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“They’ve found her, my lord.”

Ned rose quickly. “Our men or Lannister’s?”

“It was Jory,” his steward1 Vayon Poole replied. “She’s not been harmed.”

“Thank the gods,” Ned said. His men had been searching for Arya for four days now, but thequeen’s men had been out hunting as well. “Where is she? Tell Jory to bring her here at once.”

“I am sorry, my lord,” Poole told him. “The guards on the gate were Lannister men, and theyinformed the queen when Jory brought her in. She’s being taken directly before the king …”

“Damn that woman!” Ned said, striding to the door. “Find Sansa and bring her to the audiencechamber. Her voice may be needed.” He descended3 the tower steps in a red rage. He had led searcheshimself for the first three days, and had scarcely slept an hour since Arya had disappeared. Thismorning he had been so heartsick and weary he could scarcely stand, but now his fury was on him,filling him with strength.

Men called out to him as he crossed the castle yard, but Ned ignored them in his haste. He wouldhave run, but he was still the King’s Hand, and a Hand must keep his dignity. He was aware of theeyes that followed him, of the muttered voices wondering what he would do.

The castle was a modest holding a half day’s ride south of the Trident. The royal party had madethemselves the uninvited guests of its lord, Ser Raymun Darry, while the hunt for Arya and thebutcher’s boy was conducted on both sides of the river. They were not welcome visitors. Ser Raymunlived under the king’s peace, but his family had fought beneath Rhaegar’s dragon banners at theTrident, and his three older brothers had died there, a truth neither Robert nor Ser Raymun hadforgotten. With king’s men, Darry men, Lannister men, and Stark4 men all crammed5 into a castle fartoo small for them, tensions burned hot and heavy.

The king had appropriated Ser Raymun’s audience chamber2, and that was where Ned found them.

The room was crowded when he burst in. Too crowded, he thought; left alone, he and Robert mighthave been able to settle the matter amicably6.

Robert was slumped7 in Darry’s high seat at the far end of the room, his face closed and sullen8.

Cersei Lannister and her son stood beside him. The queen had her hand on Joffrey’s shoulder. Thicksilken bandages still covered the boy’s arm.

Arya stood in the center of the room, alone but for Jory Cassel, every eye upon her. “Arya,” Nedcalled loudly. He went to her, his boots ringing on the stone floor. When she saw him, she cried outand began to sob9.

Ned went to one knee and took her in his arms. She was shaking. “I’m sorry,” she sobbed10, “I’msorry, I’m sorry.”

“I know,” he said. She felt so tiny in his arms, nothing but a scrawny little girl. It was hard to seehow she had caused so much trouble. “Are you hurt?”

“No.” Her face was dirty, and her tears left pink tracks down her cheeks. “Hungry some. I atesome berries, but there was nothing else.”

“We’ll feed you soon enough,” Ned promised. He rose to face the king. “What is the meaning ofthis?” His eyes swept the room, searching for friendly faces. But for his own men, they were fewenough. Ser Raymun Darry guarded his look well. Lord Renly wore a half smile that might meananything, and old Ser Barristan was grave; the rest were Lannister men, and hostile. Their only good fortune was that both Jaime Lannister and Sandor Clegane were missing, leading searches north ofthe Trident. “Why was I not told that my daughter had been found?” Ned demanded, his voiceringing. “Why was she not brought to me at once?”

fthe Trident. “Why was I not told that my daughter had been found?” Ned demanded, his voiceringing. “Why was she not brought to me at once?”

He spoke11 to Robert, but it was Cersei Lannister who answered. “How dare you speak to your kingin that manner!”

At that, the king stirred. “Quiet, woman,” he snapped. He straightened in his seat. “I am sorry, Ned.

I never meant to frighten the girl. It seemed best to bring her here and get the business done withquickly.”

“And what business is that?” Ned put ice in his voice.

The queen stepped forward. “You know full well, Stark. This girl of yours attacked my son. Herand her butcher’s boy. That animal of hers tried to tear his arm off.”

“That’s not true,” Arya said loudly. “She just bit him a little. He was hurting Mycah.”

“Joff told us what happened,” the queen said. “You and the butcher boy beat him with clubs whileyou set your wolf on him.”

“That’s not how it was,” Arya said, close to tears again. Ned put a hand on her shoulder.

