Adroit, adjective: having or showing skill, cleverness, or resourcefulness in handling situations.
We saw the adverb form of this word (adroitly) about halfway through chapter 7 of Quicksand. It was used to describe how Ms. Hayes-Rore changed subjects during a conversation in a smooth way during their train ride from Chicago to New York.
“The girl wished to hide her turbulent feeling and to appear indifferent to Mrs. Hayes-Rore’s opinion of her story. The woman felt that the story, dealing as it did with race intermingling and possibly adultery, was beyond definite discussion. For among black people, as among white people, it is tacitly understood that these things are not mentioned—and therefore they do not exist. Sliding adroitly out from under the precarious subject to a safer, more decent one, Mrs. Hayes-Rore asked Helga what she was thinking of doing when she got back to Chicago.”