and <muttered the names> in and out by tortuous by-streets.

thetazuo

Senior Member
Chinese - China
At first I had some idea as to the direction in which we were driving; but soon, what with our pace, the fog, and my own limited knowledge of London, I lost my bearings, and knew nothing, save that we seemed to be going a very long way. Sherlock Holmes was never at fault, however, and he muttered the names as the cab rattled through squares and in and out by tortuous by-streets.

The Sign of the Four

Hi. Is there a “muttered the names” omitted between “and” and “in...”?
Thank you.
 
  • kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Here's my interpretation:

    Sherlock Holmes was never at fault [at a loss], however, and he muttered the names [of the squares (and streets?)] as the cab rattled through squares and in and out (of those squares) by tortuous by-streets.
     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I am familiar with an expression "in and out and roundabout" referring to a complicated route. I take this to be an abbreviated form.

    I think I know the expression from an old poem, but I could not find that and instead I found this in Martin Chuzzlewit:
    You couldn't walk about in Todger's neighbourhood, as you could in any other neighbourhood. You groped your way for an hour through lanes and bye-ways and courtyards and passages; and never once emerged upon anything that might be reasonably called a street. A kind of resigned distraction came over the stranger as he trod those devious mazes, and, giving himself up for lost, went in and out and round about, and quietly turned back again when he came to a dead wall or was stopped by an iron railing, and felt the means of escape might possibly present themselves in their good time, but that to anticipate them was hopeless.

    PS You find lots of examples if you Google "and in and out and round about".
     
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    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    I wonder if Jim Croce was influenced by that....

    "And I've turned inside out and 'round about and back and then
    Found myself right back where I started again. "
     
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