So Kazan’s life seemed now to be made up chiefly of three things: his hatred of everything that bore the scent or mark of the lynx, his grieving for Joan and the baby, and Gray Wolf. It was natural that the strongest passion in him should be his hatred of the lynx, for not only Gray Wolf’s blindness and the death of the pups, but even the loss of the woman and the baby he laid to that fatal struggle on the Sun Rock. From that hour he became the deadliest enemy of the lynx tribe. Wherever he struck the scent of the big gray cat he was turned into a snarling demon, and his hatred grew day by day, as he became more completely a part of the wild.
He found that Gray Wolf was more necessary to him now than she had ever been since the day she had left the wolf-pack for him. He was three-quarters dog, and the dog-part of him demanded companionship. There was only Gray Wolf to give him that now. They were alone. Civilization was four hundred miles south of them. The nearest Hudson’s Bay post was sixty miles to the west. Often, in the days of the woman and the baby, Gray Wolf had spent her nights alone out in the forest, waiting and calling for Kazan. Now it was Kazan who was lonely and uneasy when he was away from her side.
In her blindness Gray Wolf could no longer hunt with her mate. But gradually a new code of understanding grew up between them, and through her blindness they learned many things that they had not known before. By early summer Gray Wolf could travel with Kazan, if he did not move too swiftly. She ran at his flank, with her shoulder or muzzle touching him, and Kazan learned not to leap, but to trot. Very quickly he found that he must choose the easiest trails for Gray Wolf’s feet. When they came to a space to be bridged by a leap, he would muzzle Gray Wolf and whine, and she would stand with ears alert—listening. Then Kazan would take the leap, and she understood the distance she had to cover. She always over-leaped, which was a good fault.
In another way, and one that was destined to serve them many times in the future, she became of greater help than ever to Kazan. Scent and hearing entirely took the place of sight. Each day developed these senses more and more, and at the same time there developed between them the dumb language whereby she could impress upon Kazan what she had discovered by scent or sound. It became a curious habit of Kazan’s always to look at Gray Wolf when they stopped to listen, or to scent the air.
After the fight on the Sun Rock, Kazan had taken his blind mate to a thick clump of spruce and balsam in the river-bottom, where they remained until early summer. Every day for weeks Kazan went to the cabin where Joan and the baby—and the man—had been. For a long time he went hopefully, looking each day or night to see some sign of life there. But the door was never open. The boards and saplings at the windows always remained. Never a spiral of smoke rose from the clay chimney. Grass and vines began to grow in the path. And fainter and fainter grew that scent which Kazan could still find about it—the scent of man, of the woman, the baby.