The Outcast

Lip-lipcontinuedsotodarkenhisdaysthatWhiteFangbecamewickederandmoreferociousthanitwashisnaturalrighttobe. Savagenesswasapartofhismake-up,butthesavagenessthusdevelopedexceededhismake-up. Heacquiredareputationforwickednessamongsttheman-animalsthemselves. Wherevertherewastroubleanduproarincamp,fightingandsquabblingortheoutcryofasquawoverabitofstolenmeat,theyweresuretofindWhiteFangmixedupinitandusuallyatthebottomofit. Theydidnotbothertolookafterthecausesofhisconduct. Theysawonlytheeffects,andtheeffectswerebad. Hewasasneakandathief,amischief-maker,afomenteroftrouble; andiratesquawstoldhimtohisface,thewhileheeyedthemalertandreadytododgeanyquick-flungmissile,thathewasawolfandworthlessandboundtocometoanevilend. 

Hefoundhimselfanoutcastinthemidstofthepopulouscamp. AlltheyoungdogsfollowedLip-lip’slead. TherewasadifferencebetweenWhiteFangandthem. Perhapstheysensedhiswild-woodbreed,andinstinctivelyfeltforhimtheenmitythatthedomesticdogfeelsforthewolf. Butbethatasitmay,theyjoinedwithLip-lipinthepersecution. And,oncedeclaredagainsthim,theyfoundgoodreasontocontinuedeclaredagainsthim. Oneandall,fromtimetotime,theyfelthisteeth;andtohiscredit,hegavemorethanhereceived. Manyofthemhecouldwhipinsinglefight;butsinglefightwasdeniedhim. Thebeginningofsuchafightwasasignalforalltheyoungdogsincamptocomerunningandpitchuponhim. 

Outofthispack-persecutionhelearnedtwoimportantthings: howtotakecareofhimselfinamass-fightagainsthimandhow,onasingledog,toinflictthegreatestamountofdamageinthebriefestspaceoftime. Tokeepone’sfeetinthemidstofthehostilemassmeantlife,andthishelearntwell. Hebecamecat-likeinhisabilitytostayonhisfeet. 

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