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Shifty   Listen
adjective
Shifty  adj.  Full of, or ready with, shifts; fertile in expedients or contrivance. "Shifty and thrifty as old Greek or modern Scot, there were few things he could not invent, and perhaps nothing he could not endure."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Shifty" Quotes from Famous Books



... and waited until the fit of coughing was over; and Stamps threw himself back exhausted. His shifty eyes burned uncannily, his physical and mental fever were too much for him. Linthicum had just left him before Latimer arrived, and upon the production of five hundred dollars rested the fate of the ...
— In Connection with the De Willoughby Claim • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... made him start in the chair convulsively. He literally had to shake his head violently to get rid of it. The man would be disguised perhaps as a peasant... a beggar.... Perhaps he would be just buttoned up in a dark overcoat and carrying a loaded stick—a shifty-eyed rascal, smelling ...
— Under Western Eyes • Joseph Conrad

... proprietor of the Elkhorn, as the hotel was called, grunted in discount of this anxiety as he turned his shifty eyes to the stranger, flicking them on and off like a fly. He saw the coins dropped by the cowboy, picked them up, put them in his pocket, face red from what evidently was unaccustomed effort as he ...
— Trail's End • George W. Ogden

... as gentle as the dawn but as staunch as the oak. She has knowledge and wisdom, and, better still, she has understanding; she needs no diagram. Her gaze penetrates the very heart of a situation but is never less than kindly, and her eyes are never shifty. Her aplomb, her pose, and her poise belong to her quite as evidently as her hands. She is genuine and altogether free from affectation. Her presence stimulates without intoxicating, and she accepts the respect of people with the same naturalness ...
— The Vitalized School • Francis B. Pearson

... to his scrutiny; yet sometimes tedious and wearing. As for instance to-day, when he had suspected his client of perjury, and was almost convinced that he must throw up his brief. He had disliked the weak-looking, white-faced fellow from the first, and his nervous, shifty answers, his prominent startled eyes—a type too common in these days of canting tolerations and weak humanitarianism; ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... the Judge avoided my direct gaze. Seaward he turned a shifty eye, and I knew that he was lying. He looked depressed and down at the heel, and bore the signs of recent illness. I led him, unresisting to the nearest cafe, and properly stimulated, he told me that the Washington summer had proven too much for him, that the boys had ...
— The Statesmen Snowbound • Robert Fitzgerald

... The shifty black eyes excelled themselves at this moment in rapidity of observation. They seemed to be full of question, of many ...
— From One Generation to Another • Henry Seton Merriman

... me to take the very place in the room which I was determined to occupy. You saw what I had in my mind! You did your best—and did it admirably—to defeat me. Oh, you pattern people—you can be as shifty with your resources, when a cunning trick is to be played, as the worst of us! You saw how it ended. Fortune stood my friend at the eleventh hour; fortune can shine, like the sun, on the just and the unjust! I had the first look of her eyes! I felt the first light of ...
— Poor Miss Finch • Wilkie Collins

... was very tired, but he scarcely knew it. The fisherman stood by him, looking at him with a sort of shifty expectation, and Artois, as he noticed the hard Arab type of the man's face, the glitter of the small, cunning eyes, the nervous alertness of the thin, sensitive hands, understood a great deal about ...
— The Call of the Blood • Robert Smythe Hichens

... have fought with the Huns, who would sweep us away from the face of the earth, or with the Franks or the Burgundians, who would quell us into being something worser than they be. But here is a new foe, and new wisdom, and that right shifty, do we need to meet them. One wise duke have ye gotten, Thiodolf to wit; and he is young beside me and beside Otter of the Laxings. And now if ye must needs have an older man to stand beside him, (and that is not ill) take ye Otter; for old though his body be, the ...
— The House of the Wolfings - A Tale of the House of the Wolfings and All the Kindreds of the Mark Written in Prose and in Verse • William Morris

... kip. Four men were squabbling over the frying pan when we entered, and over against the far wall sat an old crone, crooning an Irish song. The men were of the ordinary dock rat type, scraggily built, unshaven, with cunning, shifty eyes. The woman had an old browned-green kerchief round her head, and a ragged shawl drawn tightly round her breasts. One side of her face had evidently been burned some time, and the eye on ...
— The Best British Short Stories of 1922 • Edward J. O'Brien and John Cournos, editors

... of investigators," wrote a Leader in G.K.'s Weekly in reference to a Government commission, "to report what is already common knowledge is nothing less than a face-saving, time-marking, shifty expedient." I don't think this article was one of Gilbert's, but I do wonder whether as time went on he did not recall his own old comparison between the early Christian and the modern Socialist. ...
— Gilbert Keith Chesterton • Maisie Ward

... corners; a flat nose much broadened at the wings; a cruel, thick, sensuous mouth, and high cheek-bones; the whole surmounted by a comprehensive scowl and an abundant crop of lank black hair, tied up in a knot at the nape of the neck with a yellow ribbon. His face was shifty; his short, stout form looked well adapted to mountain climbing, and also to wriggling. A deep scar on his left cheek did not help to inspire confidence. But he was polite and civil-spoken. Altogether a clever, unscrupulous, wide-awake soul, who would serve you well if he thought he could make ...
— Hilda Wade - A Woman With Tenacity Of Purpose • Grant Allen

... ought to mind that, though, if we are friendly about it. We certainly respect him compared with many men of his time—the shifty politicians, the vicious or weak leaders of thought, who went through life as softies, without rigid standards of conduct. He shines out by contrast, this ...
— The Crow's Nest • Clarence Day, Jr.

... short, thick-set young man, with a flabby, pallid face and shifty eyes. He had got his job on the new liner through a "pull" that he possessed through a distant relationship with Mr. Jukes. Jack had not met him before, and, since they had been on board, they had exchanged only a few words, but he instinctively felt that he and Thurman were not going to ...
— The Ocean Wireless Boys And The Naval Code • John Henry Goldfrap, AKA Captain Wilbur Lawton

... she read but which we may pass by. The fate of the prisoner was in the hands of a jury. The possibility suggested by the defence made no appeal to men who had the unfortunate prisoner under their eye at every stage of the proceedings. The shifty eye, the hang-dog look, outweighed the plea of his counsel and the call for strict impartiality from the bench. He was adjudged guilty of murder in the first ...
— Dark Hollow • Anna Katharine Green

... in his way. His features were good, though of the pronounced Jewish type; but his dark, brilliant eyes had a shifty look in them—probably, as Mrs. Godfrey suggested, from their being set a little closely together. In age he appeared to be ...
— Herb of Grace • Rosa Nouchette Carey

... the criminal facts of a generation, the sinister harvest of ignorance and vice and poverty. On these battered chairs had sat and twisted hundreds of poor wretches, innocent and guilty, petty thieves, shifty-eyed scoundrels, dull brutes of murderers, and occasionally a criminal of a higher class, summoned for the preliminary examinations. Here, under the eye of a bored guard, they had passed miserable hours while the judge, smiling or frowning, ...
— Through the Wall • Cleveland Moffett

... sides, and removed one danger from Powys. Powys, however, was being steadily squeezed by the pressure of Gwynedd on one side, and the growing power of Mortimer on the other, and its princes resorted to a shifty diplomacy and a general adherence—open or secret as circumstances dictated—to the English Crown, till they sank at length into the position of petty feudatories of ...
— Mediaeval Wales - Chiefly in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries: Six Popular Lectures • A. G. Little

... the right idea. He struck first. The waiter crashed against the wall. The hulking, shifty-eyed one fared worse. He went down with his face to the cracks in the floor. Thomas ...
— The Voice in the Fog • Harold MacGrath

... anxious thought. He made me think of a fish-thief, somehow, with a constable comin' down with the wind; an' it seemed, too, that maybe 'twas my fish he'd stole. For he'd lost his ease; he was full o' sighs an' starts an' shifty glances. An' there was no health in his voice; 'twas but a disconsolate whisper—slinkin' out into the light o' day. 'Sin on his soul,' thinks I. 'He dwells ...
— Harbor Tales Down North - With an Appreciation by Wilfred T. Grenfell, M.D. • Norman Duncan

