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Scratch   Listen
adjective
Scratch  adj.  Made, done, or happening by chance; arranged with little or no preparation; determined by circumstances; haphazard; as, a scratch team; a scratch crew for a boat race; a scratch shot in billiards. (Slang)
Scratch race, one without restrictions regarding the entrance of competitors; also, one for which the competitors are chosen by lot.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Scratch" Quotes from Famous Books



... were there; Fiske with a bullet-hole through his arm. It seemed their duty to go back at once to headquarters with the meagre information and their wounded comrade. But Fiske made light of his trouble—it was a mere scratch—and reminded them that their orders were to make sure of the enemy's movements. Therefore, it was arranged that Seymour take back Fiske and what news they had, while Rolf went on to complete ...
— Rolf In The Woods • Ernest Thompson Seton

... with a knitting-needle; and as she raised her hand her intention seemed to be to throw it at me like a dart. But she only used it to scratch her head with, examining me the while at close range, one eye nearly shut and her face distorted ...
— 'Twixt Land & Sea • Joseph Conrad

... danger," I answered; "but I am not an easy person to kill. I have had narrow escapes before, and escaped without a scratch." ...
— The Great Secret • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... rush. Meta and Poli waited expectantly for more, they were happily excited by this chance to deal destruction. Jason felt a little sick after the silent ferocious attack. A ferocity that the Pyrrans reflected. He saw a scratch on Meta's face where one of the beasts had caught her. She ...
— Deathworld • Harry Harrison

... an' me was, oldest of all. When I was bound to old Lowe, it went hard, ef I couldn't scratch together enough for a bit of ribbon-bow or a ring for Nell, come Christmas. She used to sell the old flour-barrels an' rags, an' have her gift all ready by my plate that mornin': never missed. I never hed ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 11, No. 63, January, 1863 - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... hunted him. Many times they surrounded the band, but Manuelito always escaped. Many shots were fired at him, but he was never hit; and once, when he was cut off from his men and surrounded, he broke through the line, and though fifty bullets whistled around him he did not receive a scratch. ...
— Philippine Folklore Stories • John Maurice Miller

... what we call Drain Rats; if they are in a building they will in most cases come from a water-closet. Sometimes you will see from the drain pipes in the water-closet, say, a six-inch pipe fitted into a nine-inch pipe, and the joint covered round with clay, through which the Rats eat and scratch and get into the building in great numbers in the night, but most of them return into the drains during the day. Now, if it is the breeding season (about eight months out of the twelve) they will do much damage to silk, cotton, leather, ...
— Full Revelations of a Professional Rat-catcher - After 25 Years' Experience • Ike Matthews

... his senses to the finest focus, trying hard to understand. He was aware only of the strained silence at first. Then here and there, about the dimmining circle of firelight, he heard the soft rustle of little feet, the subdued crack of a twig or the scratch of a dead leaf. The forest smells—of which there is no category in heaven or earth—reached him with incredible clarity. These were faint, vaguely exciting smells, some of them the exquisite fragrances ...
— The Sky Line of Spruce • Edison Marshall

... his father Santanu. And, O king, passing through many forests, rivers, hills, and woods abounding with trees, he arrived (at the capital) in no time. Of immeasurable prowess in battle, the son of the ocean-going Ganga, having slain numberless foes in battle without a scratch on his own person, brought the daughters of the king of Kasi unto the Kurus as tenderly if they were his daughters-in-law, or younger sisters, or daughters. And Bhishma of mighty arms, impelled by the desire of benefiting his brother, ...
— The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa - Translated into English Prose - Adi Parva (First Parva, or First Book) • Kisari Mohan Ganguli (Translator)

... Scratch-tch-ch! The check was made out with a flourish. "Here you are. I'll come round when I'm ready and tell you where to send the stuff. By the way, where do you bank? Want to ...
— The Desire of the Moth; and The Come On • Eugene Manlove Rhodes

... generosity. 'I would not be any more affected by anything he might say than by the mewing of yonder kitten.' So vigorous was Tupper's speech that a bystander muttered that 'it was possible Joe would find the little doctor a cat that would scratch his eyes out.' In 1855 the prophecy was fulfilled. In his own county of Cumberland Howe was defeated by Tupper, and throughout the province the Conservatives obtained a decisive majority. In the next year Howe was elected for the county of Hants, but before he took his seat ...
— The Tribune of Nova Scotia - A Chronicle of Joseph Howe • W. L. (William Lawson) Grant

... the mating season of the birds the rivalries and jealousies are not all confined to the males. Indeed, the most spiteful and furious battles, as among the domestic fowls, are frequently between females. I have seen two hen robins scratch and pull feathers in a manner that contrasted strongly with the courtly and dignified sparring usual between the males. One March a pair of bluebirds decided to set up housekeeping in the trunk of an old apple-tree near ...
— A Year in the Fields • John Burroughs

