And to that call she responded, leaving the river and its food behind her—straight out into the face of darkness and starvation, no longer fearing death or the emptiness of the world she could not see; for ahead of her, two hundred miles away, she could see the Sun Rock, the winding trail, the nest of her first-born between the two big rocks—and Kazan!
THE LAST OF McTRIGGER
Sixty miles farther north Kazan lay at the end of his fine steel chain, watching little Professor McGill mixing a pail of tallow and bran. A dozen yards from him lay the big Dane, his huge jaws drooling in anticipation of the unusual feast which McGill was preparing. He showed signs of pleasure when McGill approached him with a quart of the mixture, and he gulped it between his huge jaws. The little man with the cold blue eyes and the gray-blond hair stroked his back without fear. His attitude was different when he turned to Kazan. His movements were filled with caution, and yet his eyes and his lips were smiling, and he gave the wolf-dog no evidence of his fear, if it could be called fear.
The little professor, who was up in the north country for the Smithsonian Institution, had spent a third of his life among dogs. He loved them, and understood them. He had written a number of magazine articles on dog intellect that had attracted wide attention among naturalists. It was largely because he loved dogs, and understood them more than most men, that he had bought Kazan and the big Dane on the night when Sandy McTrigger and his partner had tried to get them to fight to the death in the Red Gold City saloon. The refusal of the two splendid beasts to kill each other for the pleasure of the three hundred men who had assembled to witness the fight delighted him. He had already planned a paper on the incident. Sandy had told him the story of Kazan’s capture, and of his wild mate, Gray Wolf, and the professor had asked him a thousand questions. But each day Kazan puzzled him more. No amount of kindness on his part could bring a responsive gleam in Kazan’s eyes. Not once did Kazan signify a willingness to become friends. And yet he did not snarl at McGill, or snap at his hands when they came within reach. Quite frequently Sandy McTrigger came over to the little cabin where McGill was staying, and three times Kazan leaped at the end of his chain to get at him, and his white fangs gleamed as long as Sandy was in sight. Alone with McGill he became quiet. Something told him that McGill had come as a friend that night when he and the big Dane stood shoulder to shoulder in the cage that had been built for a slaughter pen. Away down in his brute heart he held McGill apart from other men. He had no desire to harm him. He tolerated him, but showed none of the growing affection of the huge Dane. It was this fact that puzzled McGill. He had never before known a dog that he could not make love him.