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Today's Stichomancy for Simon Bolivar

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Land of Footprints by Stewart Edward White:

Re-examination generally develops new and unexpected beasts. We repeated to each other aloud the results of our scrutiny, always without removing the glasses from our eyes.

"Oryx, one," said F.; "oryx, two."

"Giraffe," reported B., "and a herd of impalla."

I saw another giraffe, and another oryx, then two rhinoceroses.

The three bearers squatted on their heels behind us, their fierce eyes staring straight ahead, seeing with the naked eye what we were finding with six-power glasses.

We turned to descend the hill. In the very centre of the deep shade of a clump of trees, I saw the gleam of a waterbuck's

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

guessed. But he knew. He knew with unerring certitude that could not be deceived by the correct silence of walls, of closed doors, of curtained windows. He was beside himself with a despairing agitation, like a man informed of a deadly secret--the secret of a calamity threatening the safety of mankind--the sacredness, the peace of life.

He caught sight of himself in one of the looking-glasses. It was a relief. The anguish of his feeling had been so powerful that he more than half expected to see some distorted wild face there, and he was pleasantly surprised to see nothing of the kind. His aspect, at any rate, would let no one into the secret of his pain. He examined himself with attention. His trousers were turned up, and his boots a


Tales of Unrest
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Trooper Peter Halket of Mashonaland by Olive Schreiner:

"Hamba! Sucka! Go!" he whispered, motioning his hand.

In an instant a gleam of intelligence shot across the face; then a wild transport. Without a word, without a sound, as the tiger leaps when the wild dogs are on it, with one long, smooth spring, as though unwounded and unhurt, he turned and disappeared into the grass. It closed behind him; but as he went the twigs and leaves cracked under his tread.

The Captain threw back the door of his tent. "Who is there?" he cried.

Peter Halket stood below the tree with the knife in his hand.

The noise roused the whole camp: the men on guard came running; guns were fired: and the half-sleeping men came rushing, grasping their weapons. There was a sound of firing at the little tree; and the cry went round the

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 Voice of the City by O. Henry:

trated. Just try it once. Write a story about a mining camp in Idiho. Sell it. Spend the money, and then, six months later, borrow a quarter (or a dime), and buy the magazine containing it. You find a full-page wash drawing of your hero, Black Bill, the cowboy. Somewhere in your story you em- ployed the word "horse." Aha! the artist has grasped the idea. Black Bill has on the regulation trousers of the M. F. H. of the Westchester County Hunt. He carries a parlor rifle, and wears a mon- ocle. In the distance is a section of Forty-second


The Voice of the City