Nomads Of The North
James Oliver Curwood
Part 4 out of 4
for us many times, and soon the black winter will swallow us up
His eyes shifted slowly, and then they rested on the scarp of the
ridge that shut out his vision. His heart gave a sudden thump in
his body. His pipe fell from his mouth to his hand; and he stared
without moving, stared like a thing of rock.
On a flat sunlit shelf not more than eighty or ninety yards away
stood a young black bear. In the warm glow of the sunlight the
bear's spring coat shone like polished jet. But it was not the
sudden appearance of the bear that amazed Meshaba. It was the fact
that another animal was standing shoulder to shoulder with
Wakayoo, and that it was not a brother bear, but a huge wolf.
Slowly one of his thin hands rose to his eyes and he wiped away
what he thought must surely be a strange something that was
fooling his vision. In all his eighty years and odd he had never
known a wolf to be thus friendly with a bear. Nature had made them
enemies. Nature had fore-doomed their hatred to be the deepest
hatred of the forests. Therefore, for a space, Meshaba doubted his
eyes. But in another moment he saw that the miracle had truly come
to pass. For the wolf turned broadside to him and it WAS a wolf! A
huge, big-boned beast that stood as high at the shoulders as
Wakayoo, the bear; a great beast, with a great head, and--
It was then that Meshaba's heart gave another thump, for the tail
of a wolf is big and bushy in the springtime, and the tail of this
beast was as bare of hair as a beaver's tail!
"Ohne moosh!" gasped Meshaba, under his breath--"a dog!"
He seemed to draw slowly into himself, slinking backward. His
rifle stood just out of reach on the other side of the rock.
At the other end of that eighty or ninety yards Neewa and Miki
stood blinking in the bright sunlight, with the mouth of the
cavern in which Neewa had slept so many months just behind them.
Miki was puzzled. Again it seemed to him that it was only
yesterday, and not months ago, that he had left Neewa in that den,
sleeping his lazy head off. And now that he had returned to him
after his own hard winter in the forests he was astonished to find
Neewa so big. For Neewa had grown steadily through his four
months' nap and he was half again as big as when he went to sleep.
Could Miki have spoken Cree, and had Meshaba given him the
opportunity, he might have explained the situation.
"You see, Mr. Indian"--he might have said--"this dub of a bear and
I have been pals from just about the time we were born. A man
named Challoner tied us together first when Neewa, there, was just
about as big as your head, and we did a lot of scrapping before we
got properly acquainted. Then we got lost, and after that we
hitched up like brothers; and we had a lot of fun and excitement
all through last summer, until at last, when the cold weather
came, Neewa hunted up this hole in the ground and the lazy cuss
went to sleep for all winter. I won't mention what happened to me
during the winter. It was a-plenty. So this spring I had a hunch
it was about time for Neewa to get the cobwebs out of his fool
head, and came back. And--here we are! But tell me this: WHAT
MAKES NEEWA SO BIG?"
It was at least that thought--the bigness of Neewa--that was
filling Miki's head at the present moment. And Meshaba, in place
of listening to an explanation, was reaching for his rifle--while
Neewa, with his brown muzzle sniffing the wind, was gathering in a
strange smell. Of the three, Neewa saw nothing to be wondered at
in the situation itself. When he had gone to sleep four and a half
months ago Miki was at his side; and to-day, when he awoke, Miki
was still at his side. The four and a half months meant nothing to
him. Many times he and Miki had gone to sleep, and had awakened
together. For all the knowledge he had of time it might have been
only last night that he had fallen asleep.
The one thing that made Neewa uneasy now was that strange odour he
had caught in the air. Instinctively he seized upon it as a
menace--at least as something that he would rather NOT smell than
smell. So he turned away with a warning WOOF to Miki. When Meshaba
peered around the edge of the rock, expecting an easy shot, he
caught only a flash of the two as they were disappearing. He fired
To Miki and Neewa the report of the rifle and the moaning whirr of
the bullet over their backs recalled memories of a host of things,
and Neewa settled down to that hump-backed, flat-eared flight of
his that kept Miki pegging along at a brisk pace for at least a
mile. Then Neewa stopped, puffing audibly. Inasmuch as he had had
nothing to eat for a third of a year, and was weak from long
inactivity, the run came within an ace of putting him out of
business. It was several minutes before he could gather his wind
sufficiently to grunt. Miki, meanwhile, was carefully smelling of
him from his rump to his muzzle. There was apparently nothing
missing, for he gave a delighted little yap at the end, and, in
spite of his size and the dignity of increased age, he began
frisking about Neewa In a manner emphatically expressive of his
joy at his comrade's awakening.
