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Today's Stichomancy for Mikhail Gorbachev

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:

won her loyalty and her silence for the time being.

Slipping the key into the pocket of his tunic and covering the bundle with his long surcoat, De Vac stepped out into the darkness of the alley and hastened toward the dock.

Beneath the planks he found a skiff which he had moored there earlier in the evening, and underneath one of the thwarts he hid the bundle. Then, casting off, he rowed slowly up the Thames until, below the palace walls, he moored near to the little postern gate which let into the lower end of the garden.


The Outlaw of Torn
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Across The Plains by Robert Louis Stevenson:

altogether steady on his legs nor (to all appearance) easy in his mind. The pair had reached the middle of the bridge when (as I conceive the scene) the poor tippler started in some baseless fear and looked behind him; the child, already shaken by the minister's strange behaviour, started also; in so doing, she would jerk the lantern; and for the space of a moment the lights and the shadows would be all confounded. Then it was that to the unhinged toper and the twittering child, a huge bulk of blackness seemed to sweep down, to pass them close by as they stood upon the bridge, and to vanish on the farther side in the general darkness of the night. "Plainly the devil come for Mr. Thomson!" thought the child. What

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Glimpses of the Moon by Edith Wharton:

the sense that another lady was also examining it, Mrs. Vanderlyn turned in surprise at sight of Susy, whose head was critically bent above the fur.

"Susy! I'd no idea you were here! I saw in the papers that you were with the Gillows." The customary embraces followed; then Mrs. Vanderlyn, her eyes pursuing the matchless cloak as it disappeared down a vista of receding mannequins, interrogated sharply: "Are you shopping for Ursula? If you mean to order that cloak for her I'd rather know."

Susy smiled, and paused a moment before answering. During the pause she took in all the exquisite details of Ellie Vanderlyn's

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 Faraday as a Discoverer by John Tyndall:

water is flowing there electric currents should be formed. If a line be imagined passing from Dover to Calais through the sea, and returning through the land, beneath the water, to Dover, it traces out a circuit of conducting matter one part of which, when the water moves up or down the channel, is cutting the magnetic curves of the earth, whilst the other is relatively at rest.... There is every reason to believe that currents do run in the general direction of the circuit described, either one way or the other, according as the passage of the waters is up or down the channel.' This was written before the submarine cable was thought of, and he once informed me that actual observation upon that cable had been found to be in