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Today's Stichomancy for Sean Astin

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Mother by Owen Wister:

has been slightly remodelled for separate publication.

June 7, 1907, OWEN WISTER

MOTHER

When handsome young Richard Field--he was very handsome and very young-- announced to our assembled company that if his turn should really come to tell us a story, the story should be no invention of his fancy, but a page of truth, a chapter from his own life, in which himself was the hero and a lovely, innocent girl was the heroine, his wife at once looked extremely uncomfortable. She changed the reclining position in which she had been leaning back in her chair, and she sat erect, with a hand closed upon each arm of the chair.

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from End of the Tether by Joseph Conrad:

hanging over his left eye and switching a little cane in his hand, and told each one of the clerks separately that "Nobody could put him out now. It was his turn. There was no one over him on earth, and there never would be either." He swaggered and strutted between the desks, talking at the top of his voice, and trembling like a leaf all the while, so that the current business of the office was suspended for the time he was in there, and everybody in the big room stood open-mouthed looking at his antics. Afterwards he could be seen during the hottest hours of the day with his face as


End of the Tether
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Case of The Lamp That Went Out by Grace Isabel Colbron and Augusta Groner:

With hands that did not tremble, the dealer busied himself about his customer, listening all the while to sounds in the street in the hope that his tete-e-tete with the murderer would soon be over. But in spite of all his natural anxiety, the old man's sharp eyes took cognizance of various things, one of which was that the man whom he was helping to dress in his new clothes did not have the watch which was described in the police notice. This fact, however, did not make the old man's heart any lighter, for the purse mended with yellow thread was too clearly the one stolen from the murdered man found in the quiet street in Hietzing.

"What's the matter with you, you're so slow? I can get along

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 Black Dwarf by Walter Scott:

had the interview with the young ladies, within the precincts of his garden. Evening again found him seated on his favourite stone. The sun setting red, and among seas of rolling clouds, threw a gloomy lustre over the moor, and gave a deeper purple to the broad outline of heathy mountains which surrounded this desolate spot. The Dwarf sate watching the clouds as they lowered above each other in masses of conglomerated vapours, and, as a strong lurid beam of the sinking luminary darted full on his solitary and uncouth figure, he might well have seemed the demon of the storm which was gathering, or some gnome summoned forth from the recesses of the earth by the subterranean signals of its