The Spy Who Came in From the Cold

by

John Le Carré

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A trusting, sensitive, and intelligent Jewish woman in her early twenties, Liz Gold is a member of the Communist party. She becomes Leamas’s lover after meeting him at the library where they both work. Later, she receives a visit from George Smiley and a lease for an apartment in the mail, which she believes come from Leamas or his friend. She is invited by the Communist party to a Branch meeting in East Germany, but this is only a pretext to get her to the country so that she can be brought to a tribunal to give testimony that proves that the British sought to frame Mundt.

Liz Gold Quotes in The Spy Who Came in From the Cold

The The Spy Who Came in From the Cold quotes below are all either spoken by Liz Gold or refer to Liz Gold. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Ideology and Morality Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Books edition of The Spy Who Came in From the Cold published in 2013.
Chapter 4 Quotes

He shook his head. "Sorry, Liz, you've got it wrong. I don't like Americans and public schools. I don't like military parades and people who play soldiers." Without smiling he added, “And I don't like conversations about Life.”
"But, Alec, you might as well say—"
"I should have added," Leamas interrupted, "that I don't like people who tell me what I ought to think."
She knew he was getting angry but she couldn't stop herself anymore. "That's because you don't want to think, you don't dare! There's some poison in your mind, some hate. You're a fanatic, Alec. I know you are, but I don't know what about. You're a fanatic who doesn’t want to convert people, and that's a dangerous thing. You're like a man who's . . . sworn vengeance or something." The brown eyes rested on her. When he spoke she was frightened by the menace in his voice.
"If I were you," he said roughly, "I'd mind my own business."

Related Characters: Alec Leamas (speaker), Liz Gold (speaker)
Page Number: 31-32
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 5 Quotes

He hardly spoke at supper, and she watched him, her fear growing until she could bear it no more and she cried out suddenly:
“Alec . . . oh, Alec . . . what is it? Is it good-bye?”
He got up from the table, took her hands, and kissed her in a way he'd never done before and spoke to her softly for a long time, told her things she only dimly understood, only half heard because all the time she knew it was the end and nothing mattered any more.

Related Characters: Liz Gold (speaker), Alec Leamas
Page Number: 37-38
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 6 Quotes

"How very distressing; and nobody to look after you, of course."
There was a very long silence.
"You know she's in the Party, don't you?" Control asked quietly.
"Yes," Leamas replied. Another silence. "I don't want her brought into this."
"Why should she be?" Control asked sharply and for a moment, just for a moment, Leamas thought he had penetrated the veneer of academic detachment. "Who suggested she should be?"
"No one," Leamas replied, "I'm just making the point. I know how these things go—all offensive operations. They have by-products, take sudden turns in unexpected directions. You think you've caught one fish and you find you've caught another. I want her kept clear of it."
"Oh, quite, quite."
"Who's that man in the Labour Exchange—Pitt? Wasn't he in the Circus during the war?"
"I know no one of that name. Pitt, did you say?"
“Yes.”
"No, not a name to me. In the Labour Exchange?"
"Oh, for God's sake," Leamas muttered audibly.

Related Characters: Alec Leamas (speaker), Control (speaker), Liz Gold, Mr. Pitt
Page Number: 48-49
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 11 Quotes

They'd talked about it in the meeting of her party branch. George Hanby, the branch treasurer, had actually been passing Ford the grocer's as it happened, he hadn’t seen much because of the crowd, but he'd talked to a bloke who'd seen the whole thing. Hanby had been so impressed that he'd rung the Worker, and they'd sent a man to the trial—that was why the Worker had given it a middle page spread as a matter of fact. It was just a straight case of protest—of sudden social awareness and hatred against the boss class, as the Worker said. This bloke that Hanby spoke to (he was just a little ordinary chap with specs, white collar type) said it had been so sudden—spontaneous was what he meant—and it just proved to Hanby once again how incendiary was the fabric of the capitalist system. Liz had kept very quiet while Hanby talked: none of them knew, of course, about her and Leamas. She realised then that she hated George Hanby; he was a pompous, dirty-minded little man, always leering at her and trying to touch her.

Page Number: 99
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 15 Quotes

She had reservations about Germans, that was true. She knew, she had been told, that West Germany was militarist and revanchist, and that East Germany was democratic and peaceloving. But she doubted whether all the good Germans were on one side and all the bad ones on the other. And it was the bad ones who had killed her father. Perhaps that was why the Party had chosen her—as a generous act of reconciliation. Perhaps that was what Ashe had had in mind when he asked her all those questions. Of course—that was the explanation. She was suddenly filled with a feeling of warmth and gratitude towards the Party. They really were decent people and she was proud and thankful to belong.

