I lay at his feet, like a pet
she-sleen, he, Clitus Vitellius, in his compartments, sitting in a
curule chair. His hands were on the arms of the curved chair. He
stared moodily out the window, at the towers of Ar.
I rose to
kneel before him. "Master," I said. I did not think I could dissuade
him. I wore a brief street tunic, his collar.
I put my head upon
his knee. I felt his hand in my hair. There was a tear in my
"You trouble me," he said.
"I am sorry," I said, "if I
have displeased you."
"I do not understand the feeling I have
toward you," he said. He held my head between his hands, and looked
down at me. "You are a mere slave," he said.
"Only your slave,
Master," I said.
He thrust me from him, to the floor. I looked up
"And you are of Earth," he said, "only a wench of Earth,
collared and enslaved."
"Yes, Master," I said, softly.
stood, angrily. He had, in the past days, treated me with great
"I fear you," he said, suddenly.
"I fear myself," he said, angrily. "I fear you, and
myself," he said. He glared down at me.
I shrank back from him,
for I was a slave.
"You make me weak," he said, angrily. "I am a
warrior of Ar."
"A slave laughs at her master?s weakness," I
"Fetch the whip!" he cried in fury.
I ran to
the whip and brought it to him, kneeling before him, thrusting it
into his hands. I looked up at him, angrily. His hand seized my
tunic at the neck and shoulder and prepared to tear it from me, that
I might be hurled to the floor at his feet, to be put writhing
beneath the sharp discipline of his domination. His hand was on my
tunic, the whip was uplifted. Then he released my tunic and threw
the whip from him. He held my head between his hands. "Oh," he said,
"you are an interesting and clever slave! That is one of the reasons
you are so dangerous, Dina. You are so clever, so
"Whip me," I begged.
"No," he said,
"Does Master care for Dina?" I asked.
"How could I,
Clitus Vitellius, a captain of Ar, care for a slave?" he
"Forgive a girl, Master," I said.
"Should I free
you?" he asked.
"No, Master," I said. "I could not then help
myself. I would oppose my will to yours. I would strive against
"Do not fear," he said to me. "I am Clitus Vitellius, of
Ar. I do not free slaves."
On the way to the Curulean we stopped
at the Belled Collar. There Clitus Vitellius untied my hands, that I
might, as though I were still a paga girl there, serve him.
you not force me to the alcove?" I asked him.
smiled, sipping his paga.
I saw Slave Beads serving men. It was
"I was quite good as a paga girl," I said.
do not doubt it," he said.
Various of the girls whom I
remembered, and Slave Beads in particular, had, with the permission
of Busebius, the tavern master, spoken with me and kissed me. I
think several of them envied me my master, but I informed them that
I was being taken to the Curulean, there to be sold.
"Do you need
a slave girl, Master," asked Helen, the Earth-girl dancer at the
Belled Collar. She put out her hand, timidly, to touch his knee.
"Buy me," she whispered. "I will serve you well." He cuffed her
sharply back, bringing blood to her mouth. She looked up,
frightened, from the floor. "Dance for us, Earth wench," he said.
Her accent had betrayed her. "Yes, Master," she said. Before the
table, to the music of some four musicians, Helen, commanded, danced
before a Gorean master. There were tears in her eyes. Then he
dismissed her, and she fled away. I was not displeased.
Bran Loort entering the tavern with a basket of vegetables. He saw
me, and looked away. He went to the kitchens. He did small work at
"Where is Marla, Master?" I asked. I had regarded her
as my greatest rival where Clitus Vitellius had been
"I sold her to a slaver," said he, "who specializes in
the training of dancing girls."
I remembered Marla?s long dark
hair, her beautiful face, her stunning figure. She would look well,
belled, in the dancing sand, I thought. She would be a marvelous
"I gave Eta," said Clitus Vitellius, "to the guard,
"I am pleased, Master," I said. I remembered the young,
blond giant, Minis, how he had put her on the coffle in Tabuk?s
Ford. I had seen they had been intensely attracted to one another.
Now he owned her. I thought Eta would be extremely happy. I was much
pleased for her. Mirus, I had thought, had been the most attractive
of the men of Clitus Vitellius, saving himself, of course.
Beads, as you know," said Clitus Vitellius, "is now owned by
"Yes, Master," I said.
"Lehna, and Donna and
Chanda," said Clitus Vitellius, "I gave to two of my men, Lehna to
one, and Donna and Chanda to the other, for good service in
I nodded. It is not unusual among warriors to bestow
beautiful slave girls as rewards for good service or valor. Slave
girls make lovely gifts.
"Are we to leave soon for the Curulean,
Master?" I asked.
"Yes," he said. "But first I am awaiting the
arrival of a friend."
"May I ask whom, Master?" I asked.
if you wish to be whipped," he said.
I was silent.
know him," said Clitus Vitellius.
I looked at Clitus Vitellius,
curious. But I did not ask. I did not wish to be whipped, certainly
not before the other girls. There are diverse philosophies of
discipline. Some masters believe a girl should be whipped only
privately. Others believe she should be whipped whenever and
wherever she deserves it, immediately, while her offense, such as it
is, is fresh in her mind. Clitus Vitellius, perhaps wisely, believed
it depended upon the girl and the context. Sometimes punishment is
much more effective when a girl must wait for it. Generally a girl
is not whipped before another girl who is owned by the same master.
They only know, when the door is closed, that their sister in
bondage is to be whipped. That is enough for them. I had little
doubt, however, that Clitus Vitellius, in the present context, would
hesitate to whip in the Belled Collar itself. He knew I would not
care to be exposed and publicly put under the leather here where I
had worked, and certainly not before the girls I knew. To be whipped
with Helen watching, for example, would be almost unspeakable agony.
I was very quiet.
Soon I heard a roisterous peasant singing.
Thurnus, whatever might have been his virtues, was not skilled in
melody. "It is Thurnus!" I laughed. "Yes," Clitus Vitellius. "Do not
give me to him again!" I begged. "Do not fear, little slave," said
Clitus Vitellius. He leaped to his feet and he and Thurnus, who was
carrying his great staff, met, embracing, among the tables.
moments they had come to our table. Thurnus was already drunk, I
thought. It seemed strange to me that they had met here, though I
knew that they were friends. Thurnus, clearly, was in Ar on some
business. "Greetings, little Dina," he roared. "Greetings, Master,"
He looked powerful and hardy, and was much pleased with
himself. I knew the drought had been broken. The fields, I
suspected, were doing well.
I wondered on what business it was
that he had come to Ar. It was in the Fall now.
I noted Bran
Loort peering out from the kitchens, but he then withdrew, his face
in misery. He dared not be seen in this place, performing the chores
of a churl. He had been of the peasants. I recalled the dishonor and
agony in which Bran Loort had been banished from Tabuk?s Ford.
Rather than permit himself to be seen in tavern work by Thurnus,
Caste Leader of Tabuk?s Ford, I thought he might choose death.
looked to Slave Beads. She was busily engaged in serving Thander of
Ti, of the Salerian Confederation, and four of his men. When in Ar,
negotiating commercial arrangements between Ar and the
Confederation, it seemed he regularly patronized the Belled Collar.
There was a girl there to whom he had taken a liking. Her name was
"Sul paga!" cried Thurnus, pounding on the small
table with his great staff.
"Be quiet," said a fellow at a nearby
table. He was drinking with some five companions.
shouted Thurnus, pounding on the table.
"Be silent!" said some
fellow at another table.
"Sul paga! Sul paga!" cried Thurnus. The
great staff banged on the table.
Busebius rushed to the table.
"Master," said he, "we have many pagas, those of Ar and Tyros, and
Ko-ro-ba, and Helmutsport, and Anango, and Tharna!"
shouted Thurnus. Several men about, at various tables, regarded him,
most unpleasantly. I had worked in the Belled Collar, and, later, in
the Chatka and Curla, in Cos. It did not require a great deal of
experience to sense that Thurnus must soon be quiet or there would
The pagas mentioned by Busebius were all, of course,
Sa-Tarna pagas, of various sorts and localities, varying largely in
"Sul paga!" demanded Thurnus. Sul paga, as anyone
knew, is seldom available outside of a peasant village, where it is
brewed. Sul paga would slow a tharlarion. To stay on your feet after
a mouthful of Sul paga it is said one must be of the peasants, and
then for several generations. And even then, it is said, it is
difficult to manage. There is a joke about the baby of a peasant
father being born drunk nine months later.
"Sul paga!" shouted
"Silence!" cried a brawny fellow, some two tables
"Please, Master," said Busebius, "we do not have Sul paga
Thurnus rose to his feet, his face a maze of conflicting
emotions, disbelief and incredulity chief among them.
cried one critic.
"Eject him," cried another.
