The honourable schoolboy by John le Carré; 31 editions; First published in ; Subjects: Intelligence service in fiction, Accessible book, Fiction in English. Editorial Reviews. Review. Nobody writing today manipulates suspense better. Nobody constructs a more tantalisingly complex plot essential reading * Chris . Get Free Read & Download Files The Honourable Schoolboy John Le Carre PDF . THE HONOURABLE SCHOOLBOY JOHN LE CARRE. Download: The.
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Автор: Le Carre John, Книга: The Honourable Schoolboy. Life and Times of the Right Honourable William Henry Smith, M.P, Volume 2 ( Cambridge Library Collection - Printing and Publishing History) · Read more. Download The Honourable Schoolboy: A George Smiley Novel (George Smiley Novels Book 6) pdf ebook epub kindle Download at.
Di Salis gave another swift, approving nod, and linking his awkward hands, thrust them over one crooked knee and drew it to his chin. Do they? He was based, if anywhere, in Thurloe Square where he lodged with his stepmother, the third Lady Westerby, in a tiny frilly flat crammed with huge antiques salvaged from abandoned houses. Did you send progress reports from day to day? She handed Smiley an envelope and he opened it, and drew out a long buff computer card.
What fell between — source reports on the nation's theoretical Allies, for instance — was consigned to a special wait-bin for later evaluation. They worked, like Smiley himself, impossible hours. The canteen complained, the janitors threatened to walk out, but gradually the sheer energy of the burrowers infected even the ancillary staff and they shut up. A bantering rivalry developed. Under Connie's influence, backroom boys and girls who till now had scarcely been seen to smile, learned suddenly to chaff each other in the language of their great familiars in the world outside the Circus.
Czarist imperialist running dogs drank tasteless coffee with divisive, deviationist chauvinist Stalinists and were proud of it. But the most impressive blossoming was unquestionably in di Salis, who interrupted his nocturnal labours with short but vigorous spells at the ping-pong table, where he would challenge all comers, leaping about like a lepidopterist after rare specimens.
Soon the first fruits appeared, and gave them fresh impetus. Within a month, three reports had been nervously distributed, under extreme limitation, and even found favour with the sceptical Cousins. A month later a hardbound summary wordily entitled Interim report on lacunae in Soviet intelligence regarding Nato sea to air strike capacity, earned grudging applause from Martello's parent factory in Langley, Virginia, and an exuberant phone call from Martello himself.
The Circus will deliver. Did they believe me. Did they hell! Meanwhile, sometimes with Guillam for company, sometimes with silent Fawn to babysit, Smiley himself conducted his own dark peregrinations and marched till he was half dead with tiredness. And still without reward, kept marching. By day, and often by night as well, he trailed the home counties and points beyond, questioning past officers of the Circus and former agents out to grass.
In Chiswick, perched meekly in the office of a cut-price travel agent and talking in murmurs to a former Polish colonel of cavalry resettled as a clerk there; he thought he had glimpsed it; but like a mirage, the promise dissolved as he advanced on it.
In a secondhand radio shop in Sevenoaks a Sudeten Czech held out the same hope to him, but when he and Guillam hurried back to confirm the story from Circus records, they found the actors dead and no one left to lead him further.
Back home, he called for the papers, only once more to see the light go out. For this was the last and unspoken conviction of the premise which Smiley had outlined in the rumpus room: That in the end-analysis, it was not Haydon's paperwork which had caused his downfall, not his meddling with reports, nor his 'losing' of inconvenient records.
It was Haydon's panic. It was Haydon's spontaneous intervention in a field operation, where the threat to himself, or perhaps to another Karla agent, was suddenly so grave that his one hope was to suppress it despite the risk. This was the trick which Smiley longed to find repeated.
And this was the question which, never directly, but by inference, Smiley and his helpers in the Bloomsbury reception centre canvassed:. And it was dapper Sam Collins, in his dinner jacket,: But behind this question again, and Sam's crucial answer, stalked the formidable person of Miss Connie Sachs and her pursuit for Russian gold.
It was not her first find by any means, not her tenth, but her devious instinct told her straight away it was 'the genuine article, darling, mark old Connie's words'. So Guillam told Smiley and Smiley locked up his files and cleared his desk and said: Connie was a huge, crippled, cunning woman, a don's daughter, a don's sister, herself some sort of academic, and known to the older hands as Mother Russia.
The folklore said Control had recruited her over a rubber of bridge while she was still a debutante, on the night Neville Chamberlain promised 'peace in our time'. When Haydon came to power in the slipstream of his protector Alleline, one of his first and most prudent moves was to have Connie put out to grass. For Connie knew more about the byways of Moscow Centre than most of the wretched brutes, as she called them, who toiled there, and Karla's private army of moles and recruiters had always been her very special joy.
Not a Soviet defector, in the old days, but his debriefing report had passed through Mother Russia's arthritic fingers; not a coat-trailer who had manoeuvred himself alongside an identified Karla talent-spotter, but Connie greedily rehearsed him in every detail of the quarry's choreography; not a scrap of hearsay over nearly forty years on the beat which had not been assumed into her pain-racked body, and lodged there among the junk of her compendious memory, to be turned up the moment she rummaged for it.
Connie's mind, said Control once, in a kind of despair, was like the back of one enormous envelope. Dismissed, she went back to Oxford and the devil.
