Nation: TO PARIS WITH PATIENCE

AT last the preliminaries were over.

This week, in a 40-ft.-square conference room dominated by a 299-year-old Gobelin tapestry that is appropriately atwitter with hawks, doves, swans and other birds, negotiators for the U.S. and North Viet Nam sat down and began to talk. If the preliminaries were any measure, they should be at it for quite some time. Merely choosing a building required five days. "Procedural questions" covering housekeeping details—which doors should be used by which delegations, how many chairs should be around the table—postponed the opening of "substantive" talks for two...