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Today's Stichomancy for Oprah Winfrey

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from To-morrow by Joseph Conrad:

--and you women always had to get me out of my scrapes."

He swaggered up to the parlour window, and in the dim light filtering through the blind, looked at the coin lying in his palm. It was a half-sovereign. He slipped it into his pocket. She stood a little on one side, with her head drooping, as if wounded; with her arms hanging passive by her side, as if dead.

"You can't buy me in," he said, "and you can't buy yourself out."

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Black Dwarf by Walter Scott:

the principal person, and holding him by the reins as he dismounted, while his ostler rendered the same service to the attendant, welcomed the stranger to Gandercleugh, and, in the same breath, enquired, "What news from the south hielands?"

"News?" said the farmer, "bad eneugh news, I think;--an we can carry through the yowes, it will be a' we can do; we maun e'en leave the lambs to the Black Dwarfs care."

"Ay, ay," subjoined the old shepherd (for such he was), shaking his head, "he'll be unco busy amang the morts this season."

"The Black Dwarf!" said MY LEARNED FRIEND AND PATRON, Mr. Jedediah Cleishbotham, "and what sort of a personage may he be?"

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Young Forester by Zane Grey:

sounds and the clear, cold night seemed to fade away.

When Dick roused me the forest was shrouded in gray, cold fog. No time was lost in getting breakfast, driving in the horses, and packing. Hardly any words were exchanged. My comrades appeared even soberer than on the day before. The fog lifted quickly that morning, and soon the sun was shining.

We got under way at once, and took to the trail at a jog-trot. I knew my horse better and he was more used to me, which made it at least bearable to both of us. Before long the canyon widened out into the level forest land thickly studded with magnificent pines. I had again the feeling of awe and littleness. Everything was solemn and still. The morning air was cool, and dry as toast; the smell of pitch-pine choked my nostrils. We rode briskly

The Young Forester
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 Voice of the City by O. Henry:

won't work."

Kernan turned to Woods with a diabolic smile.

"I've got him going. He believes me now. He didn't quite cover the transmitter with his hand when he told somebody to call up Central on another 'phone and get our number. I'll give him just one more dig, and then we'll make a 'get-away.'

"Hello! . . . Yes. I'm here yet. You didn't think -- I'd run from such a little subsidized, turn- coat rag of a newspaper, did you? . . . Have me inside of forty-eight hours? Say, will you quit

The Voice of the City