A Clash of Kings-Chapter 9
From A Wiki of Ice and Fire
|A Clash of Kings chapter|
|Place||On the western shore of the God's Eye|
|Page||101 UK HC (Other versions)|
|Chapter chronology (All)|
Yoren has the recruits travel off the Kingsroad to avoid the Gold Cloaks. They meet few travelers, and wary farmers. Finally they come upon a burned village. Arya goes into the forest to make water. She runs into a wolf pack, which scares her. She reports this to Yoren, who laments they should have taken a ship.
Yoren’s group is traveling on a road that only consists of two ruts through weeds at best, so that their pace drops to a crawl, mostly because of the wagons. Yoren has decided to avoid the Kingsroad and travel along the western (far) shore of the God's Eye. The Kingsroad will not be safe until they cross the Trident. They meet little traffic. Arya now rides a chestnut mare with a white blaze. As they travel she nervously watches for the Gold Cloaks, and, even though they put up sentries at night, it does not make her comfortable since she can easily get past them to make her water. She wants to ride alone, but then there would be no one to scout ahead or watch behind. Soon they are in forests and their supplies run out, so Yoren turns to the poachers Koss and Kurz to supply food through hunting, while others forage for food.
Gendry continues to claim he doesn’t know why the Queen wants him; he was supposed to be an armorer, but then Master Tobho Mott told him he was to join the Night's Watch. Meanwhile Gendry continues to polish his bull helm bright, but never wears it. Lommy claims he is the son of the wolf lord which Arya angrily denies.
When Arya takes a rabbit, she shares the larger portion she earned by killing it with Gendry, and Jaqen H'ghar thanks her for the little he gets.
At Briarwhite they are surrounded by farmers in a cornfield and Yoren gives some coppers, although complaining that brothers of the Night's Watch used to be feasted throughout the realm, and even high lords were honored to shelter them under their roofs, but now they are made to pay for a wormy apple.
The next day Koss reports 20 to 30 men ahead, some dying, and there was a banner: a spotted treecat, yellow and black, on a mud-brown field. They add miles to their journey to avoid the group. After that, they see more and more men guarding the fields.
They then come upon a village with charred fields for miles around that they saw burning the night before. Yoren, Murch and Cutjack enter the village, leaving the rest to guard the wagons. When Arya turns to see Gendry, he has his helmet on. Yoren returns with a two year old girl and her badly injured mother, the only survivors. When the woman whimpers “Please”, Biter and Rorge start laughing until Murch tells them to shut up. Then Hot Pie tells Arya he is scared, and Arya admits she is also. Hot Pie, squeezing her shoulder, tells her he never kicked a boy to death, he only sold pies.
The woman dies that evening and Gendry and Cutjack dig her grave. Later, Arya thinks she can still hear the woman moaning.
Yoren allows no fire that night, and so dinner is cold and small, and Arya fills her belly with water instead. Later, she wakes with a full bladder. As she is leaving to make water, Hot Pie, who is on watch, notices her and tells Arya that Yoren said they are to stay close. He also informs her he has heard wolves, and Arya pretends to be afraid. She goes back and pretends to sleep until Hot Pie leaves, and then slips into the woods, easily avoiding the sentries. She is surprised by a pack of six wolves, one of whom approaches her. The wolves stare at her, but then race back into the woods. She goes to tell Yoren of the wolves in the forest. When she tells him that they scared her, he is surprised, responding that he thought her kind were fond of wolves. Arya explains that Nymeria was a Direwolf. Then Yoren assures her that the only wolves they have to fear are human ones. Arya continues that she wants to go home, but the old man admits that all the recruits would have been safer in the city; he has been bringing men to the Wall for 30 years, always by the Kingsroad and lost only three men; this time he should have taken a ship. He then tells her to go to sleep, and she tries but can hear the wolves howling and what she thinks may be the faint sound of screams.