Related Characters: Liz Gold (speaker), Ashe
Related Symbols: World War II
Page Number: 145
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 21 Quotes

"Comrade Mundt took one precaution while the British, with Fiedler’s aid, planned his murder.
"He caused scrupulous enquiries to be made in London. He examined every tiny detail of that double life which Leamas led in Bayswater. He was looking, you see, for some human error in a scheme of almost superhuman subtlety. Somewhere, he thought, in Leamas' long sojourn in the wilderness, he would have to break faith with his oath of poverty, drunkenness, degeneracy, above all of solitude. He would need a companion, a mistress perhaps; he would long for the warmth of human contact, long to reveal a part of the other soul within his breast. Comrade Mundt was right you see. Leamas, that skilled, experienced operator, made a mistake so elementary, so human that . . ."

Related Characters: Karden (speaker), Alec Leamas, Hans-Dieter Mundt, Liz Gold
Related Symbols: The Cold
Page Number: 183-184
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 22 Quotes

Liz hated having her back to the court; she wished she could turn and see Leamas, see his face perhaps; read in it some guidance, some sign telling her how to answer. She was becoming frightened for herself; these questions which proceeded from charges and suspicions of which she knew nothing. They must know she wanted to help Alec, that she was afraid, but no one helped her—why would no one help her?

Related Characters: Alec Leamas, Liz Gold
Page Number: 191
Explanation and Analysis:

London must have gone raving mad. He'd told them—that was the joke—he’d told them to leave her alone. And now it was clear that from the moment, the very moment he left England—before that, even, as soon as he went to prison—some bloody fool had gone round tidying up—paying the bills, settling the grocer, the landlord; above all, Liz. It was insane, fantastic. What were they trying to do—kill Fiedler, kill their agent? Sabotage their own operation? Was it just Smiley—had his wretched little conscience driven him to this? There was only one thing to do—get Liz and Fiedler out of it and carry the can. He was probably written off anyway. If he could save Fiedler’s skin—if he could do that—perhaps there was a chance that Liz would get away.

Related Characters: Alec Leamas (speaker), Liz Gold, Fiedler, George Smiley
Page Number: 197
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 23 Quotes

Fiedler, who had returned to his chair and was listening with rather studied detachment, looked at Leamas blandly for a moment:
“And you messed it all up, Leamas, is that it?” he asked. “An old dog like Leamas, engaged in the crowning operation of his career, falls for a . . . what did you call her? . . . a frustrated little girl in a crackpot library? London must have known; Smiley couldn't have done it alone.” Fiedler turned to Mundt: “Here's an odd thing, Mundt; they must have known you'd check up on every part of his story. That was why Leamas lived the life. Yet afterwards they sent money to the grocer, paid up the rent; and they bought the lease for the girl. Of all the extraordinary things for them to do . . . people of their experience . . . to pay a thousand pounds, to a girl—to a member of the Party—who was supposed to believe he was broke. Don't tell me Smiley's conscience goes that far. London must have done it. What a risk!”

Related Characters: Fiedler (speaker), Alec Leamas, Hans-Dieter Mundt, Liz Gold, George Smiley
Page Number: 202
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 24 Quotes

"As for the Jew," she continued, "he made an accusation against a loyal comrade."
"Will they shoot Fiedler for that?" asked Liz incredulously.
“Jews are all the same,” the woman commented. “Comrade Mundt knows what to do with Jews. We don't need their kind here. If they join the Party they think it belongs to them. If they stay out, they think it is conspiring against them. It is said that Leamas and Fiedler plotted against Mundt. Are you going to eat that?” she enquired, indicating the food on the desk. Liz shook her head.

Related Characters: Liz Gold (speaker), The Prison Wardress (speaker), Alec Leamas, Hans-Dieter Mundt, Fiedler
Page Number: 206
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 25 Quotes

"But what about Fiedler—don't you feel anything for him?"
"This is a war," Leamas replied. "It's graphic and unpleasant because it's fought on a tiny scale, at close range; fought with a wastage of innocent life sometimes, I admit. But it's nothing, nothing at all besides other wars—the last or the next."
"Oh God," said Liz softly. "You don't understand. You don’t want to. You're trying to persuade yourself. It's far more terrible, what they are doing; to find the humanity in people, in me and whoever else they use, to turn it like a weapon in their hands, and use it to hurt and kill . . ."

Related Characters: Alec Leamas (speaker), Liz Gold (speaker), Fiedler
Related Symbols: World War II
Page Number: 217
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 26 Quotes

Shielding his eyes he looked down at the foot of the wall and at last he managed to see her, lying still. For a moment he hesitated, then quite slowly he climbed back down the same rungs, until he was standing beside her. She was dead; her face was turned away, her black hair drawn across her cheek as if to protect her from the rain.
They seemed to hesitate before firing again; someone shouted an order, and still no one fired. Finally they shot him, two or three shots. He stood glaring round him like a blinded bull in the arena. As he fell, Leamas saw a small car smashed between great lorries, and the children waving cheerfully through the window.

