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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



... valley floor narrower, the torrent less abundant; there now stood up before me the marshy slopes and the enormous forests of pine that forbid a passage south. Up through these the main road has been pierced, tortuous and at an even gradient mile after mile to the very top of the hill; for the Ballon d'Alsace is so shaped that it is impossible for the Moselle valley to communicate with the Gap of Belfort save by some track right ...
— The Path to Rome • Hilaire Belloc

... unlimited assurance. He was unfitted for his command, both because he lacked experience {125} in fighting such foes as he was about to encounter, and because he was completely ignorant of the technical difficulties involved in conducting a large, miscellaneous fleet through the tortuous channels of the lower St Lawrence. This ignorance resulted in such loss of time that he arrived before Quebec amid the tokens of approaching winter. It was the 16th of October when he rounded the island of Orleans and brought ...
— The Fighting Governor - A Chronicle of Frontenac • Charles W. Colby

... seventeen thousand feet in height. These floods of cold wind find their appropriate channels in the characteristic canons which everywhere furrow the whole Rocky-Mountain system to its very base. Most of these are exceedingly tortuous, and the descending winds, during their passage through them, acquire a spiral motion as irresistible as the fiercest hurricane of the Antilles, which, moreover, they preserve for miles after they have issued from the mouth of the canon. Every little ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 13, No. 78, April, 1864 • Various

... The passage was tortuous, and as it was very dark and the walls rough and rocky, Tibo was scratched and bruised from the many bumps he received. Bukawai walked as rapidly through the winding gallery as one would traverse a familiar lane by daylight. He knew every twist and ...
— Jungle Tales of Tarzan • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... teocalli I threw up other barricades, protected in the front and rear by dykes cut through the roadway, and in case the Spaniards should try to turn our flank and force a passage through the narrow and tortuous lanes to the right and left, I also barricaded the four entrances to the ...
— Montezuma's Daughter • H. Rider Haggard

... Hal, more like a brother than a son, and in winding over tortuous trails and climbing the rugged sides of mountains we have become good comrades; bound together by the invisible tie of "Nature Lovers" and the "Call of the Wild," as well as the ...
— Byways Around San Francisco Bay • William E. Hutchinson

... 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 a resolution that ...
— Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc - Volume 1 (of 2) • Mark Twain

... what the Londoner misses by having a river that is navigable in the larger sense only below his city. To see shipping at home we must make our tortuous way to the Pool; Rotterdam has the Pool in her midst. Great ships pass up and down all day. The Thames, once its bustling mercantile life is cut short by London Bridge, dwindles to a stream of pleasure; the ...
— A Wanderer in Holland • E. V. Lucas

... art thou to Nature! how strongly are all its powers and all its weaknesses on thy side! how sweetly dost thou mix with the blood, and help it through the most difficult and tortuous passages to the heart! ...
— A Sentimental Journey • Laurence Sterne

... Ontario, where its waters pour into the St. Lawrence, is a scene of striking beauty;[140] numerous wooded islands, in endless variety of form and extent, divide the entrance of the Great River[141] into a labyrinth of tortuous channels, for twelve miles in breadth from shore to shore: this width gradually decreases as the stream flows on to Prescot, fifty miles below; a short distance beyond that town the rapids commence,[142] and thence to Montreal the navigation is interrupted ...
— The Conquest of Canada (Vol. 1 of 2) • George Warburton

... unworthy of attention. Of the late Smriti (traditional history) which, for those who know how to interpret its allegories, is full of unimpeachable historical records, an Ariadne's thread through the tortuous labyrinth of the Past—has come to be unanimously regarded as a tissue of exaggerations, monstrous fables, "clumsy forgeries of the first centuries A.D." It is now openly declared as worthless not only for exact chronological ...
— Five Years Of Theosophy • Various

... that conclusion. There is no denying it, the deaf man had found his own strange and tortuous way to my interest, in spite of myself. I might even have been in some danger of allowing him to make a friend of me, if I had not been restrained by the fears for Cristel which his language and his manner amply justified, to my mind. Although I was far from foreseeing the catastrophe that ...
— The Guilty River • Wilkie Collins

... defiant 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 its struggles ...
— John L. Stoddard's Lectures, Vol. 10 (of 10) - Southern California; Grand Canon of the Colorado River; Yellowstone National Park • John L. Stoddard

... long bush road between two lines of straggling fence running with all sorts of lists and bends, going on and on endlessly, according to the belief of the boys of Waddy. The road was overhung by tall gums and nourished many clumps of fresh green saplings, about which the tortuous cart-track wound in deep yellow ruts, baked hard in summer, washed into treacherous bog in winter. Here caution was not necessary, and there were divers fierce hand-to-hand attacks on clumps of scrub representing a vindictive and ...
— The Gold-Stealers - A Story of Waddy • Edward Dyson

