|"But the battle was won. He had won the battle. And he would fight it all over again in a heartbeat."|
|— Lionpaw thinking about the battle in Outcast, page 310|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter twenty eight of Outcast. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 28 (of 29)
- Page Numbers: 297-310
- As they walk underneath the full moon, Brambleclaw tells Lionpaw and Hollypaw to not take on a cat they can’t handle. Hollypaw points out that she doesn’t want to get her ears clawed, and her deputy says that he has to bring them home safe. Lionpaw shivers in anticipation as his first real battle approaches. The apprentice wants to make his father and Clan proud, but he knows that he is also fighting for the Tribe, who have become his friends. Lionpaw spots Breezepaw, who is also clearly ready for battle as well, a few tail-lengths away; however, Crowfeather, who is right in front of him, offers his son no encouragement. Lionpaw feels sympathy for the young WindClan tom and wonders if he wouldn’t be as annoying if he had a better father.
- Suddenly, a cloud covers the moon, and Lionpaw wonders if it means that StarClan are angry because of them breaking the truce. He then consoles himself that StarClan doesn’t walk these skies, and a moment later, the cloud drifts away. By the time the Tribe and Clan cats have reached the intruders’ camp, the moon is high in the sky. Everything is quiet, and Lionpaw can’t see anything in the darkness inside the narrow cleft. Hollypaw whispers that she sees no sign of guards, and Lionpaw murmurs that the intruders must think they don’t need cats on watch.
- Brambleclaw gathers the cats around him and leads them to a shadow of a rock. From there, he explains that he and Crag will divide the cats into attacking patrols, with each group containing Tribe and Clan cats and apprentices and to-bes. He adds that the plan is to lure the trespassers outside and attack, because otherwise they would be fighting on enemy ground in the dark. Lionpaw objects that the cleft can’t be totally dark, because the cats’ dens are in there, and Brambleclaw agrees that there must be a shaft that lets in light and air. Lionpaw exclaims that they should look for it, and the ThunderClan deputy considers this, then agrees. He adds that the Tribe’s group should know exactly what they are up against, and he chooses Hollypaw and Breezepaw to come with him as well. Pebble states that she will come too, and she adds that she knows rocks. Brambleclaw tells her to come too, and he orders Crag to start dividing the patrols and the other cats to keep totally quiet.
- The five cats cautiously creep past the cleft and onto a narrow trail leading upward beside one of the tilted rocks. Lionpaw is ready for battle, but no movement comes from inside the cleft. The trail goes through a boulder-strewn slope leading to a ridge, and it emerges at the top, close to where the two rocks join. Brambleclaw instructs Breezepaw to keep watch, and the black apprentice obeys, while the others spread out and examine the area. Lionpaw picks up a strong scent of the intruders around the boulders, and he soon spots a gap between the two rocks where the smell is especially strong. He calls the other cats over, and they join him. The golden tom thrusts his head into the gap and sees a shaft leading down through the rock. At the bottom is a circle of sand, and although there is no sign of cats, the scent is even stronger. Pebble impatiently asks to look, and the to-be looks down for a few heartbeats then raises her head. She mews that the intruders will never be able to get out that way, but she could climb down, and Lionpaw excitedly agrees that they could all go and chase the trespassers out into the open where the warriors and mountain cats are waiting. However, Brambleclaw turns down the idea, claiming that it is far too dangerous. Hollypaw disagrees and points out that the intruders won’t be expecting them and will be so scared they will run. Brambleclaw counters that in that case, he will go. Lionpaw laughs that the deputy’s broad shoulders wouldn’t fit through the hole and says that is a job for small cats. He calls over Breezepaw and explains the plan to the WindClan cat. The latter swallows nervously and states that he is in. Brambleclaw points out that he hasn’t agreed to the plan; the young cats could fall, and they don’t know what the intruders might do. Pebble confidently meows that she and the others won’t fall, and she explains how there are plenty of cracks to dig their claws into. Lionpaw argues that this plan could make a big difference to the battle and the Tribe. Brambleclaw reluctantly agrees and mentions how they aren’t kits who need protection, and he accepts their plan. The deputy continues that he will go down and tell the others, and once the apprentices see him down there, they should go. His amber gaze rests for a heartbeat on Lionpaw and Hollypaw, then he turns and vanishes down the trail.
- Breezepaw continues with lookout, while Pebble instructs how to climb down. Once she is finished, Breezepaw tells the other three that Brambleclaw is there, and Lionpaw mews that they should go. Pebble offers to go first, and she tells the apprentices to watch her. Once she is at the bottom, Lionpaw slides into the hole, after slight difficulty of fitting his shoulders through. Below him, Pebble tells him to take it slowly, and Lionpaw cautiously edges his way down the shaft, keeping her directions in his mind. At one point, the stone crumbles under his weight, and he takes a few moments of rest after finding another paw hold. From above, Breezepaw complains about how long Lionpaw is taking, and Lionpaw, determined to not let the WindClan tom see he is scared, continues to climb down. Soon, Pebble tells him he can let go, so the golden tabby pushes himself off the rack face and lands on his paws on the sand. Breezepaw and Hollypaw land on the ground soon after.
