The Battle of the Fangs

Itwastheshe-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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