"The Tribe of Endless Hunting has sent me no signs about accepting help from the Clans. I mean no disrespect to you or your Clanmates. I know how much we owed you in the past, and I believe you mean well now. You should not have come. This is not your battle. You may stay here for tonight, but in the morning you will be escorted to the edge of the mountains, and you must not return."
Stoneteller to the Clan cats in Outcast, page 219

Below contains in-depth information for chapter twenty one of Outcast. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
Chapter Number: 21 (of 29)
Page Numbers: 217-227

Chapter description

Lionpaw is shocked that Stoneteller doesn't want them there, and the latter faces Talon and Night, demanding what they have done. Talon and Night stammer that they brought help and thought it was best, but Stoneteller retorts that they were wrong: they abandoned their Tribe, told the Clans about their weakness, and brought extra mouths to feed. He growls that none of them are welcome, and upon seeing Stormfur and Brook, he hisses that they are dead. Stormfur confidently replies that they aren't dead, and are still loyal to the Tribe. Brook pleads to help, but Stoneteller coldly says that he banished them from the mountains, and their ancestors willed it. Brook meows that their ancestors were wrong, and that the Tribe is suffering. Stormfur insists that the Tribe needs their help, but Stoneteller demands what he can do and argues that many lives have already been lost because of him. Brambleclaw steps forwrad beside Stormfur and points out that they need borders, but the Healer snaps that that is not the way of the Tribe, as Stormfur knows, and the gray warrior bows his head. Lionpaw sees that Hollypaw is angry like him, and he is frustrated that Stoneteller is refusing their help. Squirrelflight irritatedly breaks in that Stormfur did what he thought was best, and that it is better to ask for help than have the Tribe die from Stoneteller's pride.
The old tom takes a pace toward Squirrelflight, bristling, then his tail droops and his fur lies flat. He admits that the Tribe of Endless Hunting sent him no signs about accepting help from the Clans then turns to Brambleclaw and adds that he means no disrespect. The healer continues that they should not have come, and that they can stay for the night but will be escorted to the edge of the mountains in the morning and not return. Brook questions what will happen to her and Stormfur, but Stoneteller says that they can't feed two more cats. Lionpaw is confused if they will go back home without helping, but Brambleclaw pads over and sternly gazes at the four apprentices, stating that they are guests and mustn't cause trouble. He adds that he is also disappointed, but they can't make things worse. The young cats reluctantly agree.
A gray-brown Tribe she-cat comes over and greets Brambleclaw, and the warrior remembers her to be Bird that Rides the Wind. Bird purrs that it is good to see him, and she explains that Stoneteller instructed her to find them a place to sleep. She gestures that the warriors can come to the cave-guards place, and the apprentices can sleep with the to-bes. Brambleclaw agrees, and as Bird leads the apprentices farther into the cave, Lionpaw looks around the cave. The apprentice's belly rumbles at the scent of fresh-kill, and he hopes that they will be given some prey.
Bird takes the apprentices to the back of the cave, where two young cats wrestle and several others look on. Bird announces that they are the to-bes, and the wrestling cats break apart. A pale gray she-cat asks if they are prisoners, and Bird replies that they are guests, and she instructs her to look after them and find them somewhere to sleep. A black tom exclaims that there isn't room for all four, but the gray she-cat tells him not to be rude and tells the Clan cats to not pay attention to Screech. Bird mews that they will be fine for one night, and she bounds across the the cave where the warriors are waiting.
The to-bes crowd around the apprentices, and Lionpaw introduces himself, Jaypaw, Hollypaw, and Breezepaw. The gray she-cat dips her head and tells them that she is Pebble That Rolls Down Mountain, and her brother is Screech of Angry Owl. Both young cats stretch out one paw in greeting, and Lionpaw dips his head in return. A small tabby she-cat introduces herself as Splash When Fish Leaps, but the other to-bes hang back. Pebble comments that they have come a long way, and Hollypaw explains the story of their journey, but is interrupted when the prey-hunters come over with pieces of the eagle and drops in in front of the young cats. Screech thanks the older tom, and adds that this is the first decent meal they have had in ages. Pebble adds that the intruders take all of their prey. Lionpaw comments that it seems strange to split up the hunting and fighting duties, but Splash mews that learning both must be hard. Pebble adds that Stoneteller chooses what cats will be; big, strong kits become cave-guards, like her, while ones who look like they'll run fast become prey-hunters.
Pebble and the other to-bes start to divide up the fresh-kill, and the young Tribe cats split into pairs. Each cat takes a bite out of their own piece, then exchanges food with their partner. Hollypaw suggests to Lionpaw that they do the same, and Lionpaw suggests that she and Jaypaw share, and he will have Breezepaw's piece. Hollypaw explains to Jaypaw what to do, and Pebble questions why she has to describe. Lionpaw states that he is blind, and Screech asks how he manages. Jaypaw is clearly irritated, and Lionpaw meows that he can still hear, and he manages just find. Pebble asks how the Clan lets him out on his own, and Lionpaw realizes that a blind cat couldn't survive in the mountains. Hollypaw defensively answers that he is training to be a medicine cat, but the to-bes are astonished, and Splash exclaims that a blind cat can't lead the Clan. Lionpaw answers that he won't be leader, and Pebble understands, then explains that in the Tribe, Stoneteller is their Healer but also picks the next Healer. Breezepaw explains that they have both a leader and a medicine cat. Screech thinks that's weird, but Lionpaw finds the Tribe way to be stranger, without a medicine cat or deputy.
Squirreflight comes over and asks how they are doing, and Lionpaw states that he is fine. The ginger warrior suggests that he gets sleep for the long journey tomorrow. Lionpaw can see that she isn't cheerful like she normally is, and guesses that she thinks they made a mistake to come. The ginger tom brushes his muzzle against hers, and says good-night. Squirrelflight gives Hollypaw and Jaypaw a lick around the ear then pads away to the other cave. Lionpaw wishes that he could go with her to the other cave, instead of be with the to-bes.
Pebble shows the apprentice several shallow dips in the cave floor, warmly lined with moss and feathers, and invites them to choose any. Lionpaw curls up in one of the larger hollows with his littermates, and is glad that at least the sleeping place is comfortable. However, he stays awake, watching the cave walls and listening to the waterfall, regretfully remembering how he felt like he could do anything when he was overlooking the lake. The ginger tom thinks that the journey had come to nothing, and is disappointed that the Tribe was turning them away without giving them a change. The apprentice had been desperate to come to the mountains, but now just wants to go home.





Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Revealed in Outcast, page 217
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Revealed in Outcast, page 218
  3. Revealed in Outcast, page 219
  4. 4.0 4.1 Revealed in Outcast, page 220
  5. 5.0 5.1 Revealed in Outcast, page 221
  6. Revealed in Outcast, page 222

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