"Duskpaw, I'm sorry I didn't save you. I'm so sorry that you never got to be a warrior."
Hawkwing mourning his deceased brother Duskpaw in Hawkwing's Journey, page 43
Below contains in-depth information for chapter four of Hawkwing's Journey. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
Chapter Number: 4 (of 35)
Page Numbers: 33-50

Chapter description

Hawkwing is sitting vigil after his warrior ceremony with his siblings Blossomheart and Cloudmist. The night before, he remembers not being able to resist whispering to Blossomheart that Duskpaw should've been there with them, despite the fact that warriors sitting vigil cannot speak to one another. His sister replies that she misses him too, and after that they sit still, on the lookout for invaders. No invaders come, so Hawkwing spends the whole night thinking. As the sun peeks over the gorge, he starts to feel guilty about the way he treated Pebblepaw. When the gray tom thinks of her he still feels angry, but he now wonders if he was wrong to blame her for his decision and feelings. Hawkwing feels as if this guilt was only one drop in his big pool of guilt.
As Leafstar calls a Clan meeting, Sandynose walks over to the young warriors and tells them their vigil is over. Hawkwing wonders what the meeting is all about, and he sees the Clan gathering to hear their leader, including Sharpclaw, his father, and more notably Echosong, the medicine cat. Harveymoon, Macgyver, and Ebonyclaw all hurry down the trail to the Rockpile, with Macgyver panting that they were glad they left early. The queens, Birdwing, Mintfur, and Honeytail all poke their heads out of the nursery, with Birdwing's kits frisking around. Sometimes they get too close to edge, in which the black queen pulls them back. At last the whole Clan is assembled, and Leafstar's eyes are tinged with trouble. Hawkwing feels a tingling of apprehension in his paws, and he listens to what the brown-and-cream tabby has to say. Leafstar has Echosong share what she has seen with the Clan, and she does. Echosong says a cat named Skystar spoke with her, and that he was the founder of SkyClan. As the medicine cat tells the Clan what she has seen, Hawkwing thinks that so many seasons have passed, and yet a Clan founder could still come to speak with their medicine cat. Echosong continues, saying that Skystar told her that the fire has burned out, but to dispel the darkness they had to find the spark that still remains. Sharpclaw, intrigued, asks what that means, and the silver-gray tabby she-cat replies that she believes the fire that burned out was Firestar, the legend of SkyClan. Hawkwing perks up at this. He remembers who Firestar is, and how he restored SkyClan after it scattered and how he was Ravenpaw's friend. Leafstar's eyes grow concerned, and she does not want to believe Firestar is dead.
Echosong proposes that "the spark that remains" was Firestar's kin back in ThunderClan, and that perhaps they were being told to seek out ThunderClan and the rest of the Clans. She suggested that it was time SkyClan returned to its rightful place as the fifth Clan. Sharpclaw retorts that the four Clans have since moved after Firestar restored SkyClan, and he asks how they are to find him. She calmly replies that StarClan would not send them on a journey that they would fail to complete, and that one solution would be to find Barley, a friend of Ravenpaw's. Bellapaw and Rileypaw agree almost immediately, and Hawkwing knows that they're Barley's kin. He still doubts that this is what they are supposed to do, however. Cats all around exchange doubtful and confused glances, and Hawkwing agrees with them. He wonders how come StarClan would ask them to leave the gorge, as it was their home.
Leafstar steps forward to speak, when she is interrupted by Sagenose. He thinks there must be a simpler answer, and he says it had to be about the recent fire that killed Duskpaw, saying it couldn't be a coincidence that the fire happened on the same day. Plumwillow thinks there may be something left over after the fire, and that Skystar wanted them to find the object. Before Echosong can finish her reply, Nettlesplash interjects, asking if StarClan was predicting the fire. Hawkwing feels as if a rock had landed on him, and Sharpclaw orders all of them to be quiet and let their medicine cat finish. The young dark gray warrior wonders if Echosong knew about the fire, and if she did, why she kept it to herself. Echosong says she thinks the fire refers to Firestar, and not a real fire, but Tinycloud says if the prophecy is about a cat with "fire" in their name, then it could be talking about Bouncefire or Firefern, since they have "fire" in their name as well. Bouncefire looks proud about being mentioned, while Firefern looks disturbed. She opens her jaws to reply, but before she can, Hawkwing leaps to his paws and asks Echosong why she didn't warn any cat if she knew about the prophecy. He asks her if she thinks it's just a coincidence that the fire happened the same day she received the prophecy, and he's about to continue, when the silver tabby interrupts him. She says StarClan has always worked in weird and mysterious ways, and that when she came out of the Whispering Cave she smelled smoke, and it was too late by the time the smoke reached camp. Echosong says she knows how Hawkwing feels, but a medicine cat cannot go back in time.