... and I knew by the sudden scream and plunge of his horse that spurs were dug into raw sides. We turned down that steep, break-neck, tortuous street leading from Upper Town to the valley of the St. Charles. The wet thaw of mid-day had frozen and the road was slippery as a toboggan slide. We reined our horses in tightly, to prevent a perilous stumbling of fore-feet, and by zigzagging from side to side managed to reach ...
— Lords of the North • A. C. Laut

... raging, and she was teeming with fishes and sharks. O king! she directing her course towards the sea, separated herself, into three streams; and her water was bestrewn with piles of froth, which looked like so many rows of (white) ganders. And crooked and tortuous in the movement of her body, at places; and at others stumbling at it were; and covered with foam as with a robe: she went forward like a woman drunk. And elsewhere, by virtue of the roar of her waters, she uttered loud sounds. Thus ...
— The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1 • Kisari Mohan Ganguli

... fortnight passed in this way. Then at last the upper lip sank and the head was raised a little, as though he wanted to see who it was that brought him food and water every day. But the way from that to friendship was long and tortuous. In the time that followed, I used to scratch him on the back with a stick; at first he jumped round, seized the stick, and crushed it between his teeth. I thought myself lucky that it was not my hand. I came a little nearer to ...
— The South Pole, Volumes 1 and 2 • Roald Amundsen

... last night in a glowing sunset which was followed by a grand moon. The house was warm and clean and bright, with red curtains and open fires and everything was just as we had left it, so that it seemed as though we had just come out of a tortuous bad dream of asphalt and L. roads and bad air. I was never so glad to get ...
— Adventures and Letters • Richard Harding Davis

... found dead in a fast-shut moon-flower; and, finally, a slender, bright-winged dragon-fly. These, humanely chloroformed and pasted upon cards, Ivan studied, wondering at his own interest; nor understood its reason till, by the dark and tortuous ways of unconscious cerebration, there sprang from his brain, Minerva-like, the six dances which are incorporated in the most charming ballet of his time the famous "Reve d'Ete." When, a year later, immediately before its first production, Monsieur Venara, maitre de ballet ...
— The Genius • Margaret Horton Potter

... him with rage, and revived all his old feelings and plans and projects. The Count was not one who could suffer in silence. He was a crafty, wily, subtle, scheming Italian, whose fertile brain was full of plans to achieve his desires, and who preferred to accomplish his aims by a tortuous path, rather than by a straight one. This repulse revived old projects, and he took his departure with several little schemes in his mind, some of which, at least, were destined to ...
— The American Baron • James De Mille

... 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 ...
— The Bishop of Cottontown - A Story of the Southern Cotton Mills • John Trotwood Moore

... will you tell me what I do know, if I do not read every turn and trick of their tortuous nature? They are occasionally hard to decipher when they're displeased. It's very big print indeed when ...
— Lord Kilgobbin • Charles Lever

... tortuous hours in which the souls of those who watched and waited for his return were tried to the utmost. A restless, uncanny feeling prevailed: as if they were prisoners waiting in dead silence for the sickening news that the trap on the ...
— The Man From Brodney's • George Barr McCutcheon

... to be a city at least two miles in length, more than half as wide, a huddle of dwellings of every shape and size, a labyrinth of narrow, tortuous streets broken here and there by wide and stately avenues, with public squares and vast cirques (of such amphitheatres he counted no less than six) and walls ...
— Alias The Lone Wolf • Louis Joseph Vance

... bass of its hoarse organ the sea is now playing upon its lowest stops, and the tide is down. Hear how it rushes in beneath the rocks, broken and stilled in its tortuous way, till it ends with a washing and dull hiss among the sea-weed, and, like a myriad of small tinkling bells, the dripping from the crags is audible. There is ...
— Initial Studies in American Letters • Henry A. Beers

... stout and fair, Ascend the tortuous cabin stair Only to hold around his chair Insidious sessions; For him the eyes of daughters droop Across the plate of handed soup, Suggesting seats upon the poop, ...
— Collected Poems - In Two Volumes, Vol. II • Austin Dobson

... tortuous vicoletto, lighted only by a single lamp burning in the niche of a Madonna. The purity and transparency of the air gave a celestial softness and clearness to the very darkness itself; and one could find one's way without difficulty under such a ...
— The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard • Anatole France

... himself, it could not be called a genuine robbery, as everything belonging to his wife was his by right of the marriage service, and he was only going to have his own again. With this comfortable thought he climbed slowly up the broken tortuous path which led to the Black Hill, and every now and then would pause to rest, and admire ...
— Madame Midas • Fergus Hume

