|"We'll stay here for now. [...] We can rest and explore, and decide whether this is the place Stoneteller meant for us to find."|
|— Tall Shadow to the group in The Sun Trail page, 184|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter thirteen of The Sun Trail. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 13 (of 26)
- Page Numbers: 184-191
- The slope leads onto an open moorland covered in tough springy grass along with clumps of gorse. Gray Wing relaxes, as he revels in the open sky, and the breeze carrying the scent of rabbit. Gray Wing thinks that he could live his entire life here. Towards the night, they come across a shallow hollow lined with gorse bushes and small rocks that offer shelter, and a pool of peaty brown water lays at the bottom. Tall Shadow says that they'll stay here for awhile, and rest, and see if this is the place. Half Moon wanted them to find. After they spent a couple of days drowsing in the hollow, only leaving to hunt rabbits, Gray Wing's brother, Clear Sky, leads the first patrol out of the hollow to explore the moorland.
- Clear Sky takes Dappled Pelt, Falling Feather, and Moon Shadow. When they come back, Clear Sky reports that they went as far as the river, and that there's a massive waterfall that thunders down into the gorge. Falling Feather mews regretfully that there was no cave behind it, though. That following day, Gray Wing sets out with Cloud Spots, Rainswept Flower, Jagged Peak, and Turtle Tail, to explore. The sun shines brightly in the clear sky overhead, with merely a few wisps of white cloud. A breeze blows from the forest, bringing the scent of vegetation with it. Turtle Tail sighs that it feels so good, as she stretches.
- Rainswept Flower agrees that there's no rain, no Thunderpaths, and plenty of prey. Gray Wing warns her that they need to learn more about this place, and that there might be dangers here that they don't know about. As they trek across the moor, they come to a steep slope, that leads downwards. Ahead of them, Gray Wing spots a clump of fresh green leaves that are rustling in the wind. At first he doesn't know what it is, but then he realizes that he is looking at the top of multiple trees. Jagged Peak mews that they should go look, as he springs forward. Gray Wing hauls the young tom back, by hooking his tail round Jagged Peak's neck, saying sternly that they'll go look, but that he will have to stay with the rest of them, and not dash around like a demented snow hare.
- Jagged Peak nods, flexing his claws impatiently as Gray Wing takes the lead. The moorland grass gives away to lush ferns and undergrowth. Gray Wing pushes towards the head of his group, halting, and gasps in amazement. He sees that in front of him, the ground had fallen away into a vast circular hollow, and the sides are lined with ferns and bushes, and at the bottom four extraordinary oak trees stretch their branches towards the sky. Everyone in the group is in awe by the magnificent sight. Jagged Peak's voice is an excited squeak as he asks why don't they live here. Gray Wing gives his younger brother a quelling look, but doesn't reply. As he leads them down the slope, ears pricked, alert for possible danger, he begins to feel the familiar sensation of being trapped under the trees.
- The branches were arching overhead, interlacing so that Gray Wing can only see patches of the sky. The middle of the four oak trees a huge rock stretches many tail-lengths into the air. Jagged Peak bunches his muscles, and tries to jump to the top, but it's to high for the young tom. He gives an annoyed flick of his tail, as he mews that Clear Sky would be able to jump up there. Gray Wing asks why Clear Sky would even want to. To avoid argument with Jagged Peak, Gray Wing adds that they should stop and hunt for awhile. Jagged Peak heads off at once, and Gray Wing calls after him to stay in the hollow.
- The rest of the group splits up. Just like Gray Wing hoped, there is plenty of prey in the area. Before long, the group gathered around the rock to eat. As Gray Wing swallows bits of mouse, he hears rustling in the bushes. He tastes the air and picks up the scent of cat. Turtle Tail whispers that it's a rogue. As Gray Wing watches the movement of the branches he catches glimpses of a ginger pelt. The stranger is moving towards the top of the hollow. More movement appears farther up, and a black-and-white face pops out of a clump of ferns for a moment. Jagged Peak springs to his paws, exclaiming that there are more of them, and that they should fight. Cloud Spots moves to block Jagged Peak, just in time before he could go charging off the slope.
- The black-and-white tom asks why they should fight, and that the rogues are doing them no harm. Jagged Peak begins to protest, but Gray Wing cuts him off, saying that Cloud Spots is right. He remembers the claws of the kittypet he had fought in the Twolegplace. Gray Wing adds that they're not fit for fighting yet, and that they need a much clearer view of the territory before meeting and fighting hostile cats. Rainswept Flower adds for all they know the cats might be friendly. Jagged Peak gives a snort, of disbelief but doesn't say anything.
