From John Le Carré's Smiley's People:

Enderby sauntered back towards the centre of the room and poured himself some plain soda from the sideboard; he stared at Smiley with what seemed to be honest indecision. He stared at him, he shifted his head and stared again, showing all the signs of being faced with an insoluble problem.
“It’s a tough one, Chief, it really is,” said Sam Collins, unremarked by either man.
“And it’s not all a wicked Bolshie plot, George, to lure us to our ultimate destruction—you’re sure of that?”
“I’m afraid we’re no longer worth the candle, Saul,” Smiley said, with an apologetic smile. Enderby did not care to be reminded of the limitations of British grandeur, and for a moment his mouth set into a sour grimace.
“All right, Maud,” he said finally. “Let’s go into the garden.”

Enderby should be telling Smiley to go into the garden with him, based on the context. Then who is Maud? I can't find anyone with that name in that chapter, or even in the whole novel. Dictionaries say Maud is a female name.

1 Answer 1


It's a reference to a stanza from a poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson entitled Maud, which later became well-known as a sentimental song. The lines of the poem echo Smiley's reference to "going into the garden":

Come into the garden, Maud,
For the black bat, night, has flown,
Come into the garden, Maud,
I am here at the gate alone;

The stanza in question can be read here.


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