... 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

... stockings had split from thigh to heel, mud flew from the tires, beplastering the luckless figure from nape to waist, and still, without pause, he pushed onward, ever onward, for London Bridge, for Southwark, and for safety. The way was tortuous, dark and unfamiliar, but it was for life or death, and ...
— The Panchronicon • Harold Steele Mackaye

... facade—noble, symmetrical, calm, without the vagaries of caprice. It was reason—solid, well-balanced, alien to enthusiasm and weakness, without feverish haste. The other was as great as a mountain, with the fantastic disorder of Nature, covered with tortuous inequalities. On one side the wild, barren cliff; beyond, the glen, covered with blossoming heath; below, the garden with its perfumes and birds; on the heights, the crown of dark clouds, heavy with thunder ...
— Woman Triumphant - (La Maja Desnuda) • Vicente Blasco Ibanez

... 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 the prison set "during the delirium of ...
— Promenades of an Impressionist • James Huneker

... times carrying on past the point where I left him at Nephi. It were a waste of time to detail the whole of it; and so, without prejudice to the verity of my account, I shall skip much that is vague and tortuous and repetitional, and give the facts as I have assembled them out of the various times, in whole and part, as I ...
— The Jacket (The Star-Rover) • Jack London

... acquaintance is best made by viewing it from the summits of the hills that surround it—except perhaps during the droughts of summer. An unguided ramble into its recesses in bad weather is apt to engender dissatisfaction with its narrow, tortuous, and miry ways. ...
— Tess of the d'Urbervilles - A Pure Woman • Thomas Hardy

... the gorge in blackness thick as pitch. Lucy could not tell whether her eyes were open or shut, so far as what she saw was concerned. Her eyes seemed filled, however, with a thousand pictures of the wild and tortuous canyons and gorges through which she had ridden that day. The ache in her limbs and the fever in her blood would not let her sleep. It seemed that these were forever to be a part of her. For twelve hours she had ridden and walked with scarce a thought of the nature of the wild country, yet once she ...
— Wildfire • Zane Grey

... the Indians readily granted their request for guides to show them the way to the Wisconsin. Through the tortuous and blind course of the little river, among lakes and marshes, they would have had great difficulty in making their ...
— French Pathfinders in North America • William Henry Johnson

... Chemise de fer (with innumerable examinations of luggage), while it has kept out the contraband Swiss cheese which is so strictly interdicted, has also kept away the rich and garrulous tourist. But he who will endure to the end that tortuous journey among flat fields of rye and parsimony, will find himself well rewarded. The long tunnel through Mondragone ends at length, and you find yourself on the platform with the droschky bells clanging ...
— Shandygaff • Christopher Morley

... of Hong Kong is reached from the sea by means of a rather long and tortuous passage, with bleak barren heights on either hand,—the channel being in some parts so narrow that there is scarce room for ...
— In Eastern Seas - The Commission of H.M.S. 'Iron Duke,' flag-ship in China, 1878-83 • J. J. Smith

... they rear amid the deep, Their blood-red crests above the surface shine, Their hinder parts along the waters sweep, Trailed in huge coils and many a tortuous twine; Lashed into foam, behind them roars the brine; Now, gliding onward to the beach, ere long They gain the fields, and rolling bloodshot eyne That blaze with fire, the monsters move along, And lick their hissing jaws, and dart ...
— The Aeneid of Virgil - Translated into English Verse by E. Fairfax Taylor • Virgil

... pewee, commencing and ending his career as a flycatcher by an awkward chase after a beetle or "miller." He is hunting around in the grass now, I suspect, with the desire to indulge this favorite whim. There!—the opportunity is afforded him. Away goes a little cream-colored meadow-moth in the most tortuous course he is capable of, and away goes Chippy in pursuit. The contest is quite comical, though I dare say it is serious enough to the moth. The chase continues for a few yards, when there is a sudden rushing to cover in the grass,—then ...
— Bird Stories from Burroughs - Sketches of Bird Life Taken from the Works of John Burroughs • John Burroughs

... carriage, and went galloping on after the retreating figure. Past the Esbekiya Gardens they went, through several narrow streets, and on to the quarter of the Muski. Time after time he thought he had lost the carriage ahead, but his own driver's knowledge of the tortuous streets enabled him always to overtake it again. They went rocking along lanes so narrow that with outstretched arms one could almost have touched the walls on either side; past empty shops and unlighted houses. Cairn had not the remotest ...
— Brood of the Witch-Queen • Sax Rohmer

... 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 ...
— Tarzan the Untamed • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... aware of an exquisite play of hues. The easy undulations, as they ran off to the unattainable horizon, were so many waves of delicate and varying color. There were great sweeps of ochre, of gray, of fresh, light green, pointed with black dots of live-oak, and traversed by tortuous lines of indigo where the pecan treed creeks pursued their foiled courses, and troops of little hills grouped themselves about,—pink, pinkish, purple, purpling blue, white, as they faded from view like the evanescent cherubs ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, October 1885 • Various

