|"There's a codebreaker among us! And it pains me to punish her—but if we ever hope to hear from StarClan again, I must. You, my own deputy. My mate! You don't belong in ThunderClan anymore. You don't deserve a place here."|
|— The impostor exiling Squirrelflight in The Silent Thaw, page 282|
- Below contains in-depth information for the prologue of The Silent Thaw. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 20 (of 24)
- Page Numbers: 279-287
- Bristlefrost noses a sparrow out of the fresh-kill pile, noting to herself that Squirrelflight had just returned from her self-imposed exile. Squirrelflight informed the young warrior that while Leafstar seemed to believe her, Harestar was unconvinced and she decided to return to ThunderClan, though Squirrelflight was unable to go Tigerstar or Mistystar. As Bristlefrost carries her meal towards the shelter of the highledge, she thinks that no cat had stood up for Tigerstar and were clearly willing to let Bramblestar lead another Clan. She notices Squirrelflight and Bramblestar talking up on the highledge from Bramblestar's den, the latter letting out a hiss towards his mate. The she-cat wonders if any of her Clanmates heard it. However, the cats in the camp are distracted with their own daily life. Beginning to worry for the deputy, Bristlefrost takes her shrew up to Bramblestar's den to see if Squirrelflight was hungry, as a means of checking on her. However, as she approaches, she hears the two arguing.
- Bramblestar demands to know where Squirrelflight had gone in her exile, and Squirrelflight responds that she went to the horseplace. The impostor continues to question her, asking what she had hunted and ate. After, Bramblestar asks if she's sure to follow the warrior code from then on. Squirrelflight cites that without the code, they're just rogues, and must honor StarClan by following it exactly. Bramblestar then demands to know why Squirrelflight broke the code in the first place. Squirrelflight, shaken, asks what he means. Bramblestar asks why she pretended Leafpool's kits were hers. Squirrelflight says it was moons ago, but Bristlefrost realizes that the impostor had touched a nerve in Squirrelflight. Bramblestar hisses that Leafpool was a liar, and made a liar out of her. Squirrelflight says her sister was brave, but Bramblestar hisses that she was a codebreaker.
- Squirrelflight says she was weak, and should have helped Leafpool tell the truth. Bramblestar snarls that Squirrelflight is still weak, and asks if she thought of her weakness while at the horseplace, and demands to know if she atoned for it. Squirrelflight painfully mews that she atoned for everything. Bramblestar snarls again that he gave her one last chance to tell the truth and she didn't, but Bristlefrost realizes that the sentence he had just said did not sound like Bramblestar's own voice, and wonders who it belonged to. Bristlefrost hears pawsteps and scrambles down the highledge as Bramblestar backs out of his den, hauling Squirrelflight out by the scruff, coming down the highledge before dropping his mate at the bottom. Squirrelflight gets up, hissing at him.
- Bramblestar announces to ThunderClan that there is a codebreaker among them, and condemns Squirrelflight as his deputy and mate, but says that if they want to hear from StarClan again, she must be punished, and does not deserve a place in ThunderClan. Bristlefrost stares in panic at her great-great-aunt, wondering how Bramblestar discovered her lie. Graystripe steps forward, telling Bramblestar that he cannot exile her as she is Firestar's daughter. Thornclaw asks what she had even done, shock in his eyes. Bramblestar rounds on the two toms and says she is a liar, pretending to atone, but she broke the code again. Thornclaw blinks questioningly at the deputy, and Bramblestar asks again where she had gone.
- Squirrelflight reiterates that she went to the horseplace, but Bramblestar snarls that she's lying, as he sent Bumblestripe to follow her. Bumblestripe steps forward and explains that she went to SkyClan. Thornclaw asks why she would go there, which Bumblestripes responds that she intended for SkyClan to rise up against ThunderClan. Sparkpelt and Stormcloud stare at Squirrelflight in disbelief, while Berrynose curls his lip and calls her a traitor. The word rings around camp, echoed by Lilyheart and Honeyfur. Bristlefrost begins to panic, wondering if she will be outed as well. She looks at Stemleaf and Spotfur, but neither know what to do. Sparkpelt asks her mother if it's true. Squirrelflight, realizing that ThunderClan does not support her, hisses that she'll leave, but says that her mate would never act like the way Bramblestar is acting, and in their hearts, they must know that their leader is an impostor of the true Bramblestar.
- Bristlefrost searches the gaze of her Clanmates, but she realizes that they don't understand what Squirrelflight is telling them, as it seemed too far-fetched to believe. Stemleaf subtly shakes his head to Bristlefrost, knowing they cannot do anything. The impostor calls Bristlefrost's name, making her jump. The impostor demands that she, Lionblaze, Twigbranch, Birchfall and Stormcloud escort her off the territory. Bristlefrost wonders if Stormcloud or Birchfall are spies, and Squirrelflight already goes ahead of her escort towards the camp entrance. Bramblestar does not look at Squirrelflight, instead calmly looks around the camp, saying he needs a new deputy. Bumblestripe steps forward and says he wants to defend the warrior code as much as he does and would be honored if he considered him. Berrynose pushes past him and says he knows he'd do his best to be a loyal and brave deputy to ThunderClan, adding that Bramblestar was his mentor, and he knows he can trust him.
- Bristlefrost shudders and hurries up to the escort patrol, not wanting to see her Clanmates behaving like fox-hearts. As they leave camp, Bristlefrost falls behind Lionblaze and Twigbranch as Birchfall and Stormcloud flank Squirrelflight. Shaken, Twigbranch whispers to Lionblaze that he can't banish her, and asks why he's doing it. Lionblaze darkly growls that obviously if his mate and deputy aren't safe, then no cat is. Dread drops like a stone in Bristlefrost's belly, wondering how they can stand up to Bramblestar since he clearly has the support of other warriors in the other Clans and plenty of allies in ThunderClan. She realizes there can be no more secret meetings, as any cat could be spying on them. She glances back at the camp, wondering if Berrynose or Bumblestripe are still competing for deputyship. She then thinks to herself that whoever is possessing Bramblestar, they are far more clever and ruthless than she'd ever imagined.
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Revealed in The Silent Thaw, page 279
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Revealed in The Silent Thaw, page 284
- ↑ 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 Revealed in The Silent Thaw, page 280
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Revealed in The Silent Thaw, page 287
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Revealed in The Silent Thaw, page 281
- ↑ Revealed in The Silent Thaw, page 286
|The Silent Thaw 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|
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