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2017年6月26日 (月)

slapped the parchment


“I could,” said Hot Pie. “It’s easy. You kneaded the dough too much, that’s why it’s so hard to chew.” He took another sip of ale, and began talking lovingly of breads and pies and tarts, all the things he loved. Arya rolled her eyes.  Tom sat down across from her. “Squab,” he said, “or Arry, or whatever your true name might be, this is for you.” He placed a dirty scrap of parchment on the wooden tabletop between them. She looked at it suspiciously. “What is it?”  “Three golden dragons. We need to buy those horses.”  Arya looked at him warily. “They’re our horses.”  “Meaning you stole them yourselves, is that it? No shame in that, girl. War makes thieves of many honest folk.” Tom tapped the folded parchment with his finger. “I’m paying you a handsome price. More than any horse is worth, if truth be told.-  Hot Pie grabbed the parchment and unfolded it. “There’s no gold,” he complained loudly. “It’s only writing.”  “Aye,” said Tom, “and I’m sorry for that. But after the war, we mean to make that good, you have my word as a king’s man.”  Arya pushed back from the table and got to her feet. “You’re no king’s men, you’re robbers.”  “If you’d ever met a true robber, you’d know they do not pay, not even in paper. It’s not for us we take your horses, child, it’s for the good of the realm, so we can get about more quickly and fight the fights that need fighting. The king’s fights. Would you deny the king?” 

They were all watching her; the Archer, big Lem, Husband with his sallow face and shifty eyes. Even Shama, who stood in the door to the kitchen squinting. They are going to take our horses no matter what I say, she realized. We’ll need to walk to Riverrun, unless... “We don’t want paper.” Aryaout of Hot Pie’s hand. “You can have our horses for that boat outside. But only if you show us how to work it.”  Tom Sevenstrings stared at her a moment, and then his wide homely mouth quirked into a rueful grin. He laughed aloud. Anguy joined in, and then they were all laughing, Lem Lemoncloak, Shama and Husband, even the serving boy, who had stepped out from behind the casks with a crossbow under one arm. Arya wanted to scream at them, but instead she started to smile...  “Riders!” Gendry’s shout was shrill with alarm. The door burst open and there he was. “Soldiers,” he panted. “Coming down the river road, a dozen of them.”  Hot Pie leapt up, knocking over his tankard, but Tom and the others were unpertubed. “There’s no cause for spilling good ale on my floor,” said Shama. “Sit back down and calm yourself, boy, there’s rabbit coming. You too, girl. Whatever harm’s been done you, it’s over and it’s done and you’re with king’s men now. We’ll keep you safe as best we can.”  Arya’s only answer was to reach over her shoulder for her sword, but before she had it halfway drawn Lem grabbed her wrist .

“We’ll have no more of that, now.” He twisted her arm until her hand opened. His fingers were hard with callus and fearsomely strong . Again! Arya thought. It’s happening again, like it happened in the village, with Chiswyck and Raff and the Mountain That Rides. They were going to steal her sword and turn her back into a mouse. Her free hand closed around her tankard, and she swung it at Lem’s face. The ale sloshed over the rim and splashed into his eyes, and she heard his nose break and saw the spurt of blood. When he roared his hands went to his face, and she was free YOOX HK.

2017年6月16日 (金)