... waved to the light, darker where the wind left it still, and beyond the wonderful haze-purple lent by distance. Far across that wide waste began the slow lift of uplands through which Deception Pass cut its tortuous many-canyoned way. ...
— Riders of the Purple Sage • Zane Grey

... Witch-Face Mountain; a more scantily populated region than its slopes and adjacent coves scarcely exists in the length and breadth of the State of Tennessee. The physical possibilities were arrayed against the project, so steep was the comblike summit on either side, so heavy and tortuous the outcropping rock that served as the bony structure of the great mountain mass. True, the river pierced it, the denudation of solid sandstone cliffs, a thousand feet in height, betokening the untiring energy of the ...
— The Mystery of Witch-Face Mountain and Other Stories • Charles Egbert Craddock

... by this ruse secured, and their services impressed under pain of death. Knox, who understood French, tells us that the poor unwilling pilot who took his ship up the tortuous channel made use of the most frightful imprecations, swearing that most of the fleet and the whole army would find their graves in Canada. An old British tar, on the other hand, master of a transport and possessed of an immense scorn for foreigners, would not allow a French pilot to interfere, ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, v. 13 • Various

... the breeze which would otherwise be intercepted. The build of the boats also is peculiar; they are very wide and flat bottomed, and the rudders are unusually large, so as to enable them to turn quickly in the narrow channels, which are often tortuous. The bow rises in a splendid curve high out of the water, and throws the spray clear of its low body, for the Egyptian loads his boat very heavily, and I have often seen them so deep in the water that a little wall of mud has been added to the gunwale ...
— Peeps at Many Lands: Egypt • R. Talbot Kelly

... longer able to be silent in the presence of German Socialist activity encouraging the obscure play of diplomatic intrigues on the part of the Governments of the ex-Triple Alliance, which tends to move Italian neutrality toward the tortuous and perilous paths of indirect co-operation. We want to affirm that our wishes are for the immediate cessation of the war without conquerors ...
— New York Times Current History: The European War from the Beginning to March 1915, Vol 1, No. 2 - Who Began the War, and Why? • Various

... of the melo-tragedy is Don Juan, the hero of unlimited desire, pursuing the unattainable through tortuous interminable labyrinths, eager in appetite yet never satisfied, 'for ever following and for ever foiled.' He is the incarnation of lust that has become a habit of the soul—rebellious, licentious, selfish, even cruel. His ...
— Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece • John Addington Symonds

... on this subject, so that when she unexpectedly heard Pao-yue's inquiry, she forthwith rejoined with a smile: "My own idea is that the Hsio Hsiang Kuan is best; for I'm fond of those clusters of bamboos, which hide from view the tortuous balustrade and make the place more secluded ...
— Hung Lou Meng, Book I • Cao Xueqin

... to them in the shape of an excellent diorama, which proved a great success in London a few years ago. The atmospheric effect in all dioramas is procured by making the visitor first pass through dark passages, fall up unlighted stairs, and tumble about in the tortuous corridors in the blackness; then, brought suddenly face to face with the picture well lit up, the eye is affected by the glare of light, which would not be the case if the spectator walked straight into the diorama from the street. ...
— The Confessions of a Caricaturist, Vol 2 (of 2) • Harry Furniss

... either smooth with sand or rough with ragged rock, are a range of dark mountains on the right, heavy lowering clouds which overspread and overshadow the whole scene, the roots and wide-spread branches of an enormous banyan-tree, through the tortuous and leafless branches of which the distant landscape, the hills, rocks, clouds, and remote plains are seen. The roots of this huge tree of the desert, in all directions from the main trunk, rise upward, ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 15, No. 88, February, 1865 • Various

... The traveller finds that the broad upper boulevards are filled with tourists and smart English visitors; and in the narrow streets pert factory-hands come noisily from work. Still he climbs on toward the Cathedral, through tortuous streets and little alley-ways. And in the gloomiest of them all there is no odour of a stale antiquity, but the perfume of a garden-full of roses, of a thousand orange-blossoms, and of locusts, honey-sweet, and he begins to think himself enchanted. He feels the dark, old houses are unreal, ...
— Cathedrals and Cloisters of the South of France, Volume 1 • Elise Whitlock Rose

... The Me-kong, though tortuous and ofttimes narrow, is navigable as the Donnai or Saigon branch up to and above Saigon for vessels of the largest tonnage, and the great Sindh steamed up to a wharf and moored alongside it, almost under the shade ...
— The Golden Chersonese and the Way Thither • Isabella L. Bird (Mrs. Bishop)

