The Spy Who Came in From the Cold

The Spy Who Came in From the Cold Chapter 14 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The next morning, Fiedler brings Leamas letters to the banks in Oslo and Copenhagen to sign under the aliases he used to open the bank accounts. Leamas practices the aliases’ signatures and then signs the letters. Fiedler says that they will spend a week together, talking and awaiting a response. He offers Leamas a prostitute, but Leamas refuses, saying that unlike Fiedler, he does not need a pimp. Fiedler says that Leamas had a woman in England, and Leamas becomes enraged. He says never to mention her again, and to tell whomever told Fiedler about her never to mention it again if they want his cooperation. Fiedler says he will tell them, but it may be too late.
Fiedler and Leamas are spending a great deal of time together, and Fiedler clearly likes Leamas’s blunt honesty. Leamas fears his ability to play the role assumed for the mission may be compromised if he lets himself feel close to Fiedler. Leamas learns in this scene that the East Germans are aware of his relationship with Liz and may try to use it against him, and he tells Fiedler never to mention it again. Leamas does not seem to process Fiedler’s ominous statement that it may be “too late” for this.
Themes
Alienation and Connection  Theme Icon
Identity and Autonomy Theme Icon
On a walk that day, Fiedler steers the conversation to Mundt. He asks Leamas if he knew that Mundt was in England. Leamas says that Peter Guillam told him that Mundt had killed a man while he was there. Fiedler remarks that it is odd that Mundt was able to escape England after that, but Leamas says that there was never a full attempt made to catch Mundt. Fiedler is shocked. Leamas says that there was a different organizational structure at the Circus in those years, and that Guillam had told him that, if Mundt had been caught, all kinds of embarrassing information would have come out about the man who was the head of the Circus before Control. Fiedler asks if Leamas never wondered if there were some other reason Mundt escaped. Leamas seems not to understand the question.
Leamas gives an accurate accounting of what he knows about Mundt’s time in England, a period described in the novel A Call for the Dead. To Fiedler’s mind, the idea that an enemy spy who had killed a British citizen would escape England without being pursued at the orders of the head of the security service suggests a nearly inconceivable instance of disloyalty by the man supposed to be leading intelligence operations. Fiedler thinks that it is much more likely that Mundt was captured in England and forced to sign on as a British spy, but when he hints this to Leamas, Leamas continues to play dumb.
Themes
Ideology and Morality Theme Icon
Identity and Autonomy Theme Icon
Loyalty and Betrayal Theme Icon
Fiedler steers the conversation to Riemeck, asking Leamas about the occasion when Riemeck and Control met. Leamas says that Control always liked to be around when things were going well, and Riemeck felt flattered to meet Control. Fiedler asks if Leamas ever left Control and Riemeck alone together, and Leamas answers that he did for a few minutes, at Control’s request. He says he does not know why they spoke alone, but that he thinks the flattery went to Riemeck’s head and led to his betraying too much to Elvira. Fiedler says to Leamas that he is beginning to like him, but wonders why he ever defected. Before Leamas responds, Fiedler laughs and says that that was not a tactful thing for him to say.
To Fiedler, the fact that Control came to Berlin to meet Riemeck and then asked to spend some time alone with him is a clear sign that there was a part of the operation in Berlin that Control was not letting Leamas in on. Fiedler may sense that Leamas is a loyal member of the Circus who does not get the same treatment from the Circus in return. Fiedler is also used to being looked down on and potentially excluded because he is Jewish, and, like Leamas, he is entirely dedicated to his work. He knows that he himself would never betray his country, despite any ill-treatment, and he seems to be getting the idea that Leamas is similar.
Themes
Ideology and Morality Theme Icon
Identity and Autonomy Theme Icon
Loyalty and Betrayal Theme Icon
Elites and Others Theme Icon
One night, Leamas and Fiedler go driving together in a car. Fiedler stops at a phone booth, leaving the keys in the car and makes a long call. When he returns to the car, Leamas asks why he didn’t just call from the house. Fiedler warns him to be careful, and then drives for a while. Then they stop and get out of the car. Grasping Leamas’s arm, Fiedler tells him that he may need to look after himself for a while, but everything will be all right. Leamas hates being touched, and says he does not know what Fiedler means.
Fiedler trusts Leamas not to drive away while he is in the phone booth. Leamas, on the other hand, resents this trust placed in him as a sign of a personal connection that may endanger his ability to cool-headedly complete his mission. Although he should know that the car may be bugged by others in the East German secret police who are spying on Fiedler, Leamas asks Fiedler why he called from the booth. But while Leamas is pushing Fiedler away, Fiedler assures Leamas that he will look out for him.
Themes
Alienation and Connection  Theme Icon
Loyalty and Betrayal Theme Icon
Get the entire The Spy Who Came in From the Cold LitChart as a printable PDF.
The spy who came in from the cold.pdf.medium
Fiedler drives to a hilltop and he and Leamas get out of the car to talk. Fiedler begins to talk about Mundt, who he says shoots first and asks questions later. This is illogical in their profession, since the information that could be gleaned from those Mundt shoots is of the utmost importance. Mundt used to capture people and let Fiedler interrogate them, but then he started killing all the suspects before Fiedler could even speak with them.
Fiedler believes that Mundt has been killing off suspected spies like Riemeck because he knows that if these suspected spies are interrogated they will tell the East Germans that Mundt is spying for the British. Fiedler sees Mundt’s action as a betrayal of their mission and wonders what other betrayals Mundt has committed.
Themes
Loyalty and Betrayal Theme Icon
Fiedler says he has worked it out: Mundt was caught in England and then turned into a British spy. Leamas says Fiedler is out of his mind, repeating again that it would be impossible for an agent to be run out of Berlin without Leamas knowing it, when he had been the head of Berlin Station. Fiedler says that he received a letter back from the bank in Copenhagen: the money was withdrawn by the co-signatory on the joint account, and the day when it was withdrawn coincides with a trip Mundt took to Copenhagen.
Leamas has gotten Fiedler to draw exactly the conclusions that Control hoped Fiedler would draw. Leamas himself still does not believe that Mundt works for the British, believing instead that there is some other agent working for whom he has been sent to protect. Leamas thinks he has given Fiedler (fabricated) evidence that Mundt is a spy for the British.
Themes
Identity and Autonomy Theme Icon
Loyalty and Betrayal Theme Icon