At the time Smiley reclaimed her, her only recreation was The Times crossword and she was running at a comfortable two bottles a day. But that night, that modestly historic night, as she hauled her great frame along the fifth floor corridor toward George Smiley's inner room, she sported a clean grey caftan, she had daubed a pair of rosy lips not far from her own, and she had taken nothing stronger than a vile peppermint cordial all day long — of which the reek lingered in her wake - and a sense of occasion, they all decided afterwards, was stamped on her from the first.
She carried a heavy plastic shopping bag, for she would countenance no leather. In her lair on a lower floor, her mongrel dog, christened Trot, and recruited on a wave of remorse for its late predecessor, whimpered disconsolately from beneath her desk, to the lively fury of her roommate di Salis, who would often privately lash at the beast with his foot; or in more jovial moments content himself with reciting to Connie the many tasty ways in which the Chinese prepared their dogs for the pot.
Outside the Edwardian dormers, as she passed them one by one, a racing late-summer rain was falling, ending a long drought, and she saw it — she told them all later — as symbolic, if not Biblical.
The drops rattled like pellets on the slate roof, flattening the dead leaves which had settled there. In the anteroom the mothers continued stonily with their business, accustomed to Connie's pilgrimages, and not liking them the better for it.
So very loyal. There was one step downward into the throne-room the uninitiated tended to stumble on it despite the faded warning notice — and Connie with her arthritis negotiated it as if it were a ladder while Guillam held her arm.
Smiley watched her, plump hands linked on his desk, as she began solemnly unpacking her offerings from the carrier: As she pulled them out, and smoothed the notes which she had pinned on them like markers in her paperchase, she smiled that brimming smile of hers — Guillam again, for curiosity had obliged him to down tools and come and watch — and she was muttering 'there you little devil' and 'now where did you get to, you wretch? Super fun. Reminded me of Easter, when Mother hid painted eggs round the house and sent us gals off hunting for them.
For perhaps three hours after that, interspersed with coffee and sandwiches and other unwanted treats which dark Fawn insisted on bringing to them, Guillam struggled to follow the twists and impulsions of Connie's extraordinary journey, to which her subsequent research had by now supplied the solid basis. She dealt Smiley papers as if they were playing cards, shoving them down and snatching them back with her crumpled hands almost before he had had a chance to read them.
Over it all she was keeping up what Guillam called 'her fifth-rate conjurer's patter', the abracadabra of the obsessive burrower's trade. At the heart of her discovery, so far as Guillam could make out, lay what Connie called a Moscow Centre goldseam; a Soviet laundering operation to move clandestine funds into open-air channels. The charting of it was not complete. Israeli liaison had supplied one section, the Cousins another, Steve Mackelvore, head resident in Paris, now dead, a third. From Paris the trail turned East, by way of the Banque de l'Indochine.
At this point also, the papers had been put up to Haydon's London Station, as the operational directorate was called, together with a recommendation from the Circus's depleted Soviet Research Section that the case be thrown open to full-scale enquiry in the field: London Station killed the suggestion stone dead.
We always have good reasons for doing nothing. Files and folders were by then strewn all over the throne-room. The scene looked a lot more like a disaster than a triumph. For an hour longer, Guillam and Connie gazed silently into space or at Karla's photograph while Smiley conscientiously retraced her steps, his anxious face stooped to the reading lamp, its pudgy lines accentuated by the beam, his hands skipping over the papers, and occasionally lifting to his mouth so that he could lick his thumb.
Once or twice he started to glance at her, or open his mouth to speak, but Connie had the answer ready before he put his question.
In her mind, she was walking beside him along the path. When he had finished, he sat back, and took off his spectacles and polished them, not on the fat end of the tie for once, but on a new silk handkerchief in the top pocket of his black jacket, for he had spent most of the day cloistered with the Cousins on another fence-mending mission.
While he did this, Connie beamed at Guillam and mouthed 'isn't he a love? It's all marked up in the index. We don't seem to have that. Where is it? The morning had come.
Guillam strolled round switching out the lights. The same afternoon, he dropped in at the quiet West End gaming club where, in the permanent night-time of his elected trade, Sam Collins endured the rigours of retirement. Expecting to find him overseeing his usual afternoon game of chemin-de-fer, Guillam was surprised at being shown to a sumptuous room marked 'management'. Sam was roosting behind a fine desk, smiling prosperously through the smoke of his habitual brown cigarette. Slipping a mackintosh over his dinner jacket, he led Guillam down a passage and through a fire door into the street, where the two men hopped into the back of Guillam's waiting cab, while Guillam still secretly marvelled at Sam's newfound eminence.
Fieldmen have different ways of showing no emotion and Sam's was to smile, smoke slower, and fill his eyes with a dark glow of particular indulgence, fixing them intently on his partner in discussion. Sam was an Asian hand, old Circus, with a lot of time behind him in the field: The Thais had sweated him twice but let him go, he'd had to leave Sarawak in his socks.
When he was in the mood, he had stories to tell about his journeying among the northern hill tribes of Burma and the Shans, but he was seldom in the mood. Sam was a Haydon casualty.
There had been a moment, five years back, when Sam's lazy brilliance had made him a serious contender for promotion to the fifth floor — even, said some, to the post of Chief itself, had not Haydon put his weight behind the preposterous Percy Alleline. So, in place of power, Sam was left to moulder in the field until Haydon contrived to recall him, and have him sacked for a trumped-up misdemeanour. How good of you! Take a pew,' said Smiley, all conviviality for once.
