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Wild-goose chase   /waɪld-gus tʃeɪs/   Listen
Wild-goose chase

noun
1.
The fruitless pursuit of something unattainable.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Wild-goose chase" Quotes from Famous Books



... not been desperately in love and desperately anxious to find Anne Denham, he would scarcely have gone to Paris on such a wild-goose chase. The postmark on the letter showed that she was, or she had been, in the French capital; but to find her in that immense city was like looking for a haystack in a league-long desert. However, Ware had an idea—foolish ...
— A Coin of Edward VII - A Detective Story • Fergus Hume

... going on a wild-goose chase to-day. The Nordrum mare is over on the other side of our saeter. I ...
— Lisbeth Longfrock • Hans Aanrud

... trip on the mere chance that we'll find the owner, just because two children associated the pouch in their memory with the odor of liniment. It is more than likely they're mistaken and that this is all a wild-goose chase." ...
— Georgina of the Rainbows • Annie Fellows Johnston

... it up as a bad job," he said to himself, and then, "How much farther is it? and what a wild-goose chase I am coming. They may have gone in quite another direction, ...
— The Weathercock - Being the Adventures of a Boy with a Bias • George Manville Fenn

... the fairest claim to disease,' said Emilius, 'I will not examine. At least your inconceivable frivolousness, your hunger and thirst after stop-gaps for every hour you are awake, your wild-goose chase after pleasures that leave the heart empty, seem not to me altogether the healthiest state of the soul. In certain things, at all events, you might make a little allowance for my weakness, if it must once for all pass for such: and there ...
— The Uncollected Writings of Thomas de Quincey, Vol. 2 - With a Preface and Annotations by James Hogg • Thomas de Quincey

... I asked for leave of absence to make a visit to the North. It was granted me, and I started off, with the ten thousand dollars in my possession. I soon found that I was followed by a detective, and I led him a wild-goose chase until I reached Richmond, Va., where I gave him the slip, and he never knew where I went. I did the same in the forty-thousand-dollar case. I gave them all the slip ...
— The Expressman and the Detective • Allan Pinkerton

... a brief and bald account of the most famous of these pirates. But they are only a few of a long list of notables, such as Captain Martel, Capt. Charles Vane (who led the gallant Colonel Rhett, of South Carolina, such a wild-goose chase in and out among the sluggish creeks and inlets along the coast), Capt. John Rackam, and Captain Anstis, Captain Worley, and Evans, and Philips, and others—a score or more of wild fellows whose ...
— Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates • Howard I. Pyle

... everybody now knows well, was to send the English fleet upon a wild-goose chase, whether to Egypt, the west coast of Ireland, or the West Indies, as the case might be; and then, by a rapid concentration of his ships, to obtain command of the English Channel, if only for twenty-four hours at a time. ...
— Springhaven - A Tale of the Great War • R. D. Blackmore

... on. Even had they known into what they were riding it is unlikely that they would have turned back. Had Walt Lampson known of the coming peril he would not have been at the Star Circle, laughingly telling his men of sending Whitey on a wild-goose chase, that would end with his spending a night in the saddle, facing a blinding storm. Lampson and all the men he could summon would have been heavily armed, dashing at full speed toward the ...
— Injun and Whitey to the Rescue • William S. Hart

... scrupulous, I am bound to say. In their rage and mortification at having underestimated the enemy, they did things unworthy of men and of reporters. They stole my slips in the telegraph office and substituted others that sent me off on a wild-goose chase to the farthest river wards in the midnight hour, thinking so to tire me out. But they did it once too often. I happened on a very important case on such a trip, and made the most of it, telegraphing ...
— The Making of an American • Jacob A. Riis

... before that again, it was only galvanized into a semblance of life by a great school of rhetorical acting. The playwright who sets forth with the idea that, in writing a poetical drama, he is going to continue the great Elizabethan tradition, is starting on a wild-goose chase. The great Elizabethan tradition is an incubus to be exorcised. It was because Mr. Stephen Phillips was not Elizabethanizing, but clothing a vital and personal conception of drama in verse of very appealing lyrical ...
— Play-Making - A Manual of Craftsmanship • William Archer