"No Sul paga?"
"No, Master," said Busebius.
"Then I shall
sing," said Thurnus.
I thought this a splendid
Thurnus, as good as his word, broke into wondrous song.
At this point, unable to help himself, one of the fellows at another
table leaped bodily upon Thurnus and began. to pummel him. He was
joined shortly in this endeavor by several others. Clitus Vitellius,
to my surprise, slipped to one side. I crawled between the legs of
fighting men. I saw some two men fly off their feet, held up toward
the ceiling by Thurnus. Their heads made a dull sound as they were
struck together. A slave girl screamed. Then I saw Thurnus go down
under a pile of attackers A blur, brown and huge, leaped past me. I
covered my head and backed away. I saw Bran Loort seize a man by the
collar and loft him into the air, the fellow flying backward, then
falling, crashing, skidding across two tables. "I am done for,"
cried Thurnus, from somewhere under the pile. But I saw his hand
reach out and seize a paga cup which he drained while men fought
over him, struggling to pound upon him, largely striking one
another. "Do not fear, Caste Leader!" cried Bran Loort. He hurled
another fellow away, headfirst into a wall. He seized two by the
collars, pounding their heads together. I winced at the sound. He
spun another man about and the fellow had little time to register
the large hamlike fist which rearranged his features. I saw two
teeth fly out of the mouth of the next man struck. Bran Loort fought
like a madman. "Do not fear, Caste Leader!" he cried. "I am here!"
Thurnus, by this time, had extricated himself from beneath the pile
of bodies and stood to one side, a goblet of paga in his hand. "He
fights well," said Thurnus to Clitus Vitellius. "Yes," said Clitus
Vitellius, moving his head to one side to avoid a flying bottle.
Then we saw Bran Loort backed against the wall, with what must have
been twenty angry men of Ar encircling him. He looked wildly about
himself. He saw Thurnus. "There are only twenty!" called Thurnus.
"And you are of the peasants!" He flung his staff to Bran Loort, who
caught it. Out stabbed the staff. A man screamed. About swung the
staff and men tried to struggle backward. The staff whirled about,
almost invisible, a branch lashed in a hurricane. I saw teeth
flying, and blood, and a jaw broken. One man howled with misery, a
shin shattered. More than one, I think, must have received a broken
leg. The staff punched out, thrusting into another man?s stomach. It
lashed to the side and I heard ribs crack. Men crept to the side to
outflank the young peasant. Thurnus broke a table over the head of
one. Busebius was weeping. "Stop, stop, Masters!" he cried. Then
Thurnus and Bran Loort were fighting back to back, the goblet of
Thurnus left in the hands of Clitus Vitellius. Bran Loort held the
staff and, behind him, using half of the broken table, Thurnus
protected him, fending blows and thrusting out, now and again, with
the shattered table. At last he split the remainder of the table
over the head of a brute who staggered back. Then Thurnus and Bran
Loort, the wall at their back, stood side by side.
I heard a
sword leave its sheath. Then I heard six swords more leap from the
sheaths. I was frightened.
"No," said Thandar of Ti, standing on
a table. He had drawn his own blade. Then, so, too, one after the
other, did the four men with him. All were of the warriors.
men of Ar looked angrily at Thandar of Ti and his men.
Thandar of Ti, again.
The sword, too, of Clitus Vitellius, my
master, the captain of Ar, had left its sheath. He had placed
Thurnus?s paga on a nearby table. He stood between Thumus and Bran
Loort, and the men threatening them.
"I must agree with my fellow
of the warriors," said Clitus Vitellius. "It is not proper that you
should attack with. steel those who defend themselves with
"What he says is true," said a man. "We are of Ar!" He
resheathed his blade.
"Free paga for all!" cried Thandar of
"And I," called Clitus Vitellius, "will fee the second round
"Cheers for the peasants!" cried a man, with bloody
"Cheers for the peasants!" they cried. Then they surrounded
Thurnus and Bran Loort, pounding them on the back.
"I shall not
sing," promised Thurnus.
"Bring paga!" cried Busebius to the
girls, who had drawn back, frightened. With a scurrying flight of
bells they hurried to their work.
"And what are you doing here,
miserable Bran Loort?" demanded Thurnus.
Bran Loort put down his
head. "I have taken service here," he said. "I am shamed that you
should find me here."
"Rightfully so," roared Thurnus. He had
retrieved his goblet now, handed to him by Clitus Vitellius, and,
throwing his head back, splashed its contents down his
"What are you doing here?" asked Bran Loort. "Is it not
time to harvest the Sa-Tarna?"
"I thought you might have
forgotten," said Thurnus.
"No," said Bran Loort.
regarded the young man. "It is certainly a great surprise to me," he
said, "to find you here. But, as it turned out, it was
"I am pleased," said Bran Loort, "if I could be of
"An amazing coincidence," marveled Thurnus. Clitus
"Yes," admitted Bran Loort, puzzled.
paga!" called Thurnus. A girl filled his cup. Swiftly again the
"But what are you doing here?" asked Bran
Loort, suddenly, shrewdly. "It is time to harvest the
"I am looking for men," he said, "to aid in the
"I am strong," said Bran Loort. There were tears in his
"Good," said Thurnus. Bran Loort embraced him, weeping.
"Drink a cup of paga," said Thurnus. "Then we must go. The Sa-Tarna
Bran Loort cried out with joy and whirled
about, arms uplifted, like a child running and turning in the sun.
He seized a cup and tore a vessel of paga from a startled girl and
filled it himself. He threw his head back and drained the cup and
flung it away.
"He has much to learn," said Thurnus, "but someday
he will be a caste leader. He will have, too, his own Home
"I am pleased," said Clitus Vitellius, "to have been of
Thurnus grasped his hand. "My thanks, Warrior!" said
Bran Loort looked at me. "I am so happy!" he cried. "You are
so beautiful, Dina! So beautiful!"
"I am pleased if Master is
pleased," I said. I was very happy for Bran Loort.
looked to Clitus Vitellius and the warrior smiled, and lifted his
"Oh," I cried. Bran Loort seized me by the hair, which was
now long enough to permit a master to grasp it.
Beauty!" he cried and, bending me over, my hands trying to grasp his
wrist, ran me, stumbling, to the nearest alcove. He did not even
draw the curtain. I turned. I shrank back, my back against the rear
wall of the alcove. I drew up my legs.
"How beautiful you are,
Dina!" he cried. "How beautiful you are! I nm so happy, and you are
so beautiful! You are so beautiful!"
"Remove quickly your
garment," he said, happily, "or I will tear it from your body!"
undid the five buttons, red, which ran from the throat of the
garment to the waist. Buttons, interestingly, were a relatively
recent innovation in some Gorean slavewear. They are not used on the
garments of free persons. Most Gorean garments do not have buttons,
but are slipped on, or held with brooches or pins. Hooks, however,
are used with some frequency. Buttons, interestingly, are regarded
as rather sensuous on Gor. Buttons, obviously, may be unbuttoned, or
cut away with a knife, thus revealing the slave. Many masters do not
permit a girl to button her tunic in the privacy of their
compartments. When a slave opens the door of the master?s
compartment and kneels, head down, say, to admit a visitor, her
garment may have been closed only an instant before. This is also
true of a hooked slave garment. Slaves, too, may be kept nude in the
compartments. These, before answering the door, will usually don a
light tunic, slipping it over their heads or wrapping it about their
shoulders. When one sees the slave one does not know if, a moment
before, she has been beautifully naked in her slavery or if, when
the door closes, she has again, behind the door, stripped herself
for her master?s pleasure. I undid, too, the red, rep-cloth sash of
the tunic. The buttons and sash on the tunic were red. The tunic
itself, sleeveless, was white. I slipped the tunic over my head and,
hastily, cast it aside. I now faced Bran Loort clad only in the
collar of my master and my brand.
"You are beautiful, Dma!" he
"Please do not hurt me," I begged.
Joyfully he seized
my ankles and dragged me to him, and then, with a peasant?s
roughness, thrust them widely apart.
"Please, Master," I
"I am so happy," he cried. "And you, Dina, pretty little
slave, are so beautiful!"
"Oh!" I cried. "Oh!" And I seized him.
I threw my head back. I think that Bran Loort, overcome in his joy,
had little time or patience for either his own pleasure or
"Oh!" I cried.
Then he was finished with me and I was
shaking. He covered me with kisses.
"I am so happy!" he cried. He
then crouched beside me, and kissed me again. "The Sa-Tarna must be
harvested," he said.
"Yes, Master," I said.
"I wish you well,
Dina," he said.
