Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain


Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain

Author:Mark Twain [Twain, Mark]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Mississippi River -- Description and travel, Mississippi River Valley -- Social life and customs -- 19th century, Pilots and pilotage -- Mississippi River, Authors, American -- 19th century -- Biography, Twain, Mark, 1835-1910 -- Travel -- Mississippi River
Published: 2004-07-10T04:00:00+00:00


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My apparatus was simple: a little red paint and a bit of white paper. I painted the ball of the client's thumb, took a print of it on the paper, studied it that night, and revealed his fortune to him next day. What was my idea in this nonsense? It was this: When I was a youth, I knew an old Frenchman who had been a prison-keeper for thirty years, and he told me that there was one thing about a person which never changed, from the cradle to the grave—the lines in the ball of the thumb; and he said that these lines were never exactly alike in the thumbs of any two human beings. In these days, we photograph the new criminal, and hang his picture in the Rogues' Gallery for future reference; but that Frenchman, in his day, used to take a print of the ball of a new prisoner's thumb and put that away for future reference. He always said that pictures were no good—future disguises could make them useless; 'The thumb's the only sure thing,' said he; 'you can't disguise that.' And he used to prove his theory, too, on my friends and acquaintances; it always succeeded.



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