"It's been a deuce of a lonely winter, Neewa, and I'm tickled to
death to see you on your feet again," his antics said. "What'll we
do? Go for a hunt?"
This seemed to be the thought in Neewa's mind, for he headed
straight up the valley until they came to an open fen where he
proceeded to quest about for a dinner of roots and grass; and as
he searched he grunted--grunted in his old, companionable, cubbish
way. And Miki, hunting with him, found that once more the
loneliness had gone out of his world.
To Miki and Neewa, especially Neewa, there seemed nothing
extraordinary in the fact that they were together again, and that
their comradeship was resumed. Although during his months of
hibernation Neewa's body had grown, his mind had not changed its
memories or its pictures. It had not passed through a mess of
stirring events such as had made the winter a thrilling one for
Miki, and so it was Neewa who accepted the new situation most
casually. He went on feeding as if nothing at all unusual had
happened during the past four months, and after the edge had gone
from his first hunger he fell into his old habit of looking to
Miki for leadership. And Miki fell into the old ways as though
only a day or a week and not four months had lapsed in their
brotherhood. It is possible that he tried mightily to tell Neewa
what had happened. At least he must have had that desire--to let
him know in what a strange way he had found his old master,
Challoner, and how he had lost him again. And also how he found
the woman, Nanette, and the little baby Nanette, and how for a
long time he had lived with them and loved them as he had never
loved anything else on earth.
It was the old cabin, far to the north and east, that drew him
now--the cabin in which Nanette and the baby had lived; and it was
toward this cabin that he lured Neewa during the first two weeks
of their hunting. They did not travel quickly, largely because of
Neewa's voracious spring appetite and the fact that it consumed
nine tenths of his waking hours to keep full on such provender as
roots and swelling buds and grass. During the first week Miki grew
either hopeless or disgusted in his hunting. One day he killed
five rabbits and Neewa ate four of them and grunted piggishly for
If Miki had stood amazed and appalled at Neewa's appetite in the
days of their cubhood and puppyhood a year ago, he was more than
astounded now, for in the matter of food Neewa was a bottomless
pit. On the other hand he was jollier than ever, and in their
wrestling matches he was almost more than a match for Miki, being
nearly again as heavy. He very soon acquired the habit of taking
advantage of this superiority of weight, and at unexpected moments
he would hop on Miki and pin him to the ground, his fat body
smothering him like a huge soft cushion, and his arms holding him
until at times Miki could scarcely squirm. Now and then, hugging
him in this embrace, he would roll over and over, both of them
snarling and growling as though in deadly combat. This play,
though he was literally the under dog, delighted Miki until one
day they rolled over the edge of a deep ravine and crashed in a
dog-and-bear avalanche to the bottom. After that, for a long time,
Neewa did not roll with his victim. Whenever Miki wanted to end a
bout, however, all he had to do was to give Neewa a sharp nip with
his long fangs and the bear would uncoil himself and hop to his
feet like a spring. He had a most serious respect for Miki's
But Miki's greatest moments of joy were where Neewa stood up man-
fashion. Then was a real tussle. And his greatest hours of disgust
were when Neewa stretched himself out in a tree for a nap.
It was the beginning of the third week before they came one day to
the cabin. There was no change in it, and Miki's body sagged
disconsolately as he and Neewa looked at it from the edge of the
clearing. No smoke, no sign of life, and the window was broken
now--probably by an inquisitive bear or a wolverine. Miki went to
the window and stood up to it, sniffing inside. The SMELL was
still there--so faint that he could only just detect it. But that
was all. The big room was empty except for the stove, a table and
a few bits of rude furniture. All else was gone. Three or four
times during the next half hour Miki stood up at the window, and
at last Neewa--urged by his curiosity--did likewise. He also
detected the faint odour that was left in the cabin. He sniffed at
it for a long time. It was like the smell he had caught the day he
came out of his den--and yet different. It was fainter, more
elusive, and not so unpleasant.