... which surround each field, or the part of it to be irrigated; and as during a considerable portion of each year these cultivated areas are under water, and are always more or less in a boggy condition, these "bunds" form the most convenient, if not the only, means of traversing the district. Tortuous and winding as they are, it is not easy to decide upon your route, and you need not be surprised if the little causeway upon which you have set out eventually brings you back to your first starting-point, and you must make another ...
— Burma - Peeps at Many Lands • R.Talbot Kelly

... Nan-Tauach, the 'place of frowning walls.' And at the silence of my men I recalled what Christian had written of this place; of how he had come upon its 'ancient platforms and tetragonal enclosures of stonework; its wonder of tortuous alleyways and labyrinth of shallow canals; grim masses of stonework peering out from behind verdant screens; cyclopean barricades,' and of how, when he had turned 'into its ghostly shadows, straight-way the merriment of guides was hushed and ...
— The Moon Pool • A. Merritt

... 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

... the night, until their fire burned low and Roy realized, as he had never before realized, what good company Pee-wee was. They slept as only those know how to sleep who go camping, and early in the morning continued their journey along the upper and tortuous ...
— Tom Slade at Temple Camp • Percy K. Fitzhugh

... and Mr. Cunningham examined the river as far as the boat could penetrate. From Mr. Roe's report the country was low and of unpromising appearance. The river took its course by a very tortuous channel through a low country: for two or three miles from the entrance its banks are overrun with dense forests of mangroves; but beyond this they are superseded by red earthy cliffs, on which was growing abundance of the Hibiscus tiliaceus. ...
— Narrative of a Survey of the Intertropical and Western Coasts of Australia - Performed between the years 1818 and 1822 • Phillip Parker King

... himself in 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; ...
— The Italians • Frances Elliot

... in another way, that spontaneous attachment to the old order of things, with all its symbols, institutes, and deep associations, which the radical reformers had both affronted and ignored, made the church its rallying-point. The three years of tortuous proceedings on the famous Appropriation clause—proceedings that political philosophers declared to have disgraced this country in the face of Europe, and that were certainly an ignominy and a scandal in a party called reforming—were ...
— The Life of William Ewart Gladstone, Vol. 1 (of 3) - 1809-1859 • John Morley

... through the streets with the Marshal on my right and Sapt (who, as my chief aide-de-camp, was entitled to the place) on my left. The city of Strelsau is partly old and partly new. Spacious modern boulevards and residential quarters surround and embrace the narrow, tortuous, and picturesque streets of the original town. In the outer circles the upper classes live; in the inner the shops are situated; and, behind their prosperous fronts, lie hidden populous but wretched lanes and alleys, filled with a poverty-stricken, turbulent, and ...
— The Prisoner of Zenda • Anthony Hope

... that hairy morsel, that, like a barbed arrow, was now sticking in his throat. We could see that the squirrel still remained there; for, as the two reptiles struggled over the grass, its bushy tail was seen waving in the midst of their tortuous contest. ...
— The Desert Home - The Adventures of a Lost Family in the Wilderness • Mayne Reid

... it 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 life, he most vehemently and acrimoniously inveighed. ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. - From George III. to Victoria • E. Farr and E. H. Nolan

... than fifty yards when his worst fears were realized. He had dodged his way along the tortuous footpath until, nearing an open space, he saw ahead of him his companions surrounded by a small ...
— Under the Rebel's Reign • Charles Neufeld

... incrusted with various salts; and hence is called a salitral. It was covered by low succulent plants, of the same kind with those growing on the sea-shore. The Colorado, at the pass where we crossed it, is only about sixty yards wide; generally it must be nearly double that width. Its course is very tortuous, being marked by willow-trees and beds of reeds: in a direct line the distance to the mouth of the river is said to be nine leagues, but by water twenty-five. We were delayed crossing in the canoe by some immense troops of mares, which were swimming the river in order to follow a division ...
— A Naturalist's Voyage Round the World - The Voyage Of The Beagle • Charles Darwin

... certain it is, as Pope grew to manhood his thirst for praise and glory increased, and with it his distrust and envy of others. And many of the ways he took to add to his own fame, and take away from that of others, were mean and tortuous to the last degree. Deceit and crooked ways seemed necessary to him. It has been said that he hardly drank tea without a stratagem, and that he played the politician ...
— English Literature For Boys And Girls • H.E. Marshall

... public-houses, had refused to meet at dinner a learned French chemist who had written books. Mrs Martin could not make friends with the Hopgoods, nor enter the cottage. It would have been a transgression of that infinitely fine and tortuous line whose inexplicable convolutions mark off what is forbidden to a society lady. Clearly, however, the Hopgoods could be requested to co-operate at the 'Crown and Sceptre;' in fact, it would be impolitic ...
— Clara Hopgood • Mark Rutherford

