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Helter-skelter   Listen
adverb
Helter-skelter  adv.  In hurry and confusion; without definite purpose; irregularly. (Colloq.) "Helter-skelter have I rode to thee." "A wistaria vine running helter-skelter across the roof."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Helter-skelter" Quotes from Famous Books



... simplification was their method, and that simplicity is their excellence." Indeed, as we have already noted in passing, simplification is the method of every art. Every artist, in his own way, simplifies life: first by selecting essentials from the helter-skelter of details that life presents to him, and then by arranging these essentials in accordance with a pattern. And we have noted also that the method of the artist in narrative is to select events which bear an essential logical relation to each other ...
— A Manual of the Art of Fiction • Clayton Hamilton

... by so many pieces of artillery, arrive we did. On the platforms, too, our work was not quite so difficult as might be imagined—killing these fellows was sheer butchery. As soon as we appeared, they all turned and fled helter-skelter, and the reader may judge of their courage by the fact that out of about seven hundred men killed by us, only forty had wounds in front, the rest ...
— Burlesques • William Makepeace Thackeray

... musketry in the street, but some who were standing close saw one of their number crumple suddenly to the earth. When they leaned over him he was dead. They were panic-stricken, and it took all the brutal authority of the Arabs to keep the Manyuema from rushing helter-skelter into the jungle—anywhere to escape from this ...
— The Return of Tarzan • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... scattered an extraordinary collection of rubbish—boilers, car wheels, fragments of locomotives, household furniture, dead animals, clothing, sewing machines, goods from stores, safes, passenger and street cars, some half buried in the sand, some all exposed, helter-skelter. ...
— The Johnstown Horror • James Herbert Walker

... side. I turned my head and saw Blenkiron behind me, evidently mortally unhappy about the pace we set and the mount he sat. He used to say that horse-exercise was good for his liver, but it was a gentle amble and a short gallop that he liked, and not this mad helter-skelter. His thighs were too round to fit a saddle leather. We passed a fire in a hollow, the bivouac of some Turkish unit, and all the horses shied violently. I knew by Blenkiron's oaths that he had lost his stirrups and was sitting ...
— Greenmantle • John Buchan

... up a white handkerchief in his hand, and Breytenbach fired, and down went the general of a heap, and then they all ran helter-skelter down the hill. Yes, it was a wonderful thing! They could have beat us back with their left hand. That is what comes of having ...
— Jess • H. Rider Haggard

... his Majesty jumped so high that his crown tumbled off, and the Queen was in such a delightful agitation that she could not confine her steps to a walk, and so the King and the Queen, and the Duchess, and all the maids of honour and pages, ran helter-skelter, as fast as they could, ...
— The Apple Dumpling and Other Stories for Young Boys and Girls • Unknown

... brooklet in this wild, Smooth-resting on its mosses sleek, Like loving lips upon a cheek Soft as the face of maid or child— Just boulders, helter-skelter piled. ...
— Cap and Gown - A Treasury of College Verse • Selected by Frederic Knowles

... was upset into a ditch not far from Schlobitten, the kaiser and the count being severely bruised and shaken up; while at another time a splendid team got beyond the control of the count, smashed harnesses and pole, and dashed helter-skelter into the little town of Proeckelwitz, where they were ...
— The Secret Memoirs of the Courts of Europe: William II, Germany; Francis Joseph, Austria-Hungary, Volume I. (of 2) • Mme. La Marquise de Fontenoy

... wished. Taking a pick and an axe he went to the graveyard, but when he struck the grave with his tools and the earth rolled back, disclosing the body of La Rose, the old fellow was so terrified that he ran helter-skelter from the spot. A draught of good wine brought back his failing courage, however, and he returned and passed the rose three times under the nostrils of his late acquaintance. Instantly ...
— Legends & Romances of Brittany • Lewis Spence

... Then helter-skelter off they went, As ower t'fence I lape; I thowt—well, if it matters owt, I've made ...
— Revised Edition of Poems • William Wright

... wildly then, plunging helter-skelter into the silent, heartless wood. The trees miraculously opened up a way for them as they dived and stooped and wriggled forward. In which direction they were going neither of them had the least idea, but as neither ...
— The Extra Day • Algernon Blackwood

... When our feet were firmly placed and all was ready, we lifted the blinds from the horses' eyes and then braced ourselves. Digging our heels into the ponies' sides, off we started, at a jerking, bounding, half-bucking pace. Shouting directions to each other, helter-skelter, over and around boulders, we dashed along as if we were after the hounds on a genuine old-fashioned fox-hunt. I suppose we kept it up a full hour, at topmost speed. The horses didn't want to stop, and Sinyela knew that the best way to break them was to let them have their own way. ...
— The Grand Canyon of Arizona: How to See It, • George Wharton James

... happened. She thought the fish was alive and ran for her life, and the mouse hustled about helter-skelter trying to find the hole in the wall, for his wits were just scared out of ...
— Sandman's Goodnight Stories • Abbie Phillips Walker

... it is to think knows that he must for part of the day create about himself a pool of silence. But in that helter-skelter which we flatter by the name of civilization, the citizen performs the perilous business of government under the worst possible conditions. A faint recognition of this truth inspires the movement for a shorter work day, for ...
— Public Opinion • Walter Lippmann

... furnishings of the forty rooms thrown helter-skelter. Costly cabinets that refuse to yield to first pressure, are wrenched open. The frightened butler and the corps of other servants are impressed into the search. They are compelled to give up the keys to all closets and rooms. As case after case of silver and gold service are disclosed, the vulture ...
— The Transgressors - Story of a Great Sin • Francis A. Adams

