The President of Nicaragua last week challenged the President of Costa Rica to meet at the border and duel to the death with pistols. "If he hates me, then why not settle it this way?" grumbled Nicaragua's Anastasio ("Tacho'') Somoza, who claims to be the best shot in his tough, U.S. Marine-trained Gnardia National. "He's crazier than a goat in the midsummer sun," replied Costa Rica's José ("Pepe") Figueres. an M.I.T.-trained coffee planter.

Such hot talk, plus a warm little war and a cold-blooded assassination carried the six small nations of Central America...

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