October 15, 1983

German and British men sprawl on sofas in the lobby of the Federal Plaza Hotel, copies of the International Herald Tribune folded back as they read, drinks at their elbows. Avery rides up the elevator, knocks on the hotel room door. When it swings open, before her stands a tall woman with cropped frizzy hair and wide-spaced eyes, an open face. She wears a West African–print caftan.

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