... "It looks like another wild-goose chase to me," growled Slugger Brown, when they were close to the place. "We've been here three times now, and the old man hasn't done a thing ...
— The Rover Boys on Snowshoe Island - or, The Old Lumberman's Treasure Box • Edward Stratemeyer

... usual prop, no wonder if it fall with the slender stay. The fop in the play paid a greater compliment than he was aware of when he said to a person, whom he meant to flatter, "I like you almost as well as a new acquaintance." Why am I talking of friendship, after which I have had such a wild-goose chase. I thought only of telling you that the crows, as well as wild-geese, are ...
— Letters written during a short residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark • Mary Wollstonecraft

... turned round to me, and seeing how glum I looked, 'Micyllus,' says he, after a good deal of humming and ha'ing, 'you must join us; we shall find room for you; I can send my boy to dine with his mother and the women.' It had very nearly turned out a wild-goose chase, but not quite: I walked in, feeling rather ashamed of myself for having done the boy out of his dinner. We were now to take our places. Thesmopolis was first hoisted into his, with some difficulty, by five stalwart youths, who propped him up on every ...
— Works, V3 • Lucian of Samosata

... of hate, My phiz, and thanks to thee, is sadly long; I am not either, beldame, over strong; Nor do I wish at all to be thy mate, For thou, sweet Fury, art my utter hate. Nay, shake not thus thy miserable pate; I am yet young, and do not like thy face; And, lest thou shouldst resume the wild-goose chase, I'll tell thee something all thy heat to assuage, —Thou wilt not hit my fancy in ...
— The Poetical Works of Henry Kirke White - With a Memoir by Sir Harris Nicolas • Henry Kirke White

... after Cheyenne had ceased to sing for the boys in the bunk-house, and while Bartley was peacefully slumbering in a comfortable bed, Mrs. Brown took the Senator to task for not having discouraged the young Easterner from attempting such a wild-goose chase. The Senator, whose diameter made the task of removing his boots rather difficult, puffed, and tugged at a tight riding-boot, but ...
— Partners of Chance • Henry Herbert Knibbs

... westward ho! again, and Dan Pengelly and all her old company that were above ground went in her. And Captain Jacob Whiddon went too, in a second ship called the Elizabeth. There was no wild-goose chase this time after golden cities that could not be found. But the Englishmen harried the Spanish settlements along the South American coast and in the Mexican Gulf, and preyed upon King Philip's shipping. They ...
— Sea-Dogs All! - A Tale of Forest and Sea • Tom Bevan

... against a policy that would fail to reap them. After this conversation General Kirby Smith returned to Shreveport, leaving me under the impression that my last proposition was acceded to. The loss of valuable time incurred by a wild-goose chase after Steele was most annoying, but I was hopeful it might be recovered. To get the fleet down to Alexandria and over the falls at that place would require much time in the low condition of the water; and Banks's army was so much demoralized ...
— Destruction and Reconstruction: - Personal Experiences of the Late War • Richard Taylor

... this time, and in a safe place out of harm's way. I tell you I can be back here in an hour or two. You're too deep in now to draw back; and besides, who can swear to raw silk? I shall go first, and look after the girl; then I mean to call on the old man, and send him out on a wild-goose chase. The rest's easy, for I've a key, and a light cart at the back of the warehouse will bring the silk here in no time. The game's in my hands now, and I shall ...
— Miss Grantley's Girls - And the Stories She Told Them • Thomas Archer

... "It's a wild-goose chase," he snapped, attacking his entree savagely. Heaven knows it was to prove so, even wilder than his dreams could paint; but if there were geese in it, myself included, there was also to be ...
— The Firefly Of France • Marion Polk Angellotti

... was downright angry when she heard of it, "To send the poor lad on such a wild-goose chase! But you are like a many more girls; and mark my words; by the time you have worn that Luke fairly out, and made him as sick of you as a dog, you will turn as fond on him as a cow on a calf, and 'Too ...
— The Cloister and the Hearth • Charles Reade