“Yes it is!” Prince Joffrey insisted. “They all attacked me, and she threw Lion’s Tooth in theriver!” Ned noticed that he did not so much as glance at Arya as he spoke.

Liar12!” Arya yelled.

“Shut up!” the prince yelled back.

“Enough!” the king roared, rising from his seat, his voice thick with irritation13. Silence fell. Heglowered at Arya through his thick beard. “Now, child, you will tell me what happened. Tell it all,and tell it true. It is a great crime to lie to a king.” Then he looked over at his son. “When she is done,you will have your turn. Until then, hold your tongue.”

As Arya began her story, Ned heard the door open behind him. He glanced back and saw VayonPoole enter with Sansa. They stood quietly at the back of the hall as Arya spoke. When she got to thepart where she threw Joffrey’s sword into the middle of the Trident, Renly Baratheon began to laugh.

The king bristled14. “Ser Barristan, escort my brother from the hall before he chokes.”

Lord Renly stifled15 his laughter. “My brother is too kind. I can find the door myself.” He bowed toJoffrey. “Perchance later you’ll tell me how a nine-year-old girl the size of a wet rat managed todisarm you with a broom handle and throw your sword in the river.” As the door swung shut behindhim, Ned heard him say, “Lion’s Tooth,” and guffaw16 once more.

Prince Joffrey was pale as he began his very different version of events. When his son was donetalking, the king rose heavily from his seat, looking like a man who wanted to be anywhere but here.

“What in all the seven hells am I supposed to make of this? He says one thing, she says another.”

“They were not the only ones present,” Ned said. “Sansa, come here.” Ned had heard her versionof the story the night Arya had vanished. He knew the truth. “Tell us what happened.”

His eldest17 daughter stepped forward hesitantly. She was dressed in blue velvets trimmed withwhite, a silver chain around her neck. Her thick auburn hair had been brushed until it shone. Sheblinked at her sister, then at the young prince. “I don’t know,” she said tearfully, looking as thoughshe wanted to bolt. “I don’t remember. Everything happened so fast, I didn’t see …”

“You rotten!” Arya shrieked18. She flew at her sister like an arrow, knocking Sansa down to theground, pummeling her. “Liar, liar, liar, liar.”

“Arya, stop it!” Ned shouted. Jory pulled her off her sister, kicking. Sansa was pale and shakingas Ned lifted her back to her feet. “Are you hurt?” he asked, but she was staring at Arya, and she didnot seem to hear.

“The girl is as wild as that filthy19 animal of hers,” Cersei Lannister said. “Robert, I want herpunished.”

“Seven hells,” Robert swore. “Cersei, look at her. She’s a child. What would you have me do,whip her through the streets? Damn it, children fight. It’s over. No lasting20 harm was done.”

The queen was furious. “Joff will carry those scars for the rest of his life.”

Robert Baratheon looked at his eldest son. “So he will. Perhaps they will teach him a lesson. Ned,see that your daughter is disciplined. I will do the same with my son.”

“Gladly, Your Grace,” Ned said with vast relief.

Robert started to walk away, but the queen was not done. “And what of the direwolf?” she called after him. “What of the beast that savaged21 your son?”

The king stopped, turned back, frowned. “I’d forgotten about the damned wolf.”

Ned could see Arya tense in Jory’s arms. Jory spoke up quickly. “We found no trace of thedirewolf, Your Grace.”

Robert did not look unhappy. “No? So be it.”

The queen raised her voice. “A hundred golden dragons to the man who brings me its skin!”

“A costly22 pelt,” Robert grumbled23. “I want no part of this, woman. You can damn well buy yourfurs with Lannister gold.”

The queen regarded him coolly. “I had not thought you so niggardly24. The king I’d thought to wedwould have laid a wolfskin across my bed before the sun went down.”

Robert’s face darkened with anger. “That would be a fine trick, without a wolf.”

“We have a wolf,” Cersei Lannister said. Her voice was very quiet, but her green eyes shone withtriumph.

It took them all a moment to comprehend her words, but when they did, the king shrugged25 irritably26.

“As you will. Have Ser Ilyn see to it.”

“Robert, you cannot mean this,” Ned protested.

The king was in no mood for more argument. “Enough, Ned, I will hear no more. A direwolf is asavage beast. Sooner or later it would have turned on your girl the same way the other did on my son.

