فصل 06

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فصل 06

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  • زمان مطالعه 6 دقیقه
  • سطح خیلی ساده

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متن انگلیسی فصل

CHAPTER SIX

The New Lead

The next morning Francois could not find Spitz and he saw Buck covered with blood. “What did I say? Buck is a great fighter!” said Francois .

Perrault looked at the wounds on Buck’s body and said, “That Spitz fought like a devil.”

“And Buck fought like two devils,” Francois said. “Now we can travel faster. No more Spitz, no more trouble.”

Francois started to harness the dogs. Buck walked to Spitz’s old position. But Francois put Solleks in the lead position. Buck jumped angrily at Solleks.

“Eh?” Francois cried. “Look at that Buck. He killed Spitz and now he wants his place. Go away, Buck.” But Buck did not move.

Solleks was not happy. He was afraid of Buck. When Francois turned his back Buck pushed Solleks away.

Francois was angry. “Now, I’ll show you!”

He went to get a heavy club. Buck remembered the man in the red sweater and moved away.

“Come here, Buck,” said Francois .

Buck did not obey. He wanted to be the lead-dog because he won the fight with Spitz.

The two men tried to put on the harness but he always moved away.

“Come here, Buck,” Perrault said. But Buck did not move.

It was late. Francois put Solleks in his old place. Perrault looked at his watch and he was angry. “Put down the club, Francois !”

Francois put down the club and Buck came to the front of the team. Francois put on the harness and the sled started moving.

Buck was an excellent lead-dog. He moved and thought quickly. The other dogs worked harder with Buck. The team traveled faster and faster.

“Buck is the best dog! The very best!” Francois said.

It was 45°F below zero. Some days the dogs traveled sixty miles or more. After fourteen days they reached Skagway. The dog team was the center of attention. Then the two men received orders from the Canadian government. Francois put his arms around Buck and cried. Then the two men left and Buck did not see them again.

Another man took Buck and his team back to Dawson. The sled was very heavy because it carried mail for the gold miners. Buck did not like it, but he and the other dogs worked hard. It was not an interesting life. One day was like another.

They started before it was light. At night they camped arid this was the best part of the day. The dogs ate some fish and rested by the fire. Buck loved to rest by the fire. Sometimes he thought of Judge Miller’s big house and his life there. He also thought about the man in the red sweater, the death of Curly and the big fight with Spitz. Other times he remembered his parents, his ancestors and the world of long ago.

The journey was hard and the mail was heavy. The dogs were tired and weak. They needed a long rest. But after only two days they were traveling again. The dogs and the men were unhappy.

Each night the men took care of their dogs. They looked at their feet but the dogs became weaker every day. Billee cried in his sleep and was very unfriendly. Dave was tired and ill. Something was wrong with him. When they stopped in the evening he lay down and did not stand up until morning. The men were worried about Dave. They did not understand his illness.

One day Dave could not pull the sled anymore. He cried sadly when Solleks took his place. The next morning Dave could not move. The driver took his pistol and walked away. The dogs heard a shot. The man came back quickly and the sled moved again. Buck and the other dogs knew what happened to Dave.

Thirty days after leaving Dawson City the team arrived in Skagway. The dogs were exhausted and thin. They needed a long rest. The men needed new, strong dogs to pull the sled.

They sold the old, tired dogs. Two American men called Hal and Charles bought Buck and his team. They bought other dogs too. Charles was forty years old and Hal was a young man. Charles’ wife Mercedes was also with them. They knew nothing about life in the Northland and they made many mistakes.

They put too many things on their sled and tried to start. The dogs pulled hard for a few moments and then stopped. They could not move it because it was too heavy.

“These lazy animals!” cried Hal with a whip in his hand.

“They’re very weak,” said a man. “They need a rest.”

“Nonsense! They’re very lazy,” said Hal. “Mush!” he cried. “Mush!”

Hal whipped the dogs again and again.

Another man said, “I don’t care about you, but I care about the dogs. Break the ice around the sled, and then the dogs can pull.”

Hal broke the ice and the sled moved forward.

The unhappy team moved on. Day after day Hal whipped the poor dogs. He gave them little food to eat. They were very tired and very hungry. They looked like skeletons. Dub hurt himself and was shot. Billee and some other dogs died.

“Soon we will all die,” Buck thought.

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