The Efficiency Expert

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 35

asked one of
the four after Bince had left the room.

"About two thousand dollars," was the reply, "which added to what I
already hold, puts Mr. Compton in my debt some seven or eight thousand
dollars."

Whereupon they all laughed.

"I suppose," remarked anther, "that it's a damn shame, but if we don't
get it some one else will."

"Is he paying anything at all?" asked another.

"Oh, yes; he comes across with something now and then, but we'll
probably have to carry the bulk of it until after the wedding."

"Well, I can't carry it forever," said the first speaker. "I'm not
playing here for my health," and, rising, he too left the room. Going
directly to the buffet, he found Bince, as he was quite sure that he
would.

"Look here, old man," he said, "I hate to seem insistent, but, on the
level, I've got to have some money."

"I've told you two or three times,"' replied Bince, "that I'd let you
have it as soon as I could get it. I can't get you any now."

"If you haven't got it, Mason Compton has," retorted the creditor, "and
if you don't come across I'll go to him and get it."

Bince paled.

"You wouldn't do that, Harry?" he almost whimpered. "For God's sake,
don't do that, and I'll try and see what I can do for you."

"Well," replied the other, "I don't want to be nasty, but I need some
money badly."

"Give me a little longer," begged Bince, "and I'll see what I can do."

Jimmy Torrance sat a long time in thought after the Lizard left. "God!"
he muttered. "I wonder what dad would say if he knew that I had come to
a point where I had even momentarily considered going into partnership
with a safe-blower, and that for the next two weeks I shall be
compelled to subsist upon the charity of a criminal?

"I'm sure glad that I have a college education. It has helped me
materially to win to my present exalted standing in society. Oh, well I
might be worse off, I suppose. At least I don't have to worry about the
income tax.

"It is now October, and since the first of the year I have earned forty
dollars exactly. I have also received a bequest of twenty dollars, which
of course is exempt. I venture to say that there is not another
able-bodied adult male in the United States the making of whose
income-tax schedule would be simpler than mine."

With which philosophic trend of thought, and the knowledge that he could
eat

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