The Efficiency Expert

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 55

you were, but I knew
what you were not, which was the thing that counted most then."

"I wish," said Harriet, "that you would let us do something for you."

"Yes," said Elizabeth, "if a hundred dollars would be of any use to
you--" Harriet laid a hand quickly on her friend's arm.

"I wasn't thinking of money," she said to Jimmy. "One can't pay for
things like that with money, but we know so many people here we might
help you in some way, if you are not entirely satisfied with your
present position."

Out of the corner of his eye Jimmy could not help but note that
Elizabeth was appraising him critically from head to foot and he felt
that he could almost read what was passing through her mind as she took
stock of his cheap cotton uniform and his cap, with the badge of his
employer above the vizor. Involuntarily Jimmy straightened his shoulders
and raised his chin a trifle.

"No, thank you," he said to Harriet, "it is kind of you, but really I am
perfectly satisfied with my present job. It is by far the best one I
have ever held," and touching his cap, he continued his interrupted way
to his wagon.

"What a strange young man," exclaimed Harriet. "He is like many of his
class," replied Elizabeth, "probably entirely without ambition and with
no desire to work any too hard or to assume additional
responsibilities."

"I don't believe it," retorted Harriet. "Unless I am greatly mistaken,
that man is a gentleman. Everything about him indicates it; his
inflection even is that of a well-bred man."

"How utterly silly," exclaimed Elizabeth. "You've heard him speak
scarcely a dozen words. I venture to say that in a fifteen-minute
conversation he would commit more horrible crimes against the king's
English than even that new stable-boy of yours. Really, Harriet, you
seem very much interested in this person."

"Why shouldn't I be?" asked Harriet. "He's becoming my little pet
mystery. I wonder under what circumstances we see him next?"

"Probably as a white-wings," laughed Elizabeth. "But if so I positively
refuse to permit you to stop in the middle of Michigan Boulevard and
converse with a street-sweeper while I'm with you."

Jimmy's new job lasted two weeks, and then the milk-wagon drivers went
on strike and Jimmy was thrown out of employment.

"Tough luck," sympathized the Lizard. "You sure are the Calamity Kid.
But don't worry, we'll land you something else. And remember that that
partnership proposition is still open."

There ensued another month of idleness, during which Jimmy again had
recourse

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