The king wore lambswool breeches and a quilted doublet, yet somehow he looked as stiff and uncomfortable as if he had been clad in plate and mail. His skin was
pale leather, his beard cropped so short that it might have been painted on. A fringe about his temples was all that remained of his black hair. In his hand
was a parchment with a broken seal of dark green wax.
Jon took a knee. The king frowned at him, and rattled the parchment angrily. “Rise. Tell me, who is Lyanna Mormont?”
“One of Lady Maege’s daughters, Sire. The youngest. She was named for my lord father’s sister.”
“To curry your lord father’s favor, I don’t doubt. I know how that game is played. How old is this wretched girl child?”
Jon had to think a moment. “Ten. Or near enough to make no matter. Might I know how she has offended Your Grace?”
Stannis read from the letter. “Bear Island knows no king but the King in the North, whose name is STARK. A girl of ten, you
say, and she presumes to scold her lawful king.” His close-cropped beard lay like a shadow over his hollow cheeks. “See that you keep these tidings to yourself, Lord
Snow. Karhold is with me, that is all the men need know. I will not have your brothers trading tales of how this child spat on me.”
“I’m going to show you how dangerous tigers are,” hecontinued. “I want you to remember this lesson for the rest ofyour lives.”He turned to Babu and nodded.
Babu left. Mahisha’s eyesfollowed him and did not move from the door he disappearedthrough. He returned a few
seconds later carrying a goat withits legs tied. Mother gripped me from behind. Mahisha’s snarlturned into a growl deep in the throat.
Babu unlocked, opened, entered, closed and locked a cagenext to the tiger’s cage. Bars and a trapdoor separated thetwo.
Immediately Mahisha was up against the dividing bars,pawing them. To his growling he now added explosive,
arrestedwoofs. Babu placed the goat on the floor; its flanks wereheaving violently, its tongue hung from its mouth, and its eyeswere
He untied its
legs. The goat
got to its feet.
Lady Melisandre stirred. “Tell me, Lord Snow … where were these other kings when the wild people stormed your Wall?”
“A thousand leagues away and deaf to our need,” Jon replied. “I have not forgotten that, my lady. Nor will I. But my father’s bannermen have wives and children to
protect, and smallfolk who will die should they choose wrongly. His Grace asks much of them. Give them time, and you will have your answers.”
“Answers such as this?” Stannis crushed Lyanna’s letter in his fist.
“Even in the north men fear the wroth of Tywin Lannister. Boltons make bad enemies as well. It is not happenstance that put a flayed man on their banners.
They north rode with Robb, bled with him, died for him. They have supped on grief and death, and now you come to
offer them another serving. Do you blame them if they hang back? Forgive me, Your Grace, but some will look at you and see only another doomed pretender.”
“If His Grace is doomed, your realm is doomed as well,” said Lady Melisandre. “Remember that, Lord Snow. It is the one true king of Westeros who stands before you.”
Jon kept his face a mask. “As you say, my lady.”
I could feel Mother’s hand pressed against my poundingheart.
The trapdoor resisted with sharp cries. Mahisha was besidehimself – he looked as if he were about to burst through thebars.
He seemed to hesitate between staying where he was, atthe place where his prey was closest but most certainly out
ofreach, and moving to the ground level, further away but wherethe trapdoor was located. He raised himself and started snarlingagain.
The goat started to jump. It jumped to amazing heights. Ihad no idea a goat could jump so high. But the back
was a high
“As you command, Sire.” Maege Mormont had ridden south with Robb, Jon knew. Her eldest daughter had joined the Young Wolf’s host as well. Even if both of them
had died, however, Lady Maege had other daughters, some with children of their own. Had they gone with Robb as well? Surely Lady Maege would have left at
least one of the older girls behind as castellan. He did not understand why Lyanna should be writing Stannis, and
could not help but wonder if the girl’s answer might have been different if the letter had been sealed with a direwolf
instead of a crowned stag, and signed by Jon Stark, Lord of Winterfell. It is too late for such misgivings. You made your choice.
“Two score ravens were sent out,” the king complained, “yet we get no response but silence and defiance. Homage is the duty every leal subject owes his king. Yet
your father’s bannermen all turn their back on me, save the Karstarks. Is Arnolf Karstark the only man of honor in the north?”
Arnolf Karstark was the late Lord Rickard’s uncle. He had been made the castellan of Karhold when his nephew
and his sons went south with Robb, and he had been the first to respond to King Stannis’s call for homage, with a raven
declaring his allegiance. The Karstarks have no other choice, Jon might have said. Rickard Karstark had betrayed the direwolf and spilled the blood of lions.
