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Keyhole   Listen
noun
Keyhole  n.  
1.
A hole or apertupe in a door or lock, for receiving a key.
2.
(a)
(Carp.) A hole or excavation in beams intended to be joined together, to receive the key which fastens them.
(b)
(Mach.) A mortise for a key or cotter.
Keyhole limpet (Zool.), a marine gastropod of the genus Fissurella and allied genera. See Fissurella.
Keyhole saw, a narrow, slender saw, used in cutting keyholes, etc., as in doors; a kind of compass saw or fret saw.
Keyhole urchin (Zool.), any one of numerous clypeastroid sea urchins, of the genera Melitta, Rotula, and Encope; so called because they have one or more perforations resembling keyholes.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Keyhole" Quotes from Famous Books



... a pistol with me, your honour," Mike said. "I have seen doors blown in, by firing a gun through the keyhole." ...
— In the Irish Brigade - A Tale of War in Flanders and Spain • G. A. Henty

... the shutters of this grim apartment were kept closed, and an inquisitive eye, applied to the keyhole, could just faintly discern the portrait in crayon of the late Mr. Handsomebody, presiding, like some whiskered ghost, over the revels of the stuffed birds in ...
— Explorers of the Dawn • Mazo de la Roche

... "And a very proper altar-piece is here, Madam!" Queen Anne had the same custom; and once ordering the door to be shut while she shifted, the chaplain stopped. The Queen sent to ask why he did not proceed. He replied, "he would not whistle the word of God through the keyhole." ...
— The Letters of Horace Walpole, Volume 1 • Horace Walpole

... lived to be one of the witnesses so slaughtered. The practical good sense of Cromwell is worth noting, the English understanding struggling against Judaic trammels. Williams gives us another peep through the keyhole of the past: "It pleased the Lord to call me for some time & with some persons to practice the Hebrew, the Greeke, Latine, French & Dutch. The secretarie of the Councell (Mr Milton) for my Dutch I read him, read me many more languages. Grammar rules begin to be esteemed a Tyrannie. I taught ...
— Among My Books - First Series • James Russell Lowell

... night, the wild despairing glare in the eyes of the dying pirate as the flash of the pistol glanced upon the glazing eyeballs for an instant; but he had no time to think about such things now. Stooping down and applying his mouth to the keyhole he said, loud enough to be heard by ...
— The Pirate Island - A Story of the South Pacific • Harry Collingwood

... It could not have been the wind, by the way, for there was no wind that night. Something else than the wind whistled in at the keyhole, sighed through into the room as much like a long-drawn breath as anything, and fell with a slight clink upon ...
— Men, Women, and Ghosts • Elizabeth Stuart Phelps

... rolled an arm-chair to the fire—"Now for it!" said she, seating herself. "The devil upon two sticks, if he were looking down upon me from the house-top, or Champfort, who is the worse devil of the two, would, if he were peeping through the keyhole, swear I was going to open a love-letter—and so I hope I am. Now for it!" ...
— Tales and Novels, Vol. III - Belinda • Maria Edgeworth

... slipped from her own warm bed to stand, an anxious little figure, shivering in her nightgown, her dark curls streaming down her back, a suspensive ear to the keyhole of her mother's door. People fainted because they had heart disease. Of heart disease they also died. She dared not go in, because papa was there, but waited, trembling with cold and fear, until ...
— Mrs. Day's Daughters • Mary E. Mann

... time since the thing began Clara was left out completely. Flora knew she was even left out of a possibility of listening at the keyhole. For the bright, tight, little room into which Harry followed her was approached by a square entry and a double door. The room itself overhung the garden as a ship's deck overhangs the sea. Leather books and long red curtains were the note of it. She and ...
— The Coast of Chance • Esther Chamberlain

... week, and on bread and water," cried a voice through the keyhole; and Mell, opening her eyes, found herself in the dark and alone. She knew very well where she was,—in the closet under the attic stairs; a place she dreaded, because she had once seen a mouse there, and Mell ...
— Nine Little Goslings • Susan Coolidge

... of death, Who knocked upon my door, Now through the keyhole entereth, Invisible and hoar: He breathes around his icy breath And treads ...
— Poems • Madison Cawein

... the next, but on the third day Mary and I both thought we heard a funny sound. I said that Mr. Skinner had left his window open, and it was the blind flapping against the window-pane; but when we heard that funny noise again I put my ear to the keyhole and I thought I could hear a groan. I was very frightened, and ...
— The Old Man in the Corner • Baroness Orczy

... and Sandy went home, after promising to come as early as he could in the morning and call Willie, who was to leave the end of a string hanging out of the staircase window, whose other end should pass through the keyhole of his door and be tied to his wrist. He seemed to have hardly been in bed an hour, when he woke with his arm at full length, and the pulling going on as if it would pull him out of bed. He tugged again in reply, ...
— Gutta-Percha Willie • George MacDonald

... rustling movement on the tiled floor she thought she must be barefooted. Two or three minutes passed, and she knew the kind watcher had not left her place, but that, stooping, and holding with her beautiful hands the clothing so carelessly thrown over her, she still listened at the keyhole. ...
— The Dream • Emile Zola

... hat, with no other overcoat. Listening at the closed hall door, she heard him direct the elevator man, "Second off, Joe." The door was locked from the outside. The servant's entrance was locked, all the bedrooms locked, every one with a Yale lock above the ordinary keyhole. The Chinese cook had been sent out sometime before to buy groceries and ...
— The Voice on the Wire • Eustace Hale Ball

... vestment forth he drew Two keys of metal twain: the one was gold, Its fellow silver. With the pallid first, And next the burnish'd, he so ply'd the gate, As to content me well. "Whenever one Faileth of these, that in the keyhole straight It turn not, to this alley then expect Access in vain." Such were the words he spake. "One is more precious: but the other needs Skill and sagacity, large share of each, Ere its good task to disengage the knot Be worthily perform'd. From Peter these ...
— The Divine Comedy, Complete - The Vision of Paradise, Purgatory and Hell • Dante Alighieri

... permission to speak, an' her that's stannin afore yer honourable coort, brawly kens the laws. Elspeth Mowdiewort didna soop yer kirk an wait till yer session meetings war ower for thirty year in my ain man's time withoot kennin' a' the laws. A keyhole's a most amazin' convenient thing by whiles, an' I was suppler in gettin' up aff my hunkers then than at the ...
— The Lilac Sunbonnet • S.R. Crockett

