The Efficiency Expert

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 91

extent that he had reached a
point where he felt that death would be something of a relief.
Militating against his recovery had been the parting words of Elizabeth
Compton the evening that he had dined at her father's home, but now all
that was very nearly forgotten--at least crowded into the dim vistas of
recollection by the unselfish friendship of this girl of the streets.

Jimmy's nurse quite fell in love with Edith.

"She is such a sweet girl," she said, "and always so cheerful. She is
going to make some one a mighty good wife," and she smiled knowingly at
Jimmy.

The suggestion which her words implied came to Jimmy as a distinct
shock. He had never thought of Edith Hudson in the light of this
suggestion, and now he wondered if there could be any such sentiment as
it implied in Edith's heart, but finally he put the idea away with a
shrug.

"Impossible," he thought. "She thinks of me as I think of her, only as a
good friend."




CHAPTER XXIV.

IN THE TOILS.

At the office of the International Machine Company the work of the
C.P.A.'s was drawing to a close. Their report would soon be ready to
submit to Mr. Compton, and as the time approached Bince's nervousness
and irritability increased. Edith noticed that he inquired each day with
growing solicitude as to the reports from the hospital relative to
Jimmy's condition. She knew that Bince disliked Jimmy, and yet the man
seemed strangely anxious for his recovery and return to work.

In accordance with Jimmy's plan, the C.P.A.'s were to give out no
information to any one, even to Mr. Compton, until their investigation
and report were entirely completed. This plan had been approved by Mr.
Compton, although he professed to be at considerable loss to understand
why it was necessary. It was, however, in accordance with Jimmy's plan
to prevent, if possible, any interference with the work of the auditors
until every available fact in the case had been ascertained and
recorded.

In the investigation of the pay-roll Bince had worked diligently with
the accountants. As a matter of fact, he had never left them a moment
while the pay-roll records were in their hands, and had gone to much
pain to explain in detail every question arising therefrom.

Although the investigators seemed to accept his statements at their face
value, the assistant general manager was far from being assured that
their final report would redound to his credit.

On a Thursday they informed him that they had completed their
investigation, and the report would be submitted to Mr. Compton on
Saturday.

When Edith reached

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