The Efficiency Expert

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 2

average of
your academic standing. At the earnest solicitation of the faculty
members of the athletic committee, I have been influenced, against my
better judgment, to temporize with an utterly insufferable condition.

"You are rapidly approaching the close of your senior year, and in the
light of the records which I have before me I am constrained to believe
that it will be utterly impossible for you to graduate, unless from now
to the end of the semester you devote yourself exclusively to your
academic work. If you cannot assure me that you will do this, I believe
it would be to the best interests of the university for you to resign
now, rather than to fail of graduation. And in this decision I am fully
seconded by the faculty members of the athletic committee, who realize
the harmful effect upon university athletics in the future were so
prominent an athlete as you to fail at graduation."

If they had sentenced Jimmy to be shot at sunrise the blow could
scarcely have been more stunning than that which followed the
realization that he was not to be permitted to round out his fourth
successful season at first base. But if Jimmy was momentarily stunned he
gave no outward indication of the fact, and in the brief interval of
silence following the president's ultimatum his alert mind functioned
with the rapidity which it had often shown upon the gridiron, the
diamond, and the squared circle.

Just for a moment the thought of being deprived of the pleasure and
excitement of the coming baseball season filled his mind to the
exclusion of every other consideration, but presently a less selfish
impulse projected upon the screen of recollection the figure of the
father he idolized. The boy realized the disappointment that this man
would feel should his four years of college end thus disastrously and
without the coveted diploma.

And then it was that he raised his eyes to those of the president.

"I hope, sir," he said, "that you will give me one more chance--that you
will let me go on as I have in the past as far as baseball is concerned,
with the understanding that if at the end of each month between now and
commencement I do not show satisfactory improvement I shall not be
permitted to play on the team. But please don't make that restriction
binding yet. If I lay off the track work I believe I can make up enough
so that baseball will not interfere with my graduation."

And so Whiskers, who was much more human than the student body gave him

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