Herb is given an assignment by a high party official to surreptitiously determine the level of loyalty and dedication of a party member who is being considered for a higher-level position within the party.
The reds have a treacherous plot : they arrange a phony charitable organization that ostensibly allows people in America to donate to the relief of their destitute family members in Poland according to a menu of gift packages. They're wildly overcharged, so the communists get rich and a list those to persecute behind the iron curtain.
To get out some secretly produced propaganda leaflets, the communists have Philbrick go through an elaborate cloak-and-dagger scheme to secure an offset printing press. It involves a new typewriter, the use of his car, and an eager printer in a hidden location.