Friday, September 30, 2011
MHI Alaska :: A Dish Served Cold Pt II
NOVEMBER 14, 1934
ONE WEEK FROM MCCARTHY
WRANGELL MOUNTAINS, ALASKA
Buck hunkered lower into the snow, trying not to mind the colt wet that slowly seeped through the elbows of his woolen jacket.
Three hundred fifty yards away, the remains of the sled team sniffed around what was left of the old miner. The dogs’ flesh hung off their bones in raggedy strips - the warm fall had really done a number on them.
He hated it when the Zulu bug got loose on sled teams - there wasn’t a more sorrowful sight in nature than once-friendly pups dripping their guts out and dragging down anything that moved.
Not many things more dangerous either. They were used to men. Men had always meant food.
… they still did.
Buck thought he'd be okay though, as long as the wind didn’t shift...
The first dog raised its gnarled head, sniffing the air.
Don’t howl don’t howl don’t....
The dog somehow still had enough air in its cracked and tattered chest to let out a howl. The cry echowed eerily around the broad canyon, and the rest of the team rasied their heads.
shit shit shit....
Buck raised his 1903 NRA Sporter, pulling it tight to his shoulder. Wind was quartering away, range 350, a little downhill, and....
The rifle jumped, and almost in the same instant the lead dog rolled into the dirt.
Other heads raised to sniff the air, and the pack broke towards him.
This is such a bad day.
Buck worked the bolt fast, and leaned against his sling for the next shot.
Three rounds left. Seven more dogs. Now two hundred odd yards, at a run.
This wasn’t going to end well.
Damn! His next shot went into the dirt, two yards shy of his target.
Two rounds left. A hundred and fifty yards. God those things could run fast.
Seventy-five yards. One more shot.
Briefly, Buck wished he’d thought fast enough to unsling first so he could swallow that last pill himself. The next half hour wasn’t likely to be over quickly.
Make it count, make it count...
Oh hell no.
no no no no...
oh god look at that dog his teeth are cracked and I think I see his heart and is that a .. oh shit this is going to hurt ....
…. to be continued.