Where are you in your day? Perhaps we should be offering you breakfast? At Cambridge, Sam had taken a dazzling First, thus confounding his tutors, who till then had dismissed him as a near idiot. He had done it, the dons afterwards told each other consolingly, entirely on memory. The more worldly tongues told a different tale, however. According to them, Sam had trailed a love affair with a plain girl at the Examination Schools, and obtained from her, among other favours, a preview of the papers.
Now at first Smiley tested the water with Sam — and Sam, who liked a poker hand himself, tested the water with Smiley. Some fieldmen, and particularly the clever ones, take a perverse pride in not knowing the whole picture. Their art consists in the deft handling of loose ends, and stops there stubbornly. Sam was, inclined that way. Having raked a little in his dossier, Smiley tried him out on several old cases which had no sinister look at all, but which gave a clue to Sam's present disposition and confirmed his ability to remember accurately.
He received Sam alone because with other people present it would have been a different game: Later, when the story was out in the open and only follow-up questions remained, he did summon Connie and Doc di Salis from the nether regions, and let Guillam sit in too. But that was later, and for the time being Smiley plumbed Sam's mind alone, concealing from him entirely the fact that all casepapers had been destroyed, and that since Mackelvore was dead, Sam was at present the only witness to certain key events.
Just a standard request it would have been, asking for unattributable field enquiries, please, to confirm or deny — that sort of thing. Ring a bell by any chance? He had a sheet of notes before him, so that this was just one more question in a slow stream. As he spoke, he was actually marking something with his pencil, not looking at Sam at all. But in the same way that we hear better with our eyes closed, Smiley did sense Sam's attention harden: Paid out of a Canadian overseas account with their Paris affiliate.
Start date January seventy-three or thereabouts. It rings a bell, sure. Smiley detected immediately that Sam was settling to a long game. His memory was clear but his information meagre: Still stooped over the papers, Smiley said: There's some discrepancy on the filing side, and I'd like to get your part of the record straight. He was watching Smiley's hands, and occasionally, with studied idleness, his eyes — though never for too long. Whereas Smiley, for his part, fought only to keep his mind open to the devious options of a fieldman's life.
Sam might easily be defending something quite irrelevant. He had fiddled a little bit on his expenses, for example, and was afraid he'd been caught out. He had fabricated his report rather than go out and risk his neck: Sam was of an age, after all, where a fieldman looks first to his own skin. Or it was the opposite situation: Sam had ranged a little wider in his enquiries than Head Office had sanctioned.
Hard pressed, he had gone to the pedlars rather than file a nil return. He had fixed himself a side-deal with the local Cousins. Or the local security services had blackmailed him — in Sarratt jargon, the angels had put a burn on him — and he had played the case both ways in order to survive and smile and keep his Circus pension.
To read Sam's moves, Smiley knew that he must stay alert to these and countless other options. A desk is a dangerous place from which to watch the world. So, as Smiley proposed, they wandered. London's request for field enquiries, said Sam, reached him in standard form, much as Smiley had described. It was shown to him by old Mac who, until his Paris posting, was the Circus's linkman in the Vientiane Embassy.
An evening session at their safe house. Routine, though the Russian aspect stuck out from the start, and Sam actually remembered saying to Mac that early: Smiley noted that Mac had no business showing Sam the signal. Sam also remembered Mac's reply to his observation: Sam had agreed wholeheartedly. As it happened, said Sam, the request was pretty easy to meet. Sam already had a contact at the Indochine, a good one, call him Johnny.
Sam avoided answering that question directly and Smiley respected his reluctance. The fieldman who files all his contacts with Head Office, or even clears them, was not yet born.
As illusionists cling to their mystique, so fieldmen for different reasons are congenitally secretive about their sources. Johnny was reliable, said Sam emphatically.
He had an excellent track record on several arms-dealing and narcotics cases, and Sam would swear by him anywhere. So Sam had moonlighted for the local narcotics bureau on the side, Smiley noted. A lot of fieldmen did that, some even with Head Office consent: It was a perk. Nothing dramatic, therefore, but Smiley stored away the information all the same. Sam continued with his story. He had called on Johnny at the Indochine and sold him a cock-andbull cover to keep him quiet, and a few days later, Johnny, who was just a humble counter-clerk, had checked the ledgers and unearthed the dockets and Sam had the first leg of the connection cut and dried.
The routine went this way, said Sam:. End of connection,' said Sam. There is a particular intensity about clever men whose brains are under-used, and sometimes there is no way they can control their emanations.
In that sense, they are a great deal more at risk, under the bright lights, than their more stupid colleagues. You know how it is at times like this. Clutching at straws, listening to the wind. So Sam checked at the Hotel Condor, he said. The porter there was a stock sub-source to the trade, everybody owned him. No Delassus staying there, but the front desk cheerfully admitted to receiving a little something for providing him with an accommodation address.
The very next Monday — which happened to follow the last Friday of the month, said Sam — with the help of his contact Johnny, Sam duly hung around the bank 'cashing travellers' cheques and whatnot', and had a grandstand view of the said Monsieur Delassus marching in, handing over his French passport, counting the money into a briefcase and retreating with it to a waiting taxi.
Taxis, Sam explained, were rare beasts in Vientiane. Anyone who was anyone had a car and a driver, so the presumption was that Delassus didn't want to be anyone.
Like his predecessor Control, Smiley never used pads: You know how it is with records. The same evening, Sam said, hugger-mugger with his linkman Mac once more, he took a long cool look at the rogues' gallery of local Russians, and was able to identify the unlovely features of a Second Secretary Commercial at the Soviet Embassy, Vientiane, mid-fifties, military bearing, no previous convictions, full names given but unpronounceable and known therefore around the diplomatic bazaars as 'Commercial Boris'.