... I have no desert march to make to-day,—all on a wild-goose chase," was his pious ejaculation. "What on earth could have induced the paymaster to send a detachment over to the Gila?" He took from his pocket a pencilled note and slowly twisted it in his fingers. It was too dark to read, but in its soldierly ...
— Foes in Ambush • Charles King

... Missouri, keeping the main Blackfoot trail, and tramping doggedly forward, without stopping to set a single trap. The others beat the hoof after them for some time, but by degrees began to perceive that they were on a wild-goose chase, and getting into a country perfectly barren to the trapper. They now came to a halt, and be-thought themselves how to make up for lost time, and improve the remainder of the season. It was thought best to divide their forces and try different ...
— The Adventures of Captain Bonneville - Digested From His Journal • Washington Irving

... off on a wild-goose chase?" she said to herself. "Suppose there is no one there?" She paused for an instant and then ran on faster ...
— Grace Harlowe's Sophomore Year at High School • Jessie Graham Flower

... of it! But we deserve this. None but idiots Would have come with you to this boiling land On a wild-goose chase; on each step of which One gets a fleeting panoramic view Of kinds of misery one did not guess Existed in the world. Those lepers, beggars, Cripples, fanatics, reptiles—all the swarms Of loathsome creatures we have passed—will haunt ...
— Mr. Faust • Arthur Davison Ficke

... years ago, sincerely desirous of discovering the lurking-place of a certain war which the newspapers of my own country were describing with some vividness, I chanced upon the base of the far-famed Mount Olympus. Night was coming on apace and I was tired, having been led during the day upon a wild-goose chase by my guide, who had assured me that he had definitely located the scene of hostilities between the Greeks and the Turks. He had promised that for a consideration I should witness a conflict between the contending armies which in its sanguinary aspects should ...
— Olympian Nights • John Kendrick Bangs

... wild-goose chase," said Dick, in talking matters over with his brothers. "But I don't know of anything else to do. Mr. Staton may catch Baxter quicker than a metropolitan detective ...
— The Rover Boys in Camp - or, The Rivals of Pine Island • Edward Stratemeyer

... my way as best I could down the sloping field in the direction from which the sound came. It was quite dark, and my progress was slow; so much so, that I began to fear I had ventured upon a wild-goose chase, when an unexpected streak of lightning shot across the sky, and by its glare I saw before me what seemed, in the momentary glimpse I had of it, an old barn. From the rush of waters near at hand, I judged it to be somewhere on the edge of the stream, and consequently ...
— The Leavenworth Case • Anna Katharine Green

... earth's beauties! like Phaedra to the mistress of his soul, I love you by day and by night, behave in the company of others as if I were absent; want you; dream of you; think of you; wish for you; delight in you—in short, I am wholly yours, body and soul! If ever I leave you again on a wild-goose chase through Europe, may the Elector of Hesse-Cassel appoint me his prime minister, or the Duke of Baden his ...
— The Land of Thor • J. Ross Browne

... out merely to distract the attention of the public and to get rid of as many as possible of the crowd. For he was quite as well aware as the leader of the posse that this search in the Galiuros was a wild-goose chase. Somewhere within three hundred yards of the place he stood both the robber and his booty were in all ...
— Brand Blotters • William MacLeod Raine

... success you've had," he said, sneering, 'Why so pale and wan, fond lover?' Your trip has not agreed with you, that is plain enough. It did not agree with Carry, either, for she came back swearing she would never go on such a wild-goose chase again. You know I was ...
— The Doctor's Dilemma • Hesba Stretton

... a wild-goose chase it seemed! How could she hope for success! Even Stella would laugh at her; and Vine,—she had seen him only once, but she could imagine the smile with which he would greet any entreaties she could frame. She shook her head at her own thoughts. Entreaties! She would have to choose ...
— The Governors • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... and then the pursuers came upon Galah trotting quietly back towards Boobyalla, riderless and without a saddle. Imagining that Solo had been swept from the horse by the limb of a tree, the troopers made a long search, and while they sought, Yarra—for it was he who had led the police away on this wild-goose chase—had doubled on his pursuers, and was making a bee-line for the station again on foot. He was found in his bed at home two hours later, cowering under the blankets, pretending an overpowering fear of the shooting and ...
— In the Roaring Fifties • Edward Dyson

