The train to Chicago stopped at Columbus for supplies and the passengers disembarked. The platform was shrouded in mist.While they were waiting for the train to revised. A figure in broad hat and heavy coat, heavy boots appeared on the platform. It breathed heavily in silence, and then exhaled green smoke that drifted into a solid recognizable shape.
The shape was that of a woman, small and pretty, mid-Victorian in style. The stranger breathed again, and a man in a military uniform formed. Then a final figure, a small boy in a cloth cap and contemporary dress, emerged from the smoke.
Then the figured inhaled the smoke figures and faded into the most. Dr. No rationalized the figure as stage magician. They reboarded the train and went back to their compartments where they each did discovered strange gargoyle decorations.
Once they were settled, the investigators went to the salon car and met some other passengers. John made the acquaintance of a young mother, while Pancho captivated a vacationing bank teller with tales of her adventures.
Eventually they all went back to their compartments to sleep. Pancho tried to go to back to the salon car, but door between the cars was locked.
In the morning they awakened aboard a troop train. John talked to a delirious soldier who said that they were French soldiers from Verdun. They were mustard gas survivors en route to the Mediterranean on leave.
The salon car had also transformed and was full of soldiers. The story was corroborated by Private Henri Montclair before he was escorted to his own carriage by the cadaverous conductor.
When the conductor returned Pancho confronted him and had him take them to another car. That car was full of Scandinavian passengers en route from St. Louis to San Francisco passing through high plains.
The change was too much for John, and he pulled the emergency brake. Outside the landscape was blanketed by fog.