|"So we know for a fact that Tigerclaw was lying about how Oakheart died—he didn't kill him himself, in revenge for Redtail. The rockfall killed him. Isn't it possible that he is lying about Redtail's death as well?"|
|— Fireheart to Bluestar in Forest of Secrets, page 75|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter six of Forest of Secrets. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 6 (of 30)
- Page Numbers: 70-77
- Fireheart feels so astonished that he can barely speak; and he asks Graypool if Mistyfoot and Stonefur really did come from ThunderClan. Graypool gives her chest a few licks, and mews that's exactly what she's telling the warrior. Fireheart is stunned, and questions if Oakheart had stolen them for RiverClan. The gray elder's fur bristles as she snarls that Oakheart was a noble warrior, and would never stoop to stealing kits. Fireheart mews an apology, and crouches in alarm. He says he didn't mean any harm, but exclaims that this is all hard to believe. Graypool sniffs, and she gradually calms down, to the warrior's relief. Fireheart thinks that if Oakheart didn't steal the kits, then perhaps rogues stole them from the camp. He is stumped on why rogues would've taken the newborns, then abandoned them when the scent of their Clan was still on their fur.
- Fireheart stammers, and queries why Graypool took care of ThunderClan kits. He presses what kind of Clan would take in enemy kits in the harshest season when prey was scarce. Graypool shrugs and answers it was simply because Oakheart asked her to. She notes that even though he wasn't deputy then, he was still a fine young warrior. The gray elder tells Fireheart that she had recently given birth to kits, but all had died due to the cold so she had extra milk. Her eyes soften as she mews they would've never lived to see sunrise if no one cared for them. She adds their ThunderClan scent soon faded, and that she respected Oakheart enough to not ask more questions. Graypool meows thanks to her and Oakheart, they're now fine warriors- a credit to their Clan.
- The ginger tom questions if Mistyfoot and Stonefur know all this, and Graypool harshly responds that they don't know, and if he ever tells she'll rip his liver out and feed it to the crows. She thrust her head forward, baring her teeth and drawing her lips back as she speaks. The ginger warrior flinches, and Graypool growls that they've never doubted she was their real mother, and notes she likes to think they look a little like her. Fireheart feels something prick in his mind, and he thinks to himself what Graypool just said should mean something to him, but the thought scuttles away like a mouse before he can grasp it.
- The elder insists the two warriors have always been loyal to RiverClan, and she doesn't want their loyalty to be divided now. Graypool points out that Fireheart himself was once a kittypet, so he should understand more than any cat what it means to have a paw in two places. Fireheart knows he'd never make anyone else go through the uncertainties he still struggled with of fully belonging to his Clan. He swears by StarClan never to tell them, and the old cat stretches, relaxing. Graypool replies that she accepts his word but doesn't know if this helps him at all except for the reason why Oakheart didn't want a ThunderClan cat to harm Mistyfoot or Stonefur. She notes that even if he claimed not to know where they came from, he'd have smelled their scent as clearly as she did. Graypool states that they are loyal to RiverClan, but perhaps Oakheart's loyalties on their behalf were divided. Fireheart purrs that he's very grateful for the information, and mews that although he doesn't know what it means, the warrior can feel it's importance. Graypool agrees, then frowns and meows that since now she's told him everything, he must leave the territory. Fireheart replies of course, and thanks Graypool for her help before thrusting his way out of the bush.
- Fireheart's mind spins with the fact that Mistyfoot and Stonefur have ThunderClan blood as he returns to camp. He notes that they were loyal to RiverClan now with no idea of their decided heritage. Fireheart reflects that blood loyalty and Clan loyalty aren't always the same, as his kittypet roots don't make his commitment to ThunderClan any less strong. He wonders if Bluestar would be willing to accept that Tigerclaw had killed Redtail now that Mistyfoot had confirmed how Oakheart died. Fireheart decides to ask the leader about Graypool's newest revelation also, since she might be able to tell him if a pair of kits had ever been stolen from ThunderClan's camp. When he reaches the clearing, the ginger warrior makes straight for Highrock. As he approaches Bluestar's den, he hears two cats meowing together, and picks up both Bluestar and Tigerclaw's scents. Fireheart quickly presses himself against the rock as the deputy shoulders his way out of the curtain of lichen that covers the den.
- The dark tabby calls over his shoulder that he's going to lead a hunting patrol to Snakerocks, since no cat has hunted there for a few days. Bluestar agrees that it's a good idea, and follows her deputy out of the den. She notes that prey is still scarce, and asks StarClan to grant the thaw soon. Tigerclaw grunts agreement, and lopes off towards the warriors' den, not noticing Fireheart who crouched by the rock. When he has left, the ginger warrior pads over to the mouth of the den, and calls to Bluestar that he'd like to speak to her. Bluestar calmly meows come in, and Fireheart follows her into the den with the curtain of lichen swooshing behind him, cutting off the bright snow-light from outside. In the dim interior, Bluestar faces him and asks what it is the warrior wants to talk about.
