"Fiquet made a deprecating gesture, but he was evidently delighted by the Englishman's approval. "Ah," he said, somewhat contradicting his earlier attitude, "we must not be too sure. It sounds good, but it may that we--how do you say it?--strip the bark from the wrong tree."
French agreed, while gently setting the other right as to his metaphor.
"Ah! It is the voice of the dog and not the covering of the tree? Strange! 'To bark at the wrong tree.' It is good.""
Mystery in the Channel, by Freeman Wills Crofts (copyright 2016, The Estate of Freeman Wills Crofts; originally published in 1931; quote is from page 150 of the Poisoned Pen Press/British Library Crime Classics trade paperback edition, 2016).