Ryan Lemmon is an agent with American Intelligence.
The time frame for Lemmon's covert work on behalf of the United States starts in 1938, three years before the U.S. would be pulled into the Second World War by Japan on December 7, 1941 and have war declared on it by Germany four days later. Though open hostilities had not started, it was surely coming and America knew it needed to know more. Since intelligence gathering was still in its infancy in that country, those in control who knew the need existed looked to any outsider who could help. Lemmon was one such potential asset.
In the first recorded adventure, the time frame goes briefly even further back so we can see a much younger Lemmon as he is being sent in 1929 to Germany to study international finance by the Irving Trust Company for which he had recently begun working. We will watch the passage of the next few years quickly from the viewpoint of Lemmon as the Depression hits the world and his career gets some forced adjustments.
He would describe himself a couple years later as a "former impoverished banker, now student of history and doing my own bit of journalism on the side". That reporting would be for the Kansas City Times, matching his Midwestern heritage. He is on hand in Germany when the rise of the Nazi movement got its start and clashes with those non-members, especially Communists, were growing more frequent and more violent every day.
A return to the States and returning to college for a doctorate in business and a teaching position at a "small town college" in Kansas would lead to his having a teaching profession before a request in 1938 from his older brother, Edward, who was working for the State Department, for a meeting with the head of the German and Austrian Affairs division.
"Dr. Lemmon, We think you can do us a great service by returning to Germany for a spell. Frankly, we need to get in touch with the grass roots. What you learn over there might help provide us with intelligence to defuse tensions a bit, or just change a few isolationist minds over here. Influential minds. And should we have to get involved-that's what Secretary Hull and President Roosevelt expect-you'll have made our job a helluva lot easier." He would agree.
Lemmon is told by a woman who was admiring him that he possessed a smile and rakish look that gave him "the image of the archetypal hero", though she did say he needed a thin mustache to nail the look. Another woman with whom he will get quite close thinks of him as "the shining movie star of films, all dark hair and flashing teeth, bronze tan and witty banter".
- Thought by Ryan Lemmon after encountering a beautiful and interesting lady, "There was always something new to be learned from an attractive woman".