The Efficiency Expert

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 80

the room before Jimmy had discovered whether
the girl intended to expose him or not. She said nothing about the
matter during dinner, and immediately thereafter she excused herself,
leaving the two men alone.

During the conversation that ensued Jimmy discovered that Bince had been
using every argument at his command to induce Compton to let him go, as
well as getting rid of the certified public accountants.

"I can't help but feel," said Compton, "that possibly there may be some
reason in what Mr. Bince says, for he seems to feel more strongly on
this subject than almost any question that has ever arisen in the plant
wherein we differed, and it may be that I am doing wrong to absolutely
ignore his wishes in the matter.

"As a matter of fact, Mr. Torrance, I have reached the point where I
don't particularly relish a fight, as I did in the past. I would rather
have things run along smoothly than to have this feeling of unrest and
unpleasantness that now exists in the plant. I do not say that you are
to blame for it, but the fact remains that ever since you came I have
been constantly harassed by this same unpleasant condition which grows
worse day by day. There is no question but what you have accomplished a
great deal for us of a practical nature, but I believe in view of Mr.
Bince's feelings in the matter that we had better terminate our
arrangement."

Jimmy suddenly noted how old and tired his employer looked. He
realized, too, that for a week he had been fighting an incipient
influenza and that doubtless his entire mental attitude was influenced
by the insidious workings of the disease, one of the marked symptoms of
which he knew to be a feeling of despondency and mental depression,
which sapped both courage and initiative.

They were passing through the hallway from the dining-room to the
library, and as Compton concluded what was equivalent to Jimmy's
discharge, he had stopped and turned toward the younger man. They were
standing near the entrance to the music-room in which Elizabeth chanced
to be, so that she overheard her father's words, and not without a smile
of satisfaction and relief.

"Mr. Compton," replied Jimmy, "no matter what you do with me, you simply
must not let those C.P.A.'s go until they have completed their work. I
know something of what it is going to mean to your business, but I would
rather that the reports come from them than from me."

"What do you mean?" asked Compton.

"I didn't want

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