The Efficiency Expert

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 19

said the young man; "I'll try to remember."

It was a little after nine o'clock when Harold Bince arose to leave.

"I'll drive you home," volunteered the girl. "Just wait, and I'll have
Barry bring the roadster around."

"I thought we should always do the things that gentle-folk should do,"
said Bince, grinning, after being seated safely in the car. They had
turned out of the driveway into Lincoln Parkway.

"What do you mean?" asked Elizabeth.

"Is it perfectly proper for young ladies to drive around the streets of
a big city alone after dark?"

"But I'm not alone," she said.

"You will be after you leave me at home."

"Oh, well, I'm different."

"And I'm glad that you are!" exclaimed Bince fervently. "I wouldn't
love you if you were like the ordinary run."

Bince lived at one of the down-town clubs, and after depositing him
there and parting with a decorous handclasp the girl turned her machine
and headed north for home. At Erie Street came a sudden loud hissing of
escaping air.

"Darn!" exclaimed Miss Elizabeth Compton as she drew in beside the curb
and stopped. Although she knew perfectly well that one of the tires was
punctured, she got out and walked around in front as though in search of
the cause of the disturbance, and sure enough, there it was, flat as a
pancake, the left front tire.

There was an extra wheel on the rear of the roadster, but it was heavy
and cumbersome, and the girl knew from experience what a dirty job
changing a wheel is. She had just about decided to drive home on the
rim, when a young man crossed the walk from Erie Street and joined her
in her doleful appraisement of the punctured casing.

"Can I help you any?" he asked.

She looked up at him. "Thank you," she replied, "but I think I'll drive
home on it as it is. They can change it there."

"It looks like a new casing," he said. "It would be too bad to ruin it.
If you have a spare I will be very glad to change it for you," and
without waiting for her acquiescence he stripped off his coat, rolled up
his shirt-sleeves, and dove under the seat for the jack.

Elizabeth Compton was about to protest, but there was something about
the way in which the stranger went at the job that indicated that he
would probably finish it if he wished to, in spite of any arguments she
could advance to the contrary. As he worked she talked with him,
discovering not only that

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