In "The Blue Scarab" in Dr. Thorndyke's Case-Book by R. Austin Freeman, Mr. Blowgrave, whose deed-box was stolen, was talking to Dr. Thorndyke:
He took from his pocket and handed to Thorndyke an ordinary envelope addressed in typewritten characters, and sealed with a large, elliptical seal, the face of which was covered with minute hieroglyphics.
"This," said Thorndyke, "I take to be an impression of the scarab; and an excellent impression it is." "Yes," replied Mr. Blowgrave, "I have no doubt that it is the scarab. It is about the same size."
Thorndyke looked quickly at our client with an expression of surprise. "But," he asked, "don't you recognise the hieroglyphics on it?"
Mr. Blowgrave smiled deprecatingly. "The fact is," said he, "I don't know anything about hieroglyphics, but I should say, as far as I can judge, these look the same. What do you think, Nellie?"
Does it mean "in embarrassed way" or "in a way that made him look fool"?