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Today's Stichomancy for John Von Neumann

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Mucker by Edgar Rice Burroughs:

quite reconcile himself to the more than apparent adoration which marked his friend's attitude toward Barbara.

As daylight waned the fugitives realized from the shuffling gait of their mounts, from drooping heads and dull eyes that rest was imperative. They themselves were fagged, too, and when a ranchhouse loomed in front of them they decided to halt for much-needed recuperation.

Here they found three Americans who were totally unaware of Villa's contemplated raid across the border, and who when they were informed of it were doubly glad to welcome six extra carbines, for Barbara not only was armed but was


The Mucker
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from La Grande Breteche by Honore de Balzac:

was in the cupboard; nevertheless, a doubt, ringing in his ears like a peal of bells, put him on his guard; he looked at his wife, and read in her eyes an indescribably anxious and haunted expression.

" 'You are very late,' said she.--Her voice, usually so clear and sweet, struck him as being slightly husky.

"Monsieur de Merret made no reply, for at this moment Rosalie came in. This was like a thunder-clap. He walked up and down the room, going from one window to another at a regular pace, his arms folded.

" 'Have you had bad news, or are you ill?' his wife asked him timidly, while Rosalie helped her to undress. He made no reply.

" 'You can go, Rosalie,' said Madame de Merret to her maid; 'I can put


La Grande Breteche
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Fables by Robert Louis Stevenson:

"The first thing," said the second, "is to abolish the laws."

"The first thing," said the third, "is to abolish mankind."

X. - THE MAN AND HIS FRIEND.

A MAN quarrelled with his friend.

"I have been much deceived in you," said the man.

And the friend made a face at him and went away.

A little after, they both died, and came together before the great white Justice of the Peace. It began to look black for the friend, but the man for a while had a clear character and was getting in good spirits.

"I find here some record of a quarrel," said the justice, looking

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 Modeste Mignon by Honore de Balzac:

Bastie was an officer of the Legion of honor and major of a regiment of cavalry. Taken prisoner by the Russians he was sent, like so many others, to Siberia. He made the journey in company with another prisoner, a poor lieutenant, in whom he recognized his old friend Jean Dumay, brave, neglected, undecorated, unhappy, like a million of other woollen epaulets, rank and file--that canvas of men on which Napoleon painted the picture of the Empire. While in Siberia, the lieutenant- colonel, to kill time, taught writing and arithmetic to the Breton, whose early education had seemed a useless waste of time to Pere Scevola. Charles found in the old comrade of his marching days one of those rare hearts into which a man can pour his griefs while telling


Modeste Mignon