|"No point. It’s obvious that explaining the boundaries hasn’t worked. The intruders crossed the border as soon as our backs were turned. No, we have to teach them a lesson, once and for all."|
|— Brambleclaw in Outcast, page 288|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter twenty seven of Outcast. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 27 (of 29)
- Page Numbers: 284-296
- Hollypaw is horrified that the intruders have no sense of fairness or honor. The she-cat readies herself for a battle and prays that StarClan will help them. She gathers the Tribe to-bes close to her, with Lionpaw and Breezepaw flanking them on either side. Splash asks if they will have to fight, and Lionpaw hopes that they won’t but says that if they do, Hollypaw will give a signal. However, Hollypaw doubts that a battle could be avoided due to the trespassers’ attitude.
- At Stripe’s challenge, Crag steps forward until the two cats stand nose to nose. The Tribe tom begins to mention a fight, but Brambleclaw stops him and warns that it is not the time, as the Tribe’s patrol are outnumbered. The ThunderClan deputy suggests that they go back to the cave, and Crag reluctantly accepts. Brambleclaw touches the cave-guard’s shoulder in gratitude, then he tells Stripes that the Tribe will defend their borders. Stripes mentions that some of the cats don’t belong in the mountains, and Lionpaw realizes that the intruder is referring to the Clan cats; he clearly plans to attack the Tribe as soon as their visitors leave them defenseless. Brambleclaw leads the cats away, and the trespassers’ mocking caterwauls follow them.
- As the patrol returns to the cave, the sun is well above the mountains, but Hollypaw still feels cold. Splash wonders if the encounter was okay, and she hopes that the intruders will leave the Tribe alone now that they know about the borders. Pebble hopes to be on the first patrol, but Hollypaw privately doubts that the intruders will respect the borders. The she-cat is dismayed at how the warrior code that she has lived her life by has failed and isn’t even understood by the Tribe. Hollypaw tries to comfort herself that the Tribe also has important traditions.
- Once the patrol has reached the bolder-covered slope leading down to the stream, Brambleclaw halts and warns the cats that there is intruder scent. Hollypaw realizes from the scent that the intruders must be close-by, and Lionpaw voices his anger that they are already trespassing after just being told about the borders. Pebble points out where five intruders emerge from behind a spur of rock by the stream. The group is led by Flick, and a black tom that the Tribe had encountered earlier has a mouse hanging from his jaws. Hollypaw comments how the intruders can’t even scent the patrol, yet Lionpaw points out that they might not care.
- Brambleclaw, Crag, and Stormfur quickly converse, then Brambleclaw leaps up onto the nearest boulder to be seen and yowls that they are trespassers. The invaders halt, and Brambleclaw screeches and launches himself down from the border, with the rest of the patrol following him down the slope. Flick’s patrol quickly turns around and flees, and the skinny brown tom glares at the patrol from a ledge on a rockslide. Brambleclaw bounds up to the foot of the rockslide and announces that they have crossed the Tribe’s border, trespassed, and stole prey. Flick spits that there is nothing to stop them, yet Crag mentions the scent marks. Flick sneers that scent marks won’t stop them from hunting where they please, then he leaps upward and vanishes over the top of the rock. Talon growls that the patrol should follow him, but Brambleclaw disagrees, saying that the boundaries clearly aren’t working. He decides that the intruders must be taught a lesson once and for all.
- As Hollypaw enters the cave, the Tribe cats who had stayed behind are excited to hear about what happened. Bird and Gray ask if they can now hunt in peace, but Brambleclaw announces that there are no borders. Screech confronts that Brambleclaw himself set them, yet Stormfur reveals that the intruders have already crossed them, and he explains the encounter with Flick’s patrol. Gasps of astonishment and snarls of fury rise from the gathered cats, and one protests that they can’t do that. Squirrelflight points out that a border must be recognized by both sides, and Stoneteller agrees, angrily asking Brambleclaw what they should do now. Brambleclaw respectfully answers that the only thing to do is to battle and defeat the trespassers, but Stoneteller, his voice charged with fury, turns down the warrior’s advice. He says that the Tribe tried that once, and too many lives were lost while fighting. Brambleclaw points out that the Tribe cats now have been trained to fight and will be battling with the purpose of defending their territory, instead of driving out intruders. The deputy adds that the Tribe can fight or be driven from their home.
- Conflicting voices rise from the Tribe cats, but Stoneteller silences them with his tail. He hisses that the Tribe shall choose and prove that they are not a Clan. Lionpaw is confused on what the Healer means, and Hollypaw guesses that, even though Stoneteller doesn’t want them to fight, he will let the Tribe decide. The mountain cats murmur and look at one another in confusion, and Crag asks Stoneteller what they will do. Stoneteller icily says that he thought it was clear that he wants them to choose what to do. The Tribe leader adds that the Tribe of Endless Hunting doesn’t want him to influence the cats’ decision, and Jaypaw mutters furiously behind Hollypaw. The black apprentice is confused, and her brother explains that Stoneteller can say what he likes about the Tribe of Endless Hunting since no one else knows. Hollypaw is alarmed that Jaypaw could accuse a Tribe cat of lying about their ancestors.
