This is part of the scene where the lads (and Emily) head off to New York for their new case:
A few last-minute arrivals bustled over, and were hurried on board. With a whoosh of steam and a series of great jerks, the double engines pulled us away from the station. A cloud of cinders flew past the windows, sparkling in the gloom, and the scent of wood smoke stung my nose. That ash would get everywhere if we opened the windows or left the car. Our clothing would require a good cleaning once we reached our destination. I had to remember that it was small price to pay for such a speedy journey. After all, it had taken our grandparents months to travel across the country. Just because I’d prefer to be relaxing within my own drawing room was no reason to disparage the wonders of modern technology[ Check etymology].
Emily and Barbara stared eagerly out the windows as we rode through the Sacramento Valley. This late in the year, the harvest was all gathered, but the valley was still green and lovely. The train swayed and jerked, and the constant rattle of the wheels lulled one into a daze. I pulled out The Mysterious Island, a new volume by Jules Verne. That, a couple more new books and a few old favorites should last the journey. I didn’t look up until the train began to climb the Sierras. The setting sun turned the rocks of the mountains golden. My appreciation of nature may be less than that of modern convenience, but I can recognize beauty when I see it.
We broke out the fried chicken dinner Mrs. Rowell had packed, and made use of the dining table. The porter, when summoned, was happy to fetch a coffee service and pour the wine, especially when I dropped another coin into his palm. These fellows made little or nothing from the big bugs of the railroad, and depended on their tips to make ends meet. A well-greased wheel moves easiest, and Chance Knight is all for greasing the wheels of society. “George” agreed to keep the coffee pot filled for us.
“If you like, sir,” he added, “I can provide an informative lecture when we reach the most interesting spots on the journey.”
“Oh, we should enjoy that very much,” cried Emily. “I’m certain you have seen every inch of the countryside by now.”
“George” smiled and nodded his curly head. “Yes’m, and I’ve got some mighty interesting stories, too. You’d be surprised what happens on a train.”
The landscape outside the windows changed from rolling fields to rugged cliffs and ravines and broken ridges, covered by dense stands of pine. The odor of the evergreens overpowered even the scent of the ash flying alongside the windows. I reached for my book.
“About our conversation the other day…” Emily said with a smile that raised the hackles on the back of my neck.
Kye had the audacity to chuckle.
“I have no idea what you are talking about,” I said, opening the novel pointedly.
“Your memory is perfect, my dear. You are well aware that I am discussing Devon Day and the Sweetwater Kid.”