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with a bobby pin. Security at Los Alamos, to somebody with her training, was a joke. Each Friday night for the past two months, she had slipped away and explored the camp, secret documents and all, almost at her leisure. She crossed the room and listened at the door. She knew from experience that two guards patrolled the hallway outside Groves’s office. But they were responsible for the entire building, which meant that one passed by only every ten minutes. She waited until she heard footsteps rapping down the corridor. She kept waiting until they had passed. Then she slipped out, closed the door behind herself, checked to make sure the lock had taken, and walked quickly and quietly toward the rear exit. When she came out into the night, the cold air was bracing. She moved back toward the canteen, where the party sounded as if it was gaining momentum. She could hear music, conversation, and much drunken laughter. It was always the same. There was a lot of steam to be blown off at Los Alamos. Before tonight, she had wondered why. Now she understood. My God, she thought again, what have I stumbled onto? Before going back inside the canteen, she took a moment to check herself. Her hair was fine; her clothes were fine, or as fine as they got, considering the shortage of good material; but her face, surely, would show something. Her face would reveal that she had discovered the secret. Her face would betray her. No. Her body was an instrument, and she was its master. She smiled—quite convincingly—then climbed the wooden steps and went to rejoin the party. That night she woke with a scream rising in her throat. She bolted up in bed. Richard was sleeping beside her, his chest rising and falling almost imperceptibly. Catherine sat with one hand clamped over her mouth, not looking at him, trembling. From not far away came the sounds of generators humming and, below that, the eerie whistle of desert wind. After a few minutes, the shakes began to subside. She let out her breath slowly, wiping a hand across her brow. The hand came away clammy. It had been a variation of the nightmare she had dreamed on and off for more than ten years, now. But this had been the worst in a long while— perhaps the worst ever. They all were gathered around her, everybody she

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