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Buck mourns the death of Thornton very deeply. He was the only one who shared Buck's identity as a true creature of the Wild, and he was the only one who could ever legitimately claim to be his master in the first place. Buck is a Ghost Dog for the Yeehats because he single-handedly drove their entire tribe away, killing some of them. For them, the Ghost Dog is the ghost of the dead man Thornton.
What did the Yeehats
tell of a Ghost Dog that ran at the head of a pack?