|"We're not looking for trouble. We're just traveling to the waterfall. You should let us go in peace."|
|— Brambleclaw to the intruders in Outcast, page 203|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter nineteen of Outcast. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 19 (of 29)
- Page Numbers: 201-207
- Hollypaw slides out her claws, muscles tense to spring into battle. She thinks that if she hadn’t yowled, they might have been able to sneak past the trespassers, but is glad that there are only four. She believes that in a fight, the newcomers couldn't win, and that they will soon find out not to mess with trained Clan warriors. A large silver tabby tom gazes lazily at the cats, and his three companions press up close behind him: a skinny brown tom, a dark-brown-and-white she-cat, and young tortoiseshell she-cat. The silver tabby tuants Talon that he has seen him before, and asks what they are doing so far from the waterfall. The skinny brown cat nudges the tabby;s shoulder and asks Stripes if he thinks they are scared. Stripes blinks and tells Flick he might be right, guessing that they realized that the prey in the area belong to them. The large tom’s tongue swipes across his jaws, and he talks about how great the rabbit he ate that morning was. Crowfeather snaps at him to show more respect for prey, but Flick spits at him for telling them what to do. Crowfeather curls his lip to bare his teeth in a snarl, and threatens him to find out.
- Brambleclaw gives the WindClan warrior a warning gesture, and murmurs that they are not looking for a fight. Crowfeather casts and angry glance, claws scraping the ground and tail twitching, but he says no more. The skinny cat asks Stripe what he will do, but before he gets an answer, Night take a pace forward, furious. She hisses that the intruders don’t have the right to do anything to them, nor to steal their prey. The brown-and-white she-cat asks who gave them rights in the first place, and Flick compliments her words. Hollypaw had been ready to fight for the Tribe and their territory, but realizes that Flora's question has no answer, and she wonders if maybe the Tribe cats don't have the right to drive out the intruders.
- Brambleclaw quietly meows that they are not looking for trouble and he rests his tail on Night's bristling shoulders, adding that they are only traveling to the waterfall. Stripes and Flick exchange a glance, and the leader steps back, stating that they weren't trying to stop them. Hollypaw thinks differently, as the intruder's had acted aggressive until realizing that there were too many cats to hope to win a fight. She knows that, no matter what they pretend, they would have attacked if they only met the Tribe cats. Brambleclaw dips his head and leads his group up the valley. The intruders watch them go, mockery in the eyes of the two toms, and for a heartbeat Hollypaw meets the gaze of the young tortoiseshell, who had waited a little behind the others, but said nothing. She thinks that if the she-cat was a Clan cat, she would have been an apprentice and they might have been friends.
- Breezepaw furiously spit at the intruders as he stalks past them, but Crowfetaher instantly nudges his haunches and thrusts him ahead, chastising him, and demanding if he wants to cause a fight. Breezepaw mumbles that they asked for it. Hollypaw notices that Lionpaw's claws are also still unsheathed, as if he would have liked to spring at the newcomers, but he isn't as obviously hostile as the WindClan apprentice.
- All the way up the valley, Hollypaw feels the intruders' eyes baring into her back, and is relieved when she rounds a jutting spur of rock, leaving them behind. The other cats around her begin to relax too. Brook exclaims how dreadful it is that the intruders tell them were to go, and asks if the Tribe cats are prisoners in their own cave. Night replies that it isn't that batd, but Brook points out that the newcomers thought they could order the traveling cats around, and asks if they gcan still go out to hunt. Talon pads to Brook's side, and agrees that the intruders are getting more confident and now come to the waterfall to take prey, with Night bitterly adding that they know the Tribe can't stop them. Brook asks about Stoneteller's opinion, but Talon shrugs that their leader says they shouldn't challenge them for safety. Hollypaw thinks that the Tribe leader should do something.
- Brook shakes her head and drops back a few paces to walk with Stormfur as they continue up the valley. The gray warrior hadn't talked during the encounter with the intruders, but his eyes are sorrowful, and Hollypaw guesses that he is remembering the battle he let the Tribe into, and the cats who had died.
- Scarlet streaks the sky as the sun goes down, and the mountain peaks look as if they are bathed in blood, causing Hollypaw to shiver in imagining the sound of cats shrieking while dying in battle. A ridge of broken rock blocks the valley entrance, and after a hard scramble, Hollypaw reaches the top and looks across a range of bare rock and plunging precipices, as far as she can see in every direction. A stiff breeze ruffles her fur, and she tries to dig her claws into the rock to keep her balance, unable to imagine where cats would live in such a stony wilderness. Talon pads toward one end of the ridge that overlooks a shelf of flat rock, and he calls which way to go.
- The other cats follow, but Breezepaw bounds to one side and exclaims that that way looks quicker. Hollypaw is annoyed and thinks that he doesn't know where he is going. Almost immediately, the WindClan apprentice yowls in terror, and he slides forward, frantically scrambling to stop himself. Hollypaw can see that a chasm splits the top of the ridge, hidden from sight in the shadows. The black she-cat darts across to help Breezepaw, but Crowfeather races past her and grabs Breezepaw's tail in his teeth, dragging his son backward until he can stand safely on the flat top of the ridge. Breezepaw screeches in pain, complaining about his sore tail, but Crowfeeather snarls at the apprentice to not show off, and to do what the Tribe tells him to. Breezepaw glares at his father, then pads after the others with his head and tail drooping. As the WindClan apprentice catches up to him, Lionpaw comments that it is a pity, as he looked forward to seeing him bounce all the way to the bottom of the mountain, and Breezepaw snarls at him to shut up. Tawnypelt scolds the apprentices and thrusts her way between them. Lionpaw mutters an apology and gives his chest fur a couple of embarrassed licks, while Breezepaw ignores her. Hollypaw thinks that they are all tired and hungry, the more tempers would snap if they didn’t reach the Tribe's home soon.
- Talon leads the cats to the far end of the ridge where a narrow trail leads downward, allowing only one cat to follow at time. As Hollypaw waits for her turn, she hears wings beating overhead and a shadow passes over her. She yowls and flattens herself against he rock, while Squirrelflight throws herself on top of Jaypaw. Hollypaw lifts her head to see an enormous brown bird spread its wings wide as it skims the ridge and heads for the rocks below. Its talons stretch to seize a mouse's body that lays a few tail-lengths farther down, and Hollypaw thinks that she is so hungry she would have eaten the old mouse. As the eagle's talons close around the limp body, four cats erupt from the shadows among the rocks, and Hollypaw is shocked and amazed as they seize the huge bird's body. It lets out a harsh screech and it frantically tries to take off, but the weight of the cats dragging it down is too much, and if flops back onto the rock. The thin, gray-brown cast swarm over it, and one of them pounces on its neck and bites down. The eagle gives a last spasm before going limp, and Talon yowls that it was a great catch. The four cats freeze and look upward, and one calls out Talon's name in astonishment. The four stare at one another and the group of cats on the ridge, and Stormfur comes to stand beside Hollypaw, welcoming her to the Tribe of Rushing Water.
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 • Chapter 25 • Chapter 26 • Chapter 27 • Chapter 28 • Chapter 29|
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