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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 Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson:

I did not dream of hanging back; I thought (the poor fool!) that I had found a good friend and helper, and I was rejoiced to see the ship. As soon as we were all set in our places, the boat was thrust off from the pier and began to move over the waters: and what with my pleasure in this new movement and my surprise at our low position, and the appearance of the shores, and the growing bigness of the brig as we drew near to it, I could hardly understand what the captain said, and must have answered him at random.

As soon as we were alongside (where I sat fairly gaping at the ship's height, the strong humming of the tide against its sides,


Kidnapped
The second excerpt represents the present or the deciding factor of the moment, and is drawn from The Forged Coupon by Leo Tolstoy:

hanged himself. But at the very moment that his tongue began to protrude the straps got loose, and he fell down. The guard rushed in at the noise. The doctor was called in, Stepan was brought to the infirmary. The next day he recovered, and was removed from the infirmary, no more to soli- tary confinement, but to share the common cell with other prisoners.

In the common cell he lived in the company of twenty men, but felt as if he were quite alone. He did not notice the presence of the rest; did not


The Forged Coupon
The third excerpt represents the future or something you must embrace, and is drawn from The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce:

Is where he died the deadest.

(Old play)

GARGOYLE, n. A rain-spout projecting from the eaves of mediaeval buildings, commonly fashioned into a grotesque caricature of some personal enemy of the architect or owner of the building. This was especially the case in churches and ecclesiastical structures generally, in which the gargoyles presented a perfect rogues' gallery of local heretics and controversialists. Sometimes when a new dean and chapter were installed the old gargoyles were removed and others substituted having a closer relation to the private animosities of the new incumbents.


The Devil's Dictionary