Edgar Rice Burroughs: The Efficiency Expert


Jimmy Torrance was out of a job a week this time, and once more he was indebted to the Lizard for a position, the latter knowing a politician who was heavily interested in a dairy company, with the result that Jimmy presently found himself driving a milk-wagon. Jimmy's route was on the north side, which he regretted, as it was in the district where a number of the friends of his former life resided. His delivery schedule, however, and the fact that his point of contact with the homes of his customers was at the back door relieved him of any considerable apprehension of being discovered by an acquaintance.

His letters home were infrequent, for he found that his powers of invention were being rapidly depleted. It was difficult to write glowing accounts of the business success he was upon the point of achieving on the strength of any of the positions he so far had held, and doubly so during the far greater period that he had been jobless and hungry. But he had not been able to bring himself to the point of admitting to his family his long weeks of consistent and unrelieved failure.

Recently he had abandoned his futile attempts to obtain positions through the medium of the Help Wanted columns.

"It is no use," he thought. "There must be something inherently wrong with me that in a city full of jobs I am unable to land anything without some sort of a pull and then only work that any unskilled laborer could perform."

The truth of the matter was that Jimmy Torrance was slowly approaching that mental condition that is aptly described by the phrase, "losing your grip," one of the symptoms of which was the fact that he was almost contented with his present job.

He had driven for about a week when, upon coming into the barn after completing his morning delivery, he was instructed to take a special order to a certain address on Lake Shore Drive. Although the address was not that of one of his regular customers he felt that there was something vaguely familiar about it, but when he finally arrived he realized that it was a residence at which he had never before called.

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