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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 A Drama on the Seashore by Honore de Balzac:

doubt serves to feed the stagnant salt-pools, we noticed with relief the puny vegetation which sprouted through the sand of the beach. As we crossed, we saw the island on which the Cambremers had lived; but we turned away our heads.

Arriving at the hotel, we noticed a billiard-table, and finding that it was the only billiard-table in Croisic, we made our preparations to leave during the night. The next day we went to Guerande. Pauline was still sad, and I myself felt a return of that fever of the brain which will destroy me. I was so cruelly tortured by the visions that came to me of those three lives, that Pauline said at last,--

"Louis, write it all down; that will change the nature of the fever

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Twelve Stories and a Dream by H. G. Wells:

'Boo.' No, it wasn't--not a bit dreadful. I'd dined. I'd had a bottle of champagne, and being all alone, perhaps two or three--perhaps even four or five--whiskies, so I was as solid as rocks and no more frightened than if I'd been assailed by a frog. 'Boo!' I said. 'Nonsense. You don't belong to THIS place. What are you doing here?'

"I could see him wince. 'Boo-oo,' he said.

"'Boo--be hanged! Are you a member?' I said; and just to show I didn't care a pin for him I stepped through a corner of him and made to light my candle. 'Are you a member?' I repeated, looking at him sideways.

"He moved a little so as to stand clear of me, and his bearing

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Almayer's Folly by Joseph Conrad:

the high step, while Ford smoked his pipe on the settee inside. The steamer was leaving next morning, and the old statesman came as usual for a last chat.

"We had news from Bali last moon," remarked Babalatchi. "A grandson is born to the old Rajah, and there is great rejoicing."

Ford sat up interested.

"Yes," went on Babalatchi, in answer to Ford's look. "I told him. That was before he began to smoke."

"Well, and what?" asked Ford.

"I escaped with my life," said Babalatchi, with perfect gravity, "because the white man is very weak and fell as he rushed upon


Almayer's Folly
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 Goodness of St. Rocque and Other Stories by Alice Dunbar:

Odalie could hear the jingle of folly bells on the maskers' costumes, the tinkle of music, and the echoing strains of songs. Up to her ears there floated the laughter of the older maskers, and the screams of the little children frightened at their own images under the mask and domino. What a hurry to be out and in the motley merry throng, to be pacing Royal Street to Canal Street, where was life and the world!

They were tired eyes with which Odalie looked at the gay pageant at last, tired with watching throng after throng of maskers, of the unmasked, of peering into the cartsful of singing minstrels, into carriages of revellers, hoping for a glimpse of Pierre the


The Goodness of St. Rocque and Other Stories