White Fang by Jack London

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The Project Gutenberg eBook, White Fang, by Jack London

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net

Title: White Fang

Author: Jack London

Release Date: March 16, 2005 [eBook #910]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-646-US (US-ASCII)


Transcribed from the 1915 Methuen and Co edition by David Price, email
ccx074@coventry.ac.uk. Additional proofing by Sara Schwager.




Dark spruce forest frowned on either side the frozen waterway. The trees
had been stripped by a recent wind of their white covering of frost, and
they seemed to lean towards each other, black and ominous, in the fading
light. A vast silence reigned over the land. The land itself was a
desolation, lifeless, without movement, so lone and cold that the spirit
of it was not even that of sadness. There was a hint in it of laughter,
but of a laughter more terrible than any sadness--a laughter that was
mirthless as the smile of the sphinx, a laughter cold as the frost and
partaking of the grimness of infallibility. It was the masterful and
incommunicable wisdom of eternity laughing at the futility of life and
the effort of life. It was the Wild, the savage, frozen-hearted
Northland Wild.

But there _was_ life, abroad in the land and defiant. Down the frozen
waterway toiled a string of wolfish dogs. Their bristly fur was rimed
with frost. Their breath froze in the air as it left their mouths,
spouting forth in spumes of vapour that settled upon the hair of their
bodies and formed into crystals of frost. Leather harness was on the
dogs, and leather traces attached them to a sled which dragged along
behind. The sled was without runners. It was made of stout birch-bark,
and its full surface rested on the snow. The front end of the sled was
turned up, like a scroll, in order to force down and under the bore of
soft snow that surged like a wave before it. On the sled, securely
lashed, was a long and narrow oblong box. There were other things on the
sled--blankets, an axe, and a coffee-pot and frying-pan; but prominent,
occupying most of the space, was the long and narrow oblong box.

In advance of the dogs, on wide snowshoes, toiled a man. At the rear of
the sled toiled a second man. On the sled, in the box, lay a third man
whose toil was over,--a man whom the Wild had conquered and beaten down
until he would never move nor struggle again. It is not the way of the
Wild to like movement. Life is an offence to it, for life is movement;
and the Wild aims always to destroy movement. It freezes the water to
prevent it running to the sea; it drives the sap out of the trees till
they are frozen to their mighty hearts; and most ferociously and terribly
of all does the Wild harry and crush into submission man--man who is the
most restless of life, ever in revolt against the dictum that all
movement must in the end come to the cessation of movement.

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Books | Photos | Paul Mutton | Thu 2nd Dec 2021, 4:12