2. CHAPTER II - THE SHE-WOLF
"An' he was no fool dog neither," Henry added.
And so was recorded the second epitaph in two days.
A gloomy breakfast was eaten, and the four remaining dogs were
harnessed to the sled. The day was a repetition of the days that
had gone before. The men toiled without speech across the face of
the frozen world. The silence was unbroken save by the cries of
their pursuers, that, unseen, hung upon their rear. With the
coming of night in the mid-afternoon, the cries sounded closer as
the pursuers drew in according to their custom; and the dogs grew
excited and frightened, and were guilty of panics that tangled the
traces and further depressed the two men.
"There, that'll fix you fool critters," Bill said with satisfaction
that night, standing erect at completion of his task.
Henry left the cooking to come and see. Not only had his partner
tied the dogs up, but he had tied them, after the Indian fashion,
with sticks. About the neck of each dog he had fastened a leather
thong. To this, and so close to the neck that the dog could not
get his teeth to it, he had tied a stout stick four or five feet in
length. The other end of the stick, in turn, was made fast to a
stake in the ground by means of a leather thong. The dog was
unable to gnaw through the leather at his own end of the stick.
The stick prevented him from getting at the leather that fastened
the other end.
Henry nodded his head approvingly.
"It's the only contraption that'll ever hold One Ear," he said.
"He can gnaw through leather as clean as a knife an' jes' about
half as quick. They all'll be here in the mornin' hunkydory."
"You jes' bet they will," Bill affirmed. "If one of em' turns up
missin', I'll go without my coffee."