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Today's Stichomancy for Robert Oppenheimer

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

torpedo struck the ship, in the few moments during the launching of the boats, Danvers was seen speaking to a young American girl. No one actually saw him pass anything to her, but he might have done so. It seems to me quite likely that he entrusted the papers to this girl, believing that she, as a woman, had a greater chance of bringing them safely to shore.

"But if so, where was the girl, and what had she done with the papers? By later advice from America it seemed likely that Danvers had been closely shadowed on the way over. Was this girl in league with his enemies? Or had she, in her turn, been shadowed and either tricked or forced into handing over the


Secret Adversary
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Baby Mine by Margaret Mayo:

door of the office and, without disturbing the injured Andrew, he called sharply to Miss Perkins to come at once and take his letters.

Poor Jimmy! Again he tried in vain to concentrate upon the details of the "cut-glass" industry. Invariably his mind would wander back to the unexpected incidents of the morning. Stopping suddenly in the middle of a letter to a competing firm, he began pacing hurriedly up and down the room.

Had she not feared that her chief might misconstrue any suggestion from her as an act of impertinence, Miss Perkins, having learned all the company's cut-glass quotations by rote,

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

in the disobedient person?

CRITO: Clearly, affecting the body; that is what is destroyed by the evil.

SOCRATES: Very good; and is not this true, Crito, of other things which we need not separately enumerate? In questions of just and unjust, fair and foul, good and evil, which are the subjects of our present consultation, ought we to follow the opinion of the many and to fear them; or the opinion of the one man who has understanding? ought we not to fear and reverence him more than all the rest of the world: and if we desert him shall we not destroy and injure that principle in us which may be assumed to be improved by justice and deteriorated by injustice;--there is such a principle?

CRITO: Certainly there is, Socrates.

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 Chronicles of the Canongate by Walter Scott:

sun rising for the first time since you have seen him set; but yesterday beheld him climb Ben Cruachan, though your eyes were closed to his light."

Hamish cast upon his mother a wild glance of extreme terror, then instantly recovering himself, said, "I am no child to be cheated out of my purpose by such tricks as these. Farewell, mother! each moment is worth a lifetime."

"Stay," she said, "my dear, my deceived son, run not on infamy and ruin. Yonder I see the priest upon the high-road on his white horse. Ask him the day of the month and week; let him decide between us."