|"Look! The horseplace dog! Run!"|
|— Willowpaw to Hollypaw in Dark River, page 197|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter thirteen of Dark River. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 13 (of 21)
- Page Numbers: 193-204
- As the apprentices, Hollypaw and Willowpaw, walk down the cliff, Willowpaw explains that Blackclaw thought of pushing stones into the stream. Hollypaw is confused, and counters that doing so would stop the water flowing. Willowpaw replies that the stream above would get deeper and wider and better protect the island. Hollypaw is impressed, but she expresses doubts that it would keep the Twoleg kits away. Willowpaw says that when the stream floods they will put up a barrier of gorse, and she explains her guess that the Twolegs are only playing and intend no harm. She washes sand from her pads, and adds that they will play somewhere else if it is too hard for them to approach the island. Hollypaw guesses that RiverClan would then move back, and she can’t wait to get back to camp and inform Firestar that RiverClan wouldn’t move into WindClan territory. She is very glad that there won’t be a battle.
- Willowpaw bounds down the rest of the slope and weaves between the reeds, and Hollypaw catches up. She asks why Leopardstar didn’t explain the situation to the other Clans. Willowpaw answers that they would have looked weak, and Hollypaw protests that the other Clans might have helped, but Willowpaw snaps that RiverClan can solve their own problems. Hollypaw lowers her gaze, apologizing, but Willowpaw, pelt bristling, interrupts that it is hard living on the island, where there is little prey, and says that their hungry Clan wouldn’t win a battle. Hollypaw remembers the RiverClan cats’ poor appearance, and Willowpaw asks Hollypaw if she really thinks Leopardstar would trust the other Clans not to take advantage. Hollypaw promises not to tell ThunderClan that RiverClan are hungry, but she will inform them that they will soon be back in their old camp. Willowpaw blinks gratefully, reminding her friend that she must get home. Hollypaw feels slightly guilty and wonders if her Clanmates noticed her absence. She says that she will return the way she came.
- Willowpaw peers above the grass, announcing that the shore is quiet, then head toward the island. She suggests heading up there, where it will be easier to hide, and mischievously adds that the otter dung will prevent other cats from noticing her scent. Hollypaw asks if she couldn’t have used anything else, and Willowpaw admits that tansy could have worked, but they are low on supplies.
- They follow the shoreline until Hollypaw begins to smell the Horseplace, and she whispers that she can go alone, as they are near WindClan. Willowpaw’s eyes show worry, and she insists to go with her to the border. The lush foliage turns into the moor, and Willowpaw pauses behind a bramble bush, and points out the border. Wind races down the moor and Hollypaw can smell WindClan scent-lines not far away. Willowpaw rests her tail-tip on her friend’s shoulders, warning her to be careful.
- Suddenly, stones clatter on the shore and a RiverClan patrol runs toward them. Hollypaw stiffens, fearful, until Willowpaw grabs her scruff with her teeth and drag her behind the bramble. Hollypaw asks if they safe, but Willowpaw is unsure, and tells Hollypaw to be quiet. Hollypaw peers through the leaves; sees Reedwhisker, Pouncepaw, Voletooth, and Minnowpaw; and asks if they are hunting. Willowpaw asks what they would hunt on the empty shore, and Hollypaw wonders if they came for them. Willowpaw responds that it doesn’t look like it, and the patrol streaks past the bramble without hesitation. Hollypaw realizes that the patrol had been terrified, and she notes that something is wrong. Willowpaw hisses, ears flatten, and points out a black-and-white dog that runs toward the patrol, teeth bared. Willowpaw exclaims that it’s the Horseplace dog, and orders Hollypaw to run. Willowpaw pelts after her Clanmates.
- The dog spots Hollypaw runs toward her, howling excitedly. Hollypaw shrieks and quickly follows Willowpaw as the RiverClan patrol has races up toward the WindClan border. Reedwhisker’s eyes widen at the sight of Willowpaw, and he orders her to stay near. Willowpaw screeches at Hollypaw to hurry and Hollypaw pushes harder, skidding onto the grassy slope. Reedwhisker commands them to stop and Hollypaw halts beside the others, panting and terrified. She sees the dog by the fence at the bottom of the slope, gazing around with its tongue lolling. The dog squeezes under the fence and heads for the Twolegplace, and Hollypaw guesses that it is going home. Willowpaw gives her a warning look, but it is too late. Minnowpaw asks what she is doing here, and Reedwhisker stares, bristling, recalling that she is a ThunderClan cat. He accusingly gazes at Willowpaw and Minnowpaw rudely asks why she smells bad. Voletooth demands if Hollypaw is spying. Hollypaw backs away, and exclaims that she wanted to help, although Reedwhisker is confused and disbelieving. Willowpaw agrees that it’s true and pads between her Clanmates and friend. She explains that Hollypaw came alone, worried for her after the Gathering. However, Reedwhisker yowls, interrupting Willowpaw, and he stares up the slope in dismay.
