Sven calls a town meeting. He begins by letting Roddy explain what he found past the scent border. In a flourish to the ending of the story Vermina comes out of the town hall with white paint on in the style of one of Pebblebrook’s ghosts.
After the shock to the crowd dies down Sven again steps forward to address another issue. He asks the opinion of the Mouse Guard and the other town elders on what they should do about the bandit problem. Elliot Gray reasons that they should strike a bargain with the bandits and is quickly overshadowed by Josef Dale. With an outburst, Dale claims that Sarah is unfit to serve as matriarch any longer and he calls for the crowd to appoint Kiera early. In addition to that, he says that the town should fortify, train, and prepare to fight the bandits but on one condition: he will dismiss the Mouse Guard patrol and replace them. He refuses any possibility of working with the patrol. Sven steps forward and puts Dale in his place with the support of Sarah. Dale finds his words fall flat on the town’s crowd and their support to be with the current matriarch, so he stomps away in anger.
The patrol settles in and goes about their preparations.
Early in the morning Dameon finds a note under his door. It appears to be from Kiera and it says to meet at the graveyard late at night. Once there, however, he finds it was a trap set by Josef Dale and his sons. Fortunately Xander was there to help and between the two guardmice they knock out Josef and his two sons out of the box. They take Josef back to the town hall and report the happening to Sven.
Disappointed, Sven takes Dale and in and says he’ll look after him during his recovery. At this time a cry rings out from across town. Dameon can tell who it is immediately. It’s Kiera.
Sprinting across the the field, the whole patrol in tow, Dameon finds Kiera being carried off by two bandits, appearing to be scouts. A young mouse, one of Connor’s trainees, is already on the scene. He attempts to fight one of the bandits with pitchfork in hand. He’s wounded as the bandit deflects his blow and strikes him in the chest. Dameon draws his bow and nocks an arrow as he runs. He fires an arrow with a special poison at the young mouse’s killer, hitting him in the side. Switching his attention to the hostage taker he deceives the mouse into making a run for it, without Kiera. Dameon attends to Kiera while Roddy looks after the boy who has been wounded. He’s been mortally wounded, and the only thing Roddy can do is console him. The rest of the patrol chases the fleeing bandit, resulting in Vermina catching him with a fatal throw from her hook.
An eventful night transitions to a new morning. The patrol begins to interrogate the surviving bandit. He tells them many important facts after being brought to the brink of consciousness from pain. The bandit camp with it’s remaining sixteen members, is being led by a huge mouse named Boneless. The scouts were in Pebblebrook checking up on the town when they saw an opportunity to grab Kiera while she as alone in her house.
The group makes plans to give Finn’s son, the young mouse killed in last night’s activity, a funeral fit for any guardmouse.