Get her a dog, she’ll be happier for it.”

That was when Sansa finally seemed to comprehend. Her eyes were frightened as they went to herfather. “He doesn’t mean Lady, does he?” She saw the truth on his face. “No,” she said. “No, notLady, Lady didn’t bite anybody, she’s good …”

“Lady wasn’t there,” Arya shouted angrily. “You leave her alone!”

“Stop them,” Sansa pleaded, “don’t let them do it, please, please, it wasn’t Lady, it was Nymeria,Arya did it, you can’t, it wasn’t Lady, don’t let them hurt Lady, I’ll make her be good, I promise, Ipromise …” She started to cry.

All Ned could do was take her in his arms and hold her while she wept. He looked across the roomat Robert. His old friend, closer than any brother. “Please, Robert. For the love you bear me. For thelove you bore my sister. Please.”

The king looked at them for a long moment, then turned his eyes on his wife. “Damn you, Cersei,”

he said with loathing27.

Ned stood, gently disengaging himself from Sansa’s grasp. All the weariness of the past four dayshad returned to him. “Do it yourself then, Robert,” he said in a voice cold and sharp as steel. “At leasthave the courage to do it yourself.”

Robert looked at Ned with flat, dead eyes and left without a word, his footsteps heavy as lead.

Silence filled the hall.

“Where is the direwolf?” Cersei Lannister asked when her husband was gone. Beside her, PrinceJoffrey was smiling.

“The beast is chained up outside the gatehouse, Your Grace,” Ser Barristan Selmy answeredreluctantly.

“Send for Ilyn Payne.”

“No,” Ned said. “Jory, take the girls back to their rooms and bring me Ice.” The words tasted ofbile in his throat, but he forced them out. “If it must be done, I will do it.”

Cersei Lannister regarded him suspiciously. “You, Stark? Is this some trick? Why would you dosuch a thing?”

They were all staring at him, but it was Sansa’s look that cut. “She is of the north. She deservesbetter than a butcher.”

He left the room with his eyes burning and his daughter’s wails28 echoing in his ears, and found thedirewolf pup where they chained her. Ned sat beside her for a while. “Lady,” he said, tasting thename. He had never paid much attention to the names the children had picked, but looking at her now,he knew that Sansa had chosen well. She was the smallest of the litter, the prettiest, the most gentleand trusting. She looked at him with bright golden eyes, and he ruffled29 her thick grey fur.

Shortly, Jory brought him Ice.

When it was over, he said, “Choose four men and have them take the body north. Bury her atWinterfell.”

“All that way?” Jory said, astonished.

“All that way,” Ned affirmed. “The Lannister woman shall never have this skin.”

He was walking back to the tower to give himself up to sleep at last when Sandor Clegane and hisriders came pounding through the castle gate, back from their hunt.

There was something slung30 over the back of his destrier, a heavy shape wrapped in a bloody31 cloak.

“No sign of your daughter, Hand,” the Hound rasped down, “but the day was not wholly wasted. Wegot her little pet.” He reached back and shoved the burden off, and it fell with a thump32 in front ofNed.

Bending, Ned pulled back the cloak, dreading33 the words he would have to find for Arya, but it wasnot Nymeria after all. It was the butcher’s boy, Mycah, his body covered in dried blood. He had beencut almost in half from shoulder to waist by some terrible blow struck from above.

“You rode him down,” Ned said.

The Hound’s eyes seemed to glitter through the steel of that hideous34 dog’s-head helm. “He ran.”

He looked at Ned’s face and laughed. “But not very fast.”