But Sam, of course, had the unpronounceable names ready in his head and spelt them out for Smiley slowly enough for him to write them down in block capitals. When the crucial Monday came round again a month later, Sam went on, he decided he would tread wary.
So instead of gum-shoeing after Commercial Boris himself he stayed home and briefed a couple of locally based leash-dogs who specialised in pavement work. The said leashdogs watched the briefcase on its next journey. The taxi, a different one from the month before, took Boris on a tour of the town and after half an hour dropped him back near the main square, not far from the Indochine.
Commercial Boris walked a short distance, ducked into a second bank, a local one, and paid the entire sum straight across the counter to the credit of another account. After that, said Sam, they were home and dry. Sam lay low for a couple of weeks to let the dust settle, then put in his girl assistant to deliver the final blow. Sam gave it. A home-based senior girl, Sarratttrained, sharing his commercial cover.
This senior girl waited ahead of Boris in the local bank, let him complete his paying-in forms, then raised a small scene. Words passed. The paying-in slip lay on the counter, said Sam, and while the senior girl did her number she read it upside down: He added: Smiley's ears were so sharp at that moment that he could have heard a leaf fall; but what he heard, metaphorically, was the sound of barriers being erected, and he knew at once, from the cadence, from the tightening of the voice, from the tiny facial and physical things which made up an exaggerated show of throwaway, that he was closing on the heart of Sam's defences.
So in his mind he put in a marker, deciding to remain with the mickey-mouse aviation company for a while. But he played Sam along all the same. Vientiane was stiff with them. Fought the secret war in Laos. Flew with Captain Rocky and that crowd.
Credited with a couple of joyrides into Yunnan province for the Cousins. When the war ended he kicked around a bit then took up with the Chinese. We used to call those outfits Air Opium. By the time Bill hauled me home they were a flourishing industry. Still Smiley let Sam run. As long as Sam thought he was leading Smiley from the scent, he would talk the hindlegs off a donkey; whereas if Sam thought Smiley was getting too close, he would put up the shutters at once.
We have the money, we know whom it's paid to, we know who handles it. Well, if Sam remembered rightly he took stock for a day or two.
There were angles, Sam explained, gathering confidence: First, you might say, there was the Strange Case of Commercial Boris. Boris, as Sam had indicated, was held to be a bona fide Russian diplomat, if such a thing existed: Yet he rode around alone, had sole signing rights over a pot of money, and in Sam's limited experience, either one of these things spelt hood on one hand.
A red-toothed four-square paymaster, colonel or upwards, right? Mac said so. I said so. We all said so. The Cousins had all three wired. They've had them wired for years. They knew every cent the residency drew and even, from the account number, whether it was for intelligence gathering or subversion. The residency had its own money-carriers, and a triple-signature system for any drawing over a thousand bucks.
Christ, George, I mean it's all in the record, you know! Till then, bear with us. It was at this point that Smiley proposed they get old Connie to come and lend an ear, and perhaps Doc di Salis too, since South East Asia was, after all, Doc's patch.
Tactically, he was content to bide his time with Sam's little secret; and strategically, the force of Sam's story was already of burning interest. So Guillam was sent to whip them in while Smiley called a break and the two men stretched their legs. At this point Connie, di Salis and Guillam filed in, led by Guillam, with little Fawn needlessly holding open the door.
With the enigma temporarily set aside, therefore, the meeting became something of a war party: First Smiley recapitulated for Sam, incidentally making it clear in the process that they were pretending there were no records — which was a veiled warning to the newcomers.
Then Sam took up the tale where he had left off: Once the trail led to Indocharter, Vientiane SA, it stopped dead. At the name 'Swatownese' di Salis gave a cry, part laughter. His trade cover had evidently allowed him to investigate it in some depth. China Airsea was by Hong Kong standards a blue chip trading house, long-established and in good standing,' said Sam, 'and probably the only connection between Indocharter and China Airsea was that somebody's fifth elder brother had an aunt who was at school with one of the shareholders and owed him a favour.
Di Salis gave another swift, approving nod, and linking his awkward hands, thrust them over one crooked knee and drew it to his chin. Smiley had closed his eyes and seemed to have dozed off.
But in reality he was hearing precisely what he had expected to hear: The real work was all done in the back room. If cash came in, that's where it was handled, that's where it was lost.
Whether it was Russian cash, opium cash or whatever. Di Salis, pulling frantically at one ear-lobe, was prompt to agree: Once again, thought Smiley, Sam had got himself off the hook. From the dead silence, Sam must have realised in a second that he had touched a considerable nerve.
His sign language indicated as much: Instead, out of a sort of theatrical modesty, he studied his shiny evening shoes and his elegant dress socks, and drew thoughtfully on his brown cigarette. Still forgetting the record, right? How much did London know of your enquiries as you went along? Tell us that.
Did you send progress reports from day to day? Did Mac? If the mothers next door had set a bomb off, said Guillam afterwards, nobody would have taken his eyes off Sam. Well, said Sam easily, as if humouring Smiley's whim, he was an old dog. His principle in the field had always been to do it first and apologise afterwards.
Mac's too. Operate the other way round and soon you have London refusing to let you cross the street without changing your nappies first, said Sam. So the first word they sent to London on the case was, you might say, their last. Mac acknowledged the enquiry, reported the sum of Sam's findings and asked for instructions. For good measure they threw in a rocket telling us not to fly solo again.
