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On all fours   /ɑn ɔl fɔrz/   Listen
On all fours

adverb
1.
On hands and knees.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"On all fours" Quotes from Famous Books



... deposits a parcel of tobacco and crouches to rest at the so-called "bear's nest." During this period of repose the Mid[-e] priests continue to drum and sing. Then the candidate approaches the southern door again, on all fours, and the moment he arrives there he rises and is hurried through the inclosure to emerge at the west, where he turns suddenly, and imitating the manner of shooting arrows into the group of angry manid[-o]s within, he at the fourth movement lets fly an arrow and gets down into the western ...
— Seventh Annual Report • Various

... swimmers, but I have not so far seen a Burman swim more than two or three strokes, though I see hundreds bathing every day. The Chittagong Indians who form our crew swim ashore with a line every time we tie up, and they are about the worst swimmers I have ever seen; they jump in on all fours and swim like dogs or cattle. In this case of the drowning people, the lookers on would say it was not their affair, just as they would, with the utmost politeness, if you chose to worship in a way different ...
— From Edinburgh to India & Burmah • William G. Burn Murdoch

... opportunity. It was as though a gigantic insect of iron was endowed with the will of a demon. Now and then this colossal grass-hopper would strike the low ceiling of the gun-deck, then falling back on its four wheels, like a tiger on all fours, rush upon the man. He—supple, agile, adroit—writhed like a serpent before these lightning movements. He avoided encounters; but the blows from which he escaped fell with destructive force upon the vessel. A piece of broken chain remained attached to the carronade. ...
— Great Sea Stories • Various

... that woodchuck. A blanker, flabbier face never looked into mine. Only the sudden appearance of death could have brought the trace of intelligence across it that I caught as the creature dropped on all fours and began to wabble straight away from me over the ...
— Roof and Meadow • Dallas Lore Sharp

... about such matters?" asked Juba. "Did you ever see them? Did you ever try them? You would be twice the man you are if you had. You will not be a man till you do. You are carried off your legs in your own way. I'd rather get drunk every day than fall down on all fours as you do, crawling on your stomach like a worm, and whining like a hound ...
— Callista • John Henry Cardinal Newman

... Leander went down on all fours on the hearthrug. "Mercy!" he cried, feebly. "I've meant no offence. Only tell me what you ...
— The Tinted Venus - A Farcical Romance • F. Anstey

... to see half a dozen regiments disporting themselves in the tepid waters of the James. But no reader can possibly understand what enjoyment it afforded, unless he has slept on the ground for fourteen days without undressing, and been compelled to walk, cook, and live on all fours, lest a perpendicular assertion of his manhood should instantly convert it ...
— The County Regiment • Dudley Landon Vaill

... to-day, and there is every reason to believe that they will continue to be governed, by masterful-looking resultants, masters of nothing but compromise, and that little fancy of an inner conspiracy of control within the machine and behind ostensible politics is really on all fours with the wonderful Rodin (of the Juif Errant) and as probable as anything else in ...
— Anticipations - Of the Reaction of Mechanical and Scientific Progress upon - Human life and Thought • Herbert George Wells

... mountain called Gebel Foodah, we were entangled in shoals, owing to a change in the bed of the river, and forced to stay all night; and at three in the morning, the Reis sent in the boy to say he had seen a man creeping on all fours—would I fire my pistol? As my revolver had been stolen in Janet's house, I was obliged to beg him to receive any possible troop of armed robbers very civilly, and to let them take what they pleased. However, ...
— Letters from Egypt • Lucie Duff Gordon

... Alcestis' face when she returned from the House of Hades, that they might find there a token of her shadowed journey. It is lucky that I am no taller than six feet; if ten, giddiness would set in and reversion to type on all fours. An undizzied man is to me as much of a marvel as one who in his heart of hearts is not ...
— Journeys to Bagdad • Charles S. Brooks

... mistaking that church," said George. "But maybe it is a case on all fours with that Prague statue. Possibly, the authorities hereabout have had made some life-sized models of that village, and have stuck them about the Forest to see where the thing would look best. Anyhow, which way do we ...
— Three Men on the Bummel • Jerome K. Jerome

... everybody thought he'd die. He was crazy as a loon. I watched with him one night and he talked every thing you could think of, about a grave hid away somewhere—under his bed, he seemed to think—and made me go down on all fours to look for it. I suppose he was thinking of his grandfather so lately buried. And then, he kept talking about Bessie and asking why ...
— Bessie's Fortune - A Novel • Mary J. Holmes

... have stayed on for supper, but I couldn't; I should have choked. As it was, my soul was curdling. Another ten minutes and I should have jumped down on the lawn and run round the house on all fours, yapping and foaming at the mouth, and have wound up by ...
— The Fortune Hunter • Louis Joseph Vance

... which he was sitting and tried to climb on to it at one stride; but he was still so awkward that he lost his balance and fell upon his nose. He at once picked himself up with so much dignity that nobody dared make fun of him; and, this time, he scrambled up on all fours and then, putting his legs wide apart, stood and eyed Tyltyl from ...
— The Blue Bird for Children - The Wonderful Adventures of Tyltyl and Mytyl in Search of Happiness • Georgette Leblanc

... at once set in motion his legs and arms in the right way, as it does the animal's legs; his powers of reason and reflection paralyze him—his brain carries him down. Not until he has learned to resign himself to the water as the animal does, and to go on all fours, can he swim. As soon as the boy ceases to struggle against his tendency to sink, assumes the horizontal position, and strikes out as the animal does, with but one thought, and that to apply his powers of locomotion to the medium about him, he swims ...
— Ways of Nature • John Burroughs

... five minutes Shaw came in again. "All right," he said, as he lay down to sleep. Henry was now standing guard in his place. He told me in the morning the particulars of the alarm. Munroe' s watchful eye discovered some dark objects down in the hollow, among the horses, like men creeping on all fours. Lying flat on their faces, he and Shaw crawled to the edge of the bank, and were soon convinced that what they saw were Indians. Shaw silently withdrew to call Henry, and they all lay watching in the same position. Henry's eye is ...
— The Oregon Trail • Francis Parkman, Jr.