... mistake them for anything else if they were dressed in the best of clothing. The word convict is stamped upon every grey face, as plainly as the Government mark is stamped upon their clothing. The servants of sin have their marks also. Look at the shifty eyes, and downward glance of the knave and the false man; mark the flushed brow and cruel eyes of the angry man; see the weak lips and trembling hand of the drunkard; they bear the marks of their slavery very plainly. So, too, the sensualist who ...
— The Life of Duty, v. 2 - A year's plain sermons on the Gospels or Epistles • H. J. Wilmot-Buxton

... freak of the river here has sorely perplexed the laws of men and made them a vanity and a jest. When the State of Arkansas was chartered, she controlled 'to the center of the river'—a most unstable line. The State of Mississippi claimed 'to the channel'—another shifty and unstable line. No. 74 belonged to Arkansas. By and by a cut-off threw this big island out of Arkansas, and yet not within Mississippi. 'Middle of the river' on one side of it, 'channel' on the other. That is as I understand the problem. ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... barks for the King. I grew so fond of him, and I meant to take him home with me in the holidays. Well, I hadn't been able to go to the kennels for several days, and when at last I managed to run down there Blake told me that Terry was dead and buried. He looked so shifty when he said it that I had my suspicions at once. I don't believe Terry died at all; I'm sure Blake sold him to somebody else, who ...
— The New Girl at St. Chad's - A Story of School Life • Angela Brazil

... gathered from the noncommittal responses. Hall's restless, drumming fingers and lowered gaze threw the suppliant out of countenance. McDevitt, in turn, grew silent and drank the last of his mild refreshment. Hall looked up, with shifty eyes. ...
— A Man of Two Countries • Alice Harriman

... door opened again to admit the last of the guests. A woman entered. Desmond was immediately struck by the contrast she presented to the others, Mortimer with his goggle eyes and untidy hair, Max, gross and bestial, Behrend, Oriental and shifty, and the scarecrow figure ...
— Okewood of the Secret Service • Valentine Williams

... feller, with reddish hair. He had sech shifty eyes I couldn't help but think that maybe he had stolen them things jest to raise ...
— The Rover Boys in the Jungle • Arthur M. Winfield

... called on was a smooth-tongued, tall, lean individual with shifty eyes, and a flow of talk of the coffeeshop variety. At the end of his first sentence any fool would have known that he had been put up to quiz Abdul Ali, in order that Abdul Ali might have an excuse to justify himself. He attacked him ...
— Jimgrim and Allah's Peace • Talbot Mundy

... young man in his twenty-fourth year, was of a pallid, muddy complexion, with great, shifty, greenish eyes, and a thick, pendulous nose. The protruding upper lip of his long, thin mouth gave him an oafish expression, which was increased by his habit of ...
— The Historical Nights' Entertainment • Rafael Sabatini

... Velo!" He held Velo's shifty eyes. "You get to work here. If you don't, I shall shoot you, just as I would shoot a dog. There is no time to talk. Get to work! You hear what I ...
— Shelled by an Unseen Foe • James Fiske

... charm. "There is," says a Latin love-poet, "no why or wherefore in liking." Hartopp, therefore, had taken, from the first moment, to Waife,—the staid, respectable, thriving man, all muffled up from head to foot in the whitest lawn of reputation,—to the wandering, shifty, tricksome scatterling, who had not seemingly secured, through the course of a life bordering upon age, a single certificate for good conduct. On his hearthstone, beside his ledger-book, stood the Mayor, looking with a respectful admiration that puzzled himself upon the forlorn creature, ...
— What Will He Do With It, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... DE, born at Fontelle, in Aube, who came up to Paris a shifty adventuress and played a chief part in the notorious affair of the DIAMOND NECKLACE (q. v.), which involved so many high people in France in deep ...
— The Nuttall Encyclopaedia - Being a Concise and Comprehensive Dictionary of General Knowledge • Edited by Rev. James Wood

... continued and war-whoops sounded from new shelters. The bateaux drew up alongside the bridge, and the dead and wounded were taken on board to be carried to the fort. It was useless to attempt to drive the shifty savages from their lairs, and so the retreat was sounded. Captain Grant, in charge of the rear company, led his men back across the bridge while Dalyell covered the retreat; and now the fight took on a new aspect. As the soldiers retreated along the road leading ...
— The War Chief of the Ottawas - A Chronicle of the Pontiac War: Volume 15 (of 32) in the - series Chronicles of Canada • Thomas Guthrie Marquis

... MARABOUT! He dotes On programmes hectographed and Party votes. For all his pasty pallor And shifty glance, he has the mob's regard, And he is deemed by council, club, and ward A mighty man ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 98, February 8, 1890 • Various

... of the most interesting as he is one of the most important figures in the history of the 19th century. Autocrat and "Jacobin,'' man of the world and mystic, he was to his contemporaries a riddle which each read according to his own temperament. Napoleon thought him a "shifty Byzantine,'' and called him the Talma of the North, as ready to play any conspicuous part. To Metternich he was a madman to be humoured. Castlereagh, writing of him to Lord Liverpool, gives him credit for "grand qualities,'' but adds that he is "suspicious and ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... met the Ameer, and was unfavourably impressed with him: "An insignificant-looking man, . . . with a receding forehead, a conical-shaped head, and no chin to speak of, . . . possessed moreover of a very shifty eye." Yakub justified this opinion by seeking on various pretexts to delay the British advance, and by sending to Cabul news as to the numbers of ...
— The Development of the European Nations, 1870-1914 (5th ed.) • John Holland Rose

... lies on his side, with his face to the wall and one arm thrown up over his head; the jumper is twisted back, and leaves his skin bare from hip to arm-pit. His lower face is brutal, his eyes small and shifty, and ugly straight lines run across his low forehead. He says very little, but scowls most of the time—poor devil. He might be, or at least seem, a totally different man under more favourable conditions. He ...
— While the Billy Boils • Henry Lawson

... Catholic sovereign. And he whom the Pope addressed, with the dignity of the Apostolic See in its reverence for the power which is a delegation of God, as Roman emperor and Christian prince, was in his private life scandalous, in all his public rule shifty and tyrannical, and in belief, if he had any, an Eutychean heretic. It may be added, as a fact of history, that the emperor went before the divine judgment sooner than the Pope; that during the seven years which intervened between the letter ...
— The Formation of Christendom, Volume VI - The Holy See and the Wandering of the Nations, from St. Leo I to St. Gregory I • Thomas W. (Thomas William) Allies

... their way to the post and to run in accordance with the figures they saw upon the bookmakers' slates. "Let's not have any arguments, boys. All little pals together, eh?... Now, getting down to business, as the fellow said when he was digging the well, Isaiah is a pretty shifty old selling plater when he's at himself; but you know and I know that the best day he ever saw he couldn't beat Fieldmouse at a mile with a feather on her back. She'll walk home alone. The most Isaiah can do is to ...
— Old Man Curry - Race Track Stories • Charles E. (Charles Emmett) Van Loan

... said, 'I never heard of any one of 'em.' His shifty eye tried in vain to meet his questioner's, and he began to fumble nervously with other papers which he had drawn from his pocket in his search ...
— VC — A Chronicle of Castle Barfield and of the Crimea • David Christie Murray

... the mother and the girl connoted forbade the conception that love expired with life, the torture of this other stunted soul seemed prophetic of what might be awaiting his own future, dwarfed by the shifty expedient he had adopted to check its development. If punishment counted for anything, he was, to be sure, receiving his full portion right here on earth. The realization of what he was leaving was an inquisition ...
— The Seventh Noon • Frederick Orin Bartlett