... as Marianna in the moated grange. I have yawned aloud a dozen times, but Eleanor does not mind it. She has been extremely busy with accounts, papers, and letters. For the last four hours I do not think she has spoken a word. I hear nothing but the scratch of her pen as it moves over the paper, and the wind in the ash-trees. I have taken Madge's journal in despair. Ah, Madge! I wish the bonnie girl were here;—how we would talk nonsense by the hour together, just to keep our ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 2, Issue 12, October, 1858 • Various

... unexploded, like fire crackers before they are touched off. If I lost all my money I'd be in a panic till you came and took me; but as long as I have it I don't think of you more than once a week. Yet, do you know, Frank, if you got a sweetheart, I believe I'd scratch her eyes out. It's rather fine of me to tell you all that," she went on, with a smile, "for I'm giving you the key of the combination, and you might ...
— Love, The Fiddler • Lloyd Osbourne

... he so beat them over the head with a soft sofa cushion that that became unsewn and distributed its feathers, and Binkie, interfering in Torpenhow's interests, was bundled into the half-empty bag and advised to scratch his way out, which he did after a while, travelling rapidly up and down the floor in the shape of an agitated green haggis, and when he came out looking for satisfaction, the three pillars of his world were picking ...
— The Light That Failed • Rudyard Kipling

... will be the last bear you ever scratch; look at those paws! did you ever see such nails? didn't you hear them rattle against the ...
— Through Forest and Fire - Wild-Woods Series No. 1 • Edward Ellis

... opened fire up the slope on to the camp on the skyline above. A stampede of the horses ensued, but a resolute front was quickly formed and the attack was checked. An alarm that the enemy was threatening the rear of the camp was proved to be unfounded by a scratch gathering of details which was hastily mustered; it then wheeled round, and picking up reinforcements on the way charged the Boer left at the river. The charge was irresistible, and the sun had hardly risen when Delarey's ...
— A Handbook of the Boer War • Gale and Polden, Limited

... course, got into the House of Yat-Zar; the door's of impervium steel, about six inches thick, with a plating of collapsed nickel under the gilding. It would take a couple of hours to cut through it with our best atomic torch; there isn't a tool on this time-line that could even scratch it. And the insides of the walls are lined with the ...
— Temple Trouble • Henry Beam Piper

... term always opened with a scratch game against a mixed team of masters and old boys, and the school usually won without any great exertion. On this occasion the match had been rather more even than the average, and the team had only just pulled the thing off by a couple of tries to a goal. Otway ...
— The Gold Bat • P. G. Wodehouse

... from the valley of Bethcerem.(580) And they digged deeper than virgin soil, and brought from thence perfect stones over which iron(581) was not waved. For the iron defiles by touching. And a scratch defiles everything. In any of them a scratch defiled, but the others were lawful. And they whitewashed them twice in the year; once at the passover, and once at the feast of Tabernacles. And the Sanctuary (was whitewashed) once at the passover. The Rabbi said, "every Friday ...
— Hebrew Literature

... noisy match, Taff," he exclaimed, as, after a loud cracking scratch, there was a flash of light, and then a clear glow was shed around by the lantern, whose lamp Josh had just lit, its rays showing dimly the rugged walls of granite, all wet with trickling water, while the ...
— Menhardoc • George Manville Fenn

... look at you I'm ashamed of myself. There you are with a face like a war map and one leg all bunged up, and here am I without a scratch. I've got a bum wrist, but it doesn't show." And Steve scowled at ...
— Left End Edwards • Ralph Henry Barbour

... the moment: John Smith, James Snooks, Thomas Noakes, and the like. For every name a man instantly answered and took a certificate. Finally, seeing a person scratching his head, the judge called out, 'George Scratchem!' 'Here,' responded a voice. 'Take that man outside to scratch,' said his honour to an usher, and resumed the more ...
— A Political History of the State of New York, Volumes 1-3 • DeAlva Stanwood Alexander

... horse could scratch a foothold in the place where our mules are as safe as in a meadow. Come, dear heart, let us be going." But Hedwig hung her head, and did not stir. "What is it, Hedwig?" he asked, bending down to her and softly stroking her hair. "Are you afraid ...
— A Roman Singer • F. Marion Crawford

... radiator. He will hold forth with a horrible intimacy and a yet more horrible ignorance on the most private secrets of her inner life. Not one throb of her young cylinders will be sacred, yet never will he understand her as she would like to be understood. He will mess her with his muddy boots; he will scratch her paint; he will drop tobacco-ash all over her ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 159, November 17, 1920 • Various

... ask you verbally to scratch his head, but wishes it, will again and again thrust his head into your hand, petitioning mutely that affection may divine him, so:—but we deal with a sentimentalist, and the simile is too gross to be exact. For no sooner was Wilfrid's head scratched, ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... as it well can be. The old women never frequent the o'-lag, and the lesson the girls learn there is the necessity for maternity, not the "industries of their sex" — which children of very primitive people acquire quite as a young fowl learns to scratch and ...
— The Bontoc Igorot • Albert Ernest Jenks

