“Later I shall start reducing costs by studying machines, handling material economically and producing power at lowest costs: keeping the product moving, making environment count on the balance-sheet and protecting against accident and fire.”
“Is that all?” asked Mr. Bince.
“Oh, no, indeed!” said Jimmy. “That’s just a very brief outline of the way I shall start.”
“Ah!” said Mr. Bince. “And just how, may I ask, do you make environment count on the balance-sheet? I do not quite understand.”
Jimmy was mentally gasping and going down for the third time. He had wondered when he read that chapter title just what it might mean.
“Oh,” he said, “you will understand that thoroughly when we reach that point. It is one of the steps in my method. Other things lead up to it. It is really rather difficult to explain until we have a concrete example, something that you can really visualize, you know. But I assure you that it will be perfectly plain to you when we arrive at that point.
“And now,” he said, rising, “I must be going. I have a great deal to attend to this afternoon and to-morrow, as I wish to get some personal matters out of the way before I start in here Thursday.”
“All right,” said Mr. Bince, “I suppose we shall see you Thursday, but just bear in mind, please, that you and I can work better together than at cross-purposes.”
Jimmy on the job.
As Jimmy left the office he discovered that those last words of Bince’s had made a considerable and a rather unfavorable impression on him. He was sure that there was an underlying meaning, though just what it portended he was unable to imagine.
From the International Machine Company Jimmy went directly to the restaurant where he and Little Eva had dined the night before. He found her waiting for him, as they had agreed she would.
“Well, what luck?” she asked as he took the chair next to her.
“Oh, I landed the job all right,” said Jimmy, “but I feel like a crook. I don’t know how in the world I ever came to stand for those letters of recommendation. They were the things that got me the job all right, but I honestly feel just as though I had stolen something.”
“Don’t feel that way,” said the girl. “You’ll make good, I know, and then it won’t make any difference about the letters.”
“And now,” said Jimmy, “tell me where you got them. You promised me that you would tell me afterward.”
“Oh,” said the girl, “that was easy. A girl who rooms at the same place I do works in a big printing and engraving plant and I got her to get me some samples of letterheads early this morning. In fact, I went down-town with her when she went to work and then I went over to the Underwood offices and wrote the recommendations out on a machine—I used to be a stenographer.”