THE EAGLE’S EYE
Wharton/Foursquare 1918 / 20 Chapters
Hero: Harrison Grant (King Baggot)
Leading Lady: Dixie Mason (Marguerite Snow)
Villains: Graf Johann Heinrich Von Bernstorff (Bertram Marburgh), Franz Von Papen (Paul Everton)
Main Henchmen: Heinrich Von Lertz (William Bailey), Dr. Heinrich Albert (Fred C. Jones), Franz Von Rintelen (Wellington Playter)
Supporting Cast: Florence Short, John P. Wade
Directed by: George Lessey, Wellington Playter
Plot: Harrison Grant of New York’s “Criminology Club” and Dixie Mason of the U.S. Secret Service uphold the American cause against the "imperial German government's spies, plots, and propaganda."
Notes: Half fiction, half fact, this serial presented wildly propagandized versions of real events with the two (fictional) lead characters shoehorned in. Most of the major villains were real-life German officials. This serial only played in small towns because it was so vicious to German-Americans that the big city theatres apparently refused point-blank to book it.
1. The Hidden Death: Count Johann Von Bernstorff, Germany’s ambassador to the U.S. and spy for the Kaiser, sets his agents with a task vital to the furthering of the German cause: sink the Lusitania!
2. The Naval Ball Conspiracy: While Harrison Grant of New York’s Criminology Club presents the Secret Service with proof of German conspiracy in the Lusitania sinking, Count Von Bernstorff plans a devious mass assassination to ensure his country’s victory in the event of war.
3. The Plot Against the Fleet: After their plot to assassinate Naval officers at the Ansonia Hotel is thwarted, the spies put into action plan B: destroy the Naval fleet with torpedoes.
4. Von Rintelen, the Destroyer: Dixie Mason, undercover femme fatale for the Secret Service, works with her agents to bring about the downfall of Germany’s most dangerous and ruthless saboteur: Franz Von Rintelen.
5. The Strike Breeders: Von Rintelen constructs a plot to dispose of Harrison Grant and his Criminology Club, while Count Von Bernstorff has his hands full trying to convince a loyal group of longshoremen to strike, thus shutting down the shipyards and depriving the Allies of the vital munitions shipments the United States provides.
6. The Plot Against Organized Labor: Grant investigates an attempt by the spies to breed unrest between the shipowners and the longshoremen, but becomes embroiled in a far more devious and destructive German plot, deep in the bowels of the steamer Arselus.
7. The Brown Portfolio: Dixie sends a clandestine, anonymous report to Grant, detailing a German order for firebombs, in the hopes that he might be able to track them down before they are deployed. Von Rintelen, meanwhile, has been busy planting the bombs aboard cargo ships bound for England, one of which, forced to retreat to dock due to technical difficulties, explodes the very day Grant receives his report, giving him the first clue in his investigation.
8. The Kaiser’s Death Messenger: A German soldier, plucked from the trenches of No-Man’s-Land, is brought into America to help with the deployment of a new bomb he himself invented.
9. The Munitions Campaign: The spies begin work on a cunning plan against the French forces. When a munitions plant in New York is scheduled to begin producing shells for France, a German spy swaps the genuine plans with plans for the shells used by German forces. Their plan is to send the French shipments of shells only the Germans can use, in the hopes that this would force a retreat in which the German forces can snap up the ammunition left by the French and use it against its owners.
10. The Invasion of Canada: Dixie, under the name of “Operative 324,” sends Grant a tip onto Imperial Germany’s most daring plot yet: the invasion of Canada! Not a full-scale military invasion, but a large-scale campaign of sabotage intended to halt the flow of troops and arms from Canada to the Allies.
11. The Burning of Hopewell, Virginia: The spies plant one of their own in the tiny manufacturing town of Hopewell, VA, disguised as a psychic, in the hopes of hoodwinking the town’s superstitious residents into divulging vital information about the town’s munitions factory - selected by Count Von Bernstorff as the saboteurs’ next target.
12. The Welland Canal Conspirators: After having their plans thwarted time and again by the Americans, the spies concoct a desperate plot against the armed forces pouring out of Canada. By destroying the locks in the Welland Canal, they will prevent any shipments of troops or munitions from leaving Canada.
13. The Reign of Terror: Upon discovery of their plot against the Welland Canal, Count Von Bernstorff and his associates are extradited, but before their return to Germany, they set in motion their biggest campaign of sabotage and destruction yet in an attempt both to cripple America’s defenses and to convince them that a war with Imperial Germany is unwinnable.
14. The Infantile Paralysis Epidemic: The spies use germ warfare against the U.S., causing a widespread epidemic.
15. The Campaign Against Cotton: The spies release a plague of boll weevils into southern farms in an attempt to destroy America’s cotton production.
16. The Raid of the U-53: The spies attempt to set up a destructive U-boat base in New York harbor to torpedo all boats issuing forth from the city’s ports.
17. Germany’s U-Base in America: Harrison and Dixie continue their search for the secret submarine base, racing the clock to discover it before the spies can begin their campaign of destruction.
18. The Great Hindu Conspiracy: The spies recruit an army of Hindus to return to India and ferment a revolt against the English.
19. The Menace of the I.W.W.: After meeting with failure after failure in their attempts to sway American workers into leaving their posts, the Germans embark on a last-ditch effort to cripple American workforces by funding an anarchist campaign against factory owners and businessmen of all shades.
20. The Great Decision: On the eve of war, Germany’s spies work in a frantic, desperate attempt to create as much mayhem as possible in America. The entire Criminology Club, assisted by Dixie Mason, is mobilized against the saboteurs, but will even they be enough to halt Germany’s relentless campaign of destruction?
Novel: Novelization by Courtney Ryley Cooper serialized in newspapers; condensed version published 1918 by Grosset & Dunlap