The Efficiency Expert

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 106

assistance.

Just how far that assistance had gone Jimmy did not know, though of late
he had come to suspect that his attorney was being retained by Harriet
Holden's father.

Bince appeared in the court-room only when necessity compelled his
presence on the witness stand. The nature of the man's testimony was
such that, like Krovac's, it was difficult of impeachment, although
Jimmy was positive that Bince perjured himself, especially in a
statement that he made of a conversation he had with Mr. Compton the
morning of the murder, in which he swore that Compton stated that he
intended to discharge Torrance that day.

The effect of the trial seemed to have made greater inroads upon Bince
than upon Jimmy. The latter gave no indication of nervous depression or
of worry, while Bince, on the other hand, was thin, pale and haggard.
His hands and face continually moved and twitched as he sat in the
courtroom or on the witness chair. Never for an instant was he at rest.

Elizabeth Compton had noticed this fact, too, and commented upon it one
evening when Bince was at her home.

"What's the matter with you, Harold?" she asked. "You look as though
you are on the verge of nervous prostration."

"I've had enough to make any man nervous," retorted Bince irritably. "I
can't get over this terrible affair, and in addition I have had all the
weight and responsibility of the business on my shoulders since, and the
straightening out of your father's estate, which, by the way, was in
pretty bad shape.

"I wish, Elizabeth," he went on, "that we might be married immediately.
I have asked you so many times before, however, and you have always
refused, that I suppose it is useless now. I believe that I would get
over this nervous condition if you and I were settled down here
together. I have no real home, as you know--the club is just a
stopping place. I might as well be living at a hotel. If after the day's
work I could come home to a regular home it would do me a world of good,
I know. We could be married quietly. There is every reason why we
should, especially now that you are left all alone."

"Just what do you mean by immediately?" she asked.

"To-morrow," he replied.

For a long time she demurred, but finally she acceded to his wishes, for
an early marriage, though she would not listen to the ceremony being
performed the following day. They reached a compromise on Friday
morning, a delay of only a few days, and Harold

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