... dawg! You little fice! You figgered on breakin' my heart an' sendin' me off on a wild-goose chase, didn't you?" Mr. Gibney leaped and his great hand closed over Captain Scraggs's collar. "Own up," he bellowed. "Where'd you git this dope about me an' Pinky? Lie to me agin an' I'll toss you overboard," and in order to impress Captain Scraggs with the seriousness ...
— Captain Scraggs - or, The Green-Pea Pirates • Peter B. Kyne

... and repeat to him what the agent had said. He told McNally to find out at what hotel the Judge had stayed, if at any, and to look for anything which might prove a clew to his whereabouts. "It's a wild-goose chase, I know," he concluded; "but then you may manage to turn up something." He knew that McNally would do everything that could be done in Chicago toward finding the missing Judge, so he went ...
— The Short Line War • Merwin-Webster

... until the ensuing spring was well advanced. In the month of May he was again on his way home, through France, and had had a meeting, after two years' separation from them, with his wife and daughter. His account of it to Hall Stevenson is curious: "Never man," he writes, "has been such a wild-goose chase after his wife as I have been. After having sought her in five or six different towns, I found her at last in Franche Comte. Poor woman!" he adds, "she was very cordial, &c." The &c. is charming. But her cordiality had evidently ...
— Sterne • H.D. Traill

... piteous case, And all be-slurred head and face, On runs he in this wild-goose chase, As here and there he rambles; Half blind, against a mole-hill hit, And for a mountain taking it, For all he was out of his wit Yet ...
— Playful Poems • Henry Morley

... information which would be of value. Hartley firmly believed the elder man to be a rascal, but of course he knew nothing definite save the two facts which he had accidentally learned from Helen Benham, and it had occurred to him that Captain Stewart might have sent Ste. Marie off upon another wild-goose chase such as the expedition to Dinard had been. He would have been sure that the elder man had had something to do with Ste. Marie's disappearance if the latter had not been seen since Stewart's party, but instead of that Ste. Marie had come home, slept, gone out the ...
— Jason • Justus Miles Forman

... nearly three hours, and had wandered a number of miles. My brother Joseph's coming and asking for me, had first set them to inquiring and searching me out. When I went into the room where my brother Rufus sat, he said, "Why, my poor little sister! I did not mean to send you off on such a wild-goose chase to the end of the rainbow. I thought you would know ...
— McGuffey's Fourth Eclectic Reader • William Holmes McGuffey

... to be understood," said Percival, two or three days later, with an affectation of great precision, "that I surrender none of my rights by going on this wild-goose chase. I shall come back in a few months' ...
— Under False Pretences - A Novel • Adeline Sergeant

... on a lump of wood. It just scorched the place where it lay, and then went out; leaving poor Kelly perfectly frantic with rage, terror, and disappointment. He dashed up-stairs, and out into the street, on a wild-goose chase after the rascal, and we saw no ...
— Alton Locke, Tailor And Poet • Rev. Charles Kingsley et al

... eighteen, and capable of providing for yourself. You will live in my house and look upon it as your home, at least for the present. What do you say to this plan? Is it not much better and more pleasant than a wild-goose chase after an education through the dust and din ...
— St. Elmo • Augusta J. Evans

... the fast motor-boat he had previously bespoken against the need, and started for the Macao Passage, with the vague hope of speaking The Tigress. He hung round those broad waters from noon until three and realized that he had embarked upon a wild-goose chase. Still, his conscience was partly satisfied. He made Hong-Kong at dusk: wet, hungry, and a bit groggy for the want of sleep; but he was in no wise discouraged. The girl was in the game now, and that narrowed ...
— The Ragged Edge • Harold MacGrath

... something; on the contrary, our flighty friend Ralph speaks vigorously, yet says nothing! Of all men that have ever stood and delivered in presence of "a reporter," none surely ever led these indefatigable knights of the pen such a wild-goose chase over the verdant and flowery pastures of King's English, as Ralph Waldo Emerson. In ordinary cases, a reporter well versed in his art, catches a sentence of a speaker, and goes on to fill it out upon the ...
— The Humors of Falconbridge - A Collection of Humorous and Every Day Scenes • Jonathan F. Kelley