- Pebble asks what they will do now. Lionpaw spots a curved passage leading from the sandy area, where the intruders’ scent is overwhelming, and he creeps up to the passage, telling to others to wait. Beyond the curve in the passage is a wider space, covered with sand and with moss on the walls. The apprentice spots a cat’s ears and hears the squeaks of young kits, and he smells the scent of a nursing queen. Further down the passage, there is the sound of movement and murmuring voices of many cats settling down for the night. Lionpaw returns to his companions and reports what he saw. He suggests that, to avoid fighting in the den, they scare the intruders out by running through and yowling. The ThunderClan tom reminds the others to not to get trapped, then he gives to command to go.
- The young cats leap forward, screeching, and wails of alarm come from the cats down the passage. They run into the middle of the intruders’ den, where the intruders are caterwauling in shock and terror as they try to find the entrance. No cat tries to stop Lionpaw as he bounds across the den, and the narrow cleft leading to outside is jammed from the many cats trying to flee. Lionpaw turns around, claws sheathed, but the first cat he sees runs into the cleft as soon as he spots the warrior-in-training. Within heartbeats, the den is empty except for the three apprentices and Pebble. Hollypaw exclaims that it worked.
- Meanwhile, yowls of fighting cats come through the cleft; Brambleclaw is leading his warriors into battle outside. Lionpaw urges the others to go, and he runs out of the cleft and into the open. The Tribe and Clan cats fight with the intruders in the wide space in front of the rocks, and shrieks are heard. Lionpaw thinks that he hears Tigerstar tell him to start fighting, though he can’t see the former leader. Just in front of him, Flick has Screech pinned to the ground and rakes the Tribe cat’s belly fur with his claws. Lionpaw leaps on top of the former and bites on his neck, and Flick squalls in pain and tries to throw the apprentice off. Screech wriggles free and vanishes into the darkness. Lionpaw pulls Flick down on top of him and batters the intruder’s belly with his hind paws. He lunges for Flick’s throat, yet when the trespasser rakes his ear and staggers to his paws, Lionpaw lets him go.
- The golden apprentice hears a whisper saying to look behind him, and he turns to see a huge gray tom who is already bleeding. Lionpaw dodges to one side and rakes the intruder’s pelt. He scrambles onto a boulder and watches the battle; Hollypaw and Pebble are fighting together, Brambleclaw and Stripes are wrestling, and Squirrelflight is chasing a black tom. Just below Lionpaw, Gray struggles in his battle with a black-and-white she-cat, so the young tom yowls and drops onto the trespasser’s shoulders, digging in his claws. The she-cat releases Gray and rolls over, crushing Lionpaw beneath her. Lionpaw hears Hawkfrost’s whisper telling him to think, so he relaxes his limbs; once the she-cat releases her grip, Lionpaw heaves upward, throwing her back onto the ground. As she gets to her paws and prepares to leap at him, Hollypaw and Breezepaw run towards them, racing on either side of the she-cat. The trespasser leaps, but Lionpaw dives beneath her belly, leaving her to land where Hollypaw and Breezepaw are waiting to slash her flanks with their claws. The she-cat wails and flees.
- Lionpaw soon continues fighting again, and he feels alive and strong as he battles. The apprentice continues to attack one cat after another, and after a while, when no cat is there to confront him, he wonders where the intruders are. Brambleclaw tells Lionpaw to stop and that the battle is over. Lionpaw, teeth bared, hisses that it is not over until every intruder has been defeated, but Brambleclaw tells the apprentice that they are defeated, and the Tribe has won. Lionpaw is first disappointed to hear that he can’t battle cats anymore, then he notices that cats of the Clans and Tribe are watching, impressed and possibly scared. Crag tells the young tom that he fought well and his skill and courage will be remembered by the Tribe. Lionpaw notices that his fur is clumped together with drying blood, and he staggers at the stench of it. Hollypaw is soon at his side, asking where he is hurt, but Lionpaw can’t feel any pain and mumbles that he is okay.
- Just then, a few trespassers creep out from the rocks, with Stripes in the lead. The intruders’ leader has visible injuries from the battle, and he limps up to Crag and Brambleclaw and dips his head. The silver tom rasps that the Tribe has won, and the trespassers will respect the borders if their queens and kits are left alone. Brambleclaw and Crag glance at each other, as if considering Stripes’ words. Crag finally meows that the Tribe has no quarrel with queens or kits, and that the mountain cats will leave the intruders in peace if they stay on their side of the border. Stripes dips his head again and leads his battered companions back through the cleft into their camp.
- As he watches them go, Lionpaw wonders if Tigerstar and Hawkfrost had actually fought beside him in the battle. Hollypaw tries to check her brother for wounds and begs him to lie down and rest. She asks if she should bring Jaypaw, but Lionpaw insists that he is okay. Brambleclaw rounds up the Tribe and Clan cats to get ready for the journey back to the cave. Lionpaw joins them and walks with Breezepaw and Pebble, as Hollypaw pads at his other side and fusses over him. Pebble recalls how the intruders ran away, and Breezepaw loftily tells her that the Tribe will be grateful to the Clans forever. Lionpaw thinks about how he won the battle and wound fight it all over again in a heartbeat.
- Unnamed intruder queen
- Unnamed ginger-and-white intruder queen
- Unnamed ginger intruder tom
- Unnamed gray intruder tom
- Unnamed black intruder tom
- Unnamed black-and-white intruder she-cat
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Revealed in Outcast, page 297
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Revealed in Outcast, page 298
- ↑ Revealed in Outcast, page 299
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Revealed in Outcast, page 304
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Revealed in Outcast, page 305
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 Revealed in Outcast, page 306
- ↑ Revealed in Outcast, page 308
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Revealed in Outcast, page 307
- ↑ Revealed in Outcast, page 309
|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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