He was called Sol-leks, which means the Angry One.
He was surprised at the eagerness which animated the whole team and which was communicated to him; but still more surprising was the change wrought in Dave and Sol-leks.
Buck had been purposely placed between Dave and Sol-leks so that he might receive instruction.
Dave and Sol-leks, dripping blood from a score of wounds, were fighting bravely side by side.
Dave and Sol-leks were unaffected, but the rest of the team went from bad to worse.
Of this offence Buck was unwittingly guilty, and the first knowledge he had of his indiscretion was when Sol-leks whirled upon him and slashed his shoulder to the bone for three inches up and down.
Dave was wheeler or sled dog, pulling in front of him was Buck, then came Sol-leks; the rest of the team was strung out ahead, single file, to the leader, which position was filled by Spitz.
Dave and Sol-leks alone were unaltered, though they were made irritable by the unending squabbling.
Buck trotted up to the place Spitz would have occupied as leader; but Francois, not noticing him, brought Sol-leks to the coveted position.
In his judgment, Sol-leks was the best lead-dog left.
Buck sprang upon Sol-leks in a fury, driving him back and standing in his place.
He took Buck by the scruff of the neck, and though the dog growled threateningly, dragged him to one side and replaced Sol-leks.
Francois was obdurate, but when he turned his back Buck again displaced Sol-leks, who was not at all unwilling to go.
Buck remembered the man in the red sweater, and retreated slowly; nor did he attempt to charge in when Sol-leks was once more brought forward.
Then Francois went up to where Sol-leks stood and called to Buck.
Francois unfastened Sol-leks’s traces and put him back in his old place.
Dave and Sol-leks did not mind the change in leadership.
Joe was sourer than ever, and Sol-leks was unapproachable, blind side or other side.
The Scotch half-breed called a halt and took him out of the team, making the next dog, Sol-leks, fast to the sled.
Dave had bitten through both of Sol-leks’s traces, and was standing directly in front of the sled in his proper place.
Sol-leks was limping, and Dub was suffering from a wrenched shoulder-blade.
Sol-leks was the first to crawl to his feet.
Buck heard them go and raised his head to see, Pike was leading, Sol-leks was at the wheel, and between were Joe and Teek.
With the last remnant of his strength he managed to stagger along behind till the train made another stop, when he floundered past the sleds to his own, where he stood alongside Sol-leks.
Buck did not like it, but he bore up well to the work, taking pride in it after the manner of Dave and Sol-leks, and seeing that his mates, whether they prided in it or not, did their fair share.
Sick as he was, Dave resented being taken out, grunting and growling while the traces were unfastened, and whimpering broken-heartedly when he saw Sol-leks in the position he had held and served so long.
This was the pride of Dave as wheel-dog, of Sol-leks as he pulled with all his strength; the pride that laid hold of them at break of camp, transforming them from sour and sullen brutes into straining, eager, ambitious creatures; the pride that spurred them on all day and dropped them at pitch of camp at night, letting them fall back into gloomy unrest and uncontent.
When the sled started, he floundered in the soft snow alongside the beaten trail, attacking Sol-leks with his teeth, rushing against him and trying to thrust him off into the soft snow on the other side, striving to leap inside his traces and get between him and the sled, and all the while whining and yelping and crying with grief and pain.
On the next day Koona went, and but five of them remained: Joe, too far gone to be malignant; Pike, crippled and limping, only half conscious and not conscious enough longer to malinger; Sol-leks, the one-eyed, still faithful to the toil of trace and trail, and mournful in that he had so little strength with which to pull; Teek, who had not travelled so far that winter and who was now beaten more than the others because he was fresher; and Buck, still at the head of the team, but no…
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Sol was depicted on the Roman coin.
a god, called Ra by the Egyptians, Helios by the Greeks and Sol by the Romans