Scrambled

“She was living with a pilot,” said Mrs. Pelling. “Tiny, she called him. If it hadn’t been for Tiny, she’d have starved. He was no more scramblinggorgeous but the war had turned him inside out. Well of course it would! Same with our boys, wasn’t it? Missions night after night, day after day.” Putting back her head, she screamed very loudly, “‘Scramble!’

“She’s mad,” Mr. Pelling explained.

“Nervous wrecks at eighteen, half of them. But they stuck it. They loved Churchill, you see. They loved his guts.”

“Blind mad,” Mr. Pelling repeated. “Barking.”

—John Le Carre, The Honourable Schoolboy

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When I Worked

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