... trim, agile form stood upon the lowest stalwart limb, as he balanced himself with one hand against the trunk. His khaki jacket was in shreds, a great rent was in his sleeve, and a tear in one of his stockings showed a long bloody scratch beneath. In his free hand he held the piece of branch with its depending nest, extending his arm out so as to keep the rescued trophy safe ...
— Tom Slade on Mystery Trail • Percy Keese Fitzhugh

... weeks that crowded up the little back parlor with anxiety, the tension of two doctors in consultation, and a sense of hysteria that was always just a scratch beneath the surface of Mrs. Becker. She would break suddenly into loud and unexpected fits of crying, crushing her palms up against her mouth; would waken from a light doze beside the bed, on the shriek of a nightmare, and have literally to be dragged from the room. She harassed ...
— Star-Dust • Fannie Hurst

... all right!" cried one, who might have been a clerk or a student; "he asks questions. You wish to know about Bussy, eh? You ought to have seen him gallop from the field without a scratch, while his enemies pulled themselves together and took to ...
— An Enemy To The King • Robert Neilson Stephens

... size, shape of cat that was ever seen. And they were plunging and leaping and racing about so, that it looked like twice as many cats as there really were, and as if every cat had a dozen tails. "Sfz! Sfz! Sputter! Scratch, spp, spt! Growl, growl, miaow, miaow," they went, till, between the noise and the flying ...
— The Hunter Cats of Connorloa • Helen Jackson

... cultivate it has lately increased to a very great extent, and I regard it as a very hopeful sign for the future. The people still want two things, capital and scientific agricultural knowledge. The native implements are of the rudest kind—their hoes little more than sufficient to scratch the ground, and their only other implement a cutlass to cut down the bush. Ploughs are unknown, and spades very little used. Wheelbarrows are detested, although they are not quite unknown; the people would sooner "tote" the soil in a box on their heads, and instances are on ...
— To The Gold Coast for Gold, Vol. II - A Personal Narrative • Richard Francis Burton and Verney Lovett Cameron

... 's only powder to make a noise and scare 'em. I wouldn't like to be in his place, though; father says you can never trust tigers as you can lions, no matter how tame they are. Sly fellers, like cats, and when they scratch it's no joke, I tell you," answered Ben, with a knowing wag of the head, as the sides of the cage rattled down, and the poor, fierce creatures were seen leaping and snarling as if they resented this ...
— Under the Lilacs • Louisa May Alcott

... only occupant of the place on that occasion and who had given his name as Ah Fung, was surprised by the sudden entrance of man and dog in the act of spreading coal dust with his fingers upon a portion of the paved floor. He came to his feet with a leap and confronted Kerry. The spaniel began to scratch feverishly upon the spot where the coal dust had been artificially spread. Kerry's eyes gleamed like steel. He shot out his hand and grasped the Chinaman by his long hair. "Open that trap," he said, "or I'll break ...
— Dope • Sax Rohmer

... a council of war. What should we do—push on or go back? It seemed highly dangerous, but suddenly making up my mind, I cut short all deliberations and ordered an advance. To feel for the enemy, to get in touch with the enemy at all costs, and to scratch him if possible, is evidently the scout's duty, even when the scout is but a siege amateur, with broken trousers, a mud-stained shirt and a battered rifle. But we must make ourselves secure. We bolted the big gates behind us; we sweatily piled up sufficient ...
— Indiscreet Letters From Peking • B. L. Putman Weale

... are moments in a woman's life when she does become more deadly than the male. The probability is one which no man of age and experience will lack instance for making a fact. Without seeking to become profound in the matter I will say this: it is but lightly as compared with a man that one need scratch a woman to ...
— She Stands Accused • Victor MacClure

... record of a pianoforte solo shows this very clearly to the eye, because the impression made by a long note is a deeply-marked indentation succeeded by the merest shallow scratch—not unlike the impression made by a tadpole on mud—with a big head and an attenuated body. Every note marked long in pianoforte music is therefore essentially a sforzando followed by a rapid ...
— Twentieth Century Inventions - A Forecast • George Sutherland

... well to have scratch paper handy and make outlines for your answers to long questions. It is a good plan, also, when dealing with long questions, to watch the time carefully, for there is danger that you will spend too much time upon some question to the detriment ...
— How to Use Your Mind • Harry D. Kitson

... Lombard-street to a china orange. The Masked Festival on the 18th is a subject of considerable attraction, and wigs of every nature, style, and fashion, are in high request for the occasion—The Bob, the Tye, the Natural Scratch, the Full Bottom, the Queue, the Curl, the Clerical, the Narcissus, the Auricula, the Capital, the Corinthian, the Roman, the Spanish, the French, the Dutch—oh! we are full of business just now. Speaking of the art, by the by, reminds me of a circumstance which occurred a very 55short time ...
— Real Life In London, Volumes I. and II. • Pierce Egan

... his shoulders. "I am sorry. You are young to die, you two. To die on the field of battle,—ah, that is noble! To die with one's back to a wall, blindfolded, and to be covered with earth so loosely that starving dogs may scratch away to feast—But, no more. You have decided. You have had many hours in which to consider the alternative. You will be shot ...
— Defenders of Democracy • Militia of Mercy

