The She-Wolf

Breakfasteatenandtheslimcamp-outfitlashedtothesled, thementurnedtheirbacksonthecheeryfireandlaunchedoutintothedarkness. Atoncebegantorisethecriesthatwerefiercelysadcriesthatcalledthroughthedarknessandcoldtooneanotherandansweredback. Conversationceased. Daylightcameatnineo’clock. Atmiddaytheskytothesouthwarmedtorose-colour,andmarkedwherethebulgeoftheearthintervenedbetweenthemeridiansunandthenorthernworld. Buttherose-colourswiftlyfaded. Thegreylightofdaythatremainedlasteduntilthreeo’clock,whenit,too,faded, andthepalloftheArcticnightdescendedupontheloneandsilentland. 

Asdarknesscameon,thehunting-criestorightandleft andreardrewclosersoclosethatmorethanoncetheysentsurgesoffearthroughthetoilingdogs,throwingthemintoshort-livedpanics. 

Attheconclusionofonesuchpanic,whenheandHenryhadgotthedogsbackinthetraces,Billsaid: 

"Iwishtthey’dstrikegamesomewheres,an’goawayan’leaveusalone." 

"Theydogetonthenerveshorrible,"Henrysympathised. 

Theyspokenomoreuntilcampwasmade. 

Henrywasbendingoverandaddingicetothebabblingpotofbeanswhenhewasstartledbythesoundofablow,anexclamationfromBill,andasharpsnarlingcryofpainfromamongthedogs. Hestraightenedupintimetoseeadimformdisappearingacrossthesnowintotheshelterofthedark. ThenhesawBill,standingamidthedogs,halftriumphant,halfcrestfallen,inonehandastoutclub,intheotherthetailandpartofthebodyofasun-curedsalmon. 

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