The Efficiency Expert

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 5

him to his own shortcomings
gradually became less opaque, until finally he saw himself as his father
must see him. He had come to college for the purpose of fitting himself
to succeed in some particular way in the stern battle of life which
must follow his graduation; for, though his father had ample means to
support him in indolence, Jimmy had never even momentarily considered
such an eventuality.

In weighing his assets now he discovered that he had probably as
excellent a conception of gridiron strategy and tactics as any man in
America; that as a boxer he occupied a position in the forefront of
amateur ranks; and he was quite positive that out-side of the major
leagues there was not a better first baseman.

But in the last few minutes there had dawned upon him the realization
that none of these accomplishments was greatly in demand in the business
world. Jimmy spent a very blue and unhappy hour, and then slowly his
natural optimism reasserted itself, and with it came the realization of
his youth and strength and inherent ability, which, without egotism, he
might claim.

"And then, too," he mused, "I have my diploma. I am a college graduate,
and that must mean something. If dad had only reproached me or
threatened some condign punishment I don't believe I should feel half as
badly as I do. But every line of that letter breathes disappointment in
me; and yet, God bless him, he tells me to come home and spend his money
there. Not on your life! If he won't disinherit me, I am going to
disinherit myself. I am going to make him proud of me. He's the best dad
a fellow ever had, and I am going to show him that I appreciate him."

And so he sat down and wrote his father this reply:


I have your letter and check. You may not believe it, but
the former is worth more to me than the latter. Not,
however, that I spurn the check, which it was just like you
to send without a lot of grumbling and reproaches, even if I
do deserve them.

Your letter shows me what a rotten mess I have made of
myself. I'm not going to hand you a lot of mush, dad, but I
want to try to do something that will give

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