A05 Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John Le Carre

A05 Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John Le Carre

Author:John Le Carre
Language: eng
Format: mobi
ISBN: 9780340739617
Publisher: Sceptre
Published: 1974-05-21T18:30:00+00:00


The bedroom was long and low, once a maid's room, built into the attic. Guillam was standing at the door; Tarr sat on the bed motionless, his head tilted back against the sloped ceiling, hands to either side of him, fingers wide. There was a dormer window above him and from where Guillam stood he could see long reaches of black Suffolk countryside, and a line of black trees traced against the sky. The wallpaper was brown with large red flowers. The one light hung from a black oak truss, lighting their two faces in strange geometric patterns, and when either of them moved, Tarr on the bed or Smiley on the wooden kitchen chair, they seemed by their movement to take the light with them a distance before it resettled.

Left to himself Guillam would have been very rough with Tarr, he had no doubt of it. His nerves were all over the place and on the drive down he had touched ninety before Smiley sharply told him to go steady. Left to himself he would have been tempted to beat the daylights out of Tarr and if necessary he would have brought Fawn in to lend a hand; driving, he had a very clear picture of opening the front door of wherever Tarr lived and hitting him in the face several times, with love from Camilla and her ex-husband, the distinguished doctor of the flute. And perhaps in the shared tension of the journey Smiley had received the same picture telepathically for the little he said was clearly directed to talking Guillam down. 'Tarr has not lied to us, Peter. Not in any material way. He has simply done what agents do the world over: he has failed to tell us the whole story. On the other hand he has been rather clever.' Far from sharing Guillam's bewilderment, he seemed curiously confident, even complacent, to the extent of allowing himself a sententious aphorism from Steed Asprey on the arts of double cross; something about not looking for perfection, but for advantage, which again had Guillam thinking about Camilla. 'Karla has admitted us to the inner circle,' Smiley announced, and Guillam made a bad joke about changing at Charing Cross. After that Smiley contented himself with giving directions and watching the wing mirror.

They had met at Crystal Palace, a van pickup with Mendel driving. They drove to Barnsbury, straight into a car body repair shop at the end of a cobbled alley full of children. There they were received with discreet rapture by an old German and his son, who had stripped the plates off the van almost before they got out of it and led them to a souped-up Vauxhall ready to drive out of the far end of the workshop. Mendel stayed behind with the Testify file which Guillam had brought from Brixton in his night-bag; Smiley said, 'Find the A12.' There was very little traffic but short of Colchester they hit a cluster of lorries and Guillam suddenly lost patience.


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