... to that boy when they heard the story, Boots considers surprising. It was as much as he could do to keep 'em from dashing into the room and kissing him. They climbed up all sorts of places, at the risk of their lives, to look at him through a pane of glass. They were seven deep at the keyhole. Ihey were out of their minds about him ...
— Half-Hours with Great Story-Tellers • Various

... keyhole!" she called. "I shall tie my hair in a club, and bathe me and clothe me very quickly. Are you there, Carus? Do you hear ...
— The Reckoning • Robert W. Chambers

... keyhole without a doubt, and stooping, Lady Markham repeated her question, placing her ear close to the keyhole, as she listened ...
— Crown and Sceptre - A West Country Story • George Manville Fenn

... no one to defend him, so much the more reason why he should be fairly dealt with," replied the hotel-keeper,—a sentiment with which Pearl Hawlinshed had no sympathy. "I have seen Moody since you went out, and he says a man was looking into the keyhole of the room next to his about ten o'clock last evening. That was your father's room. Have you any idea who ...
— All Adrift - or The Goldwing Club • Oliver Optic

... some thought. "And here I've been told 'twas, of all places, the easiest to get into; one little slip from grace and there you were! Sure, and the priests were as wrong as the scientists. It must be Heaven that's easy to crash, for the front door of Hades is shut fast without even a keyhole to peep through." ...
— The Finding of Haldgren • Charles Willard Diffin

... map. The level may then be worked out approximately by points above and below on the stream, for accurate reading, hold the aneroid face up, gently tap it, and read; then face down similarly, and take the mean. Guard that the wind does not blow against any keyhole ...
— How to Observe in Archaeology • Various

... from the island. Then to the chest. Opening it isn't so easy: I had the key, you know." He brought a curious and delicately wrought skeleton from his pocket. "Tipped with platinum," he observed. "Rather a gem of a key, I think. You see, there must have been some action, even through the keyhole, or he wouldn't have used a metal of this kind. But the crew was rich in certain qualities, it seems, which I failed, stupidly, to recognise in my acquaintance with them. Both Pulz and Perdosa appear to have been handy men where locks were concerned. First Pulz sneaks down and has ...
— The Mystery • Stewart Edward White and Samuel Hopkins Adams

... entered the kitchen, Tilly Slowboy was rapping at the Stranger's door; which was only removed from it by a few steps. One of her very red eyes (for Tilly had been crying all night long, because her mistress cried) was at the keyhole; and she was knocking ...
— The Cricket on the Hearth • Charles Dickens

... his hiding place and made his way to the door which separated him from the banqueting hall. Listening intently at the keyhole, he heard the clinking of glasses and the sound of voices loudly raised, and he guessed that the revelry was at its height. More and more noisy did it become, for Marshal Illo was plying his guests with wine in order that they might sign without examination the document which he had prepared for ...
— The Lion of the North • G.A. Henty

... period, the bay next to the tower displays from the ground to the triforium a plain surface broken only by a pointed doorway surmounted by three cinquefoiled niches with ogee crocketed hoods. The doorway retains its original doors with an ornamental iron scutcheon over the keyhole. In their great strength, and in their treatment generally, the two arches opening into the aisle resemble the Perpendicular arches of the central tower. The triforium stage is exceedingly poor, and shows traces of more or less modern disfigurement. ...
— Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of Ripon - A Short History of the Church and a Description of Its Fabric • Cecil Walter Charles Hallett

... Theatre, the trial was appointed to take place next morning in the beautiful hall of the Divinity School. Owing to the insertion overnight—by a mischievous undergraduate or other sympathiser with the day's heroine—of some obstacle in the keyhole, the door could not be opened, and the lock had to be forced, which delayed the proceedings for an hour. The judges meanwhile returned to their lodgings. This initial difficulty surmounted, at eight ...
— Trial of Mary Blandy • William Roughead

... A few rays came through the decayed planks of the door which Alec had pushed to behind them, and fell upon the rubbish of centuries sloping in the brown light and damp air down into the abyss. One larger ray from the keyhole fell upon Kate's face, and showed it blanched with fear, and her eyes distended with the effort to see through ...
— Alec Forbes of Howglen • George MacDonald

... kept an eye on what was going on, send his wife to bed; then he pressed now his ear, now his eye to the keyhole in order to try and discover what he called "the mysteries ...
— Mademoiselle Fifi • Guy de Maupassant

... could hear no sound from the other side of her locked and bolted door, and the handle did not move again. Slipping out of bed after a few minutes, she stole noiselessly across the room and, dropping on one knee, put her ear to the keyhole and listened, but heard no sound save the throbbing of ...
— Bandit Love • Juanita Savage

... you an ordinary 6 inch rim-lock of English manufacture. At a short distance it looks like a superior article; the follower and keyhole appear as if they were bushed with brass. But let us take it to pieces, and see what we can find. The follower is a rough casting, not turned at the bearings, and is in no sense a fit. The screw holes are not countersunk, ...
— Scientific American, Volume 40, No. 13, March 29, 1879 • Various

... of these rusty bars would have been heard had the door been made patent; and if you passed through the keyhole, truly, sir, put what face you will on it, you are not fit to be enrolled in a regiment of ...
— A Legend of Montrose • Sir Walter Scott

... entirely to individual taste to decide what "slight" shall be, and my neighbour really seems to enjoy using this privilege, judging from the way she talks about it. I would give much to be able to peep through a keyhole and see the dauntless little lady, terrible in her wrath and dignity, standing on tiptoe to box the ears of some great strapping girl big enough ...
— Elizabeth and her German Garden • "Elizabeth", AKA Marie Annette Beauchamp

... time the old lady was ascending the stairs, and closing the door Maggie applied her eye to the keyhole, listening breathlessly for what might follow. George Douglas and Henry Warner occupied separate rooms, and their boots were now standing outside their doors, ready for the chore boy, Jim, who thus earned a quarter every day. Stumbling first upon the pair ...
— Maggie Miller • Mary J. Holmes

