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Today's Stichomancy for Bill Gates

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from War and the Future by H. G. Wells:

abolished. Now at the end of each week the worker goes to a window under the initial of his name, and is handed a card on which these items have been entered:

Balance from last week. So many hours at so much. Premiums.

The total is so many francs, so many centimes. This is divided into the nearest round number, 100, 120, 80 francs as the case may be, and a balance of the odd francs and centimes. The latter is carried forward to the next week's account. At the bottom of the card is a tear-off coupon with a stamp, coloured to indicate

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Of The Nature of Things by Lucretius:

Now will I seek again to bring to mind How porous a body all things have- a fact Made manifest in my first canto, too. For, truly, though to know this doth import For many things, yet for this very thing On which straightway I'm going to discourse, 'Tis needful most of all to make it sure That naught's at hand but body mixed with void. A first ensample: in grottos, rocks o'erhead Sweat moisture and distil the oozy drops; Likewise, from all our body seeps the sweat;


Of The Nature of Things
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart:

unpacked it the day before and put it on his shaving-stand, and there could be no mistake. His name was on a small silver plate on the handle.

I seemed to see a network closing around my boy, innocent as I knew he was. The revolver--I am afraid of them, but anxiety gave me courage to look through the barrel--the revolver had still two bullets in it. I could only breathe a prayer of thankfulness that I had found the revolver before any sharp-eyed detective had come around.

I decided to keep what clues I had, the cuff-link, the golf-stick and the revolver, in a secure place until I could see some reason


The Circular Staircase
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 Early Short Fiction of Edith Wharton by Edith Wharton:

to west, even the magnolia had caught the sun.

Mrs. Manstey's head fell back and smiling she died.

That day the building of the extension was resumed.

The End

THE BOLTED DOOR as first published in Scribner's Magazine, March 1909

I

Hubert Granice, pacing the length of his pleasant lamp-lit library, paused to compare his watch with the clock on the chimney-piece.