The Efficiency Expert

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 97

ordained should discover him alone
with a murdered man.

O'Donnell made the most of his meager knowledge of Jimmy. He told the
lieutenant with embellishments of Jimmy's association with such
characters as the Lizard and Little Eva; but the police were still at a
loss to discover a motive.

This, however, was furnished the next morning, when Elizabeth Compton,
white and heavy-eyed, was brought to the station to identify Jimmy.
There was deep compassion in the young man's face as he was ushered into
the presence of the stricken girl, while at sight of him hers mirrored
horror, contempt, and hatred.

"You know this man?" asked the lieutenant.

"Yes," she replied. "His name is Torrance. I have seen him a number of
times in the past year. He worked as a clerk in a store, in the hosiery
department, and waited on me there. Later I"--she hesitated--"I saw
him in a place called Feinheimer's. He was a waiter. Then he was a
sparring partner, I think they call it, for a prizefighter. Some of my
friends took me to a gymnasium to see the fighter training, and I
recognized this man.

"I saw him again when he was driving a milk-wagon. He delivered milk
at a friend's house where I chanced to be. The last time I saw him was
at my father's home. He had obtained employment in my father's plant as
an efficiency expert. He seemed to exercise some strange power over
father, who believed implicitly in him, until recently, when he
evidently commenced to have doubts; for the night that the man was at
our house I was sitting in the music-room when they passed through the
hallway, and I heard father discharge him. But the fellow pleaded to be
retained, and finally father promised to keep him for a while longer, as
I recall it, at least until certain work was completed at the plant.
This work was completed yesterday. That's all I know. I do not know
whether father discharged him again or not."

Harriet Holden had accompanied her friend to the police station, and was
sitting close beside her during the examination, her eyes almost
constantly upon the face of the prisoner. She saw no fear there, only an
expression of deep-seated sorrow for her friend.

The lieutenant was still asking questions when there came a knock at the
door, which was immediately opened, revealing O'Donnell with a young
woman, whom he brought inside.

"I guess we're getting to the bottom of it," announced the sergeant.
"Look who I found workin' over there as Compton's stenographer."

"Well, who is she?"

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