|"This isn't as deep as when Whitestorm last reported. We'll try to cross here."|
|— Tigerclaw to his patrol about crossing the stream to Fourtrees in Forest of Secrets, page 166|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter sixteen of Forest of Secrets. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 16 (of 30)
- Page Numbers: 162-168
- Fireheart steps out of the ferns that enclose the apprentices' den and stretches his paws. He notes that the sky is colored a pale eggshell blue -- which promises fine weather after days of cloud and rain. Fireheart thinks that the worst part of his punishment is sleeping in the apprentices' den, because every time he enters, Thornpaw and Brightpaw stare at him with huge eyes, while Brackenpaw looks acutely embarrassed, and Swiftpaw openly sneers. He finds it hard to relax, as Spottedleaf interrupts his dreams, meowing a warning he could never remember when he woke. Fireheart gives himself a wash, and silently decides that he'll wake Graystripe soon to find a warrior to supervise on their next hunting patrol. He spots Bluestar and Tigerclaw sitting near Highrock, and then Bluestar beckons the ginger warrior over to her. Fireheart bounds over to her, and as he approaches the leader, she says that she and Tigerclaw think he and Graystripe have been punished enough. She meows that they can be full warriors again, and Fireheart thanks her.
- Bluestar tells Fireheart that Tigerclaw is leading a patrol to Fourtrees to see if they can get to the Gathering two days from now. She asks her deputy to take Fireheart with him, and the ginger warrior notes a dark gleam in Tigerclaw's eyes. The massive tabby agrees that he can come on the patrol, and sets off to find another cat to join them. Fireheart hears Bluestar murmur that this will be an important Gathering, as they need to know how the other Clans are dealing with the floods. He assures her that they'll find a way, as Tigerclaw approaches with Longtail trailing behind him. Fireheart feels a lump of apprehension in his stomach, and he isn't quite sure he wants to go out with Tigerclaw and Longtail alone. He remembers the recent RiverClan battle in which Tigerclaw made no move to help him as he struggled. For a moment, he imagines the two warriors murdering him in the forest, but waves the thought away. Fireheart meows a respectful good-bye to Bluestar, and follows the two cats out of camp.
- The cats journey through the first toward Fourtrees, and he thinks that newleaf has finally come. As he pads after Tigerclaw, he is distracted by tempting movements in the undergrowth as prey scurries to and fro. The deputy lets the patrol stop to hunt for themselves, and Fireheart is surprised when Tigerclaw praises him on his catch. When they went on, the ginger warrior couldn't help but feel optimistic thinking they'd soon have good news to bring Bluestar. They reach the top of the slope that leads down into Fourtrees, and Longtail yowls in dismay. Fireheart shares their exasperation, as the stream was usually dry enough to cross dry-pawed, but it is now a shining sheet with a strong current. Tigerclaw wordlessly pads upstream, and Fireheart notices that tussocks of grass had begun to break the water's surface. The deputy meows that this point in the stream isn't as deep as Whitestorm last reported, so they should try to cross here. Fireheart has doubts about the water being shallow enough, but keeps them to himself to avoid the usual kittypet jeers aimed at him. He follows Tigerclaw as he wades across the water, with Longtail following with twitching ears.
- Fireheart picks his way carefully across part of the cold stream, and hopes Tigerclaw doesn't expect them to swim the rest of the way when it gets too deep to wade. The deputy calls Fireheart and Longtail to him, telling them to look at a fallen branch that they can use to cross. Tigerclaw orders Fireheart to check that it's safe, and the ginger warrior dismally thinks that with any other senior warrior, or even Bluestar, he'd have questioned the safety of the branch. Longtail taunts him, and resolve burn in Fireheart's belly not to show fear to the two cats so they can relay it to the rest of the Clan. He steps onto the branch, and inches forward cautiously with his claws dug into the soft bark. The branch lurches under him, and Tigerclaw yowls for him to get back to shore. Fireheart sways precariously, and he slips into the water sideways as Tigerclaw yowls one last time.
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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