Read CHAPTER XX of The Life and Adventures of Nat Love Better Known in the Cattle Country as "Deadwood Dick", free online book, by Nat Love, on

The tourist sleeping car. The chair car. The safeguards of modern railroading. See America, then let your chest swell with pride that you are an American.

The Pullman tourist sleeping car, which you can find on all through trains of the different railroads throughout the United States, are to the traveler of moderate means what the Pullman car is to the millionaire traveler. They are designed for the comfort and convenience of the traveling public to whom the expenditure of a dollar more or less is a matter of moment, and who cannot afford or do not care for the small extra show and tinsel of the Pullman sleeping car, but whose only desire is to make their journey pleasant, comfortable and safe. This they can do as well in the tourist as in the standard sleeping car.

There is a difference in price that will amount to a tidy sum in a long trip across the continent, but that fact does not always appeal to the traveling public, as I have had the poorest of passengers in the palace car and at other times a millionaire and his family would be my passengers in the tourist cars. It seems to me a matter of fact and one which my long experience seems to verify, that the American traveler does not care so much about his comfort as his ability to get there, as the average American traveler is always in a hurry and in nine cases out of ten, he is thinking more about the speed of the train than he is about his immediate surroundings or the price he had paid for his ticket. The railroads, knowing this, have made and are continually making every effort to add to the speed and safety of their trains, but traveling long distances is a tiresome matter at the best and for that reason the railroads are continually making improvements with a view to add to the comfort, convenience and pleasure of the traveler, and in a journey such as one from Chicago to Los Angeles, for instance, there is no time to stop for meals and such trivial matters as a shave, as time is money lost to most of the passengers and to the railroad company also. For that reason the sleeping car is provided that you may sleep with as much comfort as if you were in your own home, the dining car is provided to furnish you a good meal on the fly and at a price that all can afford. The library and drawing room cars are provided, where you can make yourself as comfortable as you can in your own house. The porter will get your morning paper, furnish you with writing materials or your morning high ball, and look after you like a hen after her brood.

But on all railroads there are rules governing the passengers as well as the employees, the same as there are in all lines of business. A passenger may not, for instance, smoke in the body of the Pullman car, but must retire to the drawing room or his stateroom. As an instance in point, I had J. J. Corbett for a passenger in my car between Ogden and Chicago, a gentleman who was at that time in the height of his career and naturally thought he owned the earth or a large part of it, at any rate he came in the sleeper from the dining car, lit a cigar, propped his feet upon the opposite seat and prepared for a comfortable smoke. But it was against the rules to smoke in that part of the car, so I approached him and politely requested him not to smoke in that part of the car. He regarded me a few moments and with a sneer said, “So you are Mr. Pullman, are you?” I told him I was not Mr. Pullman, but I was in charge of one of Mr. Pullman’s cars, and for that reason I was a representative of Mr. Pullman, and that it was strictly against the rules to smoke in that part of the car, and that if he wished to smoke he would have to go to the drawing room. He went, but the sleeping car conductor, who had watched the incident, told me I had better look out or Corbett would have my scalp. I told the conductor I was not scared and that if Corbett hadn’t gotten out I would have thrown him out, all of which I meant, but the conductor shook his head and said to look out. Sure enough the matter was reported to the superintendent, but that official on hearing the facts in the matter said I had done perfectly right, and what I was paid to do.

It is necessary that all passengers as well as all employees shall observe the rules of the company, for the benefit, safety and enjoyment of all the passengers and employees alike.

All the railroad men I have met from the president down have all proved themselves jolly good fellows, kind, considerate and always ready to render assistance and service to those in need, but at the same time they are strict about the rules and discipline. Thoroughly understanding their business themselves, they insist on the beginner obeying instructions and the laws of the road, because on that depends the lives of hundreds of people, and the value of thousands of dollars worth of property, and for the same reason they are expending thousands of dollars annually in new appliances, inventions and equipment, that will add to the saving of time or insure the safety of the traveler. Among the new inventions adopted by the modern railroads are the “Block” System, which makes collisions between two trains approaching each other on the same track almost an impossibility if the engineer is awake and attentive to business. Under this system when the trains approach a certain distance of each other a bell is rung in the cab of each locomotive simultaneously, and will continue to ring until the danger is over. This with the powerful electric headlights now used, with which the roadbed is lit up for a distance of five miles, makes a head-on collision almost impossible, while the air brakes, heavy rails, solid roadbed, doing away with the sharp curves and heavy grades, all add to the safety of the passengers and the saving of many miles in travel and many precious moments. It has always seemed strange to me that so many Americans rush off to Europe and foreign countries every year in search of health and pleasure, or to climb the Alps in Switzerland, and to view the scenery of the old world, when our own North America, the new world, offers so many better opportunities to study Dame Nature in all her phases, and I always say to the traveling American, “See America.” How many of you have done so? Only those who have seen this grand country of ours can justly appreciate the grandeur of our mountains and rivers, valley and plain, canyon and gorge, lakes and springs, cities and towns, the grand evidences of God’s handiwork scattered all over this fair land over which waves the stars and stripes. Go to New York and view the tall buildings, the Brooklyn bridge, the subway, study the works of art to be found there, both in statuary and painting, ponder on the vast volume of commerce carried on with the outside world. Note the many different styles of architecture displayed in the palace of the millionaire and the house of the humble tradesman, view the magnificent Hudson river and the country homes along its grassy, tree-lined shores, note the ships from every clime riding at anchor in the East river. Then speculate on the changes that have been wrought in the course of the short time since Manhattan Island was purchased from the Indians by Pete Minuts for a few blankets and beads amounting in value to $24.00. Then board the Pennsylvania Limited, whose trains are the acme of modern railroading and go to Washington, the nation’s capital city. Walk along Pennsylvania avenue and note its beauty. Visit the capitol and let your chest swell out with pride that you are an American. Visit the tomb of General Grant and the thousand and one magnificent statues scattered throughout the city. Visit Annapolis and West Point, where the leaders of the nation’s navy and army are trained. Walk over the battlefields of Fredricksburg, Gettysburg and Lexington, and let your mind speculate on the events that made modern history.