... as big as a bed, covered with a dingy shawl, a man's greatcoat, a red flannel petticoat; a table cumbered with the remains of wretched meals never cleared away, and the poor cooking utensils of impoverished, shifty housekeeping. ...
— A Sheaf of Corn • Mary E. Mann

... made his appearance to conduct me to the palace. He was a fat, paunchy old man, with beady black eyes and a shy, shifty expression, very unlike my cheery little friend at Beila. After the usual preliminary questions as to who I was, my age, business, etc., he anxiously inquired after the health of Mr. Gladstone, and somewhat astonished me by asking whether I was a Liberal or Conservative. ...
— A Ride to India across Persia and Baluchistan • Harry De Windt

... my eyes and looked him fairly in the face, till his blue eyes lighted up with a smile. Then patting me on the cheek, he said, addressing Sister Agnes, "Nothing shifty there, at any rate. It is a face full of candour, and of that innocent fearlessness which childhood should always have, but too often loses in an evil world. I dare be bound now, little Janet, that thou art ...
— The Argosy - Vol. 51, No. 2, February, 1891 • Various

... anywhere else, but never again would he risk a personally conducted tour into hot waters royal. Mr. King resigned himself to a purely business call at the shop of Mr. Spantz. He looked long, with a somewhat shifty eye, at the cabinet of ancient rings and necklaces, and then departed without having seen the interesting Miss Platanova. If the old man observed a tendency to roam in the young man's eye, he did not ...
— Truxton King - A Story of Graustark • George Barr McCutcheon

... catch a thief, Uncle John. I guess Horrocks, in spite of his shifty black eyes, isn't the man for the business. He might track the slimmest neche that ever crossed the back of a choyeuse. Lablache is the man Retief has to fear. That uncrowned monarch of Foss River is subtle, and subtlety alone ...
— The Story of the Foss River Ranch • Ridgwell Cullum

... and then had come a period of patient service, of schemes and intrigues foredoomed to failure; of going to and fro, from Jersey to Paris, from Paris to Ireland, from Ireland to Cornwall, journeying hither and thither at the behest of a shifty, irresolute man, or a passionate, imprudent woman, as the case might be; now from the King to the Queen, now from the Queen to this or that ally; futile errands, unskilful combinations, failure on every hand, till the last fatal journey, on which he was an unwilling attendant, the flight ...
— London Pride - Or When the World Was Younger • M. E. Braddon

... folk, a middle-aged gentleman, with white hands and shifty eyes, especially made life interesting for me. We called him the "Repeater," what of his ways. When from the porch we implored him to desist, he was wont slowly and casually to direct his steps ...
— Revolution and Other Essays • Jack London

... may, Morrow, the dapper young bank-clerk, found in the Pennold household a grizzled, middle-aged man, with shifty, suspicious eyes and a moist hand-clasp; behind him appeared a shrewish, thin-haired wife who eyed the intruder from the first with ...
— The Crevice • William John Burns and Isabel Ostrander

... to observe the results at close quarters. They'll surprise you. Now we are going to begin. Is your horse all right? He looks shifty, and the guns make a devil of ...
— Children of the Mist • Eden Phillpotts

... income. Can you blame me? He hadn't made good as an artist and this was my only chance to get back some of the hard earned savings I had advanced him. But Jason Jones isn't square, Alora; he's mean and shifty, as perhaps you have discovered. He gave me some money at first, when I followed him to New York, as you know; but after that the coward ran away. That provoked me and made me determined to run him ...
— Mary Louise Solves a Mystery • L. Frank Baum

... a painful contrast. His eye was shifty, his expression weak and sensual, and the hard lines of his face and the indifference of his manner told the story of a man old in criminal thoughts if not in years and deeds. For he looked no more than twenty-five, and may have been ...
— Emerson's Wife and Other Western Stories • Florence Finch Kelly

... and imposing, with an effulgent complexion and a prosperous presence. He wore a double-jeweled ring on his apoplectic finger, and a scarab scarf-pin. His eyes were keen and shifty; his teeth had acquired the habit of clutching his fat black cigar viciously while he snarled his rather loose lips about them in conversation. Uncle Ramsay never looked one in the face when he was talking. ...
— The Witness • Grace Livingston Hill Lutz

... such foul means is time lost through all eternity. Did Mark think of these things years afterwards in Egypt when he was doubly ruined and doubly betrayed to his good friend Octavius by that hot, jealous, selfish, shallow, shifty, strumpet, Cleopatra, and Octavius was after his scalp with a certainty of getting it? He did—and he ...
— The Rising of the Court • Henry Lawson

... Florio's intimacy and sympathy with Chapman and his friends. In later years, Chapman, Jonson, and Marston, however, seem to have recognised in Florio an unstable ally, and tacitly to have regarded him as a selfish and shifty opportunist. Florio appears to have used his intimacy with Southampton, and his knowledge of that nobleman's relations with Shakespeare and the "dark lady" in 1593 to 1594, to the poet's disadvantage, by imparting intelligence of the affair to Chapman and Roydon, ...
— Shakespeare's Lost Years in London, 1586-1592 • Arthur Acheson

... says he, gaily, or at any rate with a way as if to carry it off vauntingly. "I can do many things as well as most, and a few others colleges never learned me. I know many winter tales, from 'Minochag and Morag' to 'The Shifty Lad'; I can make passable poetry by word of mouth; I can speak the English and the French, and I have seen enough of courtiers to know that half their canons are to please and witch the eye of women in a way that I could undertake to do by ...
— John Splendid - The Tale of a Poor Gentleman, and the Little Wars of Lorn • Neil Munro

... hung over the rail the glare of the sun on the tumbling water lit up his foolish, mongrel features, exposed their cunning, their utter lack of any character, and showed behind the shifty eyes ...
— Once Upon A Time • Richard Harding Davis

... long-limbed man, with a sharp-featured face and shifty eyes, sat listening intently to the faint echo of the ...
— Colonial Born - A tale of the Queensland bush • G. Firth Scott

... superstructure; the fluctuation had been all in the foundations. The great temple of Chatham and Warren Hastings was reared in its origins on things as unstable as water and as fugitive as foam. It is only a fancy, of course, to connect the unstable element with something restless and even shifty in the lords of the sea. But there was certainly in the genesis, if not in the later generations of our mercantile aristocracy, a thing only too mercantile; something which had also been urged against a yet older ...
— A Short History of England • G. K. Chesterton

... mean that he's a negro,—but he's one of these fellows with a blue-black beard that never can be shaved clean because it shows black under the skin. Then he's got a shifty eye and a sneaky look about him. Then, too," he added with a smile, "he's got a smashed nose where my fist landed when he put me ashore here. I certainly handed ...
— Boy Scouts in Southern Waters • G. Harvey Ralphson

... stranger, an' make yerself at home. Powerful glad ter see ye—-war 'feard night would overtake ye. Ye fund the water toler'ble high in all the creeks an' sech, I reckon, an' fords shifty an' onsartain. Yes, sir. Fall rains kem on earlier'n common, an' more'n we need. Wisht we could divide it with that thar drought we had in the summer. Craps war cut toler'ble ...
— The Phantoms Of The Foot-Bridge - 1895 • Charles Egbert Craddock (AKA Mary Noailles Murfree)

... collar, and a gaudy neckerchief round the bare throat. Their boots were marvels, very high in the heel and picked out with all sorts of colours down the sides. They looked "varminty" enough for anything; but the shifty eyes, low foreheads, and evil faces gave our two heroes a sense of disgust. The Englishman thought that all the stories he had heard of the Australian larrikin must be exaggerated, and that any man who was at all athletic could easily hold his own ...
— An Outback Marriage • Andrew Barton Paterson

... so long as you would imagine to look at the Pot Hunter. As time went on the marking of the pot came out on him very plainly. He acquired the shifty, sidelong gait of the meaner sort of predatory creatures. His clothes, his beard, his very features have much the appearance that his house has, as if the owner of it were distant on another occupation, and the camise has regained a considerable ...
— Defenders of Democracy • The Militia of Mercy

