The Mad God

AsmallnumberofwhitemenlivedinFortYukon. Thesemenhadbeenlonginthecountry.TheycalledthemselvesSour-doughs,andtookgreatprideinsoclassifyingthemselves. Forothermen,newintheland,theyfeltnothingbutdisdain. Themenwhocameashorefromthesteamerswerenewcomers.Theywereknownaschechaquos,andtheyalwayswiltedattheapplicationofthename. Theymadetheirbreadwithbaking-powder.ThiswastheinvidiousdistinctionbetweenthemandtheSour-doughs,who,forsooth,madetheirbreadfromsour-doughbecausetheyhadnobaking-powder. 

Allofwhichisneitherherenorthere. Themeninthefortdisdainedthenewcomersandenjoyedseeingthemcometogrief. Especiallydidtheyenjoythehavocworkedamongstthenewcomers’dogsbyWhiteFangandhisdisreputablegang. Whenasteamerarrived,themenofthefortmadeitapointalwaystocomedowntothebankandseethefun. TheylookedforwardtoitwithasmuchanticipationasdidtheIndiandogs,whiletheywerenotslowtoappreciatethesavageandcraftypartplayedbyWhiteFang. 

Buttherewasonemanamongstthemwhoparticularlyenjoyedthesport. Hewouldcomerunningatthefirstsoundofasteamboat’swhistle;andwhenthelastfightwasoverandWhiteFangandthepackhadscattered,hewouldreturnslowlytothefort,hisfaceheavywithregret. Sometimes,whenasoftsouthlanddogwentdown,shriekingitsdeath-cryunderthefangsofthepack,thismanwouldbeunabletocontainhimself,andwouldleapintotheairandcryoutwithdelight. AndalwayshehadasharpandcovetouseyeforWhiteFang. 

Thismanwascalled"Beauty"bytheothermenofthefort. Nooneknewhisfirstname,andingeneralhewasknowninthecountryasBeautySmith. Buthewasanythingsaveabeauty. 

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