... cat, on all fours, clawing energetically as he urged his upward progress, his comrade paying out the rope carefully. At first his speed was good, but gradually it dwindled. Now he was fifteen feet from the peg, now ten, ...
— Dutch Courage and Other Stories • Jack London

... on all fours to his brother and put oft his helm, but he might not know him, his visage was so disguised by blood and wounds. But when Balin awoke, he said, "O Balan, my brother, thou hast slain me and I thee, wherefore all the wide world ...
— Stories of King Arthur and His Knights - Retold from Malory's "Morte dArthur" • U. Waldo Cutler

... "Now, I suppose your father is cured, you will stay at home for awhile, and settle down to decent citizenship, and take an active part in the affairs of your city and state? Gee, but what is the matter with the dog?" added the old man, as the dog jumped up on all fours, looked cross-eyed, and tried to dig a hole in his stomach with his ...
— Peck's Bad Boy With the Cowboys • Hon. Geo. W. Peck

... daintily at the piece of cracker she held between her lips. The squirrels were all sitting up, each with a nut in his little paws, and each with an alert and cunning look in the corner of his eye, to prevent, no doubt, being surprised out of a portion of his nut. Caesar was lying on all fours, growling and tearing at his breakfast, while the dog looked on with a superior air, as if he knew they would not have had ...
— Betty Zane • Zane Grey

... On all fours, save when he clung to his spectacles, Beetle wormed into the gorse, and presently announced between grunts of pain that he had found a very fair fox-track. This was well for Beetle, since Stalky pinched him a tergo. Down that tunnel they crawled. It was evidently a highway for the inhabitants ...
— Stalky & Co. • Rudyard Kipling

... yeh?" Hickey got on all fours, found his cigar, stuck it in his mouth, and fell into place at ...
— The Brass Bowl • Louis Joseph Vance

... while afterwards Philpot—who had got a funny-looking mask out of one of the bon-bons—started a fine game pretending to be a dreadful wild animal which he called a Pandroculus, and crawling about on all fours, rolled his goggle eyes and growled out he must have a little boy or girl to ...
— The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists • Robert Tressell

... until the heavy breathing of the general told them outside that he was fast asleep, and if, looking through the key-hole, he had made sure Matrena was occupied in her own chamber. Rouletabille, at the threshold, glided to one side, out of the line of view from the hole, and got down on all fours. He crawled toward the door. With his head to the floor he made sure that the little ordinary pin which he had placed on guard that evening, stuck in the floor against the door, was still erect, having thus additional proof that the door had not been moved. ...
— The Secret of the Night • Gaston Leroux

... out, as it seemed, after midnight; some on all fours, many of them fairly perpendicular. But when the serving lad entered the premises in the sober light of morning, to clear up the debris, he was surprised to perceive a human form reclining under a table. It was the young Norwegian ...
— South Wind • Norman Douglas

... obvious. There is no need for continued progression in women, and Nature, like the grand old economist she is, or can be when she likes, matures the mind quickly in one case and slowly in the other; so slowly that he, the young male, goes crawling on all fours as it were, a long distance after his little flying sister—slowly because he has very far to go and must keep on for a ...
— A Traveller in Little Things • W. H. Hudson

... the passage on all fours, momentarily expecting to feel the claws of their enemy. Six arms and six legs revolved wildly. Jerry held grimly to the lantern, and it's friendly ...
— The Camp in the Snow - Besiedged by Danger • William Murray Graydon

... ingenious device for decoying them. He disguised himself as an antelope, by means of a cloak of cotton cloth (manta) painted to resemble the colouring of the animal. This covered his body, arms, and legs. On his head he placed the antlers of a stag, and by creeping on all fours he could approach the antelopes quite closely and thus successfully shoot them. The Apaches, according to the Mexicans, were experts at hunting ...
— Unknown Mexico, Volume 1 (of 2) • Carl Lumholtz

... enthusiastically that he sat down unexpectedly and with much emphasis. That put him between two impulses, and while they battled he stared round-eyed at Bud. But he decided not to cry, and straightway turned himself into a growly bear and went down the line on all fours toward Cash, growling "Ooooooo!" as fearsomely as his baby throat was ...
— Cabin Fever • B. M. Bower

... of some dozen barefoot wretches, in coolie clothes, with queues un-plaited, crawled on all fours through the first arch. They crouched abject, while the tall Master of Incense in the dove-gray silk ...
— Dragon's blood • Henry Milner Rideout

... words, but, taking a firm hold on the back of the chair, he suddenly pulled it out from under Benson. So swiftly was the thing done that Jack went down on all fours on the porch. But, thoroughly aroused, and his eyes flashing indignantly now, that boy was quickly on his feet. Dan, however, with a satisfied grin, had dropped into ...
— The Submarine Boys on Duty - Life of a Diving Torpedo Boat • Victor G. Durham

... point of union with the metal tube. It is important not to raise the animal's head too high on account of the danger of the dose entering the lungs. The nose should not be raised higher than the level of the eyes. The animal may be dosed either standing on all fours or lying on ...
— Special Report on Diseases of Cattle • U.S. Department of Agriculture

