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Full Name: Grantham 'Grant' Waldron
Nationality: American
Organization: Secret Service
Occupation Agent

Creator: John A. Moroso
Time Span: 1913 - 1913


Grantham 'Grant' Waldron is an agent with the American Secret Service.

There is some question as to whether this Secret Service is a euphemism for American Intelligence or actually means the then division of the Treasury Department. As the six adventures proceed there are numerous references to diplomatic tours and actions which would seem far outside the scope of the actual department's mandate but on the other hand, Waldron does possess identification (a badge, perhaps?) which affords him a good deal of respect and attention and obedience by local authorities.

We learn straight away that Waldron is a trained polyglot, especially in speaking Italian, which he does like a native thanks in part to having served for five years at the embassy at Rome, where he "as duty called him, had drifted between the diplomatic corps and the powerful Secret Service arm of his country's machinery of government". He is quite accustomed to making use of "his power as a United States diplomatic agent and secret investigator".

He is described as being "a young man with that touch of seriousness in face and bearing which gives hint of a fighting nature. His complexion was dark, his mouth and chin firm and his face clean shaven".

When Waldron is not out and about handling his assignments or engaging in his personally chosen investigations, he resides in a "comfortable bachelor suite close to Central Park". He is unmarried and has no apparent long term affections for any member of the fairer sex but he does have an eye for the ladies. He resides alone in his apartment except for his only servant, his valet named Joseph.

Good line:

- said by an Italian prince in danger of being assassinated while brandishing a revolver, "I do not like the idea of the taking of human life, especially my life."


Number of Stories:6
First Appearance:1913
Last Appearance:1913

The author, John Moroso, would prove over the course of 20+ years to be a very prolific short story writer. He would see his tales of mystery and espionage and suspense printed in several of the major magazines of the times like Red Book and Pearson's and the American Boy.

His first story would appear in 1908 and his second three years later in 1911. After that second few were the months that would go by in which he did not have something in print over they next decade. After that his output would slow but he would still be producing tales until he was in his mid-60's.

Most of what Moroso wrote were singletons. He would only deal with four series characters in all the writing that I have heard about. Two of these appear in this compendium, Grantham Waldron and Jimmie Calvert and were written in 1912 and 1913, early on in his writing career.

A third character, Farrington of the Lost Legion, was a man who fell on hard times, apparently, and had to join the French Foreign Legion (aka the Lost Legion). Three stories about him appeared from April-June of 1914 and then he went away for good.

The fourth character, private detective Jim Tierney, would come along at the same time as Calvert though addressed as 'Bonehead' Tierney. 'Bonehead' was the nickname for Tierney when he was in the police department of a big city, four stories about whom would show up in Red Book Magazine in 1912-1913. Then almost a decade later, Jim Tierney would return in two novels, one of which would be made into two different silent movies. A half decade later, Tierney would start appearing in The American Boy magazine for 15 more adventures.

Neither of his two spy series characters, Waldron and Calvert, would have such durability.

Calvert would appear first. He would arrive initially in an eponymous tale and then stick around for another six adventures.

Five months later, fellow secret agent Grantham Waldron would make his debut and would also have six adventures told over consecutive months. Interestingly, his final mission would have him working alongside Calvert.

1 The Last Ten Words The Last Ten Words
Written by John A. Moroso
Copyright: 1913

Published in Pearson's Magazine, April 1913.
An Italian prince who had made a powerful enemy in the Camarra back home is making a visit to New York City. Rumors of attempts on his life prompt the Secret Service to assign Grantham Waldron as an extra bodyguard. Waldron is present when the prince's detachment of guards are one by one killed with a stiletto from an unseen hand.
Click here to read the story.

2 The Lady Of The Chimes The Lady Of The Chimes
Written by John A. Moroso
Copyright: 1913

Published in Pearson's Magazine, May 1913.
When the daughter and only child of a very rich but aging American industrialist falls for an impoverished but titled Russian, the magnate handed over a large sum of money as a dowry as well as a promise the groom would inherit it all should he survive both of them. Now the father hears of mistreatment of his daughter and the possibility her husband is trying to drive her insane. The father asks Grantham Waldron to investigate.
Click here to read the story.

3 338 Greenwich 338 Greenwich
Written by John A. Moroso
Copyright: 1913

Published in Pearson's Magazine, June 1913.
Grantham Waldron was preparing to retire for the evening when a phone interrupted his plans. His valet informed him it was a Mary Sinkler who wanted desperately to speak with him. This astonished Waldron because that young woman had been his fiancee several years before but had married some one else after the relationship ended. What surprised Waldron even more was that she had died two years before the phone call!
Click here to read the story.

4 The Silken Wallet The Silken Wallet
Written by John A. Moroso
Copyright: 1913

Published in Pearson's Magazine, July 1913.
Angered by American immigration policies after the end of the Japanese-Russian War which allowed far more Russians to immigrate than Japan, tensions were high between Japan and the US. At particular worry was something happening to the soon to be finished Panama Canal. Grantham Waldron, among others, was tasked to learning as much as possible about Japanese intentions. He will immediately come into conflict with Maria Antoni, the "most celebrated spy that had ever worked for hire".
Click here to read the story.

5 The Reprieve Of James Jackman The Reprieve Of James Jackman
Written by John A. Moroso
Copyright: 1913

Published in Pearson's Magazine, August 1913.
James Jackman was a man on death row just a few days from execution. On the desk of the governor of the state in which he resided was a letter of reprieve awaiting the leader's signature. Then the chief executive dies suddenly leaving the paper unsigned and yet soon thereafter the signature is there and a noted handwriting expert insists it is valid. What will bring Grantham Waldron into the mystery was there was also to be signed a law that would cause major international turmoil and possibly war. If one document can be signed from beyond the grave, can another with far reaching ramifications be as well?
Click here to read the story.

6 The Bouquet In C Minor The Bouquet In C Minor
Written by John A. Moroso
Copyright: 1913

Published in Pearson's Magazine, September 1913.
Edmund Stevenson of the Treasury Department, well respected and trusted, was missing and that was worrisome, especially since he had $200k of the government's money on him at the time. Finding him immediately was deemed vital and a short phone call from their Chief in Washington put both Grantham Waldron and Jimmie Calvert on the assignment.
Click here to read the story.


     I was impressed with the quality of these stories especially with their ability to keep my attention. Granted, they were short stories and not full-length novels. I might not have had to stick-to-it-ness to hang around for a 150-200 page book. Luckily in the days these were being published, short stories and novelettes were  in great demand by the magazine industry of the day.

     Waldron was the second Secret Service agent the author chose to write about, coming a couple of months after the first, Handsome Jimmie Calvert. I appreciated the fact that when the author decided to craft the final adventure, he chose to bring Calvert back to join in the fun.


My Grade: B


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