... cockroaches, which are in a state of intense excitement and happiness. They manifest these feelings in a very remarkable manner—a sudden unanimous impulse seems to seize the obscene thousands which usually lurk hidden in the corners of my cabin. Out they rush, helter-skelter, and run over me, my table, and my desk; others, more vigorous, fly, quite regardless of consequences, until they hit against something, upon which, half spreading their wings, they make their heads a pivot and spin round ...
— The Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley Volume 1 • Leonard Huxley

... the narrow road; we could just hear faintly the harmony of the tune they were humming in concert, as one hears the murmur of an AEolian harp. As a guard, they were of course ridiculous: the veriest suspicion of peril would have sent them all galloping helter-skelter, with frantic shrieks of fright. But the road was perfectly safe, and these merry fellows were to defend us from loneliness, ...
— In the Valley • Harold Frederic

... could have half a dozen married couples all separating, getting rid of their ribs and buckling again, helter-skelter, every man to somebody else's wife; and the parish parson refusing to do the work; just to show the immorality of ...
— The Three Clerks • Anthony Trollope

... and bearing their share of the baggage in the shape either of bolster-shaped loads of cloth and beads covered with matting, each tied into the fork of a three-pronged stick, or else coils of brass or copper wire tied in even weights to each end of sticks which they laid on the shoulder; then helter-skelter came the Wanguana, carrying carbines in their hands, and boxes, bundles, tents, cooking-pots—all the miscellaneous property—on their heads; next the Hottentots, dragging the refractory mules laden with ammunition-boxes, ...
— The Discovery of the Source of the Nile • John Hanning Speke

... helter-skelter terrier, that none like to see brought into their drawing-rooms, throwing over all their dainty little ornaments, upsetting their choicest Dresden, that nobody guessed was cracked till it fell with the mended side uppermost, ...
— Wisdom, Wit, and Pathos of Ouida - Selected from the Works of Ouida • Ouida

... there are in the world!" said the voice in emphatic accents of supreme contempt—"What braying asses!—What earth- snouting swine! Saw you not yon crowd of whimpering idiots flying helter-skelter like chaff before the wind, weeping, wailing, and bemoaning their miserable little sins, scattering dust on their addled pates, and howling on their gods for mercy,—all forsooth! because for once in their unobserving lives they behold the river red instead ...
— Ardath - The Story of a Dead Self • Marie Corelli

... one end, and Jessica, Joyce and Joan sat on the other, and screaming and laughing they tossed like a boat on a choppy sea: until Jessica without any warning jumped off her perch in mid-air and destroyed the balance, and down they all came helter-skelter, laughing and screaming more than ever. But Jane reproved Jessica for her trick and said nobody would believe her another time, and that it was a bad thing to destroy people's confidence in you; and Jessica wiped her hot face on her sleeve and ...
— Martin Pippin in the Apple Orchard • Eleanor Farjeon

... trampled upon each other. The yellow metal acted upon them like strong drink. In the midst of the pandemonium came a deafening explosion, a vivid flash of red, a volume of acrid suffocating vapour. Another explosion and men came rushing from Mountchance's laboratory—terror written in their faces. Helter-skelter the crowd darted from the house forcing Sally Salisbury with them whether she would or not. In the mad fight for gold large glass bottles filled with acids, alcohol and other inflammable liquids had been upset and smashed, and the smouldering fire in ...
— Madame Flirt - A Romance of 'The Beggar's Opera' • Charles E. Pearce

... among the already excited negroes. They no doubt supposed it the musical exercise set apart for the performance of the angel Gabriel on the day of judgment, and in less than ten minutes all without exception had come pell-mell, helter-skelter, running to "the house." The dairymaid left her churn, and the housemaid put down her broom; the ploughs stood still, and when the horses turned their heads to see what was the matter they found they had no ...
— Lippincott's Magazine Of Popular Literature And Science, April 1875, Vol. XV., No. 88 • Various

... abundance. Apparently he was like the woodcutter entering the thick forest and saying, "Where shall I begin?" The same obstacle appeared in a minor degree to cling about his verbal exposition, and accounted perhaps for his rather helter-skelter choice of remarks bearing on the number of unaddressed letters sent to the post-office; on what logic really is, as tending to support the buoyancy of human mediums and mahogany tables; on the probability of all miracles under all religions when explained by hidden laws, and my unreasonableness ...
— Impressions of Theophrastus Such • George Eliot

... yachts in the harbor at Green's Landing, more of them than any of the party had expected to see there. In fact, there was an air of prosperity about the town built on the slope facing the harbor, although there were no large and attractive buildings, and the houses seemed scattered about in a helter-skelter manner. ...
— Frank Merriwell's Cruise • Burt L. Standish

... are comfortably seated at the tea-table, enjoying their waffles, cold tongue, and canned peaches, and asking and answering questions helter-skelter in the delightful confusion of reunion after long separation, let us briefly inform the reader ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 9, No. 52, February, 1862 • Various

... Noreen's entreaties and angry demands from the Englishmen who bade him order the mahouts to take the visitors away from the horrible spectacle. As they left they saw the Rajah's golden chariot and the carriages of the officials being driven helter-skelter across the grass with their blood-stained and terrified occupants. And the madly fanatical crowds surged wildly around the altar, while their cries to ...
— The Elephant God • Gordon Casserly

