Jimmy didn’t know just what rejoinder to make, and so he made none. As a matter of fact, he had not realized that he had said or done anything to win her confidence, nor could he explain his attitude toward her in the light of what he knew of her life and vocation. There is a type of man that respects and reveres woman-hood for those inherent virtues which are supposed to be the natural attributes of the sex because in their childhood they have seen them exemplified in their mothers, their sisters and in the majority of women and girls who were parts of the natural environment of their early lives.
It is difficult ever entirely to shatter the faith of such men, and however they may be wronged by individuals of the opposite sex their subjective attitude toward woman in the abstract is one of chivalrous respects. As far as outward appearances were concerned Little Eva might have passed readily as a paragon of all the virtues. As yet, there was no sign nor line of dissipation marked upon her piquant face, nor in her consociation with Jimmy was there ever the slightest reference to or reminder of her vocation.
They chose a quiet and eminently respectable dining place, and after they had ordered, Jimmy spread upon the table an evening paper he had purchased upon the street.
“Help me find a job,” he said to the girl, and together the two ran through the want columns.
“Here’s a bunch of them,” cried the girl laughingly, “all in one ad. Night cook, one hundred and fifty dollars; swing man, one hundred and forty dollars; roast cook, one hundred and twenty dollars; broiler, one hundred and twenty dollars. I’d better apply for that. Fry cook, one hundred and ten dollars. Oh, here’s something for Steve Murray: chicken butcher, eighty dollars; here’s a job I’d like,” she cried, “ice-cream man, one hundred dollars.”
“Quit your kidding,” said Jimmy. “I’m looking for a job, not an acrostic.”
“Well,” she said, “here are two solid pages of them, but nobody seems to want a waiter. What else can you do?” she asked smiling up at him.
“I can drive a milk-wagon,” said Jimmy, “but the drivers are all on strike.”
“Now, be serious,” she announced. “Let’s look for something really good. Here’s somebody wants a finishing superintendent for a string music instrument factory, and a business manager and electrical engineer in this one. What’s an efficiency expert?”
“Oh, he’s a fellow who gums up the works, puts you three weeks behind in less than a week and has all your best men resigning inside of a month. I know, because my dad had one at his plant a few years ago.”
The girl looked at him for a moment. “Your father is a business man?” she asked, and without waiting for an answer, “Why don’t you work for him?”
It was the first reference that Jimmy had ever made to his connections or his past.
“Oh,” he said, “he’s a long way off and—if I’m no good to any one here I certainly wouldn’t be any good to him.”