The Battle of the Fangs

wastheshe-wolfwhohadfirstcaughtthesoundofmen’svoicesandthewhiningofthesled-dogs;anditwastheshe-wolfwhowasfirsttospringawayfromthecorneredmaninhiscircleofdyingflame.Thepackhadbeenloathtoforegothekillithadhunteddown,anditlingeredforseveralminutes,makingsureofthesounds,andthenit,too,sprangawayonthetrailmadebytheshe-wolf.

Runningattheforefrontofthepackwasalargegreywolfoneofitsseveralleaders.Itwashewhodirectedthepack’scourseontheheelsoftheshe-wolf.Itwashewhosnarledwarninglyattheyoungermembersofthepackorslashedatthemwithhisfangswhentheyambitiouslytriedtopasshim.Anditwashewhoincreasedthepacewhenhesightedtheshe-wolf,nowtrottingslowlyacrossthesnow.

Shedroppedinalongsidebyhim,asthoughitwereherappointedposition,andtookthepaceofthepack.Hedidnotsnarlather,norshowhisteeth,whenanyleapofherschancedtoputherinadvanceofhim.Onthecontrary,heseemedkindlydisposedtowardhertookindlytosuither,forhewaspronetorunneartoher,andwhenherantoonearitwasshewhosnarledandshowedherteeth.Norwassheaboveslashinghisshouldersharplyonoccasion.Atsuchtimeshebetrayednoanger.Hemerelysprangtothesideandranstifflyaheadforseveralawkwardleaps,incarriageandconductresemblinganabashedcountryswain.

Thiswashisonetroubleintherunningofthepack;butshehadothertroubles.Onherothersideranagauntoldwolf,grizzledandmarkedwiththescarsofmanybattles.Heranalwaysonherrightside.Thefactthathehadbutoneeye,andthatthelefteye,mightaccountforthis.

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