|"He was desperately trying to cling onto the memory of what he had seen. Even though it had been upsetting, the swell of dread in his belly gave him the feeling that somehow his vision might be very important."|
|— Shadowpaw's thoughts following a seizure in Lost Stars, page 55|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter four of Lost Stars. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 4 (of 24)
- Page Numbers: 40-55
- Grassheart’s body jerks as she coughs violently. Eventually, she collapses into her nest and lays among the bracken, her eyes closed and her body occasionally shaking as more coughs batter her. Shadowpaw bends over her and sniffs her carefully. He reports that it’s not Greencough yet, but that if the cold keeps up, it could easily change to Greencough, as she is worse than she was yesterday. Shadowpaw’s mentor, Puddleshine, speaks from the back of the den, saying that an outbreak of Greencough is the last thing they need. He mews that they’re getting low on catmint, and that even whitecough is dangerous in this cold.
- Shadowpaw doesn’t pay attention to the medicine cat, as his mind keeps flying back to the meeting at the Moonpool. The distant voices of his ancestors haunt his memory, and he wonders if it’s his fault that they couldn’t reach StarClan. Shadowpaw thinks about how, even as a kit, something had always been wrong with him, as he had had strong and violent visions that were often accompanied by seizures that no one could explain. He thinks that it’s not a bad thing, but that it is strange in that it’s not how medicine cats usually receive visions, and that maybe it’s upsetting StarClan enough for them to turn their backs on the Clans.
- Puddleshine’s voice sounding close to his ear startles Shadowpaw out of his thoughts, and he turns to see the irritated face of his mentor. Puddleshine asks his apprentice if he’s heard a word he’s said, and Shadowpaw wildly guesses that it was something about catmint. Puddleshine affirms that they have to go to Twolegplace to get some, then asks Shadowpaw if something’s wrong. Shadowpaw says that there isn’t, thinking that he doesn’t dare confess his fears. Remembering how quiet and tense his mentor had been after the half-moon meeting, Shadowpaw says that everything’s fine. Puddleshine snorts in disbelief, but gently says that Shadowpaw can tell him. Shadowpaw admits that he was thinking about the meeting, but doesn’t tell Puddleshine about his worst fears. He asks if StarClan isn’t watching over them anymore, to which Puddleshine replies that StarClan is always with them, and that it must be the Moonpool that’s affecting their connection with their ancestors. Shadowpaw hopes that the problem is that simple.
- Outside the medicine den, Shadowpaw hears the cheerful voices of his littermates, Lightleap and Pouncestep, who have just returned from a border patrol. As his sisters proudly talk about the patrol, Shadowpaw wishes that he were as confident as a medicine cat apprentice as his sisters are as warriors. Puddleshine says that he’s going out to look for catmint, and tells Shadowpaw to take a break and talk to his friends. Shadowpaw asks about Grassheart, but Puddleshine assures him that Grassheart will be fine for a while before racing out of camp. Shadowpaw follows him to the pool at the end of the hollow, where he stops to lap water. He notices that ice is forming at the water’s edges, and wonders how long it and the Moonpool will take to completely freeze.
- Shadowpaw spots his mother, Dovewing, weaving branches into the den she shares with Tigerstar. He bounds over to her and asks if he can help, and Dovewing says that he can if he likes, pushing a clump of twigs toward him. As Shadowpaw fits the twigs into place, he asks his mother if leaf-bare will ever end. Dovewing asks if he remembers his first leaf-bare, and Shadowpaw shakes his head, saying that he can remember some of the journey with Spiresight and the others, but nothing about the weather. Dovewing mews that it wasn’t as bad as this, but assures that leaf-bare will end and give way to newleaf and then the warmth of greenleaf. Shadowpaw murmurs that then there’ll be leaf-fall and leaf-bare, thinking that he understands the seasons. He wonders what would have happened if Tigerheart and Dovewing had stayed in Twolegplace, and thinks that they’d have been safe and warm inside the big den.
- Shadowpaw glances around camp and sees that the early patrols have returned and most cats are in the clearing. They all look thin and hungry, and Shadowpaw knows that they will remain that way until the warmer weather returns. As he continues to think about the big Twolegplace he was born in, Shadowpaw notices that two cats from that place, Blazefire and Cinnamontail, are nowhere to be seen. He realizes that he hasn’t seen them since yesterday, and is about to ask Dovewing about this when he is interrupted by furious hissing.
- Strikestone and Whorlpelt face each other in angry battle stances, hissing and lashing their tails. A moment later, Strikestone leaps at Whorlpelt, and the two toms begin to roll around on the ground, clawing at each other. Dovewing races toward the tussling warriors, and Shadowpaw follows, watching as she gives both of them a swipe on the ear. Strikestone and Whorlpelt break apart, and Dovewing demands to know what’s going on. Strikestone claims that Whorlpelt put thorns in his nest, but Whorlpelt indignantly says that he didn’t. Dovewing lets out an exaggerated sigh and asks the two warriors if they’re kits, saying that they should use their energy to help their Clan. The toms glare at Dovewing, until Whorlpelt hangs his head and mutters an apology. Strikestone promises that it won’t happen again, and Dovewing snaps that she should think not as she pads back to her den.
