Baree, Son of Kazan by James Oliver Curwood


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Page 1

Perhaps rather tediously I have come to the few words I want to say
about Baree, the hero of this book. Baree, after all, is only another
Kazan. For it was Kazan I found in the way I have described--a bad dog,
a killer about to be shot to death by his master when chance, and my
own faith in him, gave him to me.

We traveled together for many thousands of miles through the
northland--on trails to the Barren Lands, to Hudson's Bay and to the
Arctic. Kazan--the bad dog, the half-wolf, the killer--was the best
four-legged friend I ever had. He died near Fort MacPherson, on the
Peel River, and is buried there. And Kazan was the father of Baree;
Gray Wolf, the full-blooded wolf, was his mother. Nepeese, the Willow,
still lives near God's Lake; and it was in the country of Nepeese and
her father that for three lazy months I watched the doings at Beaver
Town, and went on fishing trips with Wakayoo, the bear. Sometimes I
have wondered if old Beaver Tooth himself did not in some way
understand that I had made his colony safe for his people. It was
Pierrot's trapping ground; and to Pierrot--father of Nepeese--I gave my
best rifle on his word that he would not harm my beaver friends for two
years. And the people of Pierrot's breed keep their word. Wakayoo,
Baree's big bear friend, is dead. He was killed as I have described, in
that "pocket" among the ridges, while I was on a jaunt to Beaver Town.
We were becoming good friends and I missed him a great deal. The story
of Pierrot and of his princess wife, Wyola, is true; they are buried
side by side under the tall spruce that stood near their cabin.
Pierrot's murderer, instead of dying as I have told it, was killed in
his attempt to escape the Royal Mounted farther west. When I last saw
Baree he was at Lac Seul House, where I was the guest of Mr. William
Patterson, the factor; and the last word I heard from him was through
my good friend Frank Aldous, factor at White Dog Post, who wrote me
only a few weeks ago that he had recently seen Nepeese and Baree and
the husband of Nepeese, and that the happiness he found in their far
wilderness home made him regret that he was a bachelor. I feel sorry
for Aldous. He is a splendid young Englishman, unattached, and some day
I am going to try and marry him off. I have in mind someone at the
present moment--a fox-trapper's daughter up near the Barren, very
pretty, and educated at a missioner's school; and as Aldous is going
with me on my next trip I may have something to say about them in the
book that is to follow "Baree, Son of Kazan."

James Oliver Curwood

Owosso, Michigan


CHAPTER 1

To Baree, for many days after he was born, the world was a vast gloomy
cavern.

During these first days of his life his home was in the heart of a
great windfall where Gray Wolf, his blind mother, had found a safe nest
for his babyhood, and to which Kazan, her mate, came only now and then,
his eyes gleaming like strange balls of greenish fire in the darkness.
It was Kazan's eyes that gave to Baree his first impression of
something existing away from his mother's side, and they brought to him
also his discovery of vision. He could feel, he could smell, he could
hear--but in that black pit under the fallen timber he had never seen
until the eyes came. At first they frightened him; then they puzzled
him, and his fear changed to an immense curiosity. He would be looking
straight at them, when all at once they would disappear. This was when
Kazan turned his head. And then they would flash back at him again out
of the darkness with such startling suddenness that Baree would
involuntarily shrink closer to his mother, who always trembled and
shivered in a strange sort of way when Kazan came in.

Baree, of course, would never know their story. He would never know
that Gray Wolf, his mother, was a full-blooded wolf, and that Kazan,
his father, was a dog. In him nature was already beginning its
wonderful work, but it would never go beyond certain limitations. It
would tell him, in time, that his beautiful wolf mother was blind, but
he would never know of that terrible battle between Gray Wolf and the
lynx in which his mother's sight had been destroyed. Nature could tell
him nothing of Kazan's merciless vengeance, of the wonderful years of
their matehood, of their loyalty, their strange adventures in the great
Canadian wilderness--it could make him only a son of Kazan.

But at first, and for many days, it was all mother. Even after his eyes
had opened wide and he had found his legs so that he could stumble
about a little in the darkness, nothing existed for Baree but his
mother. When he was old enough to be playing with sticks and moss out
in the sunlight, he still did not know what she looked like. But to him
she was big and soft and warm, and she licked his face with her tongue,
and talked to him in a gentle, whimpering way that at last made him
find his own voice in a faint, squeaky yap.

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Books | Photos | Paul Mutton | Sun 19th May 2019, 17:18