You said the words, Pyp reminded him. "Now my watch begins, you said it. It shall not end until my death."
I shall live and die at my post, Grenn added, nodding.
You don't have to tell me the words, I know them as well as you do. He was angry now. Why couldn't they let him go in peace? They were only making it harder.
I am the sword in the darkness, Halder intoned.
The watcher on the walls, piped Toad.
Jon cursed them all to their faces. They took no notice. Pyp spurred his horse closer, reciting, "I am the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers, the shield that guards the realms of men."
Stay back, Jon warned him, brandishing his sword. "I mean it, Pyp." They weren't even wearing armor, he could cut them to pieces if he had to.
Matthar had circled behind him. He joined the chorus. "I pledge my life and honor to the Night's Watch."
Jon kicked his mare, spinning her in a circle. The boys were all around him now, closing from every side.
For this night... Halder trotted in from the left.
... and all the nights to come, finished Pyp. He reached over for Jon's reins. "So here are your choices. Kill me, or come back with me."
Jon lifted his sword... and lowered it, helpless. "Damn you," he said. "Damn you all."