|"Why don't you get it? Just because you love tunneling doesn't mean I do! I'm not you! I thought we were all going to die down there. I'm a moor runner, not a tunneler."|
|— Tallpaw to Sandgorse in Tallstar's Revenge, page 116|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter ten of Tallstar's Revenge. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 10 (of 45)
- Page Numbers: 105-116
- Mistmouse goes into the tunnel first, and Tallpaw hesitates. Sandgorse encourages him to go in and not let the dark put him off, and remember he has whiskers and ears along with his eyes. Tallpaw creeps in, and he digs his claws into the loose earth to stop himself from sliding down the steep slope. He strains to see the walls or where to place his paws, but sees nothing but darkness.
- His pelt bushes out from the chill of the tunnel and behind him, Sandgorse purrs if he thinks it's cold now, to just wait until they're deeper. The ginger warrior pauses, and he calls for Mistmouse to wait, asking if she can hear it. Tallpaw pricks his ears, straining to hear and he picks up the sound of muffled paw steps. Sandgorse meows that it's his patrol heading along the gorge. Tallpaw wonders how he knows, and his father replies there are three sets of paw steps moving away from them. Impressed, Tallpaw suggests it could be rabbits, but Sandgorse says they thump, not patter.
- Tallpaw asks if he can tell if it's a sheep and Sandgorse answers yes, explaining that their steps are heavier, while a dog's is heard more deeply in the earth. Ahead of them, Mistmouse meows that Sandgorse can tell the difference from a ThunderClan and WindClan cat. Sandgorse growls that ThunderClan high-step like a deer, they prance over the moor like they own it when they travel to the Moonstone. Mistmouse huffs that's typical of ThunderClan, and Sandgorse snorts that they have no idea the tunnelers can track them underground, knowing exactly when they arrive and leave their territory. Mistmouse adds that they would know if they stopped to hunt. Sandgorse nudges Tallpaw, encouraging him to continue, meowing that Hickorynose and Woollytail are most likely already digging through the cave-in from the other side and they'll need help.
- Tallpaw wishes his eyes could adjust to the dark, and he starts to realize that with absolutely no light he is completely blind. He follows Mistmouse, fighting the sick feeling in his belly and thinks that Sandgorse won't let anything happen to him. A gap opens up on one side of Tallpaw, and his father explains that it leads to he high-moor. Amazed, Tallpaw wonders if he knows where he is all the time, and Sandgorse mews that every tunneler knows each twist and turn, and they can go to any part of their territory and cross any border.
- Tallpaw thinks that having the tunnels means that WindClan can stop any invasion and outwit their enemy. He asks if Heatherstar has come into the tunnels, and Sandgorse replies that she comes onto a patrol sometimes, but she doesn't really understand the power the darkness can give a warrior. He meows that she is a moor runner who can only imagine hunting and fighting above ground.
- Mistmouse slows, meowing that she can hear the others, with Tallpaw nearly crashing into her. He hears the muffled voices ahead, and Sandgorse squeezes past, reporting that they're digging and they should work on this side and meet them in the middle. They begin moving the earth, and Sandgorse explains that they always work in twos, and if there's a cave-in, you never leave your companion, which is the most important rule of tunneling.
- Sandgorse pushes some soil to Tallpaw and tells him to spread it out as thin as he can, and to push the rocks into a crevice if he can find one. Tallpaw heaves a stone, and Sandgorse's lesson from his kithood returns to him, when he told him he is stronger than he thinks. He heaves the stone until he finds a dent in the wall and pushes it in. As they get closer to the others, Sandgorse asks Tallpaw if he can hear them. The apprentice listens and can hear Woollytail's growl, with Hickorynose answering. Tallpaw wonders if the earth will fall again if they clear away the blockage, but Sandgorse assures him that all the soil that has fallen was all that was going to. Tallpaw asks how he knows, and Sandgorse tells him to listen and questions if he can hear loose dirt or falling stones.
