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Chapter Seven - Part Three

He is smart like a wolf, and cunning, too. He is formidable and carnivorous, his body overflowing with virility. Thornton notices the almost magnetic energy that Buck possesses, the result of his every sense becoming alert to the highest pitch. He has lightning-fast reflexes, and twice the quickness of any other dog. He can survey a situation and respond to it instantaneously. His life pours out with energy. Thornton realizes that there has never been a dog such as Buck. The master, however, does not even get to see the Buck that emerges once he steps foot in the forest. This Buck is wilder, softer, more like a shadow than an object. He knows how to stalk, how to take advantage of the natural cover around him, and how to harness his innate hunting skills. No animal is too quick for him. With the arrival of fall comes moose, and they are not immune to Buck's skill. One day, Buck comes across a band of twenty moose, with one large bull moose commanding it. The animal stands over six feet tall, by far the most menacing animal Buck has ever taken on. The animal roars at Buck, already angered by the hunter's arrow piercing its flank. Buck uses his hunting instincts to cut the bull off from the rest of the group, which is not an easy task. It involves patience, a virtue that Buck possesses to an amazing extent. He stalks the bull for half a day, wearing out the patience of the group, and cutting down his victim's defenses. As twilight falls, the moose is alone, having been abandoned by its group, and Buck continues his assault. The bull moose is a strong animal, having mastered the group, fathered many calves, and wandering far, but, in the end, he meets his death by the jaws of an animal less than half his size. Buck refuses to leave his prey alone, stalking him day and night. He plays with the animal, loping behind him as he flees, and watching his every move with the deepest intensity. The moose becomes more and more tired, less and less able to put up a fight. As the animal weakens, Buck senses a deeper change, the pulse of nature now flowing freely through him.
At the end of the fourth day, he succeeds in killing the animal. He remains by the kill for over a day, eating and resting, and returns to camp stronger. As he heads to camp, he again takes note of the change in the land around him. He is more aware of his surroundings, of the songs the birds make and the scent the air brings. Close to camp, he proceeds with caution. Three miles from camp, he picks up a fresh scent, and his hair bristles. The trail leads him straight to camp, and John Thornton. He smells what has taken place. First, he finds Nig, lying on his side with an arrow protruding from his body. A bit farther on, he comes across another one of the sled dogs, writhing in pain. He passes the dog with hardly a look, and continues into camp, looking for his beloved master. Buck detects the faint sound of chanting, and comes across Hans, riddled with arrows. Peering around a tree, his heart jumps, and he is, for the last time, overcome by passion. He growls aloud without even knowing it.
The Yeehats are dancing, celebrating their kill. Buck, overcome by fury, springs at the first one he can touch, ripping open his throat and initiating a flowing spout of blood. He then goes at a second, and a third, making his way through the group, oblivious to their arrows. So chaotic is the situation that the Indians end up shooting each other, and with a force strong enough to break off the arrows in their brothers' bodies. This turn of events scares the Yeehats, and they run off into the woods, fearing Buck is the Evil Spirit.

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Historical Context
Main Characters
Points to Ponder
Did You Know
Plot Summary
Chapter One - Part One
Chapter One - Part Two
Chapter Two - Part One
Chapter Two - Part Two
Chapter Three - Part One
Chapter Three - Part Two
Chapter Four - Part One
Chapter Four - Part Two
Chapter Five - Part One
Chapter Five - Part Two
Chapter Five - Part Three
Chapter Five - Part Four
Chapter Six - Part One
Chapter Six - Part Two
Chapter Six - Part Three
Chapter Six - Part Four
Chapter Seven - Part One
Chapter Seven - Part Two
Chapter Seven - Part Three
Chapter Seven - Part Four



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