|"I don't know if we can do this on our own, two or three of us..."|
|— Jayfeather to himself in The Fourth Apprentice, page 34|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter two of The Fourth Apprentice. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 2 (of 26)
- Page Numbers: 23-34
- While Jayfeather picks through the herbs in his storage cave, he thinks about how he should be stocking up for leaf-fall, but reminds himself that there is no fresh growth. He then remembers his time with Leafpool, who would tell him what to do, and wishes she had never resigned. While he is thinking about her resignment, a bitter memory from a few days before resurfaces.
- Briarpaw bursts into his den, exclaiming that Firestar is injured. The gray tabby asks her what happened and where he is, with her replying that a fox got him near the dead tree on the ShadowClan border. Trying to sound confident, the medicine cat tells the apprentice to go find Leafpool while he goes to the border. Grabbing a few stems of horsetail, he races out the tunnel, towards the ShadowClan border, and on his way there, he remembers that his mother was no longer a medicine cat.
- He scents Firestar's blood before he reaches the dead tree, and then finds the leader lying in a clump of ferns. Sandstorm and Graystripe crouch over him while Thornclaw keeps watch on top of a tree stump. As soon as the she-cat sees Jayfeather, she thanks StarClan and tells Firestar to hold on. The young medicine cat asks what happened as he runs his paw over the ginger tom's side, and discovers a long gash pulsing with blood. Graystripe explains that they were on a patrol when a fox leaped out at them. The gray tom adds that they chased it off, but his voice chokes before he could finish his sentence. Jayfeather then orders to find some cobwebs and begins to chew the horsetail he brought in order to make a poultice. The blind tom asks himself where Leafpool is, worried if he was doing the right thing.
- The medicine cat patted the poultice on Firestar's wound and binds it with cobwebs Graystripe thrust into his paws. Unfortunately, before he finished, he hears the leader's breathing become slower and slower, until it slowed into a stop. Sandstorm whispers that he is losing a life, and Jayfeather goes on to finish putting the poultice in place, so Firestar would not lose any more blood when he recovered. Time seemed to slow as the tom tries to count up how many lives his leader had left, and worries that it might have been his last life. Just before he gives up hope, the ginger tom coughs and raises his head to thank Jayfeather, and he tells him he will be fine in a few heartbeats. Since the incident, the young tom has not been able to forgive himself. He does not see Leafpool until they are all within sight of the stone hollow, who reassures him that he did his best. This does not convince Jayfeather, as he knows Leafpool would have saved Firestar if she was there, and he then tells himself his leader lost of life because of him.
- In the present, the medicine cat finishes sorting through the herbs, picks up a mouthful of ragwort, and sets off to the elders' den. When he enters, he finds Mousefur curled up near the trunk of the den, while Longtail and Purdy sit side-by-side in the shade, in which the latter is telling a story. The old loner stops, and asks Jayfeather what they can do for him. He commands the elders to eat the herbs he brought, dividing up the stems carefully into three. He explains that it is ragwort, and it will help keep their strength up. Purdy pads up to it and prods it with a paw, commenting that it looks funny to him. Hissing through gritted teeth, Jayfeather reaffirms his command to eat the ragwort, adding for Longtail to come eat them too. The blind elder agrees and licks up the herbs, and encourages the aging tom to eat them as well. The medicine cat notices that his voice is hoarse, his pawsteps unsteady, and suspects he is giving his share of food and water to Mousefur.
- Jayfeather then approaches Mousefur and instructs her to eat the ragwort. She complies, and then asks the medicine cat about the events of the previous night's Gathering. Jayfeather explains that Leopardstar had laid claim to the lake and the fish, to which Mousefur is in disbelief that StarClan had let her do such a thing. Jayfeather states to himself that StarClan had been silent recently, not even telling Leafpool anything that would benefit the Clans.
- Jayfeather then leaves the elders' den and heads towards a noise coming from the apprentices' den. Inside, he finds Dovekit and Ivykit playing amongst themselves. Jayfeather scolds them, reminding them that they are not apprentices yet and shouldn't be in there. Dovekit protests that they were only looking and wanted to scope out good places for their new nests, since they were due to be made apprentices soon. Jayfeather retorts that the other apprentices will tell them where to sleep, to which Dovekit says that they do not care. The kits then return back to their mother, Whitewing, leaving Jayfeather to reflect on the times when he thought he had a mother to boast to.
- Jayfeather moves his attention to the camp's entrance, where his real mother Leafpool had returned from a hunting patrol. All of the members of the patrol had returned with fresh-kill except for Leafpool, which causes Jayfeather to sneer. He thinks to himself that Leafpool should be helping him instead of pretending to be a warrior. Leafpool approaches him, but Jayfeather turns his head, and listens to her defeated paw steps pass him by. He picks up on a sense of awkwardness felt by the other members of the patrol by not knowing how to treat the former-medicine cat neither.
- Brightheart then emerges from the thorn tunnel and approaches Jayfeather, a bundle of yarrow in her jaws. Jayfeather praises her, saying that he wasn't sure if there would be any out to find. Jayfeather remembers how Brightheart had been trained by Cinderpelt many moons ago, which was why Brightheart had been assisting him due to the recent events. Jayfeather knows that though Brightheart was relatively skilled when it came to treating minor illnesses and wounds, she was older than he was, and could never commit to being a medicine cat apprentice. Jayfeather tells himself that having an apprentice was for older medicine cats anyways, and that he still had a prophecy to fulfill before he could think about choosing one.
- Jayfeather smells the acrid scent of smoke in the air. Alarmed, he yowls out to the Clan, and runs towards the source of the burning. Dovekit runs past him, screeching that the Clan is on fire. Jayfeather is impressed by Dovekit's keen scent, but has no time to think about that. He snaps at nearby Brackenfur to get the elders out of the den. Jayfeather goes past the den, following the scent of smoke, but is frustrated due to his lack of sight.
- Graystripe, Firestar, and Squirrelflight emerge from behind Jayfeather. Firestar instructs the medicine cat to fetch water from the lake, but Graystripe replies that it would take too long and that dust should be kicked onto the fire instead. Jayfeather listens to the scraping paws of his Clanmates, but the scent of smoke doesn't die down. Cloudtail and Lionblaze appear with wet moss, and the fire is put out within moments of them showing up.
- Jayfeather asks his brother if he is sure the fire is completely out, and Lionblaze replies that Firestar is going to check. He supposes that they will have to get more water and is hoping that the RiverClan cats were gone. Jayfeather is confused, and presses Lionblaze further. Lionblaze explains that there had been a RiverClan patrol that almost did not let them collect water from the lake. Disappointed, Jayfeather wonders if this will soon be the end of the Clans. Lionblaze, aware of his brother's brooding, reassures him that the prophecy is still alive, and that Whitewing's kits could be the answer.
- Suddenly, Berrynose interrupts Jayfeather's conversation, informing the medicine cat that Poppyfrost is having kits. Jayfeather congratulates him, and Berrynose asks if having kits is dangerous. Berrynose rambles about possible pregnancy errors, to which Poppyfrost reassures that she will be fine. Jayfeather says that there can be problems but Poppyfrost is a healthy she-cat, and should be fine to carry on her warrior duties for now. Berrynose, unhappy with the statement, instructs his mate to go into the nursery right now. Poppyfrost objects, but is led into the direction of the nursery anyways, drawing frustration from Jayfeather.
- Jayfeather is left thinking about the prophecy, murmuring to himself that he is unsure if they can do this on their own.
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Revealed in The Fourth Apprentice, page 23
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Revealed in The Fourth Apprentice, page 24
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Revealed in The Fourth Apprentice, page 25
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Revealed in The Fourth Apprentice, page 28
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Revealed in The Fourth Apprentice, page 29
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Revealed in The Fourth Apprentice, page 31
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Revealed in The Fourth Apprentice, page 33
- ↑ Revealed in The Fourth Apprentice, page 27
- ↑ Revealed in The Fourth Apprentice, page 30
- ↑ Revealed in The Fourth Apprentice, page 32
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 Revealed in The Fourth Apprentice, page 34
|The Fourth Apprentice 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|
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