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Today's Stichomancy for Muhammad Ali

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Beast in the Jungle by Henry James:

if he looked as blank as he sounded. "It's spent."

"Then why do you assume," she asked, "that mine isn't?"

"Because you've given me signs to the contrary. It isn't a question for you of conceiving, imagining, comparing. It isn't a question now of choosing." At last he came out with it. "You know something I don't. You've shown me that before."

These last words had affected her, he made out in a moment, exceedingly, and she spoke with firmness. "I've shown you, my dear, nothing."

He shook his head. "You can't hide it."

"Oh, oh!" May Bartram sounded over what she couldn't hide. It was

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Man in Lower Ten by Mary Roberts Rinehart:

could make his fortune as a game dog. What's he doing?"

McKnight put down his cards, and rising, went to the window. As he held the curtain back his customary grin looked a little forced.

"To tell you the truth, Lollie," he said, "for the last two days he has been watching a well-known Washington attorney named Lawrence Blakeley. He's across the street now."

It took a moment for me to grasp what he meant.

"Why, it's ridiculous," I asserted. "What would they trail me for? Go over and tell Johnson to get out of there, or I'll pot at him with my revolver."

"You can tell him that yourself." McKnight paused and bent forward.

The Man in Lower Ten
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Philosophy 4 by Owen Wister:

a-sayin' it myself, when judicious." Here he shook slightly and opened the basket. "Twelve," he said. "Sixteen yesterday. Now you go along and turn in the first right-hand turn, and I'll be up with you soon. Maybe you might make room for the trout." Room for him as well, they assured him; they were in luck to find him, they explained. "Well, I guess I'll trust my neck with you," he said to Bertie, the skillful driver; "'tain't five minutes' risk." The buggy leaned, and its springs bent as he climbed in, wedging his mature bulk between their slim shapes. The gelding looked round the shaft at them. "Protestin', are you?" he said to it. "These light-weight stoodents spile you!" So the gelding went on, expressing, however, by every line of its body, a sense

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 Illustrious Gaudissart by Honore de Balzac:


"Capital pun that!"

"No, puncheons. About that wine--"

"Better and better! why, you are a wit."

"Yes, I'm that," said the fool. "Come out and see my vineyards."

"Willingly, the wine is getting into my head," said the illustrious Gaudissart, following Monsieur Margaritis, who marched him from row to row and hillock to hillock among the vines. The three ladies and Monsieur Vernier, left to themselves, went off into fits of laughter as they watched the traveller and the lunatic discussing, gesticulating, stopping short, resuming their walk, and talking