The Efficiency Expert

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 22

come to consider as
his life work--the answering of blind ads in the Help Wanted columns of
one morning and one evening paper--the two mediums which seemed to
carry the bulk of such advertising.

For a while he had sought a better position by applying during the noon
hour to such places as gave an address close enough to the department
store in which he worked to permit him to make the attempt during the
forty-five-minute period he was allowed for his lunch.

But he soon discovered that nine-tenths of the positions were filled
before he arrived, and that in the few cases where they were not he not
only failed of employment, but was usually so delayed that he was late
in returning to work after noon.

By replying to blind ads evenings he could take his replies to the two
newspaper offices during his lunch hour, thereby losing no great amount
of time. Although he never received a reply, he still persisted as he
found the attempt held something of a fascination for him, similar
probably to that which holds the lottery devotee or the searcher after
buried treasure--there was always the chance that he would turn up
something big.

And so another month dragged by slowly. His work in the department
store disgusted him. It seemed such a silly, futile occupation for a
full-grown man, and he was always fearful that the sister or sweetheart
or mother of some of his Chicago friends would find him there behind the
counter in the hosiery section.

The store was a large one, including many departments, and Jimmy tried
to persuade the hosiery buyer to arrange for his transfer to another
department where his work would be more in keeping with his sex and
appearance.

He rather fancied the automobile accessories line, but the buyer was
perfectly satisfied with Jimmy's sales record, and would do nothing to
assist in the change. The university heavyweight champion had reached a
point where he loathed but one thing more than he did silk hosiery, and
that one thing was himself.




CHAPTER VI.

HAROLD PLAYS THE RAVEN.

Mason Compton, president and general manager, sat in his private office
in the works of the International Machine Company, chewing upon an
unlighted cigar and occasionally running his fingers through his
iron-gray hair as he compared and recompared two statements which lay
upon the desk before him.

"Damn strange," he muttered as he touched a button beneath the edge of
his desk. A boy entered the room. "Ask Mr. Bince if he will be good
enough to step in here a moment, please," said Compton; and a moment
later,

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