The Efficiency Expert

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 29

was his own and that he had done a foolish thing in giving up his
position because of a girl he did not know and probably never would.

There came a Saturday when Jimmy, jobless and fundless, dreaded his
return to the Indiana Avenue rooming-house, where he knew the landlady
would be eagerly awaiting him, for he was a week in arrears in his room
rent already, and had been warned he could expect no further credit.

"There is a nice young man wanting your room," the landlady had told
him, "and I shall have to be having it Saturday night unless you can pay

Jimmy stood on the corner of Clark and Van Buren looking at his watch.
"I hate to do it," he thought, "but the Lizard said he could get twenty
for it, and twenty would give me another two weeks." And so his watch
went, and two weeks later his cigarette-case and ring followed. Jimmy
had never gone in much for jewelry--a fact which he now greatly

Some of the clothes he still had were good, though badly in want of
pressing, and when, after still further days of fruitless searching for
work the proceeds from the articles he had pawned were exhausted, it
occurred to him he might raise something on all but what he actually
needed to cover his nakedness.

In his search for work he was still wearing his best-looking suit; the
others he would dispose of; and with this plan in his mind on his return
to his room that night he went to the tiny closet to make a bundle of
the things which he would dispose of on the morrow, only to discover
that in his absence some one had been there before him, and that there
was nothing left for him to sell.

It would be two days before his room rent was again due, but in the mean
time Jimmy had no money wherewith to feed the inner man. It was an
almost utterly discouraged Jimmy who crawled into his bed to spend a
sleepless night of worry and vain regret, the principal object of his
regret being that he was not the son of a blacksmith who had taught him
how to shoe horses and who at the same time had been too poor to send
him to college.

Long since there had been driven into his mind the conviction that for
any practical purpose in life a higher education was as useless as the
proverbial fifth wheel to the coach.

"And even," mused Jimmy, "if I had graduated at the

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