"I wish you well, Master," I said.
leapt from the alcove to find Thurnus. They left the tavern
together. I was left lying on the furs. After a few minutes, I
pulled my garment over my head, buttoned it and retied the sash. I
went to kneel behind Clitus Vitellius. He was drinking with Thandar
of Ti, and his four men. They were being served by Slave
"The Salerian Confederation," Clitus Vitellius was saying,
"is a threat to the security of Ar."
"Correct," said Thandar of
"You seem distracted," said Clitus Vitellius, who apparently
wished to discuss politics.
Thandar of Ti was watching Slave
Beads who, head down, was pouring him drink.
"A pretty little
slave," said Clitus Vitellius.
"Yes," said Thandar of Ti. He
reached forth and, gently, touched Slave Beads about the throat, as
she poured the drink. She blushed, and trembled, head down. "Kneel
before the table, Slave," he said to her. She did so, putting the
paga vessel to one side. She knelt in the position of the pleasure
slave. She was briefly silked, perfumed, collared and belled. I had
learned earlier, in speaking with the girls, that Thandar of Ti,
when in Ar, came often to the Belled Collar. I had little doubt that
the small beauty, Slave Beads, was the reason. "Do you think I
should buy her?" asked Thandar of Ti of Clitus Vitellius, as he
regarded the lineaments and beauty of the girl. Slave Beads shook
with emotion. She almost broke the position of the pleasure slave.
"She is a beauty," said Clitus Vitellius. "If she pleases you, make
an offer to Busebius."
"Busebius!" called Thandar of Ti.
thought Slave Beads might faint.
"I have taken a fancy," said
Thandar of Ti to Busebius, who had hurried to the table, "to this
little slut of a slave," indicating Slave Beads. "I will give you a
silver tarsk for her."
"Master is generous," said Busebius, "to
offer so much for so miserable a girl."
"Then it is done?" asked
Thandar of Ti.
"Five tarsks," said Busebius.
said Thandar of Ti. "I will give you two."
"Now done!" laughed
Busebius. He was pleased. He had made a profit on Slave Beads whom
he had had, I understood, for less than one silver tarsk in the
market, and had yet retained the good will of Thandar of Ti, a
Slave Beads slipped to the floor in a faint. She
Was still unconscious when Busebius removed his bells, and collar
and silk from her, leaving her naked, save for her brand, lying on
the tiles beside the table. She had not yet regained consciousness
when Thandar of Ti placed his slave bracelets on her, braceleting
her small wrists before her body.
In a few moments she regained
consciousness, opening her eyes, discovering herself nude beside the
table, in his bracelets. "Am I yours, Master?" she asked, lifting
her braceleted wrists to him. "Yes, Slave," he said. She knelt
before him, reaching out to him, weeping with joy. She looked to me
once, that I might not reveal what had once been her identity. She
had once been the Lady Sabina of Fortress of Saphronicus, the
daughter of Kleomenes, of Fortress of Saphronicus, promised in
Companion Contract, in a proposed political alliance intended to
further the fortunes of Fortress of Saphronicus and the Salerian
Confederation, to the fifth son of the warrior, Ebullius Gaius
Cassius, the Administrator of Ti, Thandar of Ti, also of the
He rose to his feet. She looked up at him. Thandar of
Ti, her master, regarded her. She had once been promised to him in
Companion Contract, as a Free Companion; now he had purchased her as
"I love you, Master," she said.
"Let us return to the
inn," said one of the men. "I think we have a slave here who is
eager to serve her master."
"Rise, Slave," said Thandar of
She did so, standing before him, her wrists braceleted before
"Lovely," he said.
"Thank you, Master," she
He examined her thigh. "A fine brand," he said. He brushed
back her hair and turned her head from side to side, holding her
chin in his hand. "Pierced ears," he said. "Excellent." He stepped
back, admiring her as superb slave flesh.
"A good buy," said one
of his men.
"Yes," he said.
He looked down into her eyes. "I
think I shall call you ?Sabina,?" he said.
She started. "Master?"
she asked. She looked at me. But I was confused. I had not spoken
her secret to anyone.
"Is it not a lovely name for a slave?" he
"Yes, Master," she said. "It is a lovely name for a
"You little she-sleen," he laughed, seizing her by the
arms, "do you not think I know who you once were?"
"You were once Sabina, the daughter of Kleomenes," he
laughed, "once promised to me in Companion Contract."
at him, wildly.
"Now, of course, you are only a slave," he
"Yes, Master," she said.
"When the Companionship was
under consideration by the Council of the Confederation," he said,
"I slipped away, on tarn, to Fortress of Saphronicus. I spied on
you, to see if you pleased me."
"Pleased!" she cried. It is
beneath the dignity of a free woman to please a man. Slave girls
"Yes," he said.
"It must have been difficult," she
said, "for you to tell, I clothed in the robes of concealment, if I
"You recall your quarters," he asked, "and the
window, high in the wall."
"Yes," she said.
"It may be reached
by a rope, from the roof," he said.
quite beautiful in your bath," he said.
She looked down,
"Is a slave modest?" he asked.
Master," she said. Then she looked up at him, shyly. "Did you find
me pleasing, truly?" she asked.
"Yes, quite," he said. "The girl,
Marla, too, and the others," he said, "were also quite
"Yes," she said. "My serving slaves were beautiful."
She looked up at him. "Were they more beautiful than I?" she
"Not to me," he said.
"I am pleased," she said.
can well understand my dilemma," he said. "Seeing you I wanted you.
You were one of those women who is so feminine and attractive that a
man finds it difficult to think of you in terms other than jealous
ownership. I wanted to own you. I wanted you at my feet naked, in my
collar. Yet you were intended to be my companion. How could one
relate to a girl as feminine and beautiful as you, I ask you, other
than as a master to a slave?"
"I do not know," she
"Besides," he said, "you were only of the merchants. It is
unseemly for a Warrior to take as a companion the daughter of a
merchant. I detest the politics which seemed to make such a match
expedient. Surely I was not consulted in the negotiations."
Master," she said. "Nor was I," she added, pointing this
"But you are a woman," he said.
"That is true," she
"The daughters of merchants," he said, "are fit only to be
the slaves of Warriors."
"Oh, Master?" she asked,
"Yes," he said, evenly, regarding her.
she said, dropping her eyes.
"Besides," he said, "you, free, were
an arrogant she-sleen. You needed enslaving, collaring and
"Yes, Master," she said, frightened.
"I resolved to
refuse the companionship," said Thandar of Ti. "I resolved to flee
the city." He grinned. "As it turned out," he said, "that was not
"How did master find me?" she asked.
"There is a
fellowship among Warriors," he said. Clitus Vitellius
"Thank you, Master," said Slave Beads, now Sabina, to
He nodded, accepting her thanks.
slave, turned again to face Thandar of Ti, looking up at him. "You
have found me," she said. "You own me." There were tears in her
eyes. "I had hoped," she said, "that my identity might have remained
unknown to you."
"Why?" he asked, puzzled.
She looked down,
confused. She shook her head.
"Why?" he asked.
"Must I speak?"
"You are a slave," he said angrily. "Speak."
looked up at him, boldly, tears in her eyes. "Because," she said, "I
wanted you to keep me as a slave!" She looked down again, confused.
"I sense," she said, "that you are my true master, and I am your
The men looked at one another, cognizing well the
confession of the small, beautiful slave.
"Too," she said, "I did
not wish my fate, known, to dishonor you."
"That the flank of a
merchant?s daughter has met the iron cannot dishonor me," said
Thandar of Ti.
"I see that it cannot," she said, a bit angrily.
But it was true. What is it on Gor that a girl is caught and
branded, and made a slave?
"But now, in honor, knowing my fate,"
she said, "you must free me."
"Oh?" he said.
"Yes," she said.
"You will now free me, and once again the plans of Fortress of
Saphronicus and the Salerian Confederation will proceed as before.
I, freed, will be repledged to you in Companionship. Matters then,
regardless of our wishes, will be as they were before."
of Ti laughed. Clitus Vitellius smiled.
How beautiful she looked, naked before him, in his
"A fine brand," said Thandar of Ti, surveying her
"Now that you know who I am," she said, "you must free
He turned her head from side to side. "And pierced ears," he
"Surely you are going to free me," she said.
the daughter of a merchant," he said. "The daughters of merchants
are fit only to be the slaves of warriors."
"You are going to
free me!" she cried.
"Kneel to be collared," he
"Master!" she cried.
"Bring a whip," he said to one of
Swiftly she knelt. The whip would not be necessary.
Sabina, the slave, looked up at Thandar of Ti, astonishment in her
eyes, and wonder and love. She knew then the nature of the man, and
his strength, who owned her.
"Bring the collar," said Thandar of
Ti to one of his men.
The collar, from his belongings, was
"I have found a slave who pleases me," he said. "I am
He cared naught for the politics of cities, nor
did he fear the wrath of states. He was a warrior.
behind the girl and, in the manner of Ti and certain other cities,
thrust down her head and held ready the opened collar.
