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woman, "From past experience, they are less likely to cause problems."   He did not elaborate on these problems.    I told him that I had someone in mind and that I would soon let him have her particulars.

        A few days later I was waiting alone in the ante-room of the Premier's suite on the eighth floor of the State Office Block.   I felt like a new pupil about to be interviewed by the headmaster.   A few minutes after the appointed time, a door swung open, and a coatless Premier came out to greet me and to usher me into his office.

      We sat at his desk, in the far corner of the large room which overlooked Macquarie Street.   Behind him I could see the blue expanse of the harbour, and in the distance North Head and the isthmus of Manly.   A telescope on a tripod stood against the window.   My new boss could literally keep his eye on my electorate.

        An attractive woman hurried into the room and placed a bundle of files on the desk.   The Premier introduced her as Denise Darlow, his private secretary, "The person who really runs the state."   She smiled at me but I detected a glint of steel in her eyes.   She would be ruthless in her loyalty to Wran.

        Over morning tea we discussed the situation in Manly.   Wran was obviously extremely pleased to have captured this "blue ribbon" seat from the Liberals.   It would receive special attention from now on.

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