... said Natalie, and rushed at him. With one arm he caught her around the waist and threw her back. She landed on all fours, like a cat. Then, laughing, she sprang up and came at him again, only to be hurled back once more. Lewis was laughing, too, laughing at this last romp in the name of childhood. Natalie was so strong, so stipple, that ...
— Through stained glass • George Agnew Chamberlain

... with compunction at having been brutal to so pitiful a creature, and I hurried to open the door for him. The animal clawed vigorously inside, and the instant I pushed back the ill-fitted slabs, it strained through and rushed on all fours to the fire. Madame de Ferrier fled backward, for what I liberated could hardly be seen ...
— Lazarre • Mary Hartwell Catherwood

... wind to reach the Eden, a couple of miles from our starting-point, and we were on all fours part of the way. ...
— Mystic Isles of the South Seas. • Frederick O'Brien

... passing away and leaving no representatives of their greatness to future ages? On land at least that is very probable. Man, diminutive man, who, if he walked on all fours, would be no bigger than a silly sheep, and who only partially disguises his native smallness by his acquired habit of walking erect on what ought to be his hind legs—man has upset the whole balanced economy of nature, and is everywhere expelling and exterminating ...
— Falling in Love - With Other Essays on More Exact Branches of Science • Grant Allen

... was still on the arm of his young companion; he again pressed it hard, and kept repeating between his teeth, "Quiet, boy!—keep quiet!—keep quiet!"—though the latter had not made a move since his first prohibition. The bear again lowered himself on all fours, retreated some twenty yards further, and again turned, reared, showed his teeth, and growled. This third menace was too much for the game spirit of John Day. "By Jove!" exclaimed he, "I can stand this no longer," and in an instant a ball from his rifle whizzed into his foe. The wound was not mortal; ...
— Astoria - Or, Anecdotes Of An Enterprise Beyond The Rocky Mountains • Washington Irving

... the shoe and leggin, Tad started on again, this time on all fours, not trusting himself to try to walk, feeling his way ahead of him with his hands, which he considered ...
— The Pony Rider Boys in Montana • Frank Gee Patchin

... whole nation rejoiced, and Henry became somewhat reconciled to his unattractive spouse. The king was exceedingly fond of this child. One day the Spanish embassador, a dignified Castilian, was rather suddenly ushered into the royal presence at Fontainebleau. The monarch was on all fours on the floor, running about the room with the little dauphin on his back. Raising his eyes, he said ...
— Henry IV, Makers of History • John S. C. Abbott

... paraded several times round it, running upon their hands and feet, and imitating the dogs of the country. Their dress was adapted to this purpose; the wooden sword, stuck in the hinder part of the girdle which they wore round the waist, did not, when they were crawling on all fours, look much unlike the tail of a dog curled over his back. Every time they passed the place where the boys were seated, they threw up the sand and dust on them with their hands and their feet. During this ceremony the boys sat perfectly still and silent, never once moving themselves from the position ...
— An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Vol. 1 • David Collins

... upon his back long. The instant he landed he started to turn over. He saw one of the snakes draw near and make a strike at his sockless ankle. Giant let out a yell like an Indian on the warpath, and, on all fours, made a leap like a frog a distance of several feet. Then he stood upright and made another leap for the rocks. As he came close, Snap caught him by the arm and pulled ...
— Out with Gun and Camera • Ralph Bonehill

... in the capture of larger animals is even more wonderful. We saw an Indian with a stag's head over his own, walking on all fours, appearing to graze, and carrying out the pantomime with such truth to life that our hunters would have fired at him at thirty paces had they not been prevented. By this means the natives approach quite close to a herd of deer, and then kill ...
— Celebrated Travels and Travellers - Part 2. The Great Navigators of the Eighteenth Century • Jules Verne

... and gambol on the carpet, answer his thousand impossible questions, which are the echo of his endless dreams, and let yourself be pulled by the beard to imitate a horse. All this is kindness, but also cleverness, and good King Henry IV did not belie his skilful policy by walking on all fours on his carpet with ...
— Monsieur, Madame and Bebe, Complete • Gustave Droz

... Mr. Stenson declared, "this is a veritable temple of peace. I arrived here literally on all fours. Miss Abbeway has proved to me quite conclusively that as a democratic leader I have missed ...
— The Devil's Paw • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... Peter Vidal, another typical troubadour, who was a crusader, an exceedingly ingenious verse-smith, a great lover, and a proficient in the fantastic pranks which rather brought the school into discredit, inasmuch as he is said to have run about on all fours in a wolfskin in honour of his mistress Loba (Lupa); Gaucelm Faidit and Arnaut de Maroilh, Folquet of Marseilles, and Rambaut of Vaqueras; the Monk of Montaudon and Bertrand de Born himself, who with Peire Cardinal is the chief satirist (though ...
— The Flourishing of Romance and the Rise of Allegory - (Periods of European Literature, vol. II) • George Saintsbury

... a perplexed air. "I do not know whether he be a Huguenot, nor what a Huguenot is. The Cure one day said he was a Jansenist on all fours, which I suppose is the same thing, Babet—and it does not concern either you or me. But a merchant who is a gentleman and kind to poor folk, and gives just measure and honest weight, speaks truth and harms nobody, is Christian ...
— The Golden Dog - Le Chien d'Or • William Kirby

