1166. The cart was repaired in short order in a way the four desperadoes did not even comprehend. A greased steel collar was inserted as a bearing. As for the outer rim, although it had years worth of mortised repairs inset in it, nothing could be done to improve it so it was left alone. The men resumed their journey and Otis went his way, in the opposite direction.
1167. Otis returned to his wolf pack and gave a full report of his days activities. Something must be said of the internal politics of the extended family of which Otis was a part. This clan was run by an elderly grayish wolf whose name was also Otis, like all the others, but pronounced Ottus. For about two years Ottus had been suffering from arthritis which affected both of his hind legs.
1168. Arthritis was a very dangerous affliction in the wolf community then as now because it was likely to lead inevitably to the commander of the pack being challenged to a conflict. This had not happened for a few reasons, first because Ottus had been able to conceal his affliction, and second, because at that time there was no wolf in the community strong or bold enough to issue a challenge, regardless of any arthritis.
1169. There was no challenger except for Otis himself, who could have easily vanquished the old grey wolf with no trouble but it did not enter his head as of yet because of his lowly position in wolf society, and his humiliating assignment of being a spy dog.