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Today's Stichomancy for Toni Braxton

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Bucky O'Connor by William MacLeod Raine:

whose strong, lean head rose confidently above the press. There was the momentary whirl of a scuffle, out of the tangle of which shot a brakeman as if propelled from a catapult. The circle parted, brushed aside by a pair of lean shoulders, muscular and broad. Yet a few moments and the owner of the shoulders led down the aisle to the vacant section opposite her a procession whose tail was composed of protesting trainmen.

"You had no right to flag the train, Sheriff Collins, and you'll have to get off; that's all there is to it," the conductor was explaining testily.

"Oh, that's all right," returned the offender with easy good

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Glimpses of the Moon by Edith Wharton:

sound so unnatural on his lips.

"No," she said, with a laugh, "they simply think, for the present, that you're giving me pearls and chinchilla cloaks."

He wrinkled his brows good-humouredly. "Well, so I would, with joy--at this particular minute. Don't you think perhaps you'd better take advantage of it? I don't wish to insist--but I foresee that I'm much too rich not to become stingy."

She gave a slight shrug. "At present there's nothing I loathe more than pearls and chinchilla, or anything else in the world that's expensive and enviable ...."

Suddenly she broke off, colouring with the consciousness that

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Forged Coupon by Leo Tolstoy:

But it was not she. Before his eyes, which were wide open and blinking at the light, she, that charming and beautiful creature whom he was expecting, did not stand, but HE stood. Who HE was the young Tsar did not know, but somehow it did not strike him that he was a stranger whom he had never seen before. It seemed as if he had known him for a long time and was fond of him, and as if he trusted him as he would trust himself. He had expected his beloved wife, but in her stead that man whom he had never seen


The Forged Coupon
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 Lock and Key Library by Julian Hawthorne, Ed.:

. . . . .

The conclusion of this extraordinary manuscript was in such a state, that, in fifteen moldy and crumbling pages, Melmoth could hardly make out that number of lines. No antiquarian, unfolding with trembling hand the calcined leaves of an Herculaneum manuscript, and hoping to discover some lost lines of the Aeneis in Virgil's own autograph, or at least some unutterable abomination of Petronius or Martial, happily elucidatory of the mysteries of the Spintriae, or the orgies of the Phallic worshipers, ever pored with more luckless diligence, or shook a head of more hopeless despondency over his task. He could but just make out what tended