282 The Book of Indoor and Outdoor Games
of thought than of sentiment; they see with the eye of reflection.
Those with very small thumbs lack decision, are swayed by their inclinations, impressionable, sensuous.
Those with very large thumbs are overbearing. Their principles are their laws, but they are inclined to despotism. They are true, but they lack grace; are strong, but not pleasing.
It is easier for the great thumbs to outstep the limits of their nature than for the small.
A firm-jointed thumb shows more will and determination thai? a bendable, supple-jointed kind with large, full nail phalange—it shows obstinacy. Supple joints denote pliant natures. The supple joint on the nail phalange shows adaptability to people; that of the second phalange adaptability to circumstances.
The first is marked by generosity, extravagance—the person is more easily swindled than one with a supple second joint.
The more obtuse the angle made by the thumb, the more independence of will and action is shown. If the thumb lie off from the hand or stand at right angles, the subject is too independent and hard to manage. No two thumbs were ever alike, and the markings do not change from infancy to old age.
Criminals have been identified from impressions that had been taken from the fleshy part of the thumb, when pressed upon paper, smoked or slightly greased. Mark Twain's story of "Pudd'nhead Wilson" turns upon this peculiarity.
The nails are divided into four classes—long, short, broad, and narrow.