"I submit myself, totally, Master," she said.
he shut the collar, enclosing her lovely throat in the obdurate band
of slave steel. He then, with his foot, spurned her to the
"Throw me among your women, Master," she begged.
shall," he said. He then turned away and strode from the
But I had little doubt the lovely Sabina would be his
One of Thandar of Ti?s men sought out Busebius,
and made settlement of the bill.
"He is keeping me as a slave,"
said Sabina to me, elatedly. "How strong and marvelous he is! I fear
only I will not be able to love him enough!"
I kissed her. It is
difficult for a girl not to esteem a man who does as he pleases,
even though it is to her that it be done. A woman admires strength,
especially if it is used to dominate and control her. It is, it
seems, for men to command and women to obey, for men to dominate and
women to submit, for men to claim and for women to yield. It is, it
seems, the way of primate nature. Its test is enactment; its proof
is joy; its evidence is love. If we have lost this, we have lost
part of ourselves.
"I wish you well," cried Sabina. "I wish you
"I wish you well!" I cried.
The others, too, paga
girls in the tavern, wished her well.
Thandar of Ti?s men went to
the portal of the tavern. One of them turned about. "Will it be
necessary to leash you, Slave?" he asked.
"No, Master!" cried
Sabina, and hurried to follow them. We watched them leave the
"It is time," said Clitus Vitellius, "for us to he on our
way to the Curulean."
I reached out, timidly, to touch him.
"Please, Master," I begged.
He looked at me, almost tenderly. I
thought him sad. "Very well," he said.
He indicated that I should
precede him to one of the alcoves.
I entered the alcove, and
slipped away the street tunic. He closed the curtain behind
"Many times," I said, lightly, "I pleased the customers of
Busebius in this very alcove."
He took me in his arms. It
startled me, for he touched me gently.
"I shall miss you, Dina,"
"There are many girls," I said.
"Yes," he said,
"there are many girls."
"You will soon forget me," I said.
brushed my hair with his hand. "Your hair," he said, "will be too
short, I wager, until the spring."
"Doubtless," I said, "it will
lower my price."
He kissed me.
"Will you come to see me in the
exhibition cages?" I asked. In most markets girls are displayed
publicly in exhibition cages prior to their sale. This is almost
always the case in the Curulean.
"No," he said.
He kissed me, again, softly, tenderly.
"Keep me!" I
"No," he said.
I tried not to cry.
strange," he said, "I have faced wild sleen and the steel of fierce
enemies. I am a warrior, and am high among warriors. Yet you, a mere
girl, would conquer me with a smile and a tear."
"No, Master," I
"Surely you must understand," he said.
"A slave girl
requires no explanation," I said. "It is hers only to obey."
see," he said, angrily. "You make me weak!"
"Then conquer me," I
"You are different from all the others!" he said,
"Yet I am only a slave," I said. "Treat me as
"You should be tied at the slave ring and whipped," he
"Tie me at the ring," I said. "Whip me!"
"A warrior," he
said, "must be hard and fierce."
"Be hard and fierce with me," I
"You want to be conquered and enslaved, don?t you, you
slut?" he said.
"Yes," I said. "I am a woman."
He sat up
beside me; "How you must despise my weakness," he said.
said, angrily. "I despise your weakness."
He looked at me, in
"I love you," I said.
He slapped aside my head, bringing
blood to my mouth. "Lying slave," he said.
Then he seized me, and
well vented his anger upon me. I was well used.
When he had
finished with me, he said, "Get up. We must go to the
I slipped the tunic on, and sashed it, and, one by
one, by the five buttons, closed it. I wished he had torn it open
and would march me through the streets as an exposed slave, that
other girls might see the strength of the man who owned me.
left the tavern and made our way to the Curulean, to a back
I looked at the stout iron door, behind which I would
"We must enter," he said to me.
"Do with me what you
want," I said to him.
"I am," he said.
"Are you?" I
"Yes," he said.
I looked up at him.
"I am a
warrior," he said. "I cannot be weak."
"You are weak now," I
"No," he said.
"I despise your weakness," I
"How am I weak?" he asked.
"You do not want to sell me,"
I said. "Yet you are doing so."
"I do want to sell you," he
"Look at me," I said.
He regarded me.
"What do you
see?" I asked.
"A slave girl," he said.
"What now," I asked,
"do you truly want to do with me?"
"Sell you," he said.
I said. "You want me in your compartments. You want me at your feet.
You want me in your collar. You want not to sell me, but to
master me, to own me."
"I want many things from you," he
"Then command them, take them," I challenged. "Did you
trace me to Ar, and follow me to Cos, to sell me?"
"No," I said. "You wanted me slave, naked on your
"Yes!" he said, angrily. "I wanted you a naked slave on
my chain, mine!"
"Strip me!" I cried. "Chain me!"
I subsided. "Sell me," I said wearily. "The decision is
yours. I am slave."
He pounded on the iron door.
thought Clitus Vitellius strong," I said. "I had thought him of the
Warriors. I had thought he had the power to do as he wills with a
woman. I see now he is too weak to do with a woman what truly he
wants, what pleases him."
He struck again on the iron
"He is weak," I said. "A slave despises him."
make me angry," he said.
I looked away. I had nothing to fear
I heard feet approaching the iron door, from the other
side. A small, lateral panel in the door, about eye level, slid
back. "Your business?" inquired a voice.
"The vending of a girl,"
said Clitus Vitellius.
The panel slid shut. A moment later the
door swung open. "Enter, Master," said a man.
We entered and
found a large room, floored with cement. A yellow circle, in
outline, narrow-bordered, the border some six inches in width, the
circle itself some ten feet in width, was painted on the cement. A
man, at a small, four-legged table, sat to one side. "Remove her
tunic and collar," he said. Clitus Vitellius did so. We did not
"Kneel in the circle, Slave," said the man at the table.
The fellow who had opened the door stood to one side. A coiled,
rawhide rope, on a clip, hung from his belt. I went to the circle
and knelt in its center, on the cement. The man with the rope
entered the circle and loosed the rope from his belt. He tied it
about my neck. The knot was at the side, under my left ear. He
backed away, giving me some five feet of slack. .The remainder of
the rope he held, in long, loose loops, in his right hand. I knew it
would serve to whip me, if necessary.
I would be put through
"Give me whatever you think she is worth," he said,
"and send the coins to the compartments of Clitus Vitellius, in the
Towers of Warriors."
"Yes, Master," said the man at the
Clitus Vitellius turned about and left the Curulean.
knelt alone in the yellow circle on the cement.
I felt the rope
on my throat pull taut. I sensed the swinging loops of leather near
The man rose from behind the table and came to the circle. He
looked down at me. "Well now, little beauty," he said, "let us see
what you can do."
"Yes, Master," I said.
Occurred At The Curulean
The first time that one is sold it is
the hardest. Yet it is, I suppose, never easy. The hardest part is
perhaps not knowing who it is, among those many faces in the
darkness, who will buy you. You are illuminated, exhibited, forced
to perform. At your side is the auctioneer with his whip. You
perform, and perform well. Do not think you would not. You feel the
wood of the block with your feet, and the sawdust upon it. The block
itself is smooth. Many girls have been sold here before. You are not
special, you are only another slave, a bit more or less pleasing
than others. You feel the sawdust with your feet. On Gor, animals
are commonly sold on blocks which are strewn with sawdust. The slave
girl is an animal. You lift your head under the torchlight. You hear
the first bid. it is hard not to tremble. You have been bid upon.
From the voice you try to guess the nature of the master. Then there
is another bid. You smile, you turn, you walk, you lift your arms,
you kneel, you lie upon your back at the auctioneer?s feet, your
knee lifted, your arms over your head as though braceleted, you roll
to your stomach, you look up at him, over your shoulder; you respond
to him, instantly, setting forth for the view of the buyers subtle
and provocative positions and attitudes, displaying yourself as you
must, fully, and as a slave. You are sweating. Sawdust clings to
your body. It clings in your hair. If you falter, or are in the
least displeasing, the auctioneer?s whip will sharply instruct you
in your error. At last, breathing heavily, you stand there, naked.
Perhaps you have been struck.
The last bid is taken. It is
accepted. The auctioneer?s fist closes. You have been
Many girls dream of being sold in the
Curulean. Its great block is perhaps the most famous in Ar. It is
also the largest. It is semi-circular and some forty feet in width.