... conclude—namely, that infelicities of various kinds belong to the state here below. Who are we that we should not take our share? See the slight amount of personal happiness requisite to go on with. In noisome dungeons, subject to studied tortures, in abject and shifty poverty, after consummate shame, upon tremendous change of fortune, in the profoundest desolation of mind and soul, in forced companionship with all that is unlovely and uncongenial—men, persevering nobly, live on, and live ...
— Chambers' Edinburgh Journal - Volume XVII., No 423, New Series. February 7th, 1852 • Various

... when you got your thumb on that kid," he said. "She's the shifty one, all right. Talk along to you sweet as honey, but all the time she's watching for some chance to throw the harpoon into you. Venomous—regular vixen. No sense of humour—laughs at almost anything ...
— The Wrong Twin • Harry Leon Wilson

... edge of the bed, shifted back until her shoulders rested against the wall. Danglar, too, was dressed like a gentleman—but Danglar's face was not appealing. The little round black eyes were shifty, they seemed to possess no pupils whatever, and they roved constantly; there was a hard, unyielding thinness about the lips, and the face itself was thin, almost gaunt, as though the skin had had to accommodate itself to more than was expected of ...
— The White Moll • Frank L. Packard

... over the average. The average at that time in the Grand Duchy of Baden was forty-five to a young person (when alone), according to the official estimate of the home secretary for that year; the average for older people was shifty and indeterminable, for whenever a wholesome young girl came into the presence of her elders she immediately lowered their average and raised her own. She became a sort of contribution-box. This dear young thing in the theater had been sitting there unconsciously taking up a collection. ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... safer, far happier, taking the flabby, muscleless arm of Expediency than in venturing into unknown difficulties behind the uncompromisingly stiff figure of Principle. But there are others-thank God for them!—who hate the shifty, cunning eye of Expediency far too much to have anything to do with him. These others would far rather be in the minority in championing some good cause ...
— Memoir and Letters of Francis W. Newman • Giberne Sieveking

... altered. His dark hair was plentifully sprinkled with silver; there were deep lines in his forehead and around his lips; his eyes had become shifty, and there was a look of cunning in them. He gave me just one swift, searching glance, and then looked away. It was an awkward meeting, and I hardly knew what to say. Fortunately ...
— At the Point of the Sword • Herbert Hayens

... Rummer was kept by an uncle of the future poet, into whose keeping he is supposed to have fallen on the death of his father. One cannot resist the suspicion that this uncle, Samuel Prior by name, was of a shifty nature. He had serious enemies, that is certain. The best proof of that fact is the announcement he inserted in the London Gazette offering a reward of ten guineas for the discovery of the persons who spread the report that he was in ...
— Inns and Taverns of Old London • Henry C. Shelley

... clothes and a slouch hat. But, noo that I gied him a closer look, I saw a shifty look in his een that I didna like. He was a braw, big man, and fine looking enough, save for that look in his een. But it was too late to back oot ...
— Between You and Me • Sir Harry Lauder

... the popular vote," said Ronsard; "They are selected by the Premier. And if the Premier should happen to be shifty, treacherous or self-interested, he chooses such men as are most likely to serve his own ends. And it can hardly be said, Sir, that the People truly return the members of Government. For when the time comes for one such man to be elected, each candidate secures his own agent to bribe the ...
— Temporal Power • Marie Corelli

... with the captain. Indeed, he seemed to take pains to avoid me, except when others were present, thereby causing me some perplexity and chagrin. And if we happened to find ourselves alone he appeared ill at ease, and would look at me in a strange and shifty manner, as though he had something on his mind. But for all that the time did not hang heavily on my hands, nor was the voyage an uneventful one to me, as I shall relate in ...
— The Cryptogram - A Story of Northwest Canada • William Murray Graydon

... truth, Cloudy, I never saw but one that didn't have shifty eyes. He was a little missionary chap that worked in a slum settlement and would have taken his eye-teeth out for anybody. Oh, I don't mean that old guy to-day looked shifty. I should say he was just dull and uninteresting. He may have thought he had a call long ago, ...
— Cloudy Jewel • Grace Livingston Hill

... agitator, who, with his thumb to his nose and his left arm stuck in his side, shows that he has no intention of permitting him to enjoy a pas all to himself. O'Connell of course shows himself complete master of the figure which he had danced so frequently; one of the most shifty, unstable men of his day, he can scarcely be called a politician, for like all agitators, the person he really sought to serve was himself alone. He chopped and changed just as it suited his purpose, and is properly introduced by ...
— English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the Nineteenth Century. - How they Illustrated and Interpreted their Times. • Graham Everitt

... them all, but the last the most, For I sought a word of a Russian post, Of a shifty promise, an unsheathed sword And a gray-coat guard ...
— The Works of Rudyard Kipling One Volume Edition • Rudyard Kipling

... had not prepared Bedient for this. With glad welcome he discovered David Cairns here and there among short-story contributors, but the love of man and woman which the stories in general exploited, struck him of Indian ideals as shifty and pestilential. The woman of fiction was equipped with everything to make her as common as man. She was glib, pert, mundane, her mind a chatter-mill; a creature of fur, paint, hair, and absurdly young. The clink of coins was ...
— Fate Knocks at the Door - A Novel • Will Levington Comfort

... mentally the details of their meagre knowledge of the event, or perhaps canvassing the aspect of certain points which might impute to them blame or arouse suspicion, and endeavoring to compass shifty evasions, to transform or suppress them in their forthcoming testimony. At random, one might have differentiated the witnesses from the mass of the ordinary mountaineer type by the absorbed eye, or the meditative moving lip unconsciously forming unspoken words, or the fallen dismayed jaw as of ...
— The Mystery of Witch-Face Mountain and Other Stories • Charles Egbert Craddock

... of his public life do not anywhere show that his politics shifted with his own interests. On the contrary, he was singularly regardless of his interests where his convictions interposed. Though an alien, and always an alien, he possessed none of the shifty traits of the soldier of fortune. Never in his career did he crook the pregnant hinges of the knee before any worldly throne of grace or flatter any mob that place might follow fawning. His great talents ...
— Marse Henry, Complete - An Autobiography • Henry Watterson

... table, eating, rose; a man on whom greed had set its mark—greed of the flesh, greed of men's praise, greed of money. His frame was thick-set, his body was heavily nourished, his eye was shifty but intelligent; and a close observer would have seen something elusive, something furtive and sinister, in his face. His lips were greasy with meat as he stood up, and a fear sprang to his face, so that its fat looked sickly. But he said hoarsely, and with an attempt at being brave ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... Spanish court, and its undignified conduct as it respects themselves, and insulting as it relates to us; and I fear it will prove that the late treaty of peace with France portends nothing favorable to these United States." Washington's patience had been sorely tried by the delays and shifty evasions of Spain, but he was now on the brink of success, just as he concluded that negotiation ...
— George Washington, Vol. II • Henry Cabot Lodge

... the Bonaventure at three instead of five. 'Tis a strange thing the Gulder, and not even sailors can count closely with it; for on the Dorset coast the tide makes four times a day, twice with the common flow, and twice with the Gulder, and this last being shifty and uncertain as to time, flings ...
— Moonfleet • J. Meade Falkner

... title "Commissioner" caused the bishop to pay particular attention to the other of the two individuals in question. He beheld a stumpy and pompous-looking personage, flushed in the face, with a moth-eaten grey beard and shifty grey eyes, clothed in a flannel shirt, tweed knickerbockers, brown stockings, white spats and shoes. Such was the Commissioner's invariable get-up, save that in winter he wore a cap instead of a panama. He was smoking a briar pipe and looking blatantly British, as if he had just ...
— South Wind • Norman Douglas