... through the thickest part of the underbrush, since they were acquainted with the paths. At first they hurled from a distance; then as no one defended himself but many were wounded, they approached closer to them. The Romans were in no order but going along helter-skelter among the wagons and the unarmed, and so, not being able to form readily in a body, and being fewer at every point than their assailants, they suffered greatly and offered no resistance at all. [-21-] Accordingly, they encamped on ...
— Dio's Rome, Vol. 4 • Cassius Dio

... now risen so high that Miss Grey felt this would really be the best plan, for attention to lessons seemed impossible, and soon the four children were rushing helter-skelter across the garden in pursuit of Antony. With a frisk of his tail and a squeak of defiance he led the chase in fine style, choosing Andrew's most cherished borders. What a refreshment it was, after the tedium of French verbs and English history, and what a pity when Antony, after a brave ...
— The Hawthorns - A Story about Children • Amy Walton

... cat was very pronounced; and that, without the big fresh tracks, made the skin on my face tighten and chill. As we turned a jutting point in the wall, a number of animals, which I did not recognize, plunged helter-skelter ...
— The Last of the Plainsmen • Zane Grey

... rooms within, while on the graveled terrace lay various articles of furniture that had been hurled from the stoop. Particularly noticeable was a drawing-room suite in sky-blue satin, its sofa and twelve fauteuils piled in dire confusion, helter-skelter, on and around a great center table, the marble top of which was broken in twain. And there were zouaves, chasseurs, liners, and men of the infanterie de marine running to and fro excitedly behind the buildings and ...
— The Downfall • Emile Zola

... the table and chairs slowly and noiselessly through the room. Little mice darted out of the crevices and around in the light and the shadow under the table, looking for crumbs; their coats glistened often like soft silk, and their little eyes gleamed like black diamonds. They scampered helter-skelter, they squeaked, they sat upon their hind legs, and feasted merrily. Suddenly they scattered and disappeared. In from the courtyard came rushing a great rat with a great pattering of his claws on the floor; he dragged his ...
— The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries - Masterpieces of German Literature Vol. 19 • Various

... of the age, the helter-skelter way in which dramas were got up, sometimes by half-a-dozen authors at once, of whom one occasionally monopolised the fame; and the unscrupulous manner in which booksellers appropriated any popular name of the day, and affixed ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 449 - Volume 18, New Series, August 7, 1852 • Various

... double knock at the front door, followed by the sound of someone entering. Prudence set Baby on her feet and bolted helter-skelter across the square hall, flinging herself into the arms of a stout man with a brown beard, who returned her embrace so warmly that Mollie wondered if he had been away from home for some time. He removed his tall silk hat, showing ...
— The Happy Adventurers • Lydia Miller Middleton

... done, and our friend again Was out in the raging wind and rain. Swift through the twisting street he passed And came to the Market Square at last, And climbed and stood On a block of wood Where a pent-house, leant to a wall, gave shelter From the brunt of the blizzard's helter-skelter, And, waving his bow, he cried, "Ahoy! Now steady your hearts for an hour of joy!" And so to his cheek and jutting chin Straight he fitted the violin, And, rounding his arm in a movement gay, Touched the strings ...
— The Vagabond and Other Poems from Punch • R. C. Lehmann

... he looked on me as dangerous. He put me off and put me off, until I was glad to snatch at a position in a next-of-kin agency. But in a fortnight or two I was even more glad to leave it. Then I went back to Lord Boxspur, who this time sent me helter-skelter back to Paris, to bribe a blackmailing newspaper woman from giving the details of his wife's misfortunes to the Continental correspondent of a London weekly. But even when that was done, and I had been duly paid for my work, I was only secure for a few weeks, at the outside. All along I ...
— Phantom Wires - A Novel • Arthur Stringer

... dear! My frantic terror at the noise of the big bells and the vibration of the shaky old walls! Once I had begun I couldn't leave off for my life, but went on tugging and tugging and quaking and quaking until—have you forgotten it?—all the people came running helter-skelter under the impression that the town was afire. And then, behold, it was only little me, trembling like a leaf and crying like a ninny! I remember I was scolded and smacked and dismissed into outer darkness (it was the chip vault, I think), for that first outbreak of fame, and now, lest you should ...
— The Christian - A Story • Hall Caine

... have bought those things which they ought not to have bought and have left unbought those things which they ought to have bought. But it is not only a matter of reaching a systematic instead of a helter-skelter enjoyment of the offerings of the world. It is also a matter of reaching, by study of money values, a mental habit of economy. And it comes at a time when that ...
— Stories from Everybody's Magazine • 1910 issues of Everybody's Magazine

... as, with steady tramp, the line of redcoats and bluejackets advanced at the charge. The Arabs fired a round, the scimitars of their leaders flashing for a few seconds, and then, unable to face the bristling wall of bayonets, their courage gave way, and they fled helter-skelter for safety towards the neighbouring woods. The English pursued them for some distance, firing as they advanced, and halting only to give sufficient time to reload. If they advanced too far, as the fort was yet unsubdued, there was a risk of a sally being ...
— The Three Commanders • W.H.G. Kingston

... an odd chap. When he was still he liked to hang by his feet, upside down. And when he was flying he sailed about in a zigzag, helter-skelter fashion. He went in so many different directions, turning this way and that, one could never tell where he was going. One might say that his life was just one continual dodge—when he wasn't resting with his heels where his head ought ...
— The Tale of Solomon Owl • Arthur Scott Bailey

... being not more than three or four hundred people in Palace Yard, a number of Press messengers, rushing helter-skelter out of the court and into waiting cabs, indicated the arrival of some critical juncture within the jealously guarded portals. Presently it was whispered that the Lord Chief Justice had finished his summing up, and that Mr. Justice Mellor was addressing ...
— Faces and Places • Henry William Lucy