lying blue and frozen



More’n half were women and children, and they were driving their animals before them, goats, sheep, even aurochs dragging sledges SmarTone plan. They’d loaded up with bales of fur and sides of meat, cages of chickens, butter chums and spinning wheels, every damn thing they own. The mules and garrons was so heavy laden you’d think their backs would break. The women as well.”  “And they follow the Milkwater?” Lark the Sisterman asked.  “I said so, didn’t I?”  The Milkwater would take them past the Fist of the First Men, the ancient ringfort where the Night’s Watch had made its camp. Any man with a thimble of sense could see that it was time to pull up stakes and fall back on the Wall. The Old Bear had strengthened the Fist with spikes and pits and caltrops, but against such a host all that was pointless. If they stayed here, they would be engulfed and overwhelmed.  And Thoren Smallwood wanted to attack. Sweet Donnel Hill was squire to Ser Mallador Locke , and the night before last Smallwood had come to Locke’s tent. Ser Mallador had been of the same mind as old Ser Ottyn Wythers, urging a retreat on the Wall, but Smallwood wanted to convince him otherwise. “This King-beyond-the-Wall will never look for us so far north,” Sweet Donnel reported him saying. “And this great host of his is a shambling horde, full of useless mouths who won’t know what end of a sword to hold. One blow will take all the fight out of them and send them howling back to their hovels for another fifty years.”  Three hundred against thirty thousand. Chett called that rank madness, and what was madder still was that Ser Mallador had been persuaded, and the two of them together were on the point of persuading the Old Bear. “If we wait too long, this chance may be lost, never to come again,” Smallwood was saying to anyone who would listen. Against that, Ser Ottyn Wythers said, “We are the shield that guards the realms of men. You do not throw away your shield for no good purpose,” but to that Thoren Smallwood said, “In a swordfight, a man’s surest defense is the swift stroke that slays his foe, not cringing behind a shield.”  Neither Smallwood nor Wythers had the command, though. Lord Mormont did, and Mormont was waiting for his other scouts, for Jarman Buckwell and the men who’d climbed the Giant’s Stair, and for Qhorin Halfhand and Jon Snow, who’d gone to probe the Skirling Pass. Buckwell and the Halfhand were late in returning, though. Dead, most like. Chett pictured Jon Snow on some bleak mountaintop with a wildling spear up his bastard’s arse. The thought made him smile. I hope they killed his bloody wolf as well.  “There’s no bear here,” he decided abruptly. “Just an old print, that’s all. Back to the Fist.” The dogs almost yanked him off his feet, as eager to get back as he was. Maybe they thought they were going to get fed. Chett had to laugh dermes. He hadn’t fed them for three days now, to turn them mean and hungry.

2017年6月 1日 (木)

existing circumstances


The pot had been full for supper, and, as every man couldsee, it was never half emptied - enough was always left forbreakfast. A resolution was accordingly passed that eachshould take his turn of an hour's watch at night, till theglutton was caught in the act.
My hour happened to be from 11 to 12 P.M. I stronglysuspected the thief to be an Indian, and loaded my big pistolwith slugs on the chance. It was a clear moonlight night. Ipropped myself comfortably with a bag of hams; and concealedmyself as well as I could in a bush of artemisia, which wasvery thick all round. I had not long been on the look-outwhen a large grey wolf prowled slowly out of the bushes. Thenight was bright as day; but every one of the men was soundasleep in a circle round the remains of the camp fire. Thewolf passed between them, hesitating as it almost touched acovering blanket. Step by step it crept up to the kettle,took the handle of the lid between its jaws, lifted it off,placed it noiselessly on the ground, and devoured the savourystew.
I could not fire, because of the men. I dared not move, lestI should disturb the robber. I was even afraid the click ofcocking the pistol would startle him and prevent my getting aquiet shot. But patience was rewarded. When satiated, thebrute retired as stealthily as he had advanced; and as hepassed within seven or eight yards of me I let him have it.
Great was my disappointment to  see him scamper off. How wasit possible I could have missed him? I must have fired overhis back. The men jumped to their feet and clutched theirrifles; but, though astonished at my story, were soon at restagain. After this the kettle was never robbed. Four dayslater we were annoyed with such a stench that it was aquestion of shifting our quarters. In hunting for thenuisance amongst the thicket of wormwood, the dead wolf wasdiscovered not twenty yards from our centre.
The reader would not thank me for an account of themonotonous drudgery, the hardships, the quarrellings, whichgrew worse from day to day after we left Fort Laramie. Fredand I were about the only two who were on speaking terms; weclung to each other, as a sort of forlorn security againstcoming disasters. Gradually it was dawning on me that, underthe , the fulfilment of my hopes wouldbe (as Fred had predicted) an impossibility; and that topersist in the attempt to realise them was to courtdestruction. As yet, I said nothing of this to him. PerhapsI was ashamed to. Perhaps I secretly acknowledged to myselfthat he had been wiser  than I, and that my stubbornness wasresponsible for the life itself of every one of the party.