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Today's Stichomancy for Kurt Vonnegut

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from American Notes by Rudyard Kipling:

flowers of the summer growing up to the very edge of the lime. That was our first glimpse of the geyser basins.

The buggy had pulled up close to a rough, broken, blistered cone of spelter stuff between ten and twenty feet high. There was trouble in that place--moaning, splashing, gurgling, and the clank of machinery. A spurt of boiling water jumped into the air, and a wash of water followed.

I removed swiftly. The old lady from Chicago shrieked. "What a wicked waste!" said her husband.

I think they call it the Riverside Geyser. Its spout was torn and ragged like the mouth of a gun when a shell has burst there.

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Kenilworth by Walter Scott:

their party, they readily acquiesced in the apology which he offered when a display of his sister's talents was required. The new-comers were invited to partake of the refreshments with which the party were provided; and it was with some difficulty that Wayland Smith obtained an opportunity of being apart with his supposed sister during the meal, of which interval he availed himself to entreat her to forget for the present both her rank and her sorrows, and condescend, as the most probable chance of remaining concealed, to mix in the society of those with whom she was to travel.

The Countess allowed the necessity of the case, and when they

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Scenes from a Courtesan's Life by Honore de Balzac:

"What, is that the apothecary's son she fancied herself in love with, who became a journalist, Mademoiselle Coralie's lover?"

"I fancied he had fallen too low ever to pull himself up again, and I cannot understand how he can show himself again in the world of Paris," said the Comte Sixte du Chatelet.

"He has the air of a prince," the mask went on, "and it is not the actress he lived with who could give it to him. My cousin, who understood him, could not lick him into shape. I should like to know the mistress of this Sargine; tell me something about him that will enable me to mystify him."

This couple, whispering as they watched the young man, became the

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 Familiar Studies of Men and Books by Robert Louis Stevenson:

and freezing air" in which I complained that he had taught himself to breathe. Reading the man through the books, I took his professions in good faith. He made a dupe of me, even as he was seeking to make a dupe of himself, wresting philosophy to the needs of his own sorrow. But in the light of this new fact, those pages, seemingly so cold, are seen to be alive with feeling. What appeared to be a lack of interest in the philosopher turns out to have been a touching insincerity of the man to his own heart; and that fine-spun airy theory of friendship, so devoid, as I complained, of any quality of flesh and blood, a mere anodyne to lull his pains.