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Tortuous   /tˈɔrtʃəwəs/   Listen
Tortuous

adjective
1.
Highly complex or intricate and occasionally devious.  Synonyms: Byzantine, convoluted, involved, knotty, tangled.  "Byzantine methods for holding on to his chairmanship" , "Convoluted legal language" , "Convoluted reasoning" , "The plot was too involved" , "A knotty problem" , "Got his way by labyrinthine maneuvering" , "Oh, what a tangled web we weave" , "Tortuous legal procedures" , "Tortuous negotiations lasting for months"
2.
Marked by repeated turns and bends.  Synonyms: twisting, twisty, voluminous, winding.  "Winding roads are full of surprises" , "Had to steer the car down a twisty track"
3.
Not straightforward.



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"Tortuous" Quotes from Famous Books



... Tullianum or Prison of St. Peter, we were led through a tortuous subterranean passage of Etruscan character, a hundred yards long, cut out of the rock. It was so low that we had to stoop all the way, and in some places almost to creep, and so narrow that a very stout person would have some difficulty ...
— Roman Mosaics - Or, Studies in Rome and Its Neighbourhood • Hugh Macmillan

... he really excelled, the gifts of intrigue, patience, long-suffering, dissimulation, and tortuous fraud, were thus brought into play, and allowed their full value. Such qualities had every chance of prevailing in the long run, against the noble carelessness and the impetuosity of the passionate Anthony—and they did ...
— The Caesars • Thomas de Quincey

... direction of the spot where I stood; but so agilely did I slide behind a pillar, that he could not have seen me. In the pantry he lifted the trap-door, and descended still further into the vaults beneath the house. Ah, the vaults,—the long, the tortuous, the darksome vaults,—how had I forgotten them? Still I followed, rent by seismic shocks of terror. I had not forgotten the weapon: could I creep near enough, I felt that I might plunge it into the marrow of his back. He opened the iron door of the first vault and passed in. If I could ...
— Prince Zaleski • M.P. Shiel

... and immediately the shadow of deep sorrow covered their faces. It was a thing monstrous, possessing none of the forms familiar to the eye, yet not devoid of a hint of some new unknown form. On a thin tortuous little branch, or rather an ugly likeness of one, lay crooked, strange, unsightly, shapeless heaps of something turned outside in, or something turned inside out—wild fragments which seemed to be feebly trying to get away ...
— Best Russian Short Stories • Various

... Stumbling through dark and tortuous streets where the moon's frosty brilliance was almost completely hidden, I came at last to the waterman's door and knocked. He was in bed and for some time my summons was in vain. At last I heard a sound in the room above, ...
— Dead Man's Rock • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... around, he put a trembling hand into his breast-pocket, drew out the letter, screened it by the flat of his big palm, and posted it. Then he turned hurriedly away, and was gone in a moment, like a man who feared pursuit, down a steep and tortuous alley that led to the shore. The morning was early; the shops were not yet open; only the homes of the fishermen were putting out curling wreaths of smoke; the silent streets echoed ...
— The Manxman - A Novel - 1895 • Hall Caine

... of a young officer of his regiment wakened Cecil from his musing, as he went on his way down the crowded, tortuous, stifling street. He had scarcely time to catch the sense of the words, and to halt, giving the salute, before the Chasseur's skittish little Barbary mare had galloped past him; scattering the people right and left, knocking over ...
— Under Two Flags • Ouida [Louise de la Ramee]

... windows, and the rough-cast (now cracked and discoloured) made white and whole. The other end forms a cottage, with the low ceilings and stone floors of a hundred years ago; the windows do not open freely and widely; and the passage upstairs, leading to the bedrooms, is narrow and tortuous: altogether, smells would linger about the house, and damp cling to it. But sanitary matters were little understood thirty years ago; and it was a great thing to get a roomy building close to the high road, and not too far from the habitation of Mr. Wilson, ...
— The Life of Charlotte Bronte - Volume 1 • Elizabeth Gaskell

... in this way, Choulette lighted one of those long and tortuous Italian cigars, which are pierced with a straw. He drew from it several puffs of infectious vapor, then ...
— The Red Lily, Complete • Anatole France

... has really declared emancipation, and is only puzzling how to carry it into effect. After all, it seems to be a law of Providence, that progress should be by a spiral movement; so that when it seems most tortuous, we may perhaps be going ahead. I am firm in the faith that slavery is now wriggling itself to death. With slavery in its pristine vigor, I should think the restored Union neither possible nor desirable. Don't understand me as not taking into account all the strategical considerations against ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... Pass is at all times dreaded by travellers, native and European, even in summer, when there are no avalanches to fear, snow-drifts to bar the way, or ice to render the narrow, tortuous pathway even more insecure. A serious inconvenience, not to say danger, is the meeting of two camel caravans travelling in opposite directions on the narrow track, which, in many places, is barely ten feet broad, and barely sufficient to allow two ...
— A Ride to India across Persia and Baluchistan • Harry De Windt

... absence of water altogether—all these enter immediately into the manner in which the lawn of a house should be laid out, and worked, and planted. But as a rule, all filagree work, such as serpentine paths, and tortuous, unmeaning circles, artificial piles of rock, and a multitude of small ornaments—so esteemed, by some—should never be introduced into the lawn of a farm house. It is unmeaning, in the first place; expensive in its care, in the second place; unsatisfactory ...
— Rural Architecture - Being a Complete Description of Farm Houses, Cottages, and Out Buildings • Lewis Falley Allen

... haste, opened the door, and stepped out into the loggia. Not finding Fra Pacifico there, or in the other rooms, he passed down the stone steps into the little square, threading his way beyond as he best could, through the tortuous little alleys toward the gate. Most of the men had already gone to work; but such as lingered, or whose business kept them at home, rose as he passed, and bared their heads to him. The mothers and the girls stared at him and smiled; troops of children followed at his heels through the town, ...
— The Italians • Frances Elliot

... of genius fraught, Spreads over worlds his mantling wings of thought, Draws in firm lines, and tells in nervous tone All that is yet and all that shall be known, Withes Proteus Matter in his arms of might, And drags her tortuous secrets forth to light, Bids men their unproved systems all forgo, Informs them what to learn, and how to know, Waves the first flambeau thro the night that veils Egyptian fables and Phenician tales, Strips from all-plundering Greece the cloak she wore, And shows the blunders ...
— The Columbiad • Joel Barlow

... the tortuous windings of the narrow road, through brush, over hillocks, down into depressions, and ...
— Bart Stirling's Road to Success - Or; The Young Express Agent • Allen Chapman