The stag was Karhold’s only hope. “In times as confused as these, even men of
honor must wonder where their duty lies. Your Grace is not the only king in the realm demanding homage.”
Babu exited the cage in the same careful way he had enteredit. The cage had two floors, one level with us, the other at
theback, higher by about three feet, that led outside to the island.
The goat scrambled to this second level. Mahisha, nowunconcerned with Babu,
paralleled the move in his cage in afluid, effortless motion. He crouched and lay
still, his slowlymoving tail the only sign of tension.
Babu stepped up to the trapdoor
between the cages andstarted pulling it open. In anticipation of satisfaction, Mahishafell silent. I heard two things at that moment: Father saying”Never forget
this lesson” as he looked on grimly, and thebleating of the goat. It must
bleating all along,
hear it before.
Castle Black seemed a bleak and forlorn place in the pale dawn light. My command, Jon Snow reflected ruefully, as much a ruin as it is a stronghold. The Lord Commander’s Tower was a shell, the Common Hall a pile of
blackened timbers, and Hardin’s Tower looked as if the next gust of wind would knock it over … though it had looked that way for years. Behind them rose the Wall: immense, forbidding, frigid, acrawl with builders pushing up a
new switchback stair to join the remnants of the old. They worked from dawn to dusk. Without the stair, there was no way to reach the top of the Wall save by winch. That would not serve if the wildlings should attack again.
“How well, though?” Ser Godry drew his own blade. “Show us. I promise not to hurt you, lad.”
How kind of you. “Some other time, ser. I fear that I have other duties just now.”
“You fear. I see that.” Ser Godry grinned at his friends. “He fears,” he repeated, for the slow ones.
“You will excuse me.” Jon showed them his back.
“Yes, it is,” said Father, annoyed. “It may very well savetheir lives.”Save our lives! It was no longer a small alarm bell thatwas ringing in my head – they
were big bells now, like theones we heard from Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, not farfrom the zoo.
“But Piscine? He’s only eight,” Mother insisted.
“He’s the one who worries me the most.””I’m innocent!” I burst out. “It’s Ravi’s fault, whatever it is.
He did it!””What?” said Ravi. “I haven’t done anything wrong.” Hegave me the evil eye.
“Shush!” said Father, raising his hand. He was looking atMother. “Gita, you’ve seen Piscine. He’s at that age when boysrun around and poke their noses everywhere.”Me? A run-arounder? An everywhere-nose-poker? Not so,not
so! Defend me, Mother, defend me, I implored in myheart. But she only sighed and nodded, a signal that theterrible
“Come with me,”
Boy was not the worst of the things that Jon Snow had been called since being chosen lord commander. He ignored it.
“Snow,” the voice insisted, “Lord Commander.”
This time he stopped. “Ser?”
The knight overtopped him by six inches. “A man who bears Valyrian steel should use it for more than scratching his arse.”
Jon had seen this one about the castle—a knight of great renown, to hear him tell it. During the battle beneath the Wall, Ser Godry Farring had slain a fleeing giant, pounding after him on horseback and driving a lance through his back,
then dismounting to hack off the creature’s pitiful small head. The queen’s men had taken to calling him Godry the Giantslayer.
Jon remembered Ygritte, crying. I am the last of the giants. “I use Longclaw when I must, ser.”
Countless stories are told of them. They are the pendants ofthose “vicious”, “bloodthirsty”, “depraved” animals that inflamethe ire of the maniacs I have
just mentioned, who vent theirspite on them with walking sticks and umbrellas. In both caseswe look at an animal and see a mirror. The obsession
withputting ourselves at the centre of everything is the bane notonly of theologians but also of zoologists.
I learned the lesson that an animal is an animal, essentiallyand practically removed from us, twice: once with Father andonce with Richard Parker.
It was on a Sunday morning. I was quietly playing on myown. Father called out.
“Children, come here.”Something was wrong. His tone of voice set off a smallalarm bell in my head. I quickly reviewed my conscience. Itwas clear. Ravi must be in trouble again. I wondered what hehad done this time. I
“Ravi, Piscine, I have a very important lesson for you today.””Oh really, is this necessary?” interrupted Mother. Her facewas flushed.
