Jon pissed in darkness, filling his chamber pot as the Old Bear’s raven muttered complaints. The wolf dreams had been growing stronger, and he found
himself remembering them even when awake. Ghost knows that Grey Wind is dead. Robb had died at the Twins,
and his wolf had perished with him. Bran and Rickon had been murdered too,
beheaded at the behest of Theon Greyjoy, who had once been their lord father’s ward … but if dreams did not lie, their
direwolves had escaped. At Queenscrown, one had come out of the darkness to save Jon’s life. Summer, it had to be. His fur was grey, and Shaggydog is black. He
wondered if some part of his dead brothers lived on inside their wolves.
He filled his basin from the flagon of water beside his bed, washed his face and hands, donned a clean set of black
woolens, laced up a black leather jerkin, and pulled on a pair of well-worn boots. Mormont’s raven watched with shrewd
black eyes, then fluttered to the window. “Do you take me for your thrall?” When Jon folded back the window with its thick
diamond-shaped panes of yellow glass, the chill of the morning hit him in the face. He took a breath to clear away the cobwebs of the night as the raven flapped
away. That bird is too clever by half. It had been the Old Bear’s companion for long years, but that had not stopped it from eating Mormont’s face once he died.
I was more afraid thatin a few words thrown out he might destroy something that Iloved. What if his words had the
effect of polio on me? Whata terrible disease that must be if it could kill God in a man.
He walked off, pitching and rolling in the wild sea that wasthe steady ground. “Don’t forget the test on Tuesday.
Studyhard, 3.14!””Yes, Mr. Kumar.”He became my favourite teacher at Petit Seminaire and thereason I studied
zoology at the University of Toronto. I felt akinship with him. It was my first clue
that atheists are mybrothers and sisters of a different faith, and every word theyspeak speaks of faith. Like me,
they go as far as
the legs ofreason
will carry them –
and then they leap.