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Quotes

[a waiter passes by Smiley and Martindale and queries]

George Smiley: No, thank you. Please bring the bill...

Roddy Martindale: It's my party. I'll get the bill when I'M ready!

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Roddy Martindale: [to George] Love to Ann! EVERYBODY's love to Ann!

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George Smiley: What happened tonight, George?

[silence]

Peter Guillam: How's Ann?

George Smiley: Roddy Martindale happened tonight. Why do I permit it? I tell myself it's for politeness' sake. It's not, it's weakness. And the fact that I've nothing better to do... My wife's fine, thank you.

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Control: Listen, Jim, we've got to have codenames for them. D'you remember the nursery rhyme "Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor"? Finish it.

Jim Prideaux: "Richman, poorman, beggerman, thief."

Control: Percy Alleline, director of Operations: "Tinker"

Jim Prideaux: "Tinker."

Control: Bill Haydon, head of Personnel: "Tailor". Roy Bland, head of Iron Curtain Networks: "Soldier". We leave out "Sailor"; too much like "Tailor", could be misheard.

Jim Prideaux: "Richman"?

Control: Don't like it, sounds like police work: fraud, Swiss banks stuff. Toby Esterhase, top lamplighter, our exquisite head sleuth...

Jim Prideaux: "Poorman"?

[Control chuckles]

Control: Yes..."Poorman". And George Smiley, my devoted deputy: "Beggerman".

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Control: All I want from you, Jim is one. One word. Just ONE codename. If you have to scrawl it on the front door of the Embassy in Prague, or phone our resident hood and shout it in his ear before you go underground... if there's some kind of fumble and that's necessary... just give me that one word.

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George Smiley: I've been reviewing my situation in the last half-hour of hell, and I've come to a very grave decision. After a lifetime of living by my wits, and on my memory, I shall give myself up full-time to the profession of forgetting. I'm going to put an end to some emotional attachments with have long outlived their purpose. Namely the Circus, this house, my whole past. I shall sell up and buy a cottage, in the Cotswolds, I think. Steeple Aston sounds about right. Do I need overnight things?

Peter Guillam: I'm not taking any.

George Smiley: There I shall establish myself as a mild eccentric. Discursive, withdrawn, but posessing one or two lovable habits, such as muttering to myself as I bumble along innocent pavements. I shall become an oak of my own generation.

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Jim Prideaux: [about the car's rear door] Open it.

Barak: No, you must sit next to me. It's safer.

Jim Prideaux: Like hell!

Barak: Also more democratic.

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George Smiley: I never knew Percy as a force, you see. Only as a...

Roddy Martindale: Striver? Right. With his eyes on Control's purple, day and night.

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George Smiley: Before we begin, Ricki: do I understand correctly that no one at the Circus knows you're in England?

Ricki Tarr: Only Mr Guillam.

George Smiley: You're officially absent without leave. On the wanted list.

Ricki Tarr: I think I'm safe now.

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Ricki Tarr: I've got a story to tell you. It's all about spies. And if it's true, which I think it is, you boys are gonna need a whole new organisation, right?

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George Smiley: I'm surprised you didn't get thrown out along with the rest of us, Peter. You had all the right qualifications for dismissal - good at your work, loyal, discreet...

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Roddy Martindale: So who's pulling the strings for Percy Puppet? How about dashing Bill Haydon? Your old rival, in every sense I'm told. Of course, he never was orthodox, was he?... All right then, it's Roy Bland, the shop-soiled white coat, the first Red darling to make the Circus. And if it's neither of them, and Control's really dead, then there's only one possible explanation: it's someone who's pretending to be in retirement. You, George! Admit it!

George Smiley: You featherhead, Martindale! You pompous, bogus, gossiping old featherhead!

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George Smiley: Why did Lacon send you for me?

Peter Guillam: Do you mean WHY did he send me for you? Or why did he send ME for you?

George Smiley: Quite right, Peter. I should have known better than to have asked.

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Peter Guillam: "Reason as logic? or reason as motive? or reason as a way of life? They don't have to give me a reason, I can write my own damn reason." I thought that was pretty impressive for someone who'd drunk as much as you had.

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Control: We have a rotten apple, Jim, and the maggots are eating up the Circus.

Jim Prideaux: These people? One of these?

Control: Why not? Are the British incapable of deception? We've turned members of other outfits: Russians, Poles, Czechs and the odd American.

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Roddy Martindale: Let's talk about your old boss, Control. The only Head of the Secret Service who kept his name a secret. Shall we talk about Control?

George Smiley: If you insist.

Roddy Martindale: Of course, it wasn't a secret to you, was it, George? He never had any secrets from you, his tried and trusted right hand, did he?

George Smiley: I don't know. That's the point about secrets.

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Roddy Martindale: I say this: Control never died at all. He's been seen, in South Africa. Can't blame a man for wanting a little peace in the evening of his life! Willy Andrewartha walked straight into him in Jo'burg Airport, in the waiting room. Not a ghost, flesh.

George Smiley: That's the most idiotic story I've ever heard! Control died of a heart attack, after a long illness, throughout most of which he continued to work. Besides, he hated South Africa. He hated everywhere except Surrey, the Circus and Lords cricket ground.

Roddy Martindale: [not missing a beat] Yes, of course. Willy Andrewartha was always the most Godawful liar. I said to him myself, you should be ashamed of yourself!

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George Smiley: I'm so out of touch, Peter. Does Lacon have any particular titles these days?

Peter Guillam: Just Sir Oliver of the Cabinet Office. You know how he loves being one of nature's prefects.

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[first lines]

[the Witchcraft committee - Toby Esterhase, Roy Bland, Percy Allenine and Bill Haydon - gather for a meeting]

Percy Alleline: Right! We shall start!

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Control: One word will do, Jim. I'm almost there.

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Roddy Martindale: George! Hello there! My dear boy, if it isn't the maestro himself! Don't say you've forgotten me!

George Smiley: Hello, Roddy. Nice to see you.

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Roddy Martindale: So what have you been doing all these months? I want to know everything, every little bit! How's the delectable? How is the lovely Lady Ann? Not in town at the moment, I hear...

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George Smiley: I saw you parking this toy in Pearson Street this afternoon. I ran away immediately. Good guess on your part.

Peter Guillam: What made you think I was looking for you?

George Smiley: I hoped you were.

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George Smiley: [about Guillam's car] It's far too young for you.

Peter Guillam: It's quick.

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Ricki Tarr: Tarr, sir. Ricki Tarr. The lawyer's boy from Marseilles. You changed my first nappies, as we used to say.

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Ricki Tarr: [to Smiley] Twelve years ago nobody, but nobody, got taken on unless he got past you. Not even scalphunters, though they were not quite your type. We all had to get the nod from Mr Smiley.

Peter Guillam: Tarr...

George Smiley: Of course I remember you, Ricki. Your father was an Australian, as I recall a solicitor and a non-conformist preacher; altogether a most unusual chap to pop up in Marseilles. But such odd circumstances do seem to provide us with suitable personnel.

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[first words]

[paying too much for a book]

George Smiley: Barabbas was a bookseller.

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Ricki Tarr: Daddy thought he could beat the sin out of me. But you knew better, didn't you, Mr Smiley? You beat it further in. And that's what scalphunters are made of. Isn't that right, Mr Guillam?

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[last lines]

Ricki Tarr: Shall I start with the day you sent me to Lisbon? It changed my life. You might find it's going to change all your lives.

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