- Below contains in-depth information for code one of Code of the Clans. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Leafpool says that it is hard to imagine a time when cats were allowed to have friendships in other Clan and that she herself knew better than most cats the agony of loving a cat from another Clan - and knowing that she had to return because her Clan needed her and that she wanted to remain loyal to the warrior code. She decides to tell the story of Ryewhisker and Cloudberry, and although it breaks your heart, you will see why this code came to be. As every cat had to learn, the strength of the Clan depends on the loyalty of every member.
- Ryewhisker challenges Cloudberry to a race, and she says that it's not fair. Ryewhisker looks her, thinking that she was slender for a RiverClan cat, with thick, sleek fur. He says that he could offer her a head-start, or he could close his eyes, run backward or carry a stone in his mouth. Cloudberry purrs, and calls him a bee-brain, saying that she would race him if he would race her over the river. Ryewhisker shakes his head, saying that it's unnatural to get fur wet. He reminds her of a time when he tried it, and she says that falling off a stepping-stone was hardly the proper way to learn to swim.
- He asks her if she thinks if their kits will be able to run fast and swim, and she stares in astonishment, asking how he knew. She says that she was going to tell him, but she thought that he would want them for WindClan. He says that they were theirs, and that was all that mattered. He asks if RiverClan knows, and Cloudberry says not yet. Ryewhisker guesses that it's because of her father, Emberstar. She defends him, saying that he couldn't blame him for wanting more RiverClan kits, especially after a bout of greencough in leaf-bare. Ryewhisker says that they will be RiverClan, that he would let her teach them to swim the moment they could open their eyes. Cloudberry asks if he was going to let her raise them in RiverClan. Ryewhisker hesitates, but then he says that he'll stay with her when they're born, as Emberstar had never minded him staying in the RiverClan camp. He then says that they will come to WindClan when they can walk that far. Cloudberry nods, but her eyes are still troubled. Ryewhisker promises that it will be fine, and he reminds her that every cat knew that Emberstar's closest friend was Thistletail of ThunderClan. Cloudberry then asks about the stolen fish, as RiverClan had accused WindClan of stealing fish from the river, and a patrol had been sent to Duststar, WindClan's leader, to warn him to stay away. Duststar had insisted that WindClan would never eat fish, but RiverClan was still suspicious. Ryewhisker says that they didn't take the fish, and he thinks that the kits will bring the two clans together again. Cloudberry relaxes, and Ryewhisker imagines the tiny lives stirring inside her, dark gray like her or tabby like him, swift-pawed and strong swimmers.
- Sometime after, WindClan and RiverClan are fighting after RiverClan has once again accused WindClan of stealing fish. Stonetail yowls for WindClan to retreat. Ryewhisker clears the blood from his eyes and frees the RiverClan warrior from his paws. Duststar decided that the only way to stop the accusations was to teach RiverClan that they were strong enough and well-fed enough to catch their own prey. Stonetail repeats the command, and a RiverClan warrior calls WindClan mouse-hearted cowards.
- But as WindClan retreats, they are blocked by a ginger-and-white RiverClan warrior, who asks if they'd let them go that easily. Stonetail says that they'll continue to fight if they have to, and the battle begins again. Ryewhisker battles with a gray tabby, who sinks his claws into his shoulder. Ryewhisker rips himself free and leaps at the warrior with all four paws stretched out, sending them tumbling into reeds. Ryewhisker finds himself being smothered by thick gray fur, and he finds himself staring straight into the eyes of Cloudberry. Behind her, Hawkfur rears up, about to plunge his claws into her neck, but Ryewhisker screeches and stops him. Cloudberry gasps that he couldn't do that, because they had to fight their own battles, and Ryewhisker asks if she thought that he would let their kits be harmed. Hawkfur echoes if it was true, and Ryewhisker tells him that Cloudberry is expecting his kits. Just then, Cloudberry screeches for him to look out, but it's too late. A RiverClan warrior leaps into the air, and Ryewhisker crumples to the ground, dead. His killer scrambles off the body, shaking his pelt. Cloudberry, shocked, whispers to Ryewhisker what he has done.
- At the night of the full moon, Duststar gathers the other leaders together. He asks if all the Clans are here, and Birchstar of SkyClan replies that they are. He leaps onto the rock beside Duststar, and the other leaders scramble up beside them - Emberstar from RiverClan, Hollystar from ShadowClan, and Whitestar from ThunderClan. The cats below - a patrol from each Clan - gaze up somberly. Emberstar begins to accuse Duststar of intending to blame his Clan for the death of Ryewhisker, but Duststar says that he is not. He says that Ryewhisker's death was a tragedy, but it would not have happened if he wasn't so attached to Cloudberry. He looks at the RiverClan cats, but Cloudberry is not among them, and he realizes that she is probably too close to having her kits. He declares that from now on, cats must only be loyal to their Clanmates, as warriors could not risk being distracted in battle. The other leaders agree, and Emberstar says it his Clan is sorry for WindClan's loss, and that from now on, each Clan stands and fights alone. Hollystar asks how they will be able to let each other know about foxes or Twoleg interference with less border contact, and Birchstar suggests that the five Clans meet at Fourtrees every full moon in a truce that lasts one night. There is shocked murmuring among the Clans, and then the cats below begin to argue. Duststar yowls enough, and he says that Birchstar's suggestion is a wise one. He says that he doubts any peace will hold for one night, but he says that they should try it and see what happens.
- Duststar then declares the first code: "From now on, you must defend your clan, even with your life. You may have friendships with cats from other Clans, but your loyalty must remain to your Clan." he says that one day they may meet befriended cats in battle and that they may be torn between their loyalty to them and to their Clan. He then says "This will be our code, the law of warriors, and it is up to each one of us to carry it in our hearts. Until the next full moon, may StarClan guide your path." he then leaps down from the rock, beckons WindClan, and leads them back to the moon-washed moor.
Notes and references
|Code of the Clans chapters|
|The Dawn of the Clans • The Warrior Code • Code 1 • Code 2 • Code 3 • Code 4 • Code 5 • Code 6 • Code 7 • Code 8 • Code 9 • Code 10 • Code 11 • Code 12 • Code 13 • Code 14 • Code 15 • Rules That Did Not Become Part of the Code • Epilogue|
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