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Today's Stichomancy for Rebecca Gayheart

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Mad King by Edgar Rice Burroughs:

scene. It tilted slightly forward upon its wire support. As Barney's opened it chanced that they were directed straight upon the shiny glass of the picture. The light from the window struck the glass in such a way as to transform it into a mirror. The American's eyes were glued with horror upon the reflection that he saw there--an old man swinging a huge ax down upon his head.

It is an open question as to which of the two was the most surprised at the cat-like swiftness of the movement that carried Barney Custer out of that bed and landed him in temporary safety upon the opposite side.

The Mad King
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from In the Cage by Henry James:

toward the far corners at all? It wasn't the combinations, which were easily managed: the strain was over the ineffable simplicities, those that the bachelors above all, and Lord Rye perhaps most of any, threw off--just blew off like cigarette-puffs- -such sketches of. The betrothed of Mr. Mudge at all events accepted the explanation, which had the effect, as almost any turn of their talk was now apt to have, of bringing her round to the terrific question of that gentleman. She was tormented with the desire to get out of Mrs. Jordan, on this subject, what she was sure was at the back of Mrs. Jordan's head; and to get it out of her, queerly enough, if only to vent a certain irritation at it.

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens:

swarthy fellow, almost a wild man; and while he lay in prison, under sentence, he, who had seen the hangman more than once while he was free, cut an image of him on his stick, by way of braving death, and showing those who attended on him, how little he cared or thought about it. He gave this stick into his hands at Tyburn, and told him then, that the woman I have spoken of had left her own people to join a fine gentleman, and that, being deserted by him, and cast off by her old friends, she had sworn within her own proud breast, that whatever her misery might be, she would ask no help of any human being. He told him that she had kept her word to the last; and that, meeting even him in the streets--he had been fond

Barnaby Rudge
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 Psychology of Revolution by Gustave le Bon:

The effect produced was diametrically opposite to that intended. The manifesto aroused indignation against the monarch, who was regarded as an accomplice, and increased his unpopularity. From that day he was marked for the scaffold.

Carried away by Danton, the delegates of the sections installed themselves at the Hotel de Ville as an insurrectionary Commune, which arrested the commandant of the National Guard, who was devoted to the king, sounded the tocsin, equipped the National Guard, and on the 10th of August hurled them, with the populace, against the Tuileries. The regiments called in by Louis disbanded themselves. Soon none were left to defend him