In Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011), Peter throw a punch on Ricki Tarr and admits that he had to spied on his own because of Ricki Tarr. What did Peter spy on before?

1 Answer 1


He just spied on the Circus that very day

This is referring to the previous scene where Peter Guillam steals a document from the Circus, the call log, intended to corroborate Ricky's story.

During that tense scene he is called-upon by Percy. Here Percy tells Peter that he has evidence that proves Ricky (his employee) is a defector:

And if I told you we happen to know that thirty thousand pounds
mysteriously appeared in his bank account last month, would that surprise you?

This DOES shock Guillam, but he manages to hold on to his sullen expression.

Your man’s a defector, Guillam.  Got turned by the opposition
months ago and now they’ve sent him back to us!

This shocks Guillam as it undermines the entire story Tarr is giving, and it happens in the middle of where Guillam is stealing documents from the circus.

So when he gets back to meet Smiley, and finds Ricky is there in person he is angry because of the risks he just took:

(To Smiley)
He’s a double, George! There is no Mole! The whole thing’s a pack
of lies thought up by Moscow.  Karla’s bought him for thirty
thousand pounds!

He pulls the LOG BOOK out of his file.
(To Tarr)
I stole that, because of you! I spied on my own. Do you know how
that makes me feel?

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