The bones and tendons across the back of the hand are close to tlie surface; those around the palm and inside of the fingers arc thoroughly padded. I have blocked out these pads so you can familiarize yourself with them. Note the extra thickness of the pads of the thumb muscle and the heel of the palm. At the base of each finger there is a pad. These combine to make a pad across the top of the palm. The pads of the fingers protect the bones inside. Since these pads are all pliable, they provide an even firmer grip on objects much as the pliable treads on an automobile tire grip the surface of a road. There are no pads on the top of the hand, though the pad at the outer edge on the little-finger side can take a tremendous blow, especially with the fist closed, without injur)* to the hand.
PLATE 79. Proportions of the hand
The next thing of importance is the curved arrangement of the fingertips and knuckles. Two fingers lie on each side of a line drawn through the middle of the palm. The tendon of the middle finger just about divides the back of the hand in half. Important also is the fact that the thumb is turned at right angles to the other fingers. The thumb operates mostly in and out from the palm, while the fingers open and close toward the palm. The knuckles of the fingers are slightly above their creases on the inside of the fingers. Note the flat curve of the knuckles across the back of the hand, with the curves getting deeper as they cross the knuckles toward the fingertips.
The middle finger is the key finger from which we determine the length of the hand. The length of this finger to its knuckle in back is slightly over half the length of the hand. The width of the palm is slightly more than that of half the hand on the inside. The first or index finger just about rcachcs the fingernail of the middle finger. The third finger is alxnit equal to the index finger in length. The little finger just reaches the top knuckle of the third finger.
PLATE 80. Construction of the hand
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