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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 Dust by Mr. And Mrs. Haldeman-Julius:

the clutch of the strained embarrassment that invariably laid its icy fingers around his heart whenever he found himself confronted by emotion, had suggested that Rose go in while he put up the horse and fed the stock. "Don't be scared if you find it pretty rough," he had warned, to which her light answer had lilted back, "Oh, I shan't mind."

And, as she stood in the doorway a moment later, her eyes taking in one by one, the murky windows, the dirty floor, the unwashed dishes, the tumbled bed, the rusty, grease bespattered stove choked with cold ashes, she told herself hotly that it was not the dirt nor even the desperate crassness that was smothering her

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

men, to wit, the quarrel between Ulysses and Achilles, and the fierce words that they heaped on one another as they sat together at a banquet. But Agamemnon was glad when he heard his chieftains quarrelling with one another, for Apollo had foretold him this at Pytho when he crossed the stone floor to consult the oracle. Here was the beginning of the evil that by the will of Jove fell both upon Danaans and Trojans.

Thus sang the bard, but Ulysses drew his purple mantle over his head and covered his face, for he was ashamed to let the Phaeacians see that he was weeping. When the bard left off singing he wiped the tears from his eyes, uncovered his face,


The Odyssey
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Trooper Peter Halket of Mashonaland by Olive Schreiner:

Under a group of tall straggling trees among the grass and low scrub, on the banks of an almost dried up river bed, a small camp had been pitched.

The party had lost their mules, and pending their recovery had already been there seven days. The three cart loads of provisions they were conveying to the large camp were drawn up under the trees and had a sail thrown across them to form a shelter for some of the men; while on the other side of the cleared and open space that formed the camp, a smaller sail was thrown across two poles forming a rough tent; and away to the left, a little cut off from the rest of the camp by some low bushes, was the bell- shaped tent of the captain, under a tall tree. Before the bell-shaped tent stood a short stunted tree; its thick white stem gnarled and knotted; while

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 In a German Pension by Katherine Mansfield:

Class, as in Germany."

"No, indeed," I replied, still hypnotised by the Baron, who looked like a little yellow silkworm.

"The Baron comes every year," went on the Herr Oberlehrer, "for his nerves. He has never spoken to any of the guests--YET! A smile crossed his face. I seemed to see his visions of some splendid upheaval of that silence--a dazzling exchange of courtesies in a dim future, a splendid sacrifice of a newspaper to this Exalted One, a "danke schon" to be handed down to future generations.

At that moment the postman, looking like a German army officer, came in with the mail. He threw my letters into my milk pudding, and then turned