Student or Learner
THE SECRET ADVERSARY by Agatha Christie
1) Tommy felt that, thanks to Mr. Carter, he understood the position fairly
accurately. With the fatal document in the hands of Mr. Brown,
public opinion would swing to the side of the Labour extremists and
revolutionists. Failing that, the battle was an even chance. The
Government with a loyal army and police force behind them might
win--but at a cost of great suffering. But Tommy nourished another and
a preposterous dream. With Mr. Brown unmasked and captured he
believed, rightly or wrongly, that the whole organization would crumble
ignominiously and instantaneously. The strange permeating influence
of the unseen chief held it together. Without him, Tommy believed an
instant panic would set in; and, the honest men left to themselves, an
eleventh-hour reconciliation would be possible.
2) Tommy had been right in his forecast of the situation. It had been a
one-man show. Deprived of their chief, the organization fell to pieces.
Kramenin had made a precipitate return to Russia, leaving England early
on Sunday morning. The gang had fled from Astley Priors in a panic,
leaving behind, in their haste, various damaging documents which
compromised them hopelessly. With these proofs of conspiracy in their
hands, aided further by a small brown diary taken from the pocket of
the dead man which had contained a full and damning resume of the whole
plot, the Government had called an eleventh-hour conference. The Labour
leaders were forced to recognize that they had been used as a cat's
paw. Certain concessions were made by the Government, and were eagerly
accepted. It was to be Peace, not War!
Is it a grammar mistake? I can't grasp this phenomenon. Will you be so kind as to help me?
It's just another way of saying "last-minute".
....a last minute reconciliation
....A last minute conference.
Both expressions are used to indicate something which happened just before it would have been too late.
buggles(not a teacher)