The Lair

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

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

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

Shepausedatthemouthofthecaveandlookedthewallovercarefully.

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