- Fireheart takes a deep breath, and asks the leader if she remembers the story that Ravenpaw had told of Tigerclaw killing Redtail at the battle at Sunningrocks. Bluestar stiffens, and growls to Fireheart that that is over because she has enough reasons to be satisfied it isn't true. Fireheart bows his head respectfully and mews that he knows, but has found more information. Bluestar waits in silence, and Fireheart can't tell what she's thinking. He continues that no cat killed Oakheart, because he died when a rock fell on top of him. Bluestar frowns, and questions how he knows this. Fireheart admits that he went to see Ravenpaw again after the last Gathering. He braces himself for anger at the confession, but the Clan leader seems to remain calm. She observes that was the reason he was late, and Fireheart meows quickly that he had to find out the truth. Bluestar interrupts him, and tells him to wait a moment because she want to know if Ravenpaw changed his story around.
- Fireheart promises that wasn't the case, it was that he'd misunderstood his friend. He explains to Bluestar that Redtail was partly responsible for Oakheart's death, because he drove the RiverClan deputy under the overhanging rock which collapsed on top of him, but didn't intend to kill him. Fireheart notes that this is what she couldn't believe; that Redtail would deliberately kill another cat. He pauses, trailing off, and Bluestar calmly prompts him to continue. Fireheart confesses that he went across the river and spoke to a RiverClan cat to confirm this. He looks at his paws, and braces himself for Bluestar's fury at him trespassing on enemy land but her eyes betrayed nothing but an intense interest. She nods at him, and Fireheart continues meowing that they know for a fact that Tigerclaw lied about how Oakheart died, because he was killed by a rockfall and not by Tigerclaw himself. He questions that since he lied about that, he could be lying about how Redtail died too. As he speaks, Bluestar looks troubled and narrows her eyes to a sliver so that only the faintest sliver of blue is visible in the den. She lets out a long sigh, and murmurs that Tigerclaw is a fine deputy, and the charges brought against him are serious. Fireheart quietly agrees, but points out to Bluestar how much of a threat he is. Bluestar sinks her head into her nest, and Fireheart begins to wonder if he should leave even though he wasn't dismissed.
- Fireheart ventures that there's something else; a strange thing about two RiverClan warriors. Bluestar looks up at this, and her ears prick forward in interest. The ginger warrior hesitates for a moment to spread the rumors of a temperamental RiverClan elder, but his need to know the truth drives him to speak. He meows that Ravenpaw told him in the Sunningrocks battle Oakheart had stopped Redtail from attacking a warrior named Stonefur. Fireheart notes that Oakheart had said no ThunderClan warrior should ever harm Stonefur. He says he had the chance to speak with one of the RiverClan elders, and she had told him that Oakheart brought Mistyfoot and Stonefur to her when they were tiny kits. Fireheart comments that it was leaf-bare then, and the kits would've died with no one to take care of them. He mews that the elder, Graypool, suckled them but when she first washed them she noticed they had a layer of ThunderClan scent. Fireheart questions Bluestar if that could be true, and if kits had ever been stolen from the ThunderClan camp.
- For a few heartbeats, Fireheart isn't sure if his leader heard him because she is so still. Then Bluestar rises to her paws and pads over to Fireheart so that she almost touches noses with him. She questions if he listened to nonsense, and hisses that this isn't what she expected of the ginger warrior. Her eyes glitter like ice, and her hackles raise as she growls that he went into enemy territory, listened to idle gossip, and actually believed it. She tells Fireheart briskly that he'd be better off thinking about his own duties rather than coming into her den and telling tales about Tigerclaw. Bluestar studies him for a moment, and comments that maybe her deputy is right to doubt Fireheart's loyalty to the Clan. Fireheart stammers that he's sorry, but thought Graypool was telling the truth. Bluestar lets out a long breath, all the interest in her expression replaced with cold and remote. She orders him to go do something that benefits a warrior, and never bring this up again. Bluestar asks if he understands, and Fireheart quietly mews he does and backs out of the den.
- His paws scrabble on the sand in his haste to obey, and he only stops all the way across the clearing, several fox-lengths away from Bluestar. Fireheart feels bewildered, and recalls that Bluestar seemed willing to listen to him until he mentioned the stolen ThunderClan kits, then she'd refused to hear any more. A sudden chill sweeps through Fireheart as he worries that Bluestar will wonder how he'd talked to the RiverClan cats. He thinks that she might also find out about Graystripe and Silverstream. Fireheart sighs, knowing that for a short time he'd let himself think he'd be able to convince Bluestar of Tigerclaw's treachery. He feels frustrated, and concludes that he blew it because his leader won't hear another word against Tigerclaw.
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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