|"We’ll go in now. Follow me, and don’t even think about trying to explore on your own."|
|— Hollyleaf about to lead the patrol into the tunnels in The Forgotten Warrior, page 253|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter twenty one of The Forgotten Warrior. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 21 (of 25)
- Page Numbers: 253-265
- Hollyleaf is leading the way out of camp with Ivypool, Brightheart, and Dovewing, and Ivypool asks Hollyleaf if she put the marigold up a tree around here. Hollyleaf nods, and Brightheart asks if she put the yarrow outside of the camp. Dovewing notes that she feels Hollyleaf's discomfort at having lots of attention. The black she-cat mutters that she trained as a medicine cat first and helped because she could. After Brightheart asks if she was watching them all the time, Hollyleaf protests that it wasn't like that and she wasn't spying. Brightheart mews gently that she wasn't accusing her friend of spying, but it is good to know that she didn't forget about ThunderClan.
- Dovewing then sees the large hole in the ground where she and Ivypool had gone before, searching for Sol. There, they find Thornclaw, Toadstep, and Brackenfur arguing whether to go into the tunnels or not. Hollyleaf agrees with Brackenfur, who tells the two cats to tone it down and to not run headfirst into danger, but mews that she knows these tunnels, and tells everyone to have a good sniff. All of the cats huddle around the hole and Toadstep tells Dovewing and Ivypool that they aren't saying much, but Dovewing's excuse is that they are looking forward to learn how to move through the tunnels. Hollyleaf then announces that they are going in now and tells everybody to not even think of exploring on their own.
- Hollyleaf goes in, followed by Brackenfur, and Brightheart. Dovewing tries to be the caboose of the line and tells Thornclaw that it will be fine. A few times Hollyleaf's voice would echo through the tunnel with a warning or a direction. Dovewing soon becomes aware of Thornclaw in front of her; breathing hard and deep and swiping his tail back and forth, and sympathizes, knowing how he feels. Soon Thornclaw then is backing up, and murmurs that he wants to get out. The tunnel is so narrow that Dovewing is blocking him, and in a panic, Dovewing calls for Hollyleaf. She soon comes down and tries to comfort Thornclaw about the darkness of the tunnel. Hollyleaf then tells Brackenfur to take the lead.
- Brackenfur asks, impressed, what keeps the roof up and what made the tunnels. Hollyleaf explains by water. Thornclaw frets about the tunnels filling with water, but Hollyleaf meows that there isn't a chance of that now. Toadstep meows that he thought they were going to learn fighting. Hollyleaf responds that they are, but they can't in this narrow part of the tunnels. Soon they emerge into an underground cave and a river is flowing in the center. Hollyleaf then explains how they would have to fight in these tunnels, and they talk for a bit, and Hollyleaf makes Dovewing a WindClan warrior that will attack Toadstep.
- Dovewing leaps at Toadstep, forgetting what Hollyleaf had said about keeping blows small and tight. Toadstep dodges her easily and when Dovewing is recovering, Toadstep lands blows on her hindquarters. Hollyleaf calls encouragement.
- Dovewing then notes that she uses a move that she had used in a training session with Bumblestripe once. Toadstep loses his balance and Dovewing springs on top of the black and white cat. Soon one of Dovewing's paws hits the wall and she lets out a wail of pain, distracted from the mock fight. Toadstep takes advantage of this and attacks his 'enemy'. Dovewing realizes that their training session had brought them almost up against the cave wall. Toadstep lunges for the gray she-cat's neck and Hollyleaf separates them, ending their fight.
- Hollyleaf praises them nonetheless but gives Toadstep constructive criticism by telling him what he could have done by making Brackenfur and herself demonstrate; while Brackenfur charges Hollyleaf, who is against the wall, Hollyleaf jumps off of the wall, flying over Brackenfur's head, and landing on the floor on all four paws lightly. Every cat is impressed. Hollyleaf mews that everybody should practice and gives helpful tips, and soon the cave is filled with jumping cats. Dovewing takes Ivypool as her partner and they both master it after a few tries.
- Ivypool pants that it is hard, and Dovewing suggests thinking of it as stalking and pouncing on prey. Hollyleaf then calls for everybody to stop and questions Brightheart on her fighting techniques while having one eye. Brightheart gives useful advice, and Hollyleaf makes a practice round using Brightheart as an opponent for Ivypool. After they are done, Ivypool is clearly tired. Brightheart repeats her fighting sequence but slower so everybody can see and understand what she does.
- Hollyleaf then has a challenge: she will take each cat into the tunnels and they will have to find their way back by scenting and listening. Thornclaw seems a bit scared and asks if they can't make it back. Hollyleaf replies that she will retrieve them. After she brings Thornclaw somewhere, she continues with Dovewing. Dovewing's super senses can easily take her to where she wants to be, but she doesn't want to give away her power, so she waits, and soon, she comes back, and Hollyleaf praises her, so she assumes that her calculations were correct.
- Brightheart then starts to worry about Toadstep, since he hasn't come back, and is interrupted by him yowling that he is lost. Hollyleaf then guides Toadstep back to the large cavern. Hollyleaf gives pieces of advice about if some cat gets lost, and then they decide to go back to camp. Dovewing thanks Hollyleaf, and the other cats do the same. Brackenfur remarks that this would be very useful for night fighting. Toadstep also adds that they could train getting their enemies lost. Ivypool agrees, mewing that they could make signs that they would understand, but WindClan doesn't. Dovewing meows excitedly that they could also lure WindClan into an ambush. When they are close to camp and out of the tunnels Toadstep lets out a fearsome yowl for WindClan to come, because they are ready.
Notes and references
|The Forgotten Warrior 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|
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