Secret Service men [said Quinn] divide all of their cases into two classes—those which call for quick action and plenty of it and those which demand a great deal of thought and only an hour or so of actual physical work. Your typical operative—Allison, who was responsible for solving the poison-pen puzzle, for example, or Hal Preston, who penetrated the mystery surrounding the murder of Montgomery Marshall—is essentially a man of action. He likes to tackle a job and get it over with. It doesn't make any difference if he has to round up a half dozen counterfeiters at the point of a single revolver—as Tommy Callahan once did—or break up a gang of train robbers who have sworn never to be taken alive. As long as he has plenty of thrills and excitement, as long as he is able to get some joy out of life, he doesn't give a hang for the risk.
"The rest of the story," concluded Quinn, "is a matter of history. How the fleet bottled up the harbor at Vera Cruz, how it was forced to send a landing party ashore under fire, and how seventeen American sailors lost their lives during the guerrilla attack which followed. All that was spread across the front pages of American papers in big black type—but the fact that a steamer named the Ypiranga had been held up by the American fleet and forced to anchor at a safe distance offshore, under the guns of the flagship, was given little space.