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Here is an overview of the 28 chapters in Magicians of Gor:
1. The Street
2. The Tent
3. The Camp
4. Within Ar
5. Outside the Gate
6. The Public Boards
7. Ar is LIberated
8. The Wall
9. The Plaza of Tarns
10. The Sword is Thirsty
11. The Delka
12. The Countries of Courage
13. A Difference Seems Afoot in Ar
14. In the Vicinity of the Public Boards
16. In the Vicinity of the Teiban Market
18. Our Wallets are in Order
19. The Field Slave
20. The Slave Will Obey
21. I Receive the Report of a Slave
22. My Plans Proceed
23. A Message is to be Delivered
24. Staffs and Chains
25. Bracelets and Shackles
26. A Free Woman; A Female Slave
27. We Take Our Leave
28. The Room
The image below shows the most often used words and terms within Magicians of Gor. The larger the size, the more often the word or term occurs in the text.
"Surely you understand the law, my dear," he said.
She struggled in the net, dropped from the ceiling, then held about her by guardsmen sprung from concealment at the sides of the room.
"No!" she cried. "No!"
She was then turned about, twice in the net, on the couch, so that she was thoroughly entangled, doubly, in its toils.
"No!" she wept.
The guardsmen, four of them, held the net.
Her eyes were wild. Her fingers were in the knotted mesh. She was like a frightened animal.
"Please," she wept. "What do you want?"
The fellow did not then answer her, but regarded her. She was naked in the toils of the net, and now lay on her side, her legs drawn up in it, now seemingly small and very vulnerable, so bared and caught, on the deep furs of the huge couch.
Needless to say, a naked, netted woman, startled, frightened, knowing herself caught, knowing herself helpless in the hands of men, is a pleasant sight. One almost sees her in a collar. One almost sees her on the block.
"Milo!" she cried to a tall, handsome fellow to one side. "Help me!"
"But I am a slave," pointed out Milo, donning his purple tunic.
She looked at him, wildly.
"I am sure you are familiar with the law," said the first fellow, flanked by two magistrates.
"No!" she cried.
The magistrates were ex officio witnesses, who could certify the circumstances of the capture. The net was a stout one, and weighted.
"Any free woman who couches with another's slave, or readies herself to couch with another's slave, becomes herself a slave, and the slave of the slave's master. It is a clear law."
"No! No!" she wept.
"Think of it in this fashion, if you wish," he said. "You have given yourself to Milo, but Milo is mine, and can own nothing, and thus you have given yourself to me. An analogy is the coin given by a free person to a street girl, which coin, of course, does not then belong to the girl but to her master. What is given to the slave is given to the master."
She regarded him with horror.
"I loathe you!" she cried. "Bring me my clothing!" she wept to the guardsmen.
"When the certifications are approved, and filed, and in this case there will be no ambiguity or difficulty about the matter, you will be mine."
"No!" she wept.
"Put her on her knees, on the couch, in the net," he said.
This was done.
She looked wildly at Milo. There were tears in her eyes. "Will I then, as a slave, be your woman?" she asked.
"I do not think so," said Milo, smiling.
"The handsome, charming, suave, witty Milo," said the fellow, "is a seduction slave."
"A seduction slave?" she wept.
"Yes," he said. "He has much increased my stock of slaves."
She tore at the net, in tears, but was helpless.
"Had you, and your predecessors, not been so secretive, so much concerned to conceal your affairs with a slave, Milo's utility as a seduction slave would have doubtless been much diminished by now. On the other hand, the concern for your reputation and such, so natural in you free women, almost guarantees the repeatability, and the continued success, of these small pleasant projects."
"Release me!" she begged.
"Some of Milo's conquests are used in my fields, and others in my house," he said. "But most, and I am sure you will be one of these, are exported, sold out of the city to begin your new life."
"My new life?" she whispered.
"That of a female slave," he smiled.
She struggled, futilely.
"Raise the net to her waist, and lower it to her neck," he said, "and tie it about her. Then put her in a gag and hood."
