Consider the following pasage, taken from the novel Aurélien by Louis Aragon (published in 1944). It is told from the point of view of Adrien Arnaud, who's trying to establish a place for himself in some corporation owned by an old friend of his, who has now become his boss.
C’était dans cet énorme enchevêtrement financier qui avait un prolongement dans les autobus en Languedoc et en Provence, un autre dans les pétroles de Roumanie, des terrains près des Invalides et à la porte de Clignancourt, au Trocadéro et à Vincennes, qui touchait aux caoutchoucs de Malacca et aux pneus hollandais, qu’Adrien Arnaud cherchait à se nicher, à se faire la place d’avenir que le patron, son ancien camarade d’enfance, lui permettait de se tailler, tout à fait comme jadis, à Sérianne-le-Vieux, quand il lui offrait sa revanche aux boules, le cochonnet lancé...
It is the ending of the sentence I care about. From what I understand, the passage more or less says that Adrien is hoping to find a place for himself in this company and that his old friend led him to understand that he will find it (or something along these lines), just like how when they were young one of them would let the other win when they had a rematch at boules.
I suppose I am not being accurate, but more than that, what bother me is that I don't understand who let whom win. Is it that even back then Adrien's old friend let him win, establishing a pattern that he'd always taken care of him, or that it was Adrien who had let him win, suggesting the tables have now turned?
Naturally, I would also be happy to hear corrections regarding my understanding of the other bits of (the end of) the sentence. But, assuming my understanding is more or less correct and it indeed says one of them let the other win, what I mostly care about is who it was.