2. CHAPTER II - THE LAIR
For two days the she-wolf and One Eye hung about the Indian camp.
He was worried and apprehensive, yet the camp lured his mate and
she was loath to depart. But when, one morning, the air was rent
with the report of a rifle close at hand, and a bullet smashed
against a tree trunk several inches from One Eye's head, they
hesitated no more, but went off on a long, swinging lope that put
quick miles between them and the danger.
They did not go far - a couple of days' journey. The she-wolf's
need to find the thing for which she searched had now become
imperative. She was getting very heavy, and could run but slowly.
Once, in the pursuit of a rabbit, which she ordinarily would have
caught with ease, she gave over and lay down and rested. One Eye
came to her; but when he touched her neck gently with his muzzle
she snapped at him with such quick fierceness that he tumbled over
backward and cut a ridiculous figure in his effort to escape her
teeth. Her temper was now shorter than ever; but he had become
more patient than ever and more solicitous.
And then she found the thing for which she sought. It was a few
miles up a small stream that in the summer time flowed into the
Mackenzie, but that then was frozen over and frozen down to its
rocky bottom - a dead stream of solid white from source to mouth.
The she-wolf was trotting wearily along, her mate well in advance,
when she came upon the overhanging, high clay-bank. She turned
aside and trotted over to it. The wear and tear of spring storms
and melting snows had underwashed the bank and in one place had
made a small cave out of a narrow fissure.