... of those poor men that are plagued with the pox and the gout? O how often have we seen them, even immediately after they were anointed and thoroughly greased, till their faces did glister like the keyhole of a powdering tub, their teeth dance like the jacks of a pair of little organs or virginals when they are played upon, and that they foamed from their very throats like a boar which the mongrel mastiff-hounds have driven in ...
— Gargantua and Pantagruel, Complete. • Francois Rabelais

... spectacle of a bunch of keys dangling idly from the keyhole of the door, which he was still holding open, brought him to his senses, and, drawing the key from the lock, he closed the door ...
— Anthony Lyveden • Dornford Yates

... the key but he could not in that darkness fit it into the padlock; and he asked me if I had any matches. I had a little silver box of wax vestas in my pocket, and struck one to help him in his search for the keyhole which he found to have been covered by the escutcheon. Before I threw the match away I held it up and glanced back across the garden. The shadows leaped and stiffened to attention, and I flung the match away, ...
— The Jervaise Comedy • J. D. Beresford

... said Carl, his voice sounding like the piping noise of the wind through a keyhole. ...
— Ted Strong in Montana - With Lariat and Spur • Edward C. Taylor

... God save us! Him working! The last man that seen Mr. Dan working is in his grave this twenty years. (He goes over next workshop door.) I'll just peep in at him through the keyhole. (He goes over and does so, and then beckons KATE over. She peeps in and grins. As they are thus occupied ALICK MCCREADY opens the door and stands gazing at them. He is a type of the young well-to-do ...
— The Drone - A Play in Three Acts • Rutherford Mayne

... After some moments, light foot-steps approached the door, and the voice of Sinang said through the keyhole: ...
— An Eagle Flight - A Filipino Novel Adapted from Noli Me Tangere • Jose Rizal

... know. Maybe I can help you. The box was an old, old box. It was of mahogany, heavy, bound with brass, with neither key nor keyhole, and only those who had been shown how could open it. ...
— The Brass Bound Box • Evelyn Raymond

... peculiar genus, remarkable as it is, seems hitherto to have escaped notice. It is distinguishable from Catenicella, in the first place, by the anomalous circumstance that each cell is furnished with two or more, usually three, distinct keyhole-shaped mouths, and is doubtless inhabited by three distinct individuals. Whether these are separated from each other by internal partitions is unknown, but the closest examination of cells rendered transparent by means of acid fails to discover ...
— Narrative Of The Voyage Of H.M.S. Rattlesnake, Commanded By The Late Captain Owen Stanley, R.N., F.R.S. Etc. During The Years 1846-1850. Including Discoveries And Surveys In New Guinea, The Louisiade • John MacGillivray

... the Delavan in Duke. I remember an old maid aunt of mine that used to bolt the door and quarrel with my mother through the keyhole. I guess maybe Duke has got a ...
— Rim o' the World • B. M. Bower

... the building," Harvey whispered. Mattison stepped lightly across the hall and, bending down, listened at the keyhole. He returned ...
— The Short Line War • Merwin-Webster

... elapsed, Mien-yaun was permitted the luxury of a private chat with his charmer. What sighs, what smiles, what pleasing tremors, what soft murmurings, what pressings of the hand and throbbings of the heart were there! The Antique, who watched the course of proceedings through a contiguous keyhole, subsequently declared that she had never in all her life witnessed so affecting a spectacle, and she was prevented from giving way to her excessive agitation only by the thought that the interruption might seriously endanger ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 3, No. 20, June, 1859 • Various

... being the custom to hang such before women during confinement. Then we have the King on his knees before Mirin, and afterwards Mirin received by him with joy. The next two sculptures represent the last two acts of the Saint—the brother looking through the keyhole and seeing Mirin illuminated by a celestial light, and the Saint restoring to life the dead man in the Valley of Colpdasch.... As they are evidently earlier than the date of the erection of the chapel, they have probably been transferred ...
— Scottish Cathedrals and Abbeys • Dugald Butler and Herbert Story

... floor above the entresol, La Cibot beheld a door of the most villainous description. The doubtful red paint was coated for seven or eight inches round the keyhole with a filthy glaze, a grimy deposit from which the modern house-decorator endeavors to protect the doors of more elegant apartments by glass "finger-plates." A grating, almost stopped up with some compound similar to the deposit with which a restaurant-keeper gives an air of cellar-bound ...
— Cousin Pons • Honore de Balzac

... journeys we removed from the dining-room our belongings, and placed them in the kitchen; silence, fraught with dire possibilities, still brooded over the drawing-room. Could they all be asleep, or was Miss McEvoy watching us through the keyhole? There remained only my hat, which was upstairs, and at this, the last moment, Robert remembered his fly-book, left under the clock in the dining-room. I again passed the drawing-room in safety, and got upstairs, ...
— All on the Irish Shore - Irish Sketches • E. Somerville and Martin Ross

... account for the light or get rid of it by changing the position of candles or bright objects in the outer room; and Henderson had shut himself into the bedroom with it; but there he still only saw the hazy light—though all was otherwise pitch dark, except the keyhole and the small gray patch of sky at the top of the window-shutters. 'You saw nothing else?' said Griff. 'I thought I heard you break out as Clarence did, just before my father opened ...
— Chantry House • Charlotte M. Yonge

... as the butler finished his explanation, and there outside the laboratory door stood the little knot of footmen and ostlers, while the village policeman, who had just arrived, was holding his bull's-eye to the keyhole, ...
— The Doings Of Raffles Haw • Arthur Conan Doyle

... been shut up for several years. Yet voices were heard about the place, the lilacs nodded over the high wall as if they said, "We could tell fine secrets if we chose," and the mullein outside the gate made haste to reach the keyhole that it might peep in and see what ...
— St. Nicholas, Vol. 5, No. 2, December, 1877 • Various

... everything was still outside, and presently I saw a piece of paper slowly slipping in over the threshold, oh, so slyly! I felt my hands and feet grow cold. I felt that the man himself was about to follow that narrow strip of paper; that he was bound to get in that way, or through the keyhole, or somehow. Then I recognized your handwriting. My first thought was that you had been killed ...
— The Queen of Sheba & My Cousin the Colonel • Thomas Bailey Aldrich

... knock, in a hesitating manner, not being sure but what my answer might be the mouth of a carbine. However it was not so, for I heard a pattering of feet and a whispering going on, and then a shrill voice through the keyhole, asking, "Who's there?" ...
— Lorna Doone - A Romance of Exmoor • R. D. Blackmore

