For the fourth volume. Smiley is shown pointing out Fone’s process of making a sandwich to the cub rat creature whilst Fone sulked. He then assuring Smiley they couldn’t linger in the woods much longer, needing to return to town soon for running out of food. Fone is then privy to Smiley naming the cub rat creature, Bartleby which makes him remind Smiley what they’d gone to the woods to do in the first place, being to set him loose. Smiley then manipulates Fone into talking about Moby Dick so he could teach Bartleby how to nap after lunch, Fone falling right into his ploy. We then see Fone settle into perusing through his book as they are being spied upon by other rat creatures. The two rat creatures sneak up on the Bones and Smiley promptly commands Fone to read from the book to bore them, but when Smiley tries first and believes he’s failed, gets Fone to start reading and it knocking them out as he suspected it would.
Smiley, trying to comfort Fone in their escape by it being possibly Fone himself whom is boring and not the story at all, then noticing Bartleby hadn’t followed and saw he was sniffing around the snoozing rat creatures. Fone gets Smiley to realize this was exactly what they were trying to do anyways and continue up the mountain, we seeing the rat creatures revive and following them. Fone and Smiley are trapped, but Bartleby comes to their rescue and ends up sticking with the Bones. Fone is stumped as to their next step when a humongous mountain lion comes up to tell them they’re trespassing. As the mountain lion tries to figure out what group the Bones belong to, he introduces himself as Roque Ja, the master of the eastern border, he wondering aloud if the Bones knew of the Bone with the star on his chest. Fone then tries to ascertain what side Roque Ja is on, but he dodges the question since they hadn’t answered themselves and when the Bones try to walk away, Roque Ja knocks them off the cliff, they hanging onto the ledge and he requesting them to hand him the rat creature cub first, to turn them all in. They try to resist, but Bartleby is first to comply and we leave them awaiting Roque Ja’s next move.
We then see the Possum kids discovering Smiley’s trail after having lost them once before. One of the kids has a slip of conscience and then they hear something, they all playing dead, but realizing it’s only a raccoon. The raccoon, Roderick tells of not trying to scare them, but was on the trail of his parents killers, getting the kids to follow him. He leads them to where he’d last seen the rat creatures, they all then encountering Roque Ja and the Bones after moving past the rat creatures. The Bones are still arguing with Roque Ja about they not wanting to choose a side and how Roque Ja seemed to be catering to the rat creatures for someone who was supposedly the ruler of the eastern border. The Possum kids then learn which side Roque Ja is on after talking with Roderick about who Roque Ja was and his thoughts on the dragons versus the rat creatures, the kids continuing closer to the Bones.
As the Possum kids are close on their tail, Roque Ja is starting to hear something suspicious, but then gets distracted by continuing his rant about rat creatures. We then see what the rat creatures are doing when the Possum kids show up to use themselves as bait to create a chase for them in the direction of Roque Ja and the Bones. Roque Ja is in the middle of relating the tale of why the valley people thought dragons created the mountains when the Possum kids show up as the rat creatures catch one of them in front of Roque Ja, who jumps at the rat creature for trespassing. The Possum kids and Roderick stop at the end of a precariously hanging log, the rat creature and Roque Ja soon following and then the second rat creature joining them, sealing their fated fall, the kids jumping to the small branch across the way. When the Bones realize the kids are safe, Smiley is first to see Roque Ja is angrily making his way back up the cliff, they needing to book it out of there, the Possum kids calling for Roderick to come along, but he not being able to for the other orphans of the mountain, hoping they could all help each other.
