pitch black a. completely dark; as black as pitch
creak v. make a high-pitched, screeching noise
The place was pitch black, our feet creaked and crackled over the bare planking, and my outstretched hand touched a wall from which the paper was hanging in ribbons.
deplorable a. of very poor quality or conditionirreparable a. impossible to repair, rectify, or amend
Any show of surprise and emotion upon your part might have drawn attention to my identity and led to the most deplorable and irreparable results.
groom n. a person employed to take care of horsespage n. a young person employed in a hotel or other establishment to run errands, open doors, etc
My groom and my page sleep out of the house, and may beset aside altogether.
regurgitation n. action of bringing swallowed food up again to mouthwhish v. make a sibilant sound
I knew at once by the whishing sound that there was a slight leakage, which allowed a regurgitation of water through one of the side cylinders.
predominate v. appear very large or occupy a commanding positioneclipse v. be greater in significance than
In his eyes she eclipses and predominates the whole of her sex.
bustle v. move or cause to move energetically or busilydangle v. hang freely
It was indeed our visitor of the afternoon who came bustling in, dangling his glasses more vigorously than ever.
creep v. occur or develop graduallysyllable n. the least bit of expression; slightest detail, as of something said
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow creeps in this petty pace from day to day, to the last syllable of recorded time.
populist n. person of a political party seeking to represent the interests of ordinary peopleimperative n. an essential or urgent thing
With Faubus, who had genuine populist impulses, racism was a political imperative.
homespun a. simple and unsophisticatedoffbeat a. unconventional; unusual
My world history teacher was a short, stocky man who combined a fine mind with a homespun manner and an offbeat, wicked sense of humor.
ride v. travel in a vehicle, such as a car, bus, or trainragtag a. untidy, disorganized, or incongruously varied in character
I can still see Castro riding into Havana at the head of his ragtag but victorious army.
start in v. attack verbally; begin to criticizeraunchy a. earthy, vulgar, and often sexually explicit
Henry started in on me about my jeans, which, that night, were especially raunchy.
poolroom n. a commercial establishment where pool or billiard games are playedstroll v. walk in a leisurely way
I strolled into the poolroom next to the gym, where the Coke machine was, to get something to drink.
last-gasp a. done at the last possible moment, typically in desperationdisperse v. distribute or spread over a wide area
Little Rock's schools were closed in a last-gasp effort to stop integration, its kids dispersed to schools in nearby towns.
transfix v. cause someone to become motionless with horror or wonderfeel at home v. feel as if one belongs, feel accepted
I sat on the floor right in front of the TV and watched them both, transfixed; it sounds crazy, but I felt right at home in the world of politics and politicians.
rack v. cause extreme physical or mental pain tohysterical a. deriving from or affected by uncontrolled extreme emotion