... very beau-ideal of a robber's cave. Its existence was known to few: only accessible at low water, the entrance had escaped notice, and the few that did find it were discouraged on entering by the long and tortuous way which led to this chamber, and did not track it far. The smoke found vent above, as the fire burnt clear and bright, and ...
— Edward Barnett; a Neglected Child of South Carolina, Who Rose to Be a Peer of Great Britain,—and the Stormy Life of His Grandfather, Captain Williams • Tobias Aconite

... in no sense of the word, a white man's country. It possesses a feature of considerable importance in the river Jordan itself, almost the only river in Palestine with a perennial flow. The river is tortuous and rapid and not adapted to navigation. These features indicate this area as a difficult one in which to hold a fighting line, and a no less difficult one across which to maintain communications. In the summer of 1918, our line ran along the river valley, and the ...
— With the British Army in The Holy Land • Henry Osmond Lock

... field with a hollow where one could lie in shelter and see the whole of the bay and the eastern cliffs in one direction, and the Axe Valley in another, and here he sat for a while, smoking and reading and now and then trying to follow the tortuous windings of the Axe as it came down the marsh to ...
— Changing Winds - A Novel • St. John G. Ervine

... air-spaced insulators. Even the air they exhale carries from their bodies a minimum of the all-important heat and moisture, for the passages of their nostrils do not lead directly to the lungs, as do ours. They are merely the intakes for a tortuous system of tubes comprising a veritable heat-exchanger, so that the air finally expelled is in almost perfect equilibrium with the incoming supply in temperature and in moisture content. A grayish tan in color, naked and hairless—though now, out of deference to ...
— Spacehounds of IPC • Edward Elmer Smith

... with the rest of his force. The situation of the camp, which had been adopted with a view to the advance at daybreak, favored the approach of an enemy. The ground was broken and intersected by numerous small and tortuous nullahs, and strewn with rocks. Any other site would, however, have necessitated a long march the next day, and no ...
— The Story of the Malakand Field Force • Sir Winston S. Churchill

... such large spaces, from comparatively few facts, must be received with much caution. I do not myself the least doubt that within the recent (or as you, much to my annoyment, would call it, "New Pliocene") period, tortuous bands—not all the bands parallel to each other—have been elevated and corresponding ones subsided, though within the same period some parts probably remained for a time stationary, or even subsided. I do not believe a more utterly ...
— The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Volume I • Francis Darwin

... possible: she might find him at home, or she might encounter him on the road or riding over his farm. But this visit must be made without Isabel's knowledge. It must further be made to appear incidental to Mrs. Meredith herself—-or to Rowan. She arranged therefore with that tortuous and superfluous calculation of which hypocrisy is such a master—and mistress—that she would at breakfast, in Isabel's presence, order the carriage, and announce her intention of going out to the farm of Ambrose Webb. ...
— The Mettle of the Pasture • James Lane Allen

... Medici was assassinated, as he attended High Mass, on April 26th, 1478, with the connivance, if not actually at the instigation, of Christ's Vicar himself, Pope Sixtus IV. Florentine history is so eventful and so tortuous that beyond the bare outline given in chapter V, I shall make in these pages but little effort to follow it, assuming a certain amount of knowledge on the part of the reader; but it must be stated here that periodical revolts against the power and prestige ...
— A Wanderer in Florence • E. V. Lucas

... Sir. It is a very tortuous direction, indeed. Have I not the pleasure of speaking to ...
— Queechy, Volume I • Elizabeth Wetherell

... line of light, superior in brightness to the parts of the sea not immediately near the vessel, showed the base of the high, frowning, and dark land abreast; the sky became lowering, and more intensely obscure. Long tortuous lines of light showed immense numbers of large fish, darting about as if in consternation. The topsail yard and mizzen boom were lighted by the glare, as if gas-lights had been burning directly below them; and until just before daybreak, at four o'clock, the most minute ...
— Fables of Infidelity and Facts of Faith - Being an Examination of the Evidences of Infidelity • Robert Patterson

... the northwest and directing his steps towards the interior of the island, the traveller will notice that the land rises rapidly, and after three hours' walking over tortuous paths obstructed by great masses of rock and sometimes cut by ravines, he will find himself on the border of a great maquis. The maquis is the domain of the Corsican shepherds and of those who are at variance with justice. It must be known that, in ...
— International Short Stories: French • Various

... square altogether with my notions of the rule of right. The unanimous surprise of the company before whom I uttered these words soon convinced me that I had confounded mental with bodily obliquity, and that there was nothing tortuous about the ...
— The Works of Charles Lamb in Four Volumes, Volume 4 • Charles Lamb

... the story was now transferred to Lourdes, to the Rue des Petits Fosses, a narrow, tortuous, mournful street taking a downward course between humble houses and roughly plastered dead walls. The Soubirous family occupied a single room on the ground floor of one of these sorry habitations, a room at the end of a dark passage, in which seven persons were huddled together, the father, ...
— The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete - Lourdes, Rome and Paris • Emile Zola

... the track, still seething in soul, and full of the bitter wrong inflicted upon him by the man he had till lately considered his dearest friend. At each bend of the footpath, as it threaded its way through the tortuous dell, following close the elbows of the bickering little stream, he expected to come full in sight of Nevitt. But, gaze as he would, no Nevitt appeared. He must have gone on, Guy thought, and come out at the other ...
— What's Bred In the Bone • Grant Allen

... been made so tortuous by suggestions, ideas, yes, demands made upon him in the work of the Harrisburg panels upon which he was engaged, that a commission in which he was to have free scope, his brush full leeway, with no one making suggestions but himself and Mrs. Abbey, seemed like a dream. ...
— The Americanization of Edward Bok - The Autobiography of a Dutch Boy Fifty Years After • Edward William Bok (1863-1930)

... could not rest. In and out the tortuous streets of Paris he roamed during the better part of that night. He was now only awaiting the dawn to publicly demand the right to ...
— I Will Repay • Baroness Emmuska Orczy

... indeed an awful pass! a road roughly hewn through the bottom of a deep, narrow, tortuous cleft in the mountains where, at some remote period, by some tremendous convulsions of nature, the solid rocks had been rent apart, leaving the ragged edges of the wound hanging at a dizzy height between heaven and earth! The dark iron-gray ...
— Cruel As The Grave • Mrs. Emma D. E. N. Southworth

... Tus-ka-sah was in the utter darkness of the narrow tortuous little passage, but after threading this he came out of the doorway into the keen chill air of a snowy world, the scintillations of frosty stars, the languid, glamourous radiance of the yellow moon, low in the sky, and his accustomed mental atmosphere of the plainest of plain prose. His thoughts ...
— The Frontiersmen • Charles Egbert Craddock

