- Matthias had never stayed up all night in his life. He was just a bit tired, but strangely excited. Great events seemed to have been set in motion by his news.'
That's how it is when you're the main character, kid. Get used to it.
The Abbot calls a meeting of elders, and lets Constance and Matthias relate their tale. Constance's grandfather apparently knew a sea rat, and she deduces that those rats were as well. There's also this:
- "My badger senses told me right off that these were very bad and evil rats."
- The badgerís statement caused uproar and shouts of "Nonsense. Pure speculation" and "Thatís right! Give a rat a bad name!"
Make your own Spider-Man joke. I also find it interesting how that was received. Nowadays, The Redwallers are convinced that all rats are of the "lolmurder" mentality until proven otherwise.
Matthias defends Constance, saying that one of them had a ferret's skull on a pole, and that gets Mortimer's attention. He asks Matthias to describe the rat and deduces that this was none other than Cluny the Scourge. Everybody laughs because Cluny is just a legend, the kind of boogeyman who "gets" kids that misbehave. Mortimer is not pleased, and we get this line that I chuckled at:
- Sister Clemence stood up smiling. She spread her paws wide. "Perhaps Cluny is coming to get us for staying up late."
Everyone loses it, and Constance has to scare them all back into seriousness.
- "Iíve never seen such a pack of empty-headed ninnies. You should all be ashamed of yourselves, giggling like silly little otter cubs that have caught a beetle. I never thought Iíd live to see the Elders of Redwall acting in this way. Now you listen to me. Take heed of what your Father Abbot has to say. The next creature who utters one squeak will answer to me. Understand?"
- The badger bowed low in a dignified manner, gesturing with her massive blunt paw. "The floor is yours, Father Abbot."
I love you Constance. Never change.
Oh, before I continue, I should tell you that in there was a Redwall cartoon, which, despite its faults and a bit of deviation from the book, actually gave Matthias a backstory; Cluny and crew attacked his village and killed everyone except him and his sister, and she dies by falling over before they can enter Redwall. But that was all worthless in the long run, because that plot point was never brought up again in the TV series anyway.
Aaanywho.... Mortimer sends for Brother Methuselah, and Matthias again considers being the protagonist.
- All in the space of a night events had moved from festivity to a crisis, and he, Matthias, had taken a major role in both. First the big grayling, then the sighting of the cart; large happenings for a small mouse.
Methuselah Arrives with a book of history that he recorded.
- "Hmm, hmm, me Lord Abbot Cedric. It is Cedric, isnít it? Oh botheration, youíll be the new Abbot, Mortimer, the one who came after Cedric. Oh dear me, I see so many of them come and go, you know."
It's funny because he's old.
There are a ton of stories of the stuff that Cluny did. Collapsing mines, burning down farmhouses, eating piglets alive (this one is actually pretty scary) , and spreading disease. A dog told him that he caused a stampede of cows. We never hear of cows, pigs, or dogs again. Everyone starts to panic now, and when someone asks the obligatory "What are we gonna do?"
- Matthias sprang to the middle of the floor brandishing his staff in a way that surprised even him.
- "Do?" he cried. "Iíll tell you what weíll do. Weíll be ready."
- Cluny the Scourge was having nightmares.
Oh, I remember this...
- The Warlord thrashed about, killing, conquering and laying waste to all in his dream.
- Then the phantom figure appeared.... Cluny went like a bat out of hell.
Mentions of Hell et. al: 6
Cluny's dream continues, and eventually, the phantom chases Cluny about and stabs him in the back with his giant manly
- The loud toll of the distant Joseph Bell brought Cluny whirling back from the realms of nightmare to cold reality.
- He shivered, wiping the sweat from his fur with a shaky paw. Saved by the bell.
The scavenging party proves how idiotic they are by comes back with... Just look that this:
- A few dead beetles, two large earthworms, some unidentifiable vegetation and the pitiful carcass of a long-dead sparrow.
Naturally, Cluny is perfectly forgiving. It's not like they know the lay of the land or anything. He can't really fault them.
Nah, he's pissed.
- Cluny bashed their heads together... "Get me meat. Tender, young, red meat! Next time you bring me rubbish like this, Iíll spit the pair of you and have you roasted in your own juice. Is that clear?"
Apparently, I am still a twelve-year-old, because I took that entire thing out of context.
Frogblood and Scumnose come back with the new recruits, and Cluny is genuinely pleased. He has them rank up and Redtooth reads them their terms. When Redtooth gets to this line:
- "Now, if any one, two, or a group, or even all of you together want to try and beat Cluny and lead the horde, this is your chance."
Cluny all-out attacks the group of them just to show them who's boss.
- "No guts, eh? Ha, itís just as well! I donít want dead íuns on my claws before I find a proper battle for you to fight. And make no mistake, when the right time comes Iíll see you fight, aye, and die too. Now, raise your weapons and letís see if you know who your master is."
- A motley collection of evil-looking implements was framed by the cloudless sky as wild cries rang out from the newly-inducted recruits.
- "Cluny, Cluny, Cluny the Scourge!"
It's about to get real up in here.