The Efficiency Expert

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 78

prize-fighter at the training quarters and the milk-wagon driver.
All these things passed through her mind in the brief instant of the
introduction and her acknowledgment of it. She was too well-bred to
permit any outward indication of her recognition of the man other than
the first almost inaudible ejaculation that had been surprised from her.

The indifference she had felt prior to meeting the efficiency expert
was altered now to a feeling of keen interest as she realized that she
held the power to relieve Bince of the further embarrassment of the
man's activities in the plant, and also to save her father from the
annoyance and losses that Bince had assured her would result from
Torrance's methods. And so she greeted Jimmy Torrance pleasantly,
almost cordially.

"I am delighted," she said, "but I am afraid that I am a little awed,
too, as I was just saying to father before you came that I felt an
efficiency expert must be a very superior sort of person."

If she placed special emphasis on the word "superior" it was so cleverly
done that it escaped the notice of her father.

"Oh, not at all," replied Jimmy. "We efficiency experts are really quite
ordinary people. One is apt to meet us in any place that nice people are
supposed to go."

Elizabeth felt the color rising slowly to her cheek. She realized then
that if she had thrown down the gage of battle the young man had lost no
time in taking it up.

"I am afraid," she said, "that I do not understand very much about the
nature or the purpose of your work, but I presume the idea is to make
the concern with which you are connected more prosperous--more
successful?"

"Yes," said her father, "that is the idea, and even in the short time he
has been with us Mr. Torrance has effected some very excellent changes."

"It must be very interesting work," commented the girl; "a profession
that requires years of particular experience and study, and I suppose
one must be really thoroughly efficient and successful himself, too,
before he can help to improve upon the methods of others or to bring
them greater prosperity."

"Quite true," said Jimmy. "Whatever a man undertakes he should succeed
in before he can hope to bring success to others."

"Even in trifling occupations, I presume," suggested the girl,
"efficiency methods are best--an efficiency expert could doubtlessly
drive a milk-wagon better than an ordinary person?" And she looked
straight into Jimmy's eyes, an unquestioned challenge in her own.

"Unquestionably," said Jimmy. "He

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