|"Keep back. We'll let them pass. I want ThunderClan cats at the Gathering."|
|— Nightstar to his warriors in Forest of Secrets, page 184|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter eighteen of Forest of Secrets. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 18 (of 30)
- Page Numbers: 178-188
- Fireheart washes himself outside his den, and thinks that it is the third sunset after he'd almost drowned. He irritably thinks that he can still taste the muddy water on on his fur, and then senses pawsteps heading toward him. Tigerclaw looms over the ginger warrior, and growls that Bluestar wants him to attend the Gathering. The deputy orders him to meet the leader outside her den with Sandstorm and Graystripe. Fireheart hurriedly gets up and pads across the clearing to his friends, and announces to them that they're going to the Gathering. Sandstorm, puzzled, asks if they can even get to the Gathering with the floods as high as they are. Fireheart mews that StarClan would be angry if they didn't try, so he suggests that Bluestar might have a plan. Graystripe mumbles that he hopes they don't have to swim, but Fireheart sees an excited glint in his eyes. The ginger warrior wonders if his friend is thinking about Silverstream, and if they'd been able to see each other since the floods.
- Fireheart sees Bluestar, Whitestorm, Willowpelt, and Mousefur sitting near the base of Highrock, and he hears her tell the cats that they must try to find a dry way to get there. Darkstripe pipes up and reports that the water is going down, but there's still nowhere to cross without swimming. Willowpelt meows that the stream thins out, and questions if they could swim across. Darkstripe replies that it's still to far, but Whitestorm comments that it's got to be the best place to try. Bluestar nods, and decides that they'll start there and hope StarClan leads them to a safe place.
- The cats set off into the forest, and Fireheart notices that the sun has gone down. He wonders what his leader might be planning, as the usual route to Fourtrees doesn't come as close to the Thunderpath as they are going. Fireheart notices that water covers the Thunderpath as well, and the patrol watches as monsters move through the water. Bluestar meows that it's shallow enough here, so they will walk along the Thunderpath, then along ShadowClan's border to get to Fourtrees. The ginger warrior's coat prickles with fear as he thinks about walking alongside the Thunderpath, remembering Cinderpaw's accident all too well. Graystripe asks Bluestar what they should do if another monster comes, and the leader responds that they'll keep to the side because they go slowly in water. Whitestorm calls out to Bluestar to wait, and he tells her that they probably won't get to Fourtrees without going on ShadowClan territory, which is higher. Fireheart feels a pang of fear, because he knows if ThunderClan's patrol of warriors went on ShadowClan's land it'd be seen as an invasion. The leader acknowledges that they're going to have to risk it because it's the only way.
- The patrol follows her silently, and then Tigerclaw yowls for everyone to look out. The cats press themselves to the ground, and after a moment, the monster is gone. The ThunderClan warriors soon step off the Thunderpath, with only a swath of ShadowClan land between them and the Gathering. Bluestar quickens the pace, and Fireheart's heart beats in his chest as he thinks about what would happen if ShadowClan caught them. Shadows emerge and surround the patrol, and slows to a stop with the rest of her patrol adjusting in tandem. Nightstar spits and asks Bluestar why she has brought her warriors onto his land. The ThunderClan leader apologizes, but explains that it was the only way because of the floods. She says that there's a truce at the full moon, but Nightstar sneers that the truce is only at Fourtrees. Fireheart drops into a defensive crouch as the ShadowClan cats form a circle around the ThunderClan patrol. Bluestar apologizes once more, and says they'd never trespass unless there was no other option. Cinderfur growls that they're probably here to spy, but Tigerclaw rebukes him, meowing that there's nothing to spy on this far from ShadowClan's camp. Nightstar pauses, then orders his warriors to let them pass because he wants ThunderClan cats at the Gathering. The ShadowClan leader goes on to say they'll be giving them an escort, so that ThunderClan doesn't get scared by an angry mouse. Fireheart follows his patrol as they are led to Fourtrees by a rival Clan.
- The ShadowClan cats slip away into the shadows as they reach the hollow, and Bluestar goes straight to the Great Rock with Tigerclaw close behind. Fireheart spots Graystripe approaching Silverstream, but the she-cat is surrounded by cats of her Clan so the gray warrior can only hover. Mousefur cuts into Fireheart's thoughts and asks him if he's got something on his mind. The ginger warrior stares at her, and quickly improvises that he is wondering why Nightstar wanted ThunderClan cats at the Gathering. Sandstorm and Willowpelt some up next to him, and she says that the ShadowClan leader must have another notice because he isn't kind and helpful. Willowpelt leaves to chat with some WindClan queens, and comments that trouble's coming as she walks away. Uneasier than ever, Fireheart roams the clearing and sees several ShadowClan cats glaring at him.
- The meeting starts, and Sandstorm settles herself beside Fireheart. Nightstar steps forward first, and calls the cats to listen and remember Brokenstar, when Tallstar interrupts him. The WindClan leader questions why he speaks that hated name, and he replies that it's because ThunderClan is sheltering the traitor, and they must be punished. Fireheart exchanges a glance with Sandstorm, and they both think that trouble is looming.
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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