... living thing, now on these dreary trudging days fell apart into remote bays and slips and rivers, hours of weary travel apart and each without any connection with any other that I could see. Railroad tracks wound in and out with no apparent purpose, dirty freight boats crawled helter-skelter this way and that. All seemed a ...
— The Harbor • Ernest Poole

... musty or almost forgotten. Now, however, that I see myself so unexpectedly enriched with this divine gift of speech, I intend to enjoy it and avail myself of it as much as I can, taking pains to say everything I can recollect, though it be confusedly and helter-skelter, not knowing when this blessing, which I regard as a loan, shall be ...
— The Exemplary Novels of Cervantes • Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

... office in the railway station was a dingy place of cobwebbed murk. It was also the express office, and in helter-skelter disarray lay a litter of uncalled-for plow-shares and such articles as go from the end of the rails into that hinterland where lies an isolated ...
— A Pagan of the Hills • Charles Neville Buck

... On the plains, it will often blow for forty-eight hours, accompanied by torrents of pelting, pitiless rain, and is sometimes so violent, that there is hardly any possibility of making headway against it. Sheep race before it as hard as they can go helter-skelter, leaving their lambs behind them to shift for themselves. There is no shelter on the plains, and, unless stopped by the shepherds, they will drive from one river to the next. The shepherds, therefore, have a hard time of it, for they must be out till the wind goes down; ...
— A First Year in Canterbury Settlement • Samuel Butler

... of a blow, a howl, and then a rushing noise explained by the appearance of Panama Strake, who was dashing helter-skelter across the garden, as regardless of flower-bed and tree as a young colt that had ...
— Syd Belton - The Boy who would not go to Sea • George Manville Fenn

... idea of a dinner party has quite frightened her; and there are so many little things to be done, which I know nothing about, and which you understand, and without which we should have every thing helter-skelter, that you must come, or I'll never forgive you.' Harry made this last menace with so fierce an air, and his mouth pursed up in so ferocious a manner, although his eyes were dancing with fun, that the lady consented ...
— The Knickerbocker, or New-York Monthly Magazine, April 1844 - Volume 23, Number 4 • Various

... this shrewd smiter. Your "moral breath of temperament" Found scope in scholarly urbanity; And wheresoever LOWELL went Sounded the voice of Sense and Sanity. We loved you, and we loved your wit. Thinking of you, uncramped, uncranky; Our hearts, ere we're aware of it, "Run helter-skelter into Yankee." "For puttin' in a downright lick 'Twixt Humbug's eyes, there's few to metch it." Faith, how you used it; ever quick Where'er Truth dwelt, to dive and fetch it. Vernacular or cultured verse, The scholar's speech, the ploughman's patter You'd ...
— Punch, Or The London Charivari, Vol. 101, August 22, 1891 • Various

... many brows. Helmets swung clanking like iron pipkins from saddle-bows, and men rode wearily with their arms in slings, drooping haggard faces upon their chests. But all passed rapidly enough up the steep street, and tumbled with noise and shouting, helter-skelter into the great court-yard beneath me as I watched, secure as God in heaven, from my perch on ...
— Red Axe • Samuel Rutherford Crockett

... ruddy glare, that smoky skurry? O is it something in a blaze? Quick, quick, my comrades, hurry! Nicodice, helter-skelter! Or poor Calyce's in flames And Cratylla's stifled in the welter. O these dreadful old men And their dark laws of hate! There, I'm all of a tremble lest I turn out to be too late. I could scarcely get near to the spring though I rose before dawn, What with tattling of tongues and rattling ...
— Lysistrata • Aristophanes

... away, yelling with terror. The space around the guillotine was cleared. And the prefect of police, rallying his men, drove everybody back to the prison, helter-skelter, like a disordered rabble: the magistrates, the officials, the condemned man, the chaplain, all who had passed through the archway two or three ...
— The Crystal Stopper • Maurice LeBlanc

... the rage, Helter-skelter runs the age; Minds on this round earth of ours Vary like the leaves and flowers, Fashion'd after certain laws; Sing thou low or loud or sweet, All at all points thou canst not meet, Some will ...
— Alfred Tennyson • Andrew Lang

... brings to her guidance she has picked up helter-skelter. They are the crumbs gathered from the table of the Uneasy Woman, or worse, of the pharisaical and satisfied woman, from good and bad books, from newspaper exploitations of divorce and scandal, from sly gossip with girls ...
— The Business of Being a Woman • Ida M. Tarbell

... daylight over all the wonders gathered in this museum. For a museum it truly was, in which clever hands had spared no expense to amass every natural and artistic treasure, displaying them with the helter-skelter picturesqueness that ...
— 20000 Leagues Under the Seas • Jules Verne

... signal to draw in all sails except one and to remove the uppermost parts of the masts. The ships were being scattered far apart. In the cabins all articles, though tied fast, were broken loose and were thrown helter-skelter, the occupants likewise, many with bruised limbs, and there was no end to the spells of seasickness and of misery made ridiculous. The storm was ever growing worse. On the second day the last sail was drawn in, and the rudder bound fast, so that now the ship ...
— The Voyage of The First Hessian Army from Portsmouth to New York, 1776 • Albert Pfister

... the fort yelling as if Detroit, like Jericho, might be taken with shouting. Their spent bullets pelted the old fort like harmless hail. They tried to rush upon the gate, but the fusilade from the block house and the fire-belching cannon of the British drove them back helter-skelter. ...
— Four American Indians - King Philip, Pontiac, Tecumseh, Osceola • Edson L. Whitney