... dangerous, as it passed along the edge of a deep precipice, and was only a foot wide and considerably out of the horizontal, so that a single false step would have been fatal. Road continued same character all the way along, though much above the tortuous and noisy Jhelum, and its ups and downs were the roughest, longest, and most trying, I have yet experienced. I am pleased to know that the remaining two marches will be, in the words of my Coolies over "uch'-cha rasta," a good road. ...
— Three Months of My Life • J. F. Foster

... flood, tearing up trees, cabins, shanties, fences; swirling along the tortuous bed only to leap and swirl again, its solid front bristling with the debris it had wrenched loose in its mad onslaught, Jack in his line of flight keeping abreast of its mighty thrust, shouting as he ran, pressing into ...
— Peter - A Novel of Which He is Not the Hero • F. Hopkinson Smith

... 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 resides, through one of the finest and loftiest avenues ...
— France and the Republic - A Record of Things Seen and Learned in the French Provinces - During the 'Centennial' Year 1889 • William Henry Hurlbert

... proceeded into the tortuous twists of streets that stamp the old Greenwich village with a character all its own, the worse it seemed to get. Decrepit relics of every style of architecture from almost the earliest times in the city stood out in the darkness, like so ...
— Guy Garrick • Arthur B. Reeve

... those armed with fortresses) are thus built for security against the pirates, who ravage the seaboard of this continent incessantly from end to end. And for this reason the roads leading up to the town are made very narrow, tortuous, and difficult, with watch-towers in places, and many points where a few armed men lying in ambush may overwhelm an enemy ten times as strong. The towns themselves are fortified with gates, the streets extremely narrow and crooked, and the houses massed all together with ...
— A Set of Rogues • Frank Barrett

... "Cut your jets, Johnny. Maybe Paresi's tortuous reasoning does seem out of order on such a nice day. But remember—eternal vigilance isn't just the price of liberty, as the old books say. It's the price of existence. We know we're here—but we don't know where 'here' is, and won't until after we get back. This is really ...
— Breaking Point • James E. Gunn

... white, the ultimate evils and sorrows wrought by continued excess in drink are, of course, identical in both cases: moral sensibilities blunted; manhood degraded; mind wrecked; worldly substance dissipated; health shattered; strength sapped; every mendacious and tortuous bent of one's nature stimulated, and ...
— A Treatise on the Six-Nation Indians • James Bovell Mackenzie

... suddenly revealing the tortuous Slavonic nature molded by the Jesuits:—"Moreover, this signature is really a mere farce. Our own property is returned to us, that is all, and I shall not consider myself in the slightest degree bound by this. Who knows?—these very thousands of pounds may help us to recover ...
— Library of the World's Best Literature, Ancient and Modern — Volume 11 • Various

... abhor their acts as much as I do, but who would be implicated in the consequences of their crimes. These are all strong reasons, Wilton, powerful, mighty reasons, and I find now, alas I—I find now, most bitterly—that he who seeks even the best ends, in dark and tortuous ways, is sure, sooner or later, to involve himself in circumstances where he can neither act nor refuse to act, neither speak nor be silent, without a crime, a danger and a punishment. In that situation I have placed myself; and I tell you that ...
— The King's Highway • G. P. R. James

... mark his course as favorable, at the very moment when the sun struck one end of the log, an eddy of the current struck the other, and sent the stanch little craft Good Luck and her captain by a wide curve back up the river. The backward journey was slow and tortuous, and twice when the Good Luck turned turtle, submerging Aladdin, he gave himself up for lost; but amidships of the island, fairly opposite to the spot where he had left Margaret, the log was again seized by the right current, and the voyage recommenced. But the same ...
— Aladdin O'Brien • Gouverneur Morris

... of individual sparkling jewels, of every known color, for the most 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

... to follow him in detail through the next thirteen years. It is a tortuous difficult story; to which we lack the true clues, unless they are to be found in the series of protrait-busts of him taken during this period. The makers of such busts were the photographers of ...
— The Crest-Wave of Evolution • Kenneth Morris

... afforded the first glimpses I could ever get into the reality of this Cromwell, nay into the possibility of him. Try to believe that he means something, search lovingly what that may be: you will find a real speech lying imprisoned in these broken rude tortuous utterances; a meaning in the great heart of this inarticulate man! You will, for the first time, begin to see that he was a man; not an enigmatic chimera, unintelligible to you, incredible to you. The Histories and Biographies written of this Cromwell, written in shallow sceptical generations that ...
— Sartor Resartus, and On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History • Thomas Carlyle

... ill-supplied, and the streets narrow and tortuous, except the two main ones, which are tolerably broad, and run parallel to each other in a nearly straight course N. and S. They have raised footpaths, roughly constructed, and swarming with animal life, as is to be expected in the luxurious East. There are no fewer ...
— Herzegovina - Or, Omer Pacha and the Christian Rebels • George Arbuthnot