... found in all the popular tales of Europe. Germany was full of them, and there St Peter often appears in a snappish ludicrous guise, which reminds the reader versed in Norse mythology of the tricks and pranks of the shifty Loki. In the Norse tales he thoroughly preserves ...
— Popular Tales from the Norse • Sir George Webbe Dasent

... odour of an Egyptian cigarette. There was something unpleasantly pungent about it, and, coming out of the fresh air, she, unconsciously, resented the too obtrusive perfume; it recalled to her the atmosphere of a cheap Soho restaurant, and shady foreigners with shifty glances. Such an atmosphere was singularly inappropriate in that great hall, with its air of refinement and dignity. She was making her way to the stairs, when the man she had seen in the car came out ...
— The Woman's Way • Charles Garvice

... were handsome or would have been handsome were it not for the crafty and shifty expression of his eyes and the otherwise insincerity that was manifest in his face. Among his companions of the underworld he was known far and near ...
— A Woman at Bay - A Fiend in Skirts • Nicholas Carter

... only know that, looking back across an interval of many years and a distance of half the circumference of the globe, I have never ceased to be impressed with the manliness and sincerity of his character, his complete honesty of purpose, his high moral standard, his scorn of everything mean or shifty, his firm determination to speak what he held to be truth at whatever cost of popularity. And for these things "I loved the man, and do honour to his memory, on this side ...
— The Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley Volume 3 • Leonard Huxley

... with home duties and cares, and I am afraid we have not dwelt enough upon our poor boy, and he had much against him. The discipline from my dear father, that all the elders responded to with a sort of loyal exultation, only frightened him and made him shifty. They despised him, and I do not think any of us were as kind to him as we ought to have been; though on the whole he liked me the best, for he cared for books and quiet pursuits, such as all laughed at, except David. I wish he could ...
— Modern Broods • Charlotte Mary Yonge

... visitor's book showed that in a representative district of Bethnal Green, out of 1204 families, no less than 530 had removed within a twelvemonth, although such an account would not include the lowest and most "shifty" class of all. Between November 1885 and July 1886 it was found that 20 per cent. of the London electorate had changed residence. To what extent the uncertain conditions of employment impose upon the poor this changing habitation cannot be yet determined; but the absence of the educative influence ...
— Problems of Poverty • John A. Hobson

... stared at the new-comer with blank amazement. The latter was blinking in the bright light of the corridor, and peering at us and at the smouldering fire. It was an odious face—crafty, vicious, malignant, with shifty, light-grey eyes and ...
— The Return of Sherlock Holmes - Magazine Edition • Arthur Conan Doyle

... black people. Peter looked at the men in the cabin clearing, and saw the thing nakedly, and from both angles. For instance, consider Mosely, who had done things—with a clasp-knife. And that other man, the farm-hand, shifty-eyed and mean, always half drunk, a bad citizen: they would be sure to be foremost in affairs like this. They had precious little respect for the law as law. And here they were, making the holy night indecent with bestial behavior. Again a sick qualm shook Peter: Mosely was calmly putting ...
— The Purple Heights • Marie Conway Oemler

... warily at my gray jacket, then his shrewd, shifty eyes wandered to the blue and yellow cavalry cloak lying on ...
— My Lady of the North • Randall Parrish

... drowsy, but the voices would not let him sleep. He rose, dressed, and went out in the stable-yard. There he found Doctor Gordon, Aaron, and a strange man, small, and red-haired, and thin-faced, with shifty eyes, holding by the bridle a ...
— 'Doc.' Gordon • Mary E. Wilkins-Freeman

... what thet ne'er-do-well Nat Slater sez. I'd half a mind to tell you thet yesterday, when I seed you so thick with him! Jerusalem, mister, he's a coon thet's bin allers a loafer all his life, stickin' to nuthin' even fur a dog-watch, an' as shifty as one o' them sculpens in the creek thaar! You jest wait an' make yourself comf'able haar till bye-em-bye, an' I reckon we'll fix ...
— Fritz and Eric - The Brother Crusoes • John Conroy Hutcheson

... and looked fairly into his shifty eyes. "You are not in a position to say that, Freddy. I am mistress both of the situation and of Hubert's millions. Go away," she pushed him toward the door. "Take time to think over your position, ...
— Red Money • Fergus Hume

... become popular in the East, and which General Jackson was then urging upon his faithful followers. The missionaries of this new system in Illinois were Stephen A. Douglas, recently from Vermont, the shifty young lawyer from Morgan County, who had just succeeded in having himself made circuit attorney in place of Colonel Hardin, and a man who was then regarded in Vandalia as a far more important and dangerous person than Douglas, Ebenezer Peck, of Chicago. Peck was looked upon with distrust ...
— Abraham Lincoln: A History V1 • John G. Nicolay and John Hay

... "break," might have led to a request for his recall. He knew that his constant presence, close to the English Government, was vital to our cause. Russell and Palmerston were by turns insolent and shifty, and once on the very brink of recognizing the Southern Confederacy as an independent nation. Gladstone, Chancellor of the Exchequer, in a speech at Newcastle, virtually did recognize it. You will be proud of Mr. Adams if ...
— A Straight Deal - or The Ancient Grudge • Owen Wister

... glance round showed them the impossibility of such a proceeding, for they were unarmed and surrounded by men with fixed bayonets, while, in addition, every pony had an armed man holding its bridle; and as their shifty eyes were turned from one to another in a questioning way, the prevailing thought seemed to be that any such proceeding would be mad in the extreme, and could only result ...
— The Kopje Garrison - A Story of the Boer War • George Manville Fenn

... strikes him. Feinting, dodging, stopping, hitting, countering,—little man's head not off yet. You might as well try to jump upon your own shadow as to hit the little man's intellectual features. He needn't have taken off the gold-bowed spectacles at all. Quick, cautious, shifty, nimble, cool, he catches all the fierce lunges or gets out of their reach, till his turn comes, and then, whack goes one of the batter puddings against the big one's ribs, and bang goes the other into the big one's face, and, staggering, shuffling, slipping, tripping, collapsing, sprawling, ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes

... points enough, too. The silk hat was a veteran, the Prince Albert dated back about four seasons, but the gray gaiters were down to the minute. Being an easy talker, he might have been a book agent or a green goods distributor. But somehow his eyes didn't seem shifty enough for a crook, and no con. man would have lasted long wearing the kind of hair that he did. It was a sort of lemon yellow, and he had a lip decoration about two shades lighter, taggin' him as plain as an "inspected" label on a ...
— Shorty McCabe • Sewell Ford

... he looked the indefinite suggestion grew sharp and clear. It was a photograph of the showman who had called himself Hardman. All the trimmings were lacking, to be sure—the fierce mustache, the long hair, the buckskin trappings, none of them were here. But beyond a doubt it was the same shifty-eyed villain. Nor did it shake Bucky's confidence that Mackenzie had seen him and failed to recognize the man as his old cook. The fellow was thoroughly disguised, but the camera had happened to catch that curious furtive glance of his. But for that O'Connor would never ...
— Bucky O'Connor • William MacLeod Raine

... row of waiting cabs. One of the men touched his cap inquiringly, but Olof shook his head—the fellow had an honest face. The last in the row gave him what he sought—a sly red face with shifty eyes. ...
— The Song Of The Blood-Red Flower • Johannes Linnankoski

... Murray, "it's like this: if a fellow runs straight ahead with the ball he makes a clear target for the tackler—in other words he's an 'easy mark.' But if he's shifty and is able to fool the enemy by putting on a little extra steam at just the right moment or by slowing down in such a way that the tackler doesn't know what to expect, he has ...
— The Mark of the Knife • Clayton H. Ernst

... so on! I was quietly walking, at half past twelve one night, through the arcade that connects Friedrich street with the Linden, and a disgusting fellow sidles up to me, wretched, undergrown, and asks me with a kind of greasy, shifty impudence: Doesn't the gentleman want something real fetching? And these show windows in which, right by the pictures of noble and exalted personages, naked actresses, dancers, in short the most shocking nudities are displayed! And finally this Corso—oh, this Corso! Where painted and bedizened ...
— The Dramatic Works of Gerhart Hauptmann - Volume II • Gerhart Hauptmann

