OK, here's the answer. It's clumsy, but it works. Hi-lite the text in the email message, copy and paste it into Kate. Hi-lite one paragraph at a time, being sure to stop just after the period--"full stop" to you Brits. You will wind up with a page of single endless lines. Hi-lite the whole page and copy. Paste
into Symphony (or LO, if you hate IBM) and it will come out with each paragraph fitted between the margins, with no end-of-line information stuck to it.
Now Hi-lite the whole page, and select the full-justified icon and apply.
Because going from Kate to Symphony stripped out the quote marks and made them square boxes, you'll have to go and fix all of them. Before you
do, set the word processor to use custom quotes, so you get curly quotes instead of inch marks. Now edit the whole body of text as you would have
done if it had come to you in this form in the first place. Whew!
Thanx for the various inputs. Kate was the key. I don't know why the other editing software couldn't do this, but maybe I'm just to stupid to
figure out how. anyway, now I know (and you know) a way to do the job.