Bamby was awakened by an owl; the moon was sweeping through the sky. Bamby heard the owl again, only this time she understood that the owl was talking to her.
“Do- you- hear- me?” said the owl, “Do- you- see- me? I- see- you.”
“I do hear you,” said Bamby,” Do you know Aldo?”
“Do-you”? The owl fluffed his feathers; the moonlight was trapped in his large eyes, a gargoyle in feathers silhouetted against a full moon.
“Why can I hear you?” asked Bamby, more to herself than the owl.
“You- just -do, now follow me,” the owl leapt into the waiting night.
“But what about Aldo?” There was no answer, only the distinct feeling that she should follow the owl.
Making his way through the downed timber was no easy task. Bamby heard and saw those things that go bump in the night. Clouds chased the moon across the sky, but steadily the owl moved them up Togwotee pass.
When they reached Wind River Lake the owl told Bamby to wait. “Stay here. I must go and look ahead. Stay out of the wind and out of site. You are not safe.”
THE WOLVES: “We are the tools of lesser men, death is what we do.”
O’Grady led the pack of wolves, their private Demons kept them silent and swift, a band of Butchers.
O’Grady was the Wolf that had nearly gotten Bamby, O’Grady hated failure, he chastised himself- then he consoled himself-then he rededicated himself, O’Grady was insane.
They lost Bamby’s scent at the Little Buffalo River; desperation was in full control as they cast back and forth, up and down the river bank.
O’Grady pounced on the youngest wolf and killed him, “Find it!” He said to the rest of them.
A howl went up, “We are the tools of lesser men, death is what we do.” The trail had been found, swiftly and silently they headed east.
They moved like smoke on the wind, their eyes were like brass, and their hearts were stones. The land was silent for they had killed almost everything, almost. This was maddening for O’Grady he wanted it all Dead, then he wanted to kill “Them”, he looked at his band of butchers and was repulsed. That would have to wait; he had smaller fish to fry.
When they came to the timber they spread out, like a net, they seined the forest.
Taylor was a son of O’Grady, he was slower than the others but one of the best tacticians. He had personally run the last twelve Buffalo in Yellowstone into the canyon below the falls.
He revered his father but of late he was imagining what he would do if he was the leader. Wasting all this time and energy on a fawn seemed “Insane.” But Taylor knew O’Grady’s appetite for the young. O’Grady had told him once,” I love to see the Fear in their eyes and feel their death in my mouth. There is a certain Abrupt Injustice about it that one can only interpret as POWER.”
Taylor was haunted by the Black Wolf they had killed on the ice. He saw him in every shadow and when he slept he would hear the drums and be awakened by the sounds of Death. Silence eluded him, quiet could not be found, and he had not rested in centuries. Destruction was all he had ever known, death was all he had ever seen, he longed for extinction.
Nancy didn’t think at all, she was pure instinct, she would breed but never have pups. Her devotion was to O’Grady and it had its roots in the pain he dealt to her. Abuse was her religion O’Grady was her God. Tears ran from her eyes constantly, her heart wept but she ignored it. Devotion is an ocean, if you can find it you can drown and Nancy was drowning. She was in Love. She never slept, she never ate and she spoke only to herself but she would never answer, she had nothing to say.
The rest of the pack were just killers, soulless minions of death.
There were only eleven wolves left of the ninety that had crossed the water, and they were headed for Dubois.