... only, this alteration in her course was a disadvantage rather than otherwise, the staysails refusing to stand properly; moreover the high land was now once more close aboard of them on both quarters, rendering the wind light and shifty, in consequence of which the ship lost way perceptibly. Ned became increasingly anxious; so much so, indeed, that he resolved to get more canvas upon the ship, and running out to the flying-jib-boom he loosed the flying-jib, set it with Price's assistance, ...
— The Missing Merchantman • Harry Collingwood

... made a bold and noisy entrance, and, when his face came into view, Bud sank back in his chair weakly, his own paling a trifle beneath the tan. For the man was Smithy Caldwell, a shifty-eyed crook from Chicago, one who had dogged him before, and whom he had never expected to see again. How the villain had tracked him to the Bar T ...
— The Free Range • Francis William Sullivan

... of architecture; its dirt is not picturesque. It is no longer the stage for the high-buskined tragedy of massacre and martyrdom; only for the obscurer, deeper tragedy that evolves from the pressure of its own inward forces, and the long-drawn-out tragi-comedy of sordid and shifty poverty. Natheless, this London Ghetto of ours is a region where, amid uncleanness and squalor, the rose of romance blows yet a little longer in the raw air of English reality; a world which hides beneath its stony and unlovely surface an inner world of dreams, fantastic and poetic as ...
— Children of the Ghetto • I. Zangwill

... figure of a man, shifty-eyed, with hard mouth and a nervous, restless air, came down a long hallway, smoking a cigarette. His eyes rested with no uncertain dislike upon ...
— Judith of Blue Lake Ranch • Jackson Gregory

... he comes over to me, his jaw set firmer'n I ever see it shut before, and a kind of shifty look in his eyes. He hands me a ...
— Torchy • Sewell Ford

... hit upon in any throng as the reaver of my father's estate; still less the man who might be Margery's father. He had the face of all the Stairs of Ballantrae without its simple Scottish ruggedness; a sort of weasel face it was, with pale-gray eyes that had a trick of shifty dodging, and deep-furrowed about the mouth and chin with lines that spoke of indecision. It was not of him that Margery got her firm round chin, or her steadfast eyes that knew not how to quail, nor aught of anything she owed ...
— The Master of Appleby • Francis Lynde

... news of the ban to Giuseppe de' Franchi. She had learned it from one of her damsels, who had had it from Shloumi the Droll, a graceless, humorous rogue, steering betwixt Jews and Christians his shifty way to profit. ...
— Dreamers of the Ghetto • I. Zangwill

... time his lordship thanked him, he looked about him at the other occupants of the room, and found that, besides the parson, sitting pale and wide-eyed at the table, there was present in the background his lordship's man—a quiet fellow, quietly garbed in gray, with a shrewd face and shrewd, shifty eyes. Mr. Caryll saw, and registered, for future use, the reflection that eyes that are overshrewd are seldom wont to look ...
— The Lion's Skin • Rafael Sabatini

... into the cab, Ralph noticed that his eyes were dull and shifty, his hands trembled and he bore all the appearance of a man who had been recently indulging in ...
— Ralph on the Engine - The Young Fireman of the Limited Mail • Allen Chapman

... the Iona library possessed—what Queen Mary had among the sixteen Greek volumes[11] in her library—a copy of Herodotus; but we are particularly anxious to ascertain if the story told by Herodotus of Rhampsinitus, and the robbery of his royal treasury by that "Shifty Lad" "the Master Thief,"[12] was in vogue as a popular tale among the Scottish Gaels or Britons in the oldest times? The tale is prevalent in different guises from India to Scotland and Scandinavia ...
— Archaeological Essays, Vol. 1 • James Y. Simpson

... conceived to be the proper demands of the nation. His opponent for a generation was Benjamin Disraeli, the young Jewish novelist, who had first won a following in the House of Commons by voicing the venom of the old-line protectionist Tories against the recreant Peel. Versatile, shifty, brilliant, this adventurous politician made himself indispensable to the Conservatives, and overcame by political moves which were little short of genius, the leadership of the opposition. Indeed, he may be said to have transformed Conservatism, giving it a new rallying cry, ...
— Ten Englishmen of the Nineteenth Century • James Richard Joy

... sickly leaden complexion, seemed as if he might be blown away by a strong puff of wind. His skinny arms and legs hung on to his body like the claws of a spider, his fair hair inclined to red, his white skin appeared nearly bloodless, and the consciousness of weakness made him timid, and gave a shifty, uneasy look to his eyes. His whole expression was uncertain, and looking only at his face it was difficult at first sight to decide to which sex he belonged. This confusion of two natures, this indefinable mixture of feminine ...
— Celebrated Crimes, Complete • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... greatly liked the look of Mr. Claude Jannissary. So uncompromising an idealist might have been expected to possess a more pleasing appearance and a less shifty look in his eyes ... but soothed vanity and youthful eagerness to appear in print and a feeling that very often appearances were against idealists, caused him to sign the agreement which Mr. Jannissary had ...
— The Foolish Lovers • St. John G. Ervine

... Tall, gloomy, Gothic men, with eyebrows that meet over their noses and bunches of black, curly hair in their ears. Men wearing diamond solitaires, fraternal order watchcharms, golden elks' heads with rubies for eyes. Men with thick, loose lips and shifty eyes. Men smoking pale, spotted cigars. Men who do not know what to do with their hands when they talk to women. Honorable, upright, successful men who seduce their stenographers and are kind to their dear old mothers. Men who allow their wives to dress like chorus girls. White-faced, ...
— A Book of Burlesques • H. L. Mencken

... Shall Austria be cut off from the sea? Is Hungary to become an independent kingdom? Is Montenegro to disappear? What is Greece to get? The only one of these questions that can be answered with any certainty is the last. Greece, as the result of her shifty and even treacherous attitude, will get very little consideration. On the decision of these questions hangs the future of the Balkan peoples. Though their final settlement must, of course, be deferred until the coming of peace, ...
— Italy at War and the Allies in the West • E. Alexander Powell

... up awkwardly, with a curious over-motion of his broad shoulders, as if he would conceal the action, various articles in his path. When he opened the door into the bedroom he crammed them behind it with a quick, shifty motion. ...
— Jerome, A Poor Man - A Novel • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

... at this picture of primitive defiance in a battle of grown-up men and yet she saw dimly that Rimrock was right in his estimate of Jepson's motives. Jepson did have a way that was subtly provocative and his little eyes were shifty, like a boxer's. As the two men faced each other she could feel the antagonism in every word that they said; and, looking at it as he did, it seemed increasingly reasonable that Rimrock's way was the best. It was better just to fight back without showing his ...
— Rimrock Jones • Dane Coolidge

... I had days ago begun to cultivate the acquaintance of one of the baggage men. This man at once attracted me by his shifty eyes and unhealthy red complexion. It hag often been a Secret Service precept with me: "Give me a hard drinker or a man who is fast and I'll land him nine times out of ten." Well, the baggage master was no exception. I decided to ply him with liquor to make his ...
— The Secrets of the German War Office • Dr. Armgaard Karl Graves

... before him," says Gudmund; "dark brown is his hair, and pale is his face; tall of growth and sturdy. So quick and shifty in his manliness that I would rather have his following than that of ten other men; but yet the ...
— Njal's Saga • Unknown Icelanders

... fairly good eating house," observed the would-be victim as they came to an "all-nighter." They entered and deliberately removed their coats, the thief watching his host with shifty, even twinkling eyes. "What shall it be, Mr. Robber? You are hungry, and you may order the entire bill, from soup to the date line, if you like. ...
— Castle Craneycrow • George Barr McCutcheon

