When he entered the solar, Mormont's raven screamed at him. "Corn!" the bird shrieked. "Corn! Corn! Corn!"
"Don't you believe it, I just fed him," the Old Bear growled. He was seated by the window, reading a letter. "Bring me a cup of wine, and pour one for yourself."
"For myself, my lord?"
Mormont lifted his eyes from the letter to stare at Jon. There was pity in that look; he could taste it. "You heard me."
Jon poured with exaggerated care, vaguely aware that he was drawing out the act. When the cups were filled, he would have no choice but to face whatever was in that letter. Yet all too soon, they were filled. "Sit, boy," Mormont commanded him. "Drink."
Jon remained standing. "It's my father, isn't it?"
The Old Bear tapped the letter with a finger. "Your father and the king," he rumbled. "I won't lie to you, it's grievous news. I never thought to see another king, not at my age, with Robert half my years and strong as a bull." He took a gulp of wine. "They say the king loved to hunt. The things we love destroy us every time, lad. Remember that. My son loved that young wife of his. Vain woman. If not for her, he would never have thought to sell those poachers."