Ned heard muttering from beneath the windows and the far end of the hall.
Even in the galley, nervous whispers were exchanged.
High lords and smallfolk alike knew what it could mean if Sir Marq was proved right.
Sir Gregor Clegane stood bannerman to Lord Tywin Lannister.
He studied the frightened faces of the villagers.
Small wonder they had been so fearful;
they had thought they were being dragged here to name Lord Tywin a red-handed butcher before a king who was his son by marriage.
He wondered if the knights had given them a choice.
Grand Maester Pycelle rose ponderously from the council table, his chain of office clinking.
"Sir Marq, with respect, you cannot know that this outlaw was Sir Gregor.
There are many large men in the realm."
"As large as the Mountain That Rides?" Sir Karyl said.
"I have never met one."
"Nor has any man here," Sir Raymun added hotly.
"Even his brother is a pup beside him.
My lords, open your eyes.
Do you need to see his seal on the corpses? It was Gregor."
"Why should Sir Gregor turn brigand?" Pycelle asked.
"By the grace of his liege lord, he holds a stout keep and lands of his own.
The man is an anointed knight."