The Efficiency Expert

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 20

he was a rather nice person to look at, but
that he was equally nice to talk to.

She could not help but notice that his clothes were rather badly
wrinkled and that his shoes were dusty and well worn; for when he
kneeled in the street to operate the jack the sole of one shoe was
revealed beneath the light of an adjacent arc, and she saw that it was
badly worn. Evidently he was a poor young man.

She had observed these things almost unconsciously, and yet they made
their impression upon her, so that when he had finished she recalled
them, and was emboldened thereby to offer him a bill in payment for his
services. He refused, as she had almost expected him to do, for while
his clothes and his shoes suggested that he might accept a gratuity, his
voice and his manner belied them.

During the operation of changing the wheel the young man had a good
opportunity to appraise the face and figure of the girl, both of which
he found entirely to his liking, and when finally she started off, after
thanking him, he stood upon the curb watching the car until it
disappeared from view.

Slowly he drew from his pocket an envelope which had been addressed and
stamped for mailing, and very carefully tore it into small bits which he
dropped into the gutter. He could not have told had any one asked him
what prompted him to the act. A girl had come into his life for an
instant, and had gone out again, doubtless forever, and yet in that
instant Jimmy Torrance had taken a new grasp upon his self-esteem.

It might have been the girl, and again it might not have been. He could
not tell. Possibly it was the simple little act of refusing the tip she
had proffered him. It might have been any one of a dozen little
different things, or an accumulation of them all, that had brought back
a sudden flood of the old self-confidence and optimism.

"To-morrow," said Jimmy as he climbed into his bed, "I am going to land
a job."

And he did. In the department store to the general managership of whose
mail-order department he had aspired Jimmy secured a position in the
hosiery department at ten dollars a week. The department buyer who had
interviewed him asked him what experience he had had with ladies'

"About four or five years," replied Jimmy.

"For whom did you work?"

"I was in business for myself," replied the applicant, "both in the West
and in the East.

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