The Efficiency Expert

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 87

I. W. W.



Bince laid Murray's letter face down upon the balance of the open mail,
and sat for a long time looking at the ominous words of the enclosure.
At first he was inclined to be frightened, but finally a crooked smile
twisted his lips. "Murray's not such a fool, after all," he
soliloquized.

"He's framing an alibi before he starts."

With the note in his hand, Bince entered Compton's office, where he
found the latter dictating to Edith Hudson. "Look at this thing!"
exclaimed Bince, laying the note before Compton. "What do you suppose it
means?"

Compton read it, and his brows knitted. "Have the men been complaining
at all?" he asked.

"Recently I have heard a little grumbling," replied Bince. "They
haven't taken very kindly to Torrance's changes, and I guess some of
them are afraid they are going to lose their jobs, as they know he is
cutting down the force in order to cut costs."

"He ought to know about this," said Compton. "Wait; I'll have him in,"
and he pressed a button on his desk. A moment later Jimmy entered, and
Compton showed him the note.

"What do you think of it?" asked Compton.

"I doubt if it amounts to much," replied Jimmy. "The men have no
grievance. It may be the work of some fellow who was afraid of his job,
but I doubt if it really emanates from any organized scheme of
intimidation. If I were you, sir, I would simply ignore it."

To Jimmy's surprise, Bince agreed with him. It was the first time that
Bince had agreed with anything Jimmy had suggested.

"Very well," assented Compton, "but we'll preserve this bit of evidence
in case we may need it later," and he handed the slip of paper to Edith
Hudson. "File this, please, Miss Hudson," he said; and then, turning to
Bince:

"It may be nothing, but I don't like the idea of it. There is apt to be
something underlying this, or even if it is only a single individual and
he happens to be a crank he could cause a lot of trouble. Suppose, for
instance, one of these crack-brained foreigners in the shop got it into
his head that Torrance here was grinding him down in order to increase
our profits? Why, he might attack him at any time! I tell you, we have
got to be prepared for such a contingency, especially now that we have
concrete

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