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Today's Stichomancy for David Letterman

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Fisherman's Luck by Henry van Dyke:

him too hard. There, he s going to jump again. Drop your tip. Stop him, quick! he s going down the rapid!"

Of course the man who is playing the salmon does not like this. If he is quick-tempered, sooner or later he tells his counsellor to shut up. But if he is a gentle, early-Christian kind of a man, wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove, he follows the advice that is given to him, promptly and exactly. Then, when it is all ended, and he has seen the big fish, with the line over his shoulder, poised for an instant on the crest of the first billow of the rapid, and has felt the leader stretch and give and SNAP!--then he can have the satisfaction, while he reels in his slack line, of saying to his

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Island Nights' Entertainments by Robert Louis Stevenson:

when he was alone, and the period when he was there with the tribe. At first he sought everywhere and found no man; only some houses standing in a hamlet, and the marks of fires. But the ashes of the fires were cold and the rains had washed them away; and the winds had blown, and some of the huts were overthrown. It was here he took his dwelling, and he made a fire drill, and a shell hook, and fished and cooked his fish, and climbed after green cocoanuts, the juice of which he drank, for in all the isle there was no water. The days were long to him, and the nights terrifying. He made a lamp of cocoa-shell, and drew the oil of the ripe nuts, and made a wick of fibre; and when evening came he closed up his hut, and lit

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Red Seal by Natalie Sumner Lincoln:

written lines:

"Dear Kent - McIntyre telephoned there were new developments in the Turnbull affair. Will be back later."Yours - "B. A. CLYMER."

Kent judged from the use of his initials that Clymer was stirred out of his ordinary calm, nothing else explained his failure to sign his full name, and he wondered what confidences McIntyre had made to the bank president.

Tossing down the note, Kent lighted his pipe, tilted back in his swivel chair, and reviewed the facts which implicated Rochester in Jimmie Turnbull's murder. Rochester's quarrels with Jimmie, his


The Red Seal
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 Statesman by Plato:

or madness; too great slowness or gentleness is called cowardice or sluggishness; and we may observe, that for the most part these qualities, and the temperance and manliness of the opposite characters, are arrayed as enemies on opposite sides, and do not mingle with one another in their respective actions; and if we pursue the enquiry, we shall find that men who have these different qualities of mind differ from one another.

YOUNG SOCRATES: In what respect?

STRANGER: In respect of all the qualities which I mentioned, and very likely of many others. According to their respective affinities to either class of actions they distribute praise and blame,--praise to the actions which are akin to their own, blame to those of the opposite party--and out


Statesman