The Call of the Wild
The story opens with Buck, a large and powerful St. Bernard-Scotch Collie, living happily in California’s Santa Clara Valley as the pet of Judge Miller. He is stolen by the gardener’s assistant and sold to fund a gambling addiction. Buck is then shipped to Seattle. Put in a crate, he is unfed and beaten by the “man in the red sweater”. When released, he attacks the man but is badly beaten and taught to respect the law of the club. Buck is then sold to a pair of French-Canadian dispatchers from the Canadian government, François and Perrault, who take him with them to the Klondike region of Canada. There they train him as a post office sled dog. From his teammates, he quickly learns to survive cold winter nights and the pack society. A rivalry develops between Buck and the vicious, quarrelsome lead dog, Spitz. Buck eventually beats Spitz in a fight “to the death”. Spitz is killed by the pack after his defeat by Buck and Buck eventually becomes the leader of the team.
The team is then sold to a “Scottish half-breed” man working the mail service. The dogs must carry a heavy load to the mining areas, and the journey they make is tiresome and long. One of the team, a morose husky named Dave, becomes sick and eventually has to be shot to end his misery.