Redwall Abbey awakes to find their young ones are gone, and as they piece the previous night together realize that Mattimeo was right and that Vitch was the slaver's spy. Desperate that he ignored his son's warnings, Matthias vows to pursue Slagar The Fox accompanied by BASIL STAG HARE and others. He is unaware that Orlando the badger is already in far away pursuit. Slagar takes his slaves on circuitous routes, laying false trails to confuse the pursuers. The frightened slaves look to Mattimeo for leadership but he is not ready and responds badly. As his father sets off in entirely the wrong direction Mattimeo learns the true story of Chickenhound - and that he himself is hostage to Chickenhound's revenge on Matthias who will never see his son again.