... was commonplace, inconsecutive, shifty, and vague, and it was two hours before anything came within shot: all this time not a soul suspected the ...
— The Woman-Hater • Charles Reade

... in person issued into the courtyard—the stout, bald Peter Birkin, a man whose face was flushed even to the whites of his shifty eyes, and, close behind him, eke his shadow, Jonah Birkin—a person of sandy, sullen mien, and overhanging brows, and dull, ...
— Through Russia • Maxim Gorky

... don't it? But at that it wa'n't such a bad hunch on his part. He's a rash promiser, Mr. Robert is; but a shifty proposition when you try to push a programme on him, for the first thing you know he's slid from under. I suspicioned some play like that was comin' here the other afternoon when Sister Marjorie shows up at the general offices and asks ...
— On With Torchy • Sewell Ford

... decade of the present century, it had wholly transformed the governmental system, making it, whatever its outward form, whether constitutional monarchy, or republic, essentially democratic. So government became shifty, opportunist, incapable, and without the inherent energy to resist, beyond a certain point, the last great effort of the emergent proletariat to destroy, not alone the industrial civilization it justly detested, but the very government it had acquired by "peaceful penetration" and ...
— Towards the Great Peace • Ralph Adams Cram

... sought out Burr as an ally. As Governor of New York, they intimated, he would be in a strategic position and could take the lead in the secession of the Northern States. His leadership in the movement, in short, was to be the price of Federalist support at the polls. But the shifty Burr would not commit himself further than to promise an administration satisfactory to the Federalists. The conspirators had to rest content with this vague assurance and to count on Burr's ambition, and his desire to be revenged ...
— Union and Democracy • Allen Johnson

... man of about forty, with colorless brows and a mean, shifty eye. Formerly a cowboy, he had by the exercise of some natural ability acquired a good property—and a bad reputation. Just how or why he had prospered was a mystery which his neighbors ...
— Heart of the Sunset • Rex Beach

... 5 A.M. Shifty breeze. Tacking all day. Busy unpacking and repacking, and trying to get things straight. Towards evening the invalids began to pick up a little ...
— The Last Voyage - to India and Australia, in the 'Sunbeam' • Lady (Annie Allnutt) Brassey

... His shifty eyes gazed at the brothers by turns. Then the man suddenly turned away muttering something under ...
— Frank and Andy Afloat - The Cave on the Island • Vance Barnum

... crept over many of those who were present at the dispersion of the household goods and gods of that man who so hated the vulgar crowd. Gazing through the open windows they could see the tall trees waving their heads in a sorrowful sort of way in the summer breeze, throwing their shifty shadows over the neglected grass-grown paths, once the haunt of the stately peacocks, whose medieval beauty had such a strange fascination for Rossetti, and whose feathers are now the accepted favors of his apostles and admirers. And so their gaze would wander back again to that mysterious ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Vol. 13 - Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Lovers • Elbert Hubbard

... zeal in 1896, bargain with Spain in 1897, fighting again in Luzon in 1898, acquiescence in peace with the United States, reappearance in arms, capture, and instant allegiance to our flag—he was a shifty character, little worthy the great honor he received where he was known and, for a long time, here. But if he lacked in constancy, he excelled in enterprise. Spaniards never missed their reckoning more completely than in thinking they had quieted Aguinaldo by sending him to China with ...
— History of the United States, Volume 5 • E. Benjamin Andrews

... anchored vessel. By and by the parade began, led by Captain Stevenson. It was a straggling military formation that toiled up-hill through the sand toward Portsmouth Square. These men were from the byways and hedges of life. Some of them had shifty eyes and some bold, predatory glances which forebode nothing good for San Francisco's peace. Adventurers for the most part, lured to this new land, some by the wander spirit, others by a wish to free themselves from the restraints of law. Certain of them were to die ...
— Port O' Gold • Louis John Stellman

... and stared at the trees and the ewes which wandered among them with their lambs, he who, after all his work, was but a failure. With a sigh he turned away to fetch his cap and go out walking—there was a tenant whom he must see, a shifty, new-fangled kind of man who was always clamouring for fresh buildings and reductions in his rent. How was he to pay for more buildings? He must put him off, ...
— The Yellow God - An Idol of Africa • H. Rider Haggard

... into a near frenzy. His face had become bloated with passion, he was breathing fast. But Lawler noted that his eyes were shifty, that he turned them everywhere ...
— The Trail Horde • Charles Alden Seltzer

... translated and distributed in the South as a newspaper article under the title France, Mexico, and the Confederate States. The reputed author, Michel Chevalier, was an imperial senator, another member of the Napoleon ring, and highly trusted by his shifty master. The pamphlet, which emphasized the importance of Southern independence as a condition of Napoleon's "beneficent aims" in Mexico, was held to have been inspired, and the imperial denial was regarded as a ...
— The Day of the Confederacy - A Chronicle of the Embattled South, Volume 30 In The - Chronicles Of America Series • Nathaniel W. Stephenson

... that; he went to the war in one o' the early regiments. No, I never heard any more of him," answered Mrs. Todd. "Joanna was another sort of person, and perhaps he showed good judgment in marryin' somebody else, if only he'd behaved straight-forward and manly. He was a shifty-eyed, coaxin' sort of man, that got what he wanted out o' folks, an' only gave when he wanted to buy, made friends easy and lost 'em without knowin' the difference. She'd had a piece o' work tryin' to make him walk accordin' to her right ideas, ...
— The Country of the Pointed Firs • Sarah Orne Jewett

... gravely, "you put me in mind of a weather-cock in a shifty wind. Nobody can tell for half an hour together what quarter it'll be pointing to. 'Tis the shifty wind that does the most mischief and is hardest to bear with. When you came in just now, I'd have said you were pointing straight south, but a few minutes ...
— The Making of Mona • Mabel Quiller-Couch

... Gangster with the shifty eyes, listen to the sighing Of the hymn tune that you heard at your mother's knee; Listen to the restless ghost of the used-to-be, Listen to a wistful ghost's ...
— Cross Roads • Margaret E. Sangster

... result of a sermon like this, delivered before fanatic and hot-headed young men, who hung upon his every word? That he did not foresee that they would think that they obeyed him, by becoming affected, artificial, sly, shifty, ...
— Apologia pro Vita Sua • John Henry Newman

... what I expected," nodded Tom, as the leading party halted under the flare of the torches. "You see, sir, here was the point of greatest cave and drift in the quicksand. It's where your former engineers found such a morass of the shifty stuff that they declared the Man-killer never could have its appetite satisfied with dirt. There was a good log and concrete foundation laid down there, and for thirty-six hours the sand had not ...
— The Young Engineers in Arizona - Laying Tracks on the Man-killer Quicksand • H. Irving Hancock

... had given Lord Rotherwood and Lady Merrifield seats near the judge, where Miss Mohun was already installed. Alfred Flinders was already at the bar, and for the first time Lady Merrifield saw his somewhat handsome but shifty-looking face and red beard, as the counsel for the prosecution was giving a detailed account of his embarrassed finances, and of his having obtained from the inexperienced kindness of a young lady, a mere child in ...
— The Two Sides of the Shield • Charlotte M. Yonge

... is a nom-de-plume, a mere identification mark; but behind it lies a shifty and evasive personality. In a former letter he frankly informed me that the name was not his own, and defied me ever to trace him among the teeming millions of this great city. Porlock is important, not for himself, but for the great man with ...
— The Valley of Fear • Arthur Conan Doyle

... twenty-five years following the Peace of Utrecht, peace was the chief aim of the ministers who directed the policy of the two great seaboard nations, France and England; but amid all the fluctuations of continental politics in a most unsettled period, abounding in petty wars and shifty treaties, the eye of England was steadily fixed on the maintenance of her sea power. In the Baltic, her fleets checked the attempts of Peter the Great upon Sweden, and so maintained a balance of power in that sea, from which she drew ...
— The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1783 • A. T. Mahan

