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"And as for you... Keep your eyes open, Fireheart. Keep your ears pricked. Keep looking behind you. Because one day I'll find you, and then you'll be crowfood. "
Tigerclaw's parting threat to Fireheart as he is exiled in Forest of Secrets, page 289

Below contains in-depth information for chapter twenty eight of Forest of Secrets. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
Chapter Number: 29 (of 30)
Page Numbers: 275-289

Chapter description

Fireheart springs forward and bursts through the lichen that shields Bluestar's den. He sees that Tigerclaw has the ThunderClan leader pinned down, and although the blue-gray she-cat fights back, she is unable to break free. Fireheart yowls at the dark tabby that he's a traitor, and flings himself at the deputy. Tigerclaw releases his grip on Bluestar and growls that he's going to flay the ginger warrior. Fireheart feels oddly free in spite of this, and summons every scrap of skill he possesses because now every secret was in the open -- which only left the clean danger of battle. They tussle together in the den, and Tigerclaw taunts that he's a kittypet, and aims a blow at the ginger warrior. Fireheart sees the deputy slip on a splash of blood, and seizes the opportunity to slice the dark tabby's belly open. He then fastens his teeth in Tigerclaw's throat, calling for Bluestar to help hold the traitor down. The ThunderClan leader slowly moves over to the pair, pinning her treacherous deputy by his hindquarters.
Graystripe pokes his head into the den, and Fireheart quickly recounts what had just happened. The gray warrior is shocked, but manages to meow that they're losing the fight and need Bluestar's help. Fireheart offers to come instead, and tells his friend to hold onto Tigerclaw until the battle's over. He exits the den, quickly spotting Longtail struggling under the weight of a tabby tom, and Patchpelt batting at a skinny gray outlaw. Fireheart collects his strength to fight, but sees a blue-gray shape racing across the clearing. He at first thinks it to be Bluestar, but quickly realizes it is Mistyfoot and some RiverClan warriors, with Whitestorm's patrol not far behind. The rogues scatter in fear, and the only enemy left is Brokentail, who lies on the ground.
The RiverClan cats gather together in the clearing mewing with concern, and Fireheart approaches them, stating a relieved thank-you. Leopardfur says gravely that she'd recognized some of the ShadowClan warriors who'd left with Brokenstar. The ginger warrior nods, and questions how they knew ThunderClan needed help. Mistyfoot replies that they didn't and had come for something but her deputy interrupts her. Leopardfur comments that they are glad to have helped, and they leave to give the Clan time to recover from their attack. Fireheart's shoulders sag in tiredness, and he spots Yellowfang and Cinderpaw starting to treat the wounded. He thinks that it's time to deal with Tigerclaw, and starts to limp towards Bluestar's den. Sandstorm arrives in camp, and asks what had happened while staring in shock. Fireheart grunts and replies that it was Brokentail's outlaws, and the she-cat notes that maybe their leader will give a second thought to sheltering the traitor.
The ginger warrior queries if Sandstorm will not ask questions, and tells her to go to Bluestar's den to deal with what she finds there. The she-cat frowns and meows for Brackenfur to follow her, before heading to the Highrock. Fireheart thinks that out of all that has happened, the scariest thing is how Bluestar seemed to lose the will to lead her Clan. He watches as Yellowfang treats Brokentail's wounds, reflecting that the medicine cat still loved him in some way as her son. Soon after, the ginger warrior spots Sandstorm exiting Bluestar's den, with Tigerclaw stumbling behind her. The deputy collapses at the base of Highrock, and Brackenfur trails him closely, alert for any sign that the dark tabby intended to attack or flee. Bluestar follows them, and Fireheart feels his fears resurface as he views a frail, wounded cat instead of the respected leader he once knew. Graystripe emerges from the den, and Cinderpaw anxiously noses him over for injuries.
