing can hurt him and she's there with him. Dozing off, Corky says that he loves Joey.
The next day, Martha calls Victor in and says that Corky's teacher was there. Corky whipped the school bully and the teachers wanted to give him a medal. However, Corky is the most consistently unhappy child that the teacher has ever seen. Martha can see it herself and it's breaking her heart. Victor says that he hoped having Corky would undo some of the emotional damage that her father, a domestic tyrant, did to her. Martha defends her father, and wants Corky to look at her the same way that he looks at Joey. She figures that she's going to shower Corky with presents during his birthday, and wants Victor to issue invitations for the best people.
On Corky's birthday, Martha, Victor, and Cecil greet Corky and wish him a happy birthday. He shakes Martha's hand and thanks her for the presents, and the doorbell rings. Victor tells Corky to le the guests in, and tells Martha that she was the one who wanted the "best people". The circus performers all greet Corky, and Corky asks Martha if she fixed it for him. She says that she did and Corky hugs her.
Everyone enjoys the party and Corky hugs Martha. Tim says that all good things must come to an end. When Joey protests, Tim says that they have a long way to go. Martha calls Cecil in and the butler brings Corky's luggage. She says that "home is where the heart is" and tells Corky that his heart is with the circus. Corky promises that he'll write to her and stay whenever he can, and Corky agrees. She tells him to mind Joey, and Joey assures Corky that he needs him. Before they go, Joey thanks Martha and kisses her on the cheek. Martha tells Victor that she'll miss Corky, and she finally saw the expression that she wanted to see. When she says that she's alone again, Victor assures her that she won't be ever again.
Written by Gadfly on Nov 6, 2017