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Chapter Seven - Part Two

One night, he awakens with a start, again hearing the familiar call from the forest. The call, however, is at once familiar and foreign, a long howling unlike any sound he has ever heard. Just as always, he springs up, runs from the camp, and heads toward the woods. The sound is new, yet Buck knows he has heard it before. Eventually, he comes to a clearing, and in the middle, he sees a lone wolf, howling at the moon. Though he is silent, the wolf detects Buck's presence. Buck ventures out into the open, crouching, stalking, carefully making his way to the wild beast. He assumes a stature of both friendliness and menace. Upon seeing Buck, the wolf flees. Buck follows, and the wolf whirls around, snapping and bristling at his counterpart. Buck does not attack, but continues his mix of friendly overture and threat. The wolf, the smaller of the two, runs in fear, and again Buck follows. The same confrontation and retreat repeats itself several times. Finally, the wolf realizes that Buck is not out to do him harm, and sniffs noses with the dog. They then become friendly, and start to play. The wolf leads Buck away, and the dog follows, hour after hour, wildly glad to have his new friendship. He somehow remembers doing this before, and recalls wilder days, running wild in the open, with nothing but the sky overhead and the ground beneath his feet.
When they stop at a stream to drink, Buck remembers John Thornton. He stops and sits, and the wolf sniffles at him, urging him on. Buck, however, turns around and starts back toward his master. For an hour or so, the wolf follows at his side, whining. Finally, he sits down and lets out a mournful howl, a howl that echoes as Buck moves farther and farther away from it.
Buck finally makes it back to camp, and John Thornton is eating dinner. The dog smothers him with affection, and for two days refuses to leave the camp, or to let his master out of his sight. After two days, however, the call begins to pull at him again, and he is haunted by the memory of his wild brother. He begins venturing out in the woods again, but does not hear the mournful howl anymore. He starts spending days at a time in the woods, sleeping away from the camp, searching for his wild brother. For a week he searches, killing his food along the way. At one point, he kills a black bear, which arouses the ferocity in Buck that has been hidden for so long. When wolverines come in to take his kill, he scatters them and kills two; his blood-longing has reached its full height. He is now a killer, and is proud of this fact. He has learned to survive in the wild. He does, in fact, look more like a wolf than a dog, and could easily be mistaken for his wild brother. He is large like his St. Bernard father, but very wolf-like, like his shepherd mother. The combination gives him the appearance of a massive wolf.

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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