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

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

MOON-FACE

JOHN CLAVERHOUSE was a moon-faced man. You know the kind, cheek-bones wide apart, chin and forehead melting into the cheeks to complete the perfect round, and the nose, broad and pudgy, equidistant from the circumference, flattened against the very centre of the face like a dough-ball upon the ceiling. Perhaps that is why I hated him, for truly he had become an offence to my eyes, and I believe the earth to be cumbered with his presence. Perhaps my mother may have been superstitious of the moon and looked upon it over the wrong shoulder at the wrong time.

Be that as it may, I hated John Claverhouse. Not that he had done me what society would consider a wrong or an ill turn. Far from it. The evil was of a deeper, subtler sort; so elusive, so intangible, as to defy clear, definite analysis in words. We all experience such things at some period in our fives. For the first time we see a certain individual, one who the very instant before we did not dream existed; and yet, at the first moment of meeting, we say: "I do not like that man." Why do we not like him? Ah, we do not know why; we know only that we do not. We have taken a dislike, that is all. And so I with John Claverhouse.

What right had such a man to be happy? Yet he was an optimist. He was always gleeful and laughing. All things were always all right, curse him! Ah! how it grated on my soul that he should be so happy! Other men could laugh, and it did not bother me. I even used to laugh myself--before I met John Claverhouse.

But his laugh! It irritated me, maddened me, as nothing else under the sun could irritate or madden me. It haunted me, gripped hold of me, and would not let me go. It was a huge, Gargantuan laugh. Waking or sleeping it was always with me, whirring and jarring across my heart-strings like an enormous rasp. At break of day it came whooping across the fields to spoil my pleasant morning revery. Under the aching noon-day glare, when the green drooped and the birds

-309-

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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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