Who Has Won to Mastership
This was Francois's speech next morning when he discovered Spitz missing and Buck covered with wounds. He drew him to the fire and by its light pointed them out.
"Dat Spitz fight like hell," said Perrault, as he surveyed the gaping rips and cuts.
"An' dat Buck fight like two hells," was Francois's answer. "And now we make good time. No more Spitz, no more trouble, sure."
While Perrault packed the camp outfit and loaded the sled, the dog-driver proceeded to harness the dogs. Buck trotted up to the place Spitz would have occupied as leader; but Francois, not noticing him, brought Sol-leks to the coveted position. In his judgment, Sol-leks was the best lead-dog left. Buck sprang upon Sol-leks in a fury, driving him back and standing in his place.
"Eh? Eh?" Francois cried, slapping his thighs gleefully. "Look at dat Buck. Him kill dat Spitz, him think to take de job."
"Go 'way, Hook!" he cried, but Buck refused to budge.
He took Buck by the scruff of the neck, and though the dog growled threateningly, dragged him to one side and replaced Sol-leks. The old dog did not like it, and showed plainly that he was afraid of Buck. Francois was obdurate, but when he turned his back, Buck again displaced Sol-leks, who was not at all unwilling to go.
Francois was angry. "Now, by Gar, I fix you!" he cried, coming back with a heavy club in his hand.