"No!" she wept.
"By tonight," he said, "you will be branded and collared."
"No, please!" she wept.
The net was then adjusted on the female, in accordance with the fellow's instructions, in such a way that her legs and head were free, but her arms were confined. It was then bound tightly in place.
The fellow then glanced at the handsome slave. "You will leave by another exit," he said.
"Yes, Master," said the slave.
The free woman watched the slave withdraw. "Milo!" she whispered.
"You are now kneeling on a couch," said the fellow, "which, for a female slave, is a great honor. You may be months into your bondage before you are again permitted such an honor."
Female slaves are commonly not allowed the surface of the couch. Usually they serve at the foot of the couch, gratefully, on furs, or a slave mat.
"Milo!" she wept, after the slave.
The leather bit of the gag, a fixture of the hood, was then forced back between her teeth, and tied in place.
She made a tiny noise, of protest.
The hood itself was then drawn over her head, covering it completely. It was then fixed on her, buckled shut, beneath her chin.
"What have you seen?" asked Marcus.
I stepped back from the crack in the shutters, through which I had observed the preceding scene.
"Nothing," I said.
We were in a street of Ar, a narrow, crowded street, in which we were much jostled. It was in the Metellan district, south and east of the district of the Central Cylinder. It is a shabby, but not squalid district. There are various tenements, or insulae, there. It is the sort of place, far enough from the broad avenues of central Ar, where assignations, or triflings, might take place.
"Is Ar this crowded always?" asked Marcus, irritably.
"This street, at this time of day," I said.
My companion was Marcus Marcellus, of the Marcelliani, formerly of Ar's Station, on the Vosk. We had come to Ar from the vicinity of Brundisium. He, like myself, was of the caste of warriors. With him, clinging closely, about him, as though she might fear losing him in the crowd, and attempting also, it seemed, not unoften, to make herself small and conceal herself behind him, was his slave, Phoebe, this name having been put on her, a slender exquisite, very lightly complexioned, very dark-haired girl. She had come into his keeping in the vicinity of Brundisium, some months ago.
"As we do have the yellow ostraka and our permits do not permit us to remain in the city after dark," said Marcus, "I think we should venture now to the sun gate."
Marcus was the sort of fellow who was concerned about such things, being arrested, impaled, and such.
"There is plenty of time," I assured him. Most cities have a sun gate, sometimes several. They are called such because they are commonly opened at dawn and closed at dusk, thus the hours of their ingress and egress being determined by the diurnal cycle. Ar is the largest city of known Gor, larger even, I am sure, than Turia, in the far south. She has some forty public gates, and, I suppose, some number of restricted smaller gates, secret gates, posterns, and such. Long ago, I had once entered the city through such a passage, its exterior access point reached by means of a putative Dar-Kosis pit, which passage, I had recently determined, descending into the pit on ropes, was now closed. I supposed that this might be the case with various such entrances, if they existed, given Ar's alarm at the announced approach of Cos. In a sense I regretted this loss, for it had constituted a secret way in and out of the city. Perhaps other such passages existed. I did not know.
"Let us go," suggested Marcus.
I saw a slave girl pass, in a brief, brown tunic, her back straight, her beauty protestingly full within her tiny, tight garment, balancing a jar on her head with one hand. The bottom of the jar rested in a sort of improvised shallow stand or mount, formed of a dampened, wrapped towel. In Schendi the white slave girls of black masters are sometimes taught to carry such vessels on their heads without the use of their hands or such devices as the towel. And woe to the girl who drops it. Such exercises are good for a girl's posture. To be sure, the lower caste black women of Schendi and the interior do such things commonly. I looked at the girl. Yes, I thought, she could be similarly trained, without doubt. If I owned her, I thought, I might so train her. If she proved clumsy or slow to learn she could be whipped. I did not think she would prove slow to learn. Our eyes met, briefly, and she lowered her eyes swiftly, still keeping her burden steady. She trembled for a moment. I think she had seen, in that glance, that I could be her master, but then, so, too, of course, could be many men. A slave girl is often very careful about meeting the eyes of a free man directly, particularly a stranger. They can be cuffed or beaten for such insolence. The collar looked well on her, gleaming, close-fitting, locked. She was barefoot. Her brief garment was all she wore. It would have no nether closure. Thusly on Gor are female slaves commonly garbed. She hurried on.