... being made to grasp, after nearly exhausting the resources of a wealthy syndicate, something that obviously affects their material comfort. But progress in ideas, or anything in the shape of moral revolution, has to undergo a thousand-fold more tortuous process before it can be made to filter through a convention. The academic product is, it must be remembered, a bundle of conventions. If the article has been properly manufactured, and bears the ...
— The Curse of Education • Harold E. Gorst

... mainly low-caste Portuguese bound for Rio and Bahia, and they had obeyed him through all those tortuous days out on the deep where he was the shepherd and they the flock. But now,—now they could well afford to turn upon and rend him, for he had brought them safe to land and they no longer ...
— West Wind Drift • George Barr McCutcheon

... sing—accusations which sound strangely familiar to those who are old enough to remember the reception of Wagner in the seventies and eighties. His scores would not sound very elaborate nowadays, nor do his melodies appear unusually tortuous or exacting, but he insisted upon violent contrasts from his singers as well as from his orchestra, and the great length of his operas, a point in which he anticipated Meyerbeer and Wagner, probably reduced to exhaustion ...
— The Opera - A Sketch of the Development of Opera. With full Descriptions - of all Works in the Modern Repertory • R.A. Streatfeild

... approached, but the crowd had increased so enormously that the road was completely blocked. Tradesmen with their portable workshops, pedlars with their cumbersome gear and pack-horses could not pass, but had to wait for their turn; there were not even any tortuous by-streets in this place whereby they might reach their destination. Children lost themselves in the crush, and went about crying for their mothers. A party of travelers, newly arrived from the south by caravan route, got wedged with their worn-out ...
— Across China on Foot • Edwin Dingle

... that which is common to all the great plains of India watered by the Ganges and Jumna. The country is for the most part perfectly flat, and cut up into little fields, divided by shallow ditches. Here and there nullahs, or deep watercourses, with tortuous channels and perpendicular sides, wind through the fields to the nearest stream. These nullahs constitute the great danger of hunting in the country. In the fields men may be noticed, in the scantiest of attire, working with hoes among their springing crops; women, wrapped up in the ...
— In Times of Peril • G. A. Henty

... of the fact that I was unable to relate to a satisfying conception of religion my new-born determination, I made up my mind, at least, to renounce my tortuous ways. I had promised my father to be a lawyer; I would keep my promise, I would give the law a fair trial; later on, perhaps, I might demonstrate an ability to write. All very praiseworthy! The season was Lent, a fitting time for renunciations and resolves. Although ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... above, at vertiginous heights, we barely discern perilous passageways, haunted windows peering out upon the high heavens, stone-fretted ceilings that are lost in a magic mist. By a sort of diabolic modulation the artist conducts our eye from these dizzy angles and granitic convolutions down tortuous and tumultuous staircases that seemingly wind about the axis of eternity. To traverse them would demand an eternity and the nerves of a madman. Lower barbaric devices reveal this artist's temperament. He is said to have executed ...
— Promenades of an Impressionist • James Huneker

... forward into the gloom. Slipping, stumbling, falling, rising again, the wind beating in her face, the branches catching like angry hands at her garments—still she hurried on. It was a long, long, tortuous path, but it came to an end. The roar of the sea sounded awfully loud as it rose in sullen majesty, the flags of the stone terrace rang under her feet. Panting, breathless, cold as death, she leaned against ...
— The Baronet's Bride • May Agnes Fleming

... of the jungle—that which takes fast hold, clings most tenaciously, and leaves the most irritating remembrances—is what is known as the lawyer cane or vine (CALAMUS). It is a vegetable of tortuous ambitions, that defies you, that embarrasses with attention, arrests your progress, occasionally envelops you in a net work of bewildering, slender, and cruelly-armed tentacles, that everywhere bristles with points, that curves ...
— The Confessions of a Beachcomber • E J Banfield

... jingled cheerily at every firm, regular step of the great, gentle creatures. So our travellers set out in high feather, and their entry into Poitiers, though not so magnificent as Alexander's into Babylon, was still in very fine style indeed. As they threaded their way through the narrow, tortuous streets of that ancient town, the noise of their horses' iron shoes ringing out against the rough stone pavement, and the clatter of their wheels drew many inmates of the houses they passed to the windows, and a little crowd collected around ...
— Captain Fracasse • Theophile Gautier

... grandmother descended the bank, following a tortuous foot-path until they reached the water's edge. Then they proceeded to the mouth of an immense cave, some fifty feet above the river, under the cliff. A little stream of limpid water trickled down from a spring within the cave. The ...
— Indian Child Life • Charles A. Eastman

... and awe, and absorbed in the thought which had mastered him, and which was much dwelt on in the middle ages:—the monastic path, going towards heaven straight as a sunbeam; the secular, twining its way through a tortuous difficult course—the 'broad way,' tending downward to the abyss. To his terrified apprehension, he had abandoned the direct and narrow path for the fatal road, and there might at any moment be captured, and ...
— The Caged Lion • Charlotte M. Yonge

... I espied him descending the Gusedub by that tortuous path, marking so strongly the character of a Scottish glen. He was easily distinguished, indeed, at some distance, by his jaunty swagger, in which he presented to you the flat of his leg, like the manly knave of clubs, apparently ...
— Waverley Volume XII • Sir Walter Scott

... little mining camp, with its wooden shanties on either side of the railroad track. Down this street Uncle Peter had gone, leading his charges toward the busy ant-hill on the mountainside. Ahead the track wound up the canon, cunningly following the tortuous course of the little river to be sure of practicable grades. On the farther side of the river a mountain road paralleled the railway. Up this road the two went, followed by a playful admonition from Mrs. Milbrey: "Remember, Mr. Bines, I place my ...
— The Spenders - A Tale of the Third Generation • Harry Leon Wilson

... set. In the fondak called El Oosaa, a group of the town Moors, who had fasted through the day, were feasting and carousing. Over the walls of the Mellah, from the direction of the Spanish inn at the entrance to the little tortuous quarter of the shoemakers, there came at intervals a hubbub of voices, and occasionally wild shouts and cries. The day was Wednesday, the market-day of Tetuan, and on the open space called the Feddan many fires were ...
— The Scapegoat • Hall Caine

... they were wending their way down the north side of the peak by gradually declining roads, headed for the much-talked-of home of the Witch in Ganlook Gap, some six miles from Edelweiss as the crow flies, but twice that distance over the tortuous bridle paths and ...
— Truxton King - A Story of Graustark • George Barr McCutcheon

