فصل 09

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فصل 09

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CHAPTER NINE

The Call of the Wild

In the fall many moose came to the valley because it was warmer. Buck wanted to hunt a big moose. The biggest moose was six feet tall and had enormous antlers. He was much bigger and stronger than Buck. When he saw Buck he growled angrily.

Buck followed the moose for many hours. He was clever and thought, “ must separate him from his group.”

It was not easy, but by evening the moose was away from his group. Buck started to attack him.

Wild animals are patient. They do not hurry. They wait for the right moment and then they attack. Buck knew how to wait. For four days Buck attacked and jumped away. Then he danced in front of the big moose. He never left him alone. The moose could not eat, drink, sleep or rest. He became very tired and very weak and stopped for long periods so Buck ate, drank and rested.

At the end of the fourth day Buck killed the big moose. For a day and a night he stayed by the dead moose and ate and slept. When he was rested and strong, he decided to return to John Thornton.

When Buck was five miles from camp he smelled something strange, something terrible. He started running fast. The forest was silent, there were no birds and no small animals.

Near some trees he found the dead body of Nig. He had an arrow in his body. He found another sled dog with an arrow in his neck.

Near the camp Buck heard voices singing. Then he found Hans’ body with arrows in his back.

A wild, terrible anger grew in Buck. He could not control his anger. He saw the Yeehat Indians dancing at Thornton’s camp and he suddenly attacked them. He wanted to destroy them. Buck was faster than the wind. He jumped at the Indians with all his strength and anger. He cut the throat of two Indians with his sharp teeth. Nothing could stop him and he killed many Yeehats. He was like a devil. The Indians escaped into the forest but Buck followed them.

When Buck returned to the camp he found Pete’s body. He followed Thornton’s smell to a pool. Buck knew Thornton’s body was in the pool. He stayed by the pool all day. He knew John Thornton was dead.

Now he was very sad and alone. When he looked at the dead Yeehats he was proud of himself.

That night there was a full moon. Buck heard the sounds of the forest. They became louder. It was the call of the wild and he was ready to obey. John Thornton was dead. He was completely free.

A wolf pack entered Buck’s valley. He watched them silently. They were afraid because Buck was so big. Then one wolf jumped at Buck and he attacked and broke the wolf’s neck. Three other wolves jumped at him but he attacked them.

Finally all the wolf pack attacked Buck. He jumped “at them with his great strength and intelligence. They could not stop him. After half an hour the pack went away. They were very tired. One wolf was friendly and went close to Buck. Buck remembered him, it was his wild brother. They touched noses.

Other wolves came to make friends. An old wolf sat down, looked at the moon and howled. The others sat down and howled too. Buck did the same.

Soon the wolves were all around Buck and smelled him. Then they ran into the forest and Buck ran with them. His wild brother ran by his side.

Perhaps this is the end of Buck’s story. But after a few years the Yeehat Indians saw that some wolves had brown in their gray coats. They also saw a “Ghost Dog” at the front of the wolf pack.

When the Yeehats follow the moose they do not enter a certain valley. In the summer there is a visitor in that valley: a big, golden-brown wolf. He is bigger than any other wolf. He goes to a yellow stream, stops there and then howls.

But he is not always alone. He is the leader of the wolf pack. He runs in the moonlight and sings the song of the pack.

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