After a story in this month's Life magazine quoted Texas beauty pageant official B. Don Magness as saying "Come on in, sluts!," the director of the Miss America Pageant Organization, Leonard Horn, has ordered an investigation of Magness and his methods. Horn has the power to take away the Miss America franchise of state beauty pageants if they are not run according to his group's guidelines.

Magness, in the Life article, revels in his 20 years of running the Miss Texas competition, stating unabashedly that he plays the part of a "dirty old man," making lewd remarks to ease the competitors' tension and to have fun.

"Some girls just need to be dirtied up a little," he is quoted as saying. Horn is not amused and says, "Suffice it to say that the Miss America organization will not accept, nor will it tolerate," the kind of behavior being ascribed to Magness.

The investigation, being conducted by Texas pageant officials, should be completed next week.

Mayfield Update

A spokesman for Curtis Mayfield says that the rhythm and blues singer may be moved to Atlanta next week to begin rehabilitation for injuries suffered earlier this week at a concert in Brooklyn, N.Y. Mayfield was paralyzed from the neck down when a lighting tower collapsed on him, and there is no official prognosis yet on whether he will regain any movement.

South African Homecoming

Donald Woods, the South African journalist whose books "Looking for Trouble" and "Biko" were the basis for the film "Cry Freedom," returned to his native country yesterday after 12 years of London-based exile. The government has lifted the banning order it imposed on him when, as editor of a prominent newspaper, he began investigating the death of black leader Steve Biko. His arrival at Jan Smuts Airport in Johannesburg, attended by dozens of journalists and friends, was less dramatic than his late-night border crossing to escape the country in 1977, but perhaps as important to Woods.

"I was determined I would never come back here unless I could do so freely," he told the crowd. He said he is in South Africa for a six-week "journey of rediscovery" and will be working on a book and a documentary during his stay.

Flowers of Remembrance

The souvenir shop across the street from Graceland made a killing selling long-stemmed roses to many of the estimated 5,000 Elvis Presley fans who descended on Memphis this week on the 13th anniversary of his death.

There was a single-file candlelight procession Thursday past Presley's grave on the grounds of his famous mansion, where he is buried alongside his mother, father and grandmother, and the fans left his resting site heaped with flowers.

-- Compiled from staff and wire reports by Eric Brace