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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

Chapter description

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 disblelief but doesn't say anything.
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Notes and references

  1. Revealed in The Sun Trail, page 184
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