The Spy Who Came in From the Cold

by

John Le Carré

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The Spy Who Came in From the Cold: Chapter 10 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The next morning, Peters does not arrive at Le Mirage. Leamas is impatient and goes for A walk on the beach. He sees a girl with black hair standing on the beach and thinks about Liz. He realizes that she gave him back the desire to enjoy life’s small pleasures. Leamas plans to return to her. In one or two weeks, he thinks, he will be home. Control had said that he could keep the fifteen thousand pounds, and then he would get a pension as well, and would be able to “afford to come in from the cold.”
Leamas believes that he may be close to finishing his mission: he had asked to be allowed to go back to England after his initial interrogation. He begins to allow himself to consider what it will be like to return to England and be able to live without a spy’s responsibility. The woman’s hair reminds him of his intimacy with Liz, which he hopes to return to.
Themes
Alienation and Connection  Theme Icon
Peters arrives at Le Mirage later that afternoon, after Leamas has returned from the beach. Peters has bad news: Leamas is a wanted man in England, with his face printed in the newspapers. Leamas thinks that this is Control’s doing, and that Control misled him into taking the assignment. Control had said it would take a few weeks and then he could come back to England and lie low until Mundt was eliminated. Now Leamas realizes that if he says he wants to return to England, where he is a wanted man, he will wreck the operation. Leamas thinks that he should have realized that Control was promising him too much too easily. Leamas asks to see the newspapers, but Peters says he does not have them. Leamas accuses Peters of making the whole thing up, but Peters ignores this, saying he Leamas must put himself in the hands of the Eastern side and go to Berlin for further interrogation.
Although Leamas has dedicated his life to the Circus, making huge sacrifices for it, his first thought when he hears that he is a wanted man in England is that Control lied to him about the intended course of the operation. Leamas expects to be betrayed by his service, if that is justified by the mission. But although he knows this about Control, he does not know how far Control envisions the mission straying from the plan that they discussed. Clearly, however, Control wants to force Leamas to go further East, into dangerous situations he never agreed to put himself into. Leamas can only agree to go with Peters.
Themes
Identity and Autonomy Theme Icon
Loyalty and Betrayal Theme Icon
Related Quotes
Leamas is given a new fake passport, which he uses at the airport. While Peters waits in line, Leamas buys a British newspaper. Rifling through it, he finds that Peters was not lying: there is a wanted ad for him. He wonders if Liz has seen the ad. Then Leamas and Peters board the plane for Berlin. Leamas feels frightened for the first time since setting out on the operation.
In buying the newspaper, Leamas was holding onto hope that he was being lied to by Peters, rather than betrayed by Control. He sees that he is losing control of his future and wonders if he will ever be allowed to return to Liz and the connection he hoped to nurture with her.
Themes
Alienation and Connection  Theme Icon
Loyalty and Betrayal Theme Icon