"Don't you believe him, miss," said Mrs. Undercliff, appearing suddenly. Then, turning to her son, "How can you measure the world? You live in a little one of your own--a world of forgers and anonymous writers; you see so many of these, you fancy they are common as dirt; but they are only common to you because they all come your way."
"Oh, that is it, is it?" said the expert, doubtfully.
"Yes, that is it, Ned," said the old lady, quietly. Then after a pause she said "I want you to do your very best for this young lady."
"I always do," said the artist. "But how can I judge without materials? And she brings me none."
Mrs. Undercliff turned to Helen, and said: "Have you brought him nothing at all, no handwritings--in your bag?"
Then Helen sighed again. "I have no handwriting except Mr. Penfold's; but I have two printed reports of the trial."
"Printed reports," said the expert, "they are no use to me. Ah! here is an outline I took of the prisoner during the trial. You can read faces. Tell the lady whether he was guilty or not," and he handed the profile to his mother with an ironical look; not that he doubted her proficiency in the rival art of reading faces, but that he doubted the existence of the art.
Mrs. Undercliff took the profile, and, coloring slightly, said to Miss Rolleston: "It is living faces I profess to read. There I can see the movement of the eyes and other things that my son here has not studied." Then she scrutinized the profile. "It is a very handsome face," said she.