The Love-Master

AsWhiteFangwatchedWeedonScottapproach,hebristledandsnarledtoadvertisethathewouldnotsubmittopunishment. Twenty-fourhourshadpassedsincehehadslashedopenthehandthatwasnowbandagedandheldupbyaslingtokeepthebloodoutofit. InthepastWhiteFanghadexperienceddelayedpunishments,andheapprehendedthatsuchaonewasabouttobefallhim. Howcoulditbeotherwise? Hehadcommittedwhatwastohimsacrilege,sunkhisfangsintotheholyfleshofagod,andofawhite-skinnedsuperiorgodatthat. Inthenatureofthings,andofintercoursewithgods,somethingterribleawaitedhim. 

Thegodsatdownseveralfeetaway. WhiteFangcouldseenothingdangerousinthat. Whenthegodsadministeredpunishmenttheystoodontheirlegs. Besides,thisgodhadnoclub,nowhip,nofirearm.Andfurthermore,hehimselfwasfree. Nochainnorstickboundhim.Hecouldescapeintosafetywhilethegodwasscramblingtohisfeet. Inthemeantimehewouldwaitandsee. 

Thegodremainedquiet,madenomovement;andWhiteFang’ssnarlslowlydwindledtoagrowlthatebbeddowninhisthroatandceased. Thenthegodspoke,andatthefirstsoundofhisvoice,thehairroseonWhiteFang’sneckandthegrowlrushedupinhisthroat. Butthegodmadenohostilemovement,andwentoncalmlytalking. ForatimeWhiteFanggrowledinunisonwithhim,acorrespondenceofrhythmbeingestablishedbetweengrowlandvoice. Butthegodtalkedoninterminably. HetalkedtoWhiteFangasWhiteFanghadneverbeentalkedtobefore. Hetalkedsoftlyandsoothingly,withagentlenessthatsomehow,somewhere,touchedWhiteFang. Inspiteofhimselfandalltheprickingwarningsofhisinstinct,WhiteFangbegantohaveconfidenceinthisgod. Hehadafeelingofsecuritythatwasbeliedbyallhisexperiencewithmen. 

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