1 steward uUtzw     
  • He's the steward of the club.他是这家俱乐部的管理员。
  • He went around the world as a ship's steward.他当客船服务员,到过世界各地。
2 chamber wnky9     
  • For many,the dentist's surgery remains a torture chamber.对许多人来说,牙医的治疗室一直是间受刑室。
  • The chamber was ablaze with light.会议厅里灯火辉煌。
3 descended guQzoy     
  • A mood of melancholy descended on us. 一种悲伤的情绪袭上我们的心头。
  • The path descended the hill in a series of zigzags. 小路呈连续的之字形顺着山坡蜿蜒而下。
4 stark lGszd     
  • The young man is faced with a stark choice.这位年轻人面临严峻的抉择。
  • He gave a stark denial to the rumor.他对谣言加以完全的否认。
5 crammed e1bc42dc0400ef06f7a53f27695395ce     
adj.塞满的,挤满的;大口地吃;快速贪婪地吃v.把…塞满;填入;临时抱佛脚( cram的过去式)
  • He crammed eight people into his car. 他往他的车里硬塞进八个人。
  • All the shelves were crammed with books. 所有的架子上都堆满了书。
6 amicably amicably     
  • Steering according to the wind, he also framed his words more amicably. 他真会看风使舵,口吻也马上变得温和了。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • The couple parted amicably. 这对夫妻客气地分手了。 来自《简明英汉词典》
7 slumped b010f9799fb8ebd413389b9083180d8d     
大幅度下降,暴跌( slump的过去式和过去分词 ); 沉重或突然地落下[倒下]
  • Sales have slumped this year. 今年销售量锐减。
  • The driver was slumped exhausted over the wheel. 司机伏在方向盘上,疲惫得睡着了。
8 sullen kHGzl     
  • He looked up at the sullen sky.他抬头看了一眼阴沉的天空。
  • Susan was sullen in the morning because she hadn't slept well.苏珊今天早上郁闷不乐,因为昨晚没睡好。
9 sob HwMwx     
  • The child started to sob when he couldn't find his mother.孩子因找不到他妈妈哭了起来。
  • The girl didn't answer,but continued to sob with her head on the table.那个女孩不回答,也不抬起头来。她只顾低声哭着。
10 sobbed 4a153e2bbe39eef90bf6a4beb2dba759     
哭泣,啜泣( sob的过去式和过去分词 ); 哭诉,呜咽地说
  • She sobbed out the story of her son's death. 她哭诉着她儿子的死。
  • She sobbed out the sad story of her son's death. 她哽咽着诉说她儿子死去的悲惨经过。
11 spoke XryyC     
n.(车轮的)辐条;轮辐;破坏某人的计划;阻挠某人的行动 v.讲,谈(speak的过去式);说;演说;从某种观点来说
  • They sourced the spoke nuts from our company.他们的轮辐螺帽是从我们公司获得的。
  • The spokes of a wheel are the bars that connect the outer ring to the centre.辐条是轮子上连接外圈与中心的条棒。
12 liar V1ixD     
  • I know you for a thief and a liar!我算认识你了,一个又偷又骗的家伙!
  • She was wrongly labelled a liar.她被错误地扣上说谎者的帽子。
13 irritation la9zf     
  • He could not hide his irritation that he had not been invited.他无法掩饰因未被邀请而生的气恼。
  • Barbicane said nothing,but his silence covered serious irritation.巴比康什么也不说,但是他的沉默里潜伏着阴郁的怒火。
14 bristled bristled     
adj. 直立的,多刺毛的 动词bristle的过去式和过去分词
  • They bristled at his denigrating description of their activities. 听到他在污蔑他们的活动,他们都怒发冲冠。
  • All of us bristled at the lawyer's speech insulting our forefathers. 听到那个律师在讲演中污蔑我们的祖先,大家都气得怒发冲冠。
15 stifled 20d6c5b702a525920b7425fe94ea26a5     
(使)窒息, (使)窒闷( stifle的过去式和过去分词 ); 镇压,遏制; 堵
  • The gas stifled them. 煤气使他们窒息。
  • The rebellion was stifled. 叛乱被镇压了。
16 guffaw XyUyr     
  • All the boys burst out into a guffaw at the joke.听到这个笑话,男孩子们发出一阵哄笑。
  • As they guffawed loudly,the ticket collector arrived.他们正哈哈大笑的时候,检票员到了。
17 eldest bqkx6     
  • The King's eldest son is the heir to the throne.国王的长子是王位的继承人。
  • The castle and the land are entailed on the eldest son.城堡和土地限定由长子继承。
18 shrieked dc12d0d25b0f5d980f524cd70c1de8fe     
v.尖叫( shriek的过去式和过去分词 )
  • She shrieked in fright. 她吓得尖叫起来。