I thought briefly of the netted woman, observed a bit ago. Soon, she, too, if permitted clothing, might find herself in the brief tunic of yet another delicious, purchasable, embonded slut. Noting such is one of the delights of a Gorean city.
"Let us be on our way," said Marcus. Phoebe clung close to him, her tiny fingers on his sleeve.
"In a moment," I said.
"I do not like such crowds," said Marcus.
We were buffeted about a bit.
"There is a date on the permits," Marcus reminded me, "and they will be checking at the gate to see who has left the city and who has not."
"I think they will be coming out in a moment or two," I said, "there, at that door."
"Who?" he asked.
"There," I said.
I saw the fellow who had been in the room emerge through the door. He was followed by the two magistrates, who had probably now made the entries in their records. They were followed by four guardsmen, in single file. "Make way, make way!" said the fellow from the room, and the crowds parted a little, to let them pass. The third of the three guardsmen carried a burden on his right shoulder. It was a naked woman whose upper body was thoroughly and tightly wrapped in several turns of a heavy net, tied closely about her. Her head was covered with a buckled hood. She squirmed a little, helplessly. She was being carried with her head to the rear, as a slave is carried.
"So that is what you were watching," said Marcus, "a caught slave."
"In a sense," I said.
About at the same time, coming toward us, down the street, following the other party by several yards, was a large, graceful fellow, blond and curly-haired, who was astoundingly handsome, almost unbelievably so. On his left wrist, locked, there was a silver slave bracelet. His tunic was of a silken purple. He had golden sandals.
"Who is that?" I asked a fellow in white and gold, the colors of the merchants, when the handsome fellow had passed. Such a one, I assumed, might be generally known. He was no ordinary fellow.
"That is the actor, Milo," said the man.
"He is a slave," I said.
"Owned by Appanius, the agriculturalist, impresario and slaver," said the fellow, "who rents him to the managements of various theaters."
"A handsome fellow," I said.
"The handsomest man in all Ar," said the merchant. "Free women swoon at his feet."
"And what of slaves?" asked Marcus, irritably, scowling at Phoebe.
"I swoon at your feet, Master," she smiled, putting down her head.
"You may kneel and clean them with your tongue," said Marcus, angrily.
"Yes, Master," she said, and fell to her knees, putting down her head. His slave, Phoebe, had been Cosian.
"The appearance of Milo in a drama assures its success," said the merchant.
"He is popular," I said.
"Particularly with the women," he said.
"I can understand that," I said.
"Some men do not even care for him," said the merchant, and I gathered he might be one of them.
"I can understand that," I said. I was not certain that I was enthusiastic about Milo either. Perhaps it was merely that I suspected that Milo might be even more handsome than I.
"I wish you well," said the merchant.
"Perhaps Milo serves, too, in capacities other than that of an actor," I said.
"What did you have in mind?" asked the merchant.
"Nothing," I said.
"It is Milo," whispered one free woman to another. They were together, veiled.
"Let us hurry after him, to catch a glimpse of him," said one of them.
"Do not be shameless!" chided the first.
"We are veiled," the second reminded her.
"Let us hurry," urged the first then, and the two pressed forward, through the crowd, after the purple-clad figure.
"Fellows as handsome as he," complained the merchant, "should be forced to go veiled in public."