Guillam was doodling on the sheet of paper before him: Connie was beaming at Sam as if it were his wedding day, and her baby eyes were brimming tears of excitement. Di Salis, as usual, was jiggling and fiddling like an old engine, but his gaze also, as much as he could fix it anywhere, was upon Sam.
And when you eventually got back to London, I wonder,' Smiley went on, in a controlled, speculative way, 'and you had your welcome-home-well-done session with Bill, did you happen to mention the matter, casually, at all, to Bill? Said they had got in on the act ahead of us.
Said it was their case and their parish. He was on their books already. He was a natural. All they had to do was keep him in play. Not the cousins. Still be their case, even if Ricardo was a bummer. The hands-off pact would apply either way. You received the order, Drop everything.
You obeyed. But it was some while yet before you returned to London, wasn't it? Was there an aftermath of any kind? You kept up with him, of course? Did it continue to come in month by month, just as it had before? The boys put it down to an overload of heroin.
General feeling seemed to be that Vientiane would be a safer place without Ricardo emptying his pistol through the ceiling of the White Rose or Madame Lulu's. Here there was a definite gap, but Smiley seemed disinclined to fill it. Watched by Sam and his three assistants and Fawn the factotum, Smiley plucked at his spectacles, tilted them, straightened them and returned his hands to the glass top desk.
Then he took Sam all the way through the story again, rechecked dates and names and places, very laboriously in the way of trained interrogators the world over, listening by long habit for the tiny flaws and the chance discrepancies and the omissions and the changes of emphasis, and apparently not finding any. And Sam, in his sense of false security, let it all happen, watching with the same blank smile with which he watched cards slip across the baize, or the roulette wheel tease the white ball from one bay to another.
Do you think you could swing that with your club? Then Smiley did a rather unnerving thing. Having handed Sam a bunch of magazines, he phoned for Sam's personal dossier, all volumes, and with Sam sitting there before him he read them in silence from cover to cover. When night came, Smiley sent the mothers home and issued orders through Housekeeping Section to have archives cleared of all burrowers by eight at the latest.
He gave no reason. He let them think what they wanted. Sam should lie up in the rumpus room to be on call, and Fawn should keep him company and not let him stray. Fawn took this instruction literally. Even when the hours dragged out and Sam appeared to doze, Fawn stayed folded like a cat across the threshold, but with his eyes always open. Then the four of them cloistered themselves in Registry — Connie, di Salis, Smiley and Guillam — and began the long, cautious paperchase.
They looked first for the operational casepapers which properly should have been housed in the South East Asian cut, under the dates Sam had given them. There was no card in the index and there were no casepapers either, but this was not yet significant. Haydon's London Station had been in the habit of waylaying operational files and confining them to its own restricted archive.
So they plodded across the basement, feet clapping on the brown linoleum tiles, till they came to a barred alcove like an antechapel where the remains of what was formerly London Station's archive were laid to rest.
Once again they found no card, and no papers. Circus floats were duplicated copies of main serials which Registry ran off when casepapers threatened to be in constant action.
They were banked in loose-leaf folders like back-numbers of magazines and indexed every six weeks. After much delving Connie Sachs unearthed the South East Asian folder covering the six-week period immediately following Collins's trace request. So they trailed to another corner of Registry and sorted through drawers of cards, looking first for personal files on Commercial Boris, then for Ricardo, then under aliases for Tiny, believed dead, whom Sam had apparently mentioned in his original ill-fated report to London Station.
Now and then Guillam was sent upstairs to ask Sam some small point, and found him reading Field and sipping a large Scotch, watched unflinchingly by Fawn, who occasionally varied his routine — Guillam learned later — with press-ups, first on two knuckles of each hand, then on his fingertips. In the case of Ricardo they mapped out phonetic variations and ran them across the index also.
Dealings with the Cousins in Haydon's day were handled entirely through the London Station Liaison Secretariat, of which he himself for obvious reasons had personal command and which held its own file copies of all inter-service correspondence.
Returning to the antechapel, they once more drew a blank. To Peter Guillam the night was taking on surreal dimensions. Smiley had become all but wordless. His plump face turned to rock. Connie, in her excitement, had forgotten her arthritic aches and pains and was hopping around the shelves like a teenager at the ball. Not by any means a born paper man Guillam scrambled after her pretending to keep up with the pack, and secretly grateful for his trips up to Sam.
Doc di Salis had danced away in search of Indocharter's Chinese directors — Sam, astonishingly, had the names of two still in his head — and was wrestling with these first in Chinese, then in Roman script, and finally in Chinese commercial code. Smiley sat in a chair reading the files on his knee like a man in a train, doughtily ignoring the passengers. Sometimes he lifted his head, but the sounds he heard were not from inside the room.
Connie, on her own initiative, had launched a search for cross-references to files with which the casepapers should theoretically have been linked. There were subject files on mercenaries, and on freelance aviators. There were method files on Centre's techniques for laundering agent payments, and even a treatise, which she herself had written long ago, on the subject of below-the-line paymasters responsible for Karla's illegal networks functioning unbeknown to the mainstream residencies.
Commercial Boris's unpronounceable last names had not been added to the appendix. There were background files on the Banque de l'Indochine and its links with the Moscow Narodny Bank, and statistical files on the growing scale of Centre's activities in South East Asia, and study files on the Vientiane residency itself. But the negatives only multiplied, and as they multiplied they proved the affirmative.
