4. CHAPTER IV - THE CALL OF KIND
The months came and went. There was plenty of food and no work in
the Southland, and White Fang lived fat and prosperous and happy.
Not alone was he in the geographical Southland, for he was in the
Southland of life. Human kindness was like a sun shining upon him,
and he flourished like a flower planted in good soil.
And yet he remained somehow different from other dogs. He knew the
law even better than did the dogs that had known no other life, and
he observed the law more punctiliously; but still there was about
him a suggestion of lurking ferocity, as though the Wild still
lingered in him and the wolf in him merely slept.
He never chummed with other dogs. Lonely he had lived, so far as
his kind was concerned, and lonely he would continue to live. In
his puppyhood, under the persecution of Lip-lip and the puppy-pack,
and in his fighting days with Beauty Smith, he had acquired a fixed
aversion for dogs. The natural course of his life had been
diverted, and, recoiling from his kind, he had clung to the human.
Besides, all Southland dogs looked upon him with suspicion. He
aroused in them their instinctive fear of the Wild, and they
greeted him always with snarl and growl and belligerent hatred.
He, on the other hand, learned that it was not necessary to use his
teeth upon them. His naked fangs and writhing lips were uniformly
efficacious, rarely failing to send a bellowing on-rushing dog back
on its haunches.
But there was one trial in White Fang's life - Collie. She never
gave him a moment's peace. She was not so amenable to the law as
he. She defied all efforts of the master to make her become
friends with White Fang. Ever in his ears was sounding her sharp
and nervous snarl. She had never forgiven him the chicken-killing
episode, and persistently held to the belief that his intentions
were bad. She found him guilty before the act, and treated him
accordingly. She became a pest to him, like a policeman following
him around the stable and the hounds, and, if he even so much as
glanced curiously at a pigeon or chicken, bursting into an outcry
of indignation and wrath. His favourite way of ignoring her was to
lie down, with his head on his fore-paws, and pretend sleep. This
always dumfounded and silenced her.