Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Beating about the Bush.

 Beaten with his own Staff.Beating the Bounds. 
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Beating about the Bush.
Not coming directly to the matter in hand, but feeling your way timidly by indirection, as persons beat bushes to ascertain if game is lurking under them.   1

 Beaten with his own Staff.Beating the Bounds. 

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