It is painted for the most part in blue and yellow, the colors of
the slavers, and ornately carved, with many intricate patterns and
projections. It is perhaps fifteen feet high. An interesting feature
of the block is that about it, on the semi-circular side facing the
crowd, tall and serene, carved in white-painted wood, evenly spaced,
are the figures of nine slave girls. They represent, supposedly, the
first nine girls taken, thousands of years ago, by the men of a
small village, called Ar. In the carving it may be seen that the
throats of the girls are encircled by ropelike collars, presumably
woven of some vegetable substance. It is said that at that time the
men of Ar were not familiar with the working of iron. It is also
said the girls were forced to breed mighty sons for their
"You, Slave!" said the man.
"Yes, Master!" I said,
looking up in the collar, with its two chains, one on each side,
which fastened me to the girl on my left and right.
We were in
the tunnel leading to the block. Another tunnel left the
"Are you familiar with the choreography of your display?"
"Yes, Master," I said. I had been well rehearsed.
Little occurs by accident on the block of the Curulean.
went to the next girl, she on my right, farther down the tunnel
toward the pens. He addressed to her the same question. She, too,
wore a collar, with two chains. It fastened her, on her left, to me,
and, on her right, to another girl. "Yes, Master!" she assured him.
He then went to the next girl in the line, farthest from the block.
Each collar opens, and the chains may be attached or removed. This
provides great flexibility. There were one hundred and twenty girls
in the line. It would take some five or six Ahn to sell us, if the
bidding was brisk. On a slow night it could take as much as eight
Ahn, the sales extending into the early morning hours. Some girls
sell quickly, and others slowly. When it takes longer to sell a girl
it usually means that she is less interesting to the buyers, and
that the bids are slow, or that she, an unusual beauty, is being
more elaborately displayed, with the object in mind of intensifying
and driving up the eventual bids.
"Yes, Master!" said the girl
some two girls below me on the chain, responding to the question of
the slaver?s man. We would all be ready. We would all do our best,
or, be punished terribly.
I looked to the girl on my left, and to
the one on my right. How beautiful they were. We had all had Gorean
slave cosmetics applied to us. Let the men beware. We had all been
exposed in the exhibition cages earlier, stark, save for perfume. It
was at that time that the buyers had had their opportunity to view
us objectively. It was their responsibility now, in the bidding, to
be on their guard.
I sensed a tremor, sudden, subtle, in the
chain. I leaned forward, looking down the line. The whisper was sped
rapidly down the chain. "The bidding has begun," said the
"I?m frightened," said a girl.
"All Ar bids at the
Curulean," said another.
I could hear nothing. But I knew the
first girl had now ascended the block.
I sat back on the long
wooden bench. It was some eight inches in width. It was set against
the side of the tunnel. It ran almost the length of the tunnel. I
pulled the wide bands of green silk about me, more closely. They
would resemble, initially, a gown, but they were not truly a gown.
They would be unlooped and lifted away, bit by bit, beginning about
the head and the feet, gradually, cunningly, revealing me. Toward
the end I would be spun almost free of them and then, in the end I
would be ordered, exposed save for the final silk, concealing my
breasts and thighs, to lie supine at the auctioneer?s feet. He would
then stand over me, the two bands extending from me, ribbonlike, in
his grasp, taking more bids. When the crowd, fierce in its
impatience, demanded it, he would, shrugging, roll me free of them,
in two turns, I finishing, lying on my back again, knee lifted,
hands over and behind my head, the backs of my hands on the block,
the palms exposed, like the rest of me, helplessly. I would lie
there, a resigned slave girl, awaiting her rape-taming. Presumably
the bids then would much increase. I was to follow the commands of
the auctioneer from that point. Presumably he would order me to my
feet and, sensing the crowd, playing it with skill, put me through
what slave paces seemed suitable.
"Move down one space," said the
We did so.
The girl to my left wore a demure,
brief house tunic, of the sort worn by a house slave. She would be
presented to the crowd as though, since childhood, she had been
owned by a quiet, respectable family which, lately, because of
financial difficulties had been forced to sell her. She would be
reputed to know little of the lust of men or the duties of a
pleasure slave. Still, it would be suggested, a master might teach
her. This story was not entirely a fabrication. It would not be
said, however, that she was an appetitious girl who had welcomed her
sale, or that she hungered for a man. She hoped to be bought by a
man of modest means. She wanted to be the only girl in his
compartments. I thought she would make a wonderful slave. The girl
on my right, who would be sold after me, would be presented quite
differently. She was clad in a bit of virginal white fluff, from her
shoulders to thighs. The contrast between her dark hair, and her
naked arms and legs, and the bit of white fluff about her, was quite
striking. She had lovely, slender shoulders and well-curved,
slender, trim legs. I thought she would bring a high price. She was
the one who had said, "I am frightened." I did not blame her. First,
she was a virgin. Secondly, it would terrify almost any lovely girl
to be presented in such a costume before Gorean men.
down another place on the bench.
"The sales go rapidly," said a
girl farther down, to my right. That was a good sign. For one thing,
it meant that the auctioneer would be in a good humor and that,
thus, he would probably be less cruel with us on the block. We fear
the auctioneer. On the block he is our master. Even when a girl is
not sold, if the sales have gone well, she is less likely to be
"Move," said the slaver?s man.
Most girls are sold singly, but sometimes they are sold in
groups, in matched pairs or larger sets, usually with a theme, such
as blond hair or a given dialect. Sets may also he composed of girls
once of complementary castes or those marked with diverse,
representative brands. When a girl is enslaved she loses caste, of
course, as well as citizenship, rights and personhood; when she is
enslaved she becomes an animal, subject to the whips and wills of
masters. Most groups, however, are sold for field and kitchen work.
The Curulean did not handle such latter groups. We did have two
pairs to be sold tonight, one consisting of a singer and her lyre
player, and another of identical twins, from the island of Tabor,
named for its resemblance to the small Gorean drum of that
I could not yet hear the calls of the auctioneer. The
occasional response of the crowd, however, carried through the
The girl on my right, the slender, virginal girl, in
fluff, began to cry. Instantly the slaver?s man was upon her,
lifting his whip. She shrank back against the cement wall. She must
not stain or smear her make-up. Angrily, with a small cloth, he
dabbed her face. "Save your tears for the block, sleek little
animal," he said. "Yes, Master," she said.
I was Girl 91 on the
chain. It was a good position. The sales begin in the early evening
and usually, unless there is something special for sale, they begin
a bit slowly. Men are, commonly, still entering the market at that
point. Often the seats are not entirely filled until the second Ahn
of the sale. I was a bit puzzled about the apparent speed of the
sales. There was, as far as I knew, nothing special for sale this
evening. It was, as far as I knew, a normal night at the market. At
any rate, usually, it is not regarded as desirable to be among the
first twenty girls on the chain; sometimes these are sold to an
almost half-empty house; a reciprocity tends to become involved; the
slavers tend to put their least valuable girls up first, because of
the smallness of the house in the early market, and many men tend to
come later because, normally, the least interesting girls are put up
first; this often presents a merchandising dilemma but it was not
one which hurt the slavers of the Curulean very much, for their
merchandise tends to be generally of high quality and the reputation
of their house is such that, even in the early hours of the market,
they tend to have a sizable number of bidders on hand. Sometimes an
extraordinary girl or girls are marketed almost immediately, to
encourage buyers to come early. Although this does tend to bring in
larger early crowds the slavers feel that, often, they do not get on
these girls what they might have, had their sale taken place later
in the evening, in the heat and press of more determined bidding. At
any rate, from the girl?s point of view, any chain position after
forty and before one hundred would be good. The ideal, of course, is
to be sold at the height of the sale. With one hundred and twenty
girls the most serious bidding would presumably come somewhere
between Girl 80 and Girl 95. Late in the sale, of course, it is not
uncommon for buyers to be weary and to begin to drift away. These
remarks, incidentally, pertain to a normal "long" sale, usually held
four times a week at a large house. They are not meant to apply to
special sales, private sales, and in-house sales. Sometimes special
sales, well-publicized, are held, in which as few as fifteen or
twenty girls, of great quality or interest, are sold. All Ar, it is
said, tries to fill the house upon such occasions. If a Ubara of a
conquered city, for example, were to be sold, it would, customarily,
be in such a special sale, unless the victorious Ubar, he who had
conquered her city and captured her, chose to have her sold, for his
amusement, in a common sale and from an unimportant block. Normally,
of course, the conquering Ubar would keep such a regal wench, now
collared and debased to slavery, in his own pleasure gardens, as a
delicious memento of his victory, and as a woman.
the slaver?s man.
My group stood.
"Move to the next position,"
We hurried to the next position.
