The Call of the Wild (Paperback)

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Chapter I. Into the Primitive "Old longings nomadic leap, Chafing at custom's chain; Again from its brumal sleep Wakens the ferine strain."Buck did not read the newspapers, or he would have known that troublewas brewing, not alone for himself, but for every tide-water dog, strongof muscle and with warm, long hair, from Puget Sound to San Diego.Because men, groping in the Arctic darkness, had found a yellow metal, and because steamship and transportation companies were booming thefind, thousands of men were rushing into the Northland. These men wanteddogs, and the dogs they wanted were heavy dogs, with strong muscles bywhich to toil, and furry coats to protect them from the frost.Buck lived at a big house in the sun-kissed Santa Clara Valley. JudgeMiller's place, it was called. It stood back from the road, half hiddenamong the trees, through which glimpses could be caught of the widecool veranda that ran around its four sides. The house was approached bygravelled driveways which wound about through wide-spreading lawns andunder the interlacing boughs of tall poplars. At the rear things were oneven a more spacious scale than at the front. There were great stables, where a dozen grooms and boys held forth, rows of vine-clad servants'cottages, an endless and orderly array of outhouses, long grape arbors, green pastures, orchards, and berry patches. Then there was the pumpingplant for the artesian well, and the big cement tank where JudgeMiller's boys took their morning plunge and kept cool in the hotafternoon.And over this great demesne Buck ruled. Here he was born, and here hehad lived the four years of his life. It was true, there were otherdogs, There could not but be other dogs on so vast a place, but they didnot count. They came and went, resided in the populous kennels, or livedobscurely in the recesses of the house after the fashion of Toots, theJapanese pug, or Ysabel, the Mexican hairless, --strange creatures thatrarely put nose out of doors or set foot to ground. On the other hand, there were the fox terriers, a score of them at least, who yelpedfearful promises at Toots and Ysabel looking out of the windows at themand protected by a legion of housemaids armed with brooms and mops.But Buck was neither house-dog nor kennel-dog. The whole realm was his.He plunged into the swimming tank or went hunting with the Judge's sons;he escorted Mollie and Alice, the Judge's daughters, on long twilightor early morning rambles; on wintry nights he lay at the Judge's feetbefore the roaring library fire; he carried the Judge's grandsons on hisback, or rolled them in the grass, and guarded their footsteps throughwild adventures down to the fountain in the stable yard, and evenbeyond, where the paddocks were, and the berry patches. Among theterriers he stalked imperiously, and Toots and Ysabel he utterlyignored, for he was king, --king over all creeping, crawling, flyingthings of Judge Miller's place, humans included.His father, Elmo, a huge St. Bernard, had been the Judge's inseparablecompanion, and Buck bid fair to follow in the way of his father. He wasnot so large, --he weighed only one hundred and forty pounds, --for hismother, Shep, had been a Scotch shepherd dog. Nevertheless, one hundredand forty pounds, to which was added the dignity that comes of goodliving and universal respect, enabled him to carry himself in rightroyal fashion. During the four years since his puppyhood he had livedthe life of a sated aristocrat; he had a fine pride in himself, was evena trifle egotistical, as country gentlemen sometimes become because oftheir insular situation. But he had saved himself by not becoming a merepampered house-dog. Hunting and kindred outdoor delights had kept downthe fat and hardened his muscles; and to him, as to the cold-tubbingraces,

Product Details
ISBN: 9781792618109
ISBN-10: 1792618107
Publisher: Independently Published
Publication Date: December 24th, 2018
Pages: 56
Language: English