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Today's Stichomancy for Jack Kerouac

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Europeans by Henry James:

He was trying to follow this argument.

Robert Acton took his hands out of his pockets and came a little nearer to the Baroness. "You say you gain by being known," he said. "One certainly gains by knowing you."

"What have you gained?" asked Eugenia.

"An immense amount of wisdom."

"That 's a questionable advantage for a man who was already so wise!"

Acton shook his head. "No, I was a great fool before I knew you!"

"And being a fool you made my acquaintance? You are very complimentary."

"Let me keep it up," said Acton, laughing. "I hope, for our pleasure, that your brother's marriage will detain you."

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy:

started on her way.

She did not attempt to delude herself with any vain and futile hopes; the safety of her brother Armand was to have been conditional on the imminent capture of the Scarlet Pimpernel. As Chauvelin had sent her back Armand's compromising letter, there was no doubt that he was quite satisfied in his own mind that Percy Blakeney was the man whose death he had sworn to bring about.

No! there was no room for any fond delusions! Percy, the husband whom she loved with all the ardour which her admiration for his bravery had kindled, was in immediate, deadly peril, through her hand. She had betrayed him to his enemy--unwittingly `tis true--but


The Scarlet Pimpernel
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Pocket Diary Found in the Snow by Grace Isabel Colbron and Augusta Groner:

different writing here. The hand that penned these words must have trembled in deadly terror. Was it terror of coming death, foreseen and not to be escaped? or was it the trembling and the terror of an overthrown brain? It was undoubtedly, in spite of the difference, the same hand that had penned the first pages of the book. A few characteristic turns of the writing were plainly to be seen in both parts of the story. But the ink was quite different also. The first pages had been written with a delicate violet ink, the later leaves were penned with a black ink of uneven quality, of the kind used by poor people who write very seldom. The words of this later portion of the book were blurred in many places, as if the writer

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 Mother by Owen Wister:

makes ducks and drakes of it in her son's office. Is he at Hyde Park now?' Hyde Park was where the old Beverly country seat had always been."

"'No,' I answered. 'He went to Europe early last month.'"

"'Very likely he took her with him. She is probably at Monte Carlo.'"

"'Scarcely in August, I fancy. And I'll tell you what, Ethel. I have been counting it up. She has lost twenty-four thousand dollars in the Standard Egg alone. It takes a good deal of surplus to stand that.'"

"'Serve her right,' said Ethel 'And I would say so to her face.'"

"September brought freshness to the stock market but not to me. Mr. Beverly, like the well-to-do man that he was, remained away in Europe until October should require his presence as a guiding hand in the