... with the decision of mon chef. Let Luc remain; he has courage enough to have the thing done with the soldiers at the very stockades." And the two rode away helter-skelter, till a dozen miles lay between them and their ...
— Annette, The Metis Spy • Joseph Edmund Collins

... Frantic now, the animals wheeled back. But few of them ran up out of the winding shallow ground along which the fence had been cunningly built. He drove them back, up over the slow ascent, toward the great dusty swarm of horses that ran helter-skelter under the ...
— Valley of Wild Horses • Zane Grey

... spot where the bear had been seen the previous night. The two large hounds, Ringwood and Jowler, kept at their master's heels, being trained to understand and perform all the duties required of them, while the curs and terriers were running helter-skelter far ahead, or striking out into the woods without aim, and always returning without effecting any thing. At length the two hounds paused, and scented the earth, giving certain information that they had arrived at the desired ...
— Wild Western Scenes • John Beauchamp Jones

... to see the plain thus suddenly fill'd with rabble, all running from the south, and the silly startled sheep rushing helter-skelter, and huddling together on the tors above, that I forgot my own likely danger if any of this revengeful crew should come upon me lying there: and was satisfied to watch them as they straggled over the moors toward the road. Some pass'd close to the cottage; but none seem'd ...
— The Splendid Spur • Arthur T. Quiller Couch

... which was esteemed one of the most sacred objects in Rome. Whenever the tree appeared to a passer-by to be drooping, he set up a hue and cry which was echoed by the people in the street, and soon a crowd might be seen running helter-skelter from all sides with buckets of water, as if (says Plutarch) they were hastening to ...
— The Golden Bough - A study of magic and religion • Sir James George Frazer

... some white duck's eggs to sit on. The batch of fifteen eggs had all come out. It was really wonderful to see these fifteen baby ducks, yellow as canaries, beaks and webbed feet pink, swarming around the big patient sitting mother, ducking under her wings, to come out presently and clamber helter-skelter onto her broad back. As often happens with nurses, Yollande loved the ducklings as her own children, and without worrying about their shape or plumage, so different from her own, she showered upon them proofs of the tenderest affection. Did a fly pass within ...
— The Curly-Haired Hen • Auguste Vimar

... The little pink pansy, it seems, went to look after our friends, the enemy," Rex went on. "The hail nearly busted that old rock open. I thought once it had. The ponies are scattered and likewise the Kiowas. Gone helter-skelter, like the—tornado. The thing hit hard up there. Some ponies dead, and mebby an Indian or two. I didn't hunt 'em up. I can't use 'em that way," he added. "So I just said, 'Pax vobiscum!' and a lot of it, and ...
— Vanguards of the Plains • Margaret McCarter

... in thy teeth, most recreant coward base! Sir John, I am thy Pistol and thy friend, And helter-skelter have I rode to thee, And tidings do I bring and lucky joys And golden times ...
— King Henry IV, Second Part • William Shakespeare [Chiswick edition]

... Mistress' mamma decided that she would have the nursery repainted and new paper put upon the walls. That was why all the dolls happened to be laid helter-skelter upon ...
— Raggedy Ann Stories • Johnny Gruelle

... same huge, lovable nature in the bulk, which murmured and swayed and quivered all the time the dancing and juggling and love-making went on in front of it, slowly laughed and reluctantly left off laughing, and applauded with a helter-skelter generosity which sometimes became unanimous and overwhelming. Once William saw Katharine leaning forward and clapping her hands with an abandonment that startled him. Her laugh rang out with the ...
— Night and Day • Virginia Woolf

... to herself at the prospect. "Ey, ey," she mumbled, "it'll stop their match-makin'. Ey, ey, and what's mair, what's mair, it'll bring yon Ralph back helter-skelter." ...
— The Shadow of a Crime - A Cumbrian Romance • Hall Caine

... places,—that looks a little better; now these curtains must come down, and I may as well shut the shutters too—and now this tablecloth must be content to hang straight, and mamma's box and the books must lie in their places and not all helter-skelter. Now, I wish mamma would wake up; I should think she might. I don't believe she is asleep, she don't ...
— The Wide, Wide World • Susan Warner

... France has introduced into the Dumas theatre some preeminently un-Dumas-like stage-business: the characters, between assignations and combats, toy amorously with ideas. That is the difference which at a stroke dissevers them from any helter-skelter character in Dumas as utterly as from any of our ...
— The Queen Pedauque • Anatole France

... charged down the sides of the table. The mob wavered, turned, and were lost! Helter-skelter they fled, tumbling over one another in their haste to escape. The lamp was smashed. The benches were upset. In the smoky hall a furious din arose,—as if Sir Galahad and Sir Percivale were once more ...
— The Ruling Passion • Henry van Dyke

... into Brawling River and took to the water, but I swam after him; the river is only half a mile broad there, but it runs strong. He went spinning down the rapids, down I went in pursuit; he clambered ashore, I clambered ashore; away we tore helter-skelter up the hill and down again. I lost him in the marshes, got on his track again near Bread Fruit Wood, and brought him down with an ...
— The Admirable Crichton • J. M. Barrie

... knotted corner, and out came the handkerchief with a whisk and a flourish, and scatter, rattle, helter-skelter, out flew a half-dozen pink thimble cakes, down upon the floor, back into Mrs. Smiley's pew, and to Johnnie's horror one pat ...
— Good Cheer Stories Every Child Should Know • Various

