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Today's Stichomancy for Ken Nordine

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

in a towering rage. As he rushed, bull-like, toward Norman of Torn, the latter made no move to draw; he but stood with folded arms, eyeing Shandy with cold, level gaze; his head held high, haughty face marked by an arrogant sneer of contempt.

The great ruffian paused, then stopped, slowly a sheepish smile overspread his countenance and going upon one knee he took the hand of Norman of Torn and kissed it, as some great and loyal noble knight might have kissed his king's hand in proof of his love and fealty. There was a certain rude, though chivalrous


The Outlaw of Torn
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Tao Teh King by Lao-tze:

superior man;--he uses them only on the compulsion of necessity. Calm and repose are what he prizes; victory (by force of arms) is to him undesirable. To consider this desirable would be to delight in the slaughter of men; and he who delights in the slaughter of men cannot get his will in the kingdom.

3. On occasions of festivity to be on the left hand is the prized position; on occasions of mourning, the right hand. The second in command of the army has his place on the left; the general commanding in chief has his on the right;--his place, that is, is assigned to him as in the rites of mourning. He who has killed multitudes of men should weep for them with the bitterest grief; and the victor in

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg by Mark Twain:

place where feeble and foolish people are most vulnerable. So I disguised myself and came back and studied you. You were easy game. You had an old and lofty reputation for honesty, and naturally you were proud of it--it was your treasure of treasures, the very apple of your eye. As soon as I found out that you carefully and vigilantly kept yourselves and your children OUT OF TEMPTATION, I knew how to proceed. Why, you simple creatures, the weakest of all weak things is a virtue which has not been tested in the fire. I laid a plan, and gathered a list of names. My project was to corrupt Hadleyburg the Incorruptible. My idea was to make liars and thieves of nearly half a hundred smirchless men and women who had


The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg
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 Vailima Letters by Robert Louis Stevenson:

road before Apia, I heard a gun fire; and lo, there was a great crowd at the end of the pier, and the troops out, and a chief or two in the height of Samoa finery, and Seumanu coming in his boat (the oarsmen all in uniform), bringing the Faamasino Sili sure enough. It was lucky he was no longer; the natives would not have waited many weeks. But think of it, as I sat in the saddle at the outside of the crowd (looking, the English consul said, as if I were commanding the manoeuvres), I was nearly knocked down by a stampede of the three consuls; they had been waiting their guest at the Matafele end, and some wretched intrigue among the whites had