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Today's Stichomancy for Butch Cassidy

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde:

only too well that I was forced to write your letters for you. I wrote always three times a week, and sometimes oftener.

ALGERNON. Oh, do let me read them, Cecily?

CECILY. Oh, I couldn't possibly. They would make you far too conceited. [Replaces box.] The three you wrote me after I had broken of the engagement are so beautiful, and so badly spelled, that even now I can hardly read them without crying a little.

ALGERNON. But was our engagement ever broken off?

CECILY. Of course it was. On the 22nd of last March. You can see the entry if you like. [Shows diary.] 'To-day I broke off my engagement with Ernest. I feel it is better to do so. The weather

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The American by Henry James:

He gave no sign and the two gentlemen came in, M. Ledoux having first beckoned to some one outside. This was M. le cure, who carried in his hand an object unknown to Newman, and covered with a white napkin. M. le cure was short, round, and red: he advanced, pulling off his little black cap to Newman, and deposited his burden on the table; and then he sat down in the best arm-chair, with his hands folded across his person. The other gentlemen had exchanged glances which expressed unanimity as to the timeliness of their presence. But for a long time Valentin neither spoke nor moved. It was Newman's belief, afterwards, that M. le cure went to sleep.

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Fisherman's Luck by Henry van Dyke:

that an apparently impossible climb of ten feet more up a ladder of twisting foam. A salmon darts from the boiling water at the bottom of the fall like an arrow from a bow. He rises in a beautiful curve, fins laid close to his body and tail quivering; but he has miscalculated his distance. He is on the downward curve when the water strikes him and tumbles him back. A bold little fish, not more than eighteen inches long, makes a jump at the side of the fall, where the water is thin, and is rolled over and over in the spray. A larger salmon rises close beside us with a tremendous rush, bumps his nose against a jutting rock, and flops back into the pool. Now comes a fish who has made his calculations exactly. He

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 Verses 1889-1896 by Rudyard Kipling:

Till we come as a ship o' the Line, my lads, of thirty foot in the sheer, Lifting again from the outer main with news of a privateer; Flying his pluck at our mizzen-truck for weft of Admiralty, Heaving his head for our dipsey-lead in sign that we keep the sea. Then fore-sheet home as she lifts to the foam -- we stand on the outward tack, We are paid in the coin of the white man's trade -- the bezant is hard, ay, and black. The frigate-bird shall carry my word to the Kling and the Orang-Laut How a man may sail from a heathen coast to be robbed in a Christian port; How a man may be robbed in Christian port while Three Great Captains there Shall dip their flag to a slaver's rag -- to show that his trade is fair!"


Verses 1889-1896