Time magazine has said of Aline, the Countess of Romanones, that she "has lived a life of glamour and danger that Ingrid Bergman only played at in 'Notorious."' Recruited as a spy by the Office of Strategic Services, the American beauty who married the late Luis Romanones, a Spanish grandee, while she worked as a secret agent in Madrid, has written three best-selling memoirs about her intriguing and perilous adventures then. Now comes her first novel, "The Well-Mannered Assassin," the story of her meeting a charming new friend in Madrid who turns out to be the most infamous and feared of international terrorists, Carlos the Jackal. When she discovers his true identity, a game of cat-and-mouse begins from which she is lucky to escape alive. The story is laid in such spots where the rich, titled, famous and dangerous mingle as Munich, Paris and Marbella, and Aline's friends in real life, Ava Gardner and Audrey Hepburn, figure in the exciting half fact/half fiction tale. The book is dedicated "To Bud," Bud being Bud Palmer, Aline's love interest for the past several years and the reason she braves the snows of Aspen, where he lives, when sunny Spain is more her style.
As far as Nancy Reagan is concerned, the highlight of the gala benefit for the Washington National Botanic Garden honoring America's First Ladies was when President Clinton got up from his table, walked over to her and asked that she please thank her husband for all his time and effort on behalf of the assault gun legislation recently passed in the House of Representatives. "I never could have done it without him," said Clinton -- or words to that effect. "Now you can do something for me," said Nancy, taking advantage of the old quid pro quo. I'll tell you what she asked for later, but I'll tell you now that he promised he'd look into it. Nancy knows it's not at the top of his things-to-do-tomorrow list, but a phone call one of these days would be nice. Among those at the gala were Alyne Massey and Chan Mashek of Palm Beach, who are on the board of the Botanic Garden. Alyne was with Texas megamillionaire Ed Cox, and Chan, who is Ed Cox's daughter, was with John Damgard of Washington, who could be her new boyfriend. Her fling with Jamie Kabler has flung.