|That was great. I’m surprised Stoneteller hasn’t been out to watch you. I think he'd be proud to see how much you’ve learned.|
|— Hollypaw to the to-bes after their first training session in Outcast, page 225|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter twenty four of Outcast. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 24 (of 29)
- Page Numbers: 252-266
- Hollypaw leads the to-bes out of the cave, and briefly wishes that she could go on patrol, but reminds herself that it is important for the Tribe's young cats to practice fighting techniques. When all the cats have come to the open space beside the pool Breezepaw orders them to watch as he and Hollypaw show them how to fight. Hollypaw is annoyed at how bossy he sounds, and suggests that the to-bes show what they know already, so that the Clan apprentices can build on that. Breezepaw reluctantly agrees.
- Pebble explains to Hollypaw that only cave-guards learn fighting, and are taught to fight of eagles if they try to attack the prey-hunters. Hollypaw sits down and tells them to show her what they know. Pebble crouches down, then thrusts herself in the air with her powerful hind legs. At the top of her leap she slashes out with both paws, then lands neatly and drops right away into another crouch. Hollypaw is impressed and wonders if the leap could be adapted to attack an enemy on the ground. The black she-cat meows that it was great, and asks if they an all do it. A couple of other to-bes step forward and say that they can, as they are going to be cave-guards, but of the young cats, including Screech and Splash, still stand by the pool. All three give Hollypaw and Breezepaw hostile looks, and Screech mutters complaints that the apprentices are instructing them, when they are not warriors yet. Breezepaw shoots back that they know more about fighting that the Tribe cats.
- Hollypaw thinks that Breezepaw is right, but is annoyed at how obnoxious he is acting, aware that it will irritate Screech. She states that they are doing it because Brambleclaw asked them too, but Screech turns his back rudely and retorts that the ThunderClan warrior isn't their leader, so they don't have to follow his orders. Splash, who is being more polite than her Tribemate, points out that they are prey-hunters, and are trained to hunt. Hollypaw tells her to pretend that Breezepaw is a rabbit, causing him to protest, but Splash immediately drops into something similar to the hunter's crouch and gives an enormous leap to land on top of him. The WindClan cat throws her of and scrambles to his paws, shaking his ruffled fur.
- Hollypaw praises Splash, but mews that it would need to be followed by some claw work, or bite her opponent's throat. The brown tabby nods, but points out that while she does that to rabbits, she wouldn't do it to him. Hollypaw tells the cave-guards that their leap would also be good, but that they should claw their enemies when they land on their enemy's back, instead of in the air. She adds that she and Breezepaw would now show them some more basic skills.
- The two Clan cats show basic techniques a new apprentice would learn, and when they are done, Breezepaw orders them to get in pairs, a cave-guard with a prey-hunter, and try it. Hollypaw reminds them to keep claws sheathed for practice. She and Breezepaw sit together to watch the to-bes, and is surprised to see the prey-hunters pick up the techniques faster. On the other side of the pool, Squirrelflight and Stormfur train some of the older Tribe cats, and one complains about having to do it. Hollypaw feels sympathetic towards the Tribe cats, who want to continue in the way of their ancestors, but comforts herself that they must learn to survive.
- When the practice is over, Breezepaw goes to show the prey-hunters a couple more advanced moves, while she tries to adapt some of the cave-guards' techniques. By sunhigh, Hollypaw is hungry, but none of the to-bes suggest eating, so she guesses that they have only one meal a day; this causes her to briefly long to be back in ThunderClan. Finally, she signals the to-bes to rest by the side of the pool and mews that that is great, though she voices her surprise that Stoneteller didn't come watch them. Pebble tells her that he hardly ever leaves the cave, which shocks Hollypaw. The to-bes explain that he only comes out for ceremonies and emergencies, though Screech sneers that that is probably different in the Clans too. Although he had started to work at the training, it is clear that he didn't like it. Breezepaw explains that Clan leaders hunt, patrol, and fight, and Pebble is astonished that there is a danger he could be killed. Hollypaw agrees that there sort of is, but she doesn't want to start on how Clan leaders have nine lives, as she isn't sure if the Tribe of Endless Hunting gave Stoneteller any lives.
- The black she-cat announces that they should continue, and gets up for another session, but break off as something lands on her from behind and bowls her over until she ends up sprawling on the very edge of the pool, her tail in the water. Breezepaw pins her down, eyes shining gleefully, and he boasts that the best way to tackle an enemy is when they are not expecting you. The WindClan tom steps back and the to-bes let purr in amusement as she gets to her paws. Hollypaw calls the other apprentice a stupid fur ball and flicks water from her tail into his face, but she isn't really angry. The ThunderClan cat agrees that hunting techniques are good for creeping up on an enemy who doesn't know they are there. She suggests they practice some.
- When the session started, Hollypaw was clumsy from hunger, and she is relieved when the border patrol returns. Lionpaw, who had been on the patrol, is limping badly as he heads toward the pool, and Hollypaw quickly dismisses the to-be's, letting Breezepaw accompany them back to the cave. Hollypaw pads up to Lionpaw and lets him lean on her shoulder, asking if he is okay. Her littermate sighs that he is fine and drinks some water, then looks up and admits that the day was hopeless, as the route around the border was too difficult for them to go around all of it. Hollypaw wishes to cheer him up with news of the to-be training, but is still unhappy herself about teaching them Clan ways. The black apprentice watches the warriors and Tribe cats who drearily make their way into the cave, and she notices that Jaypaw has emerged and is sitting on a rock by the waterfall. When the adult cats had passed him, he bounds across to his littermates.
- The gray tom announces that he is bored of being in the cave all day and listening to the she-cats moan about their sick kits. Hollypaw asked why he didn't help them, but her brother snaps that he isn't their medicine cat, and it would anger Stoneteller. Hollypaw is frustrated, and asks why he isn't helping Lionpaw. Jaypaw asks what the matter is and curiously sniffs Lionpaw, but the golden apprentice assures them that he is fine. Hollypaw is doubtful, as he sounds exhausted and his paws are bleeding. She prompts Jaypaw to do something about their sibling's sore paws. Jaypaw irritably demands where he would find herbs, but he tastes the air, then pads over to a rock wall where a few scrubby bushes and grass grow. He quickly returns with a couple of dock leaves, and instructs Lionpaw to chew it and rub the pulp into his pads. Lionpaw thanks his brother and sighs with relief as the cooling juices sooth the pain.
- Squirrelflight comes up the the young cats and asks how their training session went. Hollypaw responds that it was okay, but that it seems wrong to be teaching them something other than their tradition. Lionpaw agrees that it is the same with the borders, as the Tribe cats don't want things to change. Jaypaw sourly says that he doesn't know why they are bother, as the Tribe of Endless Hunting isn't helping the Tribe, and don't want the Clan cats to help. Squirrelflight snaps that the Tribe would die without them, then touches Jaypaw's shoulder with her tail to show she hadn't meant to be harsh. The ginger she-cat apologizes that she is also frustrated, but that they shouldn't give up yet, as the Tribe will probably soon realize what the Clan cats have to teach them. Hollypaw is unsure, and thinks that there are too many battles going on around the mountains.
References and Citations
|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 • Chapter 27 • Chapter 28 • Chapter 29|