Thursday, June 21, 2012


John le Carré, The Honourable Schoolboy, 1977, Chapter 4

"'However,' said Lacon, and to emphasise the volte-face went so far as to arrest Smiley's arm with his long hand so that he had to put down his glass.  'However,' he warned as his erratic voice swooped and rose again, 'whether our masters will swallow all that is quite another matter altogether.'"

volte-face |ˌvält(ə) ˈfäs; ˌvōlt(ə); ˌvôlt(ə)|noun ( pl. same)an act of turning around so as to face in the opposite direction.• an abrupt and complete reversal of attitude, opinion, or position a remarkable volte-face on taxes.ORIGIN early 19th cent.from French, from Italian voltafaccia, based on Latin volvere ‘to roll’ facies ‘appearance, face.’

And: Doughty Smiley!
"Smiley sat in a chair reading the files on his knee like a man in a train, doughtily ignoring the passengers.  Sometimes he lifted his head, but the sounds he heard were not from inside the room."

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