... to I s'pose I must, but I think it's a wild-goose chase anyhow," was the disapproving answer. "I can tell you what you'll find well enough," sniffing disgustedly, "and that is babies, bad smells, dirt, and scolding. I've ...
— Joyce's Investments - A Story for Girls • Fannie E. Newberry

... is fine talking. But I return to my text: we are as God made us. I am neither a philosopher nor a poet, to set out upon a wild-goose chase of making myself a different man from what you find me. As for consequences, what must be must be. As we brew we must bake. And so, do you see? I shall not trouble myself about what is to be, but stand up to it with a stout heart when it comes. Only this I can tell you, that as long ...
— Caleb Williams - Things As They Are • William Godwin

... was in for the business and must follow it to the finish whatever that might be. After all it was very interesting and if there were anything in what Zikali said (if there were not I could not conceive what object he had in sending me on such a wild-goose chase through this home of geese and ducks), it might become more interesting still. For being pretty well fever-proof I did not think I should die in that morass, as of course nine white men out of ten would have done, and, beyond it lay the huge mountain which day by day grew larger ...
— She and Allan • H. Rider Haggard

... of the direction in which Hampton was, or of what it would cost to go there. I do not think that any one thoroughly sympathized with me in my ambition to go to Hampton unless it was my mother, and she was troubled with a grave fear that I was starting out on a "wild-goose chase." At any rate, I got only a half-hearted consent from her that I might start. The small amount of money that I had earned had been consumed by my stepfather and the remainder of the family, with the exception of a very few dollars, and so I had very little with ...
— Stories of Achievement, Volume III (of 6) - Orators and Reformers • Various

... the business here is settled," Seguis retorted, in a tone of finality. "Do you expect me to leave this camp when the traders are expected, and go on some wild-goose chase out of personal revenge? For my part, I think Tom would have been sorrowed over a little more if he hadn't been such a fool. Why he went gunning for McTavish out of pure spite, I don't see. We need every man we ...
— The Wilderness Trail • Frank Williams

... I'm here on a wild-goose chase," said he gloomily, "but it's not over yet. By God, I'll have ...
— The Great Shadow and Other Napoleonic Tales • Arthur Conan Doyle

... Caprice. — N. caprice, fancy, humor; whim, whimsy, whimsey[obs3], whimwham[obs3]; crotchet, capriccio, quirk, freak, maggot, fad, vagary, prank, fit, flimflam, escapade, boutade[Fr], wild-goose chase; capriciousness &c. adj.; kink. V. be capricious &c. adj.; have a maggot in the brain; take it into one's head, strain at a gnat and swallow a camel; blow hot and cold; play fast and loose, play fantastic tricks; tourner casaque[Fr]. Adj. capricious; erratic, eccentric, fitful, hysterical; ...
— Roget's Thesaurus

... captain, on a tolerably high key, "a d—d pretty wild-goose chase you've sent us all on, down here, into this bay! The southerly wind is failing already, and in half an hour the ships will be frying the pitch off their decks, without a breath of air; when the wind does come, it ...
— The Wing-and-Wing - Le Feu-Follet • J. Fenimore Cooper

... have disposed of any of his diamonds yet awhile—and then, on the other hand, why should the Crow have sailed before she'd got the whole of her cargo on board? Anyhow, I think I have been wise to risk it, and follow the Crow. If this is a wild-goose chase, I've been in wilder than this before to-day, and have caught ...
— Henry Dunbar - A Novel • M. E. Braddon

... said Dickson, who was beginning to have horrid suspicions that he might be on a wild-goose chase after all. "Well, the next thing is for me to ...
— Huntingtower • John Buchan

... boys!" said the doctor sternly. "I'm afraid, neighbour Griggs, that your plantation would suffer a good deal during your absence on such a wild-goose chase." ...
— The Peril Finders • George Manville Fenn

... with the alternatives of sitting at the H™tel Dieu to await developments or of hiring a car at the garage nearby and going on a wild-goose chase which, whether successful or unsuccessful, must end unprofitably. Hermia had paid him in strange coin. Could she afford it? He knew something of Pierre de Folligny. What did Hermia know? She was mad, of course. He had thought ...
— Madcap • George Gibbs

