He would come off the stool into a yard of clear space

jacdac

Senior Member
Lebanese
Reacher defaulted to his instinctive position, which was to hope for the best, but plan for the worst. And the worst with a guy like that wouldn’t be too bad. He would come off the stool into a yard of clear space. There would be a certain amount of huffing and puffing.
Source: No Middle Name by Lee Child
Context: Reacher is in a bar, watching a heavy-limbed man bellied up to the bar. The man was sitting there commandingly and complacently.

What does the bolded phrase mean? I inderstand the individual words but not the sentence. Is it is a kind of metaphor?

Other words I looked up:
huff and puff: breathe noisily.

Thank you.
 
  • Scrawny goat

    Senior Member
    English - Ireland
    He is imagining what would happen if the man were to attack him.

    A yard relates to the measurement of distance (about a metre).
     

    jacdac

    Senior Member
    Lebanese
    Thank you. Is he imagining that the mean man would be attacking him within a yard distance from the stool?
     

    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    How did you come up with that?

    The man would come off the stool and be standing in a clear space a yard across.
     

    jacdac

    Senior Member
    Lebanese
    Thank you. Just wild guessing. Is it incorrect to assume that the man is sitting in one yard away from Reacher's?
     
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