The Reign Of Hate
Under the tutelage of the mad god, White Fang became a fiend. He was kept chained in a
pen at the rear of the fort, and here Beauty Smith teased and irritated and drove him wild
with petty torments. The man early discovered White Fang's susceptibility to laughter,
and made it a point after painfully tricking him, to laugh at him. This laughter was
uproarious and scornful, and at the same time the god pointed his finger derisively at
White Fang. At such times reason fled from White Fang, and in his transports of rage he
was even more mad than Beauty Smith.
Formerly, White Fang had been merely the enemy of his kind, withal a ferocious enemy.
He now became the enemy of all things, and more ferocious than ever. To such an extent
was he tormented, that he hated blindly and without the faintest spark of reason. He hated
the chain that bound him, the men who peered in at him through the slats of the pen, the
dogs that accompanied the men and that snarled malignantly at him in his helplessness.
He hated the very wood of the pen that confined him. And, first, last, and most of all, he
hated Beauty Smith.
But Beauty Smith had a purpose in all that he did to White Fang. One day a number of
men gathered about the pen. Beauty Smith entered, club in hand, and took the chain off
from White Fang's neck. When his master had gone out, White Fang turned loose and
tore around the pen, trying to get at the men outside. He was magnificently terrible. Fully
five feet in length, and standing two and one-half feet at the shoulder, he far outweighed a
wolf of corresponding size. From his mother he had inherited the heavier proportions of
the dog, so that he weighed, without any fat and without an ounce of superfluous flesh,
over ninety pounds. It was all muscle, bone, and sinew-fighting flesh in the finest
The door of the pen was being opened again. White Fang paused. Something unusual was
happening. He waited. The door was opened wider. Then a huge dog was thrust inside,
and the door was slammed shut behind him. White Fang had never seen such a dog (it
was a mastiff); but the size and fierce aspect of the intruder did not deter him. Here was
some thing, not wood nor iron, upon which to wreak his hate. He leaped in with a flash of
fangs that ripped down the side of the mastiff's neck. The mastiff shook his head, growled
hoarsely, and plunged at White Fang. But White Fang was here, there, and everywhere,
always evading and eluding, and always leaping in and slashing with his fangs and
leaping out again in time to escape punishment.
The men outside shouted and applauded, while Beauty Smith, in an ecstasy of delight,
gloated over the rippling and manging performed by White Fang. There was no hope for
the mastiff from the first. He was too ponderous and slow. In the end, while Beauty
Smith beat White Fang back with a club, the mastiff was dragged out by its owner. Then
there was a payment of bets, and money clinked in Beauty Smith's hand.