... the sky above our neighbour's roof was a bright blue—we were holding a lively representation of a circus we had visited the day before. Willy, with the carriage whip brought up from the hall, took the place of the gentleman in the ring, while I as the piebald palfrey galloped on all fours spiritedly round the place, or pranced proudly on my hind legs, to command. We were spurred on to more vivacious action by the knowledge that our neighbour had opened his window wide, and was standing before it. When we tired of our equestrian performances, and took up our position ...
— A Sheaf of Corn • Mary E. Mann

... the word deliberately," replied Weymouth, "because Burke seems to have the idea that it goes on all fours." ...
— The Return of Dr. Fu-Manchu • Sax Rohmer

... that I was looking down upon the arena, from a rapidly increasing height. I was rising, rising. In an inconceivably short while, I had reached an altitude of many hundred feet. Beneath me, the spot that I had just left, was occupied by the foul Swine-creature. It had gone down on all fours and was snuffing and rooting, like a veritable hog, at the surface of the arena. A moment and it rose to its feet, clutching upward, with an expression of desire upon its face such as I have never ...
— The House on the Borderland • William Hope Hodgson

... Brahmin could not decide whether the unclean beast was tall enough to touch the cloth, or not. He questioned his children, who were present; but they were not quite certain. How, then, was he to settle the all-important point? Ingenious Brahmin! an idea struck him. Getting down on all fours, so as to be of the same height as the dog, he crawled under the ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. II, No. 8, June 1858 • Various

... room. He was lying on a satin cushion and, evidently imitating an acrobat he had lately seen at the circus, stuck up in the air first one leg and then the other. When his elegant legs were exhausted, he brought his arms into play or jumped up impulsively and went on all fours, trying to stand with his legs in the air. All this he was doing with the utmost gravity, gasping and groaning painfully as though he regretted that God had given him ...
— The Party and Other Stories • Anton Chekhov

... company. Even Master Jock now sprang from his seat, and, resting the palms of both hands on his knees, regarded the new-comer with amazement, while the gipsy went down on all fours and began sniffing ...
— A Hungarian Nabob • Maurus Jokai

... For some moments I remained in a most dreadful state of alarm. It just then occurred to me that I once heard of a boy who had driven back a bull out of a field by walking backward on his hands and feet. Fortunate thought! I caught at the idea; in a moment I was on all fours, with my head as near the earth as I could keep it, and commenced cutting all the capers of which I was capable. The jackals, who no doubt had never seen so strange an animal, first stopped, then retreated, and, as I drew near the tent, flew in all directions. ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 2, No. 12, May, 1851. • Various

... knees to shake like a jumpin' jack's. But I couldn't move no more'n a stun wall kin, an' thar I stood on the edge o' the gulley, starin' at the b'ar ez it sailed on up to'rd me. The b'ar were making a desper't effort to git itself back to its nat'ral p'sition on all fours, but th' wa'n't no use, an' up he sailed, tail foremost, an' lookin' ez if he were gointer bust the next minute, he were swelled out so. Ez the b'ar bobbed up and passed by me I could ha' reached out an' grabbed him by the paw, an' I think ...
— The Wit and Humor of America, Volume VI. (of X.) • Various

... his fierce passions and lessening his cruelty; but their son Geoffrey Martel was as wild and violent as himself, though with more generosity. A quarrel broke out, Geoffrey rebelled, was conquered, and his father obliged him to come and ask pardon, crawling on all fours, with ...
— Cameos from English History, from Rollo to Edward II • Charlotte Mary Yonge

... mechanical tricks of the trade that the present organization of society compels them to practise for a living, and that rebellion testifies to their intelligence. If they enjoyed and took pride in those tricks, and showed it by diligence and skill, they would be on all fours with such men as are headwaiters, ladies' tailors, schoolmasters or carpet-beaters, and proud of it. The inherent tendency of any woman above the most stupid is to evade the whole obligation, and, if she cannot actually evade it, ...
— In Defense of Women • H. L. Mencken

... the strap strained tight across his loins, with Bland dangling before him, felt even sillier than the Thunder Bird looked. He freed himself after the first paralyzing shock of surprise, dropped on all fours upon the upper wing covering, and crawled out between the front braces. A minute later Bland followed, ...
— The Thunder Bird • B. M. Bower

... in at least fifteen different keys, and the little cross-eyed driver of the Engineers had dressed up in a real Hun helmet and grey coat. The grand finale in which the Engineer had turned into a pig on all fours and had been mercilessly put to death with the fat sergeant's bayonet, had filled Boudru's soul with joy. He reflected and gloated on the scene far into the night. Then he fell fast asleep and met with most dazzling adventures with a German soldier who had been ...
— War and the Weird • Forbes Phillips

... in this instance it only contained the feathered leggings, fringed blanket, and eagle-plumed head-dress of some brave. He did not, however, linger in this plainly visible area, but quickly dropped on all fours and crept into the interior of the house. Here he completed his feast with the fish, and warmed his chilled limbs on the embers of the still smouldering fires. It was while drying his tattered clothes and shoeless feet that he thought of ...
— A Drift from Redwood Camp • Bret Harte

... walk, or walking about the room on all fours without bending the knees, is one of the best exercises for a torpid liver that can be imagined, but it should be practised in private, or your friends ...
— The Royal Road to Health • Chas. A. Tyrrell

... it got so narrow that he found it difficult to secure a foot-hold. At this point the ridge became so attenuated that the youth saw at the first glance that it was impossible to proceed in an upright position; he therefore crept along on all fours, or sat astride the ridge and urged himself on with his hands ...
— Harper's Young People, November 11, 1879 - An Illustrated Weekly • Various