- Quivering with relief, Tallpaw meows he doesn't, and Mistmouse adds that there's no creaking above, so the earth will hold. Fresh air flows onto his whiskers, and Woollytail's delighted mew echoes around the tunnel. After making sure Hickorynose is all right, Sandgorse meows that they can now get back to finding the gorge. Tallpaw exclaims he can smell heather, and Sandgorse mews that there's an air hole ahead. Straining, Tallpaw can see the shapes of the other cats and he feels a rush of excitement at the light and air.
- Mistmouse urges them to head for the river, and Tallpaw asks if they're still trying to tunnel through the clay to get to it. Sandgorse responds that's right, and it's hard to judge how deep they are, but he hit clay yesterday. He warmly explains that that's what they've been digging through for the whole night and they should break through it soon. He mews that he's glad Tallpaw is there to see it happen, the first tunnel from the moor to the river. The air grows damp and the soil turns to mud. Tallpaw feels his chest tightening and struggles for breath. He nervously calls to his father, but hits his muzzle against the muddy wall and Sandgorse tells him to concentrate. The tunnel begins to throb around them and Tallpaw freezes, wondering if the tunnel is going to collapse, but Mistmouse mews it's just the river and they're at the end of the tunnel. She says that only a few more scoops and they'll reach the gorge.
- Tallpaw's chest begins to relax at the thought of breaking through to the fresh air beyond. He hangs back, while the other tunnelers work and he starts packing the clay they dig up into the walls. When he turns back, Sandgorse is beside Tallpaw, and he tells him that this is what he has always dreamed of, to have him working beside him and digging a new tunnel that might be the one to change WindClan's destiny.
- Stiffening, Tallpaw wonders if Sandgorse thinks that he's going to change his mind on being a moor runner to became a tunneler. His father returns to help the others and Tallpaw asks if they're nearly there. Sandgorse exclaims that they'll hit air any moment, but Mistmouse yowls to stop. They pause, and a long creak echoes in the passage. Sandgorse yowls for Tallpaw to run, and they all start racing up the tunnel.
- Water explodes into the tunnel with a roar and Tallpaw begins to panic with the lack of air and room to run properly. Sandgorse pushes past to lead the way and they burst out into the sunlight. Tallpaw collapses and once everyone is safely out, Sandgorse meows he can't believe they got it wrong, and Tallpaw is confused by his annoyed tone, wondering if he was scared.
- Woollytail meows they reached the water faster than expecred and Mistmouse says that at least the flooding will let them know where the river is. Tallpaw exclaims they nearly drowned and they can't go back in. Sandgorse points out that they didn't drown and they've learned a lot for next time. Disbelieving, Tallpaw asks if they plan on carrying on with the tunnel. Mistmouse mews of course, now that they have a tunnel full of water, they will know what level to aim for. Hickorynose suggests fetching Plumclaw and Woollytail agrees, stating they will be through the gorge by moonhigh.
- Tallpaw protests that it's dangerous, and Sandgorse says not if they know what they're doing, and suggests to him to go back to camp and have a rest and get cleaned up, then he can come back later to help. He purrs they'll break through to the gorge together, and Palebird will be so proud. Backing away, Tallpaw says never. Shocked, Sandgorse meows that Tallpaw saw how it is, and wonders if he felt the excitement and the danger. He gazes across the moor, meowing that he can't want to go back to running through the heather after that.
- Fur bristling with frustration, Tallpaw jumps up and says yes, asking why he doesn't understand that just because Sandgorse loves tunneling doesn't mean he does too, and states that he's not him and he thought that they were going to die. Tallpaw finishes that he's a moor runner, not a tunneler.
Notes and references
|Tallstar's Revenge chapters|
|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 • Chapter 30 • Chapter 31 • Chapter 32 • Chapter 33 • Chapter 34 • Chapter 35 • Chapter 36 • Chapter 37 • Chapter 38 • Chapter 39 • Chapter 40 • Chapter 41 • Chapter 42 • Chapter 43 • Chapter 44 • Chapter 45 • Manga|
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