The Efficiency Expert

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 77

to
the telephone.

"Is this Mr. Torrance?" asked a feminine voice.

"It is," replied Jimmy.

"I am Miss Compton. My father will probably not be able to get to the
office for several days, and as he wishes very much to talk with you he
has asked me to suggest that you take dinner with us this evening."
"Thank you," said Jimmy. "Tell Mr. Compton that I will come to the house
right after the shop closes to-night."

"I suppose," said Elizabeth Compton as she turned away from the phone,
"that an efficiency expert is a very superior party and that his
conversation will be far above my head."

Compton laughed. "Torrance seems to be a very likable chap," he said,
"and as far as his work is concerned he is doing splendidly."

"Harold doesn't think so," said Elizabeth. "He is terribly put out
about the fellow. He told me only the other night that he really
believed that it would take years to overcome the bad effect that this
man has had upon the organization and upon the work in general."

"That is all poppycock," exclaimed Compton, rather more irritably than
was usual with him. "For some reason Harold has taken an unwarranted
dislike to this man, but I am watching him closely, and I will see that
no very serious mistakes are made."

When Jimmy arrived at the Compton home he was ushered into the library
where Mr. Compton was sitting. In a corner of the room, with her back
toward the door, Elizabeth Compton sat reading. She did not lay aside
her book or look in his direction as Jimmy entered, for the man was in
no sense a guest in the light of her understanding of the term. He was
merely one of her father's employees here on business to see him,
doubtless a very ordinary sort of person whom she would, of course, have
to meet when dinner was announced, but not one for whom it was necessary
to put oneself out in any way.

Mr. Compton rose and greeted Jimmy cordially and then turned toward his
daughter.

"Elizabeth," he said, "this is Mr. Torrance, the efficiency expert at
the plant."

Leisurely Miss Compton laid aside her book. Rising, she faced the
newcomer, and as their eyes met, Jimmy barely stifled a gasp of
astonishment and dismay. Elizabeth Compton's arched brows raised
slightly and involuntarily she breathed a low ejaculation, "Efficiency
expert!"

Simultaneously there flashed through the minds of both in rapid
succession a series of recollections of their previous meetings. The
girl saw the clerk at the stocking-counter, the waiter at Feinheimer's,
the

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