turn tail and run

turn tail (and run)

tv. to flee; to run away in fright. I couldn’t just turn tail and run, but I wasn’t going to fight that monster either.
See also: and, run, tail, turn
References in classic literature ?
This one might turn tail and run at the first intimation of attack--Tarzan had bluffed many in his time--but not now.
Tarzan knew that once the great bulls were aroused none of the jungle, not even Numa, the lion, was anxious to measure fangs with them, and that if all those of the tribe who chanced to be present today would charge, Sheeta, the great cat, would doubtless turn tail and run for his life.
It would be really wimpy of me to turn tail and run away now,'' Gilbert said.