... early one morning they observed one of the scouts far in advance flashing a looking-glass from a hilltop. Lashing their horses they bore on toward him, dashing down the cut banks at reckless speed or clambering up them helter-skelter. No inequalities of ...
— The Way of an Indian • Frederic Remington

... kitchen, a hot, steaming place, where men, mostly cooks, in dirty white jackets, rushed helter-skelter into each other and around ...
— Eric - or, Under the Sea • Mrs. S. B. C. Samuels

... regular Indian war-whoop, and threw himself right across the middle of the board, and shook it with all his might, so that it jiggled awfully right up and down. Before we had time to scream or to paralize our danger, over we all went, pell-mell, helter-skelter, higgledy-piggledy, down, down, down into the foaming water! What do you think of that, Clytie? Every single one of us—dogs, Jane, carriage, and all! 'Twas worse, a thousand-fole, than when we lost Lucille. Fan sat right down on the pebbles at the bottom of the sea, and gave herself ...
— Harper's Young People, August 10, 1880 - An Illustrated Weekly • Various

... down stairs and out of the hall door, and gazed and listened for the coming of the gig, in vain. He was just about to re-enter the hall and close the door when the sound of wheels, dashing violently, helter-skelter, and with break-neck speed into ...
— The Missing Bride • Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southworth

... the bank, smiling more bewitchingly than ever. On reaching the top of the hill, he perceived that the sheep had already strayed down into the valley, when he hastened after them, but only to see them enter a narrow glen helter-skelter, as if they were running for dear life. He now recollected the fiddle would save him all further trouble, and drew the bow across the strings as the lady had told him, but instead of the exquisite music she drew from them, he only obtained a sort of screeching noise, that seemed to spread ...
— Up! Horsie! - An Original Fairy Tale • Clara de Chatelaine

... we all fired one shot at him and then turned and fled, helter-skelter, for the kitchen, all tumbling in together, treading on each others' heels; my father slamming behind us the door, which ...
— The Boys of Crawford's Basin - The Story of a Mountain Ranch in the Early Days of Colorado • Sidford F. Hamp

... exhorting them to valorous deeds. Some of the veterans took arms themselves, and sallied forth with tottering steps. In this way, the savage chivalry of the village to the number of five hundred, poured forth, helter-skelter, riding and running, with hideous yells and war-whoops, like so many bedlamites or demoniacs ...
— Journeys Through Bookland - Volume Four • Charles H. Sylvester

... ever. Hum, hum, hum—m—m! Kettle slow and steady. Chirp, chirp, chirp! Cricket going in to finish him. Hum, hum, hum—m—m! Kettle not to be finished. Until at last they got so jumbled together, in the hurry-skurry, helter-skelter, of the match, that whether the kettle chirped and the Cricket hummed, or the Cricket chirped and the kettle hummed, or they both chirped and both hummed, it would have taken a clearer head than yours or mine to have decided with anything ...
— The Cricket on the Hearth • Charles Dickens

... Jack trembled with fear, and in his terror clutched the wolf's tail with both hands and held on with all his might. The wolf was frightened, too, and took to flight, dragging the cask after it. You ought to have seen the wonder; helter-skelter went the brute, banging the cask against the trees, up hill and down dale. The wolf running, the cask following, Jack holding tight to the tail—that was worth seeing! Suddenly, helter-skelter the cask struck ...
— Roumanian Fairy Tales • Various

... British! murder! murder! Oh!" Then off we went, all at once, in solid column. The enemy took to their heels, and we pursued. Over the fence we bounded like stags. Down the hill went the British. Down the hill went we; helter-skelter, man and horse, we flew; roaring through the woods like the ...
— The Life of General Francis Marion • Mason Locke Weems

... spite of homely faces and ungraceful figures. Riding into Lambach this morning, I am about wheeling past a horse and drag that, careless and Austrian-like, has been left untied and unwatched in the middle of the street, when the horse suddenly scares, swerves around just in front of me, and dashes, helter-skelter, down the street. The horse circles around the market square and finally stops of his own accord without doing any damage. Runaways, other misfortunes, it seems, never come singly, and ere I have left Lambach an hour I am the innocent ...
— Around the World on a Bicycle V1 • Thomas Stevens

... Helter-skelter the kittens appear; "Oh mother dear, we very much fear That we have lost our mittens!" they cry. "You have? Then you shall have no pie! Lost your mittens? You ...
— On the Tree Top • Clara Doty Bates

... lanes and fields new-plough'd, 85 Through his hedge, and through her hedge, He plung'd and toss'd and bellow'd loud— Till in his madness he grew proud To see this helter-skelter crowd That had more wrath than ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge - Vol I and II • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... of Jane Map rushing towards him and of Jane Map kissing him rapturously on the mouth. 'Come on,' cried Jane Map, and pulled him by the hand, helter-skelter, until they came in front of a blaze of light and the ...
— A Great Man - A Frolic • Arnold Bennett

... again he sent out his piercing coo-ee, and this time the answer was distinct enough for him to decide its exact position. Without another moment for reflection, he urged Bolter on, waded through the river, and dashed helter-skelter towards the wood. He thought nothing of the possibility of himself being lost, nothing of the danger of meeting black-fellows. He was going to Bob—that was the central idea. Bob was in danger and called for help. It was ...
— Queensland Cousins • Eleanor Luisa Haverfield

... served others for shelter, but were all so disposed within the cuts and among the ridges of the railroad grade as to be safe from Indian forays. And along the completed railroad, all the way from the Missouri River, material and supply trains were moving to supply this noisy, helter-skelter camp, which seemed to Bucks all confusion, yet was in ...
— The Mountain Divide • Frank H. Spearman

