The Efficiency Expert

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 99

Jimmy, "of one man; and even in his case the
idea is too horrible--too preposterous to be entertained."

Harriet Holden looked up at him quickly, a sudden light in her eyes, and
an expression of almost horrified incredulity upon her face. "You don't
mean--" she started.

"I wouldn't even use his name in connection with the thought," Jimmy
interrupted; "but he is the only man of whom I know who could have
profited by Mr. Compton's death, and, on the other hand, whose entire
future would have been blasted possibly had Mr. Compton lived until the
following morning."

The girl remained for half an hour longer, and when she left she went
directly to the home of Elizabeth Compton.

"I told you, Elizabeth," she said, "that I was going to see Mr.
Torrance. You dissuaded me for some time, but I finally went today, and
I am glad that I went. No one except yourself could have loved your
father more than I, or have been more horrified or grieved at his death;
but that is no reason why you should aid in the punishment of an
innocent man, as I am confident that this man Torrance is, and I tell
you Elizabeth if you were not prejudiced you would agree with me.

"I have talked with Torrance for over half an hour to-day, and since
then nothing can ever make me believe that that man could commit a
cold-blooded murder. Harold has always hated him--you admit that
yourself--and now you are permitting him to prejudice you against the
man purely on the strength of that dislike. I am going to help him. I'm
going to do it, not only to obtain justice for him, but to assist in
detecting and punishing the true murderer."

"I don't see, Harriet, how you can take any interest in such a
creature," said Elizabeth. "You know from the circumstances under which
we saw him before father employed him what type of man he is, and it was
further exemplified by the evidence of his relationship with that common
woman of the streets."

"He told me about her to-day," replied Harriet. "He had only known her
very casually, but she helped him once--loaned him some money when he
needed it---and when he found that she had been a stenographer and
wanted to give up the life she had been leading and be straight again,
he helped her.

"I asked Sergeant O'Donnell particularly about that, and even he had to
admit that there was no evidence whatever to implicate the girl or show
that the relations between her and Mr. Torrance had been

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