The Efficiency Expert

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 85

her
happiness was to be wrecked, and the man she loved and was to marry
branded as a criminal?




CHAPTER XXII.

A LETTER FROM MURRAY.

The girl opposite him looked up from the card before her. The lines of
her face were softened by the suggestion of a contented smile. "My
gracious!" she exclaimed. "What's the matter now? You look as though you
had lost your last friend."

Jimmy quickly forced a smile to his lips. "On the contrary," he said,
"I think I've found a regular friend--in you."

It was easy to see that his words pleased her.

"No," continued Jimmy; "I was thinking of what an awful mess I make of
everything I tackle."

"You're not making any mess of this new job," she said. "You're making
good. You see, my hunch was all right."

"I wish you hadn't had your hunch," he said with a smile. "It's going
to bring a lot of trouble to several people, but now that I'm in it I'm
going to stick to it to a finish."

The girl's eyes were wandering around the room, taking in the faces of
the diners about them. Suddenly she extended her hand and laid it on
Jimmy's.

"For the love of Mike," she exclaimed. "Look over there."

Slowly Jimmy turned his eyes in the direction she indicated.

"What do you know about that?" he ejaculated. "Steve Murray and Bince!"

"And thick as thieves," said the girl.

"Naturally," commented Jimmy.

The two men left the restaurant before Edith and Jimmy had finished
their supper, leaving the two hazarding various guesses as to the reason
for their meeting.

"You can bet it's for no good," said the girl. "I've known Murray for a
long while, and I never knew him to do a decent thing in his life."

Their supper over, they walked to Clark Street and took a northbound
car, but after alighting Jimmy walked with the girl to the entrance of
her apartment.

"I can't thank you enough," he said, "for giving me this evening. It is
the only evening I have enjoyed since I struck this town last July."

He unlocked the outer door for her and was holding it open.

"It is I who ought to thank you," she said. Her voice was very low and
filled with suppressed feeling. "I ought to thank you, for this has been
the happiest evening of my life," and as though she could not trust
herself to say more, she entered the hallway and closed the door between
them.

As Jimmy turned away to retrace his steps to the car-line

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