... helter-skelter, slap-dash style in Edison's experiments. Although all the laboratory experimenters agree in the opinion that he "tries everything," it is not merely the mixing of a little of this, some of that, and a few drops of the other, in the HOPE that ...
— Edison, His Life and Inventions • Frank Lewis Dyer and Thomas Commerford Martin

... once hurled themselves helter-skelter through the sun again, in search of milk for their new Queen's supper. But Queer ran faster than any of them, and he took the very milk that Molly's own mother had just milked into the pail for herself; and the strangest thing of all was that, although the ...
— All the Way to Fairyland - Fairy Stories • Evelyn Sharp

... called for punishment, of course; and the police proceeded to administer it by leaping from the truck and cracking at every head they saw. There were yells of rage and pain, and the terrified people fled into houses and stores, or scattered helter-skelter down the street. Jurgis and his gang joined in the sport, every man singling out his victim, and striving to bring him to bay and punch him. If he fled into a house his pursuer would smash in the flimsy door and follow him up the stairs, hitting every ...
— The Jungle • Upton Sinclair

... red with rust, mixed up with and in parts covered by stone and brickwork, beams and iron girders, the whole sprinkled over with gleaming fragments of window-glass The outside walls were almost completely knocked flat, tossed helter-skelter outwards or on top of the machinery. The tall chimney—another suspected 'observing post' probably—lay in a heap of broken brickwork with the last yard or two of the base standing up out of the heap, and even in its remaining stump were other ragged shell-holes. ...
— Between the Lines • Boyd Cable

... was always plenty to look at, especially with a good pair of glasses. This morning, coming out on to the little flat top behind his position, he discovered all the shipping in a turmoil. The whole fleet of twenty or more transports was going helter-skelter for Imbros harbour, the winches of a few laggards still rattled as they laboured with their anchors, cruisers patrolled uneasily up and down, fleet-sweepers moved about nowhere in particular, while destroyers dashed round in wide circles, leaving behind them trails of heavy black smoke and foaming ...
— The Tale of a Trooper • Clutha N. Mackenzie

... "I met no one, saw no one, while I was out. Here comes your shadow," she added, as Tiny, having heard his beloved master's voice, came helter-skelter, head over heels, and leapt on Stafford's lap. "How fond he ...
— At Love's Cost • Charles Garvice

... little place it is!" he reflected, as he looked about. "All sorts of odds and ends stuck about helter-skelter, and the house-keeping things trying to ...
— Different Girls • Various

... other conclusion," said Father Waite. "But, that granted, a flood of deductions pours in that sends human beliefs and reasoning helter-skelter. For an infinite mind would eventually disintegrate if it were not ...
— Carmen Ariza • Charles Francis Stocking

... of his own party were moored at the steps; the rest were half a mile off, contending hopelessly against the swollen and rapid Waal. Schenk, desperately wounded, was left almost alone upon the wharf, for his routed followers had plunged helter-skelter into the boats, several of which, overladen in the panic, sank at once, leaving the soldiers to drown or struggle with ...
— McGuffey's Fourth Eclectic Reader • William Holmes McGuffey

... and twigs that the trees had been too lazy to shed; short shrift for them on the first spring-cleaning night. Down they came, helter-skelter, and no notice taken of the tree's groaning, or its ...
— The Rhodesian • Gertrude Page

... helter-skelter exodus from Amherstburg and Detroit. All property that could not be moved was burned or destroyed, and Procter set out for Moraviantown, on the Thames River, seventy miles along the road to Lake Ontario. Harrison, amazed at this behavior, reported: "Nothing but infatuation could ...
— The Fight for a Free Sea: A Chronicle of the War of 1812 - The Chronicles of America Series, Volume 17 • Ralph D. Paine

... of the campaign, which was equivalent to a stampede: helter-skelter they were to run away, or get into hiding somehow; but fortune proved a better general. For as soon as it was day they recommenced the journey, keeping the sun on their right, and calculating that with the westering ...
— Anabasis • Xenophon

... you conveniently can; though there's no need for helter-skelter haste, since there wouldn't be time for an answer, anyhow. In twenty minutes we'll weigh anchor, and be off. I've hurried ashore to see you, hoping to find you at the ship-agent's office. How fortunate my stumbling on you here! For now I can ...
— The Flag of Distress - A Story of the South Sea • Mayne Reid

... of the other team in the pathway below uttered wild cries of terror, as they saw their danger, and began to scramble helter-skelter up the mountain side. ...
— Jack North's Treasure Hunt - Daring Adventures in South America • Roy Rockwood

... tables, and as I undid the little parcels that Marie had made, it seemed to me that I was touching her hands. When the evening had fallen, a passing officer noticed us, made inquiries, and we were mustered. We plunged into the night of the building. Our feet stumbled and climbed helter-skelter, between pitched walls up the steps of a damp staircase, which smelt of stale tobacco and gas-tar, like all barracks. They led us into a dark corridor, pierced by little pale blue windows, where draughts came and went violently, a ...
— Light • Henri Barbusse

... he whizzed by, arms and legs going like mad, and the general appearance of a runaway engine. It would have been a triumphant descent, if a big dog had not bounced suddenly through one of the openings, and sent the whole concern helter-skelter into the gutter. Polly laughed as she ran to view the ruin, for Tom lay flat on his back with the velocipede atop of him, while the big dog barked wildly, and his master scolded him for his awkwardness. But when she saw Tom's face, Polly was frightened, ...
— Happy Days for Boys and Girls • Various

