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Today's Stichomancy for Harry Houdini

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Amazing Interlude by Mary Roberts Rinehart:

them. So is every one, I suppose. But I want to know if you think a girl of twenty ought to be over there practically at the Front, and alone?" He gave her time to reply. "Would you like to have your daughter there, if you had one?"

"Perhaps not, under ordinary circumstances. But this is war."

"It is not our war."

"Humanity," said Mrs. Gregory, remembering the phrase she had written for a speech -" humanity has no nationality. It is of all men, for all men."

"That's men. Not women!"

He got up and stood on the hearthrug. He was singularly reminiscent of

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini:

"The gentleman is being subtle," sneered Binet.

"Why happier?" Harlequin demanded.

"Because it is easier to bring 'The Heartless Father' to the sophistication of the Guichen audience, than the Guichen audience to the unsophistication of 'The Heartless Father.'"

"Let me think it out," groaned Polichinelle, and he took his head in his hands.

But from the tail of the table Andre-Louis was challenged by Climene who sat there between Columbine and Madame.

"You would alter the comedy, would you, M. Parvissimus?" she cried.

He turned to parry her malice.

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Lady Susan by Jane Austen:

disturbance of all my schemes; and that, too, from a quarter where I had least reason to expect it. Reginald came this morning into my dressing-room with a very unusual solemnity of countenance, and after some preface informed me in so many words that he wished to reason with me on the impropriety and unkindness of allowing Sir James Martin to address my daughter contrary to her inclinations. I was all amazement. When I found that he was not to be laughed out of his design, I calmly begged an explanation, and desired to know by what he was impelled, and by whom commissioned, to reprimand me. He then told me, mixing in his speech a few insolent compliments and ill-timed expressions of tenderness, to which I listened with perfect indifference, that my daughter had acquainted him


Lady Susan
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 Tess of the d'Urbervilles, A Pure Woman by Thomas Hardy:

When the evening milking was done she did not care to be with the rest of them, and went out of doors wandering along she knew not whither. She was wretched--O so wretched--at the perception that to her companions the dairyman's story had been rather a humorous narration than otherwise; none of them but herself seemed to see the sorrow of it; to a certainty, not one knew how cruelly it touched the tender place in her experience. The evening sun was now ugly to her, like a great inflamed wound in the sky. Only a solitary cracked-voice reed-sparrow greeted her from


Tess of the d'Urbervilles, A Pure Woman