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Today's Stichomancy for Monica Potter

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie:

He pulled a crumpled envelope out of his pocket, and tossed it over to me. It was rather a curious document. A plain, dirty looking old envelope with a few words scrawled across it, apparently at random. The following is a facsimile of it.

CHAPTER V. "IT ISN'T STRYCHNINE, IS IT?"

"Where did you find this?" I asked Poirot, in lively curiosity.

"In the waste-paper basket. You recognise the handwriting?"

"Yes, it is Mrs. Inglethorp's. But what does it mean?"

Poirot shrugged his shoulders.

"I cannot say--but it is suggestive."

A wild idea flashed across me. Was it possible that Mrs.


The Mysterious Affair at Styles
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from An Old Maid by Honore de Balzac:

and regarded it as a meritorious deed to accept the degradation in which her husband placed her. The fulfilment of his will never once caused her to murmur. The timid sheep went henceforth in the way the shepherd led her; she gave herself up to the severest religious practices, and thought no more of Satan and his works and vanities. Thus she presented to the eyes of the world a union of all Christian virtues; and du Bousquier was certainly one of the luckiest men in the kingdom of France and of Navarre.

"She will be a simpleton to her last breath," said the former collector, who, however, dined with her twice a week.

This history would be strangely incomplete if no mention were made of

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Woodlanders by Thomas Hardy:

"Oh no--not especially. He has a great many patients to see this afternoon."

Melbury came quite close. "Grace, what's the use of talking like that, when you know--Here, come down and walk with me out in the garden, child."

He unfastened the door in the ivy-laced wall, and waited. This apparent indifference alarmed him. He would far rather that she had rushed in all the fire of jealousy to Hintock House, regardless of conventionality, confronted and attacked Felice Charmond unguibus et rostro, and accused her even in exaggerated shape of stealing away her husband. Such a storm might have


The Woodlanders
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 Amy Foster by Joseph Conrad:

abroad, he invited me to stay with him. I came readily enough, and as he could not neglect his patients to keep me company, he took me on his rounds--thirty miles or so of an afternoon, some- times. I waited for him on the roads; the horse reached after the leafy twigs, and, sitting in the dogcart, I could hear Kennedy's laugh through the half-open door left open of some cottage. He had a big, hearty laugh that would have fitted a man twice his size, a brisk manner, a bronzed face, and a pair of grey, profoundly attentive eyes. He


Amy Foster