|"Why should I keep secrets about a gift StarClan has given me?"|
|— Jaypaw to Leafpool in Dark River, page 52|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter three of Dark River. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 3 (of 21)
- Page Numbers: 45-56
- Jaypaw winces as grit from the trail digs into his pads, but is grateful that at least it's not cold, due to the Moonpool's path warming up with newleaf. Leafpool and Mothwing chat ahead of him, their mews hardly audible due to the stream beside the path loudly rushing with water because of the snowmelt from the mountains. It carries the scent of frost and rock, and Jaypaw thinks that the level of the lake will soon rise with the extra water.
- Littlecloud and Barkface are in the lead, and Willowpaw and Kestrelpaw trail in the back. Jaypaw occasionally slows in case they might want to catch up to him, but the apprentices always adjust their steps to be a little behind Jaypaw. However, he is content to walk alone, where he can listen to bits of the medicine cats' conversations. His mind wanders as he listens and feels for emotions behind the words as the medicine cats share recent stories of illnesses and problems. Mothwing asks Leafpool if Mousefur has completely recovered, but when Jaypaw searches her mind, he only find the usual blankness that always seems to shield her emotions. He turns his attention to Willowpaw, knowing that her mind is always open, and when he concentrates on her, can sense unease. Jaypaw tries to delve farther, but cannot go, and gives up, frustrated. He decides to find out more when she dreams.
- The path reaches the steep rocks that wall the ridge, and the medicine cats stop conversing as they breathlessly climb the rocks. Jaypaw scrambles ahead of Leafpool, feeling his mentor watch him as he leaps onto a tricky ledge, though she says nothing. Jaypaw has been this way enough to not need assistance on the ridge, and he is caught by the fresh scent of frost, rock, and sky from the Moonpool as he hauls himself over the ridge. Willowpaw climbs up beside him and voices amazement at how big it is, and Kestrelpaw agrees. A breeze whispers in Jaypaw's ear that there is room for all of them tonight, and as the voices welcome him, he wonders if they welcome the others too. He asks the other medicine cats if they hear it, but Leafpool is confused, and Littlecloud explains that it is the wind, with Barkface adding that the wind sounds different up there. Jaypaw can tell from their tone that the voices only to him. Jaypaw thinks of the prophecy from Firestar's dream, and is excited that part of his power must be to hear things that no other cat can.
- Willowpaw fidgets and asks where they should lie, due to the water covering their usual places. Mothwing swishes her tail and points out that the rocks are flat in one direction. Jaypaw follows Leafpool down toward the pool, and he hears voices welcoming him on the breeze again. Water laps at his paws, and he is surprised, as they are only halfway down the dimpled-stone slope. He follows Leafpool around the waters edge and settles on the rock beside her. Each of the medicine cats fall asleep, Willowpaw being the last. Jaypaw waits for her to slide into sleep, then focuses on her mind and touches the Moonpool with his muzzle.
- Jaypaw is instantly swept away in a torrent of seething water, and though he flails with his paws, terrorized as he gasps for air. he looks up to see a stormy sky clouding above him, and water stretching endlessly around him. He sees Willowpaw swimming among the waves, determined, a mouthful of herbs in her jaws. Jaypaw greatly struggles to keep his head above the surface, and tries to remain conscious as water fills his mouth and nose.
- Jaypaw opens his eyes to find that he is lying on damp grass, trees leaning over him, ferns crowding around him. Jaypaw struggles to his paws and wonders if it is his dream or Willowpaw's, when he hears a mew saying to hurry. Jaypaw stretches and looks over the ferns to see an old brown tom nudging Willowpaw forward and urging her to leave. Willowpaw frets about her herbs and tells Mudfur that she can't leave them behind, but he tells her to take what she can and find the rest when she gets there. Willowpaw is unsure of where, but Mudfur responds that there is no time for questions, and tells her that if she stays, the Clan will be destroyed. As the apprentice protests that there is nowhere to go, Jaypaw drops back onto four paws, realizing that there is indeed something very wrong with RiverClan.
- A sharp, mocking voice hisses that he is spying again, and Jaypaw spins around, objecting that she cannot accuse him of spying when she always turns up in his dreams. Yellowfang counters that they are not his dreams, and Jaypaw feels a rush of anger, exclaiming that it is his dream because he is dreaming. Yellowfang croaks that he is clever but dishonest, and points out that he planned to trespass on Willowpaw's dream since he closed his eyes. Jaypaw demands to know why she let him do it if she knew he would, but Yellowfang turns his face, and Jaypaw is delighted as he guesses out loud that she can't stop him, as he has the power of the stars in his paws. Yellowfang glares at him, asking if he really believes that, and Jaypaw questions if she is telling him it is not true. Yellowfang asks him what powers he does have, and as Jaypaw stares at her, she presses that he has no idea. Jaypaw's whiskers twitch and he demands if she does, and Yellowfang slowly blinks without responding. Jaypaw insists that he has his power for a reason, and the StarClan she-cat urges him to find it out before using it. She turns away, and Jaypaw wakes up as she disappears into the ferns.
- Jaypaw is blind once again, and Leafpool stretches beside him, asking if he had dreamt. Jaypaw whispers to he did, about RiverClan. Leafpool says to tell her once they have left the others, and calls to Mothwing if she is okay. Jaypaw hears Willowpaw leap to her paws and, trying to keep her voice from trembling, demands to her mentor that they must get home at once.