Hawkwing bitterly asks what the point of a prophecy was if it couldn't prevent terrible things from happening. The medicine cat gently points out that she was sorry about Duskpaw, but the prophecy wasn't about him, and the young warrior angrily asks how it couldn't be about him. He says the prophecy spoke of a fire, and Duskpaw died in one. Sharpclaw sharply scolds his son, telling him Echosong was the medicine cat and deserved his respect. He feels embarrassed and says no more, his body burning with shame and anger. Echosong says prophecies cannot prevent every single terrible thing from happening, and if they are to find Firestar's kin, then they must listen, or else. The whole Clan falls into silence, while Leafstar is thinking. Finally she announces that a quest must be made to find Firestar's kin, but first she will send out a patrol to look in the embers. Sharpclaw asks what happens if there is nothing there, and Echosong says then they will know it is not referring to the recent fire. Leafstar selects Sandynose to lead the patrol, and to take Plumwillow and Hawkwing with him. Hawkwing is surprised, as he thinks Leafstar is angry with him. Then he thinks that the Clan leader wanted him most of all to go and see that the prophecy had nothing to do with the fire or Duskpaw's death.
Sandynose and Plumwillow walk up to Hawkwing. The former points out that he hasn't eaten or slept, and that they didn't need to go right away so that the young warrior could eat and take a nap. He refuses, his paws itching to get moving. He asks how they knew the sparks hadn't blown away, or will blow away. Sandynose nods, and they hike the trail out of the gorge. While walking, Hawkwing realizes that he was so mean to Echosong partially because then it wouldn't be all his fault for his brother's death, and it would have been destined. But even then his brother would still be dead. Plumwillow meows that she thinks it still had to do with the fire, and why StarClan would send them off on a journey to find the other Clans when they were fine. Sandynose agrees, saying that would be mouse-brained. The tom listens to them, saying nothing, and as they get closer, the smell of burning reaches his nose. The memories come rushing back, with wails of terrified apprentices resounding in the dark gray tom's head and Duskpaw's frightened face flashing in his mind. All that remains in the Twoleg greenplace is charred earth, a burned tree, and a trash can with scorch marks. Much of the other debris had been cleared away, Hawkwing guessed, by Twolegs. Sandynose says that Echosong was probably right, as there was nothing there but a bad smell and charred earth. Plumwillow agrees, and Hawkwing feels unsure about the prophecy, with Duskpaw's image flooding his mind.
Sandynose suggests they go home, with Plumwillow adding that they can pick up prey on the way, and Hawkwing says he'll stay there for a few moments. He feels strange saying that, reminding himself that he doesn't have to go back because he isn't an apprentice anymore. He feels closer to Duskpaw, even though Duskpaw is buried at the tree at the top of the gorge. It was the place where Duskpaw last lived--the place he loved. The grief-stricken warrior meows, thick with emotion, that he was sorry that Duskpaw never made it to become a warrior. As he grieves, another cat walks up behind him. He startles and he wonders how the he didn't scent the cat. Hawkwing realizes the smoke must've covered up the smell of the cat. He describes the newcomer as muscular, with a white pelt that is broken up by black spots, and a black tail. The stranger isn't a cat that Hawkwing has smelled or seen before, and introduces himself as Darktail, and he asks the young warrior if he's a Clan cat.
Darktail says he didn't mean to eavesdrop, but he overheard Hawkwing talking to his Clanmates. He asks the gray tom if he had lost someone he loved. Hawkwing gets annoyed, as what he said was supposed to be private. But he hears sympathy in Darktail's voice, so he says yes, saying his brother died in that fire. Darktail says he was caught in the exact same fire, and Hawkwing bristles with suspicion, pointing out that the white tom didn't look injured. Darktail says he wasn't in the fire, but rather resting in the bushes. Hawkwing wonders how he didn't see a sleeping rogue, but he figures that he was so focused on rescuing his Clanmates he didn't focus on anything else. Darktail continues, saying he breathed in too much smoke, making him feel dizzy and confused. He has trouble breathing, and begins to ask Hawkwing something. Hawkwing pushes him to answer, to which Darktail looks embarrassed. He says he knows that Clan cats have herbs for medicine, and he was wondering if Hawkwing's Clan could lend some to him. Darktail says he would repay Hawkwing for his kindness. Hawkwing feels as if he had a connection to this cat. He felt a strange compassion for the stranger. He says he'll go get the medicine cat, and Darktail wants to come with him. Hawkwing says no, saying it's too far for an injured cat. Darktail insists that he must come with Hawkwing, to which Hawkwing is a little startled. Darktail says he didn't mean to startle him, but he can't bear to stay with the charred earth and the memories of what happened. Choking, he continues, saying he hoped to meet a Clan cat, and now he found Hawkwing. He promises he will not go into the camp unless he has been granted permission. As they walk back to camp, he thinks about how he found this cat while looking for clues. He gets excited, thinking that "the spark that remains" is possibly Darktail, and a tingling fills him.