... was sufficiently vague to determine Oliver not to attempt a wild-goose chase after the Doctor that night, so, bidding a hurried good-night to Simon, he took his way down the passage which led to ...
— The Fifth Form at Saint Dominic's - A School Story • Talbot Baines Reed

... idea of sending him on such a wild-goose chase, after night. Papa would turn in his grave could he know he had been forced out in the rain at such an hour, for a woman's whim. I would have suffered tortures till morning first. Where ...
— Miriam Monfort - A Novel • Catherine A. Warfield

... worry such a small witness," he said. "No, I'll just move on, Mr. Linton. I'm beginning to think I'm on a wild-goose chase." ...
— A Little Bush Maid • Mary Grant Bruce

... Captain Roy made no objection to his son's proposal, though he freely gave his opinion that it was a wild-goose chase. ...
— Blown to Bits - The Lonely Man of Rakata, the Malay Archipelago • R.M. Ballantyne

... out Aunt Hannah's indignant voice. "Do you think I'd let you go alone, and at this time of night, on such a wild-goose chase ...
— Miss Billy's Decision • Eleanor H. Porter

... successful in interesting the readers of THE ARGOSY in this lady and her mission, they will like to know that she is not a wilful person starting off on a wild-goose chase on a generous impulse without at all counting the cost. On the contrary, the work she is now doing has been the desire of her life, and all the training and discipline to which she has subjected herself has been for the purpose ...
— The Argosy - Vol. 51, No. 1, January, 1891 • Various

... make no doubt, after your wild-goose chase," she said. "Sit down at t' table and take ...
— Golden Stories - A Selection of the Best Fiction by the Foremost Writers • Various

... to town from this wild-goose chase, he heard the sound of hoofs. He was nearing the river and he turned his horse into a clump of trees beside the bridge. The night was very dark, but he was close to the trail and had made up his mind to speak to Nan if it ...
— Nan of Music Mountain • Frank H. Spearman

... impartial study, and then, if I find no clue to the perpetrator of that diabolical deed, I hope, Miriam, that you will feel yourself free from the responsibility of pursuing the unknown demon—a pursuit which I consider worse than a wild-goose chase." ...
— The Missing Bride • Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southworth

... thy pace, While he joined in the wild-goose chase; Thou'rt now the great one of this place, While he hath lost his phantom race— Thy ...
— Revised Edition of Poems • William Wright

... traveled for miles, and Locke was commencing to think that it was merely a wild-goose chase, when Balcom's car came to a halt in one of the lower quarters of the city, before a house that ...
— The Master Mystery • Arthur B. Reeve and John W. Grey

... who evidently disliked him, had fabricated the story in order to annoy him? There was a gleam of comfort in this, and he felt that he would willingly run the risk of being laughed at for having started on a "wild-goose chase" if only his fears could be relieved. But, after all, there was the possibility—nay, the probability, considering what he knew of Miss Thorne—that Thorne's story was ...
— Frank and Fearless - or The Fortunes of Jasper Kent • Horatio Alger Jr.

... we are not so far from it now. In a few days we shall know whether we are on a wild-goose chase or not." ...
— The Boy Aviators in Africa • Captain Wilbur Lawton

... traps were set thereabouts, but their owners lived near by, or came from the upper road. Of course he never asked for Charley's company. Charley had no faith, and he ridiculed the idea of going so often on a wild-goose chase. But Bertie reasoned within himself,—other fellows caught musk-rats, why should not he? His traps were as good as theirs, his bait the same. To be sure he never had caught one, but that was no reason he never should. There ...
— Baby Pitcher's Trials - Little Pitcher Stories • Mrs. May

... was of a highly-wrought, imaginative mind, quick to suspect, impulsive and full of vagaries and oftentimes those susceptibilities led many a wild-goose chase. There was another that interpreted the look from a different standpoint. Jennie Montgomery learned to realize Phillip Lawson's thoughts, and she felt that a yearning sympathy had arisen within herself; yet, she knew full well that her friend Josie was ignorant of anything which ...
— Marguerite Verne • Agatha Armour

