A dance with dragons 30 ( a song of ice and fire 5)

DAVOS

Even in the gloom of the Wolf’s Den, Davos Seaworth could sense that something was awry this morning.

He woke to the sound of voices and crept to the door of his cell, but the wood was too thick and he could not make out the words. Dawn had come, but not the porridge Garth brought him every morn to break his fast. That made him anxious. All the days were much the same inside the Wolf’s Den, and any change was usually for the worse. This may be the day I die. Garth may be sitting with a whetstone even now, to put an edge on Lady Lu.

The onion knight had not forgotten Wyman Manderly’s last words to him. Take this creature to the Wolf’s Den and cut off head and hands, the fat lord had commanded. I shall not be able to eat a bite until I see this smuggler’s head upon a spike, with an onion shoved between his lying teeth. Every night Davos went to sleep with those words in his head, and every morn he woke to them. And should he forget,

Garth was always pleased to remind him. Dead man was his name for Davos. When he came by in the morning, it was always, “Here, porridge for the dead man.” At night it was, “Blow out the candle, dead man.”

Once Garth brought his ladies by to introduce them to the dead man. “The Whore don’t look like much,” he said, fondling a rod of cold black iron, “but when I heat her up red-hot and let her touch your cock, you’ll cry for mother. And this here’s my Lady Lu. It’s her who’ll take your head and hands, when Lord Wyman sends down word.” Davos had never seen a bigger axe than Lady Lu, nor one with a sharper edge. Garth spent his days honing her, the other keepers said. I will not plead for mercy, Davos resolved. He would go to his death a knight, asking only that they take his head before his hands. Even Garth would not be so cruel as to deny him that, he hoped.

The sounds coming through the door were faint and muffled. Davos rose and paced his cell. As cells went, it was large and queerly comfortable. He suspected it might once have been some lordling’s bedchamber. It was thrice the size of his captain’s cabin on Black Bessa, and even larger than the cabin Salladhor Saan enjoyed on his Valyrian. Though its only window had been bricked in years before, one wall still boasted a hearth big enough to hold a kettle, and there was an actual privy built into a corner nook. The floor was made of warped planks full of splinters, and his sleeping pallet smelled of mildew, but those discomforts were mild compared to what Davos had expected.

The food had come as a surprise as well. In place of gruel and stale bread and rotten meat, the usual dungeon fare, his keepers brought him fresh-caught fish, bread still warm from the oven, spiced mutton, turnips, carrots, even crabs. Garth was none too pleased by that. “The dead should not eat better than the living,” he complained, more than once. Davos had furs to keep him warm by night, wood to feed his fire, clean clothing, a greasy tallow candle. When he asked for paper, quill, and ink, Therry brought them the next day. When he asked for a book, so he might keep at his reading, Therry turned up with The Seven-Pointed Star.

For all its comforts, though, his cell remained a cell. Its walls were solid stone, so thick that he could hear nothing of the outside world. The door was oak and iron, and his keepers kept it barred. Four sets of heavy iron fetters dangled from the ceiling, waiting for the day Lord Manderly decided to chain him up and give him over to the Whore. Today may be that day.



A dance with dragons 30 ( a song of ice and fire 5)