Even though the lost mine might be fictitious, or nonexistent, yet John Thornton and Buck are delighted to start out on a journey through "infinite wandering in strange places." The search for the lost gold mine is a traditional search which fills many adventure novels of Western literature; likewise, the search for the fabled Fountain of Youth, as well as the search for the Holy Grail, are other quests well known in Western literature. In each search, the participants have to undergo many trials and tribulations, but it is the quest itself that is, ultimately, as important as the discovery. In this particular quest, Thornton, Hans, and Pete move farther and farther away from civilization, and thus they are immersed deeper and deeper into nature's primordial conditions. Meanwhile, Buck devotedly follows
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