|"Everything was quiet, leaving Brambleclaw nothing to do but worry about how the journey had gone so disastrously wrong. Most of all, he worried about Tawnypelt […] How would they cope if [her] bite got infected, or if her leg stiffened so that Tawnypelt couldn't go on?"|
|— Brambleclaw's thoughts after the rat attack in Midnight, page 252|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter twenty of Midnight (Book). If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 20 (of 24)
- Page Numbers: 238-252
- On the second day with Purdy as their guide, Brambleclaw and the other questing cats follow the loner along the woods at the outskirts of Twolegplace. They have no choice but to trust the old tabby to find the way since the sun is covered by clouds. Not having eaten anything since the golden fish on the previous day, Brambleclaw asks Purdy if he knows of anywhere else they can find food. The old tabby responds that he does, leading them towards a Twoleg nest. Crowpaw and Tawnypelt object to the idea because eating kittypet food could be considered against the warrior code. Stormfur replies that they're on a long journey, so they don't have time for a long hunting trip and need to eat whatever food is readily available. The RiverClan warrior pads cautiously in the den, followed by Feathertail, Brambleclaw, and Squirrelpaw. Tawnypelt and Crowpaw decide not to eat there and instead stand guard outside.
- There are several food bowls of kittypet food, some which contain hard pellets and others which have milk in them. Brambleclaw sniffs at food suspiciously, but decides it's edible, and eats alongside the three other cats. However, a Twoleg kit suddenly runs into the room and immediately picks up Feathertail. The silver tabby she-cat, startled, tries to wriggle free, but the Twoleg kit holds her tight. Crowpaw races furiously up to the Twoleg, threatening to claw it if it doesn't let Feathertail go. The Twoleg, busy stroking Feathertail and not able to understand the WindClan cat's words, fails to notice him.
- Crowpaw prepares to attack the Twoleg, but Squirrelpaw interferes, reminding him that it is only a kit. She and Stormfur instead rushes up to the Twoleg kit, pretending to be friendly by purring and rubbing themselves against the kit's legs. When it bends down to stroke Squirrelpaw, it loosens its grip on Feathertail and the silver tabby she-cat is able to wriggle free. The six Clan cats flee out the door, diving into a hedge and managing to escape the Twoleg kit. Purdy, rejoining them, is immediately blamed for the incident by Crowpaw. The loner responds that they shouldn't have been so worried by the Upwalkers, as they were decent people and wouldn't harm a cat.
- The questing cats continue for the rest of the day with Purdy as their guide, and the old loner leads through the heart of Twolegplace along hard Thunderpaths and past Twoleg nests. As they reach sunset, the clouds begin to break up and the Clan cats see, dismayed, that the sun is setting behind them. Crowpaw and Tawnypelt accuse the loner of not knowing where sun-drown-place is, and to which Purdy protests that he just got a little turned around in the Twolegplace. Brambleclaw agrees with the two that Purdy is leading them the wrong way, but points out that they have no choice but to follow him now, as they'd never find their way back out of Twolegplace alone. Instead, the ThunderClan warrior asks Purdy to find them somewhere safe to rest. Purdy manages to find an adequate place to sleep, a sheltered stretch of grass and shrubs. The cats are even able to hunt here, and catch a few mice to eat before they settle down for the night.
- The next day, it is cloudy and even rains, so they still have no sun to guide them. Brambleclaw and the others become further convinced that Purdy isn't actually leading them towards the sun-drown-place. Tensions begin to run high within the group; Tawnypelt and Stormfur start to snap at each other, and Squirrelpaw and Brambleclaw get into an argument later as well. Purdy assures them that it isn't too much further to the edge of Twolegplace, but it seems as if the tabby loner is lost and is just picking directions at random.
- By the end of the day, they are exhausted and limping from walking over the hard Twoleg paths. They pass a tall Twoleg fence, and Tawnypelt comments that they are right beside a carrionplace like the one at the edge of ShadowClan territory, and warns that there will be rats. The tortoiseshell she-cat is right, and three rats emerge from a gap under the fence. More follow, and the cats find the rats attacking them. Tawnypelt snarls as a rat sinks its teeth deep into her shoulder, but Brambleclaw cannot help her as multiple rats leap onto him. He and the other cats manage to quickly drive off the rats, and although victorious, they all have scratches from the fight. Tawnypelt in particular has a worrisome injury, the deep bite on her shoulder. Brambleclaw realizes that they need to rest for the night, and chooses a dark, enclosed area by an abandoned Twoleg nest which is across the Thunderpath from the carrionplace.
- The cats lie down in one corner of the space, but they have nothing to use for bedding. Squirrelpaw tries to treat Tawnypelt's wound and stops the bleeding with cobwebs. She wonders which herb Leafpaw would use to stop the rat bite from getting infected, but cannot remember. Although Tawnypelt and the others fall asleep, Brambleclaw remains awake, wondering how the journey could have gone so disastrously wrong, and fearing his sister will get an infection in her wound. Squirrelpaw, not asleep either, pads over to join Brambleclaw, pressing her nose to him comfortingly. She assures him that the six questing cats would be fine and that StarClan is watching over them.
References and citations
|Midnight (Book) 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 • Epilogue|