The Efficiency Expert

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 51

boast, that you're a pickpocket and a safe-blower and
yet I'd trust you, Lizard, with anything that I had."

The Lizard smiled, and for the first time since he had known him Jimmy
noticed that his eyes smiled with his lips.

"I've always had the reputation," said the Lizard, "of being a white guy
with my friends. As a matter of fact, I ain't no different from what
you'd probably be if you were in business and what most of your friends
are. Morally they're a bunch of thieves and crooks. Of course, they
don't go out and frisk any one and they don't work with a jimmy or a
bottle of soup. They work their graft with the help of contracts and
lawyers, and they'd gyp a friend or a pauper almost as soon as they
would an enemy. I don't know much about morality, but when it comes
right down to a question of morals I believe my trade is just as decent
as that of a lot of these birds you see rolling up and down Mich Boul in
their limousines."

"It's all in the point of view," said Jimmy.

"Yes," said the Lizard. "It's all in the point of view, and my point of
view ain't warped by no college education."

Jimmy grinned. "Eventually, Lizard, you may win me over; but when you
do why fritter away our abilities upon this simple village when we have
the capitals of all Europe to play around in?"

"There's something in that," said the Lizard; "but don't get it into
your head for a minute that I am tryin' to drag you from the straight
and narrow. I think I like you better the way you are."

"Did you ever," said Harriet Holden, "see anything so weird as the way
we keep bumping into that stocking-counter young man?"

"No," said Elizabeth, "it's commencing to get on my nerves. Every time
I turn a corner now I expect to bump into him. I suppose we see other
people many times without recognizing them, but he is so utterly
good-looking that he sort of sticks in one's memory."

"Do you know," said Harriet, "that I have a suspicion that he recognized
us. I saw him looking up at us just after that other person knocked him
down and I could have sworn that he blushed. And then, you know, he went
in and was entirely different from what he had been in the two preceding
rounds. Billy said that he is really a wonderful fighter, and there are
not very many good fights

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