The Efficiency Expert

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 4

a man as the university had
ever known.

To his fellows, as well as to himself, he had been a great success--the
success of the university--and he and they saw in the future only
continued success in whatever vocation he decided to honor with his
presence. It was in a mental attitude that had become almost habitual
with him, and which was superinduced by these influences, that Jimmy
approached the new life that was opening before him. For a while he
would play, but in the fall it was his firm intention to settle down to
some serious occupation, and it was in this attitude that he opened a
letter from his father--the first that he had received since his

The letter was written on the letterhead of the Beatrice Corn Mills,
Incorporated, Beatrice, Nebraska, and in the upper left-hand corner, in
small type, appeared "James Torrance, Sr., President and General
Manager," and this is what he read:

Dear Jim

You have graduated--I didn't think you would--with honors in
football, baseball, prize-fighting, and five thousand
dollars in debt. How you got your diploma is beyond me--in
my day you would have got the sack. Well, son, I am not
surprised nor disappointed--it is what I expected. I know
you are clean, though, and that some day you will awaken to
the sterner side of life and an appreciation of your

To be an entirely orthodox father I should raise merry hell
about your debts and utter inutility, at the same time
disinheriting you, but instead I am going to urge you to
come home and run in debt here where the cost of living is
not so high as in the East--meanwhile praying that your
awakening may come while I am on earth to rejoice.

Your affectionate

Am enclosing check to cover your debts and present needs.

For a long time the boy sat looking at the letter before him. He reread
it once, twice, three times, and with each reading the film of
unconscious egotism that had blinded

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