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Today's Stichomancy for Alec Guinness

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Light of Western Stars by Zane Grey:

instant and united action. She saw streaks of fire--streaks of smoke. Then a crashing volley deafened her. It ceased as quickly. Smoke veiled the scene. Slowly it drifted away to disclose three fallen men, one of whom, Monty, leaned on his left hand, a smoking gun in his right. He watched for a movement from the other two. It did not come. Then, with a terrible smile, he slid back and stretched out.

XX Unbridled

In waking and sleeping hours Madeline Hammond could not release herself from the thralling memory of that tragedy. She was haunted by Monty Price's terrible smile. Only in action of some


The Light of Western Stars
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Fantastic Fables by Ambrose Bierce:

in the Elysian fields, each happy in hearing from the lips of the others nothing but copious quotation from his own works (for so Jove had kindly bedeviled their ears), there came in among them with triumphant mien a Shade whom none knew. She (for the newcomer showed such evidences of sex as cropped hair and a manly stride) took a seat in their midst, and smiling a superior smile explained:

"After centuries of oppression I have wrested my rights from the grasp of the jealous gods. On earth I was the Poetess of Reform, and sang to inattentive ears. Now for an eternity of honour and glory."

But it was not to be so, and soon she was the unhappiest of


Fantastic Fables
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Tales of the Klondyke by Jack London:

interminable, profound. Then, of a sudden, the robins burst into full-throated song. The night had passed.

A flood of dark figures boiled across the open. Arrows whistled and bow-thongs sang. The shrill-tongued rifles answered back. A spear, and a mighty cast, transfixed the Teslin woman as she hovered above the child. A spent arrow, diving between the logs, lodged in the missionary's arm.

There was no stopping the rush. The middle distance was cumbered with bodies, but the rest surged on, breaking against and over the barricade like an ocean wave. Sturges Owen fled to the tent, while the men were swept from their feet, buried beneath the human

The fourth excerpt represents the element of Earth. It speaks of physical influences and the impact of the unseen on the visible world, and is drawn from The Life of the Spider by J. Henri Fabre:

damaging the net.

Let us now suppose the case of some dangerous game: a Praying Mantis, for instance, brandishing her lethal limbs, each hooked and fitted with a double saw; an angry Hornet, darting her awful sting; a sturdy Beetle, invincible under his horny armour. These are exceptional morsels, hardly ever known to the Epeirae. Will they be accepted, if supplied by my stratagems?

They are, but not without caution. The game is seen to be perilous of approach and the Spider turns her back upon it, instead of facing it; she trains her rope-cannon upon it. Quickly, the hind- legs draw from the spinnerets something much better than single


The Life of the Spider