Nowhere in their whole pursuit of Haydon had they come upon such a systematic and wholesale brushing-over of the traces. It was the backbearing of all time. Only one clue that night pointed to the culprit. They came on it somewhere between dawn and morning while Guillam was dozing on his feet. Connie sniffed it out, Smiley laid it silently on the table, and three of them peered at it together under the reading light as if it were the clue to buried treasure: The reason for destruction was the same as that which Haydon had given to Sam Collins for abandoning the field enquiries in Vientiane: Returning upstairs.
Smiley invited Sam once more to his room.
Sam had removed his bow tie, and the stubble of his jaw against his open-necked white shirt made him a lot less smooth. First, Smiley sent Fawn out for coffee. He let it arrive and he waited till Fawn had flitted away again before pouring two cups, black for both of them, sugar for Sam, a saccharine for Smiley on account of his weight problem.
Then he settled in a soft chair at Sam's side rather than have a desk between them, in order to affiliate himself to Sam. Sam seemed rather amused. Elaborately, Sam lapsed into deep thought. Curling one card-player's hand he surveyed his fingertips, lamenting their grimy state.
Money, money. Time I had a change, made something of myself. What's it all about? No one minds how bad it is. It's water under the bridge, I promise you. Standing, Sam sank his hands in his pockets, shook his head, and rather as Jerry Westerby might have done, began meandering round the room, peering at the odd gloomy things that hung on the wall: Never make a present of your assets.
We get very few in life. Got to dole them out sparingly. Not as if there isn't a game going, is it? With his sleeve he wiped the glass clean. Felt it the moment I walked in. The big table, I said to myself.
Baby will eat tonight. Arriving at Smiley's desk, he sat himself in the chair as if testing it for comfort. The chair swivelled as well as rocked. Sam tried both movements. For a couple of minutes, Sam composed in silence, pausing occasionally for artistic consideration, then writing again. When he had gone, Smiley took the form from the desk, sent for Guillam and handed it to him without a word.
On the staircase Guillam paused to read the text. Then the details: Nationality British. Status, married, details of husband unknown, maiden name also unknown. Last known place of residence Vientiane, Laos. Last known occupation: Previous occupations: Beyond this, the Queen Bee took issue with the term 'high-class'. She insisted that 'superior' was the proper way to describe that kind of tart. Curiously enough, Smiley was not deterred by Sam's reticence. He seemed happy to accept it as part and parcel of the trade.
Instead, he requested copies of all source reports which Sam had originated from Vientiane or elsewhere over the last ten years odd, and which had escaped Haydon's clever knife. And thereafter, in leisure hours, such as they were, he browsed through these, and allowed his questing imagination to form pictures of Sam's own murky world.
At this hanging moment in the affair, Smiley showed a quite lovely sense of tact, as all later agreed. A lesser man might have stormed round to the Cousins and asked as a matter of the highest urgency that Martello look out the American end of the destroyed correspondence and grant him a sight of it, but Smiley wanted nothing stirred, nothing signalled.
So instead he chose his humblest emissary. Molly Meakin was a prim, pretty graduate, a little blue-stocking perhaps, a little inward, but already with a modest name as a capable desk officer, and Old Circus by virtue of both her brother and her father. At the time of the fall she was still a probationer, cutting her milk teeth in Registry. After it she was kept on as skeleton staff and promoted, if that is the word, to Vetting Section, whence no man, let alone woman, says the folklore, returns alive.
But Molly possessed, perhaps by heredity, what the trade calls a natural eye. While those around her were still exchanging anecdotes about exactly where they were and what they were wearing when the news of Haydon's arrest was broken to them, Molly was setting up an unobtrusive and unofficial channel to her opposite number at the Annexe in Grosvenor Square, which by-passed the laborious procedures laid down by the Cousins since the fall.
Her greatest ally was routine. Molly's visiting day was a Friday. Every Friday she drank coffee with Ed, who manned the computer; and talked classical music with Marge, who doubled for Ed; and sometimes she stayed for old-tyme dancing or a game of shuffleboard or ten-pin bowling at the Twilight Club in the Annexe basement. Friday was also the day, quite incidentally, when she took along her little shopping-list of trace requests.
Even if she had none outstanding, Molly was careful to invent some in order to keep the channel open, and on this particular Friday, at Smiley's behest, Molly Meakin included the name of Tiny Ricardo in her selection. For smoke, as she called it, Molly chose a dozen other Rs and when she came to Ricardo she wrote down 'Richards query Rickard query Ricardo, profession teacher query aviation instructor,' so that the real Ricardo would only be thrown up as a possible identification.
Nationality Mexican query Arab, she added: It was once more late in the evening before Molly returned to the Circus. Guillam was exhausted. Forty is a difficult age at which to stay awake, he decided.
At twenty or at sixty the body knows what it's about, but forty is an adolescence where one sleeps to grow up or to stay young. Molly was twenty-three. She came straight to Smiley's room, sat down primly with her knees pressed tight together, and began unpacking her handbag, watched intently by Connie Sachs, and even more intently by Peter Guillam, though for different reasons. She was sorry she'd been so long, she said severely, but Ed had insisted on taking her to a re-run of True Grit, a great favourite in the Twilight Club, and afterwards she had had to fight him off, but hadn't wished to give offence, least of all tonight.
She handed Smiley an envelope and he opened it, and drew out a long buff computer card. So did she fight him off or not? Guillam wanted to know. But as he went on reading his expression changed slowly to a rare and wolfish grin. Connie was less restrained. By the time she had passed the card to Guillam, she was laughing outright. Oh you wicked lovely man! Talk about pointing everybody in the wrong direction! Oh the devil!