... mother's arm is often not needed to support them. They clasp the breast with their hand and continue sucking while their mother goes on with her ordinary work. These children begin to walk at two months, or rather to crawl. Later on they can run on all fours almost as well as on their feet.—Buffon. M. Buffon might also have quoted the example of England, where the senseless and barbarous swaddling clothes have become almost obsolete. Cf. La Longue Voyage de Siam, Le ...
— Emile • Jean-Jacques Rousseau

... that one consequence of the attempt so vigorously made a few years ago to establish protoplasm as the one living substance, is the making it clear that the non-protoplasmic parts of the body and the simpler extra-corporeal tools or organs must run on all fours in the matter of livingness and non-livingness. If the protoplasmic parts of the body are held living in virtue of their being used by something that really lives, then so, though in a less degree, must tools and machines. If, on the ...
— Luck or Cunning? • Samuel Butler

... moments I would gladly have gone down on all fours, and had a key-board mortised into my side at any expense of personal torture, if Miss Tucker could only have played a piece on me, and herself been conscious of the chords she was awakening inside my jacket. ...
— Humorous Masterpieces from American Literature • Various

... I catch sight of a whole tribe of the murtherin' villins creepin' up on all fours, loike so minny big rats towards us, and didn't they turn tail an' scamper off when I fired ...
— With Axe and Rifle • W.H.G. Kingston

... was immediately, by the force of it, struck to the ground; and when I was down, the hail stones gave me such cruel bangs all over the body as if I had been pelted with tennis-balls, however, I made a shift to creep on all fours, and shelter myself by lying flat on my face on the lee-side of a border of lemon-thyme, but so bruised from head to foot that I could not go abroad in ten days. Neither is this at all to be wondered at, because nature, in that country, observing the same proportion through ...
— Gulliver's Travels - Into Several Remote Regions of the World • Jonathan Swift

... dinner than scenery. I suppose it has got to be bacon and hardtack again. I'm—" but Charley did not finish the sentence. His pony had put its foot in a hole and stumbled, while Charley, taken unawares, pitched over the animal's head and landed on all fours in a little heap of sand beside the hole that had caused the mischief. To the surprise of his companions, he did not rise, but remained in the position in which he had fallen, staring ...
— The Boy Chums in the Forest - or Hunting for Plume Birds in the Florida Everglades • Wilmer M. Ely

... proceeded to show that none of those cases was on all fours with the present case; and a long and interesting argument followed between the Bench and the Bar. And it was said by those who were most competent to judge, that Mr. Silverspoon quite distinguished himself for the wonderful erudition he ...
— The Humourous Story of Farmer Bumpkin's Lawsuit • Richard Harris

... that any people who will get down on all fours to worship the picture of their emperor and, at this period of the world's progress, ascribe to a mere human being the attributes of divinity, are certainly deficient in common sense, if not in civilization. However, for the purpose of insuring ...
— The Pride of Palomar • Peter B. Kyne

... high enough for Hagenbeck, and it used to be a favorite game with us to play animal behind it for the street's amusement. At the hour when the crowd issued from the matinee at the Hyperion Theatre, our wittiest students paced on all fours up and down behind this grill and roared for raw beef. E—— was the wag of the building and he could climb up to a high place and scratch himself like a monkey—an entertainment of more humor than elegance. Elated with success, he and a companion later chartered a street-organ—a ...
— Chimney-Pot Papers • Charles S. Brooks

... lions. It was a simple game, still it gave pleasure to the players. Clad in an easy-fitting dark blue "lounge suit," with narrow white cross-bar lines on it, an aged and faded orange sheep-skin hearthrug thrown gallantly across his shoulders, Farge, on all fours, with the mildest roarings imaginable, made rushes from under the dinner-table at the devoted Worthington, who withstood his fiery onslaught with lungings and brandishings of that truly classic weapon, the ...
— The Far Horizon • Lucas Malet

... a while she could not tell them what was the matter. Stonor thought she was dreaming. Then she began to cry in English: "Door! Door!" and to point to it. Stonor made for the door, but Clare with a cry clung to him, and Mary herself, scrambling on all fours, clutched him around the knees. Stonor felt ...
— The Woman from Outside - [on Swan River] • Hulbert Footner

... got the law of him, it's because he's too much of a sneak. He wasn't anything but a handsome sort of beast to begin with; and, what with drinking and the life he's led, he's grown into a sort of thing that had better go on all fours like Nebuchadnezzar than come nigh decent people on his hind-legs. Why has he let her alone all these years?" The speech was grimly dramatic. "Why, just because, first place, I believe another woman had the upper hand of him; second place, when he married madame ...
— The Mermaid - A Love Tale • Lily Dougall

... the breakers' softened thunder—louder than I ever heard it. Then, as I closed my window, lingering for a last look at the crawling tide, I saw a man standing, ankle-deep, in the surf, all alone there in the night. But—was it a man? For the figure suddenly began running over the beach on all fours like a beetle, waving its limbs like feelers. Before I could throw open the window again it darted into the surf, and, when I leaned out into the chilling drizzle, I saw nothing save the flat ebb crawling on the coast—I ...
— In Search of the Unknown • Robert W. Chambers

... dames and cattle, he was the same before his canvas. Anything that came to hand served him as a brush, an old brown stick wrapped up in cloth, a spoon—with the latter he executed that thrilling Massacre, May 2, 1808, in the Prado. He could have painted with a sabre or on all fours. Reckless to the degree of insanity, he never feared king or devil, man or the Inquisition. The latter reached out for him, but he had disappeared, after suffering a dagger-thrust in the back. When on the very roof of his prosperity, he often slipped downstairs to the company of varlets ...
— Promenades of an Impressionist • James Huneker

