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<- Previous | First | Next -> Digital Library - - Call Of The Wild by Jack London
There was nothing for the dogs to do, save the hauling in of meat
now and again that Thornton killed, and Buck spent long hours
musing by the fire. The vision of the short-legged hairy man came
to him more frequently now that there was little work to be done;
and often, blinking by the fire, Buck wandered with him in that
other world which he remembered.

The salient thing of this other world seemed fear. When he
watched the hairy man sleeping by the fire, head between his
knees, and hands clasped above, Buck saw that he slept restlessly,
with many starts and awakenings, at which times he would peer
fearfully into the darkness and fling more wood upon the fire. Did
they walk by the beach of a sea, where the hairy man gathered
shell-fish and ate them as he gathered, it was with eyes that roved
everywhere for hidden danger and with legs prepared to run like
the wind at its first appearance. Through the forest they crept
noiselessly, Buck at the hairy manís heels; and they were alert and
vigilant, the pair of them, ears twitching and moving and nostrils
quivering, for the man heard and smelled as keenly as Buck. The
hairy man could spring up into the trees and travel ahead as fast as
on the ground, swinging by the arms from limb to limb, sometimes
a dozen feet apart, letting go and catching, never falling, never
missing his grip. In fact, he seemed as much at home among the
trees as on the ground; and Buck had memories of nights of vigil
spent beneath trees wherein the hairy man roosted, holding on
tightly as he slept.

And closely akin to the visions of the hairy man was the call still
sounding in the depths of the forest. It filled him with a great
unrest and strange desires. It caused him to feel a vague, sweet
gladness, and he was aware of wild yearnings and stirrings for he
knew not what. Sometimes he pursued the call into the forest,
looking for it as though it were a tangible thing, barking softly or
defiantly, as the mood might dictate. He would thrust his nose into
the cool wood moss, or into the black soil where long grasses grew,
and snort with joy at the fat earth smells; or he would crouch for
hours, as if in concealment, behind fungus-covered trunks of fallen
trees, wide-eyed and wide-eared to all that moved and sounded
about him. It might be, lying thus, that he hoped to surprise this
call he could not understand. But he did not know why he did
these various things. He was impelled to do them, and did not
reason about them at all.

Irresistible impulses seized him. He would be lying in camp,
dozing lazily in the heat of the day, when suddenly his head
would lift and his ears cock up, intent and listening, and he would
<- Previous | First | Next -> Digital Library - - Call Of The Wild by Jack London

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