Related Characters: Alec Leamas, Liz Gold
Related Symbols: Lorries, Liz’s Hair, The Berlin Wall
Page Number: 225
Explanation and Analysis:
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Liz Gold Character Timeline in The Spy Who Came in From the Cold

The timeline below shows where the character Liz Gold appears in The Spy Who Came in From the Cold. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4: Liz
Identity and Autonomy Theme Icon
...named Miss Crail. His coworker is a tall Jewish woman in her early twenties named Liz Gold. She gives him a friendly greeting. On his first day, Leamas goes to a... (full context)
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After a few weeks, Liz invites Leamas to supper at her house. He is reluctant to go, but does. After... (full context)
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One night, Liz asks Leamas what he believes in. He puts her off, saying he does not like... (full context)
Chapter 5: Credit
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A week later, Leamas suddenly stops coming to the library. Distressed, Liz wants to go check on him, even though she knows he will not be happy... (full context)
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One night Liz gets to his house and finds Leamas dressed, but not shaved. This strikes her as... (full context)
Chapter 6: Contact
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...take care of him. After a long silence, Control asks Leamas if he knows that Liz is a Communist. Leamas says he knows. He warns Control not to involve Liz in... (full context)
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Control asks Leamas if he would like anything done for Liz. Leamas says not to give her any money and that he will take care of... (full context)
Chapter 7: Kiever
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...apartment’s reception desk, Leamas takes a nap. He falls asleep wondering what has happened to Liz. (full context)
Chapter 8: Le Mirage
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...falls asleep, thinking that Riemeck died because he told Elvira so much. Leamas also remembers Liz. (full context)
Chapter 10: The Third Day
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...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... (full context)
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...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... (full context)
Chapter 11: Friends of Alec
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That evening in London, two men call on Liz Gold. Liz has nothing to remember Leamas by, and no mutual friend who reminds her... (full context)
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Liz wonders why Leamas hit Ford the grocer. She knows he has a terrible temper, but... (full context)
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Two men come to Liz’s apartment. One is short and plump, with glasses and a worried expression that makes Liz... (full context)
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Liz asks the two men to leave, and the short man gives her a card and... (full context)
Chapter 15: Come to the Ball
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In London, Liz receives a letter from Party Centre, an organizational headquarters for Communist party members, inviting her... (full context)
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The letter compliments Liz on her work spreading the word about Communism, when in fact that is her least... (full context)
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Although the circumstances are strange, Liz is excited for the trip, which she could never afford to take on her own.... (full context)
Chapter 19: Branch Meeting
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Liz enjoys her trip to Leipzig. She stays with a Branch Secretary named Frau Ebert. Food... (full context)
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The meeting’s speaker leaves before the general discussion, which Liz finds rude. At the end of the meeting, a man appears and asks for her.... (full context)
Chapter 21: The Witness
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...it was likely because the library was closed on Saturday mornings. When Leamas finishes testifying, Liz is brought into the courtroom. (full context)
Chapter 22: The President
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Liz enters and is surprised to see Leamas. The President of the tribunal begins to address... (full context)
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Karden begins to question Liz. He asks her if she and Leamas were lovers, and if she has had many... (full context)
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Karden continues, asking Liz why she thinks Leamas hit Ford the grocer. Liz says she doesn’t know. Karden asks... (full context)
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Karden asks Liz if she had enough money to take care of Leamas, and Liz says that Leamas... (full context)
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Karden next asks if anyone got in touch with Liz after Leamas went to prison. Liz lies and says no, but then admits she did... (full context)
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Karden continues questioning Liz. He asks why she never visited Leamas in prison, asking if she had found another... (full context)
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...insane to compromise his mission in this way. He had even told them to leave Liz alone. He wonders if it was Smiley’s conscience that prompted him to take care of... (full context)
Chapter 23: Confession
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Leamas asks the court to let Liz go home, but the President insists that she be kept in custody until the hearing... (full context)
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...asks Leamas whether he believes that he really messed up the operation by falling for Liz. He says that it’s odd that Smiley sent money to Ford the grocer and bought... (full context)
Chapter 24: The Commissar
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Liz is in an office in the prison. The Prison Wardress gives her food, but Liz... (full context)
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Liz asks who will be shot next, and the Prison Wardress says that Leamas and the... (full context)
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In the middle of the night, footsteps approach Liz’s cell. Mundt is in the corridor, and he tells Liz to come with him. Liz... (full context)
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Leamas tells Liz to get into the car, and starts driving. Liz asks why Mundt is letting them... (full context)
Chapter 25: The Wall
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As they drive through the night, Liz asks Leamas what her part was in the operation. Leamas says that Fiedler was too... (full context)
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Liz asks Leamas if he also made love to her for the mission. He says he... (full context)
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Liz asks Leamas why she is being released from the prison. She says she is a... (full context)
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Liz objects to the way the spy services used her love for Leamas, saying that this... (full context)
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...where to climb over the Berlin Wall. Leamas, he says, should go first, then pull Liz up after him. They will only have ninety seconds, and they must climb over at... (full context)
Chapter 26: In from the Cold
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Standing thirty yards from the Berlin Wall, Liz and Leamas wait until the beam of a searchlight stops in front of them. Then... (full context)
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As Liz begins to climb the Berlin Wall, searchlights come on all around them and Liz’s body... (full context)
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Leamas hesitates, then climbs back to the Eastern side of the wall. He sees that Liz is dead, and looks at how her hair lies across her face. The guards seem... (full context)