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Today's Stichomancy for Orson Welles

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Troll Garden and Selected Stories by Willa Cather:

mornings he spent on one of Charley Gaylord's ponies, or fishing in the mountains, and in the evenings he sat in his room writing letters or reading. In the afternoon he was usually at his post of duty. Destiny, he reflected, seems to have very positive notions about the sort of parts we are fitted to play. The scene changes and the compensation varies, but in the end we usually find that we have played the same class of business from first to last. Everett had been a stopgap all his life. He remembered going through a looking glass labyrinth when he was a boy and trying gallery after gallery, only at every turn to bump his nose against his own face--which, indeed, was not his own, but his


The Troll Garden and Selected Stories
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Gods of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs:

to find a young man standing before me. In one hand he bore a light, in the other a receptacle containing a gruel-like mixture--the common prison fare of Barsoom.

"Zat Arras sends you greetings," said the young man, "and commands me to inform you that though he is fully advised of the plot to make you Jeddak of Helium, he is, however, not inclined to withdraw the offer which he has made you. To gain your freedom you have but to request me to advise Zat Arras that you accept the terms of his proposition."

I but shook my head. The youth said no more, and, after placing the food upon the floor at my side, returned up the


The Gods of Mars
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Talisman by Walter Scott:

King of Jerusalem by compact, and establish those terms of treaty with the Soldan which thou thyself thought'st him so likely to spurn at?"

"Now, by Mahound and Termagaunt, for Christian oaths are out of fashion," said Conrade, "sayest thou the proud King of England would unite his blood with a heathen Soldan? My policy threw in that ingredient to make the whole treaty an abomination to him. As bad for us that he become our master by an agreement, as by victory."

"Thy policy hath ill calculated Richard's digestion," answered the Templar; "I know his mind by a whisper from the Archbishop.

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 Profits of Religion by Upton Sinclair:

discovers that truth is not truth, but only a bait for a snare. Who discovers that professors of ethics, practical or impractical, are not interested in justice among men, but only in collecting funds for their specialty; that in order to get funds, they are willing to teach the rich how to paralyze the minds of the poor! Do you wonder that such young students conclude that bourgeois thinkers do not know what honesty is, but are prostitutes, retainers and lackeys, to be kicked out of the temple of truth?

Running the Rapids

And now, can you form to yourselves a clear concept of what it