The Efficiency Expert

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 27

becoming a quitter.

He noticed as he waited on her that she seemed to be appraising him very
carefully, and at times there was a slightly puzzled expression on her
face, but evidently she did not recognize him, and finally when she had
concluded her purchases he was disappointed that she paid for them in
cash. He had rather hoped that she would have them charged and sent,
that he might learn her name and address. And then she left, with Jimmy
none the wiser concerning her other than that her first name was
Elizabeth and that she was even better-looking than he recalled her to
have been.

"And the girl with her!" exclaimed Jimmy mentally. "She was no slouch
either. They are the two best-looking girls I have seen in this town,
notwithstanding the fact that whether one likes Chicago or not he's got
to admit that there are more pretty girls here than in any other city in
the country.

"I'm glad she didn't recognize me. Of course, I don't know her, and the
chances are that I never shall, but I should hate to have any one
recognize me here, or hereafter, as that young man at the stocking
counter. Gad! but it's beastly that a regular life-sized man should be
selling stockings to women for a living, or rather for a fraction of a
living."

While Jimmy had always been hugely disgusted with his position, the
sight of the girl seemed to have suddenly crystallized all those weeks
of self-contempt into a sudden almost mad desire to escape what he
considered his degrading and effeminating surroundings. One must bear
with Jimmy and judge him leniently, for after all, notwithstanding his
college diploma and physique, he was still but a boy and so while it is
difficult for a mature and sober judgment to countenance his next step,
if one can look back a few years to his own youth he can at least find
extenuating circumstances surrounding Jimmy's seeming foolishness.

For with a bang that caused startled clerks in all directions to look up
from their work he shattered the decorous monotone of the great store by
slamming his sales book viciously upon the counter, and without a word
of explanation to his fellow clerks marched out of the section toward
the buyer's desk.

"Well, Mr. Torrance," asked that gentleman, "what can I do for you?"

"I am going to quit," announced Jimmy.

"Quit!"' exclaimed the buyer. "Why, what's wrong? Isn't everything
perfectly satisfactory? You have never complained to me."

"I can't explain," replied Jimmy. "I am going to quit.

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