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Today's Stichomancy for Kurt Vonnegut

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Octopus by Frank Norris:

daily journals that professed to voice the will and reflect the temper of the people and these he read eagerly.

Osterman was yet alive and there were chances of his recovery. The League--some three hundred of its members had gathered at Bonneville over night and were patrolling the streets and, still resolved to keep the peace, were even guarding the railroad shops and buildings. Furthermore, the Leaguers had issued manifestoes, urging all citizens to preserve law and order, yet summoning an indignation meeting to be convened that afternoon at the City Opera House.

It appeared from the newspapers that those who obstructed the

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift:

after I was set on the table, which I embraced in both my arms, and put the tip of it with the utmost respect to my lip. She made me some general questions about my country and my travels, which I answered as distinctly, and in as few words as I could. She asked, "whether I could be content to live at court?" I bowed down to the board of the table, and humbly answered "that I was my master's slave: but, if I were at my own disposal, I should be proud to devote my life to her majesty's service." She then asked my master, "whether he was willing to sell me at a good price?" He, who apprehended I could not live a month, was ready enough to part with me, and demanded a thousand pieces of


Gulliver's Travels
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Wyoming by William MacLeod Raine:

And with a final "Good night" flung haughtily over her shoulder Miss Nora Darling disappeared into the house.

Mac took off his hat and gazed at the door that had been closed in his face. He scratched his puzzled poll in vain.

"I ce'tainly got mine good and straight just like Reddy got his. But what in time was it all about? And me thinkin' I was a graduate in the study of the ladies. I reckon I never did get jarred up so. It's plumb discouraging."

If he could have caught a glimpse of Nora at that moment, lying on her bed and crying as if her heart would break, Mac might have found the situation less hopeless.

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 Fanny Herself by Edna Ferber:

The thrill we get for our pains is when, at twenty-five, he jumps over the traces and marries the young lady we met in her cradle on page two. The process is known as a psychological study. A publisher's note on page five hundred and seventy-three assures us that the author is now at work on Volume Two, dealing with the hero's adult life. A third volume will present his pleasing senility. The whole is known as a trilogy. If the chief character is of the other sex we are dragged through her dreamy girlhood, or hoydenish. We see her in her graduation white, in her bridal finery. By the time she is twenty we know her better


Fanny Herself