In order to silence the Cousins, Haydon had reversed his original lie. Deciphered, the lengthy computer printout told the following enchanting story. Anxious lest the Cousins might have been duplicating the Circus's enquiries into the firm of Indocharter, Bill Haydon, in his capacity as Head of London Station, had sent to the Annexe a proforma hands-off notice, under the standing bilateral agreement between the services. This advised the Americans that Indocharter, Vientiane SA was presently under scrutiny by London and that the Circus had an agent in place.
Accordingly, the Americans consented to drop any interest they might have in the case in exchange for a share of the eventual take. As an aid to the British operation, the Cousins did however mention that their link with the pilot Tiny Ricardo was extinct. With that, she snapped together the clasp of her handbag, pulled her skirt over her admirable knees, and walked delicately from the room, well observed once more by Peter Guillam. A different pace, a different mood entirely, now overtook the Circus.
The frantic search for a trail, any trail, was over.
They could march to a purpose, rather than gallop in all directions. The amiable distinction between the two families largely fell away: Joy after that, for the burrowers, came in bits, like waterholes on a long and dusty trek, and sometimes they all but fell at the wayside. Connie took no more than a week to identify the Soviet paymaster in Vientiane who had supervised the transfer of funds to Indocharter, Vientiane SA — the Commercial Boris. He was the former soldier Zimin, a longstanding graduate of Karla's private training school outside Moscow.
Under the previous alias of Smirnov, this Zimin was on record as having played paymaster to an East German apparat in Switzerland six years ago. Using the name Kursky, he had surfaced before that in Vienna.
As a secondary skill he offered sound-stealing and entrapment, and some said he was the same Zimin who had sprung the successful honey-trap in West Berlin against a certain French senator who later sold half his country's secrets down the river. He had left Vientiane exactly a month after Sam's report had hit London. After that small triumph, Connie set herself the apparently impossible task of defining what arrangements Karla, or his paymaster Zimin, might have made to replace the interrupted goldseam.
Her touchstones were several. First, the known conservatism of enormous intelligence establishments, and their attachment to proven trade-routes. Second, Centre's presumed need, since large payments were involved, to replace the old system with a new one, fast. Third, Karla's complacency, both before the fall, when he had the Circus tethered, and since the fall, when it lay gasping and toothless at his feet. Lastly, quite simply, she relied upon her own encyclopaedic grasp of the subject.
Gathering together the heaps of unprocessed raw material which had lain deliberately neglected during the years of her exile, Connie's team made huge arcs through the files, revised, conferred, drew charts and diagrams, pursued the individual handwriting of known operators, had migraines, argued, played ping-pong, and occasionally, with agonising caution, and Smiley's express consent, undertook timid investigations in the field.
A friendly contact in the City was persuaded to visit an old acquaintance who specialised in off-shore Hong Kong companies. A Cheapside currency broker opened his books to Toby Esterhase, the sharp-eyed Hungarian survivor who was all that remained of the Circus's once glorious travelling army of couriers and pavement artists.
So it went on, at a snail's pace: Doc di Salis, in his distant way, took the overseas Chinese path, working his passage through the arcane connections of Indocharter, Vientiane SA, and its elusive echelons of parent companies. His helpers were as uncommon as himself, either language students or elderly recycled China hands. With time they acquired a collective pallor, like inmates of the same dank seminary.
Meanwhile, Smiley himself advanced no less cautiously, if anything down yet more devious avenues, and through a greater number of doors. Once more he sank from view. It was a time of waiting and he spent it in attending to the hundred other things that needed his urgent attention.
His brief burst of teamwork over, he withdrew to the inner regions of his solitary world. Whitehall saw him; so did Bloomsbury still; so did the Cousins. At other times the throne-room door stayed closed for days at a time, and only dark Fawn the factotum was permitted to flit in and out in his gym-shoes, bearing steaming cups of coffee, plates of biscuits and occasional written memoranda, to or from his master. Smiley had always loathed the telephone, and now he would take no calls whatever, unless in Guillam's view they concerned matters of great urgency, and none did.
The only instrument Smiley could not switch off controlled the direct line from Guillam's desk, but when he was in one of his moods he went so far as to put a teacosy over it in an effort to quell the ring. The invariable procedure was for Guillam to say that Smiley was out, or in conference, and would return the call in an hour's time. He then wrote out a message, handed it to Fawn, and eventually, with the initiative on his side, Smiley would ring back. He conferred with Connie, sometimes with di Salis, sometimes with both, but Guillam was not required.
The Karla file was transferred from Connie's Research Section to Smiley's personal safe for good; all seven volumes. Guillam signed for them and took them in to him, and when Smiley lifted his eyes from the desk and saw them, the quiet of recognition came over him, and he reached forward as if to receive an old friend.
The door closed again, and more days passed. The Hong Kong residency was evacuated around this time, and too late Smiley was advised of the housekeepers' elephantine efforts at repressing the High Haven story. He at once drew Craw's dossier, and again called Connie in for consultation. A few days later Craw himself appeared in London for a forty-eight-hour visit.
Guillam had heard him lecture at Sarratt and detested him. A couple of weeks afterwards, the old man's celebrated article finally saw the light of day. Smiley read it intently, then passed it to Guillam, and for once he actually offered an explanation for his action: Karla would know very well what the Circus was up to, he said.