"Perhaps," I granted him. Free women in most of the high cities on Gor, particularly those of higher caste, go veiled in public. Also they commonly wear the robes of concealment which cover them, in effect, from head to toe. Even gloves are often worn. There are many reasons for this, having to do with modesty, security, and such. Slave girls, on the other hand, are commonly scandalously clad, if clad at all. Typically their garments, if they are permitted them, are designed to leave little of their beauty to the imagination. Rather they are designed to call attention to it, and so reveal and display it, sometimes even brazenly, in all its marvelousness. Goreans are not ashamed of the luscious richness, the excitingness, the sensuousness, the femininity, the beauty of their slaves. Rather they prize it, treasure it and celebrate it. To be sure, it must be admitted that the slave girl is only an animal, and is under total male domination. To understand this more clearly, two further items might be noted. First, she must go about in public, denied face veiling. Men, as they please, may look freely upon her face, witnessing its delicacy, its beauty, its emotions, and such. She is not permitted to hide it from them. She must bare it, in all its revelatory intimacy, and with all the consequences of this, to their gaze. Second, her degradation is completed by the fact that she is given no choice but to be what she is, profoundly and in depth, a human female, and must thus, willing or not, sexually and emotionally, physically and psychologically, accept her fulfillment in the order of nature.
"I wish you well," I said to the merchant.
He turned away.
"Make way," I heard. "Make way!"
A house marshal was approaching, carrying a baton, with which he touched folks and made a passage amongst them. He was preceding the palanquin of a free woman, apparently a rich one, borne by some eight male slaves. I stepped to one side to let the marshal, the palanquin and its bearers move past. The sides of the palanquin were veiled.
"Odd that a palanquin of such a nature should be in the Metellan district," I said.
"Perhaps we should consider saving our lives now," said Marcus.
"Phoebe is not finished with your feet," I said.
Phoebe looked up, happily.
"Up," said Marcus irritably, snapping his fingers. Immediately she sprang to her feet. She stood beside him, her head down, docile. She, I noted, attracted her share of attention. I was not too pleased with this, as I did not wish to be conspicuous in Ar. On the other hand, it is seldom wise to interfere in the relationship between a master and a slave.
I looked back down the street. I could no longer see any sign of the fellow who had been in the room, the magistrates, or the guardsmen, with their shapely prisoner. She had been on a guardsman's shoulder, being carried, her head to the rear, as a slave. Later I did not think she would be often accorded the luxury of such transportation. Soon, perhaps in a day or two, she would be learning how to heel a man and to walk gracefully on his leash.
"Oh!" said Phoebe.
Someone in the crowd, in passing, had undoubtedly touched her. Marcus looked about, angrily. I did not know, really, what he expected.
I looked back down the street. I could see the head of Milo, with its blond curls, over the heads of the crowd, about fifty yards away. He was standing near a wall. The free woman's palanquin had stopped briefly by him, and then, after a time, continued on its way.
"Oh!" said Phoebe again.
Marcus turned about again, swiftly, angrily. There was only the crowd.
"If you do not care for such things," I said, "perhaps you should give her a garment."
"Let her go naked," he said. "She is only a slave."
"Perhaps some article of clothing would not be amiss," I said.
"She has her collar," he said.
"You may never have noticed," I said, "but she is an exquisitely beautiful female."
"She is the lowest and most despicable of female slaves," he said.
"Of course," I said.
"Too," said he, "do not forget that I hate her."
"It would be difficult to do that," I said, "as you have told me so many times."
Phoebe lowered her head, smiling.
"Too," said he, "she is my enemy."
"If ever she was your enemy," I said, "she is not your enemy now. She is now a slave. Look at her. She is simply an animal you own. Do you think she does not know that? She now exists for you, to please and serve you."
"She is Cosian," he said.
"Turn your flank to him, slave," I said. "Touch your collar."
"You can see the brand," I said. "You can see the collar. Furthermore, it is yours."
He regarded the slave, docile, obedient, turned, her fingers, too, lightly on her collar, so closely locked on her lovely neck.
"And it is a pretty flank," I said, "and a lovely throat."
He moaned softly.
"I see that you think so," I said.