... didn't say nothin'. My hosses fell to grazin', and I eased myself around in my saddle, and made a cigareet. The men was tall, lank fellows, with kind of sullen faces, and sly, shifty eyes; the woman was dirty and generally mussed up. I knowed that sort all right. Texas was gettin' too many ...
— Arizona Nights • Stewart Edward White

... a ready made suit of the best sort. At second glance Susan saw that he was at least partly of Jewish blood, enough to elevate his face above the rather dull type which predominates among clerks and merchants of the Christian races. He had small, shifty eyes, an attractive smile, a manner of assurance bordering on insolence. He dropped into a chair at Susan's table with a, "You don't mind having a ...
— Susan Lenox: Her Fall and Rise • David Graham Phillips

... in walks an oldish chap with a stoop and a gray goat's beard. He wanted a ditty-box, too; something extra large and old, and strong, and a tray with a lock-up till in it. He was a fireman on the Anne Traylor, I found; a shifty sort of chap that couldn't look you in the face. He offered to go to a couple of pounds for the right thing. I told him I'd look through our stuff and let him know if we had one ...
— Golden Stories - A Selection of the Best Fiction by the Foremost Writers • Various

... get a good impression from the shifty eyes and air of taciturnity of Mr. Anderson's man, and it was evident that the blunt rancher restrained himself. He helped his daughter into the car, and then put on his long coat. Next he shook ...
— The Desert of Wheat • Zane Grey

... chief duty of these people, now disguised to destroy disguise, is to hold the Old Man fast when they have once caught him, that shifty, ever-changing Old Man of the Sea. Let him turn to water, to a snake, to a lion, to a tree—hold him fast; he is the One under them all and will at last reveal himself. Very necessary, indeed, is it to hold fast, and never let go in the grand play of Appearances; the strength ...
— Homer's Odyssey - A Commentary • Denton J. Snider

... a tall, dark-complexioned man, of perhaps thirty-five, with shifty, black eyes and thin lips, shaded by a dark mustache. It was not a face ...
— Adrift in New York - Tom and Florence Braving the World • Horatio Alger

... to meet the bravery of true champions of the pit, stood for a little while and stared at this shifty foe. He must have decided that he was dealing with a poltroon with whom science and prudence were not needed. He stuck out his neck and ran at Long-legs, evidently expecting that Long-legs would turn and flee in a panic. Long-legs jumped to let him pass under, and came down on ...
— The Skipper and the Skipped - Being the Shore Log of Cap'n Aaron Sproul • Holman Day

... falls about midway between the domestic storms which had troubled the early days of the royal marriage, and the Revolution which finally cost the most shifty of monarchs his throne and his life. Henrietta Maria had ceased to resent the expulsion of her French favourites, had consented at last to learn English and to tolerate the English people. She had thrown herself heart and soul into her husband's interests, and since the death of Buckingham was ...
— Studies from Court and Cloister • J.M. Stone

... I, getting a great deal of pleasure out of seeing again, and thus intimately, his round, ruddy face—like a yachtman's, not like a drinker's—and his shifty, laughing brown eyes. "The game down town has given me enough excitement. I haven't had to continue it up town to keep ...
— The Deluge • David Graham Phillips

... close of the day, and she was just wondering when Miles was coming to lock the door and fold the shutter over the one small window, when she heard a slouching step outside, and, glancing up, saw Oily Dave entering at the door. He looked more shifty and slippery than usual, but his manner was bland, even deferential, ...
— A Countess from Canada - A Story of Life in the Backwoods • Bessie Marchant

... in his tone, a something in his shifty eyes, a cloud upon his fair and usually so ingenuous looking countenance aroused her suspicions and gave her resurrected ...
— St. Martin's Summer • Rafael Sabatini

... practically universal opinion, not only in America, but in other neutral countries as well, that the repeated excuses and shifty evasions by which Berlin rejected every plan for mediation, arbitration, or any other programme which would tend toward a peaceful solution of the crisis, combined with Berlin's acknowledgment that "a free hand ...
— Plain Words From America • Douglas W. Johnson

... wish we had a few more of them. I like a well-conducted regiment, but these pasty-faced, shifty-eyed, mealy-mouthed young slouchers from the Depot worry me sometimes with their offensive virtue. They don't seem to have backbone enough to do anything but play cards and prowl round the married quarters. I believe I'd forgive that old villain on the spot if he turned up with any sort of explanation ...
— Soldier Stories • Rudyard Kipling

... bit," says he, gaily, or at any rate with a way as if to carry it off vauntingly. "I can do many things as well as most, and a few others colleges never learned me. I know many winter tales, from 'Minochag and Morag' to 'The Shifty Lad'; I can make passable poetry by word of mouth; I can speak the English and the French, and I have seen enough of courtiers to know that half their canons are to please and witch the eye of women in a way that I could ...
— John Splendid - The Tale of a Poor Gentleman, and the Little Wars of Lorn • Neil Munro

... look at a little group of the stay-at-homes while they are discussing the prospects of a race, you will see something that Hogarth would have enjoyed in his large, lusty fashion. The fair human soul no longer shines through those shifty, deceitful eyes; the men have, somehow, sunk from the level of their race, and they make you think that Swift may-have been right after all. From long experience I am certain that if a cultured gentleman, accustomed to high thinking, were suddenly compelled to live among these dismal beings, ...
— The Ethics of Drink and Other Social Questions - Joints In Our Social Armour • James Runciman

... waved her hand at them. Then, catching sight of the Commanding Officer, standing at the window of his office, she smiled at him. But Colonel Fortescue was not smiling; on the contrary, he was frowning as his eyes fell upon Mrs. Fortescue's mount, Birdseye, a light built black mare, with a shifty eye and a propensity to make free with her hind feet. More than once Colonel Fortescue had reminded Mrs. Fortescue that it was somewhat beneath the dignity of a Commanding Officer's wife to ride a kicking horse. But Mrs. Fortescue had a sneaking affection for Birdseye ...
— Betty at Fort Blizzard • Molly Elliot Seawell

... urge to lash out and hit the man. That eternal drooling of smoke out of his nostrils, that everlasting cigarette dangling limply from one corner of his mouth, the shifty eyes, the dirty fingernails, got on ...
— Empire • Clifford Donald Simak

... had stated his business, Phadrig looked at him with sleepy eyes with a strange expression in them which, for some reason or other, held his visitor's usually shifty gaze fixed, and said in a slow, ...
— The Mummy and Miss Nitocris - A Phantasy of the Fourth Dimension • George Griffith

... like Bigglebai?" (Already it was an insult along the River to compare a man to the shifty ...
— Actions and Reactions • Rudyard Kipling

... elderly man with shaggy grey eyebrows; the other was a very powerfully built fellow, who seemed, from his attire, to follow the profession of a sailor. Tom Frost was sobbing bitterly. One of Robert Ashford's hands was bandaged up. As he was placed in the dock he cast furtive glances round with his shifty eyes, and as they fell upon Cyril an expression of deadly hate came over his face. The men of the watch who had captured them first gave their evidence as to finding them in the act of robbery, and testified to the desperate resistance they had ...
— When London Burned • G. A. Henty

... of the mountain passes still lay in the hands of the shifty and ignoble Charles of Navarre, who had chaffered and bargained both with the English and with the Spanish, taking money from the one side to hold them open and from the other to keep them sealed. The mallet hand of Edward, however, had ...
— The White Company • Arthur Conan Doyle

... the two was Job Grinsell, landlord of the inn, a man with a red nose, loose mouth, and shifty eyes—not a pleasant fellow to look at, and regarded vaguely as a bad character. He had once been head gamekeeper to Sir Willoughby Stokes, the squire, whose service he had left suddenly and in manifest ...
— In Clive's Command - A Story of the Fight for India • Herbert Strang



Words linked to "Shifty" :   shifting, unsteady, devious



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