And yet, he knew he could not keep silent. He had a duty to Robert, to the realm, to the shade of Jon Arryn...and to Bran, who surely must have stumbled on some part of the truth. Why else would they have tried to slay him?
Late that afternoon he summoned Tomard, the portly guardsman with the ginger-colored whiskers his children called Fat Tom. With Jory dead and Alyn gone, Fat Tom had command of his household guard. The thought filled Ned with vague disquiet. Tomard was a solid man; affable, loyal, tireless, capable in a limited way, but he was near fifty, and even in his youth he had never been energetic. Perhaps Ned should not have been so quickto send off half his guard, and all his best swords among them.
I shall require your help, Ned said when Tomard appeared, looking faintly apprehensive, as he always did when called before his lord. "Take me to the godswood."
Is that wise, Lord Eddard? With your leg and all?
Perhaps not. But necessary.
Tomard summoned Varly. With one arm around each man's shoulders, Ned managed to descend the steep tower steps and hobble across the bailey. "I want the guard doubled," he told Fat Tom. "No one enters or leaves the Tower of the Hand without my leave."
Tom blinked. "M'lord, with Alyn and the others away, we are hard-pressed already..."