back into the open yard with bloody mouth

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SuprunP

Senior Member
Ukrainian & Russian
Many a boy had sobbed against these walls; many a knuckle been bruised as a head flicked sideways from the blow. Many a child had fought his way back into the open yard with bloody mouth, and a thousand swaying pyramids of boys had tottered and collapsed as the topmost clung to the ivy.
(M. Peake; Gormenghast)

Why is there no article?

Thanks.
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I suppose that Peake omitted the article because he or she wanted "bloody mouth" to signify "all bloody mouths that many children have had when fighting others". I think the sentence would have been just as effective if Peake had used "a bloody mouth".
     
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