|"The thaw had certainly come, but now the river was in full flood."|
|— Narrator about the river in Forest of Secrets, page 114|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter ten of Forest of Secrets. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 10 (of 30)
- Page Numbers: 109-114
- In camp, Fireheart spots Bluestar exit the nursery so he drops his catch on the fresh-kill pile and pads over to her. The leader asks him what he wants, but Fireheart notes the lack of warmth in her voice. He has a sinking feeling that she had not forgiven him for asking about the missing ThunderClan kits. Fireheart dips his head respectfully and starts to explain he was hunting near the Twolegplace when Bluestar interrupts him. She questions why he would hunt there, and notes that she sometimes thinks the ginger warrior spends too much time there.
- Fireheart stammers that he thought there might by good hunting there, and reports that he scented some strange cats. Bluestar becomes alert, and her ears flick up as she stares intently at Fireheart. She queries how many there were, and which Clan they were from. He admits he didn't know how many were there, but that they didn't have the scent of any Clan. Fireheart wrinkles his nose as he remembers they smelled of crowfood, which meant they weren't kittypets. Bluestar looks thoughtful, and Fireheart is relieved that her hostility towards him has ebbed away. The leader asks how recent the scent was, and he replies that it was quite recent, but he didn't see any cats there. Fireheart silently thinks he saw Tigerclaw there, but decides not to tell Bluestar. He notes the leader was in no mood to listen to any more accusations against her deputy, and Fireheart had no real evidence anyway that Tigerclaw had anything to do with the unknown cats. Bluestar guesses that they might be rogues from the Twolegplace. She thanks the warrior, and tells Fireheart she'll let the patrols know when they go that way. Bluestar doesn't suppose they're a threat to ThunderClan, but meows they can't be too careful.
- A few days later, Fireheart pads toward camp with a vole clamped in his jaws. He notes that most of the snow had melted away in the two days since his meeting with Princess. Fireheart looks at the swelling buds of trees above him, marveling in the beauty of the mist of tiny leaves covering the forest. He thinks that the prey is returning, since it was easier to hunt and the Clan was fully fed for the first time in moons. When he arrives in the clearing, Fireheart sees the queens raking old bedding out of the nursery. He drops his catch on the fresh-kill pile, and goes over to help them. Fireheart is pleased to see Cloudkit helping, and the kit says he's going to show the other kits a good moss place.
- Fireheart agrees that it's a good idea, and notes that even though Tigerclaw had relieved the kit of his duties with the elders, he'd continued helping. He hopes the kit is feeling a spark of loyalty to his adopted Clan, and playfully tells the kit to watch out for badgers. Fireheart then spots Goldenflower emerge from the nursery, her belly round with the kits she was carrying. The queen greets him, and says it's great to see the sun again. Fireheart replies that it'll soon be newleaf, just in time for her kits. He breaks off, spinning around as Tigerclaw meows he had things for the warrior to do if he's just gossiping with the queens. Fireheart bites back an angry response, indignantly thinking he had hunted all morning and stopped for only a moment to speak with Goldenflower.
- The deputy tells him to take a patrol along RiverClan's border, because no one had been there for a few days. He comments that Fireheart will need to renew the scent markers, because the snow will have washed them away, and notes that if there are any RiverClan cats there he should chase them off. Fireheart agrees, but thinks that hedgehogs must be growing wings because Tigerclaw would never choose him to lead a patrol. He then realizes that the deputy is clever enough not to behave hostile to him in public, and would treat him the same as any Clan warrior just in case Bluestar noticed. Fireheart thinks that he still doesn't trust Tigerclaw, but aloud he queries who he should take with him in patrol. Tigerclaw says he can take any cat he likes, and sneers if he needed to hold the warrior's paw.
- Fireheart replies that he didn't, and thinks of how much he'd like to rake his claws over the deputy's scarred muzzle. He mews a hasty farewell to Goldenflower, an dads over to the warriors' den. He spots Sandstorm in her nest washing, and Graystripe and Runningwind sharing tongues nearby. He asks who's up for a patrol, and tells them Tigerclaw wants cats to check the RiverClan border. Graystripe scrambles to his paws at the mention of RiverClan, while Runningwind gets up more slowly. Sandstorm complains that she was hoping for a bit of peace, since she had been hunting since dawn. Her tone was good-humored, and Fireheart notes it wasn't remotely as unfriendly as when he joined the Clan. Sandstorm gets out of her nest, and meows for Fireheart to lead on.
- Fireheart asks Graystripe if he wanted to bring Brackenpaw along, and Runningwind explains that Whitestorm and Mousefur took all the apprentices out to catch fresh-kill for the elders. He then leads the way out of camp, and sets a brisk pace through the trees. Fireheart meows that they'll head for Sunningrocks, then follow the border up to Fourtrees. He relaxes, hearing birdsong fill the trees with the scent of flower-buds in the air. Fireheart slows to a walk as he hears the river, finally free from ice. He says they need to keep alert, because there might be RiverClan cats about. Graystripe stops and scents the air, and reports that he can't smell any, and Fireheart wonders if he is disappointed Silverstream isn't nearby. Graystripe meows that they'll have plenty of prey now that the river's unfrozen, and queries why they would come and steal ThunderClan's.
- Runningwind growls that he wouldn't put anything past RiverClan because they'd steal the fur off your back if you didn't watch them. Graystripe bristles, but Fireheart distracts his friend before he can give away his divided loyalties. He races through the trees and bursts out onto open ground. Fireheart skids to a halt, the memory of his dream crashing into his mind like a thunderclap. In front of the cats, the ground slopes down to the river- or what had been the river. Swelled by the melting snow, the fast-flowing water had burst its banks and risen to a rabbit-length from Fireheart's paws. The tips of the reeds show just above it, and the Sunningrocks are small gray islands in the midst of a shimmering silver lake. Fireheart notes the thaw had come, but now the river was in full flood.
Notes and references
|Forest of Secrets 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|
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