... eyes open for him from the beginning, and when I discovered that he was not at school, I had felt alarmed. Had Cynthia sent me down here, to work as I had never worked before, on a wild-goose chase? ...
— The Little Nugget • P.G. Wodehouse

... that I am not yet twenty. He says that there are stranger things buried beneath the dust of Egypt than all the learned societies have succeeded in revealing. He is quite content that the cruise of the Aphrodite should be a wild-goose chase so long as the evidence of the papyrus is proved to be false. And that is my chief stumbling-block. Perhaps you do not realize that, to an antiquarian, the search yields as keen pleasure as the find. The cost of this expedition is a matter of no consequence ...
— The Wheel O' Fortune • Louis Tracy

... is in the introduction of a curious piece of stage-machinery, ycleped a confidant, who, loving her mistress more than herself, like a good servant, accompanies her through wind and rain, and every other stage-horror, in a dark night, on a wild-goose chase, without any adequate or apparent object. This confidant is like every ...
— The Mirror of Taste, and Dramatic Censor, Vol. I, No. 5, May 1810 • Various

... vigorously, on the ground that it was an idolatrous product of the Aztec race that was at the root of all our troubles. For, as he truly said, had there been no Aztecs to begin with, our departure on a wild-goose chase after an Aztec treasure-house would have been an impossibility. His attention having been thus fixed upon the idol, his habit of investigation got the better of his ill-will towards it, and he mounted the altar to examine it more closely—continuing the while ...
— The Aztec Treasure-House • Thomas Allibone Janvier

... this notion out of my mind," he wrote in conclusion. "It is with me night and day since I talked it over with you. I believe you are the person best fitted for the undertaking. Give up your present wild-goose chase, and ...
— Glen of the High North • H. A. Cody

... roundsman, who had removed his uniform hat to avoid attracting notice when a lamp shone directly into the interior, quietly took stock of the men who had so unceremoniously called him off his tour of inspection. Evidently he satisfied himself that he was not being dragged into a wild-goose chase. Their tense manner could hardly have been assumed: they were in desperate and deadly earnest; so he thanked the stars which had brought him into active connection with an important crime, and gave his mind strictly to the business in hand. Several knotty points demanded careful ...
— One Wonderful Night - A Romance of New York • Louis Tracy

... to pass it on. What do I care for girls! they are not my brother. But no, David, I can't believe you will go against me and my judgment after the insult she has put on you. No more about it, but just you choose between my respect and this wild-goose chase." ...
— Love Me Little, Love Me Long • Charles Reade

... 'It is a wild-goose chase,' said Noel. 'I shall make a piece of poetry about it. I shall call the title the "Vanishing Reds, or, the Soldiers that were not ...
— Oswald Bastable and Others • Edith Nesbit

... of this possibility, Archie couldn't help being a little fearful of what might happen to him should he fall into the hands of the insurgents, and he began to wonder if he had not been a little foolhardy, after all, in starting off on such a wild-goose chase. "But I will have something new to send Mr. Van Bunting about the interior towns," he said to himself, "and if I am captured, why, I will have a great deal to write about when I am released." This thought made the ...
— The Adventures of a Boy Reporter • Harry Steele Morrison

... if you will allow me to say so that you are making a needless mystery of the matter, and further, that you are embarking upon what will certainly prove to be a wild-goose chase. We had news of your father not long before his sad death, and he was certainly ...
— A Millionaire of Yesterday • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... plot, it had at least the merit of continuity and conformed to the logic, seldom too severe, of this kind of entertainment, as distinct from the so-called revue. Nearly everything was well within my intelligence, the chief exception being the title; for never surely did a wild-goose chase offer such easy sport. The birds were just asking to be put into the bag. I should myself have preferred, out of compliment to the chorus, to call the play "Wild Ducks," only, of course, IBSEN had been there before. Not that this would have greatly troubled an author who showed so ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 158, February 25th, 1920 • Various

