When Fawn Hall testified last week to the congressional Irangate committee, there were sighs of envy in offices all over America. The sighs had nothing to do with Miss Hall's looks but rather with how she performed as Ollie North's secretary.
No one had ever seen a secretary who behaved like Hall, and after these hearings they may never see one again. Faithful, skilled and discreet beyond imagination, Fawn is the yardstick by which all future secretaries will be measured.
As might be expected, the National Security Council is having a difficult time finding a replacement for her.
"Miss Peters, if I asked you to shred my top-secret documents, would you do it?"
"I would if I had time, but I still haven't finished the A's on your Rolodex."
"Forget the Rolodex. I would like you to alter several pages of the most confidential material I have in my safe."
"I'd like to but it would be wrong, because I have a date with my boyfriend at 5 o'clock. Can't the altering wait over the weekend?"
"This is hush-hush stuff, Miss Peters. If anyone finds out what we're doing we could get 20 years or congressional immunity, whichever comes first."
"That isn't worth perjuring myself for."
"How loyal are you, Miss Peters?"
"I'm loyal to a point, but this job is nothing to write home about."
"Suppose I asked you to smuggle out some very important documents under your dress on your back. Would you do it for me?"
"Sure, if you're looking for a sexual harassment suit."
"Please, Miss Peters, I picked you for this job because you had the makings of a first-class shredder and paragraph alterer. We may have to move against the FBI at any time. Are you willing to go that far?"
"Yes, because I respect you and everything you stand for -- except for one thing. You might take the Fifth and leave me holding the bag."
"This country's security is at stake, so start deleting."
"What do you want me to delete?"
"Everything in Pile A. Then I want you to shred everything in Pile B. After that, mix them in Pile C, put them in your boots and trot out of the building."
"Why should I do that?"
"Because that's what Fawn would do if she were here right now."
"Boy, all you hear around here is what Fawn would do."
"I'm sorry I blew my stack, Miss Peters. Here is $60 worth of traveler's checks. Shred them and sprinkle them over Bloomingdale's."
"Okay. Is there anything else you want me to do before I start hitting the word processor?"
"Be careful, Miss Peters. The things you type on that processor could start World War III."
"Why didn't you say so? What keys shouldn't I use?"
"It is not your job to ask. Fawn never questioned what went into her computer and what came out. Do you know why?"
"No, I don't."
"Because she was a team player. And do you know what made Fawn a team player?"
"She had the promise of limited immunity."