Slowly nature was impinging that fact upon him. She had passed out of his world and out of his life, and he was filled with a loneliness and a grief so great that the forest seemed strange, and the stillness of the wild a thing that now oppressed and frightened him. Once more the dog in him was mastering the wolf. With Gray Wolf he had possessed the world of freedom. Without her, that world was so big and strange and empty that it appalled him. Late in the afternoon he came upon a little pile of crushed clamshells on the shore of the stream. He sniffed at them—turned away—went back, and sniffed again. It was where Gray Wolf had made a last feast in the swamp before continuing south. But the scent she had left behind was not strong enough to tell Kazan, and for a second time he turned away. That night he slunk under a log, and cried himself to sleep. Deep in the night he grieved in his uneasy slumber, like a child. And day after day, and night after night, Kazan remained a slinking creature of the big swamp, mourning for the one creature that had brought him out of chaos into light, who had filled his world for him, and who, in going from him, had taken from this world even the things that Gray Wolf had lost in her blindness.
THE CALL OF SUN ROCK
In the golden glow of the autumn sun there came up the stream overlooked by the Sun Rock one day a man, a woman and a child in a canoe. Civilization had done for lovely Joan what it had done for many another wild flower transplanted from the depths of the wilderness. Her cheeks were thin. Her blue eyes had lost their luster. She coughed, and when she coughed the man looked at her with love and fear in his eyes. But now, slowly, the man had begun to see the transformation, and on the day their canoe pointed up the stream and into the wonderful valley that had been their home before the call of the distant city came to them, he noted the flush gathering once more in her cheeks, the fuller redness of her lips, and the gathering glow of happiness and content in her eyes. He laughed softly as he saw these things, and he blessed the forests. In the canoe she had leaned back, with her head almost against his shoulder, and he stopped paddling to draw her to him, and run his fingers through the soft golden masses of her hair.
“You are happy again, Joan,” he laughed joyously. “The doctors were right. You are a part of the forests.”
“Yes, I am happy,” she whispered, and suddenly there came a little thrill into her voice, and she pointed to a white finger of sand running out into the stream. “Do you remember—years and years ago, it seems—that Kazan left us here? She was on the sand over there, calling to him. Do you remember?” There was a little tremble about her mouth, and she added, “I wonder—where they—have gone.”