"I'll have to take 'm ashore with me."
Matt made a couple of steps toward White Fang, but the latter slid away from him. The dog–musher made a rush of it, and White Fang dodged between the legs of a group of men. Ducking, turning, doubling, he slid about the deck, eluding the other's efforts to capture him.
But when the love–master spoke, White Fang came to him with prompt obedience.
"Won't come to the hand that's fed 'm all these months," the dog–musher muttered resentfully. "And you––you ain't never fed 'm after them first days of gettin' acquainted. I'm blamed if I can see how he works it out that you're the boss."
Scott, who had been patting White Fang, suddenly bent closer and pointed out fresh–made cuts on his muzzle, and a gash between the eyes.
Matt bent over and passed his hand along White Fang's belly.
"We plumb forgot the window. He's all cut an' gouged underneath. Must 'a' butted clean through it, b'gosh!"
But Weedon Scott was not listening. He was thinking rapidly. The Aurora's whistle hooted a final announcement of departure. Men were scurrying down the gang–plank to the shore. Matt loosened the bandana from his own neck and started to put it around White Fang's. Scott grasped the dog–musher's hand.
"Good–bye, Matt, old man. About the wolf––you needn't write. You see, I've . . . !"