One of the guards overheard Clydas reading the letter to Maester Aemon. Pyp leaned close. "Jon, I'm sorry. He was your father's friend, wasn't he?"
They were as close as brothers, once. Jon wondered if Joffrey would keep his father as the King's Hand. It did not seem likely. That might mean Lord Eddard would return to Winterfell, and his sisters as well. He might even be allowed to visit them, with Lord Mormont's permission. It would be good to see Arya's grin again and to talk with his father. I will ask him about my mother, he resolved. I am a man now, it is past time he told me. Even if she was a whore, I don't care, I want to know.
I heard Hake say the dead men were your uncle's, Pyp said.
Yes, Jon replied. "Two of the six he took with him. They'd been dead a long time, only... the bodies are queer."
Queer? Pyp was all curiosity. "How queer?"
Sam will tell you. Jon did not want to talk of it. "I should see if the Old Bear has need of me."
He walked to the Lord Commander's Tower alone, with a curious sense of apprehension. The brothers on guard eyed him solemnly as he approached. "The Old Bear's in his solar," one of them announced. "He was asking for you."
Jon nodded. He should have come straight from the stable. He climbed the tower steps briskly. He wants wine or a fire in his hearth, that's all, he told himself.