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Today's Stichomancy for Colin Powell

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from New Poems by Robert Louis Stevenson:

Hark! in your dreams do you hear?

Snow has filled the drifted forest; Ice has bound the . . . stream. Frost has bound our flowing river; Snow has whitened all our island brake.

Berried brake and reedy island, Heaven below and only heaven above azure Through the sky's inverted image Safely swam the boat that bore our love. Dear were your eyes as the day, Bright ran the stream, bright hung the sky above.

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Case of The Lamp That Went Out by Grace Isabel Colbron and Augusta Groner:

this would have shocked Mrs. Klingmayer, for the neatness of her pots and pans was the one great care of her life. But now, strange to relate, she paid no attention to the soup, nor to the smell and the smoke that arose from the stove. She had just come upon a notice in the paper which took her entire attention. She read it through three times, and each time with growing excitement. This is what she read:

MURDER IN HIETZING

This morning at six o'clock the body of a man about 30 years old was discovered in a lane in Hietzing. The man must have been dead many hours. He had been shot from behind. The dead

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from A Horse's Tale by Mark Twain:

yesterday they knew something was going to happen. They were that excited, and whispering around together; why, anybody could see that they - But my! I must get back to her, and I haven't got to my errand yet."

"What is it, Dorcas?"

"Well, it's two or three things. One is, the doctor don't salute when he comes . . . Now, Marse Tom, it ain't anything to laugh at, and so - "

"Well, then, forgive me; I didn't mean to laugh - I got caught unprepared."

"You see, she don't want to hurt the doctor's feelings, so she

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 Lin McLean by Owen Wister:

having stretched the ache out of his long legs, he would return to his ditch. As autumn wore on, his feet grew cold in the mushy gravel they were sunk in. He beat off the sand that had stiffened on his boots, and hated Obo, Nevada. But he held himself ready to say "East" whenever he saw Honey coming along with the bottle. The cold weather put an end to this adventure. The ditches froze and filled with snow, through which the sordid gravel heaps showed in a dreary fashion; so the two friends drifted southward.

Near the small new town of Mesa, Arizona, they sat down again in the dirt. It was milder here, and, when the sun shone, never quite froze. But this part of Arizona is scarcely more grateful to the eye than Nevada.