The Night Operator

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Published: 1919
Language: English
Wordcount: 91,305 / 267 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 79.8
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 1,416
Added to site: 2010.09.05 28910

In "The Night Operator" you will follow with spellbound interest a panorama of rushing mountain rivers and dangerous curves, of brave men responsible for the safety of others, who meet their obligations with high hearts and abounding courage. When the book is read, you will recall with delight "Toodles," the spunky little night operator; "Royal Carlton," the big superintendent; "Regan," the purposeful master-mechanic, and "Tim O'Toole," the valorous Irishman, and say to yourself, "Packard has done it again -- written another breathless adventure story." Although not a detective story, "The Night Operator," because of its thrilling adventures, will appeal to all readers and lovers of a story full of action and life.

Show Excerpt

in to pick up the fares from the last stop. In due course he halted before the inebriated one with the glittering tie-pin in the smoking compartment of the parlor car.

"Ticket, please," said Hawkeye.

"Too busy to buysh ticket," the man informed him, with heavy confidence. "Whash fare Loon Dam to Big Cloud?"

"One-fifty," said Hawkeye curtly.

The man produced a roll of bills, and from the roll extracted a two-dollar note.

Hawkeye handed him back two quarters, and started to punch a cash-fare slip. He looked up to find the man holding out one of the quarters insistently, if somewhat unsteadily.

"What's the matter?" demanded Hawkeye brusquely.

"Bad," said the man.

A drummer grinned; and an elderly gentleman, from his magazine, looked up inquiringly over his spectacles.

"Bad!" Hawkeye brought his elbow sharply around to focus his lamp on the coin; then he leaned over and rang it on the window sill--only it wouldn't ring. It was indubitably bad. Hawkeye


Average Rating of 3.5 from 2 reviews: ****
Henry L Ratliff

A series of short stories dealing with the people and lives of the mountain railroad.

o A small boy working on the railroad.
o Small in stature only.
o A nigh telegraph operator may be called on to use more than just the telegraph key.

o A broken man.
o A broken engine.
o They will go out together.

o A reluctant and improbable hero.

o The best wrecking boss on the line
o Not so much of a husband.
o Both sides of the man, meet in tragedy.

o Squealed, as in telling
o Seems that the hard dedicated life of a railroader can bring out the best and worst in men.
o The worst is changed by the best.
o ] Are old associations and pals to be put ahead of new found true friends?

o A man falls victim to the age limit.
o He must leave the job he loves.
o He leaves on his own terms..

o A man becomes a reluctant Godfather.
o But, my goodness, what a Godson.
o Both grow up.

o The seclusion of the night telegraph operator in a small station.
o Chance is a flip of the coin. The past can always catch up.
o Time and forgiveness go hand-in-hand.

o Are you, your brothers keeper? Maybe that is the other fellows job.
o A mechanic who wants to be an engineer. Be careful for what you ask.

o How do you measure a great man?
o You may have it all wrong, and only circumstance, or perhaps fate, reveal the truth.

There is a consistent theme of man and his makeup and duty. Here a man is not defined by age, words, past or birth, but by actions when it counts most.


As much as I like reading about railroads, fictional or otherwise, this book has too much Melodrama for my personal taste.

Multiple stories of the early days of the great railroad's Rocky Mountain "Hill Division" each focus on a particular person who works for the road in a different operating capacity and how they face and overcome a major crisis.

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