Kazan eBook

James Oliver Curwood
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 243 pages of information about Kazan.

Henri shot the lynx, and when Kazan understood this, he tore at the end of his trap-chains and snarled at the writhing body of his forest enemy.  By means of a pole and a babiche noose, Kazan was brought out from under the windfall and taken to Henri’s cabin.  The two men then returned with a thick sack and more babiche, and blind Gray Wolf, still fettered by the traps, was made prisoner.  All the rest of that day Weyman and Henri worked to build a stout cage of saplings, and when it was finished, the two prisoners were placed in it.

Before the dog was put in with Gray Wolf, Weyman closely examined the worn and tooth-marked collar about his neck.

On the brass plate he found engraved the one word, “Kazan,” and with a strange thrill made note of it in his diary.

After this Weyman often remained at the cabin when Henri went out on the trap-line.  After the second day he dared to put his hand between the sapling bars and touch Kazan, and the next day Kazan accepted a piece of raw moose meat from his hand.  But at his approach, Gray Wolf would always hide under the pile of balsam in the corner of their prison.  The instinct of generations and perhaps of centuries had taught her that man was her deadliest enemy.  And yet, this man did not hurt her, and Kazan was not afraid of him.  She was frightened at first; then puzzled, and a growing curiosity followed that.  Occasionally, after the third day, she would thrust her blind face out of the balsam and sniff the air when Weyman was at the cage, making friends with Kazan.  But she would not eat.  Weyman noted that, and each day he tempted her with the choicest morsels of deer and moose fat.  Five days—­six—­seven passed, and she had not taken a mouthful.  Weyman could count her ribs.

“She die,” Henri told him on the seventh night.  “She starve before she eat in that cage.  She want the forest, the wild kill, the fresh blood.  She two—­t’ree year old—­too old to make civilize.”

Henri went to bed at the usual hour, but Weyman was troubled, and sat up late.  He wrote a long letter to the sweet-faced girl at North Battleford, and then he turned out the light, and painted visions of her in the red glow of the fire.  He saw her again for that first time when he camped in the little shack where the fifth city of Saskatchewan now stood—­with her blue eyes, the big shining braid, and the fresh glow of the prairies in her cheeks.  She had hated him—­yes, actually hated him, because he loved to kill.  He laughed softly as he thought of that.  She had changed him—­wonderfully.

He rose, opened the door, softly, and went out.  Instinctively his eyes turned westward.  The sky was a blaze of stars.  In their light he could see the cage, and he stood, watching and listening.  A sound came to him.  It was Gray Wolf gnawing at the sapling bars of her prison.  A moment later there came a low sobbing whine, and he knew that it was Kazan crying for his freedom.

Project Gutenberg
Kazan from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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