what does "in a syllable" mean?
Kilduff sought out Ken O'Donnell. He asked, "He's dead, isn't he?"
In a syllable O'Donnell confirmed it.
"This is a terrible time to have to approach you on this," Kilduff said, "but the world has got to know that President Kennedy is dead."
Ken said, "Well, don't they know it already?"
"No, I haven't told them."