The Efficiency Expert

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 9

satisfactory position the first day."




CHAPTER III.

THE LIZARD.

That night Jimmy attended a show, and treated himself to a lonely dinner
afterward. He should have liked very much to have looked up some of his
friends. A telephone call would have brought invitations to dinner and a
pleasant evening with convivial companions, but he had mapped his course
and he was determined to stick to it to the end.

"There will be plenty of time," he thought, "for amusement after I have
gotten a good grasp of my new duties." Jimmy elected to walk from the
theater to his hotel, and as he was turning the corner from Randolph
into La Salle a young man jostled him. An instant later the stranger was
upon his knees, his wrist doubled suddenly backward and very close to
the breaking-point.

"Wot t' hell yuh doin'?" he screamed.

"Pardon me," replied Jimmy: "you got your hand in the wrong pocket. I
suppose you meant to put it in your own, but you didn't."

"Aw, g'wan; lemme go," pleaded the stranger. "I didn't get nuthin'--
you ain't got the goods on me."

Now, such a tableau as Jimmy and his new acquaintance formed cannot be
staged at the corner of Randolph and La Salle beneath an arc light, even
at midnight, without attracting attention. And so it was that before
Jimmy realized it a dozen curious pedestrians were approaching them from
different directions, and a burly blue-coated figure was shouldering his
way forward.

Jimmy had permitted his captive to rise, but he still held tightly to
his wrist as the officer confronted them. He took one look at Jimmy's
companion, and then grabbed him roughly by the arm. "So, it's you again,
is it?" he growled.

"I ain't done nuthin'," muttered the man.

The officer looked inquiringly at Jimmy.

"What's all the excitement about?" asked the latter. "My friend and I
have done nothing."

"Your fri'nd and you?" replied the policeman. "He ain't no fri'nd o'
yours, or yez wouldn't be sayin' so."

"Well, I'll admit," replied Jimmy, "that possibly I haven't known him
long enough to presume to claim any close friendship, but there's no
telling what time may develop."

"You don't want him pinched?" asked the policeman.

"Of course not," replied Jimmy. "Why should he be pinched?"

The officer turned roughly upon the stranger, shook him viciously a few
times, and then gave him a mighty shove which all but sent him sprawling
into the gutter.

"G'wan wid yez," he yelled after him, "and if I see ye on this beat
again I'll run yez in. An' you"--he turned upon Jimmy--"ye'd
betther

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