|"But instead, they seemed to be giving up. What hope was there for the Clan cats to help them, if the Tribe cats wouldn't even help themselves."|
|— The narrator about the Tribe in Outcast, page 251|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter twenty three of Outcast. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 23 (of 29)
- Page Numbers: 239-251
- Lionpaw watches as the Tribe cats split into groups, and Lionpaw thinks about how Stoneteller, their leader, has made up his mind, leaving Brambleclaw in charge. He admires how brave Crag, a cave-guard, is, hoping he'll make a good warrior with the right training. Breezepaw comes strolling over, remarking that they best call the Tribe ‘MountainClan', causing Hollypaw to hiss at him. Before anything else happens, Brambleclaw approaches, telling the apprentices he has a job for them. The dark tabby requests they teach the to-bes fighting moves, and Lionpaw shares looks with Breezepaw and Jaypaw, agreeing to.
- Lionpaw follows after his father as he makes his way to where the to-bes stay, and listens as Brambleclaw explains that every cat will need to learn how to fight if they are to guard their borders. When Hollypaw brings up the point there are none, he flicks her ear, assuring her, that soon there will be borders set down. As they reach the young Tribe cats, and inform them of what they'll be learning, none of them seem pleased. Screech protests he and Splash are prey-hunters, using it to argue that they won't join in.
- Brambleclaw tells the young tom all the Tribe will be learning how to fight, and when Lionpaw chips in, he glares at the golden tabby. Hollypaw persuades them by saying once the intruders attack, they can defend themselves and others, which brings the to-bes to agree. With the issue settled, Brambleclaw sets out with Lionpaw, Tawnypelt, and Crowfeather, to check the borders. Talon, Bird, and Gray tag along for the patrol, and Talon takes up the lead.
- Lionpaw looks up at the blue sky, dotted with clouds, then spots a bird, flying way ahead in a circle. Bird warns the golden tabby to keep an eye on it, before Talon whisks the patrol toward an open, barren land. As Lionpaw gazes out, he notices how empty it is, with only some bushes dotting the gray-brown territory. They continue on, climbing a slope that leads to a ridge, but as the young tabby takes steps, he feels as though he is falling.
- At the top, Lionpaw’s pelt is buffeted by the fierce winds, causing his eyes to water, yet he can see all the territory below, and the edge of the mountains. Just then, he begins to slip, the world spinning around him, before Crowfeather grabs him and pulls him to safety, growling. Talon points out the valley where Stormfur led the Tribe to attack the intruders, and Lionpaw imagines it running with blood, filled with fighting cats, causing him to shiver. Tawnypelt suggests battling the strays once more, to show them the mountains aren't theirs, but Talon doesn't agree, telling her that the Tribe didn't find much food that way anyways.
- Brambleclaw comments about the mountain cats taking the stream for themselves, though none of the others agree, exchanging looks of doubt; Lionpaw feels sympathetic, knowing they must feel as though they're already losing due to the Clans telling them things. The dark brown tom requests for Talon to take them to the stream, and they head out, while Gray and Bird talk with Brambleclaw about the borders and traveling to find them.
- As Lionpaw’s father suggests setting another border in a rocky cleft, Lionpaw wonders if Talon is still unsure if marking borders aren't meant for the Tribe cats. The sun climbs into the sky, leaving the young golden tom exhausted, his paw pads leaving blood behind him, then he nearly crashes into Brambleclaw as they turn the corner of a boulder. As he looks to see what's going on, Lionpaw spots cats emerge from some bushes near a pool, one holding a mouse.
- The three cats notice them, and look up, asking what they want; Brambleclaw paces forward, his dark fur bristling with anger, and Talon comes up to his side, Tawnypelt the other, while Crowfeather watches from a bush above. The big tabby tom warns the intruding cats away and back to their leader, given they have one, but still looks ready to battle, announcing once the borders are set, it will be clear what land is theirs and what isn't.
- At first, the cats appear unwilling, even defiant, but eventually depart, much to Talon’s anger. As they round the boulder, Tawnypelt bounds over to make sure they've gone, although Lionpaw is convinced it won't be the end. Gray and Bird are shown to be hesitant about setting borders, despite Brambleclaw's encouragement, and Lionpaw wonders to himself if he even supports it.
- As the patrol heads back for the cave, a screech erupts overhead, and a cat lands on top of Lionpaw, knocking him down. He recognizes his attacker as the young tortoiseshell with a striped face, before they engage in a battle, whilst Tawnypelt and Talon deal with the other intruders. The tortoiseshell escapes the battle with Lionpaw, hissing at him atop a boulder, and he spins around, spotting Brambleclaw pinning a ginger cat.
- The battle ends with the opposing team fleeing, scattering behind rocks and vanishing. Brambleclaw praises his son, asking if he's all right; Lionpaw assures him he is, noting how the trespassers didn't fight that hard. Brambleclaw suggests they might've been out for fun, but Crowfeather only rolls his eyes at the suggestion. Lionpaw observes the Tribe cats' bloody injuries, hoping they'll learn how to fight better, but wonders what hope there is if they don't help themselves.
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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