Note the majestic Potomac and the Washington monument. Take a short trip north and see the great Niagara Falls, listen to what they tell you in their mighty roaring voice. Go to Pittsburg where the great steel works are located, and see how the steel pen and the steel cannon are made. Go to Chicago, that western hive of commerce. See the Great Lakes, or better still take a cruise on them. Note the great lumber industry of Michigan, and the traffic of the lakes. Go to Kansas City and Omaha and see the transformation of the Texas steer into the corned beef you ate at your last picnic, or was it chipped beef? See the immense stock yards with their thousands of cattle, hogs and sheep, and think of the thousands of people that they feed. Cross the Missouri river and enter on the plains of the great and recently unknown west. Think of the pioneer who in 1849 traversed these once barren stretches of prairie, walking beside his slow-moving ox team, seeking the promised land, breaking a trail for the generations that were to come after him as you are coming now in a Pullman car. Think of the dangers that beset him on every hand, then wonder at the nerve he had, then again let your chest swell with pride that you are an American, sprung from the same stock that men were composed of in those days. Note the grandeur of the Rocky Mountains as they rise from the plains, their peaks snow-capped, glistening in clear blue sky, breathe the pure essence of life, drink of the crystal streams twinkling down their sides, then scorn the wine made by man. Listen to the salute of the bells and the whistles as the trains approach and pass that strange monument of nature’s handiwork, the Mount of the Holy Cross.

Go to the Yellowstone National Park and revel in the wonders thereof, walk in the garden of the Gods and listen to the voice of the Giant Geyser as it sends forth its torrents of boiling water. Bathe in the life-giving springs and mud baths. Note the fantastic forms of the rocks and trees, carved by the hand of nature, then go to Colorado Springs and climb Pikes Peak and behold the world stretch out before you in valley, mountain and plain. Visit the mines of Leadville and Cripple Creek, the store houses of a part of the nation’s wealth. Visit Denver and see the strides made in the improvement of the west in a short time. Board the Denver & Rio Grande train and note the magnificent scenery of mountain, canyons, gorges and the beautiful mountain lakes and streams, note the Grand Canyon of the Colorado, the royal gorge. Now note the great white expanse of the great Salt Lake, as it lies glistening in the rays of the setting sun, and think of the stories you have heard of it until the conductor brings you back to earth with the cry of “Ogden.”

Note this bustling railroad center in the heart of the Rocky mountains, and acknowledge our country’s greatness. Visit Salt Lake City, the “City of Zion,” the Canaan of the new world. See the beautiful city nestling within the protection of the Warsatch and Oquirrh range of mountains. Walk its wide tree-lined streets, visit the tabernacle and hear the sweet strains of the world’s greatest organs. See the Mormon temple. Visit Saltair and sport in the waves of the briny sea. Board the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake westbound train and cross the end of this same lake, one of nature’s wonders.

Cross the desert of Nevada, which was only a short time ago a desert waste, on and on until you smell the orange blossoms of sunny California, and the train emerges from the mountains and brings into view the grand Pacific Ocean. See the big trees of California, the seals and the scenery of the Yosemite valley. Visit the orange groves and the vineyards, and partake of the orange and the grape. Visit Catalina Island in the Pacific Ocean, and try a couple of hours fishing in its waters. Then take the Southern Pacific and return to New York by way of Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, New Orleans, Florida and other southern states. Then again let your chest swell with pride that you are an American.

I think you will agree with me that this grand country of ours is the peer of any in the world, and that volumes cannot begin to tell of the wonders of it. Then after taking such a trip you will say with me, “See America.” I have seen a large part of America, and am still seeing it, but the life of a hundred years would be all too short to see our country. America, I love thee, Sweet land of Liberty, home of the brave and the free.