The Call of the Wild, White Fang, and Other Stories

By Jack London; Earle Labor et al. | Go to book overview

II
The Law of Club and Fang

BUCK'S first day on the Dyea beach was like a nightmare. Every hour was filled with shock and surprise. He had been suddenly jerked from the heart of civilization and flung into the heart of things primordial. No lazy, sun-kissed life was this, with nothing to do but loaf and be bored. Here was neither peace, nor rest, nor a moment's safety. All was confusion and action, and every life moment and limb were in peril. There was imperative need to be constantly alert; for these dogs and men were not town dogs and men. They were savages, all of them, who knew no law but the law of club and fang.

He had never seen dogs fight as these wolfish creatures fought, and his first experience taught him an unforgetable lesson. It is true, it was a vicarious experience, else he would not have lived to profit by it. Curly was the victim. They were camped near the log store, where she, in her friendly way, made advances to a husky dog the size of a full-grown wolf, though not half so large as she. There was no warning, only a leap in like a flash, a metallic clip of teeth, a leap out equally swift, and Curly's face was ripped open from eye to jaw.

It was the wolf manner of fighting, to strike and leap away; but there was more to it than this. Thirty or forty huskies ran to the spot and surrounded the combatants in an intent and silent circle. Buck did not comprehend that silent intentness, or the eager way with which they were licking their chops. Curly rushed her antagonist, who struck again and leaped aside. He met her next rush with his chest, in a peculiar fashion that tumbled her off her feet. She never regained them. This was what the onlooking huskies had waited for. They closed in upon her, snarling and yelping, and she was buried, screaming with agony, beneath the bristling mass of bodies.

So sudden was it, and so unexpected, that Buck was taken

-15-

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The Call of the Wild, White Fang, and Other Stories
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction ix
  • Note on the Text xxiii
  • Select Bibliography xxvi
  • A Chronology of Jack London xxvii
  • Contents 3
  • I - Into the Primitive 5
  • II - The Law of Club and Fang 15
  • III - The Dominant Primordial Beast 24
  • IV - Who Has Won to Mastership 37
  • V - The Toil of Trace and Trail 46
  • VI - For the Love of a Man 60
  • VII - The Sounding of the Call 73
  • Contents 91
  • Part One - The Wild 93
  • I - The Trail of the Meat 93
  • II - The She-Wolf 101
  • III - The Hunger Cry 110
  • Part Two - Born of the Wild 120
  • I - The Battle of the Fangs 120
  • II - The Lair 130
  • III - The Gray Cub 138
  • IV - The Wall of the World 143
  • V - The Law of Meat 153
  • Part Three - The Gods of the Wild 159
  • The Makers of Fire 159
  • II - The Bondage 170
  • III - The Outcast 178
  • IV - The Trail of the Gods 183
  • V - The Covenant 188
  • VI - The Famine 196
  • Part Four - The Superior Gods 204
  • I - The Enemy of His Kind 204
  • II - The Mad God 213
  • III - The Reign of Hate 221
  • IV - The Clinging Death 226
  • V - The Indomitable 237
  • VI - The Love-Master 243
  • Part Five - The Tame 256
  • I - The Long 256
  • II - The Southland 261
  • III - The God''s Domain 268
  • IV - The Call of Kind 278
  • V - The Sleeping Wolf 284
  • Bâtard 293
  • Moon-Face 309
  • Brown Wolf 315
  • That Spot 331
  • To Build a Fire 341
  • Explanatory Notes 358
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