Her deputy, Pebblefur, has recently died because of a strange lump in his belly, and has appointed Acorntail as his replacement. The young tom is apprehensive, and Featherstar must remind him of his duties; she seems almost apologetic for this.
After Acorntail has arranged the patrols, Featherstar speaks to him in her den, and Acorntail realizes how much she still must be grieving for Pebblefur. Featherstar tells Acorntail that he'll do fine, and that he'll catch lots of prey.
When he comes to her, saying that he doesn't think he can do it, she asks if he knew how to be a warrior immediately after being an apprentice. She asks why he thought he'd immediately know how to act as deputy. She apologizes to Acorntail, saying she should have given him an apprentice before she gave him this rank. Acorntail says that if she gives him one, he'll continue to serve as deputy. Featherstar shows her faith in the young tom, and promises to give him Cherryfeather'skit, Pricklekit, as his first apprentice. After this, she decides it might be best for there to be a law in the warrior code demanding a deputy must have mentored at least one apprentice first. Acorntail winces at this, and Featherstar explains that it would help get cats used to giving orders, and form strong bonds that could with stand the harshest battles. She dismisses Acorntail, and tells him to go visit the nursery and his new apprentice.
Later, Leafpool says that Featherstar proposed a new addition to the warrior code that would have all cats not Clanborn be banished from the Clans. There had been an increasingly hard leaf-bare and Featherstar chose to blame it on the members of her Clan who had kittypet relations and weren't born with WindClan skills. Owlstar argued most fiercely against this; it was rumored that he had kittypet roots, but Leafpool affirms that he only saw this would weaken the Clans greatly. She also says that Owlstar knew that loyalty to Clanmates was part of the warrior code, and the law Featherstar was suggesting would make Clanmates turn on each other and claim superiority for their lineage, something that they couldn't control.
Acorntail: "You've made a mistake. You'll have to choose another cat to be deputy."
Featherstar: "When you became an apprentice, did you know all the fighting moves and how to hunt prey?"
Acorntail: "Of course not."
Featherstar: "And when you became a warrior, did you know how to lead patrols, how to find the best places to hunt, and where our rivals were most likely to cross our border? Then why do you expect to know everything about being a deputy on your very first day? Every cat knows you have things to learn, but once you have, you'll be as good as Pebblefur."
Acorntail: "I'll be the best deputy I can be. Pebblefur would have wanted me to do that."
Featherstar: "And you'll be as good a mentor to your apprentice as he was to you. I think I'll suggest an addition to the warrior code at the next Gathering, that a warrior cannot be made deputy unless he has had an apprentice. Not because I regret choosing you, Acorntail, but because you're right. Training an apprentice teaches a cat how to give orders, how to protect the less-experienced fighters, and establishes bonds of loyalty that can survive the worst battles."