فصل 04

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فصل 04

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  • زمان مطالعه 5 دقیقه
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CHAPTER FOUR

The Attack

The primitive spirit of his ancestors was strong in Buck. And under the harsh conditions of is new life this spirit grew. He hated Spitz more and more, but he did not want to start a fight. Buck was careful, he did nothing without thinking.

Spitz always showed his teeth to Buck. He wanted to start a fight. Buck knew that a fight meant the death of one or the other.

One night the fight almost happened. They stopped at Lake Laberge. It was snowing heavily and the wind was strong and cold. Perrault and Francois made a fire on the ice.

Buck made a hole in the snow. It was warm and comfortable. He did not want to leave it to get his piece of fish. When Buck finished eating the fish he went back to his hole and found Spitz in it.

Buck did not want to fight with Spitz but this was too much. He jumped on Spitz with great anger. Spitz was very surprised. He knew Buck was big, but he did not know he was so wild. Francois was surprised too.

“A-a-ah!” he cried to Buck. “Give it to him! Give it to him!”

Both dogs wanted to fight. They circled each other and waited for a chance to jump in.

Suddenly Perrault shouted and they saw about a hundred thin, hungry dogs. They came from an Indian village and they were looking for food. Perrault and Francois hit them with their clubs but the hungry dogs showed their teeth and attacked. One dog found the food box and in a moment twenty dogs ate the bread and the meat. The smell of food made them crazy.

The dogs looked like skeletons with wild eyes and sharp fangs. Three of them attacked Buck and bit his head and shoulders. Dave and Solleks fought courageously side by side. Joe attacked the dogs too.

Buck bit a dog in the neck and tasted its blood. The taste of blood made him fiercer. He jumped on another dog and then felt teeth in his own neck. Spitz was attacking him from the side.

Perrault and Francois came with clubs to help their dogs. The hungry dogs ran away, but only for a moment. When the two men ran back to save their food, the dogs attacked again. The terrible fight continued.

Later the nine team-dogs ran away and hid in the forest. They passed the night there. Each dog was hurt in four or five places and Joe lost his eye.

Early the next morning they slowly walked back to camp. Perrault and Francois were angry. Half of their food was gone and one dog ate Perrault’s shoe.

Francois looked at the poor dogs and said, “Ah, my friends, perhaps those bites will make you crazy dogs. What do you think, Perrault?”

Perrault said nothing. There were four hundred miles between him and Dawson. He hoped his dogs were not crazy!

After two hours of hard work the team started traveling. The next part of the trail was the most difficult.

The Thirty Mile River was not frozen because the water moved too quickly. It took six days to travel those terrible thirty miles. They were terrible because every step was dangerous for the dogs and the men.

They found twelve ice bridges across the river. And Perrault fell through all of them! His long stick saved him. The temperature was 50 °F below zero. Each time Perrault fell into the icy water he built a fire to dry and warm himself.

Perrault was not afraid of anything. This is why he was a government courier. He was often in danger. Once the sled with Buck and Dave fell through the ice. When Perrault and Francois pulled them out of the river they were covered with ice. The men built a fire to save the dogs.

When they arrived in Hootalinqua, Buck and the other dogs were exhausted. However, they were late and Perrault made them run faster. In three days they traveled one hundred and ten miles and reached a place called Five Fingers.

Buck’s feet were not as hard as the feet of the huskies. His feet were still soft because of his comfortable life with the Judge. His feet hurt a lot all day. That night at the camp he lay down like a dead dog. He was hungry but he could not walk to get his fish. So Francois brought it to him. Every evening after dinner Francois massaged Buck’s feet for half an hour. He made four little shoes for Buck. Now Buck was more comfortable. One morning Francois forgot the shoes and Buck lay on his back with his feet in the air. He did not want to move without his shoes. Later his feet grew hard and the shoes were not necessary.

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