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Today's Stichomancy for Steve Martin

The first excerpt represents the past or something you must release, and is drawn from The Brother of Daphne by Dornford Yates:

You'll have to bend down."

"Go on."

"Nerve yourself for the shock, Circe. Think you can stand it?"

"I'll try. Keep your back to the mare."

"Thank you."

I heard her lean over and struck the match on the tire, I raised it cautiously, sheltering it with my hands. Just as I was about to raise my eyes:

"Thank you," she said, very softly, and blew it out.

I laid my hands on her shoulders.

"I won't say 'damn,'" I said. "I'Il say 'good-bye' instead,

The Brother of Daphne
The second excerpt represents the present or the deciding factor of the moment, and is drawn from Domestic Peace by Honore de Balzac:

Madame de Vaudremont below the crowd of heads in constant motion; the high head-dresses prevent her having a clear view."

"I see her now, my dear fellow. You had only to say that she had the whitest skin of all the women here; I should have known whom you meant. I had noticed her before; she has the loveliest complexion I ever admired. From hence I defy you to see against her throat the pearls between the sapphires of her necklace. But she is a prude or a coquette, for the tucker of her bodice scarcely lets one suspect the beauty of her bust. What shoulders! what lily-whiteness!"

"Who is she?" asked the first speaker.

"Ah! that I do not know."

The third excerpt represents the future or something you must embrace, and is drawn from Adam Bede by George Eliot:

arms around you. But before we got to Hetton, brother Marlowe was seized with a dizziness that made him afraid of falling, for he overworked himself sadly, at his years, in watching and praying, and walking so many miles to speak the Word, as well as carrying on his trade of linen-weaving. And when we got to the village, the people were expecting him, for he'd appointed the time and the place when he was there before, and such of them as cared to hear the Word of Life were assembled on a spot where the cottages was thickest, so as others might be drawn to come. But he felt as he couldn't stand up to preach, and he was forced to lie down in the first of the cottages we came to. So I went to tell the people,

Adam Bede