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exmh suddenly spawns zombies

Suddenly exmh seems to be producing zombie processes whenever I try to
reply to a message.  Of course, I'm not able to make the reply.

Specifically, when I click on the Reply button (then on Reply to sender),
exmh shows this message:
    Starting ASYNC exmh-async xterm -e vi ...
But exmh doesn't start the xterm.  I do see this in the exmh log:
    Exwin_Toplevel .log 80x20+177+270
After a few minutes, a background wish process is started:

/usr/bin/wish -f /usr/bin/exmh-bg exmh /usr/lib/exmh /usr/b (<==the line is 
                                                               cut off here)

Then this process is zombie-ized after a couple of minutes.

Now, exmh's reply button used to start the xterm just fine.  I don't know 
when this odd behaviour started.  (I've been gone for a week, but thought 
I'd used the reply button since I got back last night; am not really sure
what happened in the last day to tell the truth.)  I can successfully 
execute 'xterm -e vi' from the command line.  Whatever is causing the problem
is not specific to one particular (e.g., badly formed) message; I've tried
and failed to reply to many messages.

The list of possibly relevant packages is attached below.  Obviously, any
hints would be very much appreciated.

Susan Kleinmann

ii  exmh            1.6.9-2        An X user interface for MH mail.
ii  expect          5.19.0-1       The expect/expectk programs and libraries.
ii  nvi             1.34-13        4.4BSD re-implementation of vi.
ii  tcl74           7.4p3-4        The Tool Command Language (TCL) v7.4 - Run-T
ii  tcl74-dev       7.4p3-4        The Tool Command Language (TCL) v7.4 - Devel
ii  tcl75           7.5p1-1        The Tool Command Language (TCL) v7.5 - Run-T
ii  tclX            7.4a-p2-1      Extended Tcl (TclX).
ii  tk40            4.0p3-3        The Tk toolkit for TCL and X11 v4.0 - Run-Ti
ii  tk40-dev        4.0p3-3        The Tk toolkit for TCL and X11 v4.0 - Develo
ii  tk41            4.1-1          The Tk toolkit for TCL and X11 v4.1 - Run-Ti
ii  tkdiff          1.0b9-3        A graphical "diff" utility.

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