|"One day it will be your turn to show your Clan you are worthy of being their leader, Crookedpaw. I have faith in you, young warrior."|
|— Mapleshade in Crookedstar's Promise, page 190|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter fifteen of Crookedstar's Promise. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 15 (of 40)
- Page Numbers: 185-190
- Mapleshade yowls to stop, but Crookedpaw protests, then lunges forward. The tabby apprentice's stomach brushes the ground, and he twistes, thrusting out with his hind paws. He recalls practicing the move ever since the battle. Despite his retort, Mapleshade ignores him, commanding him to stop it. He scrambles up, replying to the StarClan she-cat, to which she follows up by saying RiverClan is in trouble. Once again, the orange-and-white warrior tells him to wake, and Crookedpaw blinks open his eyes, finding himself in the apprentices' den. The space is dark, and seeing the walls proves hard. Paws pricking, the thick-furred tom slips into the camp clearing. He looks up at the night sky, seeing the moon, which is merely a scratch against the darkness.
- Dawn lights the distant moorland, and the thaw, which came after RiverClan's defeat at Sunningrocks, leaves the place muddy. The reeds droop, showing signs of death, and the snow has melted, revealing moss. Crookedpaw pads toward the reed bed, and peers through the stems, scenting the air. Hailstar's scent lingers, along with Timberfur's, and other senior warriors. Owlfur, Ottersplash, and Rippleclaw are some scents the tabby tom is able to detect near some sedge. He ducks, preparing to follow their scents, when a screech rings out. Crookedpaw spins on his paws, realizing the cry to have come from across the river. Another yowl follows, and the twisted-jawed apprentice recognizes it as Ottersplash.
- He darts across the clearing, leaping onto the fallen tree. Weaving past the dens, the green-eyed cat is able to see past the reeds. Gazing up to the river upstream, Crookedpaw spots Ottersplash, accompanied by Owlfur, haring down the slope from WindClan. The two warriors skim low bushes with strides, and Rippleclaw follows with Timberfur. Dark bundles swing from their jaws, and the light brown tom's heart skips a beat, realizing they have Graykit and Willowkit. Hailstar races in turn, with a WindClan warrior named Reedfeather following, snarling.
- Four Clanmates speed alongside the big tabby, furious. Crookedpaw digs his claws into the bark below, and the Clan stirs, disturbed by the commotion. Cats call out, asking about the noise, dens rustle, paws hurry over wet moss, and Crookedpaw's brother, Oakheart, appears. The red-brown warrior scuttles along the branch, crouching beside the glossy-furred apprentice. He asks about the event, but Crookedpaw just tells him to watch, before Hailstar's yowl rings out. The gray RiverClan leader commands his warriors into the river, and Timberfur plunges into the river, Rippleclaw in unison.
- Willowkit squeaks about the water's coldness, and Graykit wails for help. Hailstar slows, and the broad-shoulder tom turns, facing the outraged Reedfeather, who demands they return his kits. The deputy's Clanmates charge past, pursuing the cats in the river, and the ragged tabby warrior says he cannot steal Graykit and Willowkit. Glancing back toward the river, where Rippleclaw and Timberfur stand, belly deep in water, and Hailstar's yellow eyes light up. Spitting, the WindClan cat strikes the enemy leader, sending him crashing into a rock. Crookedpaw's breath stops, and for a moment, he thinks Hailstar has given his life to save the kits.
- The tabby WindClan tom races past, heading for the shore, following his companions. The other cats wade into the river, and Owlfur and Ottersplash meet their pursuers with vicious swipes. Knocking one warrior back, Owlfur spins, sending another cat floundering. Ottersplash dives beneath the stomach of ones, and heaves it off balance with her shoulders. As the RiverClan warriors held their enemies off, Rippleclaw reaches the shore, and Timberfur follows; both toms place the kits on the ground. The WindClan cats retreat back to Reedfeather, dragging themselves from the water. The tabby stares at them, dismayed, before bounding forward to attack, shrieking. Crookedpaw notices movement, and Hailstar pelts in pursuit, landing on the deputy's back.
- It sends both warriors towards the river, and Hailstar holds Reedfeather beneath the swirling water. The deputy's Clanmates watch, eyes round and huge, like an owl's, while bubbles rise around the gray tom's paws. Reedfeather is fighting for his life, which makes Crookedpaw will his leader to free the ragged warrior. Owlfur splashes to the broad-shouldered leader, telling him that he's about to kill the WindClan deputy. For a moment, Hailstar is dazed, before releasing his grip, and stumbling backwards. The brown-and-white warrior moves to help, hauling Reedfeather from the river, with the help of their leader. Crookedpaw hurries toward the kits, in which Timberfur licks Graykit's soaked fur, and Rippleclaw comforts Willowkit.
- The small she-cats' gazes are fixated on Reedfeather's limp body, and Willowkit wails, asking if he's dead. Owlfur kneads the tabby's chest, and Crookedpaw offers to fetch Brambleberry. Rippleclaw responds, saying it'll be too late, and just then, Reedfeather convulses, choking up water and coughing. Willowkit's eyes shine, and the small tabby kit asks if he's going to return them to WindClan, referring to it as her home. Fallowtail appears, crying out RiverClan is their home, from where she bursts from the reeds. Then the light brown queen stares at her daughters. Mew cracking, she breathes about how much they've grown. Graykit ducks away from Timberfur, and runs up to her mother, rubbing her muzzle along Fallowtail's jaw. The small dark gray kit purrs loudly, loud enough to wake the birds, and her sister rushes over, joining her mother.
- On the river's opposite side, the WindClan cats help Reedfeather up. He limps badly, and water soaks his fur, sticking it to his bony frame. Owlfur swims away, heading for the camp, Hailstar close behind. Crookedpaw shivers, thinking of how his leader wanted to kill the deputy, not on personal causes, only because he believes the kits are RiverClan's. A mew stirs his ear, and its Mapleshade. Her voice is fierce, and the she-cat says soon it'll be his turn, ending with her claiming to have faith in Crookedpaw.
Notes and references
|Crookedstar's Promise chapters|
|Prologue • Chapter 1 • Chapter 2 • Chapter 3 • Chapter 4 • Chapter 5 • Chapter 6 • Chapter 7 • Chapter 8 • Chapter 9 • Chapter 10 • Chapter 11 • Chapter 12 • Chapter 13 • Chapter 14 • Chapter 15 • Chapter 16 • Chapter 17 • Chapter 18 • Chapter 19 • Chapter 20 • Chapter 21 • Chapter 22 • Chapter 23 • Chapter 24 • Chapter 25 • Chapter 26 • Chapter 27 • Chapter 28 • Chapter 29 • Chapter 30 • Chapter 31 • Chapter 32 • Chapter 33 • Chapter 34 • Chapter 35 • Chapter 36 • Chapter 37 • Chapter 38 • Chapter 39 • Chapter 40 • Manga|
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