... next succeeding step. The line as now formed, from the Dubuque battery on the right to Sigel's left, formed a curve enclosing Van Dorn's army. Under this concentric fire Van Dorn's entire force before noon was swept from the field to find refuge in the deep and tortuous ravines in his rear. Pursuit was fruitless. McCulloch's command, scattering in all directions, was irretrievably dispersed. Van Dorn, with Price's corps and other troops, found outlet by a ravine leading to the south, unobserved by the national troops, went into camp ten miles off on the ...
— From Fort Henry to Corinth • Manning Ferguson Force

... short of the— the embrace, in the noblest meaning of the word, then they are committing a sin against life, the call of which is simple. Perhaps sacred. And the punishment of it is an invasion of complexity, a tormenting, forcibly tortuous involution of feelings, the deepest form of suffering from which indeed something significant may come at last, which may be criminal or heroic, may be madness or wisdom—or even a straight ...
— Chance - A Tale in Two Parts • Joseph Conrad

... Mustang's secret passage. It was a narrow cleft, splitting the canyon wall, rough, uneven, tortuous and choked with fallen rocks—no more than a wonderful crack in solid stone, opening into another canyon. Above us the sky seemed a winding, flowing stream of blue. The walls were so close in places that a horse with pack would have been blocked, and a rider had ...
— The Last of the Plainsmen • Zane Grey

... boy, I have seen it ranked only as a third-rate seaport. Its streets tortuous and narrow, with pavements in the middle, skirted by mud or dirt as the season happened. The sidewalks rough with sharp-pointed stones, that made it misery to walk upon them. I have seen houses, with little low rooms, suffice for the dwelling of the merchant or well-to-do trader—the first ...
— Recollections of Old Liverpool • A Nonagenarian

... He had seen him go down the road with the vicar till they were both out of sight, and he had seen him come back and enter the cottage. This proceeding, he argued, betrayed that the squire did not wish to be seen going into Mary's house by the vicar. The tortuous intelligences of bad men easily impute to others courses which they themselves would naturally pursue. Three words on the previous evening had sufficed to rouse the convict's jealousy. What he saw to-day confirmed his ...
— A Tale of a Lonely Parish • F. Marion Crawford

... or coyote. To the rattlesnake and horned lizard (agama) it is a congenial home; and the singular snake-bird (paisano) may frequently be seen running over the arid waste, or skulking through the tortuous stems of the nopals. In the canons of the stream the grizzly bear makes his haunt, and in times not long gone by it was ascended and traversed by the unwieldy buffalo. The wild horse (musteno) still ...
— The Lone Ranche • Captain Mayne Reid

... with the Mexican woman a plan of attack upon the valley. Camp was struck at once, and she guided them through tortuous ravines and gulches deeper into the Roaring Fork country. She left them in a grove of aspens, just above the lip of the valley, on the side least ...
— Brand Blotters • William MacLeod Raine

... the room was more deliberate. To my right were the big generators and the switchboards, gleaming with copper bus-bar, and intricate with their tortuous wiring. Directly before me was the long work-bench that ran the full length of the room, littered with a dozen set-ups for as many experiments. At my left was a sizable piece of apparatus that was strange to ...
— The Infra-Medians • Sewell Peaslee Wright

... in London suburbs. You do not find it in the faces of men who sit at a desk and hire you and fire you. The momentary glimpse I had of that chief's face made clear to me many passages in history, many things in literature, many dark and tortuous riddles in the adventures of my own little tinpot soul. And in the light of this discovery I heard the Chief, our chief, saying, 'Yes, these chaps have power of life and death over their people, ...
— Aliens • William McFee

... an excellent climber," and together they started to explore the now narrowing valley, following the stream over steep rocks and fallen trees, and pushing through tangled undergrowth and among briers and bushes and around slippery banks until they came to another tortuous turn, where a second spring, welling up from under a flat, overhanging rock, tumbled down to augment the supply for the future lake; and here they stopped and had a drink of the cool, delicious water, ...
— The Early Bird - A Business Man's Love Story • George Randolph Chester

... Carolina may be conveniently classed as four separate chains: the Smoky, forming the western boundary of the State; the Blue Ridge, running across the State in a very tortuous course, and shooting out spurs of great elevation; the Brushy (which divides, for the greater part of its course, the waters of the Catawba and Yadkin), beginning at a point near Lenoir and terminating ...
— School History of North Carolina • John W. Moore

... the White House. The other provision of my orders on setting out from Winchester—the alternative return to that place—was not touched upon, for the wisdom of having ignored that was fully apparent. Commenting on this recital of my doings, the General referred only to the tortuous course of my march from Waynesboro' down, our sore trials, and the valuable services of the scouts who had brought him tidings of me, closing with the remark that it was, rare a department commander voluntarily deprived himself of independence, and added that I should not suffer for it. Then ...
— The Memoirs of General P. H. Sheridan, Complete • General Philip Henry Sheridan

... wandered many miles out of my way; wherefore, to put an end to these futile ramblings, I set my face westward, hoping to strike the highroad somewhere between Tonbridge and Sevenoaks; determined rather to run the extra chance of capture than follow haphazard these tortuous ...
— The Broad Highway • Jeffery Farnol

... among its cephalopoda, do we find a mechanism altogether unlike any with which we are acquainted among living organisms. As admirably shown by Buckland, the partitions which separate into chambers all the whorls of the ammonite except the outermost one, were exquisitely adapted to strengthen, by the tortuous windings of their outer edges, a shell which had to combine great lightness with great powers of resistance. Itself a continuous arch throughout, it was supported by a series of continuous arches inside, somewhat resembling in form the ...
— The Testimony of the Rocks - or, Geology in Its Bearings on the Two Theologies, Natural and Revealed • Hugh Miller

... a worn and bedraggled and shabby-looking troop; and still, as always, Joan was the freshest of us all, in both body and spirits. We had averaged above thirteen leagues a night, by tortuous and wretched roads. It was a remarkable march, and shows what men can do when they have a leader with a determined purpose and ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... the Greek army led to a Greek revolution which broke out at Saloniki on the 30th of August. The King pursued a tortuous policy, professing neutrality and yet constantly bringing himself under suspicion. The Revolutionists organized an army and finally M. Venizelos, after strong efforts to induce the King to act, became the head of the Provisional Government of ...
— History of the World War - An Authentic Narrative of the World's Greatest War • Francis A. March and Richard J. Beamish

... from the mother of the girl who had so recently refused him, an involved tortuous epistle, which implied that the daughter was seriously attached to him, and hinted that if he were to come forward again he would not be refused a second time. There was also a short, wavering, nondescript note with nothing in particular in ...
— Prisoners - Fast Bound In Misery And Iron • Mary Cholmondeley

... slow and careful steps, his sagacious steed moved on, obedient to the rein, at one time topping the crest of a rugged hill, and then winding at a snail's pace down the steep declivity, or following the tortuous course of the streamlet through deep ravines, whose jagged and bush-clad sides frowned down upon them on either side, deepening ...
— Fort Lafayette or, Love and Secession • Benjamin Wood