For a month thereafter Miki insisted on hunting in the vicinity of
the cabin, held there by the "pull" of the thing which he could
neither analyze nor quite understand. Neewa accepted the situation
good-naturedly for a time. Then he lost patience and surrendered
himself to a grouch for three whole days during which he wandered
at his own sweet will. To preserve the alliance Miki was compelled
to follow him. Berry time--early July--found them sixty miles
north and west of the cabin, in the edge of the country where
Neewa was born.
But there were few berries that summer of bebe nak um geda (the
summer of drought and fire). As early as the middle of July a
thin, gray film began to hover in palpitating waves over the
forests. For three weeks there had been no rain. Even the nights
were hot and dry. Each day the factors at their posts looked out
with anxious eyes over their domains, and by the first of August
every post had a score of halfbreeds and Indians patrolling the
trails on the watch for fire. In their cabins and teepees the
forest dwellers who had not gone to pass the summer at the posts
waited and watched; each morning and noon and night they climbed
tall trees and peered through that palpitating gray film for a
sign of smoke. For weeks the wind came steadily from the south and
west, parched as though swept over the burning sands of a desert.
Berries dried up on the bushes; the fruit of the mountain ash
shriveled on its stems; creeks ran dry; swamps turned into baked
peat, and the poplar leaves hung wilted and lifeless, too limp to
rustle in the breeze. Only once or twice in a lifetime does the
forest dweller see poplar leaves curl up and die like that, baked
to death in the summer sun. It is Kiskewahoon (the Danger Signal).
Not only the warning of possible death in a holocaust of fire, but
the omen of poor hunting and trapping in the winter to come.
Miki and Neewa were in a swamp country when the fifth of August
came. In the lowland it was sweltering. Neewa's tongue hung from
his mouth, and Miki was panting as they made their way along a
black and sluggish stream that was like a great ditch and as dead
as the day itself. There was no visible sun, but a red and lurid
glow filled the sky--the sun struggling to fight its way through
the smothering film that had grown thicker over the earth. Because
they were in a "pocket"--a sweep of tangled country lower than the
surrounding country--Neewa and Miki were not caught in this
blackening cloud. Five miles away they might have heard the
thunder of cloven hoofs and the crash of heavy bodies in their
flight before the deadly menace of fire. As it was they made their
way slowly through the parched swamp, so that it was midday when
they came out of the edge of it and up through a green fringe of
timber to the top of a ridge. Before this hour neither had passed
through the horror of a forest fire. But it seized upon them now.
It needed no past experience. The cumulative instinct of a
thousand generations leapt through their brains and bodies. Their
world was in the grip of Iskootao (the Fire Devil). To the south
and the east and the west it was buried in a pall like the
darkness of night, and out of the far edge of the swamp through
which they had come they caught the first livid spurts of flame.
From that direction, now that they were out of the "pocket," they
felt a hot wind, and with that wind came a dull and rumbling roar
that was like the distant moaning of a cataract. They waited, and
watched, struggling to get their bearings, their minds fighting
for a few moments in the gigantic process of changing instinct
into reasoning and understanding. Neewa, being a bear, was
afflicted with the near-sightedness of his breed, and he could see
neither the black tornado of smoke bearing down upon them nor the
flames leaping out of the swamp. But he could SMELL, and his nose
was twisted into a hundred wrinkles, and even ahead of Miki he was
ready for flight. But Miki, whose vision was like a hawk's, stood
as if fascinated.
The roaring grew more distinct. It seemed on all sides of them.
But it was from the south that there came the first storm of ash
rushing noiselessly ahead of the fire, and after that the smoke.
It was then that Miki turned with a strange whine but it was Neewa
now who took the lead--Neewa, whose forebears had ten thousand
times run this same wild race with death in the centuries since
their world was born. He did not need the keenness of far vision
now. He KNEW. He knew what was behind, and what was on either
side, and where the one trail to safety lay; and in the air he
felt and smelled the thing that was death. Twice Miki made efforts
to swing their course into the east, but Neewa would have none of
it. With flattened ears he went on NORTH. Three times Miki stopped
to turn and face the galloping menace behind them, but never for
an instant did Neewa pause. Straight on--NORTH, NORTH, NORTH--
north to the higher lands, the big waters, the open plains.
They were not alone. A caribou sped past them with the swiftness
of the wind itself. "FAST, FAST, FAST!"--Neewa's instinct cried;
"but--ENDURE! For the caribou, speeding even faster than the fire,
will fall of exhaustion shortly and be eaten up by the flames.
