"what you may not mean to us"

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imchongjun

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Hello, teachers.
I am puzzled over the following sentence in "The Great Impersonation":

I cannot at this moment give you any idea what you may not mean to us after the trouble has come, if you are able to play your part still in this country as Everard Dominey of Dominey Hall.

Is it ok to rephrase
"I cannot ...give you any idea what you may not mean to us"
into
"I cannot tell you in what way you are not important to us"?
 

David L.

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Crikey!! It takes a couple of readings to be able to fathom that one!

My understanding of it is:

There is no way of knowing, with the trouble that's coming our way, just how important it might turn out to be for us in this country, if you were to continue to carry on with this impersonation of Everard Dominey of Dominey Hall.


In effect, please keep pretending to be Everard. There's trouble coming in the land, and your role in the nation's affairs as "Everard Dominey of Dominey Hall" ( as opposed to some nobody, just some ordinary citizen) may turn out to be of vital importance.

PS I haven't read this book, but they've made a movie of it. How good is the book? Would you recommend it as a good read?
 
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imchongjun

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Aug 21, 2007
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Japan
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Thank you, David L., for your comment. It is very clear and helpful.
I find the novel very satisfying even though it is rather melodramatic compared with the contemporary spy novels.
Thank you again!
 
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