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The Yeehats really do a number on Thornton. The Yeehats are a fictitious Native American tribe. Like much of this novel, they embody the human wildness of the north. They attack Thornton's camp killing everyone. At this point Buck heeding the call of the wild, his only loyalties to man left are with Thornton. Buck returns and unleashes his fury over his dead master. The Yeehats run away. They build a mythology around Buck calling him "Ghost Dog", who leads a supernatural pack of wolves that the Yeehat warriors must fear and respect. Thornton had to exit the story to finally sever Bucks connection with man. After Buck pays his debt of loyalty, he is free to become the alpha dog of nature he was meant to be.