... Rapunzel above-only the enchantress, who gazed at him with wicked and venomous looks. "Aha!" she cried mockingly, "thou wouldst fetch thy dearest, but the beautiful bird sits no longer singing in the nest; the cat has got it, and will scratch out thy eyes as well. Rapunzel is lost to thee; thou wilt never see her more." The King's son was beside himself with pain, and in his despair leapt down from the tower. He escaped with his life, but the thorns ...
— The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries: - Masterpieces of German Literature Translated into English, Volume 5. • Various

... of pines and hemlocks were stuck in each of the fissures that offered in the unseasoned and hastily completed woodwork of both the building and its furniture; while festoons and hieroglyphics met the eye in vast profusion along the brown sides of the scratch-coated walls. As the room was only lighted by some ten or fifteen miserable candles, and the windows were without shutters, it would have been but a dreary, cheerless place for the solemnities of a Christmas eve, had not the large fire that was crackling at ...
— The Pioneers • James Fenimore Cooper

... I said you were to tell it. I don't like to hear reading," replied Enna in her imperious way, at the same time taking quiet possession of Elsie's little rosewood rocking-chair—a late present from her papa, and highly prized by the little girl on that account—and beginning to scratch with her ...
— Elsie Dinsmore • Martha Finley

... said the injured man; "it don't hurt much, on'y feels like a scratch; but it's orfly ...
— Hunting the Skipper - The Cruise of the "Seafowl" Sloop • George Manville Fenn

... felt the want of that all my life.. Good eddications. Says I, 'Now, boys, you've got your fortunes, nothing to hinder your bein' President. Let's see what stuff 's in ye,' says I. So they're doin' well. Wrote fur me to come out in the fall. But I'd rather scratch on, and gather up a little for Sophy here, before I ...
— Margret Howth, A Story of To-day • Rebecca Harding Davis

... the Colonel, "youth is youth—There is not any use in laying down the law for young people or making plans for their marriages. Leave it in the hands of Providence. The most carefully arranged marriages often turn out the worst, and a scratch match has often as not turned out happily. Anyhow, you will stay here till news comes ...
— The Ghost Girl • H. De Vere Stacpoole

... beds in the morning like the voice of conscience. Why must we pass examinations? Not that we may know the language of the people, for it is matter of daily observation, that of all the mysteries which perplex the humble mind of the country bumpkin in this land, causing him to scratch his— well, not his head—there is none which he gives up as hopeless sooner than the strange sounds addressed to him by the young saheb who has just passed his higher standard. He joins his palms in loyal acquiescence, ...
— Behind the Bungalow • EHA

... going to climb up to him, but received another Check, and was then ordered to get into the Coach, or behind it, for that he wanted no Instructors; but be sure you Dog you, says he, don't you bilk me. The Fellow thereupon surrender'd his Whip, scratch'd his Head, and crept into the Coach. Having my self occasion to go into the Strand about the same Time, we started both together; but the Street being very full of Coaches, and he not so able a Coachman as perhaps he imagined himself, I had soon got a little Way before ...
— The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 - With Translations and Index for the Series • Joseph Addison and Richard Steele

... You just set the pick in here over the lock, and pry. I sha'n't leave a scratch." They stoop down together in front of the bureau, and Campbell shows him how. "But what are you going to do? You've got to have your clothes if you're going to the musicale. Ah, here we are! Thanks," as Bella comes with the ice-pick, which ...
— Evening Dress - Farce • W. D. Howells

... a scratch breakfast and Fred and Will helped me up-street, past where the Jew stood blinking in the morning sun on the steps of the D.O.A.G. He seemed to be saying ...
— The Ivory Trail • Talbot Mundy

... much smoke in the fire, he would say—from that vast world he could command the greatest of the great to help him support the loafing while. And as by a miracle, he came out of that chaos of contending spirits without a scratch. He enjoyed the belligerency of pamphleteers as an American would enjoy a prize fight. But he sided with no one; he took from every one his best and consigned him to Im-Hanna's kitchen. Torquemada could not have done better; but Khalid, it is hoped, ...
— The Book of Khalid • Ameen Rihani

... There are men the fundamental unit of whose picture language is a blot or shape; as children or as savages, they would find these most capable of expressing what they saw. There are others for whom the scratch or line is the fundamental unit, for whom every object is most naturally expressed by an outline. There are, of course, men who present us with every possible blend of these two fundamental forms ...
— Albert Durer • T. Sturge Moore

... to be master-boss of life and death, holder of the sword and balances, the Sultan, here just for one week. I'd change some things. I'd gag some people that are doing terrible harm. It's a real bad business. The scratch-your-face period is over, and we're in the ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... "Just a scratch from good old Fogarty; he's been taking the rest-cure here between jobs. Skipped yesterday; same chap that left his mark for me on that barn. One of the royal good fellows, Fogarty; does his work neatly—never carries a gun or pots a cop; knows he ...
— The Madness of May • Meredith Nicholson

