|"But we all agreed to meet there at the next full moon, to see how we're getting on, so we need to do that, spirit-cats or no spirit-cats. Unite or die: That's what we said we'd do."|
|— Gray Wing to Thunder about the Gathering in The Blazing Star, page 29|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter three of The Blazing Star (book). If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 3 (of 28)
- Page Numbers: 22-29
- Gray Wing is at Fourtrees staring at the grave of those who died in the Great Battle. It has been a moon since it happened, but he can still remember the screeches of fighting cats. The tom sorrowfully realizes that in the future, nobody will know this clearing is a grave. Gray Wing promises that he'll remember those who died here, and Turtle Tail, who died alone in Twolegplace, too. He begins to groom himself and notes that though his wounds are fully healed, the scars in his heart will never heal. The gray tom sighs that so much has changed, inside and out. Gray Wing barely feels as if he can lead the group alongside Tall Shadow when he doesn't have his mate with him.
- River Ripple appears and sits down beside him. The silver tabby says that he never thought he'd see such death there, and this is his first time back there. Gray Wing nods, remembering the hope of the cats who had come from the mountains in search of a better home. He realizes that so many of them had been led to their deaths, reciting their names in his head. River Ripple tells the gray tom that he should stop coming here day after day, as the grave will be covered in flowers and grass soon. Gray Wing asks how the tom knew he'd been visiting if it was his first time back. He replies that he may be a loner, but he sees what all cats do. River Ripple adds that Gray Wing needs to stop tormenting himself, and to go back to the cats who love him.
- The gray tom's voice is raspy when he replies that he can't bear to see his friends alone; River Ripple assures him they're with the spirits, which means they aren't alone. The silver tabby nudges him, telling him not to fret, saying he needs to think of his living friends and kin, not the deceased. Gray Wing feels calmed, and touches noses with River Ripple, offering him a spot in the hollow, but the gray tom declines politely. The dark gray cat asks if he'll be at the meeting, to which the silver tabby assures he will be.
- Back in the camp, Gray Wing spots Thunder with Mouse Ear and Mud Paws, teaching them how to hunt, which the sleek gray tom realizes as he observes. He recalls his memories of Thunder being trained with Acorn Fur and Lightning Tail, feeling saddened at the thought of his foster daughter living with Clear Sky. Gray Wing tries to think happier, picturing a younger Thunder, tripping over his own paws when he was a kit, but how much he'd grown.
- Sparrow Fur rushes past with her brother, Owl Eyes, tumbling into the group. Thunder hisses at the cats, but when Sparrow Fur knocks into Mouse Ear, the brown rogue reacts angrily, snarling and calling the tortoiseshell a midget. She nips the tom playfully, causing him to swipe at her with a sheathed paw; Gray Wing watches as Thunder prompts them to try pouncing yet again.
- Just then, the dark gray tom hears a mocking voice ring out from outside of camp, startling him. Disturbed, he goes to check it out, and sees his younger brother Jagged Peak, trying to climb a tree, and Holly, urging him on with a smirk. Gray Wing feels his pelt bristle as he starts toward the two cats, before Jagged Peak jumps down, looking smugly at Holly, saying he did it.
- Cloud Spots approaches Gray Wing with a purr, amusement in his eyes, but it doesn't help, and the dark-furred tom snaps that Holly is picking on his brother. The black-and-white cat suggests not getting involved, because Jagged Peak can look after himself now. Gray Wing questions if the gray tabby truly can, or if he's been unfair to his younger kin, since he always assumed Jagged Peak needed help.
- He heads back to the hollow, approaching Thunder and the other cats; Pebble Heart walks out of his den, and pads beside his foster father. Gray Wing thinks about how, ever since the young tabby was a kit, his adopted son had strange dreams, such as the one of fighting cats before the great battle. After Turtle Tail was killed on the Thunderpath, Gray Wing noticed change in him, seeing how focused and calm he was while healing injured cats.
- The gray tom feels warmth surge inside him, vowing to be a good father to his adopted children, and do his best. He asks Pebble Heart if has had anymore dreams, but when the young tom answers hesitantly, he feels hurt, wondering why he doesn't tell him the truth. Thunder breaks away from his friends, going up to Gray Wing, greeting him. The ginger tom questions if he saw Clear Sky while out, but the dark tom admits he only saw River Ripple.
- Gray Wing recalls how sometimes the moor cats met the forest group, sharing words and even prey, before parting ways. This relieves him, for the borders are no longer being guarded with violent jealousy. Thunder reminds him how the next gathering is soon, asking if the spirits will appear; Gray Wing thinks for a moment, unsure, replying they have to meet up, with or without the spirit-cats, since the groups need to unite or die.
Notes and references
|The Blazing Star (book) 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 • Bonus Scene|
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