... town a seaport, and it is one still. More than that, it is the most inland port in Britain, owing to the Berkeley Ship Canal, which enables ships to dispense with the awkwardness of a voyage up and down the tortuous and dangerous Severn. It is to this canal that Gloucester owes much of its present trade, as, by sea-going vessels, corn and timber, its staple commodities, are brought in to the many wharves in ever-increasing ...
— Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of Gloucester [2nd ed.] • H. J. L. J. Masse

... spirit of the coming age, 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

... once more they continued their climb. Up and up they slowly made their tortuous way, and at length Reynolds, who was leading, gave a shout as his eyes fell upon the desired cave. With a bound he sprang forward, reached the place and was standing before the opening when ...
— Glen of the High North • H. A. Cody

... tortuous paths, with prompters blind, we trust One Guide—to lead us forth and set us free! Give us, Lord God! all merciful and just! The FAITH that is but ...
— Mystic London: - or, Phases of occult life in the metropolis • Charles Maurice Davies

... through tortuous streets, over canal after canal, toward the Campo San Angelo. He came to a stop before a dilapidated tenement and signified that the journey was at an end. The three mounted the dusty worn stairs of stone to the third landing; and from all sides they were assailed by the odor of fish and garlic. ...
— The Lure of the Mask • Harold MacGrath

... a foreign station. Nothing but the 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. ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... directness which she could command on such occasions, and which was like a large steady light thrown across the tortuous darkness of the situation. In its inconvenient brightness Rosedale seemed to waver a moment, as though conscious that every avenue ...
— House of Mirth • Edith Wharton

... in the distance, shining in the sunlight, is the steeple of the mission church. Just a few more windings in these tortuous channels, and then the two miles' dash for home. Most of the Indians—for their skates were poor—have fallen in the rear. The one white man whom Frank despises is perhaps a hundred yards ahead, and not far behind him are his companions. With intense ...
— Winter Adventures of Three Boys • Egerton R. Young

... only for a moment; then she plunged resolutely 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 iron railing, her ...
— The Baronet's Bride • May Agnes Fleming

... in which Jones had played a part, Catherine said, with a different accent: "Ce Paul Jones etait une bien mauvaise tete." Certainly Jones's diplomacy, which was of a direct character, was not equal to his present situation, unfamiliar to him, and for success demanding conduct tortuous and insincere to an Oriental degree. Jones, in comparison with his associates in Russia, was remarkably truthful,—a trait which involved him in humiliating difficulties, and which was a source of irritation to the empress and to ...
— Paul Jones • Hutchins Hapgood

... as Sir Andrew gradually directed Marguerite through the tortuous streets of Calais, many of the population, who turned with an oath to look at the strangers clad in English fashion, thought that they were bent on purchasing dutiable articles for their own fog-ridden country, and gave them no more ...
— The Scarlet Pimpernel • Baroness 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 precipices that towered ...
— Cruel As The Grave • Mrs. Emma D. E. N. Southworth

... a small seat at the bow of the boat, and looked into the water before him, while Forester propelled and guided the boat with his paddle. They advanced slowly and by a very tortuous course, so as to avoid the rocks and shallows, and at length, just above the bridge, they came to a wider and smoother passage of water: and here Forester ordered the oars out. There was only room for them to take ...
— Marco Paul's Voyages and Travels; Vermont • Jacob Abbott

... once outraged, demon-divine, Swoops back as Anarchy arm'd, and maddens her lovers of yore, Changed from their former selves, and clothed in the chrisom of gore. Then Falkland and Hampden are gone; and darker counsels arise; Vane with his tortuous soul, through over-wisdom unwise; Pym, deep stately designer, the subtle in simple disguised, Artist in plots, projector of panics he used, and despised! —But as, in the mountain world, where the giants ...
— The Visions of England - Lyrics on leading men and events in English History • Francis T. Palgrave

... a rather promiscuous one. It had more tortuous relationships than most families have, although there were only four in it, ...
— This Is the End • Stella Benson

... is to be seen for miles; but others are forests, so far extending that their limits are almost unknown. Gangoil was surrounded by forest, in some places so close as to be impervious to men and almost to animals in which the undergrowth was thick and tortuous and almost platted, through which no path could be made without an axe, but of which the greater portions were open, without any under-wood, between which the sheep could wander at their will, and men could ride, with ...
— Harry Heathcote of Gangoil • Anthony Trollope