- Stoneteller explains how cats wishing to fight should go to one side of the cave, and those who wish to flee must go to the other side. At first no cat moves, until Cloud asks Rain what he thinks. The old tom answers that he never wanted to fight, but he is too old to flee. Meanwhile, Flight of Startled Heron murmurs to Swoop that she can’t fight with kits, but that her young ones can’t flee either. The latter she-cat soothes that no cat expects her to abandon her kits, and that she won’t leave hers either. Talon growls that they should choose to fight, so that the Tribe will protect all kit-mothers and their litters. The large cave-guard guides the she-cats over to the “fight” side of the cave with him.
- By now, the Tribe is beginning to divide into groups; Pebble and Splash choose fighting, while Screech chooses to flee, along with another to-be prey-hunter. Night joins Talon, but Gray and Bird decide to flee. Hollypaw finds that she is nervous about the Tribe’s decision, hoping that the group will stay in the mountains and remain a Tribe. Now, few cats haven’t decided yet. After long hesitation, Crag chooses to fight; meanwhile, Stormfur and Brook had remained silent the whole time. Brook glances up at Stormfur, pleading in her eyes, and her mate leads her over to the “fight” side. Lionpaw wonders if they get to choose and if they are Tribe or Clan, and Hollypaw answers that she doesn’t think they know either. She tells Jaypaw that the two have chosen to fight, and he voices his approval.
- Brambleclaw glances across the clearing and tells Stoneteller that the Tribe clearly wishes to fight. The Healer’s fur bristles and he accepts the deputy’s words, hissing that the battle will destroy his Tribe. Once Stoneteller has leaped down from the bolder and vanished into the passage leading to the Cave of Pointed Stones, Brambleclaw faces the Tribe and announces that it is time to get ready. The brown tabby declares that they must strike at once, before the intruders attack first, and he adds that the full moon tonight will help. Hollypaw is horrified to hear this, as the full moon means peace and the Gathering for the Clans. Her deputy continues that any cats wishing for more battle training should go to Squirrelflight and Hollypaw, while he will plan the strategy with Crag and Talon. Brambleclaw instructs Jaypaw to find healing herbs for when the Tribe gets back, yet Jaypaw mutters that he will get no help from Stoneteller. Brambleclaw finishes by telling that mountain cats that it isn’t about the warrior code or Tribe code, but, like the trespassers said, life or death. He declares that the Tribe will be the ones who live, and the Tribe cats yowl their approval.
- That night, the cats who will battle gather near the cave mouth, waiting for their turn to walk the Path of Rushing Water. Hollypaw stands beside Lionpaw and senses his excitement at fighting a real battle. Jaypaw touches his sister’s shoulder with his tail and beckons to her and Lionpaw to come, as he has to tell them something. Lionpaw asks what it is and reminds his littermate that they have to go. Jaypaw draws his siblings into a quiet corner of the cave and promises to be quick. He tells them to take care and reminds them that StarClan aren’t watching over them in the mountains. Hollypaw points out that they have the Tribe of Endless Hunting, but Jaypaw refutes this and reveals that the Tribe of Endless Hunting has given up and won’t do anything to help. Hollypaw wonders how her brother knows this, but she has no time to question him. Lionpaw begins to say that there is no need for Jaypaw to worry about them, but the medicine cat apprentice interrupts that he is not worried. He tells his kin that they must come back, whatever happens, because it is more important than they realize. Lionpaw mews that they aren’t running away, but Jaypaw hisses in fury and begs the golden tom to listen. Hollypaw is scared by his intensity and wants to find out what the small gray tabby isn’t telling them, but just then Brambleclaw calls out to her and Lionpaw. The two apprentices scramble to their paws and race across the cave floor to head out along the path. As Hollypaw pads underneath the waterfall, she thinks she hears Jaypaw yowl once again that they must come back.
- Brambleclaw 
- Flick 
- Unnamed black intruder tom
- Gray 
- Two unnamed older Tribe cats
- Unnamed Tribe cat
- Squirrelflight 
- Unnamed to-be prey-hunter
- "“Remember. This isn’t about the warrior code or the Tribe’s code. It’s about life or death, just like the trespassers said. And you—the Tribe—you will be the ones who live.”"
- —Brambleclaw Outcast, page 294
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Revealed in Outcast, page 284
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Revealed in Outcast, page 285
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Revealed in Outcast, page 286
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Revealed in Outcast, page 287
- ↑ Revealed in Outcast, page 288
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 Revealed in Outcast, page 289
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 Revealed in Outcast, page 291
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Revealed in Outcast, page 292
- ↑ Revealed in Outcast, page 293
|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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