Ambrose Lavendale is an agent with American Intelligence.
The year we meet and start following this young man's adventures is 1916. The Great War has been ongoing in Europe for just shy of two years. The United States has not yet entered the conflict and would not for another year but interest in Washington on the conflagration is tremendous. To that end, numerous individuals have been dispatched across the Atlantic to obtain intelligence on its behalf. One of those people is Lavendale.
When we first come into contact with Lavendale, he is described as "a tall, well-set-up young man, with a face rather grave for his years and a mouth a little over-firm". He is usually dressed to the nines, his clothing bespoke from an English tailor of excellent regard.
Regarding spotting a very beautiful woman in a restaurant, "Lavendale was neither susceptible nor imaginative. He considered himself a practical, hard-headed person, notwithstanding the fact that he had embraced what was for his country practically a new profession. Nevertheless, he was conscious of what almost amounted to a new interest in life as he studied, a little too eagerly, perhaps, the girl's features." The woman, whom Lavendale did not yet know, was Suzanne de Freyne, a young lady who will come to play a major role in not only Lavendale's professional life but in his personal one as well.
As for the impressive Miss de Freyne, it is said "she was dark, with hair brushed plainly back from a somewhat high and beautifully shaped forehead. Her complexion was pale, her eyes a deep shade of soft brown. Her eyebrows were almost Japanese, fine and silky yet intensely dark. Her mouth, even in repose, seemed full of curves. She appeared to be of medium height and she was undoubtedly graceful." Her importance to the adventures of Lavendale is explained by the fact that she is every bit as much an operative on behalf of French Intelligence as he is for America.
And Lavendale is definitely an operative, despite the use of the word 'diplomat' to describe him. Though he had been for many months attached to the embassies in France and Germany, he states clearly, "I have resigned from the Diplomatic Service of America, but I remain her one secret agent."
- "Everything in the world was impossible before it was done."
- Said to Lavendale by de Freyne shortly in their dealings, "you are in the kindergarten stage of your profession." Ouch!
- An admittance of Lavendale, "I hate prejudices, but I am full of them."