... he saw me, he left carolling and presently hobbled up and chanted, 'Charity, for love of Heaven, sweet master, charity,' with a whine as piteous as wind at keyhole. 'Alack, poor soul,' said I, 'charity is in my heart, but not my purse; I am poor as thou.' Then he believed me none, and to melt me undid his sleeve, and showed a sore wound on his arm, and said he, 'Poor cripple though I be, I am ...
— The Cloister and the Hearth • Charles Reade

... of the Scotchman's delight and weakness. He showed the world the excellence of two colors, and caused many a man to lose the keyhole. ...
— Who Was Who: 5000 B. C. to Date - Biographical Dictionary of the Famous and Those Who Wanted to Be • Anonymous

... furnished with appliances that, in summer, must have rendered it delightful; facing the east, and opening on the road, were a door and window, neither of them particularly close-jointed; and, exactly vis-a-vis, another door, with a keyhole as large as the bore of a four-pounder; this was flanked by a third, which in its turn was set to by a huge open chimney; and, all combined, they rendered my quarters more airy than was at this ...
— Impressions of America - During The Years 1833, 1834, and 1835. In Two Volumes, Volume II. • Tyrone Power

... softly touched the bell which gave one tinkle, then gently, as though reflecting and looking about him, began touching the door-handle pulling it and letting it go to make sure once more that it was only fastened by the hook. Then puffing and panting he bent down and began looking at the keyhole: but the key was in the lock on the inside and so nothing could ...
— Crime and Punishment • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... voices; and that was enough. She went into the kitchen, and stirred up the fire, and lighted the house, and prepared for the wanderer's refreshment. How fortunate it was that her mother slept! She knew that she did, from the candle-lighter thrust through the keyhole of her bedroom door. The traveller could be refreshed and bright, and the first excitement of the meeting with his father all be over, before her mother became ...
— North and South • Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

... the keyhole, had heard the doctor's prediction; and when Hector returned from conducting the physician to the door, he found her radiant. ...
— The Mystery of Orcival • Emile Gaboriau

... she'll have sense enough to hold her own," thinks Giddy. "Poor little fool, to be sat upon already!" She hears them come up, and creeping from her room steals on tip-toe to their door, with her ear to the keyhole. ...
— When the Birds Begin to Sing • Winifred Graham

... sooner I'm out of this, the better. At last a door. Thick, solid, iron-barred, and nail-studded door. Where's the handle? None. Yes, an iron knob. It won't be turned. It won't be twisted. It's locked; or, if not, fastened somehow. No; a faint light is admitted through the keyhole, and by putting my eye to it, I can see a stone passage on the other side. Perhaps the old woman has locked this by accident. And perhaps they are not far off. I shake it. A deep, low savage growl follows this, and ...
— Happy-Thought Hall • F. C. Burnand

... it's awful to call you so early," came wailing through the keyhole, "but there's so much to do yet . . . and oh, Miss Shirley, ma'am, I'm skeered it's going to rain and I wish you'd get up and tell me you think it ain't." Anne flew to the window, hoping against hope that Charlotta the Fourth was saying this merely by way of rousing her effectually. But ...
— Anne Of Avonlea • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... the back bed-room door was a damp place, as if that part of the floor had been newly washed; and when led by curiosity, I peeped through the keyhole of the haunted chamber, my eye distinctly saw an open razor ...
— New National Fourth Reader • Charles J. Barnes and J. Marshall Hawkes

... wondering for a few minutes before I stretched out my hand and felt that I was in my bed, and as I lay there, I suddenly saw in the darkness the shape of my door formed by four faint streaks of light which grew brighter, and directly after there was the sharp point of light where the keyhole was, near ...
— To The West • George Manville Fenn

... you don't believe it," said Will, through the keyhole, "all you have to do is to come down and see for yourself. We've got everything fixed up O. K. all right. But say! when are you fellows—I mean girls—going to ...
— The Outdoor Girls on Pine Island - Or, A Cave and What It Contained • Laura Lee Hope

... waking thirsty and finding her water-bottle empty, rose and went downstairs to fill it. She returned in a panic to rouse the housekeeper, Mrs. Condiment, and tell her that there was a light burning in the old duchess's room, its reflection being clearly visible under the door and through the keyhole. She, the cook, had knocked on the door to inquire if anything was wanted, as she knew the duchess's maid was asleep in another part of the house. But she had been unable to get ...
— Cleek, the Master Detective • Thomas W. Hanshew

... was a good genie who let me in through the keyhole. I didn't meddle with anything, you know—I just looked at the beautiful room where you work. And I didn't glance, even, at the picture on the easel. The genie told me you wouldn't like that. I would not have drawn the curtain anyway, even if I hadn't been ...
— The Eyes of the World • Harold Bell Wright

... stayed like that until Amalia returned. She went on tiptoe, taking care to make no noise, but as she was not very sure-footed, and was always in a hurry, she was always tripping upon the stairs; and once while she was listening, leaning forward with her cheek glued to the keyhole, she lost her balance, and banged her forehead against the door. She was so alarmed that she lost her breath. The piano stopped dead: she could not escape. She was getting up when the door opened. Christophe saw her, glared at her furiously, and then without a word, brushed her ...
— Jean-Christophe, Vol. I • Romain Rolland

... amatory glances of the youthful Emile, had been fastened upon her window until the light disappeared, and even the Holy Mission Church of San Jose had assured itself of the dear child's safety with a large and supple ear at her keyhole. ...
— A Sappho of Green Springs • Bret Harte

... be done?" said Bill. " It's no use knockin', because they'd look through the keyhole and refuse to come out, and, not bein' burglars, we can't bust the door in. It seems to me that there's nothin' for it but to give way ...
— The Magic Pudding • Norman Lindsay

... the afternoon a dreadful screaming was heard, and when people rushed from all parts of the house to see what was the matter, behold the nursery door was locked, and nobody could get in. Aunt Izzie called through the keyhole to have it opened, but the roars were so loud that it was long before she could get an answer. At last Elsie, sobbing violently, explained that Dorry had locked the door, and now the key wouldn't turn, ...
— What Katy Did • Susan Coolidge

