She could not have said how she got back to Flea Bottom, but she was breathing hard by the time she reached the narrow crooked unpaved streets between the hills. The Bottom had a stench to it, a stink of pigsties and stables and tanner's sheds, mixed in with the sour smell of winesinks and cheap whorehouses. Arya wound her way through the maze dully. It was not until she caught a whiff of bubbling brown coming through a pot-shop door that she realized her pigeon was gone. It must have slipped from her belt as she ran, or someone had stolen it and she'd never noticed. For a moment she wanted to cry again. She'd have to walk all the way back to the Street of Flour to find another one that plump.
Far across the city, bells began to ring.
Arya glanced up, listening, wondering what the ringing meant this time.
What's this now? a fat man called from the pot-shop.
The bells again, gods ha'mercy, wailed an old woman.
A red-haired whore in a wisp of painted silk pushed open a second-story window. "Is it the boy king that's died now?" she shouted down, leaning out over the street. "Ah, that's a boy for you, they never last long." As she laughed, a naked man slid his arms around her from behind, biting her neck and rubbing the heavy white breasts that hung loose beneath her shift.