As V. K. Krishna Menon, India's Communist-cuddling roving ambassador, sat at the head table of the National Press Club in Washington one noon last week, his lean fingers coiled and writhed, flitted across his face, danced in the air, groomed his nose. Sometimes he cracked his knuckles with an audible snap. When at last he rose to face the newsmen, his words also coiled and writhed and flitted.

Dressed in a dark-blue double-breasted suit, a dark-blue tie, and a shirt with a blue pinstripe, Krishna Menon looked more than ever like a snake charmer, but he denied that he had...

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