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Today's Stichomancy for Rudi Bakhtiar

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Lady Baltimore by Owen Wister:

it had brought reflection to my mind. Here was a foreigner to whom slavery and the Lost Cause were nothing, whose whole association with the South had begun but five years ago; and the race question had brought his feelings to this pitch! He had seen the Kings Port negro with the eyes of the flesh, and not with the eyes of theory, and as a result the reddest rag for him was pale beside a Boston philanthropist!

Nevertheless, I have said already that I am no lover of superlatives, and in doctrine especially is this true. We need not expect a Confucius from the negro, nor yet a Chesterfield; but I am an enemy also of that blind and base hate against him, which conducts nowhere save to the de-civilizing of white and black alike. Who brought him here? Did he

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy:

The meeting, in truth, was of a very innocent kind, and matters were by no means so far advanced between the young people as Henchard's jealous grief inferred. Could he have heard such conversation as passed he would have been enlightened thus much:--

HE.--"You like walking this way, Miss Henchard--and is it not so?" (uttered in his undulatory accents, and with an appraising, pondering gaze at her).

SHE.--"O yes. I have chosen this road latterly. I have no great reason for it."

HE.--"But that may make a reason for others."


The Mayor of Casterbridge
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini:

"Oh, monsieur," said he, "consider what you are and what you will be. Consider how you and your kind live by abuses, and consider the harvest that abuses must ultimately bring."

"Revolutionist!" said M. le Marquis, contemptuously. "You have the effrontery to stand before my face and offer me this stinking cant of your modern so-called intellectuals!"

"Is it cant, monsieur? Do you think - do you believe in your soul - that it is cant? Is it cant that the feudal grip is on all things that live, crushing them like grapes in the press, to its own profit? Does it not exercise its rights upon the waters of the river, the fire that bakes the poor man's bread of grass and barley,

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 Man in Lower Ten by Mary Roberts Rinehart:

and dismantled, before I found a small lavatory opening off a billiard room. The cat lapped steadily, and I filled a glass to take back with me. The candle flickered in a sickly fashion that threatened to leave me there lost in the wanderings of the many hallways, and from somewhere there came an occasional violent puff of wind. The cat stuck by my feet, with the hair on its back raised menacingly. I don't like cats; there is something psychic about them.

Hotchkiss was still asleep when I got back to the big room. I moved his boots back from the fire, and trimmed the candle. Then, with sleep gone from me, I lay back on my divan and reflected on many


The Man in Lower Ten