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Thorn returns to the farmhouse to collect her belongings. She plans to take on The Hooded One alone, after a conversation with Fone and Smiley - during which it is revealed that the three Bone cousins are orphans, and Phoney, as the oldest, raised the other two - she is convinced to trust Gran'ma Ben, and the three set off for Old Man's Cave. Meanwhile, a patrol of villagers and Veni Yan warriors, led by Lucius Down, scout the area for Rat Creatures. Lucius comes across The Hooded One, who reveals under the hood a young woman, the same woman who was killed along with Thorn's parents, alive and not looking a day older. However, it soon becomes clear The Hooded One is trying to distract Lucius to allow a Rat Creature party to attack.

Later, at Old Man's Cave, with no word of Lucius Down and his scout party, Gran'ma Ben continues filling in Phoney on the history of the valley and the nature of the Dreaming. Just then, Gran'ma Ben suffers another attack of her “gitchy” feeling, and sure enough trouble is afoot; a cloud of smoke rises from the Eastern mountains, where the Lord of the Locusts lies. Soon after, Lucius' party arrives back at the cave, many of them wounded, and with a pack of Rat Creatures still in pursuit.

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