This chapter begins thirty days after the dogs have made the long pull back to Skagway, after having successfully delivered the mail to Dawson. By now, Buck has lost over thirty-five pounds, and he is not alone in his suffering; in fact, all of the dogs are in a wretched state. They are all overworked, they have sore paws, they are plagued with injuries, and, in general, they are exhausted — dead tired. Furthermore, there is "no power of recuperation left, no reserve strength to call upon." In this chapter, we discover that in the last five months they have traveled twenty-five thousand miles with only five days' rest.The drivers expect a long recuperation period, but because of the droves of people who have arrived in the great North, the mail is arriving at a rapid pace, necessitating constant mail runs. Worthless or tired and weak dogs, London tells us, are "gotten rid of." Thus, before the team is fully rested, two
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long recuperation period, fiercely uptwisted light, constant mail runs., great North, known critical ways