The Spy Who Came in From the Cold


John Le Carré

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The Spy Who Came in From the Cold: Chapter 16 Summary & Analysis

When Fiedler and Leamas arrive back at the lodge, three men who say they were sent by Berlin call to Fiedler, who walks towards them. Leamas goes to his wing of the building. The lights are off. He enters a room and the door closes behind him without a sound. Leamas remembers that he was advised during World War II that “you’ve nearly always got a weapon” and he crushes a matchbox into sharp wooden shards. He moves a chair into the center of the room, then calls out in German to the guards, taunting them. A guard enters and trips over the chair, then Leamas beats him up and lets his body fall to the ground. The lights go on. Leamas sees three men standing in the doorway, and then he is hit in the head and loses consciousness.
Leamas and Fiedler return to the lodge after Fiedler has revealed to Leamas that he believes that Mundt is a British spy. Fiedler also cryptically warned Leamas that there might be danger ahead. Now, seeing that there are strangers in the house, Leamas goes into a defensive mode. He forgets his earlier disgust for Mundt’s killing of Riemeck or his own horror at almost killing the carful of children on the highway. Instead, he violently attacks a guard who was surely not coming to capture Leamas without sufficient backup.
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When Leamas wakes up, he is lying on the ground, tied up. He cannot move without excruciating pain, and thinks he must have been beaten up after he lost consciousness. After hours, the door opens and a man enters. Leamas recognizes Mundt by a description Smiley had given him of his eyes.
Leamas has been playing a role meant to lead the East Germans to believe that Mundt is a British spy. Now he seems to have been found out and arrested, and will likely be tortured further by Mundt.
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