The Efficiency Expert

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 21

I got my first experience in a small town in Nebraska,
but I carried on a larger business in the East later."

So they gave Jimmy a trial in a new section of the hosiery department,
wherein he was the only male clerk. The buyer had discovered that there
was a sufficient proportion of male customers, many of whom displayed
evident embarrassment in purchasing hosiery from young ladies, to
warrant putting a man clerk in one of the sections for this class of
trade.

The fact of the matter was, however, that the astute buyer was never
able to determine the wisdom of his plan, since Jimmy's entire time was
usually occupied in waiting upon impressionable young ladies. However,
inasmuch as it redounded to the profit of the department, the buyer
found no fault.

Possibly if Jimmy had been almost any other type of man from what he
was, his presence would not have been so flamboyantly noticeable in a
hosiery department. His stature, his features, and his bronzed skin,
that had lost nothing of its bronze in his month's search for work
through the hot summer streets of a big city, were as utterly out of
place as would have been the salient characteristics of a chorus-girl in
a blacksmith-shop.

For the first week Jimmy was frightfully embarrassed, and to his natural
bronze was added an almost continuous flush of mortification from the
moment that he entered the department in the morning until he left it at
night.

"It is a job, however," he thought, "and ten dollars is better than
nothing. I can hang onto it until something better turns up."

With his income now temporarily fixed at the amount of his wages, he was
forced to find a less expensive boarding-place, although at the time he
had rented his room he had been quite positive that there could not be a
cheaper or more undesirable habitat for man. Transportation and other
considerations took him to a place on Indiana Avenue near Eighteenth
Street, from whence he found he could walk to and from work, thereby
saving ten cents a day. "And believe me," he cogitated, "I need the
ten."

Jimmy saw little of his fellow roomers. A strange, drab lot he thought
them from the occasional glimpses he had had in passings upon the dark
stairway and in the gloomy halls. They appeared to be quiet, inoffensive
sort of folk, occupied entirely with their own affairs. He had made no
friends in the place, not even an acquaintance, nor did he care to. What
leisure time he had he devoted to what he now had

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