|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Altar of the Dead by Henry James:
which she wore her monstrous character was an effect of gross
immodesty. The character of Paul Creston's wife thus attributed to
her was monstrous for reasons Stransom could judge his friend to
know perfectly that he knew. The happy pair had just arrived from
America, and Stransom hadn't needed to be told this to guess the
nationality of the lady. Somehow it deepened the foolish air that
her husband's confused cordiality was unable to conceal. Stransom
recalled that he had heard of poor Creston's having, while his
bereavement was still fresh, crossed the sea for what people in
such predicaments call a little change. He had found the little
change indeed, he had brought the little change back; it was the
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Pocket Diary Found in the Snow by Grace Isabel Colbron and Augusta Groner:
fist several times, as if deeply moved. He was not a cold man,
only thoroughly self-controlled. In his breast there lived an
unquenchable hatred of all evil. It was this that awakened the
talents which made him the celebrated detective he had become.
"I fear that it will be impossible for any one to save me now, but
perhaps I may be avenged. Therefore I will write down here all
that has happened to me since I set out on my journey." These were
the first words that were written under the mysterious title. Muller
had just read them when the commissioner entered.
"Will you speak to Amster; he has just returned?" he asked.
Muller rose at once. "Certainly. Did you telegraph to all the
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Euthydemus by Plato:
no falsehood or false opinion or ignorance, there can be no such thing as
erroneous action, for a man cannot fail of acting as he is acting--that is
what you mean?
Yes, he replied.
And now, I said, I will ask my stupid question: If there is no such thing
as error in deed, word, or thought, then what, in the name of goodness, do
you come hither to teach? And were you not just now saying that you could
teach virtue best of all men, to any one who was willing to learn?
And are you such an old fool, Socrates, rejoined Dionysodorus, that you
bring up now what I said at first--and if I had said anything last year, I
suppose that you would bring that up too--but are non-plussed at the words
|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 Tom Grogan by F. Hopkinson Smith:
lady blushed scarlet, but whether from sympathy for Quigg or
admiration for Nilsson, Cully was unable to decide.
Quigg's failure to coax away one of Tom's men ended active
operations against Tom, so far as the Union was concerned. It
continued to listen to McGaw's protests, but, with an eye open for
its own interests, replied that if Grogan's men would not be
enticed away it could at present take no further action. His
trouble with Tom was an individual matter, and a little patience
on McGaw's part was advised. The season's work was over, and
nothing of importance could be done until the opening of the
spring business. If Tom's men struck now, she would be glad to