... that if a burglar wished to steal the clothing, this spook would be his most effective accomplice, but such tortuous psychology has failed to satisfy the fishermen. To them we seem callous souls, to whom the spirit world is alien. This ghostly encroachment on our erstwhile quiet domain has had more than one inconvenient result. The Mission is very short of houses for its workmen, and was ...
— Le Petit Nord - or, Annals of a Labrador Harbour • Anne Elizabeth Caldwell (MacClanahan) Grenfell and Katie Spalding

... on the turn, and if by chance it is not, the tortuous and narrow passages between the coves, with their rocking rocks and hidden pools, are enough to twist the ankles and temper of anyone who is not Devon born ...
— Leonie of the Jungle • Joan Conquest

... is conveyed in large boats up the river as far as Quinali, and thence transported further on in carabao carts; and the boats return empty. During the dry season of the year, the breadth of the very tortuous Bicol, at its mouth, is a little over sixty feet, and increases but very gradually. There is considerable variety of vegetation upon its banks, and in animal life it is highly attractive. I was particularly struck ...
— The Former Philippines thru Foreign Eyes • Fedor Jagor; Tomas de Comyn; Chas. Wilkes; Rudolf Virchow.

... deer, exciting his already avid appetite to a point where it became a gnawing pain. Yet Numa did not permit himself to be carried away by his desires into any premature charge such as had recently lost him the juicy meat of Pacco, the zebra. Increasing his gait but slightly he followed the tortuous windings of the trail until suddenly just before him, where the trail wound about the bole of a huge tree, he saw a young buck moving slowly ...
— Tarzan the Untamed • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... light, because, owing to the congested condition of their business, their trains must make fast time. Item 10 represents very old practice, certainly prior to 1882, and is "second-hand." The load consisted of empty coal cars, and the line was very tortuous, so that it is quite probable that the resistance assumed in the calculation is far below the actual. Items 15 and 17 are both high. To account for this, it is to be noted that this road has been recently completed, regardless of cost in the matter of both track and rolling stock, and doubtless ...
— Transactions of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Vol. LXX, Dec. 1910 • Beverly S. Randolph

... consciousness that he was subsisting on money not his own would have kept him from his vice. As it was, he had lived through the months between Winter and Spring, like one threading his way through the tortuous lengths of a cavern; never coming to the light, but coming upon absurd mishaps in his effort to reach it. His adventures in London partook somewhat of the character of those in Warbeach, minus the victim; for whom two or three gentlemen in public thoroughfares had been taken. These misdemeanours, ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... apparent to the lieutenant that they were approaching close to the coast and that very shortly the destroyer must turn again to the sea or else take her way into some tortuous channel leading inland. ...
— The Brighton Boys with the Submarine Fleet • James R. Driscoll

... cannot be ignored, from the time when his ruling passion became self-conscious and took possession of his whole being. From that time forward there is an end to all groping, straying, and sprouting of offshoots, and over his most tortuous deviations and excursions, over the often eccentric disposition of his plans, a single law and will are seen to rule, in which we have the explanation of his actions, however strange this explanation may sometimes appear. There was, however, an ante-dramatic period in Wagner's life—his childhood ...
— Thoughts out of Season (Part One) • Friedrich Nietzsche

... dark and tortuous places of this life, the human heart is the most dark and tortuous; and of all human hearts none are less clear, more intricate than the hearts of all that class of people among whom Bianca had her being. Pride was a simple quality when ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... between going alone over ground which he had traversed several times with guides in the immediate neighbourhood of Chamouni, and being left in a region to which he had been conducted by paths so intricate, tortuous, and difficult, that the mere effort to trace back in memory even the last few miles of ...
— Rivers of Ice • R.M. Ballantyne

... around this meadow land. If we can get even two inches above that the job'll be easier." With the above figures in mind, Rand and Dick plunged into the shallows of the broad channel. Working from rock to sandbar, and bar to boulder, they followed the deepest pools in a tortuous path that corkscrewed nearly from one shore to another, and in an hour's time were able to report to Swiftwater that they could find passageway sufficiently wide for the boats with a minimum ...
— The Boy Scouts on the Yukon • Ralph Victor

... ferns with linear or thready leaves, the sterile, one to two inches high and tortuous or "curled like corkscrews"; fertile fronds longer, three to five inches, and bearing at the top about five pairs of minute, fruited pinnae. Sporangia large, ovoid, sessile in a double row along the single vein of the narrow divisions of the fertile leaves, and provided ...
— The Fern Lover's Companion - A Guide for the Northeastern States and Canada • George Henry Tilton

... Tourniquet-Saint-Jean, formerly one of the darkest and most tortuous of the streets about the Hotel de Ville, zigzagged round the little gardens of the Paris Prefecture, and ended at the Rue Martroi, exactly at the angle of an old wall now pulled down. Here stood the turnstile ...
— A Second Home • Honore de Balzac

... surface of the lake, we started for our first objective, Lake Itasca. After leaving Leech Lake our way lay up a river called by the Indians Gabakauazeba. The river broadens out a short distance from the lake, but narrows again and becomes tortuous and full of snags. Passing safely through all these, we reached, late in the afternoon, a fine lake nearly ten miles long, upon the shore of which we encamped. Next morning we paddled to the upper end of the lake, and were ...
— Sword and Pen - Ventures and Adventures of Willard Glazier • John Algernon Owens

... came down on one side, they went not up on the other. Instead, having reached the nether bluff, they turned sharp along its base, by another and still narrower trace, which they knew would take them up to the mission-building. A route tortuous, the path beset with many obstacles; hence their having spent several hours in passing from the ford to the mission-house, though the distance between ...
— The Death Shot - A Story Retold • Mayne Reid

... In each there was an island of text in a sea of commentary, itself lost in an ocean of super-commentary that was bordered by a continent of super-super-commentary. Reb Shemuel knew many of these immense folios—with all their tortuous windings of argument and anecdote—much as the child knows the village it was born in, the crooked by-ways and the field paths. Such and such a Rabbi gave such and such an opinion on such and such a line from the bottom of such and such a page—his memory of it was a visual ...
— Children of the Ghetto • I. Zangwill

... the tortuous channel of Wimbledon river be made straight, and the tyrant man be compelled to perform the labor with three-inch ...
— Eventide - A Series of Tales and Poems • Effie Afton