I swallowed. If Mother, normally so unruffled, so calm, wasworried, even upset, it meant we were in serious trouble. Iexchanged glances with Ravi.
walked into the living room. Mother wasthere. That was unusual. The disciplining of children, like thetending of animals, was generally left to Father. Ravi
all over his
“Three corns and one roast raven,” said Dolorous Edd. “Very good, m’lord, only Hobb’s made boiled eggs, black sausage, and apples stewed with prunes. The apples stewed with prunes are excellent, except for the prunes. I won’t
eat prunes myself. Well, there was one time when Hobb chopped them up with chestnuts and carrots and hid them in a hen. Never trust a cook, my lord. They’ll prune you when you least expect it.”
“Later.” Breakfast could wait; Stannis could not. “Any trouble from the stockades last night?”
“Not since you put guards on the guards, m’lord.”
“Good.” A thousand wildlings had been penned up beyond the Wall, the captives Stannis Baratheon had taken when his knights had smashed Mance Rayder’s patchwork host. Many of the prisoners were women, and some of the
guards had been sneaking them out to warm their beds. King’s men, queen’s men, it did not seem to matter; a few black brothers had tried the same thing. Men were men, and these were the only women for a thousand leagues.
“Two more wildlings turned up to surrender,” Edd went on. “A mother with a girl clinging to her skirts. She had a boy babe too, all swaddled up in fur, but he was dead.”
“Dead,” said the raven. It was one of the bird’s favorite words. “Dead, dead, dead.”
“Religion will save us,” I said. Since when I could remember,religion had been very close to my heart.
“Religion?” Mr. Kumar grinned broadly. “I don’t believe inreligion. Religion is darkness.”Darkness? I was puzzled. I thought, Darkness is the lastthing that
religion is. Religion is light. Was he testing me? Washe saying, “Religion is darkness,” the way he sometimes said inclass things like “Mammals lay eggs,”
to see if someone wouldcorrect him? (“Only platypuses, sir.”)”There are no grounds for going beyond a scientificexplanation of reality and no sound
reason for believinganything but our sense experience. A clear intellect, closeattention to detail and a little scientific knowledge will exposereligion as
superstitious bosh. God does not exist.” -Did he say that? Or am I remembering the lines of lateratheists? At any rate, it was something of the
sort. I had neverheard such words.
“Why tolerate darkness? Everything is here and clear, if onlywe look carefully.”He was pointing at Peak. Now though I had greatadmiration
for Peak, I had
of a rhinoceros
as alight bulb.
They had free folk drifting in most every night, starved half-frozen creatures who had run from the battle beneath the Wall only to crawl back when they realized there was no safe place to run to. “Was the mother questioned?” Jon
asked. Stannis Baratheon had smashed Mance Rayder’s host and made the King-Beyond-the-Wall his captive … but the wildlings were still out there, the Weeper and Tormund Giantsbane and thousands more.
“Aye, m’lord,” said Edd, “but all she knows is that she ran off during the battle and hid in the woods after. We filled her full of porridge, sent her to the pens, and burned the babe.”
Burning dead children had ceased to trouble Jon Snow; live ones were another matter. Two kings to wake the dragon. The father first and then the
son, so both die kings. The words had been murmured by one of the queen’s men as Maester Aemon had cleaned his wounds. Jon had tried to dismiss
them as his fever talking. Aemon had demurred. “There is power in a king’s blood,” the old maester had warned, “and better men than Stannis have done
worse things than this.” The king can be harsh and unforgiving, aye, but a babe still on the breast? Only a monster would give a living child to the flames.
He spoke again. “Some people say God died during thePartition in 1947. He may have died in 1971 during the war.
Or he may have died yesterday here in Pondicherry in anorphanage. That’s what some people say, Pi. When I was yourage, I lived in bed, racked with
polio. I asked myself every day,‘Where is God? Where is God? Where is God?’ God nevercame. It wasn’t God who saved me – it was medicine. Reasonis my
prophet and it tells me that as a watch stops, so wedie. It’s the end. If the watch doesn’t work properly, it must befixed here and now by us. One day we will take hold of themeans of production and there will be justice on
earth.”This was all a bit much for me. The tone was right – lovingand brave – but the details seemed bleak.
I said nothing.
fear of angering
Recently, a Dutch court ruled against a lawsuit by Fujian villagers of China
against Dutch Tibetans for reclaiming the statue of Master Zhang sitting in the body of Buddha, on the grounds that it was unclear whether the villagers’Committee of China had the right to file a lawsuit.
A lot of Chinese people are angry when news of the verdict comes out. This is the logic of robbers. The Buddha is ours. It also says that we have no right to appeal to the law. That’s a wonderful reason.