... challenge to defend her good name, and cleared it, right or wrong, and beat him down on his knees, and then started for her spell of the merry canter over turf: an example to the English of the punishment they get for their stupid Puritanic tyranny—sure to be followed by a national helter-skelter down-hill headlong. And Mrs. Lawrence was not one of the corrupt, he argued; she concealed what it was decent to conceal, without pouting hypocritical pretences; she had merely dispensed with idle legal formalities, in the prettiest curvetting airy wanton way, to divorce the man who tried to divorce ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... our case the line was doubled, making it very strong, as strong, in fact, as some of the lines of General Lee's at that time holding Petersburg. When the enemy's skirmishers struck the opening our line opened upon them, driving them helter-skelter back into the woods. I ordered an advance, as the orders were to hold the enemy in check as long as possible to give our main line and wagon train time to get out of the way. We kept up the fire as we advanced, until we came upon the enemy posted behind trees; then, ...
— History of Kershaw's Brigade • D. Augustus Dickert

... first road which presented: close upon the rear of the kitten pressed Juno and her chain; close upon the rear of Juno pressed the young woman in anguish for her kitten's life, and armed with a fly-flapper; and, the road happening to lead into the ball-room, the whole train—pursuers and pursued—helter-skelter fell into the quarters of the waltzers. The kitten attempted to take up a position behind a plateau on one of the side-boards: but from this she was immediately dislodged by Juno; and the retreat commencing afresh right across the side-boards which were ...
— The Uncollected Writings of Thomas de Quincey, Vol. 2 - With a Preface and Annotations by James Hogg • Thomas de Quincey

... all been driven helter-skelter in every direction, some as far north as Cossipore, and one vessel, the Earl of Clare, was landed high and dry on the present site of the assistants' bungalow of the north mill of the Barnagore Jute Company. One of the P. & O. boats lying at Garden Reach was deposited for some distance inland ...
— Recollections of Calcutta for over Half a Century • Montague Massey

... helter-skelter in the wildest panic that had come upon them since the outbreak of the war. In vain their officers shouted and cursed at them. The iron bonds of discipline snapped like threads. Soldiers rushed hither and thither like ants whose hill had been demolished ...
— Army Boys in the French Trenches • Homer Randall

... from his hotel to the Capitol and on the east portico took the oath of office. A wild rush was then made by the people to shake his hand. With difficulty the President reached a horse and started for the White House, "pursued by a motley concourse of people, riding, running helter-skelter, striving who should first gain admittance." So great was the crowd at the White House that Jackson was pushed through the drawing room and would have been crushed against the wall had not his friends linked arms and made a barrier about ...
— A Brief History of the United States • John Bach McMaster

... lady of the caravan, scooping the crumbs out of her lap and swallowing the same before wiping her lips. 'Yes, to be sure—Who won the Helter-Skelter Plate, child?' ...
— The Old Curiosity Shop • Charles Dickens

... 61; topsy-turvy &c (inverted) 218; shapeless &c 241; disjointed, out of joint. troublous^; riotous &c (violent) 173. complex &c 59.1. Adv. irregularly &c adj.; by fits, by fits and snatches, by fits and starts; pellmell; higgledy-piggledy; helter-skelter, harum-scarum; in a ferment; at sixes and sevens, at cross-purposes; upside down &c 218. Phr. the cart before the horse; hysteron proteron [Gr.]; chaos is come again; the wreck of matter and ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... sorry for herself that her lip began to quiver over a sobbing breath, when steps came hurrying helter-skelter, the door banged open, and ...
— Beatrice Leigh at College - A Story for Girls • Julia Augusta Schwartz

... hundred men to spend a couple of days exploring the country, and finding out where the Indians were. After marching a few miles, they came across two Indians. Both were killed by the advanced horsemen. All four of the field officers of the militia—two colonels and two majors—joined helter-skelter in the chase, leaving their troops for half an hour without a leader. Apparently satisfied with this feat, Trotter ...
— The Winning of the West, Volume Three - The Founding of the Trans-Alleghany Commonwealths, 1784-1790 • Theodore Roosevelt

... and it creeps For a while, till it sleeps In its own little lake; And thence at departing, Awakening and starting, It runs through the reeds, And away it proceeds Through meadow and glade, In sun and in shade, And through the wood-shelter, Among crags in its flurry, Helter-skelter, Hurry-scurry. Here it comes sparkling, And there it lies darkling; Now smoking and frothing Its tumult and wrath in, Till in this rapid race On which it is bent, It reaches the place Of ...
— The Nursery, Volume 17, No. 100, April, 1875 • Various

... drove the fog helter-skelter across to Green Bay, where the gray ranks curled themselves down and lay hidden until morning. 'I'll go with the wind,' thought Waring, 'it must take me somewhere in time.' So he changed his course and paddled on. The wind grew strong, then stronger. He could ...
— Castle Nowhere • Constance Fenimore Woolson

... the straits next day. There Castruccio fell upon them about midnight, putting all to confusion. Horse and foot fell foul upon one another, and both upon the baggage. There was no way left for them but to run, which they did helter-skelter in the plain of Pistoja, where each man shifted for himself. But Castruccio followed them even to Peretola at the gates of Florence, carrying Pistoja and Prato on the way; there he coined money under their walls,[145] while ...
— Florence and Northern Tuscany with Genoa • Edward Hutton



Words linked to "Helter-skelter" :   disorganised, disorganized, hurried, every which way, chaotic



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