“Guess I know what you’re figgering on,” he said. “I’ve had your kind before. The dam’ wolves have turned you bad, an’ you’ll need a whole lot of club before you’re right again. Now, look here.”
Sandy had taken the precaution of bringing a thick club along with the babiche. He picked it up from where he had dropped it in the sand. Kazan’s strength had fairly returned to him now. He was no longer dizzy. The mist had cleared away from his eyes. Before him he saw once more his old enemy, man—man and the club. All of the wild ferocity of his nature was roused in an instant. Without reasoning he knew that Gray Wolf was gone, and that this man was accountable for her going. He knew that this man had also brought him his own hurt, and what he ascribed to the man he also attributed to the club. In his newer undertaking of things, born of freedom and Gray Wolf, Man and Club were one and inseparable. With a snarl he leaped at Sandy. The man was not expecting a direct assault, and before he could raise his club or spring aside Kazan had landed full on his chest. The muzzle about Kazan’s jaws saved him. Fangs that would have torn his throat open snapped harmlessly. Under the weight of the dog’s body he fell back, as if struck down by a catapult.
As quick as a cat he was on his feet again, with the end of the babiche twisted several times about his hand. Kazan leaped again, and this time he was met by a furious swing of the club. It smashed against his shoulder, and sent him down in the sand. Before he could recover Sandy was upon him, with all the fury of a man gone mad. He shortened the babiche by twisting it again and again about his hand, and the club rose and fell with the skill and strength of one long accustomed to its use. The first blows served only to add to Kazan’s hatred of man, and the ferocity and fearlessness of his attacks. Again and again he leaped in, and each time the club fell upon him with a force that threatened to break his bones. There was a tense hard look about Sandy’s cruel mouth. He had never known a dog like this before, and he was a bit nervous, even with Kazan muzzled. Three times Kazan’s fangs would have sunk deep in his flesh had it not been for the babiche. And if the thongs about his jaws should slip, or break—.
Sandy followed up the thought with a smashing blow that landed on Kazan’s head, and once more the old battler fell limp upon the sand. McTrigger’s breath was coming in quick gasps. He was almost winded. Not until the club slipped from his hand did he realize how desperate the fight had been. Before Kazan recovered from the blow that had stunned him Sandy examined the muzzle and strengthened it by adding another babiche thong. Then he dragged Kazan to a log that high water had thrown up on the shore a few yards away and made the end of the babiche rope fast to a dead snag. After that he pulled his canoe higher up on the sand, and began to prepare camp for the night.