... here within this room, in spite of the village street outside. It was dinner-time, and all were within doors or out at their affairs; and except for the stamp of a horse now and again, and the scream of the wind in the keyhole and between the windows, there was little to hear. And in the ...
— Come Rack! Come Rope! • Robert Hugh Benson

... that night; I could hear the whistle of their wings as I stood upon the shore indulging myself in listening. The ear loves a good field as well as the eye, and the night is the best time to listen, to put your ear to Nature's keyhole and see what the whisperings ...
— The Writings of John Burroughs • John Burroughs

... word as well as a set of figures before you can get the lock to work." He rose and showed a double-radiating disc round the keyhole. "This outer one is for the letters, the inner one ...
— His Last Bow - An Epilogue of Sherlock Holmes • Arthur Conan Doyle

... keyhole is sealed and the door still impregnable?" demanded Judith the narrator, with a ...
— Jane Allen: Junior • Edith Bancroft

... tell a lie,' but even as she denied it, I could see through the keyhole that in her grief at the charge, and her dread of punishment, she stood trembling ...
— The King's Daughter and Other Stories for Girls • Various

... the moment when she reached it. She put her ear to the keyhole and—doubtless, with a fast beating heart—waited there, listening intently for the sound of the ...
— Elsie's Vacation and After Events • Martha Finley

... she went upon her knees beside the door, her ear shamelessly at the keyhole. Jemima heard ...
— Kildares of Storm • Eleanor Mercein Kelly

... are the church and priory of the Knights of Malta—nothing but a chapel and small villa as abandoned as the rest. After toiling up a steep and narrow lane between two walls, our carriage stopped at a solid wooden gateway, and the coachman told us to get out and look through the keyhole. We were aghast, but he insisted, laughing and nodding; so we pocketed our pride and peeped. Through an overarching vista of dark foliage was seen, white and golden in a blaze of sunshine, the cupola of St. Peter's, which is at the farthest end ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 15, - No. 86, February, 1875 • Various

... a letter-opener, crowded bits of paper into the keyhole of the door and up and down the crack. Then he closed the one window, turned out the two gas-jets, and opened the stop-cocks again. An odor of gas soon pervaded the room into which came only a faint light from the State House dome. And now a more hideous hallucination ...
— Uncle Terry - A Story of the Maine Coast • Charles Clark Munn

... their exit, and David Butts, being used to doors, was not slow to shut his own, but they could not altogether baffle the colonel, for he was waiting outside. Indeed, he had been whistling with furious insolence through the keyhole all the time of the visit. Sliding in edgewise, at the moment of opening, he managed to scatter the ashes again, and whirl about some of the light articles ...
— The Coxswain's Bride - also, Jack Frost and Sons; and, A Double Rescue • R.M. Ballantyne

... stood near by some mystery, which was about to be a big mystery, and which would pay me to pursue. 'A fine bundle of nonsense,' I hear you say; 'as silly a flight of a vaporous brain as ever man conceived'—but stay your words awhile; remember that one who is bred up at the keyhole lets himself, if he be wise, be moved by his impulses, and first opinions. He does not quit them until he knows them to be false. Instinct told me to go on in this work, if I lost all other, if I starved, if I drowned, if I died at it. And to ...
— The Iron Pirate - A Plain Tale of Strange Happenings on the Sea • Max Pemberton

... and stay till she died. She had read tales of people dying in a small space from lack of air. At least, if she did not die she could stay here till she had time to think. There was a key in the lock. Her fingers closed around it and drew it stealthily from the keyhole, as she slid through the door, drawing her rich draperies ruthlessly after. Her fingers were trembling so that she scarcely could fit the key in the lock again and turn it, and every click of the metal, every creak of the door, sounded like a gong in her ears. Her heart was fluttering ...
— Exit Betty • Grace Livingston Hill

... you are very quiet, you will hear a teeny tiny voice say through the grating "Take down the Key." This you will find at the back: you cannot mistake it, for it has J. J. in the wards. Put the Key in the Keyhole, which it fits exactly, unlock the ...
— More English Fairy Tales • Various

... slight and minute as it was, was his starting-point. How had it been made? He had found by experiment that it was impossible to make such a scratch upon the varnish without the exercise of considerable force. It was clear, therefore, that the scratch by the keyhole could not have been made by the thief in his trembling anxiety to get the business he had undertaken accomplished. But ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Vol IV. • Editors: Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton

... closed, she was terribly frightened. She put the white kitten down and sprang on top of the trunk and scratched with all her might, but scratching did no good. Then she jumped down and reached up to the keyhole, but that was too small for even a mouse to pass through, and the ...
— Mother Stories • Maud Lindsay

... take their word for it as it's all fancy, and give over praying. Now, suppose I'm told as there's a man living over at Sunnyside as is able and willing to give me everything I want, if I only ask him. I go to his door, and knock; but he don't let me see him. I say through the keyhole, 'I want a loaf of bread.' He opens the door just so far as to make room for his hand, and there's a loaf of bread in it for me. I go to him again, and tell him through the door as I wants some medicine to cure one of ...
— True to his Colours - The Life that Wears Best • Theodore P. Wilson

... that the window shutters were closed. A feeble light, however, found entrance through the crevices. A small window illuminated the closet, and, the door being closed, a dim ray streamed through the keyhole. A kind of twilight was thus created, sufficient for the purposes of vision, but, at the same time, involving all minuter objects ...
— Stories by Modern American Authors • Julian Hawthorne

... what does he do? Turn round and play me some scurvy trick, just to prove to the others he's not currying favour. And then they insult me—why, that very boy has been and shouted "Shellfish" through my keyhole ...
— The Giant's Robe • F. Anstey

... was, the sagacious reader may very probably have divined. Just to see how it looked, one day, having bolted her door, and drawn the curtains close, and glanced under the sofa, and listened at the keyhole to be sure there was nobody in the entry,—just to see how it looked, she had taken out an envelope and written on the back of it Mrs. Manilla Veneer. It made her head swim and her knees tremble. What if she should faint, or die, or have a stroke of palsy, and ...
— Elsie Venner • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... that they might not burn their mouths by beginning too soon to eat it. And while they were walking a little old woman came to the house. She could not have been a good, honest, old woman; for, first, she looked in at the window, and then she peeped in at the keyhole, and, seeing nobody in the house, she lifted the latch. The door was not fastened, because the bears were good bears, who did nobody any harm, and never suspected that anybody would harm them. So the little old woman opened the door and went in; and well pleased she was when she ...
— The Junior Classics, Volume 1 • Willam Patten

