Pit


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PIT, fossa. A hole dug in the earth, which was filled with water, and in which women thieves were drowned, instead of being hung. The punishment of the pit was formerly common in Scotland.

References in classic literature ?
He saw the pit grow in depth until a great hole yawned the width of the trail--a hole which was amply large enough to hold at one time all of the six excavators.
So absorbed was the ape-man in speculation as to the purpose of the covered pit that he permitted the blacks to depart in the direction of their village without the usual baiting which had rendered him the terror of Mbonga's people and had afforded Tarzan both a vehicle of revenge and a source of inexhaustible delight.
At length, after a night spent in bitter moanings and lamentations, day came, and by its light Sancho perceived that it was wholly impossible to escape out of that pit without help, and he fell to bemoaning his fate and uttering loud shouts to find out if there was anyone within hearing; but all his shouting was only crying in the wilderness, for there was not a soul anywhere in the neighbourhood to hear him, and then at last he gave himself up for dead.
For a minute he scarcely realised what this meant, and, although the heat was excessive, he clambered down into the pit close to the bulk to see the Thing more clearly.
In the center of the court was a deep pit, near the edge of which stood half a dozen other guardsmen, awaiting me.
Every sound of insects in the air, every stirring of the leaves, every whisper among these men, made Sissy tremble, for she thought it was a cry at the bottom of the pit. But the wind blew idly over it, and no sound arose to the surface, and they sat upon the grass, waiting and waiting.
There was some smoke, and the Frenchmen were doing something near the pit, with pale faces and trembling hands.
As the distance lessened, the sounds increased in volume, which indicated that he was approaching a very angry lion and presently, where a jungle giant overspread the broad game trail that countless thousands of hoofed and padded feet had worn and trampled into a deep furrow during perhaps countless ages, he saw beneath him the lion pit of the Wamabos and in it, leaping futilely for freedom such a lion as even Tarzan of the Apes never before had beheld.
If the pit I have been speaking of is the right one, a scene transpired there, long ages ago, which is familiar to us all in pictures.
Returning along the passage, on the left-hand side from the stage, and looking about me attentively, I discovered him in the pit. He occupied an excellent place, some twelve or fourteen seats from the end of a bench, within three rows of the stalls.
I felt that Carthoris would not let the matter drop, were he free to act, but in so far as I knew, he also might be a prisoner in Zat Arras' pits.
Return him then to the pits and pursue the others and capture them.