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"draw a clear bead"

Posted by MichaelFR on April 07, 2004

In Reply to: "Draw a clear bead" posted by Bob on April 07, 2004

: : : : Out of a novel by Elmore Leonard (Maximum Bob):
: : : : "He had to push her aside to slide the glass door open enough to draw a clear bead on the gator, Jesus Christ, a big one he estimated to run ten or twelve feet."
: : : : What's the exact meaning of "draw a clear bead". I understand it, but I prefer get wise advice. Besides, could this be also related somehow to shooting a weapon (the guy sliding the door open is holding a gun)?
: : : : I ask this because E. Leonard is quite good (and often) using double meaning words or idioms. Thanks.

: : : One meaning for bead is "a small metal knob on a firearm used as a front sight." (Merriam-Webster online)

: : Thanks, the double meaning of it is becoming crystal clear...

: Drawing a bead = taking careful aim. It's also used metaphorically. (I'm of the opinion, and I'm not alone, that Elmore Leonard writes dialog better than almost anyone.)

Yes, his novels are very entertaining, very fun, smartly written, always full of incredible characters. Incredible but so real...
Thanks for your help.