After Dandelion finishes his story, he goes to take over the sentry post from Acorn. Hazel goes with him and is visited by his mouse friend, who brings news of other rabbits gathered close by. Bigwig wants to talk to Hazel and ignores the mouse, but Hazel asks the mouse to repeat its message and then insists on sending Holly and Blackavar to check. Speedwell comes out happily to tell them that Clover has had a litter of six kittens.
Bigwig chats happily with Hazel, but then Holly and Blackavar come running back. They bring news that a huge raiding party has come from Efrafa. They have bumped into Campion and they think Woundwort himself may be there. Hazel decides to fill in the holes leading into the burrows so their enemies will have to dig them out, leaving one hole open to enter and exit. Hazel decides to go try to talk to General Woundwort, and he makes Bigwig Chief Rabbit until he returns.
We learn that Woundwort's authority was damaged after Bigwig engineered the great escape, and he was determined to get revenge. He set up Campion to look for the escapees at the spot where the fox ruined their earlier patrol. After learning where the warren was, he set up an expedition.
Once Woundwort learns that the rabbits have been spotted, he takes a few of his own rabbits with him to look at what the enemy is doing. Hazel comes forward and offers a compromise. He suggests that they create a warren between Efrafa and the downs, made up of rabbits from each warren. Woundwort barely considers Hazel's offer before telling him that if all the does, Blackavar, and Bigwig are not waiting when he gets there, then he will kill all of the bucks.
While the Efrafans struggle to get through, Bigwig suggests to Hazel that they move everyone into the burrows behind the Honeycomb and then block the entrances. That way once they are in, the Efrafans will have to get through Bigwig to get to the rest of the warren. Fiver falls into some sort of trance, screams, and Hazel has a vision: he needs to go to the farm and free the dog. He takes Blackberry and Dandelion with him and they fly out of the open hole.
Hazel takes Dandelion and Blackberry to the farm. Blackberry stays back, and while Dandelion waits Hazel gnaws at the dog's leash. Suddenly a cat appears, and Hazel stamps to warn Dandelion. The cat pounces, the dog jumps up, breaks the leash, and runs, and Hazel falls hard from the kennel, looks up, and sees the cat he once dodged looking down at him.