He knew that young and old wolves were there, that the hounds had separated into two packs, that somewhere a wolf
was being chased, and that something had gone wrong.
"For a wolf, no," said Tabaqui, "but for so mean a person as myself a dry bone is a good feast.
Directly in front of him, holding on by a low branch, stood a naked brown baby who could just walk--as soft and as dimpled a little atom as ever came to a wolf's cave at night.
A Wolf accustomed to moving his own cubs can, if necessary, mouth an egg without breaking it, and though Father Wolf's jaws closed right on the child's back not a tooth even scratched the skin as he laid it down among the cubs.
Then I looked at my wounds; they were not deep, for the leather bag had saved me, yet I feel them to this hour, for there is poison in the mouth of a wolf. Presently I glanced up, and saw that the she-wolf had found her feet again, and stood as though unhurt; for this is the nature of these ghosts, Umslopogaas, that, though they fight continually, they cannot destroy each other.
Then I heard a wolf howl on my right, and from the left came answering howls, and these, again, were answered by others in front of and behind me.
"For a moment I stood thinking, then I lifted up my voice and howled like a wolf, and lo!
When ye fight with a Wolf
of the Pack, ye must fight him alone and afar, Lest others take part in the quarrel, and the Pack be diminished by war.
His two dogs stayed close by him, one on either side, leaning against him for protection, crying and whimpering, and at times snarling desperately when a wolf approached a little closer than usual.
Bit by bit, an inch at a time, with here a wolf bellying forward, and there a wolf bellying forward, the circle would narrow until the brutes were almost within springing distance.
As he gave up and stumbled inside his circle, a wolf leaped for him, missed, and landed with all four feet in the coals.
From the thicket-covered hillside came a crashing of underbrush, and then, forty feet above them, on the edge of the sheer wall of rock, appeared a wolf
's head and shoulders.