A Feast for Crows

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Book Four: A Song of Ice and Fire
George R.R. Martin

“Dragons,” said Mollander. He snatched a withered apple off the ground and tossed it
hand to hand.
“Throw the apple,” urged Alleras the Sphinx. He slipped an arrow from his quiver and nocked
it to his bowstring.
“I should like to see a dragon.” Roone was the youngest of them, a chunky boy still two years
shy of manhood. “I should like that very much.”
And I should like to sleep with Rosey’s arms around me, Pate thought. He shifted restlessly on
the bench. By the morrow the girl could well be his. I will take her far from Oldtown, across the
narrow sea to one of the Free Cities. There were no maesters there, no one to accuse him.
He could hear Emma’s laughter coming through a shuttered window overhead, mingled with
the deeper voice of the man she was entertaining. She was the oldest of the serving wenches at
the Quill and Tankard, forty if she was a day, but still pretty in a fleshy sort of way. Rosey was
her daughter, fifteen and freshly flowered. Emma had decreed that Rosey’s maidenhead would
cost a golden dragon. Pate had saved nine silver stags and a pot of copper stars and pennies, for
all the good that would do him. He would have stood a better chance of hatching a real dragon
than saving up enough coin to make a golden one.
“You were born too late for dragons, lad,” Armen the Acolyte told Roone. Armen wore a
leather thong about his neck, strung with links of pewter, tin, lead, and copper, and like most
acolytes he seemed to believe that novices had turnips growing from their shoulders in place of
heads. “The last one perished during the reign of King Aegon the Third.”
“The last dragon in Westeros,” insisted Mollander.
“Throw the apple,” Alleras urged again. He was a comely youth, their Sphinx. All the serving
wenches doted on him. Even Rosey would sometimes touch him on the arm when she brought
him wine, and Pate had to gnash his teeth and pretend not to see.
“The last dragon in Westeros was the last dragon,” said Armen doggedly. “That is well known.”

“The apple,” Alleras said. “Unless you mean to eat it.”
“Here.” Dragging his clubfoot, Mollander took a short hop, whirled, and whipped the apple
sidearm into the mists that hung above the Honeywine. If not for his foot, he would have been a
knight like his father. He had the strength for it in those thick arms and broad shoulders. Far and
fast the apple flew...
...but not as fast ...
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