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Fone Bone and Smiley sneak out of the compound to release the Rat Creature cub, but Smiley strays out of sight with the cub,and Fone goes after him. Thorn tries to return home to the farm house, but collapses with exhaustion on the way, where four Veni Yan monks catch up with her and return her sword, which she left at the Barrelhaven. In her dream, she meets the Great Red Dragon, who convinces her not to run away by showing her visions of her friends, her grandmother, and Rat Creatures coming to attack them.
The next morning, Phoney Bone puts his “dragonslaying” plan into action, rallying the townsfolk to carry him and his cache of loot into the mountains where, he tells them, he will capture and kill a dragon.