- As they head up the slope toward the forest after parting from the other medicine cats, Jaypaw can sense that Leafpool is anxious as he asks him what he saw in his dream. Jaypaw announces that RiverClan is in trouble, and explains how Willowpaw was swimming in a huge lake and was talking to Mudfur. Leafpool interrupts that he was RiverClan's medicine cat before Mothwing, and wonders out loud what they were doing in Jaypaw's dream. Her voice trails away and Jaypaw feels anger flare from her as she guesses that he went into Willowpaw's dream. Jaypaw responds that Hollypaw told him to find out RiverClan's condition, and when Leafpool asks if she wanted him to trespass on her friend's dreams, Jaypaw replies that although Hollypaw doesn't understand that stuff, he tried to find out what was wrong, as she had wanted to know. Although Leafpool angrily repeats to herself that it was a favor to his littermate, Jaypaw is too puzzled to sense fear beneath it.
- Jaypaw tells his mentor that StarClan let him do it, and adds that she shouldn't make a fuss as they know that RiverClan is in trouble. Leafpool murmurs that he shouldn't be able to find things out like that so easily, and Jaypaw snorts that it is not wrong just because she can't do it. Leafpool snaps that she is worried it will be like last time, when StarClan shared with Barkface that dogs would be attacking WindClan, but he wanted to take advantage of their vulnerability. Jaypaw mews that he is only doing Hollypaw a favor, but Leafpool begs him not to tell anyone else what he is doing. Jaypaw flexes his claws and asks why he should keep secrets about a gift that StarClan has given him.
- Jaypaw wonders why Leafpool is so fond with secrets, and suspects that she has even more secrets guarded so closely that even he could not glimpse them. Leafpool warns her apprentice that knowledge can be dangerous. Jaypaw is frustrated, as after a life in darkness he wants light and clarity rather than shadows. He forces away his anger, but wonders why Leafpool has to drag him into her complicated world. Jaypaw thinks they should tell Firestar about RiverClan, and Leafpool agrees, though asking him not to mention how he found out.
- Jaypaw doesn't reply, but although he doesn't care if other cats know how he found out, he is unhappy that Leafpool is making the decision for him. He hurries ahead, and he starts to run toward the nearing camp, Leafpool right on his tail as he enters. Firestar asks from the Highledge if something is wrong, and she responds that she must talk to him, whisking past Jaypaw toward the tumble of fallen rocks. Jaypaw thinks that they must talk to him and follows her, and Firestar leads them into his cave, and Jaypaw can scent Sandstorm and hear her groom herself. Sandstorm greets Leafpool, and Jaypaw, and Jaypaw feels a twinge of resentment that her voice softened when addressing him.
- Jaypaw claims that he had a dream, but Leafpool finishes that it was about RiverClan being in trouble and having a problem with their home. Firestar swishes his tail over the ground, questioning if there was a message about ThunderClan. Leafpool carefully meows that they weren't involved, and when Jaypaw responds no when Firestar asks if there was a clear sign about their problem, the leader concludes that he doesn't see what they can do.
- Leafpool is surprised and protests that they should help them, but Firestar replies that they will if they are asked, but it isn't their business. Jaypaw bristles with frustration and asks why not, and Firestar growls that he hasn't forgotten the last time he came to him with a dream, and says that it isn't part of the warrior code to attack every weak Clan. Jaypaw's ears burn and he protests that they could help them, thinking that RiverClan would be in their debt if they did so. Leafpool suggests paying a friendly visit, but Firestar firmly disagrees, unsure of why StarClan sends them dreams about other Clan's issues instead of dreams about them. Leafpool says that they could send a patrol just to see, but Firestar interrupts that they live on the other side of the lake, and neither WindClan nor ShadowClan would want them to cut through their territory. He voices weariness at always acting the best to find that he has only made other Clans jealous and resentful of ThunderClan.
- Jaypaw feels disappointment pulse from his mentor and he follows her down the rockfall after she pads out of the den. He is surprised that she won't argue with him, but Leafpool sighs that she tried. Jaypaw points out that he must listen to her as she is the medicine cat, but Leafpool argues that he is leader, and tells him to go to sleep.
- Jaypaw wishes his dream had been clearer, as Firestar might have then acted. He wants to rest after the tiring, long trek to the Moonpool, and he pads toward the medicine den, but from apprentice's den, Hollypaw calls for him to wait. She skids to a halt beside him and asks if he talked to Willowpaw. Jaypaw responds that he didn't, and wants to talk rather than sleep. Hollypaw asks if he found out anything, and Jaypaw mews that RiverClan is in trouble. Hollypaw paces around him and queries what is wrong and if he is sure, and Jaypaw responds that in his dream, Willowpaw was worried at having to find a new home. Hollypaw freezes, horrified, and asks what Firestar will do. Jaypaw retorts that he doesn't want to interfere, though Hollypaw gasps that he must. Jaypaw's pelt itches with annoyance as he recalls how Firestar had dismissed him yet again, and he responds that Firestar said it was their problem. Hollypaw asks if they must do nothing and watch, but Jaypaw pads toward the medicine den and says that he is tired, telling his sister to argue with Firestar.
- Jaypaw leaves Hollypaw and feels her gaze follow him as he sense her prickle with indignation, wondering on whether to confront her leader. He thinks that Hollypaw is often not indecisive, and ponders if she would be more certain if she knew about the prophecy. Jaypaw decides not to tell her yet, and at the moment he only wants to sleep.
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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