... body in a hollow square and the procession moved away. They came after a short journey to a natural opening leading to the heart of the plateau. The apes and gorillas, with the exception of the red leader, remained outside. The remainder of the party pushed through a tortuous tunnel until they reached a cavernous opening directly beneath the plateau. Vertical openings in the walls furnished light and air. The white chieftain spoke in a strange tongue to his followers, and they instantly prepared three couches in a far corner ...
— Astounding Stories of Super-Science, October, 1930 • Various

... to the utmost. Mr. Cummings, to tell the truth, pursued a somewhat tortuous course in politics and religion. He was a Methodist. One day our clerk expressed himself as to the latter in these words:—"They say he is a Jumper, but others think he has gone over to the Holy Rollers." The Jumpers were a sect whose members, when the Holy Spirit seized ...
— Memoirs • Charles Godfrey Leland

... Tortuous little streets lead through the town of Coucy into a great green space which commands the castle. It is approached from the new and rather pretentious lodge in which the keeper of the castle now ...
— France and the Republic - A Record of Things Seen and Learned in the French Provinces - During the 'Centennial' Year 1889 • William Henry Hurlbert

... Her Monuments.—In Athens, as in the majority of Greek cities, the houses of individuals were small, low, packed closely together, forming narrow streets, tortuous and ill paved. The Athenians reserved their display for their public monuments. Ever after they levied heavy war taxes on their allies they had large sums of money to expend, and these were employed in erecting beautiful edifices. In the market-place they built a portico ...
— History Of Ancient Civilization • Charles Seignobos

... rises from the earth, that cry is such a cry of love for the light, is such a deep and frenzied cry of love for the golden thing we call the Day, and that all thirst to feel again: the pine on its bark, the tortuous roots in woodland paths on their mosses, the feather-grass on each delicate spray, the tiniest pebble in its tiniest mica flake; it is so wonderfully the cry of all that misses and mourns its colour, its reflection, its flame, ...
— Chantecler - Play in Four Acts • Edmond Rostand

... Through tortuous little streets they finally arrived at the market-place which was situated in the center of the city. On the way they saw many men with a hand or foot cut off. They were thieves or transgressors who ...
— In Desert and Wilderness • Henryk Sienkiewicz

... Suppression of Vice, shrieked at beholding a man in so startling a condition, and fainted; he, with a presence of mind perfectly admirable, whipped the cloak from her back, and threw it round him, and scudding through the tortuous alleys which abound in that neighbourhood, made his way to the house where the learned Society of Noviomagians hold their convivial meetings, and, telling the landlord that he was invited there to dinner as ...
— Handy Andy, Volume One - A Tale of Irish Life, in Two Volumes • Samuel Lover

... hearing, lest the sound should be dissipated and escape before the sense is affected. Their entrances are hard and horny, and their form winding, because bodies of this kind better return and increase the sound. This appears in the harp, lute, or horn;[237] and from all tortuous and enclosed ...
— Cicero's Tusculan Disputations - Also, Treatises On The Nature Of The Gods, And On The Commonwealth • Marcus Tullius Cicero

... But how tortuous and dark the ways of the human soul! Both of them—Sobashnikov as well as Petrovsky—acted in their indignation rather sincerely, but the first only half so, while the second only a quarter in all. Sobashnikov, ...
— Yama (The Pit) • Alexandra Kuprin

... goodwill towards England, the apparent complacency with which the French nation acquiesced in his rule, and the outward prosperity accompanying it, did their natural work in conciliating approval, and in making men willing to forget the obscure and tortuous steps by which he had climbed to power. One day he and France were to pay for these things; but meanwhile he was a popular ruler, accepted and approved by the nation he governed, anxious for its prosperity, and earnest in keeping ...
— Great Britain and Her Queen • Anne E. Keeling

... grew wider soon and far less tortuous, but was still a narrow and dangerous spot. For a mile or two from the Springs its course was nearly east of north, then it bore away to the northeast, and the Sweetwater trail abruptly left it and ...
— Warrior Gap - A Story of the Sioux Outbreak of '68. • Charles King

... looked brighter than a royal gallery, or Francis' Salle des Fetes. Before him floated the light figure of the jestress, moving faster and ever faster down the dark corridor, now veering to the right or left, again ascending or descending well-worn steps; a tortuous route through the heart of the ancient fortress, whose mystery seemed dread and covert as that of a prison house. Confidently, knowing well the puzzling interior plan of the old pile, she traversed the labyrinth that was to lead them without, finally ...
— Under the Rose • Frederic Stewart Isham

... spectacle was at its height. All about the Institute, and on the stairs, and in the cloak-rooms, and through the narrow, tortuous passages leading to the stage dressing-rooms were vile tableaus of inflamed women and tipsy men, bandying brutality and obscenity. The animal was now in full possession of its faculties. But, just as the orgie is bursting into the last stage—a free fight—when the poor creatures ...
— Lights and Shadows of New York Life - or, the Sights and Sensations of the Great City • James D. McCabe

... minister of warning, lifted upon a headland, and suddenly there was disclosed intimately the brilliant, shimmering surf breaking on the tortuous coral reef that banded the island a mile away. It was like a circlet of quicksilver in the sun, a quivering, shining, waving wreath. Soon we heard the eternal diapason of these shores, the constant and immortal music of the breakers on the white stone barrier, a low, ...
— Mystic Isles of the South Seas. • Frederick O'Brien

... we pass slowly up the tortuous, steep stairways of the theatre, while the Germans, all talking at once, burden the air with unintelligible gutturals, you say to me—if you are the intelligent person that you ought to be—"SEEBACH is the greatest actress of ...
— Punchinello Vol. II., No. 30, October 22, 1870 • Various

... human in any living animal. All nature, the universe as far as we see, is anti- or ultra-human, outside, and has no concern with man. These things are unnatural to him. By no course of reasoning, however tortuous, can nature and the universe be fitted to the mind. Nor can the mind be fitted to the cosmos. My mind cannot be twisted to it; I am separate altogether from these designless things. The soul cannot be wrested ...
— The Story of My Heart • Richard Jefferies

... made with hands"—the human body—has, like the house made with hands, its sewer system, which is over twenty-five feet in length. To cleanse (?) this wonderfully delicate, tortuous and extended passage-way of waste material, civilized man knows no better than to put in at the top of the house, purgatives, cathartics, bile-bouncers, etc., with one hope and purpose in view, namely, that these policemen ...
— Intestinal Ills • Alcinous Burton Jamison

... abundance with those crystal rivulets, every few hundred yards threading the road, and going to swell the wider streams which every mile or two cross the traveller's way, laving his horse's sides with refreshing coolness, as they hurry on in their tortuous course from the mountain heights to the sea. Farther west the mountains and hills assume gentler and more rounded forms, particularly in the parish of St. Anne, the Garden of Jamaica. I regret that I know only by report the scenes of Eden-like loveliness of this delightful parish. It is principally ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. IV. October, 1863, No. IV. - Devoted to Literature and National Policy. • Various

