Thornstar nodded at Lightningstrike's proposal. "I'll announce my findings to the clan and then we can set up a watch to see if any one comes through or leaves through the hole in the fence. If anyone is seen, I'll immediately take a small party to the MoorClan camp to speak with Fawnstar about the matter. If no one is seen by next gathering, I will announce our findings there and see what happens. I don't want a constant watch to be a drain on our time for an indiscriminate amount of time, after all."
Sandfoot and the deputy bowed their heads and were dismissed. Thornstar stalked across the clearing to the medicine cat's den to speak with Forestheart.
After ducking into the den, he found the she cat sorting herbs in an alcove. Noticing him, she rose and nodded respectfully. "What can I do for you, Thornstar?"
The golden-brown tom nodded his head as well. "I've found MoorClan scent on our territory leading to the Twoleg place. Have you heard anythng from StarClan?"
Forestheart furrowed her brow. "No, not at all. This is worrisome, what will you do."
"I'm about to announce it to the clan. You'll see my plan then." He turned to leave, but then thought better of it. "Forestheart, may I visit Mousepaw?"
"Of coure," the brown she cat smiled. "She's in the back with Nettlepaw."
Thornstar padded over to the back section of the den. There he found the black tom tending to the small, dusty brown apprentice. Nettle bowed his head in greeting while Mousepaw sat up.
"Thornstar!" she cried, then flattened her ears and spoke again, quieter. "I mean, thank you, for, er, saving me. I was reckless to go so close to the ice."
Thornstar winced at the fear in her eyes. Certainly, he knew that he was a strict leader, but he had grown sad at the amount of fear he had instilled in his clanmates. Maybe I ought to be more like Blossompelt...
The leader's face softened and he spoke quietly. "I'm just glad you're alright. And you've learned your lesson, I hope?"
Mousepaw nodded vigorously.
"Well, I do still have to punish you somehow for your actions, but that's the most important thing. Now, I hate to do this as your warrior training will take longer as a result, but I must put you on strict moss colecting duty. No fighting or hunting training. When you're not collecting moss, you'll be helping Forestheart and Nettlepaw. Clear?"
Again, the dusty she-cat nodded. "Thank you, Thornstar."
Thornstar allowed himself a small smile and bid her and Nettlepaw a good day. He then strode out in the clearing and leaped up the tallest tree in camp.
"Let every cat of ShellClan blood gather under Eagle's Perch!" he bellowed. Cats poured out of the dens, most muttering in confusion.
"What's going on, Thornstar?" asked Eagleheart. "Why are you calling a meeting?"
Thornstar looked at the grey warrior. "When I was out today I smelled MoorClan cats within our borders. They crossed to the fence and went through a hole in it leading to the Twoleg place. The reasons are unknown."
Each cat gave a gasp. Such a blatant breach of the border was unthinkable.
"The plan for now is to set up a rotating, one cat watch. If that cat ever sees a non-ShellClan cat come or go through that fence, they are to immediately return to camp and notify us. In that case, I will take a small party to MoorClan and speak with Fawnstar. If no one is seen by next gathering, we will confront her there."
Elkwish cocked her head. "Why not just do that now? Why waste our time doing that when we can get answers this second?"
Thornstar turned his gaze to the grey and brown she cat. "I understand that this will be a strain on our resources, but whatever reason those cats have for doing this, it benefits for us to know about it without Fawnstar knowing of our knowledge. If it's some kind of planned attack, we have time to prepare. And if those cats were MoorClan traitors, that means MoorClan is even weaker than before."