Maybe some netizens don’t know what happened. One night in December 1995,
the guard of Lin’s ancestral temple in Yangchun Village, Wushan Township,
Datian County, Fujian Province, fell asleep and the ancestor Zhang, who was enshrined in the ancestral temple, disappeared.
Zhang Gongzu, known by villagers in Yangchun Village, Fujian Province as
“the benefactor of Kaishan”, is a Taoist monk. Zhang Gongzu sat down and
became a Buddha. The ancestors of Yangchun Village in Fujian made it into a
body sitting Buddha, which has been enshrined in Lin’s ancestral temple.
In October 2014, the Hungarian Museum
of Natural Science held an exhibition “Mummy World”, where a statue of Chinese Buddhist and monk’s body,
labeled about 1100 A.D., was also displayed.
Some people are surprised to find that this Chinese Buddha statue is very similar to the body treasure of Zhang
Gong-liu Quan, who was stolen in the Song Dynasty in 1995. Moreover, there are some words on the Buddha cushion,
such as “this hall’s general seal of Zhang
this Buddha statue on display is the stolen Buddha statue in Yangchun Village.
So the villagers of Yangchun Village, Wushan Township, Datian County,
Fujian Province, submitted evidence to the Dutch court, saying that the
mummies in the exhibition were the Buddha statues they had lost.
According to Dutch media reports, the owner of the Buddha statue is an
architect in Amsterdam. He said his collection of Buddha statues is indeed very similar to those lost in Yangchun
Village, Fujian Province. However, the Yangchun village Buddha statue in Fujian Province was stolen in October of the Lunar calendar in 1995, and his
collection of Buddha statues was earlier than this time, that is to say, the possibility of the two Buddha statues
being the same is small. However, such collectors claim
that if it can be proved that the
Buddha was the one claimed
stolen by Fujian villages,
he would return the Buddha.
Liu Qiangdong’s story hasn’t been over for a long time,
and Zhang Zetian, his wife’s milk tea sister, has also begun to be noticed by everyone today, and has been on hot search. This is about Zhang Zetian’s micro-blog. Now let’s take a look at Zhang Zetian’s Weibo, leaving only five items!
After we opened the microblog, we looked at the contents of these five items, which are roughly divided into two parts:
The first four articles are all about propaganda and public welfare.
The last one is about safeguarding rights.
Because there are too few microblogs, they have been noticed by everyone, and they are talking about how this is? Some people say that
maybe it has something to do with Liu Qiangdong, but I think that Liu Qiangdong has already expressed his opinion on this matter and will maintain their
relationship. So if there are problems in their relationship and delete the content, the reserved items should contradict everyone’s guess. After all,
the reserved items are also about the content of Jingdong.
My personal feeling is that almost all of the messages below her microblog
are about Liu Qiangdong’s recent events, and there are not a few people.
But is that really the case? Is it really a recent deletion? We also saw that under the
hot search, many fans left messages saying:
The public opinion in China is really terrible. Please pay a little attention to her micro-blog. You should also know that a few years ago she deleted only one micro-blog which you wrote out. You know how to catch up with the wind and catch up with the wind. Really, it’s not a very fine adult who has some value judgment.
Now Big V is mindless, in order to attract people to make false, I thought I had hallucinations, because of the Liu Qiangdong incident in the last month
and has been paying attention to Zhang Zetian, people really only have five microblogs recently! People who do great things are also magnanimous.
Xuejie Zhu Dao: At the beginning of this year, when I read her micro-blog, there was only one. Later, I only sent one post every few months. What is deleted? Is it necessary to delete a few?
Actually, it’s normal for sisters of milk tea to like Liu Qiangdong. Liu Qiangdong is not that old, and looks not trivial and charming. It’s not surprising
that girls are attracted to her. Did Uncle Chung like Zhang Jia’s translation before?
Zhang Zetian deleted his blog a long time ago. Before Dongge’s accident, there were only a few microblogs left. Now let’s take it out. I’m afraid the world
is not in chaos. If you can’t see others well, you have to use public opinion to destroy a family!! uuuuuuuuuu
@: Husband’s fault, don’t take her with you. It’s her business to marry someone. After so many years of being scolded, people are legal couples and don’t steal money from others.
Looking at the messages of so many fans, you can see that her fans still care about her. These five microblogs are not only recently, but also all the time.
After the deletion of previous years, there have been few posts. It is not because of Liu Qiangdong’s recent events that a large number of microblogs have been deleted.
