The road had been running mostly northwest, but now it turned due west between an apple orchard and a field of drowned corn beaten down by the rain. They passed the last of the apple trees and crested a rise, and the castles, river, and camps all appeared at once. There were hundreds of horses and thousands of men, most of them milling about the three huge feast tents that stood side by side facing the castle gates, like three great canvas longhalls. Robb had made his camp well back from the walls, on higher, drier ground, but the Green Fork had overflown its bank and even claimed a few carelessly placed tents.
The music from the castles was louder here. The sound of the drums and horns rolled across the camp. The musicians in the nearer castle were playing a different song than the ones in the castle on the far bank, though, so it sounded more like a battle than a song. “They’re not very good,” Arya observed.
The Hound made a sound that might have been a laugh. “There’s old deaf women in Lannisport complaining of the din, I’ll warrant. I’d heard Walder Frey’s eyes were failing, but no one mentioned his bloody ears.”
Arya found herself wishing it were day. if the sun was out and the wind was blowing, she would have been able to see the banners better. She would have looked for the direwolf of Stark, or maybe the Cerwyn battleaxe or the Glover fist. But in the gloom of night all the colors looked grey. The rain had dwindled down to a fine drizzle, almost a mist, but an earlier downpour had left the banners wet as dishrags, sodden and unreadable.
A hedge of wagons and carts had been drawn up along the perimeter to make a crude wooden wall against any attack. That was where the guards stopped them. The lantern their sergeant carried shed enough light for Arya to see that his cloak was a pale pink, spotted with red teardrops. The men under him had the Leech Lord’s badge sewn over their hearts, the flayed man of the Dreadfort. Sandor Clegane gave them the same tale he’d used on the outriders, but the Bolton sergeant was a harder sort of nut than Ser Donnel Haigh had been. “Salt pork’s no fit meat for a lord’s wedding feast,” he said scornfully.
“Got pickled pigs’ feet too, ser.”
“Not for the feast, you don’t. The feast’s half done. And I’m a northman, not some milksuck southron knight.”
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