We were now coffled
in groups of ten. Early in the sale, for the first twenty girls, the
chain had been intact, one chain for us all. With each sale we had
moved one position. Each time we had moved one or two positions on
the bench we knew that one or two of our sisters had been sold. The
psychological effect of this, methodical and relentless, tends to
produce anticipation and anxiety, even in an experienced girl. No
girl ever grows completely used to being exhibited and sold. Then,
after the first twenty girls, when our nerves were keen and taut, we
were separated into coffles of ten. We might then seem to relax. But
when our nerves had eased and we might seem to breathe a bit more
easily, the coffle, as a whole, would be ordered to its feet and
moved ten spaces toward the end of the tunnel. The effect of this,
being for a time relatively at ease, and then being forced suddenly
to move ten times closer to the block tends, suddenly, to whet one?s
fears and anticipations anew; when one, psychologically, in spite of
herself, had begun to feel a little safe one is suddenly hurried
even closer to her exhibition and sale, and all it means, the
uncertainty, the danger, the not knowing, the being sold, the being
owned anew, by someone who can do with you what he pleases.
could now hear the calls of the auctioneer quite clearly. I could
hear individuals, too, in the crowd. A vendor was hawking
I was now in the point coffle, that at the end of the
tunnel. The sales were doing well.
The girl to my left, she in
the house tunic, sat tense beside me. Her fingernails dug into the
wood of the bench. Her make-up was inspected and touched up. Then
she was removed from the coffle, the collar, and the length of chain
on her right, attaching her to me, placed to one side. A man stood
near the end of the tunnel, with a tablet and marking stick. He
indicated that she should approach him. She did. He inspected her
chain number, used in the Curulean as a sales number, which, tiny,
was written under her left ear in lipstick. The Curulean does not
use sales collars. She was Girl 90.
I heard a roar of approval
and I knew the girl on the block had been sold. Another girl, Girl
89, had been waiting at the foot of the block. A man with a whip
prodded her to climb to its height. She moved carefully, feeling the
stairs, creeping upward. She wore a slave scarf, as a blindfold. It
was all she wore. The man with the tablet quickly thrust the girl in
the house tunic from the tunnel to the foot of the stairs leading to
"Look at me," said a man.
I sat very still, looking
at him. He examined my make-up. Deftly, he improved it.
beautiful," he said.
"Thank you, Master," I whispered.
man removed my collar, with the chain that fastened me to the girl
on my right, the virginal girl in a bit of white fluff. The man with
the tablet indicated that I should stand near him, and I did. From
where I stood, at the end of the tunnel, I could see the ceiling of
the Curulean, and some of the buyers, crowded in the higher
Their excitement frightened me. The sales were going too
The crowd roared. The girl on the block, naked, was being
forced to perform blindfolded before the men.
She screamed with
misery when the blindfold was removed, looking out upon
She was soon sold.
The girl in the house tunic was
hurried to the height of the block.
"What have we here?" cried
the auctioneer. "Surely there is some mistake. This is only a
meaningless little house slave!"
The crowd roared with
The man with the tablet listened intently. He did not
order me immediately to the foot of the stairs, those leading to the
surface of the great block at the Curulean.
He glanced back at
the slender, frightened girl, in the bit of white fluff, still in
chain and collar, on the bench. She looked away from him,
frightened, looking straight ahead.
I wished my hair was
I listened to the sale of the girl in the house tunic. It
would soon be torn from her.
"Number," said the man with the
tablet to me.
I turned, and put my head to the side, that he
might read the tiny number printed in lipstick beneath my left
"Ninety-one," he said. He jotted it down on the sales
I heard the tunic torn from the girl on the block, the
roar of the crowd.
She was now being exhibited naked.
with the tablet thrust me toward the foot of the block, and I
stumbled to the place at the foot of its stairs. I stood, that I not
disarrange the bands of silk so cunningly looped about me. The man
with the tablet had apparently decided not to alter the order of
sales. I think this was wise on his part. The girl in the house
tunic, seemingly not yet broken in, not yet humbled and trained to
the collar of pleasure, might have whetted the appetite of the
buyers for an even more virginal, innocent form of merchandise, but,
on the block, as I gathered from the remarks of the auctioneer and
the responses of the crowd there was now little illusion left
lingering of her formality or restraint, or reluctance; only too
clearly, she starved for male domination, was she eager and ready
for the slave ring at the foot of a man?s couch.
Then she was
I climbed to the height of the block. The block was very
large. I had not realized how many were in the crowd. The crowd was
silent. This frightened me.
The auctioneer seemed puzzled, too,
but only momentarily. "Someone, it seems," he said, "has sent us a
gift." He indicated me with the whip. "Its contours," he said,
"suggest that it is lovely." He looked out to the crowd. "Shall we
see?" he asked.
But the crowd, instead of urging him on, was
quiet. His hand shook for a moment. I was frightened. I did not
understand the mood of the crowd.
"Let us see," he continued,
with feigned humor. He lifted away loops of silk which concealed my
head. There was a murmur of admiration from the crowd. I was too
vain not to have been pleased. "A lovely face," he said, "feminine,
soft, vulnerable, expressive. It would be easy to read in order to
control her." He shrugged. "The hair, of course," said he, "is far
too short, but I am assured, by officers of the Curulean, that it
There was no laughter from the crowd.
auctioneer?s hand trembled. He was nervous. I thrust my right leg
forward, lifting it, pointing the toes, touching only the toes of my
right foot to the floor. My left hip was turned out. I lifted and
extended my left arm, wrist bent, palm to the left.
then did he unloop, bit by bit, the silk from my left arm.
lovely limb," he said.
The crowd seemed quiet, intense, watchful.
The auctioneer was clearly disturbed.
"Let us see if there is
more of interest here," he said.
I heard an intake of breath from
the crowd, but there were no bids.
We did not complete the
choreography which had been planned. Much depends upon the crowd. It
interacts in the drama of the block in a way that it, or many of its
members, fails to understand. The auctioneer, puzzled, finally
removed from my person the bands of silk. He did not spin me from
them; he did not roll me from them at his feet.
"This is the
woman," he said. "What am I bid?"
There was no bid.
cried a voice. The crowd turned, and I and the auctioneer, looked as
well. At the height of the center aisle, high, framed in the portal
of the market hail, stood a warrior, in full panoply of war. He did
not speak. He carried shield and spear. On his left shoulder hung
the scabbard of the short sword. He was helmeted.
inquired the auctioneer. His voice faltered.
The warrior did not
The auctioneer indicated me, taking his attention from the
figure who had recently entered the hail.
"This is the woman,"?
he said, weakly. "What am I bid?"
At this point the helmeted
warrior began to descend the aisle. We watched him approach.
moments he stood, too, on the block, facing the crowd. He struck the
butt of his great spear on the heavy wood. "Kajira canjellne!" he
said. "Slave girl challenge!" He turned to look at me, and I knelt.
I could not speak. I feared I might faint.
He turned again to
face the crowd.
"I will have this woman," he said. "For her I
will stand against all Ar, and all the world."
"I love you,
Clitus Vitellius!" I cried, tears in my eyes.
"You were not given
permission to speak!" cried the auctioneer. He lifted his whip to
But the point of the spear of Clitus Vitellius lay at
his throat. "Do not strike her," said Clitus Vitellius.
Master," said the auctioneer, white-faced, lowering his arm,
frightened, hacking away.
Clitus Vitellius turned again to face
the crowd of Ar. "Kajira canjellne," he said. "Slave girl
There was no response from the crowd. Then one man
rose to his feet, striking his left shoulder. And then another rose
to his feet and did the same, and another and another. Soon the
crowd was on its feet, cheering and striking their left shoulders.
Clitus Vitellius stood straight on that great platform, his great,
circular shield on his left arm, his mighty spear, seven feet in
length, headed in tapering bronze, grasped in his right hand. His
head was high, his eyes were shrewd and clear, those of a
"She is yours, Master," said the auctioneer to Clitus
I knelt at his feet, joyfully. He would now free me,
and take me as his companion. He put aside his shield and spear, to
lift me to my feet as his equal.
"Your whip," said Clitus
Vitellius to the auctioneer.
"You did not wish her whipped," he
"She is mine to whip," said Clitus Vitellius. The
auctioneer placed his whip in the hands of Clitus
"Master?" I said.
"Yes?" he said.
"Are you not
going to free me?" I asked.
"Only a fool," he said, "frees a
"Master!" I cried.
"Kneel to the whip," he
I obeyed. I put my head down, and, beneath my body, crossed
my wrists, as though they were bound. My back was bowed, ready for
whatever punishment he might see fit to administer to me. I was in
consternation. I trembled. Could I be still a slave girl? Could he
be serious? Was it his intention to keep me still as a
Surely not. Surely not!
"I would not wish you to take a
loss on her," he was saying to the auctioneer. "Here is something
which may cover the cost of the miserable little slave."
a pouch, heavy, filled with metal, strike heavily on the smoothed
beams of the surface of the block.
"The gratitude of the house,
Master!" cried the auctioneer. He untied the strings of the pouch
and, crying out with pleasure, spilled coins of gold to the woods.
