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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 145 pages of information about The Efficiency Expert.

CHAPTER I.

Jimmy Torrance, Jr.

The gymnasium was packed as Jimmy Torrance stepped into the ring for the final event of the evening that was to decide the boxing championship of the university.  Drawing to a close were the nearly four years of his college career—­profitable years, Jimmy considered them, and certainly successful up to this point.  In the beginning of his senior year he had captained the varsity eleven, and in the coming spring he would again sally forth upon the diamond as the star initial sacker of collegedom.

His football triumphs were in the past, his continued baseball successes a foregone conclusion—­if he won to-night his cup of happiness, and an unassailably dominant position among his fellows, would be assured, leaving nothing more, in so far as Jimmy reasoned, to be desired from four years attendance at one of America’s oldest and most famous universities.

The youth who would dispute the right to championship honors with Jimmy was a dark horse to the extent that he was a freshman, and, therefore, practically unknown.  He had worked hard, however, and given a good account of himself in his preparations for the battle, and there were rumors, as there always are about every campus, of marvelous exploits prior to his college days.  It was even darkly hinted that he was a professional pugilist.  As a matter of fact, he was the best exponent of the manly art of self-defense that Jimmy Torrance had ever faced, and in addition thereto he outweighed the senior and outreached him.

The boxing contest, as the faculty members of the athletic committee preferred to call it, was, from the tap of the gong, as pretty a two-fisted scrap as ever any aggregation of low-browed fight fans witnessed.  The details of this gory contest, while interesting, have no particular bearing upon the development of this tale.  What interests us is the outcome, which occurred in the middle of a very bloody fourth round, in which Jimmy Torrance scored a clean knock-out.

It was a battered but happy Jimmy who sat in his room the following Monday afternoon, striving to concentrate his mind upon a college text-book which should, by all the laws of fiction, have been ’well thumbed,’ but in reality, possessed unruffled freshness which belied its real age.

“I wish,” mused Jimmy, “that I could have got to the bird who invented mathematics before he inflicted all this unnecessary anguish upon an already unhappy world.  In about three rounds I could have saved thousands from the sorrow which I feel every time I open this blooming book.”

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