And steadily, stoically, at his loping gait Neewa led on.
A bull moose swung half across their trail from the west, wind-
gone and panting as though his throat were cut. He was badly
burned, and running blindly into the eastern wall of fire.
Behind and on either side, where the flames were rushing on with
the pitiless ferocity of hunnish regiments, the harvest of death
was a vast and shuddering reality. In hollow logs, under
windfalls, in the thick tree-tops, and in the earth itself, the
smaller things of the wilderness sought their refuge--and died.
Rabbits became leaping balls of flame, then lay shrivelled and
black; the marten were baked in their trees; fishers and mink and
ermine crawled into the deepest corners of the windfalls and died
there by inches; owls fluttered out of their tree-tops, staggered
for a few moments in the fiery air, and fell down into the heart
of the flame. No creature made a sound--except the porcupines; and
as they died they cried like little children.
In the green spruce and cedar timber, heavy with the pitch that
made their thick tops spurt into flame like a sea of explosive,
the fire rushed on with a tremendous roar. From it--in a straight
race--there was no escape for man or beast. Out of that world of
conflagration there might have risen one great, yearning cry to
heaven: WATER--WATER--WATER! Wherever there was water there was
also hope--and life. Breed and blood and wilderness feuds were
forgotten in the great hour of peril. Every lake became a haven of
To such a lake came Neewa, guided by an unerring instinct and
sense of smell sharpened by the rumble and roar of the storm of
fire behind him. Miki had "lost" himself; his senses were dulled;
his nostrils caught no scent but that of a world in flames--so,
blindly, he followed his comrade. The fire was enveloping the lake
along its western shore, and its water was already thickly
tenanted. It was not a large lake, and almost round. Its diameter
was not more than two hundred yards. Farther out--a few of them
swimming, but most of them standing on bottom with only their
heads out of water--were a score of caribou and moose. Many other
shorter-legged creatures were swimming aimlessly, turning this way
and that, paddling their feet only enough to keep afloat. On the
shore where Neewa and Miki paused was a huge porcupine, chattering
and chuckling foolishly, as if scolding all things in general for
having disturbed him at dinner. Then he took to the water. A
little farther up the shore a fisher-cat and a fox hugged close to
the water line, hesitating to wet their precious fur until death
itself snapped at their heels; and as if to bring fresh news of
this death a second fox dragged himself wearily out on the shore,
as limp as a wet rag after his swim from the opposite shore, where
the fire was already leaping in a wall of flame. And as this fox
swam in, hoping to find safety, an old bear twice as big as Neewa,
crashed panting from the undergrowth, plunged into the water, and
swam OUT. Smaller things were creeping and crawling and slinking
along the shore; little red-eyed ermine, marten, and mink,
rabbits, squirrels, and squeaking gophers, and a horde of mice.
And at last, with these things which he would have devoured so
greedily running about him, Neewa waded slowly out into the water.
Miki followed until he was submerged to his shoulders. Then he
stopped. The fire was close now, advancing like a race-horse. Over
the protecting barrier of thick timber drove the clouds of smoke
and ash. Swiftly the lake became obliterated, and now out of that
awful chaos of blackness and smoke and heat there rose strange and
thrilling cries; the bleating of a moose calf that was doomed to
die and the bellowing, terror-filled response of its mother; the
agonized howling of a wolf; the terrified barking of a fox, and
over all else the horrible screaming of a pair of loons whose home
had been transformed into a sea of flame.
Through the thickening smoke and increasing heat Neewa gave his
call to Miki as he began to swim, and with an answering whine Miki
plunged after him, swimming so close to his big black brother that
his muzzle touched the other's flank. In mid-lake Neewa did as the
other swimming creatures were doing--paddled only enough to keep
himself afloat; but for Miki, big of bone and unassisted by a
life-preserver of fat, the struggle was not so easy. He was forced
to swim to keep afloat. A dozen times he circled around Neewa, and
then, with something of the situation driven upon him, he came up
close to the bear and rested his forepaws on his shoulders.
The lake was now encircled by a solid wall of fire. Blasts of
flame shot up the pitch-laden trees and leapt for fifty feet into
the blistering air. The roar of the conflagration was deafening.