Swiftly he sorted the coins, expertly. "There are a hundred tarn
disks of gold here!" he cried.
The crowd roared its
I cried, tears falling to the wood of the block, mixing
in the sawdust. It was ten to a hundred times, or more, what I was
worth. I saw then the extent of the regard of Clitus Vitellius for
me. I wept with joy.
I had not known that a man could desire a
woman so much. Yet he kept me as a slave!
Perhaps it is only a
slave who can be so bought and sold, and so desired.
indescribable, incredible feeling of being owned, literally owned,
by a man!
I knelt, a slave ready for punishment.
far too generous," said the auctioneer. "This is far more than the
slave is worth."
"You are right," said Clitus Vitellius.
shook with fury, but did not break the position.
"Give me the
next then, too, on your chain," he said.
"No!" I cried.
turned to face me, and, again, I swiftly lowered my head. Could he
truly mean to keep me as a slave? Could he truly be that strong? I
could not believe it.
"Gladly," cried the auctioneer.
"Ninety-two," he cried.
The virginal girl, slender, sweetly
shouldered, lovely legged, terrified, crept to the surface of the
block. The bit of fluff clung about her. It did not much conceal
her. Her legs were well exposed to the inspection of masters, and
the sweetness of her breasts was evident, it but scarcely concealed
in the wafting of insinuative, tantalizing fluff.
roared its approval, and she shrank back on the block. I wondered
what men saw in her. She was herself only a bit of fluff, to rape
"Come here," said Clitus Vitellius to the
Swiftly she fled to him, to stand before
"Position," he snapped.
She dropped to her knees before
him, in the position of the pleasure slave.
"Get your back
straighter," he said. She did so.
He crouched beside her and,
with his belt knife, cut away the strings which held the fluff about
her. It floated to the surface of the block, stirring in the slight
movements of air.
He regarded the girl. He then looked, too, to
me. "I will take both," he said.
"Master!" I cried in
Then he stood over me, with the whip.
I looked up
into his eyes. Then I was frightened. I saw that he was a Gorean
master. However much he might hold me in regard, however much he
might desire me, I saw that I could be to him only a helpless slave
girl. Whatever might be his feelings for me I saw that he would have
me only at his feet as a slave. I would be uncompromisingly owned.
He would have all, fully, from me. I would not be permitted to hold
anything back, ever. He would be master, and I slave. No longer did
I dare to suggest that I might be freed. No longer did I dare to
think it. He was Gorean.
I put my head down, kneeling to the
"Forgive me, Master," I whispered.
"Once this evening,"
said he, "you, a slave, addressed me by my name, rather than as
"Forgive me, Master," I said. I trembled. I recalled I
had cried out, "I love you, Clitus Vitellius!" How foolish I had
been. It was a girl?s mistake. It would not go unnoticed.
he said, "more than once this evening you have spoken without
"Yes, Master," I said.
"Too," said he, "I think
you dared to protest this evening my purchase of a girl."
indeed done so!
"Do you oppose your will to mine, or question my
will in the least?" he asked.
"No, Master," I said.
think me an easy master?" he asked.
"No, Master," I said.
you beg now to be punished?" he asked.
"Yes, Master," I said. "I
beg to be punished."
I saw him grip the slave whip on the long
handle with two hands. I put down my head. further, I shut my eyes,
I tightened my body, I clenched my fists, held crossed, as though
bound, beneath my body.
I determined to hold position.
the swift sound of the leather in flight.. Never had I heard it
approach so swiftly. After the fourth blow I could no longer hold
position. "Tie me at the slave ring," I begged. "Put me at a post,
Master!" I lay on the block on my stomach, my hands over my bead.
There was sawdust on my lips and face. I could not, after the second
blow, scream. Yet he struck me only ten times. I cried, lying on the
block, punished. I felt him thrust a steel collar about my throat,
and lock it.
I was collared. He had not been angry with me. He
had only been punishing me. I had deserved a whipping. He had given
it to me.
Yet it is hard for a girl to grow used to the leather.
One can be a slave for years and still fear it. The Gorean master
uses it unhesitantly if we are not pleasing. We know that he will do
so. We are pleasing.
Clitus Vitellius had turned to the slender,
virginal girl. "Do you wish to be in the least troublesome?" he
asked her, lifting the whip, laughing.
"No, Master!" she
He collared her, as he had done me. We both wore his
collar. He knelt us together. "I submit, fully, Master," I said. "I
submit, fully, Master," said the virginal girl, quickly, following
The slave whip lay to one side.
"We have surely
delayed the sales of the Curulean too long," said Clitus Vitellius,
to the auctioneer.
The auctioneer bowed, the pouch of gold in his
"Come, Slaves," said Clitus Vitellius to the two of us,
naked in his collar.
He lifted his shield and took up his spear,
and then descended the steps of the great block. We followed him. He
ascended the long aisle leading from the hall. Men cried out his
name, and cheered, and smote their left shoulders, as he passed
them. He strode as a Warrior. We hurried after him, his slave
"Will he march us through the streets naked?" asked the
"He will do with us as he pleases," I told her.
"He is a Warrior"
A Warrior?s Vengeance; The Furs Of
We were but four bridges from the
Towers of the Warriors when Clitus Vitellius turned suddenly,
regarding me. I stopped, suddenly, naked, behind him, where I was
heeling him. The virginal girl, too, stopped suddenly. But he did
not look at her. He approached me. He stood before me, his shield on
his left arm, the mighty spear grasped in his right hand.
Immediately I trembled, and knelt, head down.
"Oh!" cried the
virginal girl. He, placing the spear and shield to one side, had
moved to her and was tying her hands behind her back. He fastened
her by the wrists to a ring at the foot of the Four Lamps bridge.
Such rings are common in Gorean cities, in public places, and
serve the convenience of masters in tethering their slaves. The ring
was mounted on a post, about a yard high. She stood at the post,
naked, tethered there, her hands fastened behind her back, at the
foot of the Four Lamps bridge. I could see the lights of glorious
Ar. The light of one lamp was upon her. She was very beautiful.
"Master?" she begged.
He took a blunt marking stick from his
pouch and wrote Gorean words on her left shoulder.
He then, to
her amazement, and mine, removed his collar from her
"Master?" she sobbed.
He replaced the collar and
marking stick in his pouch. "Can you read?" he asked her.
"Read then what I have inscribed upon your body," said
"I cannot well see it, Master," she said. "But from the feel
of it in my flesh, I know what you have written."
aloud," said he, "Slave."
"You have written ?Collar me. Own me,?"
"Yes," he said.
"You are leaving me here for the
first stranger who passes, Master?" she asked.
"Do you object,
Slave?" he asked.
"No, Master!" she said, drawing back. The point
of the spear, which Clitus Vitellius had now retrieved, was at her
I then felt the point of the spear in my back. "On your
feet, Slave," he said.
Swiftly I rose to my feet.
strode past me, and began the crossing of the bridge of Four Lamps.
I hastened to follow him, heeling him obediently. I did turn, on the
crest of the bridge, to look back at the tethered girl. The area at
the foot of the bridge was deserted. It was late. She seemed very
much alone there, naked, the light of the lamp on her, tethered,
waiting for the first individual who might chance by.
away, hurrying to follow Clitus Vitellius. I remembered the look he
had given me when first, moments ago, he had stopped and turned, and
approached me. Never had I seen such lust, possessiveness and desire
in a man?s eyes. I felt weak. I wondered about the service of how
many girls I would have to render to him. He had cast aside the
virginal girl, arrogantly, in a warrior?s gesture, leaving her for
whomsoever might find and desire her. Her slave service, and mine,
and more, he would now want from me. I did not know if I could be so
much a slave to him.
We were but a short way from the Towers of
Warriors, on the second of its approaching high bridges, when again
Clitus Vitellius turned and faced me.
"I cannot wait," he said to
"Yes, Master," I said. We were on a high bridge, one of the
highest in all Ar. The lights of the city were strewn beneath us;
above us burned the stars of Gor.
He placed his shield upon the
bridge, straps down, its convex surface like a bow facing the
He indicated that I should take my position upon it, and I
did so, my head down. With the straps, brought about the sides of
the great shield he fastened my wrists apart, one on each side,
about at shoulder level, at the edges of the shield. I lay over the
shield, bound upon it.
"Now I have you where I want you, Dina,"
said he, "Earth girl."
"Yes, Master," I said.
Swiftly he took
me in his arms. I yielded immediately to my master.
"I love you,
Master," I said to him.
His hands were upon my shoulders. He
dragged me upward to his pressing mouth, pulling me against the
wrist straps which held my wrists at the shield?s edges. I thought
he might tear me from the shield. Then he flung me back, arched
across its surface. I felt his lips at my belly and thighs. I could
not protect myself from the fierce ardor to which I must submit.