... in Jerdon's Nesokia Indica, is very generally distributed over Lower Bengal. In the neighbourhood of Calcutta, Alipore for instance, it is abundant, and is a great nuisance in gardens. It burrows in tortuous directions, only a few inches below the ground, there being no definite plan, some being more complicated than others—the principal passage leading to a chamber containing a nest of leaves and grass. I have been told by natives that ...
— Natural History of the Mammalia of India and Ceylon • Robert A. Sterndale

... they now turned from the broad highway into a narrower road, on which they traveled for a long time in silence on account of its tortuous course, and because in some places the snow formed drifts difficult to traverse. In the spring or summer, on rainy days, this road ...
— The Knights of the Cross • Henryk Sienkiewicz

... low opinion of Asada's character. They held him to be an inveterate intriguer, ready at every moment to betray his best friends, even his sovereign, if only by so doing he could advance his own personal and selfish interests; and in this, owing to his consummate skill and tortuous ways, he invariably succeeded. If space permitted, many interesting stories could be narrated of him, culled from the various ...
— A Forgotten Empire: Vijayanagar; A Contribution to the History of India • Robert Sewell

... would. If people ever find it out, I will tell them that it was he who broke it off." She rose again from her chair, and stood flushed and thrilling with the notion of her self-sacrifice. Out of the tortuous complexity of the situation she had evolved this brief triumph, in which she rejoiced as if it were enduring success. But she suddenly fell from it in the dust. "Oh, what can I do for him? How can I make him feel more and more that I would give up anything, everything, for him! It's because ...
— Indian Summer • William D. Howells

... conscious freedom and enjoyment of resuscitated nature, screeched their notes of thankfulness and admiration. The running streamlet, called into almost momentary existence, bounded and leapt its limpid volume through its tortuous and meandering course, insinuated its translucent body into masses of fibrous debris and crevices of rock, to emerge in miniature cataracts, and murmur its allegiance to an all-smiling nature. The brightened face of morn greeted the young men upon their start; and ...
— Fern Vale (Volume 1) - or the Queensland Squatter • Colin Munro

... hollow in the olive-tree. The butterfly, better endowed with its faceted eyes than the owl with its single pupils, goes forward without hesitation, and threads the obstacles without contact. So well it directs its tortuous flight that, in spite of all the obstacles to be evaded, it arrives in a state of perfect freshness, its great wings intact, without the slightest flaw. The darkness is light ...
— Social Life in the Insect World • J. H. Fabre

... had not betrayed his knowledge of the Colonel's house; and when, on his return to barracks, he discovered that no cheroot-case had been left behind, he beamed with delight. Here was a man after his own heart—a tortuous and indirect person playing a hidden game. Well, if he could be a fool, so ...
— Kim • Rudyard Kipling

... It was a tortuous path and one in which the old man himself, knowing, as he thought he did, every foot of the country around, could easily have been lost. Above, through the trees, the moon shone dimly, and no path could be seen under foot. But Jack Bracken slouched heavily ...
— The Bishop of Cottontown - A Story of the Southern Cotton Mills • John Trotwood Moore

... Sehel. The granite threshold of Nubia, is broken beyond Sehel, but its debris, massed m disorder against the right bank, still seem to dispute the passage of the waters, dashing turbulently and roaring as they flow along through tortuous channels, where every streamlet is broken up into small cascades, ihe channel running by the ...
— History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, Volume 1 (of 12) • G. Maspero

... cruel, revengeful, and dishonest. Few of his promises to them were performed. They worshipped a bankrupt deity. The land of promise was a Tantalus cup ever held to their lips, and ever mocking them when they essayed to drink. God was their greatest enemy instead of their best friend. Their tortuous path across the wilderness was marked by a track of bleaching bones. All the evils which imagination can conceive fell on their devoted heads. Bitten by serpents, visited by plagues, cursed with famine and drought, swallowed by earthquake, slain by war, and robbed ...
— Bible Romances - First Series • George W. Foote

... Michael Strogoff left Elamsk at the moment when the first Tartar scouts were signaled ten versts behind upon the road to the Baraba, and he plunged again into the swampy region. The road was level, which made it easy, but very tortuous, and therefore long. It was impossible, moreover, to leave it, and to strike a straight line across that impassable network of ...
— Michael Strogoff - or, The Courier of the Czar • Jules Verne

... and manors,—that in the higher walks of life which conduct to the Temple of Renown, the leaders of the procession are the aristocracy of knowledge and of intellect,—she so betrayed, not generous emulation and high-souled aspiring, but the dark, unscrupulous, tortuous ambition of cunning, stratagem, and intrigue, that instead of feeling grateful and encouraged, he shuddered and revolted. How, accompanied and led by a spirit which he felt to be stronger and more commanding than his own,—how preserve the whiteness of his soul, the ...
— Lucretia, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... part self-luminous; and each gem, apparently entirely unsupported, was dashing in and out and along among its fellows, weaving and darting here and there, flying at headlong speed along an extremely tortuous, but evidently carefully ...
— Skylark Three • Edward Elmer Smith

... nowhere made attractive, or insidiously alluring. The shadow of expiation, remorse, punishment, retribution is ever present, like a death's-head at a feast. The day of reckoning comes, and bitterly do the culprits realize that the tortuous game of vice is not worth the candle. Casuistical theologians may attempt to explain away the notions of punishment in the life to come, of retribution beyond the grave. But the shallowest thinker will not deny the realities of remorse. To how many ...
— A Love Episode • Emile Zola

... greatness, American in this if in nothing else. Unnumbered writers of the day, of whom Mr. Kipling is not the least eminent, have profited by his influence, and learned from him to give the final, subtle thought its final form. If that form in his own case was tortuous, intricate, difficult, why so was the thought. If it makes hard reading, his subject at least got hard thinking. Before you condemn that curious style of his-so easy to parody, so hard to imitate—ask whether such refinement of thought as his could be much ...
— Definitions • Henry Seidel Canby

... a black no-thoroughfare of a hall, whose further end was closed by a locked door. The girl here rubbed a brimstone abomination of a match into a mal-odorous green glow, and by its help the old man got a tortuous key into the snaky opening in the great lock, creakily shot back its bolt, swung open the door, and motioned Ronald ...
— Stories by American Authors, Volume 8 • Various

... in which the zeal for erudition was a passion, and the spell of science was stronger than the charms of love. At the same time, as Condottiere, he displayed all the treasons, duplicities, cruelties, sacrileges, and tortuous policies to which the most accomplished villain of the age ...
— Renaissance in Italy, Volume 1 (of 7) • John Addington Symonds

