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Today's Stichomancy for Richard Branson

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart:

On the way across the lawn she was confronted by Arnold, who for some reason was determined to get into the house. He had a golf-stick in his hand, that he had picked up somewhere, and on her refusal he had struck her with it. One hand had been badly cut, and it was that, poisoning having set in, which was killing her. She broke away in a frenzy of rage and fear, and got into the house while Gertrude and Jack Bailey were at the front door. She went up-stairs, hardly knowing what she was doing. Gertrude's door was open, and Halsey's revolver lay there on the bed. She picked it up and turning, ran part way down the circular staircase. She could hear Arnold fumbling at the lock


The Circular Staircase
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Hellenica by Xenophon:

the notion that the Argives should be gathering the produce of their lands in peace at home, as if war were a pastime, marched against them. Agesilaus commanded the expedition, and after ravaging their territory from one end to the other, crossed their frontier at Tenea[19] and swooped down upon Corinth, taking the walls which had been lately rebuilt by the Athenians. He was supported on the sea side by his brother Teleutias[20] with a naval force of about twelve triremes, and the mother of both was able to congratulate herself on the joint success of both her sons; one having captured the enemy's walls by land and the other his ships and naval arsenal by sea, on the same day. These achievements sufficed Agesilaus for the present; he

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Out of Time's Abyss by Edgar Rice Burroughs:

several nights before, and the dismal flapping of huge wings. He did not need to look up at the white-shrouded figure winging slowly away into the night to know that their grim visitor had returned.

The muscles of his arm, reacting to the sight and sound of the menacing form, carried his hand to the butt of his pistol; but after he had drawn the weapon, he immediately returned it to its holster with a shrug.

"What for?" he muttered. "Can't waste ammunition." Then he walked quickly to where Tippet lay sprawled upon his face. By this time James, Brady and Sinclair were at his heels, each


Out of Time's Abyss
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 Madame Firmiani by Honore de Balzac:

after a good deal of trouble, living miserably and in need of everything. The old father was a lottery agent; the two daughters kept his books and took care of the house; the mother was always ill. The daughters are charming girls, but they have been cruelly taught that the world thinks little of beauty without money. What a scene it was! I entered their house the accomplice in a crime; I left it an honest man, who had purged his father's memory. Uncle, I don't judge him; there is such excitement, such passion in a lawsuit that even an honorable man may be led astray by them. Lawyers can make the most unjust claims legal; laws have convenient syllogisms to quiet consciences. My visit was a drama. To BE Providence itself; actually