The feelings of the young warrior toward his slave were profoundly ambivalent. She was not only the sort of female that he found irresistibly, excruciatingly attractive, as I had known before I had shown her to him the first time, but, to my surprise and delight, there seemed to be a special mystery or magic, or chemistry, between them. Each was a dream come true for the other. She had been, it seemed, in some profound genetic sense, born for his chains. They fitted together, like a lock and its key. She loved him profoundly, helplessly, and from the first time she had seen him. He, too, had been smitten. Then he had discovered that she was from Cos, that ubarate which was his hated foe, at the hands of whose mercenary and regular forces he had seen his city destroyed. It was no wonder that in rage he had vowed to make the lovely slave stand proxy for Cos, that he might then vent upon her his fury, and his hatred, for Cos, and all things Cosian. And so it was that he had determined to reduce and humiliate her, and make her suffer, but with each cuffing, with each command, with each kick, with each blow of the whip, she became only the more his, and the more loving. I had known for a long time, even as long ago as the inn of the Crooked Tarn, on the Vosk Road, before the fall of Ar's Station, that she had profound slave needs, but I had never suspected their depth until I had seen her in a camp outside Brundisium, kneeling before Marcus, looking up at him, unbelievingly. She had known then that she was his, and in perfection. I had no doubt they fitted together, in the order of nature, in the most intimate, beautiful and fulfilling relationship possible between a man and a woman, that of love master and love slave. To be sure, she was Cosian.
Phoebe put down her head, shyly smiling.
"Cosian slut!" snarled Marcus.
He seized her by the arms and lifted her from her feet, thrusting her back against the wall of the building.
He held her there, off her feet, her back pressed back, hard, against the rough wall.
"Yes," she cried. "Yes!"
"Be thusly used, and as befits you," said he, "slave, and slut of Cos!"
"Yes, my Master!" she wept. She clung about him, her eyes closed, her head back, gasping.
Then he cried out, and lowered her to the stones of the street.
She knelt there, gratefully, sobbing. Her back was bloody. Marcus had not been gentle with the slave. She was holding to his leg.
"Disgusting," said a free woman, drawing her veil more closely about her face.
Did she not know that she, too, if she were a slave, would be similarly subject to a master's pleasure?
"This is a very public place," I said to Marcus.
A small crowd, like an eddy in the flowing stream of folks in the street, had gathered about.
"She is a slut of Cos," said Marcus to a fellow nearby.
"Beat her for me," said the man.
"She is only a slave," I said.
"A Cosian slut," said one man to another.
"She is only a slave," I said again.
The crowd closed in a bit more, menacingly. Phoebe looked up, frightened.
In the press there was not even room to draw the sword, let alone wield it.
"Let us kill her," said a fellow.
"Move back," said Marcus, angrily.
"A slut of Cos," said another man.
"Let us kill her!" said another fellow.
Phoebe was very small and helpless, kneeling on the stones, near the wall.
"Continue on your way," I said to the men gathered about. "Be about your business."
"Cos is our business," said a man.
The ugliness of the crowd, its hostility, and such, was, I think, a function of recent events, which had precipitated confusion, uncertainty and terror in Ar, in particular the military catastrophe in the delta, in which action, absurdly, the major land forces of Ar had been invested, and the news that the Cosian forces at Torcadino, one of the largest assemblages of armed men ever seen on Gor, under their polemarkos, Myron, cousin to Lurius of Jad, Ubar of Cos, had now set their standards toward Ar. Torcadino had been a supply depot for the forces of Cos on the continent. It had been seized by the mercenary, Dietrich of Tarnburg, to forestall the march on Ar. Ar, however, had failed to act. She had not relieved the siege at Torcadino nor that in the north, at Ar's Station. Dietrich, finally understanding the treason in Ar, in high places, had managed to effect a withdrawal from Torcadino. His location was now unknown and Cos had put a price on his head. Now there lay little or nothing between the major forces of Cos on the continent, now on the march, and the gates of Ar. Further, though there was much talk in the city of resistance, of the traditions of Ar, of her Home Stone, and such, I did not think that the people of Ar, stunned and confused by the apparently inexplicable succession of recent disasters, had the will to resist the Cosians. Perhaps if there had been a Marlenus of Ar in the city, a Ubar, one to raise the people and lead them, there might have been hope. But the city was now under the governance of the regent, Gnieus Lelius, who, I had little doubt, might have efficiently managed a well-ordered polity under normal conditions, but was an unlikely leader in a time of darkness, crisis and terror. He was, I thought, a good man and an estimable civil servant, but he was not a Marlenus of Ar. Marlenus of Ar had vanished months ago on a punitive raid in the Voltai, directed against the tarnsmen of Treve. He was presumed dead.
