- Below contains in-depth information for chapter eight of The Sun Trail. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 8 (of 26)
- Page Numbers: 109-124
- As the eagle that Gray Wing, Bright Stream, Cloud Spots, and Turtle Tail had attacked, lifts Bright Stream into the air, Gray Wing tries to convince Bright Stream to fight back, and to find a way to get free somehow. He spots two eagles that chased Turtle Tail and Cloud Spots flying back to join the other eagles that had teamed up to attack Clear Sky and his group. Clear Sky and his cats are able to finish off the fourth eagle, and Gray Wing notices the three eagles soaring higher. The eagle that had grasped Bright Stream carries her further into the sky, and Gray Wing tries to rescue her—but to no avail. Turtle Tail tells Gray Wing to stop, while Cloud Spots adds that there is nothing Gray Wing can do for her now. Gray Wing shrieks in loss and frustration, and finds himself almost falling off the cliff that he had raced across. Gray Wing blames himself for Bright Stream's death, and Turtle Tail tries to comfort him, saying that he did everything he could. As Cloud Spots takes Gray Wing to the other cats, Clear Sky and Tall Shadow race over to Gray Wing, announcing that they killed one of the eagles.
- Jackdaw's Cry declares that no eagles will bother them again, and Clear Sky looks around, asking where Bright Stream is. Gray Wing is lost for words, unable to explain. Turtle Tail responds for him, gently telling Clear Sky that one of the eagles had taken her. Clear Sky tells Turtle Tail that that is impossible—that Bright Stream is too fast to be caught by eagles. Clear Sky turns to Gray Wing, asking why he didn't help her. Gray Wing stammers, telling Clear Sky that he hurt his leg and that Bright Stream had been helping him hide under a bush. Clear Sky is shocked, asking if Gray Wing had left her outside. Gray Wing tries to explain that it wasn't like that, but realizes that he can't say anything else, as he still believes Bright Stream's death was his fault. Cloud Spots tells Gray Wing that it was no cat's fault. Clear Sky looks around, asking what way the eagle went. Shaded Moss tells Clear Sky that they won't be able to find her now, but Clear Sky is distraught, reminding the travelling group that Bright Stream was expecting his kits. All the cats gasp in horror, and Shaded Moss reflects on the amount of loss that the cats had endured. Turtle Tail tries to reassure Gray Wing once more that it wasn't his fault, but Gray Wing knows that it was, realizing that he couldn't even tell his brother that Bright Stream had died a swift, painless death.
- For the first time, Shaded Moss sounds uncertain as he asks Clear Sky if he would prefer to stay in the mountains rather than following the travelling cats, as Bright Stream had died in the mountains. Clear Sky refuses, telling the cats that he had promised Bright Stream that there would be a better place for them to live as they reached the end of the sun trail. He declares that he will keep his promise by finding the place, to honor Bright Stream and her unborn kits. Shaded Moss declares that Bright Stream gave her life so that the cats could escape from the eagles, and tells the cats to honor her by keeping her in their hearts - always. Gray Wing debates going over to Clear Sky, but refrains from doing so, as he thinks that Clear Sky will be furious with him. At that very moment, Moon Shadow comes to walk over with Clear Sky, giving Gray Wing an excuse to leave them in peace. Cloud Spots walks besides Gray Wing, not offering words of sympathy but padding besides him in comfortable silence.
- Sunhigh reaches as the cats reach the pines. Tall Shadow leaps onto a branch, announcing that she can see her way out of the mountains. Turtle Tail is excited, declaring that they're almost there. Quick Water asks what it's like, but as soon as they begun, the questions die down as the cats remind themselves of Bright Stream's brutal death. Shaded Moss asks what way to go, and Tall Shadow tells him that they must go down a slope. She describes a narrow valley around the shoulder of a peak that leads to the end of the ridge, but adds that it's flat down there. The cats travel in silence - however, they spot eagles. But the eagles don't bother them, and Jackdaw's Cry triumphantly states that they learned their lesson about messing with cats, but Gray Wing is hesitant, wondering if the eagles' lack of interest in pursuing them had something to do with Bright Stream's death - as it is a possibility that they could have been well fed the other day. Gray Wing wishes that he could go to Clear Sky and admit that Bright Stream's death was his fault, and to apologize. But Gray Wing reckons that he'll never be able to find the words. Instead, he walks a few steps behind his brother, feeling pain in his heart. As they pursue further, a gray-furred creature darts across the land. Gray Wing recognizes it as a squirrel, from the elders' tales. Gray Wing attempts to catch it, but Quick Water is faster, and exclaims about how they hadn't even left the mountains and that there's already prey. The cats gather around to share the squirrel - except Clear Sky, who says he's not hungry. Gray Wing longs to know the words that would ease the pain in his brother's heart.
Notes and references
|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|
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