... strangely diverse in its operations, but all tending to the downward, dark, dreary road to misery temporal and eternal: but it also displays the antidote; an infallible remedy against all the subtilties of this tortuous disease. Reader, this treasure is in our hands. How great is the responsibility. How blessed are those who with earnest prayer for divine illumination read ponder and relying upon the aid of the Holy Spirit, understand ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... Many a tortuous path and winding Rid my soul embattle through; Many a thorn of bitter finding Choked my way with perils new: Upward still, footsore and bleeding, On with lonesome heart I pressed; And I heard the chimes receding In the vale so ...
— The Death of Saul and other Eisteddfod Prize Poems and Miscellaneous Verses • J. C. Manning

... 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 ...
— The Infra-Medians • Sewell Peaslee Wright

... tortuous and in places dangerous journey. While we were not in the track of the tornado, the storm had been severe over a wide territory. Fallen trees lay across our rocky trail and at times we had to make wide ...
— John Henry Smith - A Humorous Romance of Outdoor Life • Frederick Upham Adams

... this I venture to say that it is altogether inapplicable to Marcion. No doubt Marcion, like every other heretical teacher of the second century, or indeed of any century, did 'pervert the oracles of the Lord' by his tortuous interpretations; but he did not pervert them 'to his own lusts.' The high moral character of Marcion was unimpeachable, and is recognized by the orthodox writers of the second century; the worst charge ...
— Essays on "Supernatural Religion" • Joseph B. Lightfoot

... 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 whirled away by the grisly phantom Death, who had just ...
— The Caged Lion • Charlotte M. Yonge

... she proved to be worthier of trust than her beautiful namesake of the days of Ulysses, and she not only made her way safely out through the tortuous channel among the reefs, but led the yacht with the boys on board to ...
— The Hilltop Boys on Lost Island • Cyril Burleigh

... with his tribe, had two entrances to his lodge, one a tortuous passage opening under water and leading inward about a foot, then slanting upward five or six feet, the other leading to the open air, its exit cleverly concealed by a tussock of coarse grass. Here he lived a life of ease and also of adventure, feasting on sweet-flag root, rushes ...
— Followers of the Trail • Zoe Meyer

... Not on the same plane with the rest: composition quite futile, but will translate well and appreciate what he reads. Not a quick brain, but possessed by a slowly moving tortuous imagination. Conduct ...
— Gilbert Keith Chesterton • Maisie Ward

... 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 ...
— The Memoirs of General P. H. Sheridan, Complete • General Philip Henry Sheridan

... Following its tortuous course in a northwesterly direction they reached a point where the path was barely wide enough for the wagon to pass, and was bounded on the one side by a wall of rock and on the other by a ragged precipice descending hundreds of feet into ...
— Woman on the American Frontier • William Worthington Fowler

... course, scarce any sign of water. And yet surely water must have made this bold cutting in the plateau. And if so, why is the lava sharp? My science gave out; but I could not but think it ominous and volcanic. The course of the stream was tortuous, but with a resultant direction a little by west of north; the sides the whole way exceeding steep, the expedition buried under fathoms of foliage. Presently water appeared in the bottom, a good quantity; perhaps thirty or forty cubic feet, with ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 25 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... and it soon began to thaw. By noon the little stream in the gulch was a torrent, and before night patches of bare ground began to appear. We decided not to attempt to leave camp that day, but the next morning saw us headed back along the tortuous road. In two hours we were again on the main trail. Just as we turned in, Eugene Brooks came along, having also been delayed by the snow, though the fall where he was had not been nearly so great. 'Gene laughed at us, and told us that we had been following a trail ...
— The Voyage of the Rattletrap • Hayden Carruth

... crest to crest, with a dense thicket of mesquite trees near its centre that made fine shelter and an excellent point of defence for a night camp. The stream hugged the east wall of the canon, where it had carved out a tortuous bed perhaps one hundred and fifty yards wide, and so deep below the bench we occupied that only the tops of tall cottonwoods were visible ...
— The Red-Blooded Heroes of the Frontier • Edgar Beecher Bronson

... steamer Tabo was laboriously ascending the tortuous course of the Pasig, carrying a large crowd of passengers toward the province of La Laguna. She was a heavily built steamer, almost round, like the tabu from which she derived her name, quite dirty in spite of her pretensions to whiteness, majestic ...
— The Reign of Greed - Complete English Version of 'El Filibusterismo' • Jose Rizal

... analogue of geologic accretion, how tortuous is the trend and dip of the ethnological strata, how abrupt the overlapping of myths. How many aeons divided the totem coyote from the she-wolf of Romulus and Remus? Which is the primitive and parent flame, the sacred fire of Pueblo Estufas, of Greek Prytaneum, of Roman Vesta, of Persian ...
— At the Mercy of Tiberius • August Evans Wilson

... 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 and interminable byways. ...
— The Broad Highway • Jeffery Farnol



Words linked to "Tortuous" :   complex, tortuosity, indirect, crooked, tortuousness



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