|"Were we fools to trust Darktail? Was I a fool to bring him back into our camp?"|
|— Hawkwing's thoughts on Darktail in Hawkwing's Journey, page 87|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter seven of Hawkwing's Journey. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 7 (of 35)
- Page Numbers: 75-87
- Hawkwing gets to his paws to stretch and shakes the dew off his pelt. All night he sat by Billystorm's body keeping vigil, and now the dawn light begins to creep in. Hawkwing feels stiff and light-headed and still is stunned by grief. The painful wounds he has hurt, but he almost welcomes the pain so he can forget about the battle and the uncertain future. It seems impossible the small group thought they were days from finding the four Clans, and now they just got attacked by badgers.
- He wonders if Darktail was wrong about the badger dens or anything else. The gray tabby thinks back to the dispute about the tree split in three, and wonders if he was right and they are on the wrong path. He looks at his Clanmates and shakes his pelt. Among all the questions he has, one thing is true. Billystorm is dead and Hawkwing has no clue what will happen now. He wonders about who would have thought that the quest would end up with a cat's death.
- Blossomheart and Pebblepaw sit together on the side of Billystorm's body. At first, Hawkwing can't see Waspwhisker, but the gray-and-white tom limps out of a thicket. The tom murmurs that he was looking around and thinks they bury Billystorm. Pebblepaw raises her head, disagreeing and saying her mentor should be brought back so they can bury him with his Clanmates. Waspwhisker shakes his head, understanding her but arguing that it's too far and his body would attract predators.
- Pebblepaw, Hawkwing, and Blossomheart dig a grave for Billystorm at the base of a tree, continuing despite their injuries. Hawkwing can not believe how many bad things have happened, first Duskpaw, now Billystorm. He wonders if bad things will keep happening till they find the "spark that remains". When Hawkwing looks at Pebblepaw, he sees understanding, not the hostility that used to be so clear.
- The gray tom's heart feels like it's breaking for her, paws shaking as he digs her mentor's grave. He relates with her, remembering how he felt when Duskpaw died. They lay Billystorm's body into the grave and cover it. When the task is done the group stands in silent respect as Hawkwing tries to remember the words Echosong said over Duskpaw's body. He says the farewell words.
- A shaft of sunlight shines on his body, and Waspwhisker believes it is a sign from StarClan. Hawkwing wants to believe it, but it doesn't comfort him, nor Pebblepaw. The cats pad away and Hawkwing wants to speak to Pebblepaw, but can't find the words. He knows that any words, even nice ones, can be a claw at the heart. He goes up the grieving she-cat, thanking her for saving him and Blossomheart.
- She stays silent, then spins around, hissing if she didn't leave Billystorm to help them, he might still be alive. Hawkwing's heart sinks and he realizes that Pebblepaw has regrets like him, and he knows they have a lot in common. He blames himself for not saving Duskpaw first, and she blames herself for not sticking with Billystorm. Hawkwing wonders if he should talk to her, but doesn't. Waspwhisker calls the group together, asking the group what to do since they are close to badgers.
- Hawkwing asks if they should carry on, and Waspwhisker thinks they should. He reminds the others they are only two days away from the other Clans according to Darktail, and asks for their opinions. Blossomheart agrees with the gray-and-white-tom, and Pebblepaw disagrees, saying it will be disrespectful to Billystorm. Waspwhisker and Pebblepaw argue briefly before Waspwhisker asks for Hawkwing's opinion. Hawkwing, knowing how Pebblepaw feels and wondering if Darktail was wrong about anything else, agrees with her.
- Blossomheart agrees with her brother. Hawkwing adds on there are many dangers, like badgers, and he quietly thinks they can't lose more Clanmates. Blossomheart says they should continue with the quest, but do it later when they have a better plan. Waspwhisker appears to be upset that the cats are challenging him, and tells them they may be too young to understand StarClan's will, but if they want to go home, he can't make them stay. Hawkwing thinks about the now lost optimism the patrol had when the quest started, and wonders if StarClan didn't want it to end this way.
- Waspwhisker tells the cats to stop and tells them they ought to hunt to keep their strength. The cats stand at the hill they hunted at earlier in the quest. Hawkwing remembers the patrol catching decent prey here. He tells Blossomheart they'll hunt once they find somewhere to rest. They find a clump of bushes to rest in and once Waspwhisker and Pebblepaw settle in the hazel bushes, the two go hunting. Hawkwing finds a vole and kills it easily. Blossomheart returns with a mouse and the two settle down to eat. Pebblepaw merely glances at the prey and turns away, and Blossomheart urges her to eat.
- Hawkwing notices Pebblepaw is rather thin since the badger attack, and he can't try to convince her to eat. Blossomheart urges Pebblepaw to eat again, but the speckled apprentice takes a tiny bite of the mouse and leaves the rest for the ginger-and-white she-cat. Hawkwing and his sister exchange a glance, knowing there is nothing more they can do, and they'll have to take her to Echosong later. He shares the vole with Waspwhisker when suddenly he hears a rustling noise. Turning around, he is relieved to smell cat scent and not a badger. Hawkwing thinks the cat was lured here by the stench of prey.
- Smelling Twoleg, he realizes that a kittypet is hiding in the bushes. Since there is no Twolegplace around, Hawkwing wonders how a kittypet is over here. A black, white, and orange she-cat stands in the bushes, wearing a collar, with shiny fur. She introduces herself as Betsy, surprising Hawkwing with her boldness. He introduces himself along with the questing cats. Waspwhisker asks what Betsy is doing away from her Twolegs, which confuses the kittypet. She points in the direction of her nest with her tail and asks the latter question to the questing cats.
- Deliberately not giving away details, Hawkwing replies they live very far away and they're on a quest. Waspwhisker asks Betsy if she's seen other groups of cats, referring to the Clans. She says certainly not, with terrifying creatures around, describing them. Waspwhisker tells Betsy the creatures are badgers, and asks how long the badgers have had their sets here. She states the badgers have been here for seasons, causing Hawkwing to wonder why Darktail thought the sets were abandoned.
- Betsy points with her nose to more sets past where the SkyClan cats fought the badgers, and warns them not to go over there. Blossomheart states they won't do that. The kittypet says the badgers will rip their fur off, and Hawkwing senses she must be excited talking them. She confesses she's a little reckless after Hawkwing asks why she's outside. He thanks her for the warning, but knows it wasn't needed. Betsy says her goodbyes and heads toward her home, and Hawkwing ponders she would make a good daylight-warrior.
- Waspwhisker wonders what Darktail was thinking about the badgers. Blossomheart says maybe they were asleep or out hunting, and Hawkwing wonders although his sister wants the best, it was a horrible mistake for Darktail to make. He wonders if the white tom deliberately let them into danger and caused Billystorm's death. Fury rises in Hawkwing, letting out his claws. He wonders if they were fools to accept Darktail, and if he was dumb to bring him to SkyClan.
Notes and references
Hawkwing's Journey 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 • Chapter 31 • Chapter 32 • Chapter 33 • Chapter 34 • Chapter 35 • Manga
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