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Today's Stichomancy for Shakira

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Rescue by Joseph Conrad:

"Come! What on earth do you think brought me here--to--to--talk like this to you? There was Hassim--Rajah Tulla, I should say--who was asking me this afternoon: 'What will you do now with these, your people?' I believe he thinks yet I fetched you here for some reason. You can't tell what crooked notion they will get into their thick heads. It's enough to make one swear." He swore. "My people! Are you? How much? Say--how much? You're no more mine than I am yours. Would any of you fine folks at home face black ruin to save a fishing smack's crew from getting drowned?"

Notwithstanding that sense of insecurity which lingered faintly in her mind she had no image of death before her. She felt


The Rescue
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Dark Lady of the Sonnets by George Bernard Shaw:

you, you are a very civil gentleman; and a poor man feels drawn to you, you being, as twere, willing to share your thought with him.

THE MAN. Tis my trade. But alas! the world for the most part will none of my thoughts.

_Lamplight streams from the palace door as it opens from within._

THE BEEFEATER. Here comes your lady, sir. I'll to t'other end of my ward. You may een take your time about your business: I shall not return too suddenly unless my sergeant comes prowling round. Tis a fell sergeant, sir: strict in his arrest. Go'd'en, sir; and good luck! _[He goes]._

THE MAN. "Strict in his arrest"! "Fell sergeant"! _[As if tasting a

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain:

That broke up the meeting. The boys were avenged. Vacation had come.

NOTE:-- The pretended "compositions" quoted in this chapter are taken without alteration from a volume entitled "Prose and Poetry, by a Western Lady" -- but they are exactly and precisely after the schoolgirl pattern, and hence are much happier than any mere imitations could be.

CHAPTER XXII

TOM joined the new order of Cadets of Temperance, being attracted by the showy


The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
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 Georgics by Virgil:

The bare hillside, and yews the north wind's chill. Mark too the earth by outland tillers tamed, And Eastern homes of Arabs, and tattooed Geloni; to all trees their native lands Allotted are; no clime but India bears Black ebony; the branch of frankincense Is Saba's sons' alone; why tell to thee Of balsams oozing from the perfumed wood, Or berries of acanthus ever green? Of Aethiop forests hoar with downy wool, Or how the Seres comb from off the leaves


Georgics