a line had been drawn in the sand

  • For A, a line had been drawn in the sand by B.

    In other words, B said, "You {A} will not go past this point* (physically or otherwise) without facing dire countermoves by me {B}."

    * For example. A's troops are not to go past a certain road, river, etc. in the direction of B. Else B's troops (counter) attack.
     
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