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Chapter Seven - Part One

By earning sixteen hundred dollars for his master, Buck enables Thornton to pay off several debts and to head for the East, in search of a mine. Many men have sought this mine, few have found it, and many have never returned from their search. The mine itself is steeped in mystery. A cabin supposedly stands near it, and it for this cabin that the group searches, hoping to find the mythical mine. The gold from this mine is unlike any other gold in the North.
With this mysterious, perhaps deadly, goal in mind, Pete, Hans, Thornton, Buck, and six other dogs head east. John Thornton loads the sled with mainly ammunition and tools, confident enough in his skills of the wild to rely on them for food. Buck finds the experience utterly delightful - he cherishes the hunting, fishing, and wandering. For weeks the group travels about, camping here and there, and though they sometimes go hungry, often they enjoy feasts from their hunts. With the arrival of summer, the group carries packs on their backs, and rafts down rivers in the forest. For months they wander, with no sight of the mythical cabin. A year passes, with the seasons spent in bliss. At one point, in the winter, they come across an ancient path, and feel that the cabin is near, but the dwelling remains elusive. Another time, they come across an old hunting lodge, but it, too, proves not to be the Lost Cabin.
Spring arrives, and the group comes across a broad valley where the gold is abundant. Their search ends. Each day, they sift through thousands of dollars in gold dust and nuggets, and pile the gold into fifty-pound stacks. They toil and dream, and enjoy themselves the entire time. The dogs have little to do other than haul in meat from the kills Thornton occasionally makes. Buck spends most his time lying around by the fire, and he often remembers the other world in which he lived in, the world so different from the life he now leads. Buck is almost haunted by these dreams, waking up with a start, and recalling the visions of the short-legged hairy man. In his dreams, he travels with the hairy man through the forest and on the shore. Both of them are alert, their ears twitching and their nostrils quivering. The hairy man swings from tree to tree, as home in the boughs as he is on the ground. Buck remembers sleeping in the trees with this man, holding on tightly as he rested.
Close to these dreams is the call Buck still hears from the forest. It fills him with desire, and a wild yearning that he cannot discern. Often, he follows this call into the wild, searching around for a tangible thing, hunting for the object of his desire, though he knows not what that desire is for. He is impelled to follow the call, but does not know why. In fact, he cannot explain his actions at all. The impulses seize him at odd moments - in the middle of the day, when he leaps up in the hot midday sun and goes running across open spaces to the woods and the underbrush, and in the summer twilight, when he loves to listen to the sleepy murmurs of the forest as it calls to him.

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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