- Shadowpaw follows Dovewing and reflects on how irritable the cold is making everyone. Remembering what he was thinking about earlier, Shadowpaw veers toward the fresh-kill pile, where Lightleap and Pouncestep are sharing a vole. He asks them if they’ve seen Cinnamontail and Blazefire, and both she-cats say that they haven’t. Becoming more anxious, Shadowpaw spots Tigerstar talking to Dovewing outside their den, and races over to his parents. Tigerstar agrees that it’s worrying when Shadowpaw tells him about his concerns, and says that he’ll send out a search party. Dovewing instantly offers to lead a patrol, and Tigerstar tells her to take some warriors to the lake near the halfbridge. Shadowpaw asks to go with Dovewing, but she shakes her head, saying that he’s a medicine cat apprentice and that this is warrior business. She tells Shadowpaw that he can tell Puddleshine to prepare in case the missing cats are injured before gathering Whorlpelt, Strikestone, and Snowbird and heading for the camp entrance.
- Shadowpaw frustratedly watches them go, and reminds himself to tell Puddleshine when his mentor got back before padding back to his littermates and taking a blackbird from the fresh-kill pile. Shadowpaw informs his sisters that Cinnamontail and Blazefire have gone missing and that Dovewing has gone to search for them. Lightleap says that she hopes Dovewing finds them. Shadowpaw mentions how Tigerstar was talking about dangerous, hungry foxes and badgers, but Pouncestep says that their won’t be any on ShadowClan territory, as Cloverfoot told her that the patrols hadn’t scented any. Lightleap asks why Cinnamontail and Blazefire aren’t here then, and Shadowpaw isn’t able to answer her. Shadowpaw finishes his blackbird, then grabs a mouse and takes it to the medicine den for Puddleshine. He checks on Grassheart while he’s there and is relieved to see that she’s fallen into a calmer sleep.
- Shadowpaw has barely rejoined his Clanmates when Dovewing arrives in camp, with Cinnamontail, Blazefire, and the rest of the patrol behind her. Puddleshine brings up the rear, catmint in his jaws. Tigerstar emerges from his den to meet the returning cats, and Shadowpaw pads up to listen as the rest of his Clanmates gather around. Tigerstar asks what happened, and Dovewing reports that her patrol found Cinnamontail and Blazefire crossing the border back into ShadowClan from Twolegplace. Puddleshine adds that he spotted them lurking outside a Twoleg den and that he made them come back to camp with him.
- Tigerstar hisses in fury and demands that Cinnamontail and Blazefire tell him what they were doing there. Cinnamontail uncomfortably says that they ‘sorta’ thought it would be a good place to hunt, but Tigerstar snarls to tell him something he’ll believe. Blazefire says that they didn’t mean to, but that they didn’t find any prey in the forest and smelled food in Twolegplace. Blazefire’s voice dies away miserably as he finishes, and Tigerstar quietly asks if they went into Twolegplace to get the Twolegs to give them food. Cinnamontail protests that they would never do that, but that they were doing a kind of hunting by raiding the scrapcans. Blazefire adds that they were really hungry and thought it would be stupid to ignore all the food in Twolegplace.
- Enraged, Tigerstar tells them that scavenging is not the way of the warrior, and that if they want to do that, thy can go be kittypets or loners. Cinnamontail and Blazefire exchange a dismayed glance, and Blazefire protests that they love being warriors. Cinnamontail adds that they were just hungry. Tigerstar growls that every cat is hungry in leaf-bare, but if they rely on food from Twolegplace, they’ll become weaker warriors. Cinnamontail mews that they’re really sorry, and Blazefire nods in agreement, but Tigerstar snaps that sorry fills no bellies. Cloverfoot, the Clan deputy, steps up and tells Tigerstar that it’s the former Twolegplace cats’s first leaf-bare in a Clan, and that he shouldn’t be too hard on them. Tigerstar takes a moment to ponder as Cinnamontail and Blazefire wait tensely, until Blazefire blurts out to please not send them away.
- Tigerstar says that he won’t do that, but that Cinnamontail and Blazefire won’t take anything from the fresh-kill pile for the rest of the day, and that they’ll go on a hunting patrol every sunrise until the next Gathering. Cinnamontail thanks her leader, her eyes shining with relief, and Blazefire promises that they won’t do it again. Tigerstar retorts that they’d better not, or they’ll wish they never left Twolegplace. Both cats nod and stand with bowed heads as Tigerstar stalks off.
- The rest of the ShadowClan cats begin to break up, and Shadowpaw, noticing Puddleshine’s agitated expression, asks his mentor what’s wrong. Puddleshine says that he has to ask Tigerstar to organize more hunting patrols so that Grassheart can have more food. Shadowpaw isn’t sure that his father will agree to that, but thinks that there’s no harm in Puddleshine asking. Still carrying catmint, Puddleshine bounds over to Tigerstar. Shadowpaw drifts after him toward Tigerstar’s den, wanting to know what his father will say. Before he can even hear his father’s voice, Shadowpaw sees Tigerstar’s bristling fur and knows that he isn’t sympathetic to Puddleshine’s request. Tigerstar gruffly mews that he can’s risk cats overextending themselves on hunts lest they all end up in the medicine den with Grassheart. Puddleshine respectfully dips his head, and Shadowpaw can see that he’s not happy, but won’t argue with his leader.
- Shadowpaw begins to head back to his den, but spots his sister Lightleap beckoning him with her tail. She calls to Shadowpaw to come play with them, and Shadowpaw trots over to Lightleap and Pouncestep. The she-cats spring to their paws as Shadowpaw nears, and Pouncestep says that they thought they could have a play-fight to keep themselves warm. Shadowpaw amusedly says that he’s not trained and that they’d claw his fur off, but Lightleap assures him that they’ll go easy on him. Pouncestep suggests that she be a badger invading camp, and that Lightleap and Shadowpaw will be warriors trying to drive her off. Lightleap agrees and rears up on her hind paws to swipe at her sisters muzzle with claws sheathed, and Pouncestep playfully growls that she’s going to eat Lightleap.
- More Coming Soon
Notes and references
|Lost Stars 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 • Bonus Scene|
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