The Lair

Fortwodaystheshe-wolfandOneEyehungabouttheIndiancamp. Hewasworriedandapprehensive,yetthecampluredhismateandshewasloathtodepart. Butwhen,onemorning,theairwasrentwiththereportofariflecloseathand, andabulletsmashedagainstatreetrunkseveralinchesfromOneEye’shead, theyhesitatednomore,butwentoffonalong,swinginglope thatputquickmilesbetweenthemandthedanger. 

Theydidnotgofaracoupleofdays’journey. Theshe-wolf’sneedtofindthethingforwhichshesearchedhadnowbecomeimperative. Shewasgettingveryheavy,andcouldrunbutslowly. Once,inthepursuitofarabbit,whichsheordinarilywouldhavecaughtwithease, shegaveoverandlaydownandrested. OneEyecametoher; butwhenhetouchedherneckgentlywithhismuzzleshesnappedathimwithsuchquickfiercenessthathetumbledoverbackward andcutaridiculousfigureinhisefforttoescapeherteeth. Hertemperwasnowshorterthanever; buthehadbecomemorepatientthaneverandmoresolicitous. 

Andthenshefoundthethingforwhichshesought. ItwasafewmilesupasmallstreamthatinthesummertimeflowedintotheMackenzie, butthatthenwasfrozenoverandfrozendowntoitsrockybottomadeadstreamofsolidwhitefromsourcetomouth. Theshe-wolfwastrottingwearilyalong,hermatewellinadvance,whenshecameupontheoverhanging,highclay-bank. Sheturnedasideandtrottedovertoit. Thewearandtearofspringstormsandmeltingsnowshadunderwashedthebank andinoneplacehadmadeasmallcaveoutofanarrowfissure. 

Shepausedatthemouthofthecaveandlookedthewallovercarefully. Then,ononesideandtheother,sheranalongthebaseofthewalltowhereitsabruptbulkmergedfromthesofter-linedlandscape. 

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