The old forester peered down suspiciously. "And might be I'm a fool, but I don't know that Othor never had no blue eyes afore."
Sir Jaremy looked startled. "Neither did Flowers," he blurted, turning to stare at the dead man.
A silence fell over the wood. For a moment all they heard was Sam's heavy breathing and the wet sound of Dywen sucking on his teeth. Jon squatted beside Ghost.
Burn them, someone whispered. One of the rangers; Jon could not have said who. "Yes, burn them," a second voice urged.
The Old Bear gave a stubborn shake of his head. "Not yet. I want Maester Aemon to have a look at them. We'll bring them back to the Wall."
Some commands are more easily given than obeyed. They wrapped the dead men in cloaks, but when Hake and Dywen tried to tie one onto a horse, the animal went mad, screaming and rearing, lashing out with its hooves, even biting at Ketter when he ran to help. The rangers had no better luck with the other garrons; not even the most placid wanted any part of these burdens. In the end they were forced to hack off branches and fashion crude slings to carry the corpses back on foot. It was well past midday by the time they started back.