The orphan kids tell of their hiding places, willing to help Fone and his friends out before Roque Ja finished his climb back up, but they don’t get away undiscovered, Roque Ja following close behind them until the Bone crew have jumped into a cave in the ground, he not fitting down the gap, but Roque Ja staring at them through the crevice. Soon the orphan kids are trying to exclude the rat creature cub and the Possum kids try to aid the Bones by defending their trustworthiness of allowing the cub rat creature to accompany them through the tunnel. Soon they’re convinced to its necessity the rat creature cub be able to come along, everyone going through in darkness, until Smiley sparks a light. Soon they’re through the tunnel and walk out into an area with Aztec looking statues. The orphan kids show them how they would next need to climb down a cliff to get to the forest, which would take a moment longer to get to, but once they did, they realizing getting down was going to be tricky, unfortunately before they can even attempt it, the two rat creatures come out and stop them, then being engulfed in bugs which then turns out to be Kingdok. He is not happy to see his cronies here with the Bones, having failed to stay with him and then pushing them off the cliff, but two orphan kids are left on the side with Kingdok, Bartleby then showing how useful he could be, by jumping back over for them and bringing them to everyone else, they all then having to figure out where they’d go next.
Fone comes up with everyone needing to walk along the steep edge of the rock. Kingdok then speaking to them and giving them the option to tell him of Phoney’s whereabouts and he granting them their lives, but Fone decides not to take it and Kingdok collapses some rocks impedes their path. Roderick is almost lost, but is saved by a rat creature for selfish reasons as we observe when they stop to account for everyone’s presence. Fone decides to make a deal with the rat creatures, since the orphans weren’t going to help them, they having to agree to stop trying to eat their group and they, in return would help them get away from Kingdok, the two rat creatures taking up Fone’s offer. As they continue down the ledge though, Kingdok is seen patrolling above and since Roque Ja was back the way they’d come, they would need to go down, but then Kingdok sends his locusts out, it engulfing the bunch and they trying to stay calm as the grasshoppers’ presence thickened. Fone doesn’t make it through the locust shower, getting pushed off the ledge and then being pulled off by the locusts when the hoard clears from Smiley and the rest. Kingdok then shows up, trying to crunch on Smiley, the locusts picking up Fone, but something falling from his bag and scaring the locusts away. They then proceed to look through the items Gran’ma Ben had Fone keep safe, the rat creatures acting squirrel-y around a particular one. The orphan kids then discuss how Kingdok didn’t seem real, especially when he vanished and considered how the temple was built on a ghost circle, which would explain the strange things they were experiencing. Fone then decides they need to check on Thorn so they try to get down the mountain as quickly as possible, hoping nothing else arises.
Smiley voices how the rat creature cub would now be able to stay with them as Roque Ja stalks the group. Fone decides the cub should stay with the dense rat creatures, they taking offense, Smiley then noticing the fire which was seen near the village was out and Fone not wanting to jump to conclusions until they saw for themselves what was going on. They then learn a bit about where the Hooded One came from by the rat creatures when they were asked what they knew about the war. The rat creatures then tell of when their race were a content bunch until the locusts came and threatened them into helping the Hooded One. Fone tries to convince the rat creatures it’s possible for them to be happy without following the Hooded One, but then Roque Ja butts in with his own advice, surprising everyone and he deciding they all would return with him back up the mountain, he explaining as they go what the difference is between power and happiness, they then running into Kingdok and the two rat creatures realizing how much trouble they were in whilst the others contemplated whether Kingdok was real this time, settling with the fact he smelled real enough.
Roque Ja then claims to Kingdok he was taking his prisoners to him after Kingdok commands he release them into his custody, then scaring Roque Ja off and Fone debating escape when he and Smiley are grabbed by the two rat creatures, but the Possum kids bite them and give them their chance to flee, they taking it and jumping down a decline. They plan on splitting up at the woods, but Kingdok jumps down to block them, they then trying to get into a depression in the rocks, Roque Ja coming back to body slam Kingdok giving everyone another chance to get to the trees. When everyone gets covered, the orphan kids seperate from the Possum kids, everyone saying their goodbyes with promises to visit, they following the Bones. Smiley then notices Bartleby hadn’t followed them, they returning to the bottom of the mountain expecting to see the rat creatures, but running in to no one until they look higher on the mountain to see the rat creatures carrying Kingdok away with the two traitors following and Bartleby trying to join them, they all going off together and Smiley uncertain whether Bartleby will be alright amongst them, watching him worriedly as they walk away in the opposite direction. This series is getting better as I go, quite captivating. Here‘s the next volume.