When not tending New York holdings, Guy Grand was generally, as he expressed it, “on the go.” He took cross- country trips by train: New York to Miami, Miami to Seattle—that sort of thing—always on a slow train, one that makes frequent stops. Accommodation on these trains is limited and, though he did engage the best, Grand often had to be satisfied with scarcely more than the essentials of comfort. But he didn’t mind, and on this particular summer afternoon, at precisely 2:05, he stepped onto the first pullman of the Portland Plougher, found his compartment, and began the pleasant routine of settling in for the long slow trip to New York. As was his habit, he immediately rang the porter to bring round a large bottle of Campari and a thermos of finely-iced water; then he sat down at his desk to write business letters.
It was known that for any personal service Grand was inclined to tip generously, and because of this there were usually three or four porters loitering in the corridor near his compartment. They kept a sharp eye on the compartment-door, in case Grand should signal some need or other; and, as the train pulled out of the station, they could hear him moving about inside, humming to himself, and shuffling papers to and fro on his desk. Before the train made its first stop, how- ever, they would have to scurry, for Grand’s orders were that the porters should not be seen when he came out of his compartment; and he did come out, at every stop.
At the first of these stops, which was not long in coming, Grand quickly went to the adjoining day-coach and took a seat by the window. There he was able to lean out and observe the activity on the platform—attracting little attention himself, resembling as he did, with his pleasant red face, any honest farmer.