NOT the least of the general passenger agent's troubles is the man who thinks the road owes him a free ride. At least that was the case before the Hepburn bill put the quietus on the free-pass game. An illustration of the working of the system in the old days is given in a story told to a reporter of the Denver Post by Colonel Raymond L. Eaton. a western newspaper man.
"You all know E. L. Lomax, general passenger agent of the Union Pacific, of course," the colonel began. "Well, when I was working in Omaha a few years ago I dropped into Mr. Lomax's office, and, placing my hat on his desk, sat down in his big easy-chair. A minute or two after I had taken my seat a breezy fellow entered the room, and, approaching me, stuck out his hand.
"'How do you do, Mr. Lomax?' he said to me. 'I'm Mr. So-and-So, publisher of such-and-such a weekly paper in western Nebraska. I want to get passes for my wife and myself to Salt Lake City.'
"I replied, 'Well, Mr. So-and-So, I'd like to accommodate you the best in the world, but your town isn't on our line. But just to help you I'll make you half rate.'
"The editor was delighted. 'All right, Mr. 'Lomax,' he said. 'I'm mighty much obliged to you.'
"After he had gone the real Mr. Lomax said: "'Eaton, you're all right. You're better at it than I am. I'm afraid I'd have given him his passes. It's hard for me to turn newspaper men down.'
"'I'm blamed glad of that,' I said, 'because I want to go to Denver.' I got the pass."