... and hours of hypno-mech on Kholghoor Sector religions, before I went out on that wild-goose chase for psychokinesis and precognition data," she said. "About six or eight hundred years ago, there were religious wars and heresies and religious schisms all over the Kharanda country. No matter how uniform the ...
— Time Crime • H. Beam Piper

... the strange man with a mysterious, voluptuous glance—she practised the glance, lying on the bed—and never another worry, just drugged with happiness. That was the life for her. Well, the thing to do was to let Casimir go on his wild-goose chase that evening, and while he was away—What! Also—please to remember—there was the rent to be paid before twelve next morning, and she hadn't the money for a square meal. At the thought of food she felt a sharp twinge in her stomach, a sensation as though ...
— In a German Pension • Katherine Mansfield

... wild-goose chase," he said, "cooked up by our friend Crochard. But even then, I'd have got back, if we hadn't punctured a tire when we were five miles from anywhere. I knew what was up—but there I was. Oh, he's made fools of us all, Lester. I told you ...
— The Mystery Of The Boule Cabinet - A Detective Story • Burton Egbert Stevenson

... a wild-goose chase," said Allerdyke as the train steamed on across country towards York and the North. "How do we know where to find this woman in Edinburgh? Her housekeeper didn't know what hotel she was at—I suppose we'll have to try every one in the place ...
— The Rayner-Slade Amalgamation • J. S. Fletcher

... property, and enable the family to prove its claims to an ancient title. Now, rather as a matter of curiosity, than with any real hope of success,— and being slightly connected with the family,—I have taken what seems to myself a wild-goose chase; making it merely incidental, you well understand, not by any means the main purpose of ...
— Doctor Grimshawe's Secret - A Romance • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... adopting the tactics of Conachar when brought face to face with Hal o' the Wynd, I have been trying to get my simple-minded adversary to follow me on a wild-goose chase through the early history of Christianity, in the hope of escaping impending defeat on the main issue. But I may be permitted to point out that there is an alternative hypothesis which equally fits the facts; and that, after all, there may have been ...
— Lectures and Essays • Thomas Henry Huxley

... was gone a wild-goose chase indeed, and they who will have any more of me, must be content to follow me through a new variety of follies, hardships, and wild adventures; wherein the justice of Providence may be duly observed, and we may see how easily Heaven can gorge us with ...
— The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1808) • Daniel Defoe

... you think?" demanded Jud Elderkin, as the group of lads stood ready for flight, only waiting to catch some definite clue, so that they might not start on a wild-goose chase. ...
— The Banner Boy Scouts Snowbound - A Tour on Skates and Iceboats • George A. Warren

... unexpressed but palpable desire. He should not coax, cajole, or wring from me the dollar he craved. I had had enough of that wild-goose chase. ...
— Options • O. Henry

... no use to deny it. The landlord sent me off after you; and you'll have to pay for it, for the wild-goose chase you have led me on," cried Pearl, who had evidently lost his patience and ...
— All Adrift - or The Goldwing Club • Oliver Optic

... said Smith "that I am trying to lead you blindfolded in order later to dazzle you with my perspicacity. I am simply afraid that this may be a wild-goose chase. The idea upon which I am acting does not seem to have struck you. I wish it had. The fact would argue in favor ...
— The Insidious Dr. Fu-Manchu • Sax Rohmer

... would have done almost anything; but it did seem a wild-goose chase for a lot of grown people to rush down to Pleasure Bay for the fun of pulling up a lot of the strangest vegetables ...
— Phemie Frost's Experiences • Ann S. Stephens

... downcast and dejected, for Bosquet had gone off on a wild-goose chase after two errant battalions, and had shared in their repulse. Just now, indeed, so far from proving the saviours of the hard-pressed English, our French ...
— The Thin Red Line; and Blue Blood • Arthur Griffiths

... to go on a wild-goose chase in search of him," the lady replied. "We had an idea that he had been left ...
— A Little Union Scout • Joel Chandler Harris

... she was saying, "'twas suttenly too bad to send you off on a wild-goose chase, Miss Margaret. Ef you could hev found the man, I'd hev ...
— The Panchronicon • Harold Steele Mackaye



Words linked to "Wild-goose chase" :   pursuance, quest, pursuit



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