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Chapter Four - Part Two

Under their new master, the dogs toil heavily each day. Buck maintains pride in his work, and makes sure that his team does, as well. Despite being joined by other teams, the dogs find that their days become routine and monotonous. At night, only a few fights break out, and Buck proves himself to be master over all. Buck loves to lie by the fire and reminisce, and he thinks sometimes of life at Judge Miller's house back in Santa Clara Valley. More often, though, he thinks about his life since being taken from his home and landing in the Arctic. He thinks about the man in the red sweater, and Curly, and Spitz, and what he would like to eat but never can. He is not homesick. He imagines that he sees other fires, and other men. The men he pictures are hunched, hairy, and almost Neanderthal, the masters of his ancestors. He sees predators, great beast of prey, in these dreams, as well, and they make the hair on his back stand on end. His soft, sleepy growls cause the men to wake him, and he is instantly jolted back to reality.
Upon reaching Dawson, the dogs are overworked, underweight, and tired. Nevertheless, they are back on the trail within two days with a new load. Though the men do their best to care for the dogs, they remain tired and irritable. Buck tries to keep the dogs on track and in good spirits, but he is as tired as they are, and finds it hard to keep going. While most of the dogs whimper and become sour, Dave is the worst, having become very sick. He does not get up for dinner, and often cries out in pain. Though the men cannot find any broken bones or any other problems, Dave continues to cry out. Something is very wrong with the animal. Dave falls several times, and they decide to take him out of the harness to run freely alongside the team. Proud of his place in the team, though, he is resentful of being removed, and whimpers, angered. He attacks Sol-leks, who has taken his place, all the while crying out in embarrassment and pride. The driver lightly hits him with his whip, but Dave pays no attention. He flounders in the deep snow, but manages to make it to the next stop. When the drivers attempt to get started again, they are stunned to find that the sled does not follow behind the team. They discover that Dave has eaten through Sol-leks' traces, and is standing in his former position. He uses his sad, tired eyes to plead with them to let him stay. They decide to harness him in again, realizing that it is best to let him die with pride. He works hard, falls several times, and cries out several times. He makes it to camp, but by morning is too weak to walk. He drags himself to the team, but cannot stand up. Gasping and still trying to stand, Dave remains in the snow as the team leaves. They hear his howls until they pass out of sight, where the driver halts the sled. The driver retraces his steps to the camp and fires a shot. He returns to the sled, and they start off, but all the dogs know what happened just out of their sight.

Browse all book notes

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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