We reconnect with Jon during the Great Ranging. The Rangers have come to the village of Whitetree. It is the fourth village they have visited and the fourth to be deserted.
Mormont writes a message to update Maester Aemon and the others back in Castle Black.
Jon brings the message to Sam, who is in charge of the ravens. Jon learns that the self-proclaimed coward Sam has discovered a bit of his courage; he also taught the ravens to speak while he was at it.
The Rangers ride on. Mormont tells Jon they'll meet up with Qhorin Halfhand and his men and proceed to find whatever enemy awaits them beyond the Wall.
Jon wonders if the enemy might not find them first.