Maester Aemon was gentler. Is your friend a hunter?
He hates hunting, Jon had to admit.
Can he plow a field? the maester asked.
Can he drive a wagon or sail a ship? Could he butcher a cow?No.
Chett gave a nasty laugh. I've seen what happens to soft lordlings when they're put to work.
Set them to churning butter and their hands blister and bleed.
Give them an axe to split logs, and they cut off their own foot.
I know one thing Sam could do better than anyone.
Yes? Maester Aemon prompted.
Jon glanced warily at Chett, standing beside the door, his boils red and angry.
He could help you, he said quickly.
He can do sums, and he knows how to read and write.
I know Chett can't read, and Clydas has weak eyes.
Sam read every book in his father's library.
He'd be good with the ravens too.
Animals seem to like him. Ghost took to him straight off.
There's a lot he could do, besides fighting.
The Night's Watch needs every man.
Why kill one, to no end? Make use of him instead.
Maester Aemon closed his eyes, and for a brief moment Jon was afraid that he had gone to sleep.
Finally he said, Maester Luwin taught you well, Jon Snow.
Your mind is as deft as your blade, it would seem.