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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 An Historical Mystery by Honore de Balzac:

"So that rascally Parisian blacksmith who shoed the horses in the English fashion and left Cinq-Cygne only the other day was their spy!" thought Michu. "They must have followed our tracks when the ground was damp. Well, we're quits now!"

Michu consoled himself by thinking that the discovery was of no consequence, as the young men were now safe, Frenchmen once more, and at liberty. Yet his first presentiment was a true one. The police, like the Jesuits, have the one virtue of never abandoning their friends or their enemies.

Old d'Hauteserre returned from Paris and was more than surprised not to be the first to bring the news. Durieu prepared a succulent dinner,

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Shadow out of Time by H. P. Lovecraft:

It was a wholly unconscious and irrational flight, and only when I was close to my tent did I fully realise why I had run. Then it came to me. The queer dark stone was something which I had dreamed and read about, and which was linked with the uttermost horrors of the aeon-old legendry. It was one of the blocks of that basaltic elder masonry which the fabled Great Race held in such fear - the tall, windowless ruins left by those brooding, half-material, alien things that festered in earth's nether abysses and against whose wind-like, invisible forces the trap-doors were sealed and the sleepless sentinels posted.

Shadow out of Time
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from My Aunt Margaret's Mirror by Walter Scott:

cut the Gordian knot by admitting the existence of supernatural agency."

"But, my dear aunt," said I, "what became of the man of skill?"

"Oh, he was too good a fortune-teller not to be able to foresee that his own destiny would be tragical if he waited the arrival of the man with the silver greyhound upon his sleeve. He made, as we say, a moonlight flitting, and was nowhere to be seen or heard of. Some noise there was about papers or letters found in the house; but it died away, and Doctor Baptista Damiotti was soon as little talked of as Galen or Hippocrates."

"And Sir Philip Forester," said I, "did he too vanish for ever

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 Dreams & Dust by Don Marquis:

So he passed; he was worn, he was weary, He was slain at the touch of life;-- With a smile that was wistful and eerie He passed from the senseless strife;--

So he ceased (is their humor satiric, These gods that make perfect and blight?)-- He ceased like an exquisite lyric That dies on the breast of night.


'TWIXT ancient Beersheba and Dan Another such a caravan