"Kill her," said a man.
"Kill her!" said another.
"No!" said Marcus.
"No," I said.
"There are only two of them," said a fellow.
"Listen!" I said, lifting my hand.
In that instant the crowd was silent. More than one man lifted his head. We turned down the street. Phoebe, very small and vulnerable, naked, in her collar, crawled more behind the legs of Marcus.
We could hear the bells, the chanting. In a moment we could see the lifted golden circle, on its staff, approaching. The people in the street hurried to press against the walls.
"Initiates," I said to Marcus.
I could now see the procession clearly.
"Kneel," said a fellow near me.
"Kneel," I said to Marcus.
We knelt, on one knee. It surprised me that the people were kneeling, for, commonly, free Goreans do not kneel, even in the temples of the Initiates. Goreans commonly pray standing. The hands are sometimes lifted, and this is often the case with praying Initiates.
"I do not kneel to such," said Marcus.
"Stay down," I said. He had caused enough trouble already.
We could now smell the incense. In the lead of the procession were two lads in white robes, with shaved heads, who rang the bells. Following them were two more, who shook censers, these emitting clouds of incense. These lads, I assumed, were novices, who had perhaps taken their first vows.
"Praise the Priest-Kings!" said a man, fervently.
"Praise the Priest-Kings," said another.
I thought that Misk, the Priest-King, my friend, might have been fascinated, if puzzled, by this behavior.
An adult Initiate, in his flowing white robe, carried the staff surmounted with the golden circle, a figure with neither beginning nor end, the symbol of Priest-Kings. He was followed by some ten or so Initiates, in double file. It was these who were chanting.
A free woman drew back her robes, hastily, frightened, lest they touch an Initiate. It is forbidden for Initiates to touch women, and, of course, for women to touch them. Initiates also avoid meat and beans. A good deal of their time, I gather, is devoted to sacrifices, services, chants, prayers, and the perusal of mystic lore. By means of the study of mathematics they attempt to purify themselves.
"Save Ar!" wept a man, as they passed.
"Save us, oh intercessors with Priest-Kings!" cried a woman.
"Pray to the Priest-Kings for us," cried a man.
"I will bring ten pieces of gold to the temple!" promised another.
"I will bring ten verr, full-grown verr, with gilded horns!" promised another.
But the Initiates took no note of these not inconsiderable pledges. Of what concern could be such things to them?
"Keep your head down," I muttered to Marcus.
"Very well," he growled. Phoebe was behind us, on her stomach, shuddering, covering her head with her hands. I did not envy her, a naked slave, caught inadvertently in such a place.
In a few moments the procession had passed and we rose to our feet. The crowd had dissipated about us.
"You are safe now," I said to Phoebe, "or at least as safe as is ever a female slave."
She knelt timidly at the feet of Marcus, holding to his leg.
"We cannot resist Cos," said a man, a few feet from us.
"We must place our trust in the Priest-Kings," said another.
"Our lads will protect us," said a man.
"A few pitiful regiments and levies of peasants?" asked another.
"We must place our trust in the Priest-Kings," said a man.