... mind, she can't scratch you while Florrie is holding her. Now that I think of it you ...
— The Ethics of the Dust • John Ruskin

... shipmates!" said Twist and Gall, both in a breath. "We don't mind touching up such a chap as this here tripeman; but not the scratch of a pin does Thompson get in this vessel. He is one of us; he is a seamen every inch of him, and you must flog us, and some fifty more, if once you begin; for d——n my eyes if we don't heave the log with the ...
— Frank Mildmay • Captain Frederick Marryat

... he was in his heartiest element. Men would make a scratch team at the sound of his voice, just to be led by him as captain. No mean field or batsman, he excelled in bowling. His resource in taking wickets was only equalled by the good temper with which adversaries walked away from the field with their bats after that terrible McNair had ...
— Memoir of William Watts McNair • J. E. Howard

... into the room, and threw itself panting on the bed, crying: 'I've flown half over the world. I'm tired, VERY tired, and want to sleep—scratch my head.' ...
— The Violet Fairy Book • Various

... inclined to despoil it of its three or four eggs (which are about the size of a duck's, and blotched with Spanish brown), they would find that a less easy task, for the owners would be very likely to claw their eyes out, or else scratch the tender skin from their beardless cheeks: so that boys do not often trouble the nest of ...
— Popular Adventure Tales • Mayne Reid

... in prison. The warders can, of necessity, remain within actual view of but a few of the prisoners a small proportion of the time. But through those massive and silent corridors sound stands watch-dog for them. The minute scratch of a file, the vibrations attendant on the most cautious attempts against the stone structure, the most muffled footfall reports to the jailer that mischief is afoot. Instantly he is on the spot to corroborate by his other faculties the warnings ...
— The Sign at Six • Stewart Edward White

... half one," said Griggs. "What we've got to do, gentlemen, is something that will give them such a startler that they'll have had enough of it; and it must be done without our getting a scratch." ...
— The Peril Finders • George Manville Fenn

... leaped over the dense throng which obstructed his progress, and with the speed of a race horse rushed into the house, and almost before the officers of the law were aware of his escape, he had donned his garments, and without a scratch on his person, mingled unsuspected with the throng of spectators. The boatswain, notwithstanding the woeful plight he was in, for he was dreadfully punished, was marched off to the guard house, accompanied by his faithful ...
— Jack in the Forecastle • John Sherburne Sleeper

... 818. If you scratch yourself with a rusty nail, stick the nail immediately into hard wood, and it will prevent ...
— Current Superstitions - Collected from the Oral Tradition of English Speaking Folk • Various

... said Fargy, "for I do not think that scratch will hinder your going. On your return, do not forget that you have a friend at No. 14, ...
— The Conspirators - The Chevalier d'Harmental • Alexandre Dumas (Pere)

... annotation. The copies of Bayle, Moreri, the Trevoux Dictionary, Stephens's Lexicon, Du Cange, Mabillon's Antiquities, the Benedictine historians, the Bollandists' Lives of the Saints, Graevius and Gronovius, and heavy books of that order, are in their old original morocco, without a scratch or abrasure, gilt-edged, vellum-jointed, with their backs blazing in tooled gold. Your own dingy well-thumbed Bayle or Moreri possibly cost you two or three pounds; his cost forty or fifty. Further, in these affluent shelves ...
— The Book-Hunter - A New Edition, with a Memoir of the Author • John Hill Burton

... have shown that we can shed our blood too. It is in the nick of time, too, just at the crisis. I don't want to exaggerate; it is only a scratch—but it was so deliberate, and—and so dramatic. The poor devil could not have chosen a worse ...
— Lord of the World • Robert Hugh Benson

... the household in good humor with their own understanding. You might teach him the mad dance, set to the mad howl. Madge Owlet would be nothing to him. "My, how he capers!" (In the margin is written "One of the children speaks this.") ... What I scratch out is a German quotation, from Lessing, on the bite of rabid animals; but I remember you don't read German. But Mrs. P. may, so I wish I had let it stand. The meaning in English is: "Avoid to approach an animal suspected of madness, ...
— The Best Letters of Charles Lamb • Charles Lamb

... poison is very dangerous: a mere scratch through the skin is likely to prove fatal, and the trapper is thus likely to prove his own victim. Poisoned arrows are little used by trappers; and the bow trap, when properly constructed, is ...
— Camp Life in the Woods and the Tricks of Trapping and Trap Making • William Hamilton Gibson

... the food, and did with my 'owl as the wolves and lions and tigers does. But, lor' love yer 'art, now that the old 'ooman has stuck a chunk of her tea-cake in me, an' rinsed me out with her bloomin' old teapot, and I've lit hup, you may scratch my ears for all you're worth, and won't even get a growl out of me. Drive along with your questions. I know what yer a-comin' at, that 'ere ...
— Dracula • Bram Stoker