... it when, looking through the keyhole of the door, we saw goods carried away. On the following day we heard the door of the room, in which my brother had been, opened, and recognized the steps of men walking around, which confirmed us in the belief that he had been ...
— Marie Antoinette And Her Son • Louise Muhlbach

... third night. But escape is possible. Your prison door is of iron, but the shutter which bars the window is only of wood. Cut your way out at midnight, and I will have a friend in waiting to guide you to a place of safety. A faint glimmer of light on the opposite wall shows me the keyhole. I shall make my escape thereat and go to repay thy unselfish service to me. But know that the scissors move only ...
— The Gate of the Giant Scissors • Annie Fellows Johnston

... corners of the doors and windows and saw out with keyhole or compass saw. In order to avoid mistakes it is well, after sawing out the opening for a door in one box, to place the two boxes together and test the measurements before sawing out the second opening. A mistake of this ...
— Primary Handwork • Ella Victoria Dobbs

... dimly lit stairs. From behind the doors, now closed, came the heavy breathing of sleepers who had gone to their beds on rising from the table. A faint laugh was heard from one room, while a slender thread of light filtered through the keyhole of the old lady who was still busy with her dolls, cutting out the gauze dresses with squeaking scissors. A child was crying on the next floor, and the smell from the sinks was worse than ever and seemed something tangible amid this silent darkness. Then in ...
— L'Assommoir • Emile Zola

... patter of small feet beyond Betty's door, and little Steve, who looked more like a nice fat black Cupid than anything else, rapped softly; at the same time he effected to squint through the keyhole. ...
— The Prodigal Judge • Vaughan Kester

... hitching his chair a trifle nearer to the door in the agony of impatience. By the time Jackson returned from the village with word that a copy of Town Truth was not to be had until the next day, he was so close to the door that if any one had happened to stick a hat pin through the keyhole at precisely the right instant it would have punctured his ...
— The Prince of Graustark • George Barr McCutcheon

... retired to his study with Jenny Jones, as hath been seen, Mrs Bridget, with the good housekeeper, had betaken themselves to a post next adjoining to the said study; whence, through the conveyance of a keyhole, they sucked in at their ears the instructive lecture delivered by Mr Allworthy, together with the answers of Jenny, and indeed every other particular which passed in ...
— The History of Tom Jones, a foundling • Henry Fielding

... words are uttered, a slouched hat, listening at the keyhole, pops up, moves softly through the hall, and steals down the stairway. Half an hour later the Texan opens the private door of the Richmond House, looks cautiously around for a moment, and then stalks on towards the heart ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 16, No. 93, July, 1865 • Various

... the English plot without giving me warning?" He then proceeded to state that the papal nuncio in Spain had been much troubled in mind upon the subject, and had sent for him. "I went," said Perez, "and after he, had closed the door, and looked through the keyhole to see that there were no listeners, he informed me that he had received intelligence from the Pope as to the demands made by Don John upon his Holiness for bulls, briefs, and money to assist him in his English scheme, and that eighty thousand ducats ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal (1884, pp. 24-39) I find a Nicobar story which relates how Tiomberombi received a magic mirror from a snake whose enemy he had killed. Its slaves obeyed all his orders if he only put the key into the keyhole, but he was not allowed to open the mirror, as he was too weak to face the spirits openly. He dwelt on an island, but when a hostile fleet came against him, the gunners could not hit it, as the island became invisible. The ...
— Supplemental Nights, Volume 5 • Richard F. Burton

... length, with his lips close to the keyhole and in German, "please do not talk so loud. I can overhear all you say in the next room. Besides, it is very late, and I ...
— The Empty House And Other Ghost Stories • Algernon Blackwood

... in the center of the room a dish containing 4 ounces of brimstone. Light it, and close the room as tight as possible, stopping the keyhole of the door with paper to keep the fumes of the brimstone in the room. Let it remain for three or four hours, then open the windows and air thoroughly. The brimstone will be found to have also bleached the paint, if it was a yellowish white. ...
— Burroughs' Encyclopaedia of Astounding Facts and Useful Information, 1889 • Barkham Burroughs

... bed, had locked her door behind her. However, had the priestly eye been properly applied to the keyhole, it would have made out the reassuring fact that Kathryn, sleeping, showed the unruffled countenance of a ...
— The Brentons • Anna Chapin Ray

... off the bed, Tabitha pressed her ear to the keyhole to catch the rest of this interesting conversation, but as she listened, her face paled and a rebellious look came ...
— Tabitha at Ivy Hall • Ruth Alberta Brown

... stand up: she could not. She felt that she was gliding on to death, entering its portals and descending with gentle moderation. At last, summoning all her strength for a final effort, she dragged herself as far as the hall door; but it was impossible for her to lift her head to the keyhole, impossible to cry out. And she would have died where she lay had not Adele, as she was passing in the morning, heard a groan, and, in her alarm, fetched a locksmith to open the door, and afterward a midwife to ...
— Germinie Lacerteux • Edmond and Jules de Goncourt

... open it for you," said Cashel. She gave him the key, and he seized one of the bars of the gate with his left hand, and stooped as though he wanted to look into the keyhole. Yet he ...
— Cashel Byron's Profession • George Bernard Shaw

... ridiculous, it was maddening,—but it was true. Patty was locked in a room and could not get out. She hadn't heard a key turn, but it must have done so. Peeping in the keyhole, she could see that the key was in the lock, from the ...
— Patty Blossom • Carolyn Wells

... noiselessly to the door that opened into the entry, and locked that softly and bolted it carefully. Then he turned the key so that the wards filled the keyhole, and taking out his handkerchief he hung it over the knob of the door, so that it fell across the keyhole, and no eye could by any chance have peered ...
— Trumps • George William Curtis

... never seen the little house before, and it was such a strange little house that she forgot all the things her mother had told her about being polite: first she looked in at the window, and then she peeped in at the keyhole; and seeing nobody in the house, she lifted the latch. The door was not fastened, because the Bears were good Bears, who did nobody any harm, and never suspected that anybody would harm them. So Goldilocks opened the door, and went in; ...
— How to Tell Stories to Children - And Some Stories to Tell • Sara Cone Bryant

