3. CHAPTER III - THE GOD'S DOMAIN
So Collie took advantage of her sex to pick upon White Fang and
maltreat him. His instinct would not permit him to attack her,
while her persistence would not permit him to ignore her. When she
rushed at him he turned his fur-protected shoulder to her sharp
teeth and walked away stiff-legged and stately. When she forced
him too hard, he was compelled to go about in a circle, his
shoulder presented to her, his head turned from her, and on his
face and in his eyes a patient and bored expression. Sometimes,
however, a nip on his hind-quarters hastened his retreat and made
it anything but stately. But as a rule he managed to maintain a
dignity that was almost solemnity. He ignored her existence
whenever it was possible, and made it a point to keep out of her
way. When he saw or heard her coming, he got up and walked off.
There was much in other matters for White Fang to learn. Life in
the Northland was simplicity itself when compared with the
complicated affairs of Sierra Vista. First of all, he had to learn
the family of the master. In a way he was prepared to do this. As
Mit-sah and Kloo-kooch had belonged to Grey Beaver, sharing his
food, his fire, and his blankets, so now, at Sierra Vista, belonged
to the love-master all the denizens of the house.
But in this matter there was a difference, and many differences.
Sierra Vista was a far vaster affair than the tepee of Grey Beaver.
There were many persons to be considered. There was Judge Scott,
and there was his wife. There were the master's two sisters, Beth
and Mary. There was his wife, Alice, and then there were his
children, Weedon and Maud, toddlers of four and six. There was no
way for anybody to tell him about all these people, and of blood-ties
and relationship he knew nothing whatever and never would be
capable of knowing. Yet he quickly worked it out that all of them
belonged to the master. Then, by observation, whenever opportunity
offered, by study of action, speech, and the very intonations of
the voice, he slowly learned the intimacy and the degree of favour
they enjoyed with the master. And by this ascertained standard,
White Fang treated them accordingly. What was of value to the
master he valued; what was dear to the master was to be cherished
by White Fang and guarded carefully.