But now there are all kinds of big V and a micro blog that the media client is written by others and deleted by others. It really needs to see
the truth, understand it,
ask questions, otherwise,
people will be mistakenly
called hot search.
Towards the end of recent years, it is also about to usher in
a small tourism peak. It should have been a happy moment for the hotel industry. However, following the “Towel Gate” incident, a few days ago, the hotel industry has collectively fallen into the “Bed Gate” – News exposure, the “violent steaming white”
of the hotel bed sheets, the mixed washing of bloody linen and club underwear, exposed washing companies and 7 days, such as home and brocade. Jiang and other well-known hotel chains have had business.
First Financial Reporter interviewed many people on December 27 to learn that similar “bed sheet door” incidents did not happen for the first time. Most economic hotel chains and even some three-star and four-star hotels will adopt outsourcing washing mode,
because the cost of self-built washing system is too high, usually only five-star hotels adopt self-built washing system. Under the
outsourcing mode, supervision and hygiene safety are difficult to control. Hotels only check the qualifications and spot checks of washing companies. Whether bedsheets are cleaned or not depends almost entirely on the conscience of washing companies.
How much do you know about cloth washing?
In the hotel industry, cloth is a professional term, referring to almost everything related to “cloth” in modern hotels, including
hotel bedding: such as sheets, quilts, pillowcases, pillow cores, quilts, decorative fabrics, etc; hotel bathroom products: such as towels, towels, bathrobes, etc; hotel restaurant textiles: such as table cloth, mouth cloth, chair covers, etc.
A hotel has a lot of used cloth to clean every day.
“Think about it, a hotel has at least 100 rooms (a small boutique hotel may have dozens of single project rooms). Some hotels have hundreds of rooms, each room has sheets, quilts, pillowcases, bath towels, etc. It used to be changed every day. Now it pays
attention to environmental protection, so it is necessary to produce a lot of cloth and grass to be cleaned every day. Therefore, if the hotel has to clean itself, it will cost a lot to buy washing equipment and maintain it. Therefore, in the hotel industry, economic hotel chains,
as well as many three-star hotels, even four-star hotels with relatively low prices will take cloth washing outsourcing. Only luxury five-star hotels will adopt self-built washing system. Zhang Jun (not his real name) has been a manager of a large hotel chain for many years,
he told the First Financial Journalist.
After interviewing and consulting the public information, the first financial reporter learned that there are many washing companies on the market. Usually, the business scope of these washing companies will include washing Hotel bedsheets, quilts, towels and customer
service washing; washing restaurant tablecloths, mouth cloths, kitchen clothes and chair covers; washing bathroom towels, bath towels, bathrobes and bathrobes; washing towels, bath towels, gowns and beauty parlors. Beauty sheets; gym towels, bath towels; factories:
group uniforms, work clothes dry cleaning wet cleaning. Namely, there are hotels, hotels, baths, restaurants, beauty parlors, gyms, factories, resorts, business clubs and so on.
According to the relevant requirements, different types of cloth should be washed separately, and professional cleaning products harmless to human body should be used. Clean and polluted cloth must be placed separately. According to public information, there are
three kinds of commonly used washing products: one is block, such as soap, transparent soap, composite soap; the other is powder, such as laundry powder, natural soap powder; the third is liquid, such as detergent, liquid soap, bath milk, shampoo, etc. The products of
regular enterprises have specific fragrance, transparent liquid products, no suspended matter (non-transparent uniform, non-stratified); block products have uniform organization and pleasant color; powder products have uniform color and no impurities. The average net content of liquid and powdery products is up to the standard.
However, as can be seen in the video of the washing company that was exposed, the washing company mixed different kinds of cloth, even mixed bloody cloth and club underwear with mixed washing, clean and polluted cloth. The worst thing is that the washing
products used by the washing company belong to the “violent whitening” of chemical products, which are not really clean, but appear to be white on the surface. It is also harmful to human skin.
The battle of outsourcing
First Financial Journalist contacted relevant hotels, such as Home and other hotels, said that the exposure of the above news and facts are different, the specific situation is being processed.
This is not the first time that the hotel industry has been exposed such incidents. Years ago, seven days ago, Huazhu and other washing companies were also accused of problems with their cooperation. At that time, seven days ago, the hotel said that there was a regulatory loophole in the implementation of the hotel, requiring the hotel concerned to immediately replace the designated large-scale washing supplier
with the national environmental
assessment qualification. In the future,
it will add PH value testing to the hotel.
The cloth was sampled.