|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart:
THE OTHER HALF OF THE LINE
"Miss Innes," the detective began, "what is your opinion of the
figure you saw on the east veranda the night you and your maid
were in the house alone?"
"It was a woman," I said positively.
"And yet your maid affirms with equal positiveness that it was a
"Nonsense," I broke in. "Liddy had her eyes shut--she always
shuts them when she's frightened."
"And you never thought then that the intruder who came later that
night might be a woman--the woman, in fact, whom you saw on the
The Circular Staircase
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Ursula by Honore de Balzac:
"Monsieur l'abbe," said the old man to the priest, who remained beside
his friend after administering the communion, "help me to die in
peace. My heirs, like those of Cardinal Ximenes, are capable of
pillaging the house before my death, and I have no monkey to revive
me. Go and tell them I will have none of them in my house."
The priest and the doctor of the town went downstairs and repeated the
message of the dying man, adding, in their indignation, strong words
of their own.
"Madame Bougival," said the doctor, "close the iron gate and allow no
one to enter; even the dying, it seems, can have no peace. Prepare
mustard poultices and apply them to the soles of Monsieur's feet."