The Efficiency Expert

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 39

if one of us could change places
with that poor simp we'd do it."

"He is a square guy, isn't he?" said the girl. "You can almost tell it
by looking at him. How did you come to know him?"

"Oh, that's a long story," said the Lizard. "We room at the same place,
but I knew him before that."

"On Indiana near Eighteenth?" asked the girl.

"How the hell did you know?" he queried.

"I know a lot of things I ain't supposed to know," replied she.

"You're a wise guy, all right, Eva, and one thing I like about you is
that you don't let anything you know hurt you."

And then, after a pause: "I like him," she said. "What's his name?"

The Lizard eyed her for a moment.

"Don't you get to liking him too much," he said. "That bird's the class.
He ain't for any little--"

"Cut it!" exclaimed the girl. "I'm as good as you are and a damn
straighter. What I get I earn, and I don't steal it."

The Lizard grinned. "I guess you're right at that; but don't try to
pull him down any lower than he is. He is coming up again some day to
where he belongs."

"I ain't going to try to pull him down," said the girl. "And anyhow,
when were you made his godfather?"

Jimmy saw Eva almost daily for many weeks. He saw her at her
post-meridian breakfast--sober and subdued; he saw her later in the
evening, in various stages of exhilaration, but at those times she did
not come to his table and seldom if ever did he catch her eye.

They talked a great deal while she breakfasted, and he learned to like
the girl and to realize that she possessed two personalities. The one
which he liked dominated her at breakfast; the other which he loathed
guided her actions later in the evening. Neither of them ever referred
to those hours of her life, and as the days passed Jimmy found himself
looking forward to the hour when Little Eva would come to Feinheimer's
for her breakfast.



It was Christmas Eve. Elizabeth Compton and Harriet Holden were
completing the rounds of their friends' homes with Christmas
remembrances--a custom that they had continued since childhood. The
last parcel had been delivered upon the South Side, and they were now
being driven north on Michigan Boulevard toward home. Elizabeth directed
the chauffeur to turn over Van Buren to State, which at this season of
the year was almost alive with belated Christmas

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