The Nixons have always been intensely private people, keeping their own counsel and concealing their innermost feelings behind the masks they present to the public. Last week, as the pressures on the President mounted, each member of this tightly knit family withdrew briefly even from the others, as if only in isolation could the strength be summoned to face the approaching ordeal.

Normally, the two Nixon girls lunched with their mother when they were in the White House, providing her with the only real companionship she had; in recent months Julie and Tricia saw to it that at least one...

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