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Today's Stichomancy for Leo Tolstoy

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Lone Star Ranger by Zane Grey:

pass. There arrived an hour when, closely pressed by pursuers at the extreme southern corner of the brake, he took to a dense thicket of willows, driven to what he believed was his last stand.

If only these human bloodhounds would swiftly close in on him! Let him fight to the last bitter gasp and have it over! But these hunters, eager as they were to get him, had care of their own skins. They took few risks. They had him cornered.

It was the middle of the day, hot, dusty, oppressive, threatening storm. Like a snake Duane crawled into a little space in the darkest part of the thicket and lay still. Men had


The Lone Star Ranger
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Father Sergius by Leo Tolstoy:

ideal and angelic purity in their women, regarded all unmarried women of their circle as possessed of such purity, and treated them accordingly. There was much that was false and harmful in this outlook, as concerning the laxity the men permitted themselves, but in regard to the women that old-fashioned view (sharply differing from that held by young people to-day who see in every girl merely a female seeking a mate) was, I think, of value. The girls, perceiving such adoration, endeavoured with more or less success to be goddesses.

Such was the view Kasatsky held of women, and that was how he regarded his fiancee. He was particularly in love that day, but

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

seems to us, perhaps, a dangerous lie, who can extend our restricted field of knowledge, and rouse our drowsy consciences. Something that seems quite new, or that seems insolently false or very dangerous, is the test of a reader. If he tries to see what it means, what truth excuses it, he has the gift, and let him read. If he is merely hurt, or offended, or exclaims upon his author's folly, he had better take to the daily papers; he will never be a reader.

And here, with the aptest illustrative force, after I have laid down my part-truth, I must step in with its opposite. For, after all, we are vessels of a very limited content.

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 Glimpses of the Moon by Edith Wharton:

children whom she was living with while their parents travelled in Italy. Rumours of Nat Fulmer's sudden ascension had reached him, and he had heard that the couple had lately been seen in Naples and Palermo. No one had mentioned Susy's name in connection with them, and he could hardly tell why he had arrived at this conclusion, except perhaps because it seemed natural that, if Susy were in trouble, she should turn to her old friend Grace.

But why in trouble? What trouble? What could have happened to check her triumphant career?

"That's what I mean to find out!" he exclaimed.