We learn that it is the she-wolf who led the pack onto Bill and Henry's trail and it is she who saves Henry from being eaten. She leads the pack away from Henry and the dying flames.
The she-wolf's demonstrates conflict between domestic and feral tendencies. She preys upon man, but also saves him from death.
A young gray wolf, one of the pack's leaders, and a gaunt, old wolf, One Eye, run on either side of the she-wolf, jostling for her affections, but the ongoing famine prevents them from fighting to mate with her. The pack runs for days on end in search of food, until they come upon a bull moose. They attack the creature, kill it, and gorge themselves with the meat from its carcass. Finally fed, the pack pairs off into males and females.
The dogs forego mating in order to hunt. Survival in the wild requires that feeding take priority over pleasure or procreation. Once wolves have fed, then they can find their mates. However, hunting and mating both require a degree of violence. The moose must die so that the wolves can both feed and mate.
One Eye, the young leader, and an ambitious three-year-old remain to fight for the she-wolf's affections. One Eye and the young leader team up to eliminate the three-year-old from the competition. Then One Eye turns on the young leader, killing him. The she-wolf observes the fighting with glee and invites One Eye to frolic with her in the woods. They become mates.
Mating is an avenue by which animals perpetuate their own lineage, as well as life itself. In the wild, mating, and therefore life-making, is fierce. That One Eye kills his rivals in order to mate with the she-wolf shows that mating is a violent struggle and a vicious competition to survive.
One Eye and the she-wolf romp through the forest, until they reach an Indian campsite. Its sights and smells incite the she-wolf with a wistful longing to enter the camp, but she grows restless and goes in search of something in the forest. There, the she-wolf and One Eye rob the Indian's rabbit snares, eating the game hungrily.
The she-wolf's domestic yearnings surface when she wistfully regards the Indian camp, suggesting that she longs for, perhaps even remembers, this world. That the she-wolf robs the traps also shows that she has in some way learned to navigate the human world.