David Harding is the head of the U.S. Counterspies.
That is, obviously, not the name of any actual American government agency. It is a term used here to represent the entirety of the counter-espionage effort put forth by the nation. As the intro to these tales informs us, "Counterspy is dedicated to all government undercover men - that invisible army which protects our men on the fighting fronts and our industries and secrets on the home front. Imagine [the] chief counterspy of them all as David Harding."
As this leader of the effort to stop foreign agents, and a good number of domestic enemies as well, from bringing harm to the people of the country, Harding directs a group of men and women in a never-ending battle. The opponents, as said, could come from outside the borders trying to weaken defenses or they could be already inside out to make illegal gains through smuggling, counterfeiting, extortion, and such.
"Washington calling Counterspy. Washington calling Counterspy."
[In here sound of fast morse code]
"Harding, Counterspy, calling Washington. Harding, Counterspy, calling Washington."
Each week a new adventure would be started with those words coming over the airways as someone somewhere tries to alert Harding via radio communication of a new problem to be handed. In response Harding would respond, indicating the passage of vital intel would follow and that Harding and his people would take appropriate action.
What that action would be depended obviously on the situation and the problem facing them. And the variety of those problems will be extensive.
- Smuggling- Disinformation- Sabotage- Secret document theft- Theft of inventions- Murder- Kidnapping- Extortion- Intimidation- Seduction- Assault
The list goes on and on for several hundred different cases.
Through it all, Harding, a man in his mid-40's by all appearances, remained in charge. Usually he would direct trained men and women to go out into the field and on more than a few occasions lead people himself.
We learn very little about Harding himself because the emphasis was meant to be on the problems to be resolved and the actions of the men and women handling the resolution. But through it all there is never a doubt that Harding, representing all such leaders, was ass steadfast and earnest as was needed.
Good line: "When a man commits suicide and it isn't his health and it isn't finances, look for the woman."- "Let's put two and two together and try to make five", said by Harding in first case.
If the number of adventures that apparently were written and aired about this character is to be believed, WOW!!
I personally do not think there are 600+ that were done but 180+ is still darned impressive.
David Harding is a pretty no-nonsense kind of guy who, based on the large number of cases he and his department are involved in, is a very, very busy guy who does not have time for idle chit-chat. He comes across to me as in the Sergeant Joe Friday "just the facts, ma'am" type.
It was interesting to me that my take on the series listening to them so many, many years later, is that there was not very much that would make me eagerly sit in front of the radio waiting for the broadcast to begin but at the same time, if it were on, I would definitely stop what I was doing and have a seat.
My Grade: B
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