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Out in the kitchen, Kathy and Lalla Lee urged me to eat, but I had no appetite. We picked at the salads that Kathy thought to bring. The phone continued to ring, but we were screening the calls. It seemed we were hunkered down in a safe zone, in our cinder-block fortress by the sea, waiting for the next shoe to drop.

"So, Jenny, while you were in the shower Mark called again," Lalla Lee told me reluctantly.

"Are you kidding?" Kathy said, grinning at me. "I gave him a piece of my mind when I answered Jenny's cell. Of course, he thought I was her for a while."

I shook my head, imagining what Kathy had let loose on Mark. Kathy and I have had our sisterly spats, but we are fiercely protective of each other. I felt safer with her around. After lunch, Chris Allen patched through Mark, who was polling those he trusted on how much he should reveal. "Should I tell everything?" he asked, businesslike still.

"Whatever you think is right," I said. "What does Lerner say?" I asked, referring to our longtime media adviser and friend in DC.

"He says not to get into too much detail," Mark sighed.

"I agree with that. But you have to be honest about where you were and why." This was Mark at the mansion and in work mode. I had long ago come to understand that private talk would have to wait.

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