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Today's Stichomancy for Oprah Winfrey

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

the springs both of mirth and of melancholy in the ancient maidenliness with which Mrs. Bread endeavored to comply with these directions. She was not playing at being fluttered, which would have been simply ridiculous; she was doing her best to carry herself as a person so humble that, for her, even embarrassment would have been pretentious; but evidently she had never dreamed of its being in her horoscope to pay a visit, at night-fall, to a friendly single gentleman who lived in theatrical-looking rooms on one of the new Boulevards.

"I truly hope I am not forgetting my place, sir," she murmured.

"Forgetting your place?" cried Newman. "Why, you are remembering it. This is your place, you know. You are already in my service;

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Mad King by Edgar Rice Burroughs:

king to Blentz. Some action must be taken immediately--it would never do to let this breach of treaty pass unnoticed.

The Serbian minister who had sent word to the chancellor of the invasion by the Austrian troops was closeted with him for an hour after his arrival at the palace. It was clear to both these men that the hand of Zellerndorf was plainly in evidence in both the important moves that had occurred in Lutha within the past twenty-four hours--the luring of the king to Blentz and the entrance of Austrian soldiery into Lutha.

Following his interview with the Serbian minister Von der


The Mad King
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie:

intoxicated with the success of truthfulness.

Mr. Whittington brought his fist down upon the desk with a bang.

"Quit fooling! How much do you know? And how much do you want?"

The last five words took Tuppence's fancy mightily, especially after a meagre breakfast and a supper of buns the night before. Her present part was of the adventuress rather than the adventurous order, but she did not deny its possibilities. She sat up and smiled with the air of one who has the situation thoroughly well in hand.

"My dear Mr. Whittington," she said, "let us by all means lay our cards upon the table. And pray do not be so angry. You heard me


Secret Adversary
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 In a German Pension by Katherine Mansfield: