|"Everything working... Flowing together... pure Clan warriors and daylight-warriors in harmony, side by side. Sometimes I can scarcely believe it."|
|— Leafstar thinking about SkyClan in The Rescue, page 16|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter one of The Rescue. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 1 (of 3)
- Page Numbers: 7-39
- Leafstar introduces herself as the leader of SkyClan. She explains that SkyClan hasn't existed for that long, and are now stable, but it hadn't been easy getting to that point. Leafstar lies on the floor, a ginger-and-white tom standing beside her. She introduces her mate Billystorm, a daylight-warrior, to the reader, and as the two walk through the forest, Leafstar thinks that she wouldn't be where she is today without his help.
- They come to the edge of a gorge, and Leafstar informs the reader that below them is the SkyClan camp. Some cats are seen lounging on large rocks, others are seen sitting together or drinking from the river. A brown tom crouches on a rock, instructing three young cats who watch him on how to jump. a mottled gray she-cat scoffs that the way they bounce all over the place is ridiculous, but Rabbitleap still jumps onto a higher ledge. Leafstar explains that Lichenfur, the elder, hardly has pleasant words, but means no harm. The old she-cat grumbles what he would want to do with jumping, but a gray-and-white tom tells her that there's no need to be rude, and that his son's skill is something to be proud of. Leafstar thinks that it's still good to see Waspwhisker stand up to her.
- The three young cats who had watched Rabbitleap get excited and start jumping. Leafstar introduces them as apprentices, Birdpaw, Honeypaw, and Sandypaw. A brown-and-white she-cat is seen walking and watching them, and Leafstar notes that Clovertail chose not to be a warrior, and instead takes care of the Clan's kits. She warns the kits not to get on top of the rock and fall off, and Leafstar thinks that Clovertail is very patient. The three apprentices get on the rock anyways, and Birdpaw, who stands on the edge, comforts her mother that they're being careful, but slips and falls, hitting her head against a jutting stone. She crouches on the ground, one eye closed. Clovertail is fretful, but chastises her daughter by saying that she just warned her not to go up there. Waspwhisker scolds his son for not realizing how young they are and pushing them too much, and Rabbitleap apologizes.
- A tabby she-cat says that she heard someone bump her head, and Leafstar introduces Echosong, the Medicine cat, who SkyClan is lucky to have. Echosong looks at Birdpaw's eye, and says that it looks like a simple scrape, telling her to come along as she will have her feeling better soon. Meanwhile, still on the rock, Honeypaw and Sandypaw are betting to each other if they will fall off the rock, but a dark ginger tom approaches them and says they had enough jumping for one day. He tells them that he'll find something else to keep them occupied, though the apprentices complain. Leafstar thinks that Sharpclaw, her deputy, has a solid dedication to his duty.
- A patrol of tabby she-cat, a black tom, and a black she-cat with a collar come down into the gorge. Sharpclaw greets the warriors and asks if they have anything to report from their patrol. Mintfur responds that they came across fox-scent, but that the trail is old. Shrewtooth puts in that they marked how far into SkyClan territory the scent came by bending down small branches on some of the trees. Sharpclaw compliments Shrewtooth on his good tactic, but Mintfur says that it was Ebonyclaw's idea. Lichenfur sniffs that it's not bad for a daylight-warrior, but a tortoiseshell she-cat compliments Ebonyclaw that any warrior would be proud to think of something like that, daylight or otherwise. Ebonyclaw modestly says that it was nothing, and that she saw her Twolegs do something similar.
- From the top of the gorge, Billystorm compliments Leafstar that she's done an amazing thing. Leafstar is unsure, but Billystorm replies that he she united the Clan, which is strong now, despite only being a few seasons old. He adds that SkyClan's future looks secure at last. The two go into the gorge with prey in their mouths, and Leafstar thinks that she sometimes can scarcely believe that everything works, flowing together, pure Clan warriors and daylight-warriors in harmony, side-by-side.
- As Leafstar is walking to the fresh-kill pile, Echosong tells Birdpaw not to get the dressing wet, or it'll fall off. Birdpaw, with a leaf on her eye, agrees and thanks the medicine cat. Clovertail comes rushing over, exclaiming Birdpaw's injury and sympathizing her eye, and nuzzling her daughter’s face. Echosong tells Clovertail she only got a little scrape, and Honeypaw is impressed and asks Birdpaw if her whole eye came out. Sandypaw begs to see, wondering if it is gross underneath. Birdpaw tells them that they'll have to wait and find out, to which her littermates complain.
- As Leafstar continues to walk, Echosong calls her name, speculating that her leader was hunting and caught a bird by climbing a tree, and scolding her to take more care. Leafstar tells Echosong to calm down, as she is only expecting kits. Echosong turns to Billystorm and asks why he didn't stop her, and he replies that no cat can stop Leafstar. Echosong considers out loud keeping Leafstar in her den until her kits are born, but Leafstar protests that she wouldn't do that. She adds that the kits are fine, and she thinks that they like it when she climbs trees, because they wriggle enough. Leafstar comforts Echosong that she'll lie in the sun to make her feel better. Echosong says that it would make her feel a bit better.
- Clovertail also scolds Leafstar on still prancing in the woods despite expecting kits very soon. Leafstar complains that Clovertail is also fussing over her, and explains to the reader that Clovertail has already had two litters and is full of advice, but most of it sounds like good advice, so she listens. Leafstar admits to Clovertail that sometimes she thinks that having kits is going to be even harder than leading a Clan. Clovertail confesses that it probably will be even with Billystorm to help, but that there's nothing better.
- Clovertail, Echosong, and Leafstar eat fresh-kill, and when Leafstar is almost done, she sees Cherrytail and Sharpclaw walking together. She asks for a word with Sharpclaw, and he and Cherrytail come over. Leafstar asks her deputy if he will check out the fox trail the patrol mentioned. Sharpclaw stammers that he and Cherrytail were just going to hunt in the woods for a bit, but Cherrytail interrupts that they could easily pass through the place where the fox was scented. Leafstar thanks them, but as they walk away, she asks Echosong and Clovertail she was imagining that they were both acting a little peculiar. Clovertail is surprised that her leader hasn’t yet guessed that, despite being very clear, Sharpclaw and Cherrytail might have kits.
- Leafstar is surprised at those two, and admits so, as Sharpclaw has always been so dedicated to his duties that she never thought about him taking a mate. Echosong puts in that some cats could say that same about her, and gets up, wondering aloud if many of the other Clan leaders have kits. Leafstar answers that they must, and that it's as much up to them to keep their Clans going as any cat. However, in her mind Leafstar is doubtful, worriying if the Clan will be vulnerable if her attention is divided. She watches a group of SkyClan cats jumping on the rocks, and wonders if she will be torn between caring for her kits and caring for her Clanmates. Echosong touches Leafstar's paw with her own and comforts her that Sharpclaw will never neglect his duties, whatever he feels for Cherrytail. Leafstar replies that she knows.
- When it is night, Leafstar sleeps in her den, murmuring, distressed, under her breath. She dreams that she is running through the forest at night, wondering where her kits are, and exclaiming that she lost them. She sees dark silhouettes of cats sitting in the branches of trees, and hears voices that plead for help. Leafstar is unsure if she should help her Clanmates or fine her kits, and as she hears more voices asking her for help, she cowers, frightened, wondering what she will do.
- Billystorm says good morning to Leafstar, and she wakes with a start, confused. Billystorm asks if it was a bad dream, but Leafstar simply comments that he's early, and the daylight-warrior responds that he wanted to see how she was doing, and clearly came at the right time. Leafstar thanks him, putting in that she's fine, and asks if his housefolk won't be worried about how much time he's spending away from their nest. He responds that as far as he can tell, they probably think he's just enjoying the newleaf sunshine.
- Billystorm and Leafstar walk beside the river, and Billystorm notes that Leafstar does look more tired than usual. Leafstar comforts him that she's fine, but Sharpclaw calls her name and runs toward her. He informs her that he's sending out the morning patrols, and offers coming with him on his. Leafstar kindly turns down the offer, and says that she'll stay in camp today. Sharpclaw reluctantly accepts, and reports that he and Cherrytail had checked the fox-scent, and it had been no farther than the branches marked by Ebonyclaw's patrol. He adds that he sent another border patrol there today. When Leafstar asks who's leading it, Sharpclaw answers that Waspwhisker is taking Tinycloud, Sandypaw, and Nettlesplash with him.
- As Sharpclaw bounds away, Billystorm expresses concern, as Leafstar has never been one to turn down a patrol before, and offers to stay with her today. Leafstar comforts him that she's just achy and tired, and adds that he has a patrol to catch up with. As Billystorm hobbles away, Leafstar wonders if she's being unrealistic or unreasonable, and is not sure. She lies in the sun, and admits that it does feel good to let the sun warm her pelt, until she grows bored and restless.
- As she gets up, she sees a long-furred, white tom with a collar enter the gorge, and introduces Harveymoon to be another daylight-warrior, though he hasn’t ever displayed much talent at tracking or fighting. She greets Harverymoon and they exchange a short friendly chat, before he suggests going for a walk with him. Leafstar answers that a walk sounds delightful.
- Echosong trots toward them just as they prepare to go, and warns Leafstar to be careful, and not go far outside the territory in her condition. Harveymoon assures Echosong that he's slow in the mornings, so they'll make a good pair. As they head back up the gorge, Leafstar guesses that he didn't expect to have to wrangle a pregnant cat today, and Harveymoon responds that he didn't, but it is an honor and privilege.
- They are seen walking in the forest, and Harveymoon suggests heading back to camp. Leafstar admits that she is a bit winded, and they can, but gets cut off by a rustle in some bushes. Neither of them speak, but Leafstar thinks that they both hear the rustling in the woods nearby. She wonders if it is intruders. However, she finds Waspwhisker and a small white she-cat. Leafstar asks Waspwhisker if something is wrong, and he exclaims that they lost Sandypaw and Nettlesplash. He explains that the patrol split up to follow the old fox-scent over the border, looking for any dens, but that the other two have vanished. Leafstar chastises that Nettlesplash and Sandypaw are young cats, and shouldn't have strayed outside Clan borders. Waspwhisker admits that he shouldn't have divided up the patrol, and that it is his fault. Leafstar closes her eyes and tells him that matters is finding them.
- Leafstar informs the reader that the four of them track the young ones, and soon reach the end of the fox trail, marked by Ebonyclaw's broken branches. She notes to herself that the fox trail seems to divide, as if the fox had come here on two separate occasions. More than missing kits, Leafstar finds this to be troubling. Waspwhisker stands behind her and informs his leader that he and Tinycloud went right. Leafstar suggests following the other trail.
- Leafstar notes to herself that all her senses have seemed sharp since she found out she was expecting, and they are so accurate that she is able to follow Nettlesplash and Sandypaw's trail through a patch of wild garlic, which she assumes is doubtlessly where Tinycloud and Waspwhisker lost them. She thinks that she is getting closer, when the two young cats jump out from behind a bush. Nettlesplash exclaims, and Sandypaw wonders what Leafstar is doing there. Leafstar answers that she was looking for them, and asks where they have been. Sandypaw stammers that they were just in the woods trying to follow them fox scent. Nettlesplash hesitatingly agrees, and adds that they didn't find anything. Sandypaw murmurs agreement.
- Waspwhisker asks them if they realize that they're far over the Clan border. He orders them to be careful, but Leafstar sniffs and orders them to wait a moment. She jumps in front of them and asks if they have been eating. Sandypaw answers they have, only a little, but Leafstar strictly reminds them that it's against the warrior code to eat prey as soon as it's been caught, because it must be brought back to the fresh-kill pile and given to elders and kits first. She demands if they remembered none of what they've been taught. Nettlesplash defends himself that it was just some crow-food that they found, and suggests that maybe the fox killed it. Sandypaw puts in that they only had a mouthful while looking for scents of the fox.
- Waspwhisker says that he's very disappointed in both of them, as they both know better. Leafstar gives them a punishment of checking Lichenfur for ticks and changing out her bedding. Both young cats protest that it is disgusting and they shudder, sticking their tongues out. Leafstar smiles and thinks that such foolishness can be found in any apprentice. Harveymoon tells Leafstar that they went much farther than they were supposed to go, and suggests heading back to camp. The six cats walk back through the forest, though something about the young cats’ story bothers Leafstar.
- While Leafstar happily lies beneath a rock, on a low ledge, Sandypaw looks through a long-furred tabby tom's pelt, and Nettlesplash through Lichenfur's. Tangle tells Nettlesplash and Sandypaw to check for ticks thoroughly, and that they want their dens spotless too. Leafstar smiles and puts her head on the floor, supposing that she shouldn't look for trouble, and notes that without any other disturbances, she sleep late the following morning. Leafstar thinks that each sunrise she feels bigger, and as she watches cats walking about in the gorge, thinks that she has never before been so envious of cats sent on patrol.