Bluestar calls a Clan meeting, and while they gather, Fireheart asks his former apprentice if she'll give Tigerclaw something to ease his pain. He thinks that although he'd wanted to defeat the dark tabby more than anything, the sight of him bleeding to death in the dust is too much to bear. Cinderpaw doesn't challenge the ginger warrior's request, and limps away in the direction of Yellowfang's den. The Clan is assembled by the time the medicine cat apprentice returns, and the she-cat doles out herbs to both Tigerclaw and Graystripe. The dark tabby sniffs the herbs suspiciously, then begins to chew them as Bluestar announces to the Clan that her deputy is a traitor and now a prisoner. Darkstripe questions this, and the leader explains that Tigerclaw had tried to kill her in her den. The warrior looks shocked and blusters that there must be some mistake, but Bluestar rebukes him, dryly commenting that she can tell when a cat tries to murder her.
Fireheart springs up and affirms that Tigerclaw is a traitor, stating that he was the one who brought the attacking rogues today. Darkstripe rounds on him, meowing that he needs proof for anyone to believe him. The ginger warrior glances at Bluestar, and she beckons to him, telling him to report everything he knows to the Clan. Fireheart tells ThunderClan that Redtail was killed by Tigerclaw and Oakheart’s death was an accident, and in the process notes that Ravenpaw was the one who'd told him. He comments that he's spoken to RiverClan cats that have told him the same story. An eerie hush falls over the Clan, and everyone looks at each other as if they can find reasons for the terrible revelations in the faces of their friends. Fireheart meows that Lionheart became deputy then, but once he'd died fighting ShadowClan, Tigerclaw achieved his ambition at last. The ginger warrior says that the deputy might've even laid a trap for Bluestar near the Thunderpath, but Cinderpaw was caught in it instead. The ThunderClan leader bows her head and mews that Fireheart had told her his suspicions about the dark tabby, but she didn't believe him, and then states that she was wrong.
Mousefur questions how Tigerclaw would've expected to become leader if he'd killed Bluestar, because the Clan would never support him. Fireheart ventures that that may be why the deputy planned the attack the way he did -- by making it seem like one of the outlaws had killed their leader. Whitestorm questions what's going to happen to Tigerclaw now, but Bluestar sits motionless, frozen by the pain of knowing her once-trusted second-in-command is black at heart. Bluestar asks Tigerclaw if he has anything to say in his defence. Seething with rage, Tigerclaw calls Bluestar weak for helping the other Clans and bringing a kittypet into the Clan, and claims that he would have made ThunderClan strong. In response to these words, Bluestar asks how many cats would've died because of that. The ThunderClan leader sentences the dark tabby to exile, stating that if he's seen by sunrise tomorrow, any warrior may kill him with her permission. Tigerclaw turns to some of his sympathizers, first looking to Darkstripe, his closest follower.
The gray tabby declines to travel with the former deputy, seeming very angry that Tigerclaw plotted with the rogues. Tigerclaw hisses at him and then glances at Longtail, noting to him that he'll do well if he follows him. The pale warrior is shaken and insists that he won't go with him either. Lastly, the massive tabby looks at Dustpelt and offers to take him along, commenting that he'll have richer pickings if he comes. The young warrior hisses that he'll never travel with the traitor because he killed Redtail, who was his mentor and meant a lot to him. Tigerclaw leaves swearing revenge on ThunderClan. The massive tabby growls at Fireheart to watch himself, because he'll be crowfood one day as he vanishes into the thorn tunnel.





Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Revealed in Forest of Secrets, page 275
  2. Revealed in Forest of Secrets, page 277
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Revealed in Forest of Secrets, page 278
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Revealed in Forest of Secrets, page 279
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Revealed in Forest of Secrets, page 280
  6. Revealed in Forest of Secrets, page 281
  7. Revealed in Forest of Secrets, page 283
  8. Revealed in Forest of Secrets, page 286
  9. Revealed in Forest of Secrets, page 288
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Revealed in Forest of Secrets, page 284
  11. Revealed in Forest of Secrets, page 285