Ed Beatty arrived at the train station half an hour before boarding time. He had booked a New York to Los Angeles train ride weeks ago and looked forward to it with child-like enthusiasm. However, he did not know that one of the porters assigned to his sleeper car was none other than the infamous Robert Fennell, a convict who had escaped after a dozen years in prison. Fennell was a larger-than-life character and the most famous of his generation of criminals. Fennell, now forty-four years of age, was a cat burglar, jewel thief, safecracker and bank robber par excellence; a master of disguises and a man of seemingly endless aliases. Now, he posed as a train porter to earn a few dollars and move freely about the country to avoid law enforcement. Ed and the railroad line would soon learn this the hard way.