“I guess we’ll be good friends,” he said, and he spoke so low that only the dogs heard his voice. “It’s a big price, but we’ll charge it to the Smithsonian, lads. I’m going to need a couple of four-footed friends of your moral caliber.”
And no one knew why Kazan and the Dane drew nearer to the little scientist’s side of the cage as he pulled out a big roll of bills and counted out six hundred dollars for Harker and Sandy McTrigger.
ALONE IN DARKNESS
Never had the terror and loneliness of blindness fallen upon Gray Wolf as in the days that followed the shooting of Kazan and his capture by Sandy McTrigger. For hours after the shot she crouched in the bush back from the river, waiting for him to come to her. She had faith that he would come, as he had come a thousand times before, and she lay close on her belly, sniffing the air, and whining when it brought no scent of her mate. Day and night were alike an endless chaos of darkness to her now, but she knew when the sun went down. She sensed the first deepening shadows of evening, and she knew that the stars were out, and that the river lay in moonlight. It was a night to roam, and after a time she moved restlessly about in a small circle on the plain, and sent out her first inquiring call for Kazan. Up from the river came the pungent odor of smoke, and instinctively she knew that it was this smoke, and the nearness of man, that was keeping Kazan from her. But she went no nearer than that first circle made by her padded feet. Blindness had taught her to wait. Since the day of the battle on the Sun Rock, when the lynx had destroyed her eyes, Kazan had never failed her. Three times she called for him in the early night. Then she made herself a nest under a banskian shrub, and waited until dawn.
Just how she knew when night blotted out the last glow of the sun, so without seeing she knew when day came. Not until she felt the warmth of the sun on her back did her anxiety overcome her caution. Slowly she moved toward the river, sniffing the air and whining. There was no longer the smell of smoke in the air, and she could not catch the scent of man. She followed her own trail back to the sand-bar, and in the fringe of thick bush overhanging the white shore of the stream she stopped and listened. After a little she scrambled down and went straight to the spot where she and Kazan were drinking when the shot came. And there her nose struck the sand still wet and thick with Kazan’s blood. She knew it was the blood of her mate, for the scent of him was all about her in the sand, mingled with the man-smell of Sandy McTrigger. She sniffed the trail of his body to the edge of the stream, where Sandy had dragged him to the canoe. She found the fallen tree to which he had been tied. And then she came upon one of the two clubs that Sandy had used to beat wounded Kazan into submissiveness.