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<- Previous | First | Next -> Digital Library - - Call Of The Wild by Jack London
frothing adversary by the throat, and was sprayed with blood
when his teeth sank through the jugular. The warm taste of it in his
mouth goaded him to greater fierceness. He flung himself upon
another, and at the same time felt teeth sink in his own throat. It
was Spitz, treacherously attacking from the side.

Perrault and Francois, having cleaned out their part of the camp,
hurried to save their sled-dogs. The wild wave of famished beasts
rolled back before them, and Buck shook himself free. But it was
only for a moment. The two men were compelled to run back to
save the grub, upon which the huskies returned to the attack on the
team. Billee, terrified into bravery, sprang through the savage
circle and fled away over the ice. Pike and Dub followed on his
heels, with the rest of the team behind. As Buck drew himself
together to spring after them, out of the tail of his eye he saw Spitz
rush upon him with the evident intention of overthrowing him.
Once off his feet and under that mass of huskies, there was no hope
for him. But he braced himself to the shock of Spitz’s charge, then
joined the flight out on the lake.

Later, the nine team-dogs gathered together and sought shelter in
the forest.

Though unpursued, they were in sorry plight. There was not one
who was not wounded in four or five places, while some were
wounded grievously. Dub was badly injured in a hind leg; Dolly,
the last husky added to the team at Dyea, had a badly torn throat;
Joe had lost an eye; while Billee, the good-natured, with an ear
chewed and rent to ribbons, cried and whimpered throughout the
night. At daybreak they limped warily back to camp, to find the
marauders gone and the two men in bad tempers. Fully half their
grub supply was gone. The huskies had chewed through the sled
lashings and canvas covering. In fact, nothing, no matter how
remotely eatable, had escaped them. They had eaten a pair of
Perrault’s moose-hide moccasins, chunks out of the leather traces,
and even two feet of lash from the end of Francois’s whip. He
broke from a mournful contemplation of it to look over his
wounded dogs.

‘Ah, my frien’s,’ he said softly, ‘mebbe it mek you mad dog, dose
many bites.

Mebbe all mad dog, sacredam! Wot you t’ink, eh, Perrault?’ The
courier shook his head dubiously. With four hundred miles of trail
still between him and Dawson, he could ill afford to have madness
break out among his dogs. Two hours of cursing and exertion got
the harness into shape, and the wound-stiffened team was under
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