... that she employed tears, commands and entreaties. Each night the baby slept with his nurse, and each night his mother rose from her bed and went, barefooted, to put her ear to the keyhole and listen if he was sleeping quietly. Julien found her there one night as he was coming in late from dining at the Fourvilles, and after that she was locked into her room every evening to compel her to stay ...
— The works of Guy de Maupassant, Vol. 5 (of 8) - Une Vie and Other Stories • Guy de Maupassant 1850-1893

... when there were no signs of him to-day at lunch time nobody worried. It was only when two o'clock came and he hadn't stirred that the valet de chambre began to think it queer. They have glass transoms over the doors, and they could see his room was dark. I expect they listened at the keyhole; anyhow, the landlord was consulted at last, and when they'd knocked and called without getting any answer, at last they opened the door. Luckily nobody was about at that time of day—every one out of doors or ...
— The Guests Of Hercules • C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson

... methods he inserted a piece of strong wire into the keyhole, thinking to pick the lock by that ...
— One Wonderful Night - A Romance of New York • Louis Tracy

... and drained off a helmetful of the precious fluid, and then urging on through the next ford—an insignificant one compared to the first—gained admission at Fermistone's hotel, after being duly cross-questioned through the keyhole of the door. Some hot tea and whisky was recommended by the host, and palatable it was. In a short time the other "Correspondent" arrived, minus his rifle. He had been carried down the stream like a cork, and only saved from drowning by being ...
— South Africa and the Transvaal War, Vol. 1 (of 6) - From the Foundation of Cape Colony to the Boer Ultimatum - of 9th Oct. 1899 • Louis Creswicke

... out of Katherine, an honest woman out of Lady Macbeth and a benevolent old gentleman out of Shylock. I have seen French players cast as the servants of Petruchio invade "The Taming of the Shrew" with a comic pantomime in which they fought for their turns at the keyhole of Petruchio's bedroom wherein Kate was being subjected to a little off-stage taming. It would have amused Shakespeare immoderately, I imagine, and certainly it would have surprised him. Until his piece is spoken, even the ...
— Nonsenseorship • G. G. Putnam

... light through the keyhole and crevices of my bed-room door at this crisis. Someone turned the handle cautiously and finding the bolt drawn from the ...
— The Doctor's Daughter • "Vera"

... all happens outside in the private troop room, but I'll bet the other girls listen at the keyhole!" put in Mildred. ...
— The Girl Scout Pioneers - or Winning the First B. C. • Lillian C Garis

... an easy one, for the plaster was but half an inch thick, and came off in flakes; showing a massive copper door, three feet six in height, and three feet in width, behind it. No keyhole was visible. ...
— By Right of Conquest - Or, With Cortez in Mexico • G. A. Henty

... truth is, those fellows can now afford to buy right and left, corrupt every soul alive! There must have been a spy at the keyhole. I'm pretty certain—I could swear it was not breathed to any ear but mine; and there it is this morning in black ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... shakings, Kyan produced a key. The minister snatched it from his trembling fingers, felt for the keyhole and threw the door open. The little room was almost as dark as the hall and quite as still. There was a distinct smell ...
— Keziah Coffin • Joseph C. Lincoln

... was protracted. Round and round the keyhole did a shaky, unsteady hand guide the wandering key. It scratched above, it dug at the door beneath, while the low indistinct murmur of one repeated word reached me within. At last, in sheer pity, I got up and opened the door from the inside. Howard came unsteadily over the threshold, and half blundered ...
— To-morrow? • Victoria Cross

... of this chair for the purpose on Nogam's first night in the room; whether or no, it was not in character that, having established this precedent, Nogam should depart from it. And in any event, the coat-draped chair effectually eclipsed a possible keyhole ...
— Red Masquerade • Louis Joseph Vance

... Miss Marianne said children had been murdered in the house, and uneasy spirits revisited the "glimpses of the moon." We went all over the house, in which are twenty-five sleeping apartments. One room contains a library in black letter, but that we could only peep at through a great keyhole, because it was barred and padlocked. I think Mr. Hawthorne would like to examine that. The ladies said that, if we wished to go to church, we could tell the beadle of the old Bebbington church to guide us to their pew. We passed this venerable church on our way. Its tower is very fine, and ...
— Memories of Hawthorne • Rose Hawthorne Lathrop

... continued the poet, with a smile, "I peeped through the keyhole, before going to bed, and I beheld the most delicious dame in her shift that ever made a bed creak under her ...
— Notre-Dame de Paris - The Hunchback of Notre Dame • Victor Hugo

... we listened at the sitting-room doors, and through the keyhole of the parlour we heard a noise of some one moving, and then in a soft whistle the tune of the "Would I were a ...
— New Treasure Seekers - or, The Bastable Children in Search of a Fortune • E. (Edith) Nesbit

... mainland. When he had reached the shore he went up into a birchen copse, and made the lions lie quiet. Then he stole up to the castle, like a thief, to see if he couldn't lay hands on his belt; and when he got to the door, he peeped through the keyhole, and there he saw his belt hanging up over a door in the kitchen. So he crept softly in across the floor, for there was no one there; but as soon as he had got hold of the belt, he began to kick and stamp about as ...
— East of the Sun and West of the Moon - Old Tales from the North • Peter Christen Asbjornsen

... her eye, for the fiftieth time, to the keyhole; but naught could she see in the Prioress's cell, save a portion of the great wooden cross against the ...
— The White Ladies of Worcester - A Romance of the Twelfth Century • Florence L. Barclay

... wonderful scene of the death of Monseigneur, he saw "du premier coup d'oeil vivement porte, tout ce qui leur echappoit et tout ce qui les accableroit." It is the gift of producing this reality that almost makes us blush, as if we had been caught peeping through a keyhole, and had surprised secrets to which we had no right,—it is this only that can justify the pictorial method of narration. Mr. Carlyle has this power of contemporizing himself with bygone times, he cheats ...
— Among My Books • James Russell Lowell

... room sat O'Hara, writing, reading Theocritus, or a little book on mediaeval embroidery, forefinger on cheek; and anon, absolutely without motive, he would rise, creep, and peep through a keyhole at Hogarth, then on stalking, bowing tiptoe, grinning a rancid grimace of stealth, get back to his seat, and read—the tutor falling over head and ears in love with his pupil: one of those passions ...
— The Lord of the Sea • M. P. Shiel

