The Efficiency Expert

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 112

edge of the bed beside her and stroked her hand.
After a while she roused again and opened her eyes.

"Jimmy," she said, "will you stay with me until I go?" The man could
make no articulate response, but he pressed her hand reassuringly. She
was silent again for some time. Once more she whispered faintly, so
faintly that he had to lean close to catch her words:

"Miss Holden," she whispered, "she is a--good girl. It is--she--who
hired--the attorney for you. Go to her--Jimmy--when I--am
gone--she loves--you." Again there was a long pause.

"Good-by--Jimmy," she whispered at last.

The nurse was standing at the foot of the bed. She came and put her
hand on Jimmy's shoulder. "It is too bad," she said; "she was such a
good girl."

"Yes," said Jimmy, "I think she was the best little girl I ever knew."

It was after nine o'clock when Jimmy, depressed and sorrowing, arrived
at the Holden home. The houseman who admitted him told him that Mr.
Holden had been called out, but that Miss Holden was expecting him, and
he ushered Jimmy to the big living-room, and to his consternation he saw
that Elizabeth Compton was there with Harriet. The latter came forward
to greet him, and to his surprise the other girl followed her.

"I discovered to-day, Mr. Torrance," she said, "that I have wronged you.
However unintentionally it was the fact remains that I might have done
you a very great harm and injustice. I realize now how very different
things might have been if I had listened to you and believed in you at
first. Harriet told me that you were coming tonight and I asked to see
you for just a moment to tell you this and also to ask you if you would
continue with the International Machine Company.

"There is no one now whom I feel I would have so much confidence in as
you. I wish you would come back and take charge for me. If you will tell
me that you will consider it we will arrange the details later."

If an archangel had suddenly condescended to honor him with an
invitation to assist in the management of Heaven Jimmy could not have
been more surprised. He realized at what cost of pride and self-esteem
the offer must have been made and acknowledgment of error. He told her
that he would be very glad to assist her for the present, at least, and
then she excused herself on the plea of nervous exhaustion and went to
her room.

"Do you know," said Harriet, after

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