Southwestern Historical Quarterly
tion in dealing with individuals, and city and state officials in
matters concerning right of way and accidents. His purpose was
not to make broad statements about these things, but rather to
cite specific examples. One suspects that if more persons like
Noble had been dealing with "outsiders," the railroads would
have gained more respect.
The writer has a wonderful sense of humor. Some of his stories
bring a smile, others call for a chuckle, and a few evoke a belly
laugh. Whether deliberate or not, humor is an important part
of the book. The author also appears as a tolerant person, writing
remarkably free from prejudice against either fellow railroaders
or individuals who appeared to be trying to get more than their
share from the big corporation.
Noble joined the railroads just at the time that a peak in oper-
ation was reached. This crest was held for a while, but gradually
the automobile, the truck, and the bus cut into the business of
the train. Noble was around to see this happen. In an effort to
improve service, the railroaders sought ways to modernize their
equipment. For most of his career, the steam engine was king,
but finally diesel engines took over. Noble never fully accepted
the change, as he looked upon the steam locomotive as a symbol
of strength. The diesel did the job, but it just was not a steam
engine. As the writer expressed it: "... I count myself fortunate
to have spent nearly all of my working life on the Santa Fe, most
of it during the time when the steam locomotive was thundering
across the countryside spouting fire and smoke, for I feel reason-
ably sure that when the final history of the United States is
written, this era will be set down as the happiest period in our
The book is recommended for both entertainment and in-
formation on a way of life which is passing.
JAMES M. DAY
Texas State Archives
Whistle in the Piney Woods: Paul Bremond and the Houston,
East and West Texas Railway. By Robert S. Maxwell. Hous-
ton (Texas Gulf Coast Historical Association, Volume VII,
Number 2), 1963. Pp. 77. $3.00.
Robert Maxwell, professor of history at Stephen F. Austin
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 68, July 1964 - April, 1965. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101198/. Accessed February 26, 2015.