... sight she asked the old dumb servant to carry Sir Lancelot's shield to the tower. It was a large shield of silver, with three lions emblazoned upon it in gold and blue, but its polished surface was covered with dents and scratches. Elaine knelt before it, and made a story for each scratch and mark, picturing to herself the contests in which the good shield had taken part. For many weeks she stayed near it all day long in the turret, watching for Sir Lancelot and her brother ...
— King Arthur and His Knights • Maude L. Radford

... to make sail upon her; and although the shot from the battery flew about our ears pretty thickly for the next ten minutes, we actually succeeded in getting out of range without once being struck; and so completely had we surprised the French crew that not one of our men received so much as a scratch. ...
— The Rover's Secret - A Tale of the Pirate Cays and Lagoons of Cuba • Harry Collingwood

... the tree before I had ascended far enough to be entirely out of reach, and rearing up, succeeded in getting a slight hold of my right foot. I clung to the tree with the desperation of despair, and the moccasin giving way, I soon drew myself above his reach, with no other injury than a severe scratch. In a few seconds I was safely ensconced among the branches, about thirty feet from the ground, while my baffled antagonist was walking round and round it, uttering growls of rage, and stripping the bark from the tree ...
— Seven and Nine years Among the Camanches and Apaches - An Autobiography • Edwin Eastman

... the temperament of the man of action, who does not bite his nails or scratch his head in doubt and indecision. Sparing of gestures as of words, he always stood motionless like a soldier before his superior; but when he moved, his step showed a firmness, a freedom of movement, which proved the confidence and ...
— Michael Strogoff - or, The Courier of the Czar • Jules Verne

... my intention to do anything of the kind," announced the lady haughtily. "But I want to tell you one thing, Crittenden Yollop. If you attempt to gag and bind me, I'll bite and scratch, even if you ...
— Yollop • George Barr McCutcheon

... N. shallowness &c. adj.; shoals; mere scratch. Adj. shallow, slight, superficial; skin deep, ankle deep, knee deep; just enough to wet ...
— Roget's Thesaurus

... difference betwixt a wound in the flesh and a wound in the spirit; yea, a man's sin may be wounded, and yet his heart not broken: so was Pharaoh's, so was Saul's, so was Ahab's; but they had none of them the mercy of a broken heart. Therefore, I say, take heed; every scratch with a pin, every prick with a thorn, nay, every blow that God giveth with his Word upon the heart of sinners, doth not therefore break them. God gave Ahab such a blow that he made him stoop, fast, humble ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... be that Desgenais has a heart, since he lives. In what respect does he differ from you? He is a man who believes in nothing, fears nothing, who knows no care or ennui, perhaps, and yet it is clear that a scratch on the finger would fill him with terror, for if his body abandons him, what becomes of him? He lives only in the body. What sort of creature is that who treats his soul as the flagellants treat their bodies? Can ...
— The Confession of a Child of The Century • Alfred de Musset

... these turtles, the lepers become cured.[324-3] The turtles in infinite number come there three months in the year, June, July, and August, from the mainland, which is Ethiopia,[324-4] to lay eggs in the sand and with the claws and legs they scratch places in the sand and spawn more than five hundred eggs, as large as those of a hen except that they have not a hard shell but a tender membrane which covers the yolk, like the membrane which covers the yolk of the hen's egg after taking off the hard shell. They cover the eggs in the sand as a ...
— The Northmen, Columbus and Cabot, 985-1503 • Various

... has four legs and a cunning little tail; and we know how to hold it so it can't scratch us, anyway; but it won't put out its head again until it thinks we've gone away, because this is an old one. See, the shell covers my hand all over. The littler ones are livelier and more willing to put out their heads. I don't believe we've had this one before, Ernest," added Faith, examining ...
— Jewel's Story Book • Clara Louise Burnham

... than ever. Is this the way to the little court? Surely those are not the steps that lead down toward the bath? Oh yes! we are right; I smell the lemon-blossoms. Beware of the old wilding that bears them; it may catch your veil; it may scratch your fingers! Pray, take care: it has many thorns about it. And now, Leonora! you shall hear my last verses! Lean your ear a little toward me; for I must repeat them softly under this low archway, else others may hear them too. Ah! you press my hand once more. Drop it, drop it! or the verses will ...
— Imaginary Conversations and Poems - A Selection • Walter Savage Landor

... Beyond the scratch of houses and the slant of home lights she watched the darkness lift against the sky. The city had dwindled into a huddle of streets. Noise had become silence. The great crowds were packed away in little ...
— Erik Dorn • Ben Hecht

... pawnbrokers in England, when they take a watch, to scratch the number of the ticket with a pin-point upon the inside of the case. It is more handy than a label, as there is no risk of the number being lost or transposed. There are no less than four such numbers visible to my lens on the inside of this ...
— The Sign of the Four • Arthur Conan Doyle

... talked to Graycoat in a soft, guttural tone, and when night drew on, and all was still and silent outside the house, Siccatee would go to the prison and bite and gnaw with her little teeth, and scratch with her little paws, straining every nerve in her poor little body to ...
— Rataplan • Ellen Velvin

