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Today's Stichomancy for Douglas Adams

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from When the World Shook by H. Rider Haggard:

medicine in an enormous and much-neglected practice. Therefore, you, being a clergyman, should go and do likewise. There are some ten thousand people here, but I do not observe that as yet you have converted a, single one."

Thus spoke Bickley in a light and unguarded moment with his usual object of what is known as "getting a rise" out of Bastin. Little did he guess what he was doing.

Bastin thought a while ponderously, then said:

"It is very strange from what peculiar sources Providence sometimes sends inspirations. If wisdom flows from babes and sucklings, why should it not do so from the well of agnostics and


When the World Shook
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The People That Time Forgot by Edgar Rice Burroughs:

creature stood there watching the entrance to our frail sanctuary while I racked my brains in futile endeavor to plan some method of defense or escape. I knew full well that should the bear make a determined effort to get at us, the rocks I had piled as a barrier would come tumbling down about his giant shoulders like a house of cards, and that he would walk directly in upon us.

Ajor, having less knowledge of the effectiveness of firearms than I, and therefore greater confidence in them, entreated me to shoot the beast; but I knew that the chance that I could stop it with a single shot was most remote, while that I should


The People That Time Forgot
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Plain Tales from the Hills by Rudyard Kipling:

schemes of reformation meanwhile, until he threw himself on his bed hopelessly drunk. He suffered next morning.

One night, the big crash came. He was troubled in his own mind over his attempts to make himself "worthy of the friendship" of Mrs. Reiver. The past ten days had been very bad ones, and the end of it all was that he received the arrears of two and three-quarter years of sipping in one attack of delirium tremens of the subdued kind; beginning with suicidal depression, going on to fits and starts and hysteria, and ending with downright raving. As he sat in a chair in front of the fire, or walked up and down the room picking a handkerchief to pieces, you heard what poor Moriarty really thought

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 Master of Ballantrae by Robert Louis Stevenson:

thenceforward? - or in what kind of a position she finds herself to-day? Never. It is your pride to stay and face him out, and she must stay along with you. Oh! my lord's pride - that's the great affair! And yet she is the woman, and you are a great hulking man! She is the woman that you swore to protect; and, more betoken, the own mother of that son of yours!"

"You are speaking very bitterly, Mackellar," said he; "but, the Lord knows, I fear you are speaking very true. I have not proved worthy of my happiness. Bring my lady back."

My lady was waiting near at hand to learn the issue. When I brought her in, my lord took a hand of each of us, and laid them