3. CHAPTER III - THE HUNGER CRY
Once he awakened, and in an opening in the circle, directly in
front of him, he saw the she-wolf gazing at him.
Again he awakened, a little later, though it seemed hours to him.
A mysterious change had taken place - so mysterious a change that
he was shocked wider awake. Something had happened. He could not
understand at first. Then he discovered it. The wolves were gone.
Remained only the trampled snow to show how closely they had
pressed him. Sleep was welling up and gripping him again, his head
was sinking down upon his knees, when he roused with a sudden
There were cries of men, and churn of sleds, the creaking of
harnesses, and the eager whimpering of straining dogs. Four sleds
pulled in from the river bed to the camp among the trees. Half a
dozen men were about the man who crouched in the centre of the
dying fire. They were shaking and prodding him into consciousness.
He looked at them like a drunken man and maundered in strange,
"Red she-wolf. . . . Come in with the dogs at feedin' time. . . .
First she ate the dog-food. . . . Then she ate the dogs. . . . An'
after that she ate Bill. . . . "
"Where's Lord Alfred?" one of the men bellowed in his ear, shaking
He shook his head slowly. "No, she didn't eat him. . . . He's
roostin' in a tree at the last camp."
"Dead?" the man shouted.
"An' in a box," Henry answered. He jerked his shoulder petulantly
away from the grip of his questioner. "Say, you lemme alone. . . .
I'm jes' plump tuckered out. . . . Goo' night, everybody."
His eyes fluttered and went shut. His chin fell forward on his
chest. And even as they eased him down upon the blankets his
snores were rising on the frosty air.
But there was another sound. Far and faint it was, in the remote
distance, the cry of the hungry wolf-pack as it took the trail of
other meat than the man it had just missed.