inch by inch

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See: piecemeal
References in classic literature ?
But he meant to find it, if he had to hunt every square foot of the valley inch by inch.
Slowly, inch by inch, I pressed in with the crowd, moving nearer and nearer to the great glass screen that parts the dead from the living at the Morgue--nearer and nearer, till I was close behind the front row of spectators, and could look in.
Time and feeding had expanded that once romantic form; the black silk waistcoat had become more and more developed; inch by inch had the gold watch-chain beneath it disappeared from within the range of Tupman's vision; and gradually had the capacious chin encroached upon the borders of the white cravat: but the soul of Tupman had known no change --admiration of the fair sex was still its ruling passion.