- Leafstar approaches Sharpclaw and informs him that she'll take a small patrol herself today, but Sharpclaw disagrees that he won't be letting her patrol again until her kits are born. Leafstar is appalled, and exclaims that she is the leader of SkyClan. She asks who he is to tell him when she can or can't do something, and who he is to keep her captive. The deputy calmly responds that Leafstar shouldn't be ridiculous, as any other queen would have been confined to the nursery by now. He adds that no cat is keeping her prisoner, but she cannot perform all her usual warrior duties.
- As Echosong rushes up, Leafstar eyes her hostilely. The medicine cat tells Leafstar that it's not like she can't move at all, and offers her leader to come with her to collect herbs. Leafstar thinks that Echosong's request is a very clearly and excuse to make her feel useful, but reluctantly agrees anyways.
- The two she-cats head of out of the ravine, but Leafstar knows that Echosong and Sharpclaw have the best intentions. The two walk beside the fence that borders SkyClan and Twolegplace, and Echosong crouches down, murmuring to Leafstar that she shouldn't argue with Sharpclaw, as he only has her best interests at heart. Leafstar responds that she knows, and hesitantly confesses that deep down inside, she's somehow betraying SkyClan by having kits. She sadly adds that Firestar didn't tell her anything about this. Echosong tells her that it's probably because he's a tom, and it wouldn't be an issue for him. Leafstar thinks that it's not right that she-cat leaders should have all the responsibilities of leading a Clan and raising kits. However, she feistily notes to herself that regardless, she's going to do both jobs well.
- Billystorm comes rushing toward them, calling Leafstar's name. He apologizes for getting to the gorge late, and explains that his housefolk accidentally shut him in, and he had to wriggle out of a tiny window. Leafstar chuckles and Billystorm asks if he was up there looking for him, wondering if something is wrong. Echosong tells him that if something were wrong with Leafstar, she wouldn't stagger all the way to Twolegplace to tell him about it. Billystorm asks if they would send someone, and Leafstar promises that if there's any trouble they will, even if it's the middle of the night. The three cats walk back to camp, and Leafstar thinks that perhaps she is not the only act torn in two ways by the kits. Echosong tells them to go back to camp, as the herb selection up there is pitiful.
- When they return to the gorge, they find three cats searching through the camp. Leafstar asks A black tom what the matter is, and Rockshade apologizes that their apprentices have misplaced themselves. A white cat informs Leafstar that they're supposed to be having a training session, but are nowhere to be found, adding that Nettlesplash and Plumwillow are missing too. Leafstar reassures them that perhaps the apprentices didn't hear when the training session was due, but suggests that the three should head out separately to look for them, and she'll tell Sharpclaw, but is interrupted when Rockshade exclaims that they are here. The five cats head down the gorge, and the white cat notes that they brought back a pigeon.
- The young cats return with a disheveled pigeon and feathers on their muzzles. Waspwhisker demands what their story is for disappearing and coming back with mangled fresh-kill. Nettlesplash apologizes that they got a little carried away when they caught it. The warrior orders them to wash off in the pool before the attract foxes.
- Leafstar doesn't know what's going on with the apprentices, but notes that they must learn to be more careful. She watches Birdpaw wash herself by the river, and Echosong scornfully says that they are careless kits, speculating that Birdpaw reopened her wound. Leafstar responds that she knows. Later, Echosong is lecturing Birdpaw who has a leaf over her eye again, to keep the dressing on for the rest of the day, and do no rough play. Birdpaw obediently agrees.
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Revealed in The Rescue, page 7
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Revealed in The Rescue, page 8
- ↑ Revealed in The Rescue, page 9
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Revealed in The Rescue, page 10
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Revealed in The Rescue, page 12
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Revealed in The Rescue, page 13
- ↑ Revealed in The Rescue, page 14
- ↑ Revealed in The Rescue, page 26
- ↑ Revealed in The Rescue, page 27
- ↑ Revealed in The Rescue, page 30
- ↑ Revealed in The Rescue, page 33
- ↑ Revealed in The Rescue, page 39
- ↑ Revealed in The Rescue, page 36
|The Rescue chapters|
|Part 1 • Part 2 • Part 3|
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