It drowned all sound that brute agony and death may have made. And
its heat was terrific. For a few terrible minutes the air which
Miki drew into his lungs was like fire itself. Neewa plunged his
head under water every few seconds, but it was not Miki's instinct
to do this. Like the wolf and the fox and the fisher-cat and the
lynx it was his nature to die before completely submerging
Swift as it had come the fire passed; and the walls of timber that
had been green a few moments before were black and shrivelled and
dead; and sound swept on with the flame until it became once more
only a low and rumbling murmur.
To the black and smouldering shores the live things slowly made
their way. Of all the creatures that had taken refuge in the lake
many had died. Chief of those were the porcupines. All had
Close to the shore the heat was still intense, and for hours the
earth was hot with smouldering fire. All the rest of that day and
the night that followed no living thing moved out of the shallow
water. And yet no living thing thought to prey upon its neighbour.
The great peril had made of all beasts kin.
A little before dawn of the day following the fire relief came. A
deluge of rain fell, and when day broke and the sun shone through
a murky heaven there was left no sign of what the lake had been,
except for the dead bodies that floated on its surface or lined
its shores. The living things had returned into their desolated
wilderness--and among them Neewa and Miki.
For many days after the Great Fire it was Neewa who took the lead.
All their world was a black and lifeless desolation and Miki would
not have known which way to turn. Had it been a local fire of
small extent he would have "wandered" out of its charred path. But
the conflagration had been immense. It had swept over a vast reach
of country, and for a half of the creatures who had saved
themselves in the lakes and streams there was only a death by
But not for Neewa and his breed. Just as there had been no
indecision in the manner and direction of his flight before the
fire so there was now no hesitation in the direction he chose to
seek a live world again. It was due north and west--as straight as
a die. If they came to a lake, and went around it, Neewa would
always follow the shore until he came directly opposite his trail
on the other side of the lake--and then strike north and west
again. He travelled steadily, not only by day but also by night,
with only short intervals of rest, and the dawning of the second
morning found Miki more exhausted than the bear.
There were many evidences now that they had reached a point where
the fire had begun to burn itself out. Patches of green timber
were left standing, there were swamps unscathed by the flames, and
here and there they came upon green patches of meadow. In the
swamps and timber they feasted, for these oases in what had been a
sea of flame were filled with food ready to be preyed upon and
devoured. For the first time Neewa refused to stop because there
was plenty to eat. The sixth day they were a hundred miles from
the lake in which they had sought refuge from the fire.
It was a wonderful country of green timber, of wide plains and of
many lakes and streams--cut up by a thousand usayow (low ridges),
which made the best of hunting. Because it was a country of many
waters, with live streams running between the ridges and from lake
to lake, it had not suffered from the drought like the country
farther south. For a month Neewa and Miki hunted in their new
paradise, and became fat and happy again.
It was in September that they came upon a strange thing in the
edge of a swamp. At first Miki thought that it was a cabin; but it
was a great deal smaller than any cabin he had known. It was not
much larger than the cage of saplings in which Le Beau had kept
him. But it was made of heavy logs, and the logs were notched so
that nothing could knock them down. And these logs, instead of
lying closely one on the other, had open spaces six or eight
inches wide between them. And there was a wide-open door. From
this strange contraption there came a strong odour of over-ripened
fish. The smell repelled Miki. But it was a powerful attraction to
Neewa, who persisted in remaining near it in spite of all Miki
could do to drag him away. Finally, disgusted at his comrade's bad
taste, Miki sulked off alone to hunt. It was some time after that
before Neewa dared to thrust his head and shoulders through the
opening. The smell of the fish made his little eyes gleam.
Cautiously he stepped inside the queer looking thing of logs.
Nothing happened. He saw the fish, all he could eat, just on the
other side of a sapling against which he must lean to reach them.
