Since his overthrow five years ago by a Brazilian army clique, ex-Dictator Getulio Vargas has lived the quiet life of a gentleman gaucho on his estancia in Rio Grande do Sul. To visitors he spoke of his ranch as "this secluded spot so remote from political agitation." He smoked long cigars, wore a cowboy's bombachas, tended his cattle, and waited.

The wait seemed over last week, and the Vargas ranch was the country's center of political agitation. Question of the hour: Would the ex-dictator, now 67, choose to run in October's presidential election?...

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