The Efficiency Expert

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 25

bring you girls in here
so early."

"And what's that?" asked Elizabeth.

"You are going shopping, and Elizabeth wants some money."

They all laughed. "You're a regular Sherlock Holmes!" exclaimed Harriet
Holden.

"How much?" asked Compton of his daughter, still smiling.

"How much have you?" asked Elizabeth. "I am utterly broke."

Compton turned to Bince. "Get her what she needs, Harold," he said.

The young man started to the door.

"Come with me, Elizabeth," he said; "we will go out to the cashier's
cage and get you fixed up."

They entered Bince's office, which adjoined Compton's.

"Wait here a minute, Elizabeth," said Bince. "How much do you want?
I'll get it for you and bring it back. I want to see you a moment alone
before you go."

She told him how much she wanted, and he was back shortly with the
currency.

"Elizabeth," he said, "I don't know whether you have noticed it or not,
because your father isn't a man to carry his troubles home, but I
believe that he is failing rapidly, largely from overwork. He worries
about conditions here which really do not exist. I have been trying to
take the load off his shoulders so that he could ease up a bit, but he
has got into a rut from which he cannot be guided.

"He will simply have to be lifted completely out of it, or he will stay
here and die in the harness. Everything is running splendidly, and now
that I have a good grasp of the business I can handle it. Don't you
suppose you could persuade him to take a trip? I know that he wants to
travel. He has told me so several times, and if he could get away from
here this fall and stay away for a year, if possible, it would make a
new man of him. I am really very much worried about him, and while I
hate to worry you I feel that you are the only person who can influence
him and that something ought to be done and done at once."

"Why, Harold," exclaimed the girl, "there is nothing the matter with
father! He was never better in his life nor more cheerful."

"That's the side of him that he lets you see," replied the man. "His
gaiety is all forced. If you could see him after you leave you would
realize that he is on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Your father is
not an old man in years, but he has placed a constant surtax on his
nervous system for the last twenty-five

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