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Today's Stichomancy for Claire Forlani

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Troll Garden and Selected Stories by Willa Cather:

them "to step into the dining room." As Steavens rose the lawyer said dryly: "You go on--it'll be a good experience for you, doubtless; as for me, I'm not equal to that crowd tonight; I've had twenty years of them."

As Steavens closed the door after him be glanced back at the lawyer, sitting by the coffin in the dim light, with his chin resting on his hand.

The same misty group that had stood before the door of the express car shuffled into the dining room. In the light of the kerosene lamp they separated and became individuals. The minister, a pale, feeble-looking man with white hair and blond


The Troll Garden and Selected Stories
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Collection of Antiquities by Honore de Balzac:

borders were always renewed; at every season of the year they exhibited a successful show of blossom, to the admiration of the public. All along the back of the gardenbeds a quantity of climbing plants grew up and covered the walls of the neighboring houses with a magnificent mantle; the brick-work piers were hidden in clusters of honeysuckle; and, to crown all, in a couple of terra-cotta vases at the summit, a pair of acclimatized cactuses displayed to the astonished eyes of the ignorant those thick leaves bristling with spiny defences which seem to be due to some plant disease.

It was a plain-looking house, built of brick, with brick-work arches above the windows, and bright green Venetian shutters to make it gay.

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Insidious Dr. Fu-Manchu by Sax Rohmer:

my master I will never betray him. Tear me from him--by force, do you understand, BY FORCE, and my lips will be sealed no longer. Ah! but you do not understand, with your `proper authorities'-- your police. Police! Ah, I have said enough."

A clock across the common began to strike. The girl started and laid her hands upon my shoulders again. There were tears glittering among the curved black lashes.

"You do not understand," she whispered. "Oh, will you never understand and release me from him! I must go. Already I have remained too long. Listen. Go out without delay. Remain out--at a hotel, where you will, but do not stay here."


The Insidious Dr. Fu-Manchu
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 Memories and Portraits by Robert Louis Stevenson:

STRING JACK whom I did not even guess to be a highwayman, troubled me awake and haunted my slumbers; and there is one sequence of three from that enchanted calender that I still at times recall, like a loved verse of poetry: LODOISKA, SILVER PALACE, ECHO OF WESTMINSTER BRIDGE. Names, bare names, are surely more to children than we poor, grown-up, obliterated fools remember.

The name of Skelt itself has always seemed a part and parcel of the charm of his productions. It may be different with the rose, but the attraction of this paper drama sensibly declined when Webb had crept into the rubric: a poor cuckoo, flaunting in Skelt's nest. And now we have reached Pollock, sounding deeper gulfs. Indeed,