|"I have no idea where we are."|
|— Brambleclaw to the rest of the questing cats in Moonrise, page 212|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter seventeen of Moonrise. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 17 (of 24)
- Page Numbers: 212-218
- Stormfur’s paws ache as he stumbles over stones. The whole world seems to have shrunk to just rock, wind, and rain. He scrabbles up a rock face and realizes that the rain seems to be easing off. The sky begins to clear, showing the moon between the clouds, and the rain eases to a spatter. Brambleclaw halts, and the rest of the cats gather around him on the wide ledge where they are standing, with sheer cliffs on either side. Brambleclaw admits that he has no idea where they are, and apologizes to the others, saying that he meant to bring them back the way they came with the cave-guards, but doesn’t recognize anything. Squirrelpaw mews that it’s not his fault, and that the rain and night made it hard to smell or see anything. Tawnypelt asks what they’re going to do, and says that the Tribe cats will catch them if they’re not careful. Feathertail adds with a shudder that Sharptooth might catch them too. Stormfur feels guilty for ever thinking that the Tribe cats were his friends, but decides that it would be mouse-brained not to use the skills that they taught him while he was with them. He mews that he thinks he can find a way, and reminds the others that he spent more time with the Tribe than them. Brambleclaw immediately responds that he can lead.
- Stormfur warms a little at Brambleclaw’s trust in him. He would have thought that he had lost all of the ThunderClan warrior’s respect after after how he settled in among the Tribe cats, and realizes how much Brambleclaw’s friendship means to him. He warns Brambleclaw that it’ll take a few days to cross the mountains, but says that he thinks he can get them out of Tribe territory. Crowpaw mutters that the sooner the better, and Stormfur, noticing how close he is standing to Feathertail, wonders what happened while he’d been held prisoner in the cave to create an unspoken connection between them. Stormfur takes the lead up the ledge. He pauses at the ridge to figure out which direction to go using the moss growing on the rocks and the trunk of a gnarled tree. Guilt sweeps over him again over allowing himself to become a Tribe cat instead of remaining a loyal warrior of RiverClan. Feathertail comes up to him and asks what the matter is. Stormfur chokes that he trusted Brook and Crag, and never thought that they would take him prisoner. He says that he feels guilty for the others risking their lives to save him. Feathertail mews that they couldn’t have left him. Stormfur says that the Tribe cats never told him about the prophecy, and that it was as much of a shock to him as everyone else when Stoneteller told them about it in the Cave of Pointed Stones. Feathertail murmurs that they know.
- Crowpaw demands that they get moving instead of stand there talking about it, but Stormfur ignores him. He holds Feathertail’s gaze and says that they must be wrong about him being the prophesied cat, trying to convince himself as much as Feathertail. Feathertail mews that of course he isn’t, and tells him not to blame himself, as the Tribe cats aren’t bad, just desperate. Stormfur hopes that Feathertail can’t see his guilt as he questions himself, wondering if the Tribe of Endless Hunting really had sent him and remembering that he wasn’t sent by StarClan, and just followed Feathertail because he couldn’t bear to see her leave him. He remembers Sharptooth leaving the cave with Star in his jaws, and wonders if the next cat to die will be Crag or Brook. At the thought of Brook trapped in the creature’s jaws, he shivers, hardly aware that the rest of the cats are waiting for him. Brambleclaw asks if something is wrong, but Stormfur shakes himself, and mews that it’s this way.
- On the other side of the ridge, the slope is broken up by shallow precipices. Stormfur crouches on one, and sees a roosting mountain bird just below him. Squirrelpaw prods his shoulder and signals with her ears, but Stormfur orders the others to be silent with his tail, whispering that he’ll get it. As he cautiously picks out a path and creeps forward, he marvels at how naturally the Tribe’s skills come to him. When he is close enough to the bird, he leaps, pinning his prey against the rock face, where he kills it. Squirrelpaw praises Stormfur, saying that he’s just like a Tribe cat. Stormfur mews that he hopes he’s not.
- All six cats gather around Stormfur to share the prey, and by the time they have finished, a thin rain has begun to fall and clouds are covering the moon again. Brambleclaw says that they should seek shelter for the night, and Tawnypelt says that as long as the Tribe cats don’t catch them. Stormfur notices that her shoulder hardly seems to be giving her trouble anymore, and thinks that at least they have that to thank the Tribe for. He mews that he thinks they’re far enough away, and that Brambleclaw is right that they should seek shelter. Stormfur takes the lead again, and soon finds a dark hole leading into the mountainside from the base of a rock, overhung by some scraggly bushes. He sniffs the hole and announces that it was probably a slate rabbit den a long time ago, and Squirrelpaw mews that that’s too bad as she could’ve gone for a rabbit. Crowpaw adds that there’s also fresh Tribe cat scent, and that he’s not going in there. Squirrelpaw retorts that he can stay outside and get wet then, and steps forward.
- Tawnypelt blocks the apprentice with her tail, saying to hold on until she checks it out. She slips down the hole while Squirrelpaw stares indignantly after her. Stormfur finds himself growing more cheerful at the ThunderClan apprentice’s courage, and not for the first time. A moment later Tawnypelt’s echoing voice sounds from the hole, saying that everything’s fine. Stormfur leads the way through the cramped passage, which tightens and tightens until it opens up into a large cavern. Squirrelpaw mews that it’s great, and Stormfur can feel her shake raindrops from her pelt as she says that all they need now is a fresh-kill pile. Stormfur checks for the scent of all six cats and accounts for all of them, even Crowpaw. He is just beginning to relax when another horrifying scent rolls over him. Tribe cat scent, but not like the scent he knows. A moment later, a voice behind him asks who he might be.
Notes and references
|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 • Epilogue|
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