tackle the tornado had time permitted


Senior Member
I would be very grateful if you could help me with this sentence.I have some difficulty understanding this sentence (a story from Saki, "The Unbearable Bassingtonby Saki Part 1 out of 3" CHAPTER II )

A man who has been trained to cope with storms, to foresee their coming, and to minimise their consequences, may be pardoned if he feels a certain reluctance to measure himself
against a tornado.
Men of more limited outlook and with a correspondingly larger belief in their own powers were ready to tackle the tornado had time permitted.

What is the structure of "tackle the tornado had time permitted"?
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Conditional inversion: had time permitted = if time had permitted, i.e. if there had been enough time (to tackle the tornado).
    < Previous | Next >