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Today's Stichomancy for Philip K. Dick

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Eve and David by Honore de Balzac:

for the morrow. Upon this Petit-Claud intervened and put in a claim for the furniture as the wife's property duly separated from her husband's; and what was more, Petit-Claud produced Sechard senior upon the scene of action. The old vinegrower had become his client on this wise. He came to Angouleme on the day after Eve's visit, and went to Maitre Cachan for advice. His son owed him arrears of rent; how could he come by this rent in the scrimmage in which his son was engaged?

"I am engaged by the other side," pronounced Cachan, "and I cannot appear for the father when I am suing the son; but go to Petit-Claud, he is very clever, he may perhaps do even better for you than I should do."

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Octopus by Frank Norris:

behind one of those many windows, in one of those many offices, his hand upon the levers of his mighty engine, sat the master, Shelgrim himself.

Instantly, upon the realisation of this fact an ungovernable desire seized upon Presley, an inordinate curiosity. Why not see, face to face, the man whose power was so vast, whose will was so resistless, whose potency for evil so limitless, the man who for so long and so hopelessly they had all been fighting. By reputation he knew him to be approachable; why should he not then approach him? Presley took his resolution in both hands. If he failed to act upon this impulse, he knew he would never act at

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Fisherman's Luck by Henry van Dyke:

With my eyes shut, I can call up a vision of eight birch-bark canoes floating side by side on Moosehead Lake, on a fair June morning, fifteen years ago. They are anchored off Green Island, riding easily on the long, gentle waves. In the stern of each canoe there is a guide with a long-handled net; in the bow, an angler with a light fly-rod; in the middle, a smudge-kettle, smoking steadily. In the air to the windward of the little fleet hovers a swarm of flies drifting down on the shore breeze, with bloody purpose in their breasts, but baffled by the protecting smoke. In the water to the leeward plays a school of speckled trout, feeding on the minnows that hang around the sunken ledges of rock. As a larger wave than

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 Brother of Daphne by Dornford Yates:

"Yes, please."

"To the Hall?"

"Even as you are."

"How did you know?"

"The sensitive bag had a label."

"Oh, I believe you're one of Berry and Co."

"Look here," I said, "you mustn't judge me by my company. If my relatives and connections by marriage like to make themselves infamous, that is no fault of mine. They have made their beds. Let them lie on them. I will recline upon my humble, but separate couch."


The Brother of Daphne