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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 The Damnation of Theron Ware by Harold Frederic:

She had a depressed and thoughtful air, and spoke to him like one whose mind was on something else. Neither of them alluded to what had happened the previous evening. Toward the close of the long day, she came to ask him whether he would prefer her to remain in the house, instead of attending the meeting.

"Go, by all means," he said almost curtly.

The Presiding Elder and the Sunday-school superintendent called early Tuesday morning at the parsonage to make brotherly inquiries, and Theron was feeling so much better that he himself suggested their coming upstairs to see him.


The Damnation of Theron Ware
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Profits of Religion by Upton Sinclair:

to-day throughout the world; that is to say, institutions having fixed dogmas and "revelations", creeds and rituals, with an administering caste claiming supernatural sanction. By such institutions the moral strivings of the race, the affections of childhood and the aspirations of youth are made the prerogatives and stock in trade of ecclesiastical hierarchies. It is the thesis of this book that "Religion" in this sense is a source of income to parasites, and the natural ally of every form of oppression and exploitation.

If by my jesting at "Bootstrap-lifting" I have wounded some dear prejudice of the reader, let me endeavor to speak in a more

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Breaking Point by Mary Roberts Rinehart:

It was somewhat later, when the peace of good tobacco had relaxed him into a sort of benignant drowsiness, and when Dick had started for his late afternoon calls, that Lucy came into the room.

"Elizabeth Wheeler's downstairs," she said. "I told her you wanted to see her. She's brought some chicken jelly, too."

She gathered up the tissue paper that surrounded him, and gave the room a critical survey. She often felt that the nurse was not as tidy as she might be. Then she went over to him and put a hand on his shoulder.

"I don't want to worry you, David. Not now. But if he's going to marry her - "


The Breaking Point
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 Man in Lower Ten by Mary Roberts Rinehart:

I was just a bit dizzy. Curious faces through the car were turned toward us, and I could hear the porter behind me breathing audibly. A stout woman in negligee came down the aisle and querulously confronted the porter. She wore a pink dressing-jacket and carried portions of her clothing.

"Porter," she began, in the voice of the lady who had "dangled," "is there a rule of this company that will allow a woman to occupy the dressing-room for one hour and curl her hair with an alcohol lamp while respectable people haven't a place where they can hook their - "

She stopped suddenly and stared into lower ten. Her shining pink


The Man in Lower Ten