... of my proximity to the box, I inserted in the keyhole a small morsel of wax which for some minutes past I had been warming in my hand. This done, I laid my hat down on the lid, noting with great exactness as I did so just where its rim lay in reference to ...
— The Bronze Hand - 1897 • Anna Katharine Green (Mrs. Charles Rohlfs)

... earlier glow of the match,—a narrow door open to the left, of thick wood, with heavy iron hinges, the flanges of which formed the braces of the door itself. He blew out the candle and put it into his pocket. Peering through the keyhole and seeing nothing, he lifted the latch ...
— The Secret Witness • George Gibbs

... something in your life, woman," he hissed through the keyhole. "Farewell!" And they heard his retreating footsteps ...
— Lucile Triumphant • Elizabeth M. Duffield

... o' cowslops at fust, and then he cheated; and—O, I can't, I can't tell the story. I wouldn't hurt Sculpin for the world. Carry me off, and stick me in jail, if you want to. I won't tell, so there! I'll go to jail fust, and let the pismires carry me out o' the keyhole!—But what's this, I say? Mister Cis-ai-roe Bray, Esquare, insists that I shall tell. Wal, then, as I was goin' to say, he cheated, and so, so, I cheated a little tew, and by'n by, he got mad, and knocked me into a next-week sleep, and in that sleep I seen a dream, and in ...
— Summerfield - or, Life on a Farm • Day Kellogg Lee

... ended speaking, she turned to the door, and drew from it a key, evidently after a foiled attempt to unlock it therewith; for from a bunch she carried she now made choice of another, and was already fumbling with it in the keyhole, when Malcolm bethought himself that, whatever her further intent, he ought not to allow her to succeed in opening the door. He therefore rose slowly to his feet, and stepping softly out into the passage, sent his round blue bonnet ...
— Malcolm • George MacDonald

... inseparables, and before you had grown wise; the story of the Student and the Goblin who lodged at the Butterman's. The Student, at the expense of his dinner, had rescued a book from the butter-tub and taken it off to his garret, and that night the Goblin, overcome by curiosity, peeped through the keyhole, and lo! the garret was full of light. Forth and up from the book shot a beam of light, which grew into the trunk of a mighty tree, and threw out branches over the bowed head of the student; and every leaf ...
— From a Cornish Window - A New Edition • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... weeks before Christmas Day the Waits and Singers still come round during the night time and on Boxing Days they call for their Christmas Boxes. The singers have now degenerated into two or three children who huddle together on the doorsteps of houses and sing through the keyhole and letter box as fast and as loud as they can utter the various hymns of which, "When shepherds watched their flocks by night." As soon as they receive a halfpenny away they trot to the next house to ...
— Weather and Folk Lore of Peterborough and District • Charles Dack

... the door again behind his half-brother and turned the key, but the half-brother shot the bolt home as well before he spoke, then listened intently for a minute with his ear to the keyhole. ...
— Told in the East • Talbot Mundy

... knob and pushed slightly on the door. To his surprise it yielded. A thin piece of wire brushed his fingers and following it he found it led from the keyhole and outside the jamb of the door, which had been cut slightly. Evidently some one was ahead of him! But he did not hesitate. Softly opening the door he stepped into the room and closed the door behind him. Then for a moment ...
— Prince or Chauffeur? - A Story of Newport • Lawrence Perry

... our ears. It seemed to come through the keyhole, and resembled the contemptuous sniff with which Elizabeth always expresses incredulity. But, of course, ...
— Our Elizabeth - A Humour Novel • Florence A. Kilpatrick

... You're not to come near the third story," protested Grace. "We shall nail down the transom and stuff the keyhole with ...
— Grace Harlowe's Plebe Year at High School - The Merry Doings of the Oakdale Freshmen Girls • Jessie Graham Flower

... dark, and he was with difficulty rousing Jo when suddenly a voice howled through the keyhole that the horses were waiting. Jan grabbed his watch—5 a.m.; but the horses had been ordered for six. Hastily chewing dry biscuit, Jan jumped into his clothes and ran down. There was a small squat youth with a flabby Mongolian face hovering between ...
— The Luck of Thirteen - Wanderings and Flight through Montenegro and Serbia • Jan Gordon

... sartin of what I suspicioned. The cabin was locked, but not with the key. THAT was in the keyhole. The door ...
— Cape Cod Stories - The Old Home House • Joseph C. Lincoln

... "At the—keyhole?" She was proceeding warily now; her mind, as in a game of hide-and-seek, was on tiptoe, in expectation of discovering me at ...
— Wings of the Wind • Credo Harris

... Corps declared it was never inspected. Father Ignatius knows what the General saw, or thinks he saw, and so does the Surgeon-General, but neither is in the habit of repeating confessions and confidences. What Jobler, at the keyhole, understood him to say he had seen, or thought he had seen, is ...
— Driftwood Spars - The Stories of a Man, a Boy, a Woman, and Certain Other People Who - Strangely Met Upon the Sea of Life • Percival Christopher Wren

... of chair. Brownies sit on floor centre, facing him, sideface to audience): I bellowed so—Oooooooh!!!! (groans) and tweaked their ugly noses, and whispered through the keyhole, "Wait till you guard the Christmas pie to-night!" until they all fled shivering to the cook, to give him notice! And now none will be ...
— Christmas Entertainments • Alice Maude Kellogg

... secrecy was what made the task arduous. Lydia finished her studying as hurriedly as possible each night and went on to her room. It was bitter cold in the room when the door was closed, but she hung a dust cloth over the keyhole, a shawl over the window shade, wrapped herself in a quilt and unwrapped the bundle. By two o'clock she had finished and shivering and with aching eyes, ...
— Lydia of the Pines • Honore Willsie Morrow

... quite down with the scarlet fever. Potiphar says I mustn't expose myself, so I don't go into the room; but Mrs. Jollup, the nurse, tells me through the keyhole how he is. Mr. P. sleeps in the room next the nursery, so as not to carry the infection to me. He looks very solemn as he walks down town. I hope it won't spoil Fred's complexion. I should be so sorry to have him a little fright! ...
— The Potiphar Papers • George William Curtis



Words linked to "Keyhole" :   lock, keyhole saw, hole



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