The Trail of the Gods

Inthefalloftheyear,whenthedayswereshorteningandthebiteofthefrostwascomingintotheair,WhiteFanggothischanceforliberty. Forseveraldaystherehadbeenagreathubbubinthevillage. Thesummercampwasbeingdismantled,andthetribe,bagandbaggage,waspreparingtogoofftothefallhunting. WhiteFangwatcheditallwitheagereyes,andwhenthetepeesbegantocomedownandthecanoeswereloadingatthebank,heunderstood. Alreadythecanoesweredeparting,andsomehaddisappeareddowntheriver. 

Quitedeliberatelyhedeterminedtostaybehind. Hewaitedhisopportunitytoslinkoutofcamptothewoods. Here,intherunningstreamwhereicewasbeginningtoform,hehidhistrail. Thenhecrawledintotheheartofadensethicketandwaited. Thetimepassedby,andhesleptintermittentlyforhours. ThenhewasarousedbyGreyBeaver’svoicecallinghimbyname. Therewereothervoices.WhiteFangcouldhearGreyBeaver’ssquawtakingpartinthesearch,andMit-sah,whowasGreyBeaver’sson. 

WhiteFangtrembledwithfear,andthoughtheimpulsecametocrawloutofhishiding-place,heresistedit. Afteratimethevoicesdiedaway,andsometimeafterthathecreptouttoenjoythesuccessofhisundertaking. Darknesswascomingon,andforawhileheplayedaboutamongthetrees,pleasuringinhisfreedom. Then,andquitesuddenly,hebecameawareofloneliness. Hesatdowntoconsider,listeningtothesilenceoftheforestandperturbedbyit. Thatnothingmovednorsounded,seemedominous.Hefeltthelurkingofdanger,unseenandunguessed. Hewassuspiciousoftheloomingbulksofthetreesandofthedarkshadowsthatmightconcealallmannerofperilousthings. 

Thenitwascold. Herewasnowarmsideofatepeeagainstwhichtosnuggle. 

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