Across from us, about seven feet away, on the other side of the narrow street, was the free woman who had secured her robes, that they might not touch an Initiate. She rose to her feet, looking after the procession. We could still hear the bells. The smell of incense hung in the air. Near the free woman was a female slave, in a short gray tunic. She, too, had been caught, like Phoebe, in the path of the procession. She had knelt with her head down to the street, the palms of her hands on the stones, making herself small, in a common position of obeisance. The free woman looked down at her. As the girl saw she was under the scrutiny of a free person she remained on her knees. "You sluts have nothing to fear," said the free woman to her, bitterly. "It is such as I who must fear." The girl did not answer. There was something in what the free woman had said, though in the frenzy of a sacking, the blood of the victors racing, flames about, and such, few occupants of a fallen city, I supposed, either free or slave, were altogether safe. "It will only be a different collar for you," said the free woman. The girl looked up at her. She was a lovely slave I thought, a red-haired one. She kept her knees tightly together before the free woman. Had she knelt before a man she would probably have had to keep them open, even if they were brutally kicked apart, a lesson to her, to be more sensitive as to before whom she knelt. "Only a different collar for you!" cried the free woman, angrily. The girl winced, but dared not respond. To be sure, I suspected, all things considered, that the free woman was right. Slave girls, as they are domestic animals, are, like other domestic animals, of obvious value to victors. It is unlikely that they would be killed, any more than tharlarion or kaiila. They would be simply chained together, for later distribution or sale. Then the free woman, in fury, with her small, gloved hand, lashed the face of the slave girl, back and forth, some three or four times. She, the free woman, a free person, might be trampled by tharlarion, or be run through, or have her throat cut, by victors. Such things were certainly possible. On the other hand, the free women of a conquered city, or at least the fairest among them, are often reckoned by besiegers as counting within the yield of prospective loot. Many is the free female in such a city who has torn away her robes before enemies, confessed her natural slavery, disavowed her previous masquerade as a free woman, and begged for the rightfulness of the brand and collar. This is a scene which many free women have enacted in their imagination. Such things figure, too, in the dreams of women, those doors to the secret truths of their being. The free woman stood there, the breeze in the street, as evening approached, ruffling the hems of her robes. The free woman put her fingers to her throat, over the robes and veil. She looked at the slave, who did not dare to meet her eyes.
"What is it like to be a slave?" she asked.
"Mistress?" asked the girl, frightened.
"What is it like, to be a slave?" asked the free woman, again.
"Much depends on the master, beautiful Mistress," said the girl. The slave could not see the face of the free woman, of course, but such locutions, "beautiful Mistress," and such, on the part of slave girls addressing free women, are common. They are rather analogous to such things as "noble Master," and so on. They have little meaning beyond being familiar epithets of respect.
"The master?" said the free woman, shuddering.
"Yes, Mistress," said the girl.
"You must do what he says, and obey him in all things?" asked the free woman.
"Of course, Mistress," said the girl. "He is Master."
"You may go," said the free woman.
"Thank you, Mistress!" said the girl, and leaped to her feet, scurrying away.
The free woman looked after the slave. Then she looked across at us, and at Phoebe, who lowered her eyes, quickly. Then, shuddering, she turned about and went down the street, to our left, in the direction from whence the Initiates had come.
"The people of Ar are frightened," said Marcus.
"Yes," I said.
We saw a fellow walk by, mumbling prayers. He was keeping track of these prayers by means of a prayer ring. This ring, which had several tiny knobs on it, was worn on the first finger of his right hand. He moved the ring on the finger by means of his right thumb. When one, turning the ring by means of the knobs, keeping track of the prayers that way, comes to the circular knob, rather like the golden circle at the termination of the Initiate's staff, one knows one has completed one cycle of prayers. One may then stop, or begin again.
"Where do you suppose the Initiates were bound?" I asked Marcus.
"To their temple, I suppose," he said.
"What for?" I asked.
"For their evening services, I presume," he said, somewhat irritably.
"I, too, would conjecture that," I said.
"The sun gate!" he cried. "We must be there before dark!"
"Yes," I agreed.
"Is there time?" he asked.
"I think so," I said.
"Come!" he said. "Come quickly!"
He then, leading the way, hurried up the street. I followed him, and Phoebe raced behind us.
Here is a cover gallery showing all the editions and printings of Magicians of Gor, sorted by year of publication. Click on any cover to see the book.
Here is a cover gallery showing all the editions and printings of Magicians of Gor, sorted by edition. Click on any cover to see the book.