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Today's Stichomancy for Kim Jong Il

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Arrow of Gold by Joseph Conrad:

carnal thoughts. Of course we are a good family and my uncle is a great man in the country, but where is the reputable farmer or God- fearing man of that kind that would dare to bring such a girl into his house to his mother and sisters. No, let her give her ill- gotten wealth up to the deserving and devote the rest of her life to repentance."

She uttered these righteous reflections and presented this programme for the salvation of her sister's soul in a reasonable convinced tone which was enough to give goose flesh to one all over.

"Mademoiselle Therese," I said, "you are nothing less than a


The Arrow of Gold
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Alcibiades II by Platonic Imitator:

both of himself and of the city. What do you think?

ALCIBIADES: I agree.

SOCRATES: And if any one knows how to ride or to shoot with the bow or to box or to wrestle, or to engage in any other sort of contest or to do anything whatever which is in the nature of an art,--what do you call him who knows what is best according to that art? Do you not speak of one who knows what is best in riding as a good rider?

ALCIBIADES: Yes.

SOCRATES: And in a similar way you speak of a good boxer or a good flute- player or a good performer in any other art?

ALCIBIADES: True.

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Case of the Registered Letter by Grace Isabel Colbron and Augusta Groner:

to her dead lover, some foolish feminine fear that I might have spoken against him in my earlier interviews with the commissioner had driven the girl to this step. A few questions sufficed to draw from her the story of her secret engagement, of its ending, and of my quarrel with John. I will say for her that I am certain she did not realise that all these things were calculated to cast suspicion on me. The poor girl is too unused to the ways of police courts, to the devious ways of the law, to realise what she was doing. The sight of my revolver broke her down completely and she acknowledged that it was mine. That is all. Except that I was arrested and brought here as you see. I told the commissioner the story of my

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 The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad:

member of the family. That ardour of protecting compassion exalted morbidly in her childhood by the misery of another child tinged her sallow cheeks with a faint dusky blush, made her big eyes gleam under the dark lids. Mrs Verloc then looked younger; she looked as young as Winnie used to look, and much more animated than the Winnie of the Belgravian mansion days had ever allowed herself to appear to gentlemen lodgers. Mr Verloc's anxieties had prevented him from attaching any sense to what his wife was saying. It was as if her voice were talking on the other side of a very thick wall. It was her aspect that recalled him to himself.

He appreciated this woman, and the sentiment of this appreciation,


The Secret Agent