  • Li Mei-t'ing gave a shout, and Lu Tzu-hsiao shrieked, "Tell what? 李梅亭大声叫,陆子潇尖声叫:“告诉什么? 来自汉英文学 - 围城
19 filthy ZgOzj     
  • The whole river has been fouled up with filthy waste from factories.整条河都被工厂的污秽废物污染了。
  • You really should throw out that filthy old sofa and get a new one.你真的应该扔掉那张肮脏的旧沙发,然后再去买张新的。
20 lasting IpCz02     
  • The lasting war debased the value of the dollar.持久的战争使美元贬值。
  • We hope for a lasting settlement of all these troubles.我们希望这些纠纷能获得永久的解决。
21 savaged 337d0bda5a4629deea7568b5d460285d     
(动物)凶狠地攻击(或伤害)( savage的过去式和过去分词 ); 残害; 猛烈批评; 激烈抨击
  • The horse threw its rider to the ground and savaged him. 那马将骑马者摔在地上,乱踢他。
  • The drink had savaged him. 酒使他变得野蛮。
22 costly 7zXxh     
  • It must be very costly to keep up a house like this.维修这么一幢房子一定很昂贵。
  • This dictionary is very useful,only it is a bit costly.这本词典很有用,左不过贵了些。
23 grumbled ed735a7f7af37489d7db1a9ef3b64f91     
抱怨( grumble的过去式和过去分词 ); 发牢骚; 咕哝; 发哼声
  • He grumbled at the low pay offered to him. 他抱怨给他的工资低。
  • The heat was sweltering, and the men grumbled fiercely over their work. 天热得让人发昏,水手们边干活边发着牢骚。
24 niggardly F55zj     
  • Forced by hunger,he worked for the most niggardly pay.为饥饿所迫,他为极少的工资而工作。
  • He is niggardly with his money.他对钱很吝啬。
25 shrugged 497904474a48f991a3d1961b0476ebce     
  • Sam shrugged and said nothing. 萨姆耸耸肩膀,什么也没说。
  • She shrugged, feigning nonchalance. 她耸耸肩,装出一副无所谓的样子。 来自《简明英汉词典》
26 irritably e3uxw     
  • He lost his temper and snapped irritably at the children. 他发火了,暴躁地斥责孩子们。
  • On this account the silence was irritably broken by a reproof. 为了这件事,他妻子大声斥责,令人恼火地打破了宁静。 来自英汉文学 - 嘉莉妹妹
27 loathing loathing     
n.厌恶,憎恨v.憎恨,厌恶( loathe的现在分词);极不喜欢
  • She looked at her attacker with fear and loathing . 她盯着襲擊她的歹徒,既害怕又憎恨。
  • They looked upon the creature with a loathing undisguised. 他们流露出明显的厌恶看那动物。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
28 wails 6fc385b881232f68e3c2bd9685a7fcc7     
痛哭,哭声( wail的名词复数 )
  • The child burst into loud wails. 那个孩子突然大哭起来。
  • Through this glaciated silence the white wails of the apartment fixed arbitrary planes. 在这冰封似的沉寂中,公寓的白色墙壁构成了一个个任意的平面。 来自英汉非文学 - 科幻
29 ruffled e4a3deb720feef0786be7d86b0004e86     
adj. 有褶饰边的, 起皱的 动词ruffle的过去式和过去分词
  • She ruffled his hair affectionately. 她情意绵绵地拨弄着他的头发。
  • All this talk of a strike has clearly ruffled the management's feathers. 所有这些关于罢工的闲言碎语显然让管理层很不高兴。
30 slung slung     
抛( sling的过去式和过去分词 ); 吊挂; 遣送; 押往
  • He slung the bag over his shoulder. 他把包一甩,挎在肩上。
  • He stood up and slung his gun over his shoulder. 他站起来把枪往肩上一背。
31 bloody kWHza     
  • He got a bloody nose in the fight.他在打斗中被打得鼻子流血。
  • He is a bloody fool.他是一个十足的笨蛋。
32 thump sq2yM     
  • The thief hit him a thump on the head.贼在他的头上重击一下。
  • The excitement made her heart thump.她兴奋得心怦怦地跳。
33 dreading dreading     
v.害怕,恐惧,担心( dread的现在分词 )
  • She was dreading having to broach the subject of money to her father. 她正在为不得不向父亲提出钱的事犯愁。
  • This was the moment he had been dreading. 这是他一直最担心的时刻。
34 hideous 65KyC     
  • The whole experience had been like some hideous nightmare.整个经历就像一场可怕的噩梦。
  • They're not like dogs,they're hideous brutes.它们不像狗,是丑陋的畜牲。


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