... directly she saw him, "last night you did not see my family, you must admire them, we are all here together for tea; this is our second, holiday tea. You can make friends with them all; only Shurotchka won't let you, and the cat will scratch. Are you starting to-day?" ...
— A House of Gentlefolk • Ivan Turgenev

... Sparrowes, and for Doues I am fitted twixt my Loues, But Lalus I take no delight In Sparowes, for they'll scratch and bite And though ioynd, they are euer wooing Alwayes billing, if not doeing, 190 Twixt Venus breasts if they haue lyen I much feare they'll infect myne; Cleon your Doues are very dainty, Tame Pidgeons else you know are plenty, These may ...
— Minor Poems of Michael Drayton • Michael Drayton

... new kind of savagery dawning on his features as he regained his wits. With inverted eyes he regarded the red ends of his fingers, held in line with the bridge of his nose. He felt of the wound again, now that he was less dizzy. It was only a scratch and he had been knocked down like a beef in an abattoir by an unseen enemy, on whom he could not lay hands! He glared around as if in search of the hidden antagonist. The sergeant had crept forward to be a steadying influence to the ...
— The Last Shot • Frederick Palmer

... opposite the rose-tree, the animal suddenly stopped, and putting his nose to the ground close under it, and sniffing almost furiously, uttered a prolonged and melancholy howl, while, with his fore-paws he began to scratch up the loose earth around, regardless of the voice of his master, who renewed his whistling, and called upon him ...
— Hardscrabble - The Fall of Chicago: A Tale of Indian Warfare • John Richardson

... fifteen or sixteen together) the old woman comes with a nutshell full of the matter of the best sort of small-pox, and asks what vein you please to have opened. She immediately rips open that you offer to her, with a large needle, (which gives you no more pain than a common scratch) and puts into the vein as much matter as can ly upon the head of her needle, and after that, binds up the little wound with a hollow bit of shell; and in this manner opens four or five veins. The Grecians have commonly the ...
— Letters of the Right Honourable Lady M—y W—y M—e • Lady Mary Wortley Montague

... Clark was taking a good many chances, because all he had done was to write a note which might have been lost, and to scratch a few words in the sand which might have been washed out. But the luck of Lewis held until August 11th. On that day, as you remember, he was accidentally shot through the hips by one of his men while hunting elk, so that when, on August ...
— The Young Alaskans on the Missouri • Emerson Hough

... all bloody from a fall, You'd run to me! Then—aping mother-ways— I, in a voice would-be severe, would chide,— (She takes his hand): 'What is this scratch, again, that I see here?' (She starts, surprised): Oh! 'Tis too much! What's this? (Cyrano tries to draw away his hand): No, let me see! At your age, fie! Where did ...
— Cyrano de Bergerac • Edmond Rostand

... have changed since then. The social whirlpool has engulfed the boys; Robb'd of their simple, hardy, rowdy joys, They start from scratch as men. ...
— Punch or the London Charivari, Vol. 104, May 27, 1893 • Various

... is, therefore, better to tie the bridle to a tuft of grass, or a slender twig, rather than to a tree or to the saddle-bags. Mounting an ox is usually a troublesome business, on account of his horns. To make ride-oxen quiet and tame, scratch their backs and tails—they dearly love it—and hold salt in your hands for them to lick. They soon learn their names, and come to ...
— The Art of Travel - Shifts and Contrivances Available in Wild Countries • Francis Galton

... he had let out. Perhaps Pierre's words had rattled him. He shifted from foot to foot, twirling his hat on his fingers. He half expected, half hoped, and half waited for another opening. None came. Through the muffled roar of the stamps he was conscious of the sharp scratch of the superintendent's pen. Then came the boom of the big whistle. It was change of shift. The jar of the office door closing behind him was not heard. At the mill he ...
— Blue Goose • Frank Lewis Nason

... occasion of the Private View because it was, socially, a great public function, in order to see the celebrities, who were sure to be there, from the latest actress to the newest bishop. In one corner a belated critic endeavoured to scratch hasty impressions on his shirt-cuff or the margin of a little square catalogue; in another an interested dealer used his best endeavours to rivet a patron's attention on the merits of his speculative purchase. The providers of the feast were not so much in evidence as their ...
— A Comedy of Masks - A Novel • Ernest Dowson and Arthur Moore

... rocky channels. Icebergs, too, are potent geological agents. Many of them are loaded with 50,000 to 100,000 tons of rock and earth, which they may carry great distances. Also in their course they must break, and polish, and scratch the peaks and ...
— The World's Greatest Books - Volume 15 - Science • Various

... by Miss Sprotts, the dog resigned his comfortable place with a plaintive growl, but the cat, of a more irritable temperament, set up and made a sudden scratch at her hand, drawing ...
— Madame Midas • Fergus Hume

... piece of sandstone we find it composed of grains quite like those of river sand or of sea beaches. Most of the grains are of a clear glassy mineral called quartz. These quartz grains are very hard and will scratch the steel of a knife blade. They are not affected by acid, and their broken surfaces are irregular like ...
— The Elements of Geology • William Harmon Norton

