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Today's Stichomancy for Robert De Niro

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Insidious Dr. Fu-Manchu by Sax Rohmer:

we followed the detective up the heavily carpeted stair, along a corridor lined with pictures and busts, and into a large library. A group of people were in this room, and one, in whom I recognized Chalmers Cleeve, of Harley Street, was bending over a motionless form stretched upon a couch. Another door communicated with a small study, and through the opening I could see a man on all fours examining the carpet. The uncomfortable sense of hush, the group about the physician, the bizarre figure crawling, beetle-like, across the inner room, and the grim hub, around which all this ominous activity turned, made up a scene that etched itself indelibly on my mind.


The Insidious Dr. Fu-Manchu
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Paz by Honore de Balzac:

The boudoir of the young countess was arranged to suit the taste of the artist to whom Comte Adam entrusted the decoration of the house. It is too full of pretty nothings to be a place for repose; one scarce knows where to sit down among carved Chinese work-tables with their myriads of fantastic figures inlaid in ivory, cups of yellow topaz mounted on filagree, mosaics which inspire theft, Dutch pictures in the style which Schinner has adopted, angels such as Steinbock conceived but often could not execute, statuettes modelled by genius pursued by creditors (the real explanation of the Arabian myth), superb sketches by our best artists, lids of chests made into panels alternating with fluted draperies of Italian silk, portieres hanging

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Rescue by Joseph Conrad:

into the cabin he could not repress a sense of enjoyment or hide a faint and malicious smile.

"Gone away--did you say? And carried off the lady with him?" discoursed Shaw very loud in the doorway. "Did he? Well, I am not surprised. What can you expect from a man like that, who leaves his ship in an open roadstead without--I won't say orders--but without as much as a single word to his next in command? And at night at that! That just shows you the kind of man. Is this the way to treat a chief mate? I apprehend he was riled at the little al-ter-cation we had just before you came on board. I told him a truth or two--but--never mind. There's the law and that's enough


The Rescue
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 'Twixt Land & Sea by Joseph Conrad:

"Ya, mynherr!"

"You will have one of your men to steer her all the time," went on Heemskirk, giving his orders in English, apparently for Jasper's edification. "You hear?"

"Ya, mynherr."

"You will remain on deck and in charge all the time."

"Ya, mynherr."

Jasper felt as if, together with the command of the brig, his very heart were being taken out of his breast. Heemskirk asked, with a change of tone:

"What weapons have you on board?"


'Twixt Land & Sea