The Efficiency Expert

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 24

place in my business and in my
home of the son I never had."

"Do you think Elizabeth guessed what was in your mind?" asked Bince.

"I don't know," replied the older man. "I have tried never to say
anything to influence her. Years ago when she was younger we used to
talk about it half jokingly and shortly after you told me of your
engagement she remarked to me one day that she was happy, for she knew
you were going to be the sort of son I had wanted.

"I haven't anybody on earth but her, Harold, and when I die she gets the
business. I have arranged it in my will so you two will share and share
alike in profits after I go, but that will be some time. I am far from
being an old man, and I am a mighty healthy one. However, I should like
to be relieved of the active management. There are a lot of things that I
have always wanted to do that I couldn't do because I couldn't spare the
time from my business.

"And so I want you to get thoroughly into the harness as soon as
possible, that I may turn over the entire management to you. But I can't do
it, Harold, while the profits are diminishing."

As the older man's gaze fell again to statements before him the eyes of
the younger man narrowed just a trifle as they rested upon Mason Compton,
and then as the older man looked up Bince's expression changed.

"I'll do my best, sir," he said, smiling. "Of course I realize, as you
must, that I have tried to learn a great deal in a short time. I think I
have reached a point now where I pretty thoroughly grasp the
possibilities and requirements of my work, and I am sure that from now
on you will note a decided change for the better on the right side of
the ledger."

"I am sure of it, my boy," said Compton heartily. "Don't think that I
have been finding fault with anything you have done. I just wanted to
call your attention to these figures. They mean something, and it's up
to you to find out just what they do mean."

And then there came a light tap on the door, which opened immediately
before any summons to enter had been given, and Elizabeth Compton
entered, followed by another young woman.

"Hello, there!" exclaimed Compton. "What gets us out so early? And
Harriet too! There is only one thing that would

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