Illustration of Buck in the snow with mountains in the background

The Call of the Wild

by Jack London

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In The Call of the Wild, does Manuel ever get caught for kidnapping Buck?

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Manuel is a gardener's helper working on Judge Miller's property in the Santa Clara Valley. Manuel is a gambler who is addicted to betting on the Chinese lottery. He apparently fell in debt and decided to steal Buck and sell him. They met a man at a "little flag station known as College Park," and money changed hands. Manuel advised the man who placed the rope around Buck's neck to "Twist it an' you'll choke 'm plentee," and Buck's new owner nodded in approval. It was the last mention of Manuel in the novel, so the reader is never told whether Manuel was caught or not. Since no one else saw him leave with Buck, we can assume that he was not caught or punished.

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