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Today's Stichomancy for Nellie McKay

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Memoir of Fleeming Jenkin by Robert Louis Stevenson:

its coming. It came in a moment; the brilliant, spirited old lady leapt from her bed, raving. For about six months, this stage of her disease continued with many painful and many pathetic circumstances; her husband who tended her, her son who was unwearied in his visits, looked for no change in her condition but the change that comes to all. 'Poor mother,' I find Fleeming writing, 'I cannot get the tones of her voice out of my head. . . I may have to bear this pain for a long time; and so I am bearing it and sparing myself whatever pain seems useless. Mercifully I do sleep, I am so weary that I must sleep.' And again later: 'I could do very well, if my mind did not revert to my poor mother's

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

greedily, with a little cry.

"We will find it all now," she said excitedly. "Did you look in the other pockets, Max?"

Then, for the first time, I was conscious of an air of constraint among the men. Dallas was whistling softly, and Mr. Harbison, having rescued Betty, was standing silent and aloof, watching the scene with non-committal eyes. It was Max who spoke first, after a hurried inventory of the other pockets.

"Nothing else," he said constrainedly. "I'll move the rest of the canvases."

But Jim interfered, to every one's surprise.

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Pericles by William Shakespeare:

My father, and a king.

PERICLES. How! a king's daughter? And call'd Marina?

MARINA. You said you would believe me; But, not to be a troubler of your peace, I will end here.

PERICLES. But are you flesh and blood? Have you a working pulse? and are no fairy?

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 To-morrow by Joseph Conrad:

years ago all in black broadcloth (had lost his wife lately then), getting out of a third-class smoker as if the devil had been at his heels; and the only thing that brought him down was a letter--a hoax probably. Some joker had written to him about a seafaring man with some such name who was sup- posed to be hanging about some girl or other, either in Colebrook or in the neighbourhood. "Funny, ain't it?" The old chap had been advertising in the London papers for Harry Hagberd, and offer- ing rewards for any sort of likely information.


To-morrow