|"Brambleclaw! I can smell salt!"|
|— Squirrelpaw noticing the first sign of the sun-drown-place in Midnight, page 282|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter twenty two of Midnight (Book). If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 22 (of 24)
- Page Numbers: 267-282
- Brambleclaw, standing guard while his five companions sleep, looks up at the full moon in the night sky and wishes he was back home, at the Gathering. It is the night after the rat attack, and despite traveling for another full day with Purdy, the six Clan cats are still in Twolegplace. The group continues to lose confidence in Purdy as a guide, and earlier, when Crowpaw growled that it seemed that they were still as far as ever from sun-drown-place, Brambleclaw couldn't help privately agreeing with him. Meanwhile, the bite on Tawnypelt's shoulder appears to have become infected. Although the tortoiseshell warrior tried to keep up with the group all day, it was clear she was in pain and struggling to walk. When they settled down for the night, Feathertail and Squirrelpaw licked Tawnypelt's wound to try to soothe it, but there was no doubt she would need herbs to treat her injury.
- Stormfur eventually takes the watch so that Brambleclaw can sleep. The next morning, when the dark brown tabby wakes up, Crowpaw confronts him about how they have to get out of Twolegplace soon. He points out that they need to find somewhere safe for Tawnypelt to rest and recover from her injury. Brambleclaw sees sense in what the WindClan apprentice is saying, but reminds him that they have no choice but to continue to follow Purdy. The warrior then pads over to see what Squirrelpaw is up to, and finds the ginger apprentice licking her lips and muttering to herself. When Squirrelpaw comments that she has a strange taste in her mouth, Brambleclaw jokes that it might be salt, as if she might've received a saltwater sign even though she wasn't a chosen cat. Squirrelpaw, however, replies that it's not salt, but something else that she doesn't know what it is.
- The cats eventually set off, and although in pain, Tawnypelt struggles along and manages to keep up with the group. Purdy leads them through a number of Twoleg gardens, although it seems that the Twoleg nests seem to be thinning out a little bit. Finally, Purdy leads them to a small Thunderpath and turns the corner onto it. Feathertail, however, leaps out in front of the old loner, growling that they can't go the way he wants. The silver tabby snaps that she has had enough with Purdy, and that he can't expect them to wander aimlessly around Twolegplace when they have an injured cat with them. Brambleclaw is surprised at her uncharacteristic hostility, but realizes why she had reacted as she did. The Thunderpath comes quickly to a dead end in the way Purdy was going, marked by a high wall they cannot traverse, and Brambleclaw knows the group will have to turn around.
- Purdy, however, reacts in indignation to Feathertail's comments, and points out to the questing cats a gap in the wall through which they can pass. The old loner leads them through this gap, and Brambleclaw and the others are astonished at what they see on the other side. Instead of more Twoleg nests, there is a grassy slope and beyond that, a forest; Purdy has successfully guided them out of Twolegplace. The old loner asks if the questing cats are satisfied with what he has done, to which Brambleclaw thanks him for helping them.
- Once the group reaches the forest, Stormfur proposes that they stop there to hunt and to rest for the night, and the other cats agree. Purdy and Tawnypelt settle down to rest, while Feathertail stays with the ShadowClan warrior to tend to her rat bite. The other four cats go hunt and Brambleclaw partners up with Squirrelpaw. While the dark brown tabby catches a mouse easily, the ginger she-cat seems distracted and tastes their air, as if scenting for something. Suddenly, she darts towards a clump of plants, which she declares to be burdock.
- Squirrelpaw begins to dig up the plant, saying that the roots can be used to treat rat bites like Tawnypelt's. The apprentice explains that the burdock was what she has been tasting all day. Squirrelpaw adds that she must've remembered it from what Leafpaw had told them before the journey, although Brambleclaw doesn't recall burdock being one of the herbs Leafpaw had listed. When they return to the resting place, Squirrelpaw applies chewed burdock root to Tawnypelt's shoulder, soothing the tortoiseshell she-cat's wound. Later in the day, the clouds break up and the questing cats see the sun setting, once again showing them the direction of sun-drown-place.
- After spending the night in the forest, the group starts again in the direction of the setting sun the next morning. They soon reach the end of the woods and approach an open landscape similar to WindClan's moor. At this point, Purdy parts ways with the six Clan cats, commenting that he doesn't like being out in the open and that he isn't one of the cats that StarClan will be waiting for at midnight. Brambleclaw bids farewell to the loner, thinking how he had grown fond the old tabby over their time together. Purdy responds that he will wait in the forest for them for a few days in case they need help finding the way home, and Brambleclaw thanks him, although Crowpaw rolls his eyes at the proposition.
- By the end of the day, Brambleclaw and his companions are exhausted from traveling over the open moorland, and Tawnypelt has begun to limp again. They can see the sunset in front of them, and Feathertail tries to reassure the group by saying that they're at least going in the right direction. Brambleclaw, Crowpaw, and Stormfur, however, are less optimistic; they point out that sun-drown-place could be days away and question when it is time for them to consider turning around. However, Squirrelpaw scents the wind and excitedly tells them that the sun-drown-place might be near, as she can smell salt on the breeze.
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|