... the tortuous mazes of fashion, it was well for her to be guided and guarded by such an old campaigner as Lady Kirkbank, a woman who, in the language of her ...
— Phantom Fortune, A Novel • M. E. Braddon

... the wind, to say nothing of the spray which was flung up in clouds from the thundering masses of yellow waves dashing at the foot of the cliffs below. Sir Henry Durwood, at any rate, was very glad when his companion turned away from the cliffs into one of the narrow tortuous streets running off the ...
— The Shrieking Pit • Arthur J. Rees

... most vivid eloquence; the victory will be in the end to the clearest brain and the subtlest intellect. The orthodox political economists are clever sophists; they mask and confuse the truth very speciously; we must have keen eyes and sharp noses to spy out and scent out their tortuous fallacies. I'm glad you're a mathematician, Mr. Oswald. And so you have thought on ...
— Philistia • Grant Allen

... the Old Kent Road they sped, now fast, now slow,—threading a tortuous, and difficult way amid the myriad vehicles, and so, betimes, ...
— The Money Moon - A Romance • Jeffery Farnol

... But I should have preferred your writing to him and saying that he was doing all I could expect—not because he was, but in order that he might do so. For he is a man of astonishing whims, as you know, "tortuous and no wise——."[282] But I stick to the rule "Follies of those in power," etc.[283] But, by Hercules, that other friend of yours, Hortalus—with what a liberal hand, with what candour, and in what ornate language ...
— The Letters of Cicero, Volume 1 - The Whole Extant Correspodence in Chronological Order • Marcus Tullius Cicero

... descending the face of the cliff, beyond the Lion's Den, and entering a cavern in the rocks, called "Daw's Hugo" (or Cave). The place is only accessible at low water. Passing from the beach through the opening of the cavern, you find yourself in a lofty, tortuous recess, into the farthest extremity of which, a stream of light pours down from some eighty or a hundred feet above. This light is admitted through the Lion's Den, and thus explains by itself the nature of the accident by which ...
— Rambles Beyond Railways; - or, Notes in Cornwall taken A-foot • Wilkie Collins

... pace was for some time good but, after passing Prempeh's palace, the road became a tortuous track and, at every yard, the tall grass became thicker and, here and there, a fallen tree lay across the path. The dead silence that prevailed rendered every one nervous. At last they came in sight of the great cotton tree. Here all halted, and ...
— Through Three Campaigns - A Story of Chitral, Tirah and Ashanti • G. A. Henty

... the shutters across his eyes. Then he led the way by tortuous alleys to an old and ruined wall of a zgag, in which there were as many holes as there are in a honeycomb. Here, as he knew, the scorpions loved to sleep. Thrusting his fingers here and there he presently drew forth three writhing reptiles. And one of them was ...
— Halima And The Scorpions - 1905 • Robert Hichens

... now and again aided by something still more salutary, an occasional outbreak of the plague, the easy-going authorities would never have issued any 'cleaning edicts,' and the still easier-going inhabitants would never have obeyed them. It was these dark, tortuous wynds and closes, nevertheless, that made up the Court End of Old Edinbro'; for some one writes in 1530, 'Via vaccarum in qua habitant patricii et senatores urbis' (The nobility and chief senators of the city dwell in the Cowgate). And ...
— Penelope's Experiences in Scotland • Kate Douglas Wiggin

... quarter of the turbulent city wears an air of intense mystery. The side streets are narrow and tortuous. Dark courts and alleys twist in every conceivable direction, while the brightness of the many wine shops facing each other across the tideless harbour only serves to enhance the squalid gloom that forms the most marked characteristic ...
— The Albert Gate Mystery - Being Further Adventures of Reginald Brett, Barrister Detective • Louis Tracy

... instructive and so fascinating as the tracing of the development of the human mind as manifested in the evolution of scientific and philosophical theories. And this is, perhaps, especially true when, as in the case of medicine, this evolution has followed paths so tortuous, intersected by so many fantastic byways, that one is not infrequently doubtful as to the true road. The history of medicine is at once the history of human wisdom and the history of human credulity and folly, and ...
— Bygone Beliefs • H. Stanley Redgrove

... hills which were, if possible, more desolate and weird than any we had seen, we gained the boundary of California and gazed upon the Colorado River. It is a stream whose history thrilled me as I remembered how in its long and tortuous course of more than a thousand miles to this point it had laboriously cut its way through countless desert canons, and I felt glad to see it here at last, sweeping along in tranquil majesty as if aware that all ...
— John L. Stoddard's Lectures, Vol. 10 (of 10) - Southern California; Grand Canon of the Colorado River; Yellowstone National Park • John L. Stoddard

... labors—that were like crowding the Bard of Avon into a magazine article. For 300 years the world has been studying the latter, and is not yet sure that it understands him; yet Shakespeare is to Carlyle what a graded turnpike is to a tortuous mountain path. The former deals chiefly with the visible; the latter with the intangible. The first tells us what men did; the last seeks to learn why they did it. Carlyle is the prince of critics. He is often lenient to a fault, but seldom deceived—"looks quite ...
— Volume 1 of Brann The Iconoclast • William Cowper Brann

... sea of scrub-oak and luxuriant undergrowth. The soil was poor. Farms were rare, and the few clearings were seldom more than a rifle shot in width. The woodland tracks were seldom travelled; streams with marshy banks and tortuous courses were met at frequent intervals, and the only debouchee towards Fredericksburg, the pike, the plank road, an unfinished line of railway a mile south of their junction, and the river road, about two miles north, were ...
— Stonewall Jackson And The American Civil War • G. F. R. Henderson

... out. There was a want of honour and good faith in this conduct, wholly at variance with the manly, frank, straightforward character of the duke, and there is no way of accounting for it but by supposing that he was instigated to the course he adopted by Peel, whose tortuous and uncertain principles and policy began to assume prominence. It was Peel's character throughout his career to betray all who trusted in him as a leader, and to cany by trick and treachery all the measures against which, in his public ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. - From George III. to Victoria • E. Farr and E. H. Nolan

... shading his eyes with his hand, scrutinized the small, melancholy figure, and then, hopping from his perch, sped toward him with a nimble and curiously tortuous gait. ...
— The Fortunate Youth • William J. Locke

... reached the summit of a hog-backed ridge that overlooked the tortuous windings of Lost River, a waterless channel between banks that were void of vegetation. The crest of the divide was studded with great outcroppings of sand-stone, and in the shadow of one giant rock we laid down to rest before we descended ...
— Raw Gold - A Novel • Bertrand W. Sinclair



Words linked to "Tortuous" :   crooked, complex, voluminous, indirect, tortuosity, Byzantine



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