The Efficiency Expert

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 1

futile attempt of accomplishing in
an hour that for which the college curriculum set aside several months
when there came sounds of approaching footsteps rapidly ascending the
stairway. His door was unceremoniously thrown open, and there appeared
one of those strange apparitions which is the envy and despair of the
small-town youth--a naturally good-looking young fellow, the sartorial
arts of whose tailor had elevated his waist-line to his arm-pits,
dragged down his shoulders, and caved in his front until he had the
appearance of being badly dished from chin to knees. His trousers
appeared to have been made for a man with legs six inches longer than
his, while his hat was evidently several sizes too large, since it would
have entirely extinguished his face had it not been supported by his
ears.

"Hello, Kid!" cried Jimmy. "What's new?"

"Whiskers wants you," replied the other. "Faculty meeting. They just
got through with me."

"Hell!" muttered Jimmy feelingly. "I don't know what Whiskers wants
with me, but he never wants to see anybody about anything pleasant."

"I am here," agreed the other, "to announce to the universe that you are
right, Jimmy. He didn't have anything pleasant to say to me. In fact, he
insinuated that dear old alma mater might be able to wiggle along
without me if I didn't abjure my criminal life. Made some nasty
comparison between my academic achievements and foxtrotting. I wonder,
Jimmy, how they get that way?"

"That's why they are profs," explained Jimmy. "There are two kinds of
people in this world--human beings and profs. When does he want me?"

"Now."

Jimmy arose and put on his hat and coat. "Good-by, Kid," he said.
"Pray for me, and leave me one cigarette to smoke when I get back,"
and, grinning, he left the room.

James Torrance, Jr., was not greatly abashed as he faced the dour
tribunal of the faculty. The younger members, among whom were several he
knew to be mighty good fellows at heart, sat at the lower end of the
long table, and with owlish gravity attempted to emulate the appearance
and manners of their seniors. At the head of the table sat Whiskers, as
the dignified and venerable president of the university was popularly
named. It was generally believed and solemnly sworn to throughout the
large corps of undergraduates that within the knowledge of any living
man Whiskers had never been known to smile, and to-day he was running
true to form.

"Mr. Torrance," he said, sighing, "it has been my painful duty on more
than one occasion to call your attention to the uniformly low

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