Backbearings were a time-honoured pastime. However, Karla would not be human if he didn't sleep after such a big kill. Soon this broken-wing technique was extended to other spheres, and one of Guillam's more entertaining tasks was to make sure that Roddy Martindale was well supplied with woeful stories about the Circus's disarray. And still the burrowers toiled.
They called it afterwards the phoney peace. They had the map, Connie said later, and they had the directions, but there were still mountains to be moved in spoonfuls. Waiting, Guillam took Molly Meakin to long and costly dinners but they ended inconclusively. He played squash with her and admired her eye, he swam with her and admired her body, but she warded off closer contact with a mysterious and private smile, turning her head away and downward while she went on holding him.
Under the continued pressure of idleness Fawn the factotum took to acting strangely. When Smiley disappeared and left him behind, he literally pined for his master's return. Catching him by surprise in his little den one evening, Guillam was shocked to find him in a near foetal crouch, winding a handkerchief round and round his thumb like a ligature, in order to hurt himself. Take a few days' leave or something. Cool off. It was toward the end of this barren phase that a new and wonderful gadget appeared on the fifth floor.
It was brought in suitcases by two crew cut technicians and installed over three days: It was routed by way of Guillam's room, and linked to all manner of anonymous grey boxes which hummed without warning. Its presence only deepened the general mood of nervousness: Suddenly the word was out. What Connie had found she wasn't saying, but news of the discovery ran like wildfire through the building: The burrowers are home!
They've found the new goldseam! They've traced it all the way through! Through what? To whom? Where did it end? Connie and di Salis still kept mum. For a day and a night they trailed in and out of the throne-room laden with files, no doubt once more in order to show Smiley their workings. Then Smiley disappeared for three days and Guillam only learned much later that 'in order to screw down every bolt' as he called it, he had visited both Hamburg and Amsterdam for discussions with certain eminent bankers of his acquaintance.
These gentlemen spent a great while explaining to him that the war was over and they could not possibly offend against their code of ethics, and then they gave him the information he so badly needed: Smiley returned, but Peter Guillam still remained shut out, and he might well have continued in this private limbo indefinitely, had it not been for dinner at the Lacons.
Guillam's inclusion was pure chance. So was the dinner. Smiley had asked Lacon for an afternoon appointment at the Cabinet Office, and spent several hours in cahoots with Connie and di Salis preparing for it.
At the last moment Lacon was summoned by his parliamentary masters, and proposed pot-luck at his ugly mansion at Ascot instead. Smiley detested driving and there was no duty car. In the end, Guillam offered to chauffeur him in his draughty old Porsche, having first put a rug over him which he was keeping in case Molly Meakin consented to a picnic. On the drive, Smiley attempted small-talk, which came hard to him, but he was nervous.
They arrived in rain and there was muddle on the doorstep about what to do with the unexpected underling. Smiley insisted that Guillam would make his own way and return at ten-thirty: No I mean really, if it's all right with the Lacons, naturally,' said Smiley huffily and in they went. So a fourth place was laid, and the overcooked steak was cut into bits till it looked like dry stew, and a daughter was despatched on her bicycle with a pound to fetch a second bottle of wine from the pub up the road.
Mrs Lacon was doe-like and fair and blushing, a child bride who had become a child mother. The table was too long for four. She set Smiley and her husband one end. Having asked him whether he liked madrigals, she embarked on an endless account of a concert at her daughter's private school.
She said it was absolutely ruined by the rich foreigners they were taking in to balance the books. Half of them couldn't sing in a Western way at all:. Stringing her along, Guillam strove to catch the dialogue at the other end of the table.
Lacon seemed to be bowling and batting at once. At this stage, you should give no more than a preliminary outline.
Traditionally Ministers like nothing that cannot be written on a postcard. Preferably a picture postcard,' he said, and took a prim sip at the vile red wine. I've asked you before. Learn to say Moscow instead, will you? They don't like personalities — however dispassionate your hatred of him.
Nor do I. What do you fear for, here, in your role of watchdog? On Daddy's side,' she added. Lacon had become a little pink and erratic. A full twenty years their Treaty has to run, even if the Chinese enforce it. At this rate, they should see us out in comfort!
Lacon resumed his former confiding tone, but he continued to blurt and Guillam guessed he was showing off to his squaw. Providing Guillam with a glorious respite, she bounded off to calm an unruly small daughter who had appeared at the doorway. Lacon meanwhile had filled his lungs for an aria. However -' said Lacon, and to emphasise the volte face went so far as to arrest Smiley's arm with his long hand so that he had to put down his glass — 'however,' he warned, as his erratic voice swooped and rose again, 'whether our masters will swallow all that is quite another matter altogether.
You haven't the charter. Lacon lifted his eyebrows and turned away his head, reminding Guillam irresistibly of Molly Meakin. Clearly you can do nothing to embarrass since you have no money and no resources. Guillam poured salt on it while Lacon lifted the cloth and shoved his napkin ring under it to spare the polish. A long silence followed, broken by the slow pat of wine falling on the parquet floor.
Finally Lacon said: Once you make a formal approach I shall wash my hands of you entirely. Honourable Schoolboy July , Bantam Books. Readers waiting for this title: The honourable schoolboy , Book Club Associates. Eine Art Held , Droemer Knaur. The honourable schoolboy , Pan Books. The honourable schoolboy , Bantam Books. The honourable schoolboy , Knopf. The honourable schoolboy , G. The honourable schoolboy , Alfred A. History Created October 20, 12 revisions Download catalog record: The honourable schoolboy , Penguin in English.
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