By Johnston McCulley (1883-1958).
First appearance: Thrilling Detective, December 1948.
Reprinted in Thrilling Detective (U.K.), June 1949.
Short short story (9 pages).
Online at Pulpgen (HERE).
"Railroad detective Lanman is all ready to break up the Christmas festivities of the tramps, until—"There's the letter of the law and there's the spirit of the law and sometimes the two don't mesh, but a stern railway cop surprises himself by finding a way of honoring them both
at the same time . . .
- FictionMags shows that McCulley had a railroad detective named Richard Hughes as a series character in six stories for The Railroad Man's Magazine, May to October 1908.