The Efficiency Expert

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 94

criminal the Lizard had
no wish to be discovered. He wondered what had gone wrong with Murray's
plans, and, suddenly imbued with the natural suspicion of the criminal,
it occurred to him that the whole thing might be a frame-up to get him;
and yet why Murray should wish to get him he could not imagine. He ran
over in his mind a list of all those who might feel enmity toward him, but
among them all the Lizard could cast upon none who might have sufficient
against him to warrant such an elaborate scheme of revenge.

The footsteps passed him and continued on toward the foot of the stairs
where was the main entrance which opened upon the street. At the door
the footsteps halted, and as the Lizard's eyes bored through the
darkness in the direction of the other prowler the latter struck a match
upon the panel of the door and lighted a cigarette, revealing his
features momentarily but distinctly to the watcher in the shadow of the
stairway. Then he opened the door and passed out into the night.

The Lizard, listening intently for a few moments to assure himself that
there was no one else above, and that the man who had just departed was
not returning, at last continued his way to the foot of the stairs,
which he ascended to the second floor. Passing through the outer office,
he paused a moment before the door to Compton's private office, and then
silently turning the knob he gently pushed the door open and stepped
into the room.

Beyond the threshold he halted and pressed the button of his flash-lamp.
For just an instant its faint rays illumined the interior of the room,
and then darkness blotted out the scene. But whatever it was that the
little flash-lamp had revealed was evidently in the nature of a
surprise, and perhaps something of a shock, to the Lizard, for he drew
back with a muttered oath, backed quietly out of the room, closed the
door after him, and, moving much more swiftly than he had entered,
retraced his steps to the fifth window on the alley, and was gone from
the scene with whatever job he had contemplated unexecuted.

A half-hour later detective headquarters at the Central Station received
an anonymous tip: "Send some one to the office of the International
Machine Company, on the second floor of West Superior Street."

It was ten thirty when Jimmy reached the plant. He entered the front
door with his own latchkey, pressed the button which lighted the
stairway and the landing above, and,

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