Then again I cried out, lost in my slave?s love of him, my
He unbound my wrists from the shield. He thrust me from
its surface. I rolled to my side, on the bridge. I lay quietly on
the bridge, in his collar.
"It is getting late," he said. "I must
get you to the love furs."
"Yes, Master," I said.
"Get up," he
said. He moved his foot against my body.
I tried to get up, but
could scarcely stand. I sank to my hands and knees.
He laughed at
I sank to my side. I lifted my hand to him.
"Get up, Earth
girl," he said.
"I will try, Master," I said.
But again I fell
to my knees.
"Do not beat me, Master," I begged. "You have made
me so weak."
"I can smell your weakness," he said.
Master," I. said. I was so overcome by my love for him that I could
not stand. I had never known such weakness. I felt I had the
strength only to lie vulnerably before him, perhaps holding and
kissing him, awaiting him. It is, I suppose, one of nature?s
utilities, reducing the female?s effectiveness in self-defense or
flight, putting her all the more at the mercy of the stronger
"I cannot walk, Master," I said. "Let me crawl to your
He slung his shield upon his back, and tied his spear,
too, beneath the shield?s edge, upon his back.
I felt myself
lifted gently into his arms. He carried me, my head against his left
shoulder, over the bridge and toward the second bridge, leading to
the Towers of the Warriors.
I served him wine.
I was the only girl
in his compartments. I well understood the meaning of this. He had
chosen the perfection of one man, the complete master, and one
woman, the total slave. It is called the perfect bondage, each all
and perfect to the other.
It is right for some men, and not for
others. Much depends on whether the man has met his perfect slave
and the woman her perfect master.
Clitus Vitellius and I, though
I would not have dared tell him, were so related. I think he, too,
When I had served him wine he gave me, too, to drink
of the cup. This was, in its way, a great honor, and a token of his
recognition as to how I stood to him. I still, of course, did not
dare to drink from the same edge of the cup as he, the master.
put the cup aside.
At his indication I spread the love furs. I
did not spread them upon the couch hut at its foot. I was slave.
Only a small lamp burned in the compartment.
At a gesture from
Clitus Vitellius I reclined upon the furs, at the foot of the
He slipped away his tunic and crouched beside me. I could
see he could scarcely restrain himself from seizing me.
yours," I told him. I lifted my arms to him. "Take me, Master," I
"I care for you," he said.
I regarded him. "Be strong
with me, Master," I whispered. "I do not want to challenge you. I do
not want to fight you. I want to serve you, and I want to love you.
I want to give you all, holding back nothing, ever."
"Do you not understand, Master?" I asked. "If I had the
choice, I would choose not to be free but to be your slave." A
woman, I had learned, must choose between freedom and love. Both are
estimable virtues. Let each choose which is best for her.
do not give you a choice," he said.
"Of course not, Master," I
said. "You are Gorean."
He looked down at the furs.
will sell you," he said.
"You may do as you wish, Master," I
said. I knew I was at his complete mercy, only a bond girl.
"Bring me wine, Master," I said.
He looked at
"A girl is only testing her master," I
Suddenly he struck me, slapping me cruelly across the
mouth. It hurt me. I tasted a bit of blood.
"Do you think," he
asked, "that because I care for you I will not be strong with
"No, Master," I said.
I lay in the shadow of the slave
ring. A chain and heavy collar lay at the foot of the ring, the
chain attached to the ring.
He took the heavy metal collar and
closed it about my throat, over and about the lighter collar I wore,
confining me at the ring, on the furs at the foot of his
Then he touched me.
"I see you will be strong with me,
Master," I said.
"What a fool I am," he said, "to care for a
miserable Earth-girl slave."
"I ask only to love and serve you,
Master," I said.
"Yet you are attractive," he said.
"A girl is
grateful to her master, should he find her pleasing," I said.
you would choose to be a slave?" he asked.
"Yes, Master," I
"Slut," said he.
"Yes, Master," I said.
"It is I who
will decide," he said.
"Yes, Master," I said.
"I decide?" he
"Yes, Master," I begged.
"?that you are my
"Yes, Master!" I cried.
Then I writhed in his arms as
he took me, exploding in the deepest and most profound ecstasies a
female can know, those of the slave orgasm, known only to the owned
"How could I love you so much," he asked, "if I did not
truly own you, if you were not fully mine?"
"I do not know,
Master," I said. Clitus Vitellius had confessed his love for a
slave. I hoped he would not now beat me.
He took me by the hair
and thrust my head down to the furs. "A man can truly love only that
woman," he said, "who is truly his, who belongs to him. Otherwise he
is only a party to a contract."
"A woman," I said, "can love only
that man to whom she truly belongs."
"To whom do you truly
belong, Slave?" he asked.
"To you, Master," I said.
please me, Slave Girl," he said.
"Free me," I said, teasing
"Do you wish to feel the whip?" he asked.
"No, Master," I
said, quickly, suddenly frightened. I was his. He might do to me
what he wanted.
"Beg for your freedom," he said.
me, Master," I begged.
He laughed. "No," he said. "I do not free
you. I will keep you as my slave."
I closed my eyes. I had been
Judy Thornton, of Earth. I had been a co-ed at a small but
prestigious college. I had been an English major. I had written
poetry. I had been popular on campus. Now I was only a branded slave
girl, Dina, helpless in the arms of her master. I thought of Elicia
Nevins, who had been my beauty rival at the college. She now, too,
wore a collar. I wondered if she were as happy in the arms of her
master as I in the arms of mine. She had been an anthropologist. I
wondered if now she truly understood, perhaps for the first time,
the nature of the institution of slavery. Her master had perhaps
taught her. I lay blissfully in the arms of Clitus Vitellius,
I opened my eyes.
"Is a girl not to be permitted
sometimes to speak her mind?" I asked.
"Perhaps upon occasion,"
said Clitus Vitellius, "provided she does so upon her knees and at
"You are a monster, Master," I said.
Then again I
felt his body at mine, and I cried out as my legs were thrust
"You are rough, Master!" I chided. Then, frightened, I
said, "Forgive me, Master."
He did not beat me.
I began to
respond to him, shuddering under the blows of his manhood, and
surrendered myself then, content, to the delicious brutality of my
He had many ways of taking me, and I must submit to
them all, unquestioningly.
We heard men later upon the bridges
outside. It was early morning.
I held Clitus Vitellius. "You are
very lustful, Master," I told him.
"I am shamed neither by my
health nor vitality," he said. He said this as a Gorean, explaining
something to an ignorant Earth-girl slave. "And you," he said, "you
must know, are an exquisitely responsive she-sleen. Does that shame
"Not any more, Master," I said.
"It is an indication of
your vitality and health, and emotional freedom," he said. "It is a
sign that you are vigorous and sound, neither psychologically
crippled nor diseased."
I had grown free on Gor, though I wore a
collar. Strange, collared, I was free. Uncollared I had been a true
slave, a prisoner of a pathological culture, ascetic, mechanistic
"Perhaps I am emotionally free," I laughed. "But I
scarcely am physically free."
"True," he said. He pulled me by
the chain at the back of the collar back to my back on the furs at
the foot of his couch.
"You keep me a slave?" I asked.
course," he said.
"I never knew I would meet a man who could lust
for me and desire me so much," I said, "that he would keep me as a
"You never knew you would meet a man who would satisfy
your deepest needs," he said, "the hidden, profound, scarcely
understood, secret needs which you yourself scarcely
"You are a secret dream, which I scarcely dared
dream, come true to me, Master," I said.
"And you to me, Slave,"
"Will you truly be hard with me, Master?" I
"Yes," he said.
"Will you truly, though you care for
me, keep me as full slave?"
"Yes, Slave," he said.
even to discipline, if I displease you?" I asked.
discipline, at my pleasure, whether you displease me or not," he
"My bondage then will be absolute," I said.
Slave," he said.
I reached out timidly, to touch him. I kissed
him, tenderly, on the shoulder.
"I love you, Master," I
"Be silent, Slave," he said, irritably.
"Yes, Master," I
He then touched me with sweetness, and tenderness, and I
held him closely, but did not speak, lost in his touch, for I, a
slave, had been forbidden to speak. He made gentle love to me then,
which, I knew, might become abrupt or brutal as he chose. There were
a thousand ways to have a slave girl and I did not doubt but what
Clitus Vitellius was master of them all. How joyful I was. He was
dominant over me. I was subject to him. I was his, completely
without qualification. It is impossible for me to express my
feelings. Perhaps this is why he had warned me to silence, that I
might not try to speak, but would be content to feel what could not,
in any language, be spoken. So I did not then try to speak, but,
rather, contented myself with turning to the tasks of