Page 280. " watched the train roll in "

1930s train
Public Domain1930s train - Credit: balcer: wikipedia
Railways across America ran on steam for the first 150 years of their existence. It wasn't until the 1930s that alternative engines were investigated and steam trains began to be replaced by diesel and electric locomotives.

Page 291. " The mule stood patiently "
GNU Free Documentation Licensemule - Credit: emuzesto: wikipedia

A mule is the offspring of a donkey crossed with a female horse. Almost all mules are infertile. They are bred for their hardiness.