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Today's Stichomancy for Kurt Vonnegut

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Tales of the Klondyke by Jack London:

plucky sight better than those pick-me-up-and-carry-me kind of women. She's the stock that carried you and me, Tommy, and you've got to make allowance for the spirit. Takes a woman to breed a man. You can't suck manhood from the dugs of a creature whose only claim to womanhood is her petticoats. Takes a she-cat, not a cow, to mother a tiger."

"And when they're unreasonable we've got to put up with it, eh?"

"The proposition. A sharp sheath-knife cuts deeper on a slip than a dull one; but that's no reason for to hack the edge off over a capstan bar."

"All right, if you say so, but when it comes to woman, I guess

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson:

from the river, had gone upstairs to bed about eleven. Although a fog rolled over the city in the small hours, the early part of the night was cloudless, and the lane, which the maid's window overlooked, was brilliantly lit by the full moon. It seems she was romantically given, for she sat down upon her box, which stood immediately under the window, and fell into a dream of musing. Never (she used to say, with streaming tears, when she narrated that experience), never had she felt more at peace with all men or thought more kindly of the world. And as she so sat she became aware of an aged beautiful gentleman with white hair, drawing near along the lane; and advancing to meet him, another and very small


The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Figure in the Carpet by Henry James:

It wasn't a bit true I had ceased to care for knowledge; little by little my curiosity not only had begun to ache again, but had become the familiar torment of my days and my nights. There are doubtless people to whom torments of such an order appear hardly more natural than the contortions of disease; but I don't after all know why I should in this connexion so much as mention them. For the few persons, at any rate, abnormal or not, with whom my anecdote is concerned, literature was a game of skill, and skill meant courage, and courage meant honour, and honour meant passion, meant life. The stake on the table was of a special substance and our roulette the revolving mind, but we sat round the green board

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 Within the Tides by Joseph Conrad:

"George had no children. Married a couple of years; looked forward to a kid or two very much. Feels more upset than ever. Talks about an honest man for father, and so on. Cloete grins: You be quick before they come, and they'll have a rich man for father, and no one the worse for it. That's the beauty of the thing.

"George nearly cries. I believe he did cry at odd times. This went on for weeks. He couldn't quarrel with Cloete. Couldn't pay off his few hundreds; and besides, he was used to have him about. Weak fellow, George. Cloete generous, too. . . Don't think of my little pile, says he. Of course it's gone when we have to shut up. But I don't care, he says. . . And then there was George's new


Within the Tides