Hawkwing tells Darktail to wait at the edge of the gorge as he goes to get his medicine cat. He feels embarrassed going to talk to Echosong so soon after arguing with her, but she greets him with her usual calmness, easing the embarrassment. Hawkwing tells the gray she-cat that he met a strange cat that was injured over at the Twoleg greenplace, and he wonders if he is related to the prophecy. Echosong asks him how he was injured, and Hawkwing replies that he breathed in too much smoke. The silver-gray tabby says coltsfoot is needed for that. The excited tom brings Echosong to Darktail, and lets her work on her patient. Darktail says it was great how Clan cats care for each other, and that being a Clan cat had a difference. The suspicious medicine cat narrows her eyes, asking how he knows about the Clans. Darktail says when he was younger, he knew a group of cats, each of which had their own duties, and there was one cat who healed everybody. Echosong perks with curiosity, and she asks if Darktail had really met Clan cats before. He says yes, and he remembers they all have different names. Darktail struggles to remember the exact name but he says he thinks one of them was called ThunderClan. Hawkwing perks at this, listening intensely as Echosong questions the cat. He thinks that Darktail really is part of the prophecy. Echosong then asks Hawkwing to grab Leafstar.
He walks down to the camp inside Leafstar's den. Inside Leafstar and Sharpclaw are discussing something, and when Leafstar looks up, Hawkwing dips his head and explains about Darktail, and how he knows about the Clans and could help find ThunderClan. Leafstar is intrigued and agrees to come, with Sharpclaw wanting to come too. Hawkwing feels proud, thinking his father will think he has done something right for once. Darktail and Echosong are where Hawkwing left them, and Echosong orders Darktail to tell Leafstar what he has told Echosong. Darktail politely explains, and Leafstar invites Darktail to come inside the camp and share their prey. She says she will let him rest and recover in the medicine den, and if he what he says is true then he has given them a great gift. Despite his grief for Duskpaw, Hawkwing feels proud that he has brought something useful back from the site of the fire. As he walks back to the camp, he realizes that he is both tired and starving, not having eaten or slept before. He gulps down a mouse hungrily and retires to his nest after nodding at the newcomer. When he falls asleep he feels a flicker of hope rise, a flicker of hope that came on like light.





Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Revealed in Hawkwing's Journey, page 33
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Revealed in Hawkwing's Journey, page 34
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Revealed in Hawkwing's Journey, page 38
  4. Revealed in Hawkwing's Journey, page 39
  5. Revealed in Hawkwing's Journey, page 43
  6. 6.0 6.1 Revealed in Hawkwing's Journey, page 37
  7. Revealed in Hawkwing's Journey, page 35
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Revealed in Hawkwing's Journey, page 36

Hawkwing's Journey chapters
PrologueChapter 1Chapter 2Chapter 3Chapter 4Chapter 5Chapter 6Chapter 7Chapter 8Chapter 9Chapter 10Chapter 11Chapter 12Chapter 13Chapter 14Chapter 15Chapter 16Chapter 17Chapter 18Chapter 19Chapter 20Chapter 21Chapter 22Chapter 23Chapter 24Chapter 25Chapter 26Chapter 27Chapter 28Chapter 29Chapter 30Chapter 31Chapter 32Chapter 33Chapter 34Chapter 35Manga
Warriors cliffnotes
The Prophecies Begin Into the WildFire and IceForest of SecretsRising StormA Dangerous PathThe Darkest Hour
The New Prophecy MidnightMoonriseDawnStarlightTwilightSunset
Power of Three The SightDark RiverOutcastEclipseLong ShadowsSunrise
Omen of the Stars The Fourth ApprenticeFading EchoesNight WhispersSign of the MoonThe Forgotten WarriorThe Last Hope
A Vision of Shadows The Apprentice's QuestThunder and ShadowShattered SkyDarkest NightRiver of FireThe Raging Storm
The Broken Code Lost StarsThe Silent ThawVeil of ShadowsDarkness Within
Dawn of the Clans The Sun TrailThunder RisingThe First BattleThe Blazing StarA Forest DividedPath of Stars
Super Editions Firestar's QuestBluestar's ProphecySkyClan's DestinyCrookedstar's PromiseYellowfang's SecretTallstar's RevengeBramblestar's StormMoth Flight's VisionHawkwing's JourneyTigerheart's ShadowCrowfeather's TrialSquirrelflight's HopeGraystripe's Vow
Field Guides Secrets of the ClansCats of the ClansCode of the ClansBattles of the ClansThe Ultimate Guide
Graystripe's Adventure The Lost WarriorWarrior's RefugeWarrior's Return
Stand-alone Manga The Rise of Scourge
Tigerstar and Sasha Into the WoodsEscape from the ForestReturn to the Clans
Ravenpaw's Path Shattered PeaceA Clan in NeedThe Heart of a Warrior
SkyClan and the Stranger The RescueBeyond the CodeAfter the Flood
Short Stories and Plays After Sunset: We Need to TalkAfter Sunset: The Right Choice?Brightspirit's MercySpottedleaf's Honest AnswerThe Clans DecideThe Elders' Concern
Novellas Hollyleaf's StoryMistystar's OmenCloudstar's JourneyTigerclaw's FuryLeafpool's WishDovewing's SilenceMapleshade's VengeanceGoosefeather's CurseRavenpaw's FarewellSpottedleaf's HeartPinestar's ChoiceThunderstar's EchoRedtail's DebtTawnypelt's ClanShadowstar's LifePebbleshine's KitsTree's RootsMothwing's Secret
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