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Today's Stichomancy for Colin Powell

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Before Adam by Jack London:

The mouth of the slough became our favorite playground. Here we spent many hours each day, catching fish and playing on the logs, and here, one day, we learned our first lessons in navigation. The log on which Lop-Ear was lying got adrift. He was curled up on his side, asleep. A light fan of air slowly drifted the log away from the shore, and when I noticed his predicament the distance was already too great for him to leap.

At first the episode seemed merely funny to me. But when one of the vagrant impulses of fear, common in that age of perpetual insecurity, moved within me, I

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Chance by Joseph Conrad:

to the bait. No doubt I am. The greed of that absurd monster is incalculable, unfathomable, inconceivable. The career of de Barral demonstrates that it will rise to a naked hook. He didn't lure it with a fairy tale. He hadn't enough imagination for it . . . "

"Was he a foreigner?" I asked. "It's clearly a French name. I suppose it WAS his name?"

"Oh, he didn't invent it. He was born to it, in Bethnal Green, as it came out during the proceedings. He was in the habit of alluding to his Scotch connections. But every great man has done that. The mother, I believe, was Scotch, right enough. The father de Barral whatever his origins retired from the Customs Service (tide-waiter I


Chance
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Woman and Labour by Olive Schreiner:

With the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. She girdeth her loins with strength, And maketh strong her arms. She perceiveth that her merchandise is profitable; Her lamp goeth not out by night, She layeth her hands to the distaff, And her hands hold the spindle. She spreadeth out her hand to the poor: Yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy, She is not afraid of the snow for her household, For all her household are clothed with scarlet.

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 Long Odds by H. Rider Haggard:

waggon, so I had only to gut him, fix a reim round his legs, and haul him up. By the time I had done this the sun was down, and the full moon was up, and a beautiful moon it was. And then there came that wonderful hush which sometimes falls over the African bush in the early hours of the night. No beast was moving, and no bird called. Not a breath of air stirred the quiet trees, and the shadows did not even quiver, they only grew. It was very oppressive and very lonely, for there was not a sign of the cattle or the boys. I was quite thankful for the society of old Kaptein, who was lying down contentedly against the disselboom, chewing the cud with a good conscience.

"Presently, however, Kaptein began to get restless. First he snorted,


Long Odds