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Rollo Walter Brown I TRAVEL TRAIN ILLUSTRATIONS BY GRANT REYNARD D. Appleton - Century Company INCORPORATED London 4P3P seeing what kind of country it is that I live in. 1-939, BY I. -. p ETOfsTf T Y COMPANY, INC. . rights reserved. This book, or parts thetfebff tytust not be reproduced in any form vtJiout permission of the publisher. PRINTBD IN THE...
Rollo Walter Brown I TRAVEL TRAIN ILLUSTRATIONS BY GRANT REYNARD D. Appleton - Century Company INCORPORATED London 4P3P seeing what kind of country it is that I live in. 1-939, BY I. -. p ETOfsTf T Y COMPANY, INC. . rights reserved. This book, or parts thetfebff tytust not be reproduced in any form vtJiout permission of the publisher. PRINTBD IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Preface TO BE READ IN THE dead of night in the Oklahoma Panhandle country, I climbed aboard a long train from the Pacific Coast that had generously offered to stop at a small town for a solitary passenger. I was still much awake from a busy evening, and while the porter made down a berth for me, I wandered back through the train through two or three darkened sleeping-cars where passengers snug behind green curtains were sound asleep, then through four or five others that were almost as dark, but not made down for the night, and without passengers. In the rear section of the last of these a brakemana man of forty or forty-five with an ac tive face sat musing in the dim light of the berth-lamp. The unoccupied cars, he explained, had carried a com pany of youngsters to a Conservation Camp farther south west, and were now going deadhead back to Kansas City. For five minutes I stood and talked with him. Sit down at last he begged of me. I havent talked to anybody all day He seemed a trifle loquacious, and it was late, but I com plied. As soon as I was seated, he laughed a little. I wanted to get you down so as I could ask you a question. If you dont mind, Id just like to know what you work at. When you came walking back here I hardly thought you looked like a business man 1 I let him guess. Then I told him. viii Preface Well, say A writer I dont often meet any of them that is, that I know of. But I know a book you or some body ought to write about trains and railroads and the excitement of them I told him that I was soon to go to work on a volume that might not be altogether unlike what he had in mind that for more than a dozen years I had had to cover much of the United States three or four times each year, and that I meant to write about what I had seen about a trip here and there out of many. But youll be sure to say plenty about trains, wont you Anybody that ever saw as much water as the Cimarron River has got in it in August writes about ships. And trains are lots more thrilling. Ever stand in the Union Station at Cincinnati or St Louis, or in one of the big stations at Chicago or Minneapolis, at night maybe, when the big boys with their names on their tails are all lined up to go the Bluebonnet, the Chief, the Corn King Limited, the Katy Flyer, the Viking, the Meteor, the F. F. V., the Fla mingo, the Wolverine, the Zephyr, the Columbine, the Golden Arrow You see, I know some of them, all right. And boyl You dont go to sleep while youre working on a train. Can you imagine what its like jumping off the pilot of a freight engine to run ahead to open a switch, and your feet slip out from under you where theres some smooth ice under the snow, and you fall smack across the rail with the old engine creeping along only about eight feet behind you Or when everything is covered with ice, slip ping down ka-plump between two flat-cars when theyre moving I did that once starting on a night run to Omaha. I had sense enough to keep on running, down in there be tween the two sets of trucks, but she was already going too fast for me to dodge out across the rails, and I didnt know Preface ix how long I was going to be able to keep on running, with the engine picking up a little all the time. Then she began to slow down, and finally stopped Boy, oh, boy The engi neer said his engine didnt feel as if she was pulling just right, and he thought hed better stop and find out what was wrong before he got going. Now isnt that good enough for a book Yes, but you are the person to write that one...
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