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Today's Stichomancy for Aretha Franklin

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Octopus by Frank Norris:

sorry to hear that. What's the trouble, Pres?"

"Oh, nerves mostly, I suppose, and my head, and insomnia, and weakness, a general collapse all along the line, the doctor tells me. 'Over-cerebration,' he says; 'over-excitement.' I fancy I rather narrowly missed brain fever."

"Well, I can easily suppose it," answered Cedarquist gravely, "after all you have been through."

Presley closed his eyes--they were sunken in circles of dark brown flesh--and pressed a thin hand to the back of his head.

"It is a nightmare," he murmured. "A frightful nightmare, and it's not over yet. You have heard of it all only through the

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Les Miserables by Victor Hugo:

"That belonged to the giraffe."

After a pause he went on:--

"The beasts had all these things. I took them away from them. It didn't trouble them. I told them: `It's for the elephant.'"

He paused, and then resumed:--

"You crawl over the walls and you don't care a straw for the government. So there now!"

The two children gazed with timid and stupefied respect on this intrepid and ingenious being, a vagabond like themselves, isolated like themselves, frail like themselves, who had something admirable and all-powerful about him, who seemed supernatural

Les Miserables
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Illustrious Gaudissart by Honore de Balzac:


"Willingly," said the host.

Gaudissart had scarcely finished his dinner before Madame Fontanieu and the assistant-mayor of Vouvray came to the Soleil d'Or and took Mitouflet aside. They told him it would be a painful and injurious thing to the whole canton if a violent death were the result of this affair; they represented the pitiable distress of Madame Vernier, and conjured him to find some way to arrange matters and save the credit of the district.

"I take it all upon myself," said the sagacious landlord.

In the evening he went up to the traveller's room carrying pens, ink,

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 Tom Sawyer, Detective by Mark Twain:

myself believe anybody would have the heart to hurt a poor harmless cretur like that"--[by jings, I was sure I seen Tom give a kind of a faint little start, and then look disappointed again]--"and you know I COULDN'T think a preacher would hurt him--it warn't natural to think such an onlikely thing--so I never paid much attention, and now I sha'n't ever, ever forgive myself; for if I had a done different, my poor brother would be with me this day, and not laying yonder murdered, and him so harmless." He kind of broke down there and choked up, and waited to get his voice; and people all around said the most pitiful things,