- A WindClan patrol streaks toward them, and Hollypaw realizes that the dog chased them over the border. Voletooth sighs that they came too far, and Pouncepaw steps closer to Minnowpaw. The WindClan patrol nears, and when Ashfoot flicks her tail, they spread out. Willowpaw’s pelt brushes Hollypaw’s flank as the WindClan cats circle the patrol, eyes blazing. Ashfoot demands what they are doing on WindClan land and Reedwhisker explains that they were being chased by the Horseplace dog. Crowfeather steps forward and asks where it is, and Voletooth answers that it went back to Twolegplace. Tornear is disbelieving and sniffs that air, commenting that he only smells dung. Hollypaw is embarrassed, and frets that WindClan will think that RiverClan and ThunderClan have an alliance and have a battle because of her, but she fights her panic. Breezepaw sneers and asks if they don’t teach RiverClan kits to wash, and Hollypaw is furious, but glad that he doesn’t know who she is. Ashfoot orders them to leave their land, and adds that they may have lost their territory, but won’t have WindClan’s. Voletooth bristles and hisses that they haven’t lost their territory, although Tornear asks why they are there. Hollypaw is tense and unsheathes her claws, but Ashfoot commands them to get off of their land, and Tornear and Whitetail move apart to let the RiverClan cats through. As they leave, Ashfoot announces that there will be extra patrols along the border from then on. Tornear adds that they will be battle ready.
- Hollypaw is relived to cross the border, even though it isn’t her territory. She whispers that she must get home, but Reedwhisker rounds on her, demanding to know why she is there. Hollypaw retorts that she was worried about Willowpaw, but Voletooth says that she can’t be on WindClan territory now, and must come back to the island with them. Hollypaw feels despair, and gazes across the lake at ThunderClan. She scans the shoreline for a Clanmate, but sees nothing, and agrees. Reedwhisker orders her to first wash off and walks her to the lake edge, while Willlowpaw helps Hollypaw wash. Hollypaw and Willowpaw pad after the patrol, and Hollypaw apologizes for getting her friend in trouble. Willowpaw reassures that she will be okay, and presses against her friend. The two, still wet, share their warmth.
- Hollypaw’s feels shy as RiverClan cats curiously gaze at her as she follows Reedwhisker to the island clearing. She tries to stop trembling at seeing Leopardstar squeeze out of the roots at the bottom of the Great Oak. Willlowpaw comforts her that Leopardstar is always fair, and Hollypaw lifts her chin. The leader informs Hollypaw that Reedwhisker told her she was spying on RiverClan. Hollypaw explains that ThunderClan fears that WindClan will attack if RiverClan go into their territory, and she wants to stop the battle everyone prepares for. Leopardstar guesses that Willowpaw showed her enough, and Hollypaw answers that she saw the old camp, but cuts herself off before realizing that she betrayed Willowpaw. Leopardstar gazes at Willowpaw, asking if she took her all the way there, and Willowpaw dips her head and admit so. Leopardstar sighs that Hollypaw must stay on the island. Hollypaw’s heart lurches and she protests that her Clan will worry for her, but Leopardstar counters that she should have thought of that before coming. She gazes at her Clan who watch with interest, and says that she can’t spare warriors for an escort, and doesn’t want to antagonize neighboring Clans by crossing territory. Hollypaw reminds her that she can travel safely beside the lake, but Leopardstar argues that it isn’t the Gathering, and their neighbors would be suspicious at rival Clan scent on their land. Hollypaw needs to get home soon, but Leopardstar turns away, saying that she can stay with the medicine cats until she can safely return.
- Willowpaw encourages Hollypaw to come to the medicine cave, and she wearily follows. Mothwing waits there and scolds that she told them not to be seen. Willowpaw apologizes, and Mothwing pushes herbs toward them, and orders them to eat. Hollypaw is hungry, and she chews on of the leaves. It is sticky and warm, and she asks Willowpaw what it is. Willowpaw replies that it is dried nettle, smeared with honey, and Hollypaw notes that it is not bad.
- After eating, Willowpaw leads Hollypaw to her nest, and they wash, then squeeze together into the soft bedding. Hollypaw is grateful for her friend’s warmth and she suddenly feels tired, telling Willowpaw that Leopardstar is only keeping her because she knows so much. Willowpaw agrees, but asks if Firestar would act different. Hollypaw sighs that he probably would not, and closes her eyes, wondering how long she must stay. She knows that her Clanmates will punish her when they find out that she is held by RiverClan, suspected of spying.
Notes and references
|Dark River 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|
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