What is it, man? Mormont said gruffly.
Curiously, Marsh glanced at Jon before he answered. "Maester Aemon has the letter. He's waiting in your solar."
Very well. Jon, see to my horse, and tell Sir Jaremy to put the dead men in a storeroom until the maester is ready for them. Mormont strode away grumbling.
As they led their horses back to the stable, Jon was uncomfortably aware that people were watching him. Sir Alliser Thorne was drilling his boys in the yard, but he broke off to stare at Jon, a faint half smile on his lips. One-armed Donal Noye stood in the door of the armory. "The gods be with you, Snow," he called out.
Something's wrong, Jon thought. Something's very wrong.
The dead men were carried to one of the storerooms along the base of the Wall, a dark cold cell chiseled from the ice and used to keep meat and grain and sometimes even beer. Jon saw that Mormont's horse was fed and watered and groomed before he took care of his own. Afterward he sought out his friends. Grenn and Toad were on watch, but he found Pyp in the common hall. "What's happened?" he asked.
Pyp lowered his voice. "The king's dead."
Jon was stunned. Robert Baratheon had looked old and fat when he visited Winterfell, yet he'd seemed hale enough, and there'd been no talk of illness. "How can you know?"