“I don’t see how I can,” he objected. “The chances are I could never pay you back, and there is no reason in the world why you should loan me money. You are certainly under no obligation to me.”
“I wish you would let me, Jimmy,” she said. “It would make me awfully happy!”
The man hesitated.
“Oh,” she said, “I’m going to do it, anyway. Wait a minute,” and, rising, she left the table.
In a few minutes she returned. “Here,” she said, “you’ve got to take it,” and extended her hand toward him beneath the edge of the table. “I can’t,” said Jimmy. “It wouldn’t be right.”
The girl looked at him and flushed.
“Do you mean,” she said, “because it’s my—because of what I am?”
“Oh, no,” said Jimmy; “please don’t think that!” And impulsively he took her hand beneath the table. At the contact the girl caught her breath with a little quick-drawn sigh.
“Here, take it!” she said, and drawing her hand away quickly, left a roll of bills in Jimmy’s hand.
Jimmy throws A bluff.
That afternoon Mr. Harold Bince had entered his superior’s office with an afternoon paper in his hand.
“What’s the idea of this ad, Mr. Compton?” he asked. “Why do we need an efficiency expert? I wish you had let me know what you intended doing.”
“I knew that if I told you, Harold, you would object,” said the older man, “and I thought I would have a talk with several applicants before saying anything about it to any one. Of course, whoever we get will work with you, but I would rather not have it generally known about the plant. There seems to be a leak somewhere and evidently we are too close to the work to see it ourselves. It will require an outsider to discover it.”
“I am very much opposed to the idea,” said Bince. “These fellows usually do nothing more than disrupt an organization. We have a force that has been here, many of them, for years. There is as little lost motion in this plant as in any in the country, and if we start in saddling these men with a lot of red tape which will necessitate their filling out innumerable forms for every job, about half their time will be spent in bookkeeping, which can just as well be done here in the office as it is now. I hope that you will reconsider your intention and let us work out our own solution in a practical manner, which we can do better in the light of our own experience than can an outsider who knows nothing of our peculiar problems.”
“We will not permit the organization to be disrupted,” replied Mr. Compton. “It may do a lot of good to get a new angle on our problems and at least it will do no harm.”
“I can’t agree with you,” replied Bince. “I think it will do a lot of harm.”
Compton looked at his watch. “It is getting late, Harold,” he said, “and this is pay-day. I should think Everett could help you with the pay-roll.” Everett was the cashier.