- Two sunrises later Gray Wing is hunting alone in the moor. He scans the land for the least sign of any sort of movement. His pads tingle with excitement, as he spots a rabbit. He springs forward. The rabbit veers aside with a squeal of fear and Gray Wing alters his course, stretching his paws out, and pushing off of the tough grass, propelling himself forward. He's reaching the rabbit, when something slams into him from the side. Gray Wing crashes to the ground. Half stunned he looks up to see a wiry brown she-cat with yellow eyes, glaring at him. Just behind her, a thin gray tom rises to his paws, and shakes the scraps of grass out from his pelt. Gray Wing realizes that the rabbit escaped.
- He lashes his tail angrily, and hisses at them that they made him lose his rabbit. The gray tom steps forward, asking the brown she-cat why Gray Wing thought the rabbit was his. He calls the brown she-cat by the name Wind. Wind replies that she has no idea, calling the gray tom by the name Gorse. Wind hisses at Gray Wing that they've seen him before, and that he's the one stealing their prey. Gorse asks him aggressively where he came from. Gorse adds that he'd better not plan on staying long. He's about to continue more, when Gray Wing cuts him off saying that he'll stay as long as he likes. Wind slides out her claws, and hisses that it's not his choice to make.
- Gray Wing braces himself for an attack, but before Gorse or Wind can spring Tall Shadow appears, and asks him if he's having trouble. Gray Wing sees that her paw is healed, and she looks formidable. Hawk Swoop is standing behind Tall Shadow, snarling. Gray Wing explains that Wind and Gorse knocked him over while he had been chasing a rabbit. Wind snorts that he ran into them. Tall Shadow flexes her claws, saying that they're not going to argue, and that Wind and Gorse should leave immeidiatley or they'll make them. The two cats take a step back, and Wind snaps that they won't get away with it.
- Gray Wing, Hawk Swopp, and Tall Shadow watch as the two rogues run off. A thin rain begins to fall, soaking the three cat's pelts. Gray Wing feels thoroughly dejected. He's glad that Tall Shadow and Hawk Swoop had showed up, but he realizes that he shouldn't have been so quick to argue with them. When they arrive back at the hollow, Hawk Swoop tells them about what happened with Wind and Gorse. No cat is pleased to hear what happened. Turtle Tail asks if it will be like that every time they go hunting. She adds that she doesn't want to have to fight every time she hunts. Rainswept Flower agrees with her, and says that maybe they weren't meant to live here. Cloud Spots nods, and says if Tall Shadow and Hawk Swoop hadn't showed up, Gray Wing could have gotten seriously injured.
- Jackdaw's Cry and and Dappled Pelt exchange glances. Jackdaw's Cry says that if it gets really bad, they'll go back to the mountains. He adds that prey may have been scarce, but at least they didn't have to fight for it. For the next few days the rain continues without a break. Exploring doesn't seem exciting anymore to anyone. Gray Wing and everyone else huddle under gorse bushes for shelter, except when hunger drives them out to catch rabbits. Four sunrises after Gray Wing's encounter with Wind and Gorse Gray Wing awakes to from an uncomfortable doze to see Moon Shadow come crashing through the bushes over to them, dragging something behind him.
- He tells them to come look what he caught, and he drops two squirrels where Tall Shadow is laying. The black she-cat asks him where he got those. Moon Shadow boasts that he got them from the woodland. Tall Shadow snaps that it was flea-brained, and that he shouldn't have gone alone. She says that from now on they'll hunt in groups. Moon Shadow asks who died, and made Tall Shadow leader. Tall Shadow replies that Shaded Moss did. Gray Wing wonders if Shaded Moss really did make Tall Shadow his successor. He recalls that they did talk a lot, and he doesn't think Tall Shadow would lie. Gray Wing is aware of moment of grief, and realizes that they're all wondering how things would be different if Shaded Moss were still alive. He knew this place wasn't as wonderful as they had originally thought it was going to be, but they didn't have anymore energy to travel. Gray Wing realizes that they're here, and that they have to make the best of it.
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Revealed in The Sun Trail, page 184
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Revealed in The Sun Trail, page 188
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Revealed in The Sun Trail, page 185
- ↑ Revealed in The Sun Trail, page 187
- ↑ Revealed in The Sun Trail, page 189
- ↑ Revealed in The Sun Trail, page 190
- ↑ Revealed in The Sun Trail, page 191
|The Sun Trail 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 • Bonus Scene|
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.