Eric Trent is an adventurer.
The time period of his recorded activities is the late 1930s and very early 1940. With much of Europe and Asia already deeply involved in war, the escapades of Trent are particularly interesting. Here is a man who plays by his own rules especially active in regions where rules have been thrown out - Trent seems to be very much in his element.
Trent likes to think of himself as a more of a salesman or perhaps, in business terminology, a marketing director. He is partners with the Mortimer Crabb, an inventor with an impressive catalog of interesting devices. Trent has decided it is his calling to find the best price for the sale of these gadgets, taking, of course, his share of the proceeds.
Now that partnership is a tad in question, at least when we first meet both as Crabb claims vehemently that "this young lunatic [Trent] hypnotized me into buying a plane and flying over here with him to sell some of my ideas. We landed in Europe in August. Since then I have been arrested three times, shot at twice, and chased out of four countries". Whether Crabb and Trent are truly in business together or not is part of the fun of following the two.
Advice given the burgomaster of the Netherlands city of Arnheim by the chief of police of Amsterdam regarding Eric Trent reads, "Take my advice and get him out of Arnheim before he turns your city upside down. Trent is a crazy adventurer, a modern D'Artagnan living by his wits-wits which unfortunately are entirely too sharp. He has been mixed up in a score of intrigues on the Continent, and it is a miracle the secret police haven't caught him. Don't try to trap him. He'll simply laugh at you. I know from experience."
This causes the town official some consternation but that is paltry compared to the anxiety he would feel after reading this from an enclosed confidential file on the exploits of Trent, relayed here to give a good idea of the kind of man Trent is and the types of adventures he is known for:
"February, 1937, Trent kidnapped two Gestapo agents who tried to arrest him near German border, later turned them loose in their underwear on Champs-Élysées, Paris, in broad daylight... April, reported in Singapore, with a small fortune in pearls, refused to pay duty, told British he found them in an oyster stew, collected five hundred pounds for false arrest.... Detained by Scotland Yard for masquerading as Guards officer, later privately released with apologies of Prime Minister, reasons unknown.... Reported executed in Manchukuo after scrape with Japanese.... Suspected in shooting of Greek blackmailer Nimopolis, no evidence... Secret rewards offered for his capture by Nazis in Austria, Czechoslovakia, also by Spanish authorities, in last two years.... January, 1939, broke the bank at Monte Carlo, purchased a flying boat with which he is said to have effected the mysterious Devil's Island escape of Jacques Gernay, later proved innocent of the murder for which he was sentenced..."
For a description of the man physically, we are told that he "might have been some polished European from the salons of Continental society" with his "a dashing, almost Latin darkness of hair and eyes, and white teeth under a close-clipped black mustache".
Normally the activities of an adventurer (or scoundrel) like Eric Trent might not qualify for membership in this compendium but considering the types of escapades - and the people he goes up against - likely he does.
And I wish to make one additional observation on the 'partnership' of Eric Trent and Mortimer Crabb. When you consider the statements of Crabb in the earliest adventures, Crabb does not look upon it quite the same way as Trent. "If anybody had told me six months ago I'd leave my factory and go chasing all over Europe with a lunatic, getting into one mess after another ..." He ended that lament with a plea that Trent return his passport and perhaps "enough change to get home". Trent smiles and declines and heads to their next adventure.