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Today's Stichomancy for Moby

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The White Moll by Frank L. Packard:

before her with her hands, she reached the stairs, and began to mount them. She went slowly, very slowly. They were bare, the stairs, and unless one were extremely careful they would creak out through the silence with a noise that could be heard from top to bottom of the tenement. But she was not making any noise; she dared not make any noise.

Halfway up she halted and pressed her body close against the wall. Was that somebody coming? She held her breath in expectation. There wasn't a sound now, but she could have sworn she had heard a footstep on the hallway above, or on the upper stairs. She bit her lips in vexation. Panic noises! That's what they were! That,

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Wife, et al by Anton Chekhov:

of them without distaste. They treat one another and the writers they criticize either with superfluous respect, at the sacrifice of their own dignity, or, on the contrary, with far more ruthlessness than I have shown in my notes and my thoughts in regard to my future son-in-law Gnekker. Accusations of irrationality, of evil intentions, and, indeed, of every sort of crime, form an habitual ornament of serious articles. And that, as young medical men are fond of saying in their monographs, is the _ultima ratio!_ Such ways must infallibly have an effect on the morals of the younger generation of writers, and so I am not at all surprised that in the new works with which our literature

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Chessmen of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs:

chamber; it permitted the occupant of the room to hide eavesdroppers and assassins for use against enemies that he might lure to his chamber.

The three chiefs with a dozen warriors had had no difficulty in following the tracks of the fugitives through the dust of the corridors and chambers they had traversed. To enter this portion of the palace at all had required all the courage they possessed, and now that they were within the very chambers of O-Mai their nerves were pitched to the highest key--another turn and they would snap; for the people of Manator are filled with weird superstitions. As they entered the outer chamber they moved


The Chessmen of Mars
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 Theaetetus by Plato:

character of an exact science. We cannot say that words always correspond to facts. Common language represents the mind from different and even opposite points of view, which cannot be all of them equally true (compare Cratylus). Yet from diversity of statements and opinions may be obtained a nearer approach to the truth than is to be gained from any one of them. It also tends to correct itself, because it is gradually brought nearer to the common sense of mankind. There are some leading categories or classifications of thought, which, though unverified, must always remain the elements from which the science or study of the mind proceeds. For example, we must assume ideas before we can analyze them, and also a continuing mind to which they belong; the resolution of it into successive