1. CHAPTER I - THE ENEMY OF HIS KIND
Had there been in White Fang's nature any possibility, no matter
how remote, of his ever coming to fraternise with his kind, such
possibility was irretrievably destroyed when he was made leader of
the sled-team. For now the dogs hated him - hated him for the
extra meat bestowed upon him by Mit-sah; hated him for all the real
and fancied favours he received; hated him for that he fled always
at the head of the team, his waving brush of a tail and his
perpetually retreating hind-quarters for ever maddening their eyes.
And White Fang just as bitterly hated them back. Being sled-leader
was anything but gratifying to him. To be compelled to run away
before the yelling pack, every dog of which, for three years, he
had thrashed and mastered, was almost more than he could endure.
But endure it he must, or perish, and the life that was in him had
no desire to perish out. The moment Mit-sah gave his order for the
start, that moment the whole team, with eager, savage cries, sprang
forward at White Fang.
There was no defence for him. If he turned upon them, Mit-sah
would throw the stinging lash of the whip into his face. Only
remained to him to run away. He could not encounter that howling
horde with his tail and hind-quarters. These were scarcely fit
weapons with which to meet the many merciless fangs. So run away
he did, violating his own nature and pride with every leap he made,
and leaping all day long.
One cannot violate the promptings of one's nature without having
that nature recoil upon itself. Such a recoil is like that of a
hair, made to grow out from the body, turning unnaturally upon the
direction of its growth and growing into the body - a rankling,
festering thing of hurt. And so with White Fang. Every urge of
his being impelled him to spring upon the pack that cried at his
heels, but it was the will of the gods that this should not be; and
behind the will, to enforce it, was the whip of cariboo-gut with
its biting thirty-foot lash. So White Fang could only eat his
heart in bitterness and develop a hatred and malice commensurate
with the ferocity and indomitability of his nature.