- Two seemingly unconnected events heralded the summons of Mr. George Smiley from his dubious retirement.
- The room had the atmosphere of a sleazy boudoir...
- Toby had a lifelong faith in mail vans; stole them wherever he went, saying nobody noticed or remembered them.
- "It wasn't suicide, Toby," Smiley said, still without a glance at him. "It definitely wasn't suicide. I saw the body, believe me. It wasn't a jealous husband either - not unless he was equipped with a Moscow Centre murder weapon."
- Because Karla already had his man in Paris, darling," she explained patiently. "As you are very well aware. That old stickler Pudin, the assistant military attaché. You remember how Karla always loved a soldier. Still does, for all I know."
- Twenty cuckoo Balts, leaky like a barn, and they make a 'network' already?
- Worse than East German: Saxon. Name of Kretzchmar, first name was Claus. Claus with a 'C', don't ask me why. I mean these guys have no logic at all."
- What do you mean, why I say it? Old defectors, old spies, they get a bit cuckoo. They hear voices, talk to the dicky-birds. It's normal.
- George, are you crazy? What the hell is quarrel? I told you: I never quarrel with the old man in my life.
- The Grigorievs left the house in Elfenau five minutes ago," he said quietly. "Grigorieva's driving. Most likely they die before they get here."
- "I'll say the whole catastrophe was a ludicrous piece of private enterprise by a senile spy who's lost his marbles." Smiley said he thought that was a good idea.
- "Meanwhile, you have my totally deniable blessing."
- "Sorry you've been an instrument of imperial hypocrisy but there's rather a lot of it about."
- George. Bless you. You've been a brick.
- Oliver Lacon: "How's Ann?" He asked vaguely... "With you and so forth, I trust? Not roaming, is she? God, I hate autumn."
- George Smiley: "Fine, thank you. How's -"
- He struggled without success to remember the name of Lacon's wife.
- Oliver Lacon: "Abandoned me, dammit. Ran off with her pesky riding instructor, blast her. Left me with the children. The girls are farmed out to a boarding school, thank God."
- Leaning over his hands, Lacon was staring up at the lightening sky...
- George Smiley: "I'm sorry, Oliver."
- Oliver Lacon: "Why should you be? Not your wife. She's mine. It's every man for himself in love."
- Connie Sachs: "Is that booze you're toting in that bag?"
- George Smiley: "Yes. Yes, it is," said Smiley.
- Connie Sachs: "Goody. Let's have lots. How's the demon Ann?"
- George Smiley: "Flourishing, I gather," he replied.
"But she told her other gentlemen she could feel he had had a loss, which was why he left his bacon, why he went out a lot but always alone, and why he slept with his light on. He reminded her of her father, she said, 'after Mother went.'"
- Mrs. Gray on George Smiley