... heard of cabinet drawers suffered to remain upside down to prevent mites getting to the insects; but I very much fear that such a plan as this, is on all fours with that of a man whom I knew, who, being abroad in a "Norfolk-Howard" infested country, turned the head of his bed every other night ...
— Practical Taxidermy • Montagu Browne

... about the minster, then," said Johnny, running up stairs on all fours. "I've seen cathedrals till I'm sick of them. But this clock is curious, and I'm ...
— Eric - or, Under the Sea • Mrs. S. B. C. Samuels

... of the dormitory they passed into the children's day-room, where about twenty infants, from one to two years old, were at play—some sitting on mats or creeping on all fours, because they could not yet stand; some walking around chairs and holding on to support themselves; and some running here and there, in full possession of the use of ...
— The Lost Lady of Lone • E.D.E.N. Southworth

... out on all fours. Nip and Tup came with them. Nip and Tup were on all fours, too, but they had run that way all their lives, so they could go much faster than the twins. ...
— The Eskimo Twins • Lucy Fitch Perkins

... him with a fearful admiration from the cover of the bracken, saw him presently go on all fours, and so proceed again. But the horses preferred him a biped to a quadruped, and the Master Horse threw up his head and gave the word to move. Ugh-lomi thought they were off for good, but after a minute's gallop they came round in a wide curve, and stood winding him. Then, ...
— Tales of Space and Time • Herbert George Wells

... Master Chiron was not really very different from other people, but that, being a kind-hearted and merry old fellow, he was in the habit of making believe that he was a horse, and scrambling about the schoolroom on all fours and letting the little boys ride upon his back. And so, when his scholars had grown up and grown old and were trotting their grandchildren on their knees, they told them about the sports of their school-days; and these young folks took the idea that their ...
— Myths and Legends of All Nations • Various

... were assembled in an open place. All the fires in the houses had been previously extinguished. Two sturdy yokels now dug a tunnel through a mound beside an oak tree; the tunnel was just high enough to let a man creep through it on all fours. Two fires, lit by the need-fire, were now laid, one at each end of the tunnel; and the old woman with the kettle took her stand at the entrance of the tunnel, while the one with the lock posted herself at the exit. Facing the latter stood another woman with a great pot of milk before ...
— Balder The Beautiful, Vol. I. • Sir James George Frazer

... a rifle in answer to the trigger, he threw himself down on all fours, and laid his ear to the ground. A second later, he was ...
— Told in the East • Talbot Mundy

... well of everybody, if he thought of any one at all. He reveled in the sunshine, and everywhere made friends of children. "We saw Brahms on the hotel veranda at Domodossola," wrote a young woman to me in Eighteen Hundred Ninety-five, "and what do you think?—he was on all fours, with three children on his back, riding him for ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great - Volume 14 - Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Musicians • Elbert Hubbard

... type of giant dinosaur is the less completely known "chambered saurian," the Camarasaurus of Cope or Morosaurus of Marsh, an animal more quadrupedal in gait or walking more habitually on all fours, like the great Cetiosaurus, or "whale saurian," discovered near Oxford, England. With its shorter tail and heavier fore limbs, it is still less probable that this animal had the power of raising the anterior part of its body from the ground. Of a related type, perhaps, ...
— Dinosaurs - With Special Reference to the American Museum Collections • William Diller Matthew

... distress; waving her hands helplessly before her, and then clapping them to her face. But now the great beast became impatient; it struck the door sharply, and snarled warningly. The woman shrank back as though she herself were about to drop on all fours and answered him. "No, no!" she cried, and considered a moment. Then the door was burst in with one tremendous blow, and Master Bruin rolled over the threshold and leaped toward them in clumsy jumps, his head thrown somewhat backward ...
— Pelle the Conqueror, Complete • Martin Andersen Nexo

... to have made great friends with Flossie. She was patting him on the head now, for the animal, after marching about on his hind legs, was down on all fours again. ...
— The Bobbsey Twins at School • Laura Lee Hope

... perpendicular, the same column was now seen lying along the earth in a nearly horizontal position, with a huge mass of broken boughs and branches of trees crushed under its top. Near its base, now upturned and standing almost vertically, was the elephant, no longer on its hind feet, nor yet on all fours, but down upon its back, kicking its huge hoofs in the air, and making the most stupendous efforts to recover its legs. Ossaroo was nowhere ...
— The Cliff Climbers - A Sequel to "The Plant Hunters" • Captain Mayne Reid

... again, and, throwing down cooking-pot, teapot, and wallet, laid her on her back, and strove to bend her knees upwards in the direction of her body. Meanwhile she sought to repel me with blows on face and breast, and at length rolled on to her stomach. Then, raising herself on all fours, she, sobbing, gasping, and cursing in a breath, crawled away like a bear into a remoter portion ...
— Through Russia • Maxim Gorky

... more than one self or soul or shade in any one of these personalities, and these shades had the power not only to go away, but to transform their bodily tenements at will; a bird, by raising its head, could become a man; the latter, by going on all fours, could become a deer. (3) That the regulative side of the spirit world was the natural outcome of the clan social system and the tribal government in each tribe. Even one's personal name had reference to the world of ghosts. The affirmation that American ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... at first, when Harkness saw the figure leap outward from the cliff. A second one followed. They landed on all fours upon a rock that jutted outward toward ...
— Astounding Stories, May, 1931 • Various

... The referee is on all fours, his cheek almost to the ground. He is watching for the meeting of those two ...
— The Dozen from Lakerim • Rupert Hughes

... he and Muckluck were getting the food and presents together, the lively Ol' Chief—so lately dying—made off, in a fine new parki, on all fours, curious, no doubt, to ...
— The Magnetic North • Elizabeth Robins (C. E. Raimond)