He went deliberately to the sapling, leaned over, and then!--
He whirled about as if shot. There was no longer an opening where
he had entered. The sapling "trigger" had released an over-head
door, and Neewa was a prisoner. He was not excited, but accepted
the situation quite coolly, probably having no doubt in his mind
that somewhere there was an aperture between the logs large enough
for him to squeeze through. After a few inquisitive sniffs he
proceeded to devour the fish. He was absorbed in his odoriferous
feast when out of a clump of dwarf balsams a few yards away
appeared an Indian. He quickly took in the situation, turned, and
Half an hour later this Indian ran into a clearing in which were
the recently constructed buildings of a new Post. He made for the
Company store. In the fur-carpeted "office" of this store a man
was bending fondly over a woman. The Indian saw them as he
entered, and chuckled. "Sakehewawin" ("the love couple"); that was
what they had already come to call them at Post Lac Bain--this man
and woman who had given them a great feast when the missioner had
married them not so very long ago. The man and the woman stood up
when the Indian entered, and the woman smiled at him. She was
beautiful. Her eyes were glowing, and there was the flush of a
flower in her cheeks. The Indian felt the worship of her warm in
"Oo-ee, we have caught the bear," he said. "But it is napao (a he-
bear). There is no cub, Iskwao Nanette!"
The white man chuckled.
"Aren't we having the darndest luck getting you a cub for a house-
pet, Nanette?" he asked. "I'd have sworn this mother and her cub
would have been easily caught. A he-bear! We'll have to let him
loose, Mootag. His pelt is good for nothing. Do you want to go
with us and see the fun, Nanette?"
She nodded, her little laugh filled with the joy of love and life.
"Oui. It will be such fun--to see him go!"
Challoner led the way, with an axe in his hand; and with him came
Nanette, her hand in his. Mootag followed with his rifle, prepared
for an emergency. From the thick screen of balsams Challoner
peered forth, then made a hole through which Nanette might look at
the cage and its prisoner. For a moment or two she held her breath
as she watched Neewa pacing back and forth, very much excited now.
Then she gave a little cry, and Challoner felt her fingers pinch
his own sharply. Before he knew what she was about to do she had
thrust herself through the screen of balsams.
Close to the log prison, faithful to his comrade in the hour of
peril, lay Miki. He was exhausted from digging at the earth under
the lower log, and he had not smelled or heard anything of the
presence of others until he saw Nanette standing not twenty paces
away. His heart leapt up into his panting throat. He swallowed, as
though to get rid of a great lump; he stared. And then, with a
sudden, yearning whine, he sprang toward her. With a yell
Challoner leapt out of the balsams with uplifted axe. But before
the axe could fall, Miki was in Nanette's arms, and Challoner
dropped his weapon with a gasp of amazement--and one word:
Mootag, looking on in stupid astonishment, saw both the man and
the woman making a great fuss over a strange and wild-looking
beast that looked as if it ought to be killed. They had forgotten
the bear. And Miki, wildly joyous at finding his beloved master
and mistress, had forgotten him also. It was a prodigious WHOOF
from Neewa himself that brought their attention to him. Like a
flash Miki was back at the pen smelling of Neewa's snout between
two of the logs, and with a great wagging of tail trying to make
him understand what had happened.
Slowly, with a thought born in his head that made him oblivious of
all else but the big black brute in the pen, Challoner approached
the trap. Was it possible that Miki could have made friends with
any other bear than the cub of long ago? He drew in a deep breath
as he looked at them. Neewa's brown-tipped nose was thrust between
two of the logs and MIKI WAS LICKING IT WITH HIS TONGUE! He held
out a hand to Nanette, and when she came to him he pointed for a
space, without speaking.
Then he said:
"It is the cub, Nanette. You know--the cub I have told you about.
They've stuck together all this time--ever since I killed the
cub's mother a year and a half ago, and tied them together on a
piece of rope. I understand now why Miki ran away from us when we
were at the cabin. He went back--to the bear."
To-day if you strike northward from Le Pas and put your canoe in
the Rat River or Grassberry waterways, and thence paddle and run
with the current down the Reindeer River and along the east shore
of Reindeer Lake you will ultimately come to the Cochrane--and
Post Lac Bain. It is one of the most wonderful countries in all
the northland. Three hundred Indians, breeds and French, come with
their furs to Lac Bain. Not a soul among them--man, woman, or
child--but knows the story of the "tame bear of Lac Bain"--the pet
of l'ange, the white angel, the Factor's wife.
The bear wears a shining collar and roams at will in the company
of a great dog, but, having grown huge and fat now, never wanders
far from the Post. And it is an unwritten law in all that country
that the animal must not be harmed, and that no bear traps shall
be set within five miles of the Company buildings. Beyond that
limit the bear never roams; and when it comes cold, and he goes
into his long sleep, he crawls into a deep warm cavern that has
been dug for him under the Company storehouse. And with him, when
the nights come, sleeps Miki the dog.
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