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Today's Stichomancy for Fidel Castro

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Shadow Line by Joseph Conrad:

steel plate in the calm.

I went below, not because I meant to take some rest, but simply because I couldn't bear to look at it just then. The indefatigable Ransome was busy in the saloon. It had become a regular practice with him to give me an informal health report in the morning. He turned away from the sideboard with his usual pleasant, quiet gaze. No shadow rested on his intelligent forehead.

"There are a good many of them middling bad this morning, sir," he said in a calm tone.


The Shadow Line
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Breaking Point by Mary Roberts Rinehart:

about, a beady inquisitive eye now on one, now on the other of them.

"She's a good girl, Lucy."

"That's not the point, is it?"

"Do you think she cares for him?"

"I don't know. There's some talk of Wallie Sayre. He's there a good bit."

"Wallie Sayre!" snorted David. "He's never done a day's work in his life and never will." He reflected on that with growing indignation. "He doesn't hold a candle to Dick. Of course, if the girl's a fool - "

Hands thrust deep into his pockets David took a turn about the room.


The Breaking Point
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Heritage of the Desert by Zane Grey:

He inserted a hand into one of his saddle-bags expecting to find some strips of meat. The bag was empty. He felt in the other one, and under the grain he found what he sought. The canteen lay in the coil of his lasso tied to the saddle, and its heavy canvas covering was damp to his touch. With that he thrust the long Winchester into its saddle-sheath, and swung his leg over the mustang.

The house of the Naabs was dark and still. The dying council-fire cast flickering shadows under the black cottonwoods where the Navajos slept. The faint breeze that rustled the leaves brought the low sullen roar of the river.

Hare guided Bolly into the thick dust of the lane, laid the bridle


The Heritage of the Desert
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 Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad:

She must! The stillness was intolerable. Were we standing still?

When I opened my eyes the second view started my heart with a thump. The black southern hill of Koh-ring seemed to hang right over the ship like a towering fragment of everlasting night. On that enormous mass of blackness there was not a gleam to be seen, not a sound to be heard. It was gliding irresistibly towards us and yet seemed already within reach of the hand. I saw the vague figures of the watch grouped in the waist, gazing in awed silence.

"Are you going on, sir?" inquired an unsteady voice at my elbow.

I ignored it. I had to go on.


The Secret Sharer