... of us crawled into a long hole to explore a cave in the woods. While laboriously making our way on all fours, carrying torches, we were suddenly horrified by fiendish hisses. Visions of snakes danced before our minds, the girls shrieked, the torches fell in our frantic scramble and we were left in Stygian darkness. A mocking, demoniacal ...
— The Gentleman from Everywhere • James Henry Foss

... young man breathed more freely. He congratulated himself. Intercourse was in act of becoming normal and easy. So far it had been quite absurdly hind-leggy—and for him, him, to be forced into being hind-leggy by a girl of barely eighteen! Now he prepared to trot gaily, comfortably, off on all fours, when she spoke, bringing him up to the perpendicular ...
— Deadham Hard • Lucas Malet

... deer was feeding hungrily, only her hind quarters showing out of the underbrush. I watched her awhile, then dropped on all fours and began to creep towards her, to see how near I could get and what new trait I might discover. But at the first motion (I had stood at first like an old stump on the ridge) a fawn that had evidently been watching me all the time from his hiding sprang into sight with a sharp whistle ...
— Types of Children's Literature • Edited by Walter Barnes

... to the hunter, for he must not be discovered by the game, as he would then be trodden underfoot or disembowelled. In the immense prairies where these ruminants feed, a few Indians covered by bisons' skins advance on all fours, so that nothing betrays their presence. The victims fall one by one beneath silent blows, and their companions, who can see nothing suspicious in the neighbourhood, are not disturbed, supposing them, no doubt, to be ...
— The Industries of Animals • Frederic Houssay

... while he was intent on prayer. Guerin did so; but became very miserable, and at length determined to make a pilgrimage to Rome, to obtain a remission of his complicated crimes. The Pope enjoined him to return to Montserrat, on all fours, and to continue in that state, without once looking up to heaven, for the space of seven years, or 'till a child of three months old told him, his sins were forgiven: all which Guerin chearfully complied with, and accordingly crawled back to the ...
— A Year's Journey through France and Part of Spain, 1777 - Volume 1 (of 2) • Philip Thicknesse

... patient. After the blood was withdrawn, compresses were carefully applied, and the body bandaged from the lower ribs as low down as the bandage could be applied with the legs flexed at right angles to the body. The patient stood on all fours, as it is called, ...
— Report on Surgery to the Santa Clara County Medical Society • Joseph Bradford Cox

... of me, they threw themselves on all fours, their faces touching the floor. Good gracious! what can be the matter? Nothing at all, it is only the ceremonious salute to which I am as yet unaccustomed. They rise, and proceed to take off my boots (one never keeps on one's shoes ...
— Madame Chrysantheme • Pierre Loti

... wrote on the title-page of his copy, which now belongs to Mr. J. Dykes Campbell, "And his carcass was cast in the way, and the Ass stood by it." Sir Walter Scott openly lamented that Wordsworth should exhibit himself "crawling on all fours, when God has given him so noble a countenance to lift to heaven." Byron mocked aloud, and, worse than all, the young men from whom so much had been expected, les jeunes feroces, leaped on the poor uncomplaining Ass like so many hunting-leopards. The air was darkened ...
— Gossip in a Library • Edmund Gosse

... fancy was so tickled by this suggestion that she put it into practice at once, and went gaily forth up the steps on all fours. At the turn she stopped, ...
— Mr. Opp • Alice Hegan Rice

... Dropping on all fours, Sime feels for hoof-prints of the horses that have just crossed, groping in darkness. He can distinguish them from all others by their being wet. And so does, gaining ground, bit by bit, surely ...
— The Death Shot - A Story Retold • Mayne Reid

... carefully closed the door after him; but Flint, who knew his inquiring proclivities, opened it suddenly, and found Michel on all fours with his ear to the key-hole. The door was opened so unexpectedly that the listener did not discover the fact for the space of ten seconds. When he looked up and beheld his master, the intense expression of his face was superbly ludicrous. To say that he shot to the subterranean regions ...
— Daisy's Necklace - And What Came of It • Thomas Bailey Aldrich

... our thoughts out of the mud with the elation of risk. That searchlight was the eye of death looking for a target. With the first crack of a bullet we should have known that we were discovered and that it was no longer good tactics to stand still. We should have dropped on all fours into the porridge. The searchlight swept on. Perhaps Hans at the machine-gun was nodding or perhaps he did not think us worth while. Either supposition was equally agreeable ...
— My Year of the War • Frederick Palmer

... Maida would see Tim spread out on all fours. Like an obstinate little pig, he would lie still until Molly picked him up. She would take him home and in a few moments he would reappear in fresh, ...
— Maida's Little Shop • Inez Haynes Irwin

... to describe to her the appearance of a camel; but, as we were not allowed to touch the animal, I feared that she did not get a correct idea of its shape. A few days afterward, however, hearing a commotion in the schoolroom, I went in and found Helen on all fours with a pillow so strapped upon her back as to leave a hollow in the middle, thus making a hump on either side. Between these humps she had placed her doll, which she was giving a ride around the room. I watched her for some time as she moved about, trying to take long strides in order to carry ...
— Story of My Life • Helen Keller

... and went to rest, believing every thing secure; but when day appeared next morning neither the cacique nor any of his attendants were to be found. Taking advantage of the centinels falling asleep, Capasi had crept out from among them on all fours, after which his Indians carried him off to some more secure place than the former, as he was never more seen. The Spanish escort returned much ashamed of themselves to Soto, pretending that Capasi and his attendants must ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. 5 • Robert Kerr

