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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