... with baggage and wagons. The Americans, with their fowling-pieces, defended this place for five hours against two hundred regular French troops, six hundred Canadians, and as many Indians. Johnson received a scratch early in the engagement, and made it an excuse to retire; and Lyman assumed direction. Dieskau bravely led the French regulars, nearly all of whom were killed; he was four times wounded; the Canadians were intimidated. At length, about half past four in the afternoon, ...
— The History of the United States from 1492 to 1910, Volume 1 • Julian Hawthorne

... to cross roads it is the custom of the leader to "mark" all side paths and wrong turnings by making a scratch across them with his spear, or by breaking a branch and laying it across: in this way those who follow are able to avoid straying off ...
— The Last Journals of David Livingstone, in Central Africa, from 1865 to His Death, Volume I (of 2), 1866-1868 • David Livingstone

... noticed, and I quaked and trembled like an aspen leaf as I did so, a long black paw, thrust through, and down from the dark aperture immediately over Padre Carera's head, which, whatever it was, it appeared to scratch sharply, and then giving the caput a smart cuff, vanished. The Priest started, put up his hand, and rubbed his head, but seeing nothing, again leant back, and was about departing to the land of nod, like the others, once more. However, in a few minutes, the same paw again protruded, and this ...
— Tom Cringle's Log • Michael Scott

... When they plague you, you scratch; and so they like to tease. If you paid no attention to the thoughtless things they said, ...
— Tabitha at Ivy Hall • Ruth Alberta Brown

... those, Harry, who find it easy to be good-natured, and who are soft by nature, as cats are—not from their heart, but through instinctive propensity to softness. When it suits them, they scratch, even though they have been ever so soft before. Count Pateroff is a cat. You, Harry, I think are a dog." She perhaps expected that he would promise to her that he would be her dog—a dog in constancy and affection; but he was still mindful ...
— The Claverings • Anthony Trollope

... You bet they couldn't! Bucko Lynch curbed his vocabulary and stopped using his fists, as the captain ordered, but he didn't stop working his men. There was no slackness in his watch; he kept us up to scratch. That made the starboard stiffs especially bitter against him. They felt themselves cheated of the easy times ...
— The Blood Ship • Norman Springer

... beat you with an iron rod, I'll scratch you with a rusty nail, I'll pinch your eyes, if you talk ...
— The Old Curiosity Shop • Charles Dickens

... danger as long as he lived in a cage. Indeed, already he had met with several alarming accidents. Once the nail on which his cage was hung had given way, and his feathered Majesty had suffered much from the fall, while Madam Puss, who happened to be in the room at the time, had given him a scratch in the eye which came very near blinding him. Another time they had forgotten to give him any water to drink, so that he was nearly dead with thirst; and the worst thing of all was that he was in danger of losing his kingdom, for he had been absent so long that ...
— The Green Fairy Book • Various

... mistake of despising their weapons, for every one is covered with a poison so deadly that a single scratch would be more dangerous than ...
— The Search for the Silver City - A Tale of Adventure in Yucatan • James Otis

... gravely, "there's only one man I know or ever heard of to whom I would have considered it worth while even to think of sending that telegram, and you are he. Somehow I knew you'd come to the scratch." ...
— The Blazed Trail • Stewart Edward White

... these earthy or tufaceous beds pass into jaspery and into beautifully mottled and banded porcelain rocks, which break into splinters, translucent at their edges, hard enough to scratch glass, and fusible into white transparent beads: grains of quartz included in the porcelainous varieties can be seen melting into the surrounding paste. In other parts, the earthy or tufaceous beds either insensibly pass ...
— South American Geology - also: - Title: Geological Observations On South America • Charles Darwin

... strange tragedy were that, three days before, Mr. Evelyn, being then in perfect health, had been dissecting a limb in a high state of putrescence. During the operation, the instrument had slipped, and made what he considered only as a scratch of the skin; and so slight that he did not immediately deem it worthy of notice: though, when he had ended, he felt a tingling; and then thought it prudent to wash with vinegar, and bind it up to ...
— The Adventures of Hugh Trevor • Thomas Holcroft

... look right on the stage. As Katherine she wanted me to wear steely silver and bronzy gold, but all the brocades had such insignificant designs. If they had a silver design on them it looked under the lights like a scratch in white cotton! At last Mrs. Carr found a black satin which on the right side was timorously and feebly patterned with a meandering rose and thistle. On the wrong side of it was a sheet of silver—just the right ...
— The Story of My Life - Recollections and Reflections • Ellen Terry

... she and Salemina stopped at one of the tenants' cabins, the other day, to leave some small comforts that Dr. La Touche had sent to a sick child. The woman thanked Salemina, and Mrs. Colquhoun heard her say, 'When a man will stop, coming in the doore, an' stoop down to give a sthroke and a scratch to the pig's back, depend on it, ma'am, him that's so friendly with a poor fellow-crathur will make ...
— Penelope's Irish Experiences • Kate Douglas Wiggin



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