... for the darkness to lift. It did not lift that day, nor the next. Dick adventured on a voyage round the walls. He hit his shins against the stove, and this suggested to him that it would be better to crawl on all fours, one hand in front of him. Torpenhow found him on ...
— The Works of Rudyard Kipling One Volume Edition • Rudyard Kipling

... the door that separated the control nest from the hold of the little prison tender ship. The other five men had withdrawn to the other side of the cabin and were watching listlessly the big, ragged, barrel-chested Martian crouching on all fours against the side of the cabin and ferociously ...
— The Space Rover • Edwin K. Sloat

... going for months, crouching, creeping on all fours, starving, carrying their own death as mothers carry their children; since suffering and waiting and the passive acceptance of danger and pain have reversed the sexes, the women have felt strong, and even in their sensuality there has been a little glimmer of the new ...
— Men in War • Andreas Latzko

... three or four hours that he had lain in the bushes, he had been travelling in a straight line all the time, as fast as he could with his broken leg. And did men travel fast? No; they moved very slowly, and always on their hind-legs. Cinnamon had never seen one go on all fours, though that seemed to him as ridiculous as their building houses of chopped trees instead of making holes in the ground. They very rarely went about at night, and Cinnamon did not believe any of them had followed him, so there was probably no immediate danger. Moreover, ...
— Bear Brownie - The Life of a Bear • H. P. Robinson

... flying up behind from the quickness of his turn. Straight at the throat of the chestnut he dived and his teeth closed on the throat of Alcatraz just where the neck narrows beneath the jaw. His superior height enabled Alcatraz to rear and fling himself clear, but his throat was bleeding when he landed on all fours dancing with rage and the sting of his wounds. Yet he refrained from rushing; he had been in too many a fight to ...
— Alcatraz • Max Brand

... that while he was sitting in a shed after the accident, he was surprised to see a person enter the door crawling on all fours, and half dead with terror. This it appeared was the surgeon, who had been sent for by the chiefs. He was horror-struck at the accident, but soon recovered himself on observing Captain ...
— Account of a Voyage of Discovery - to the West Coast of Corea, and the Great Loo-Choo Island • Captain Basil Hall

... sense of this proposition, and he held the reins of the Kid's horse, while that cow puncher slipped from the saddle, and, on all fours, crept toward the wall of rock which rose abruptly at a turn of the trail shutting ...
— The Boy Ranchers on the Trail • Willard F. Baker

... oneself Davidson crawling away on all fours from the murdered woman—Davidson unmanned and crushed by the idea that she had died for him in a sense. But he could not have gone very far. What stopped him was the thought of the boy, Laughing Anne's child, that ...
— Within the Tides • Joseph Conrad

... fight for his liberty. Despite Jean's superior strength, Dan had the advantage in that his own body acted as a lever, and for a moment it seemed that he was to be successful; but the Frenchman, with a violent execration, suddenly let go his hold on the knob, the door swung in, and Dan fell back on all fours upon the floor. By the time he had recovered himself for another dash, he was confronted by Jean, a disagreeable leer upon his unpleasant countenance and a cocked pistol ...
— The Inn at the Red Oak • Latta Griswold

... to his master, and over a glass of wine heartily thanked his friend, the commercial traveller, for having given him self-confidence and will,—"will, that iron bar, which keeps a man's back erect and prevents him from grovelling on all fours." And he swore a solemn oath never to forget his friend, who had taught him to have ...
— In Midsummer Days and Other Tales • August Strindberg

... little heels into his flanks, and flicked him sharply with the morale or elongated lash of the reins. Without hesitation the pony stepped off the grade, bunched his hoofs and slid down the precipitous slope. So steep was the hill that a man would have had to climb it on all fours. ...
— The Rules of the Game • Stewart Edward White

... difficulties and, in many places, he and his men had to go on all fours to get along. He succeeded, however, in driving off the enemy; who occupied a number of sangars on the hills, and who could have greatly harassed the main body by rolling ...
— Through Three Campaigns - A Story of Chitral, Tirah and Ashanti • G. A. Henty

... cutter would have pushed them forward. As it was, they realized the danger themselves; for when we turned the second curve, both of them stiffened their legs and spread their feet in order to break the momentum of the cutter; but in spite of the heavy calks under their shoes they slipped on all fours, hardly able to make the bend ...
— Over Prairie Trails • Frederick Philip Grove

... them together, and had a rope fastened to them besides. Thus united they waddled on; not lovingly, for very often they grumbled and growled, and seemed to be making far from pleasant remarks to each other. They kept on all fours, it must be understood. Bears only stand on their hind legs when they have learned to dance, or are going to eat a man, or at all events are standing at bay. On reaching the end of the lake we found that a considerable portion of the day had been spent, but still we had some distance to go before ...
— Dick Onslow - Among the Redskins • W.H.G. Kingston

... on the floor of the room—then darted swiftly out between the legs of Lund and Rainey, on all fours, like a great dog. Curlike, it sprawled on the floor with a white face and pop-eyes, with hands outstretched in pleading, knees drawn up in some ludicrous attempt at protection, calling shrilly, in the ...
— A Man to His Mate • J. Allan Dunn

... thunder drowning him out. The troll-wife turned and went on all fours and poked up the ...
— The Valor of Cappen Varra • Poul William Anderson

... first, on all fours, and thrusting the point of his spontoon between the joints of the lead sheeting so as to obtain a hold, he crawled slowly upwards. To follow, Balbi took a grip of Casanova's belt with his right hand, ...
— The Historical Nights' Entertainment • Rafael Sabatini



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