It would gratify me, and give them a most humiliating memory to carry with them into their slavery, that they, the entire band, had been taken by a mere
handful of males. They might be panther girls, but they were only women. We would take them easily. Hunters of Gor, page 118, 119
I saw a woman, in the brief skins of the panther women, turn and approach me.
She wore ornaments of gold, an armlet, and anklet, a long string of tiny, pierced, golden cylinders looped four times about her neck.
At her belt was a sleen knife.
She stood over me. She looked down upon me. Her legs were shapely. She was marvellously figured.
I pulled at the thongs on my wrists and ankles. My feet and arms had been tied separately, widely apart. I was stretched between four stakes. Several
bands of binding fiber fastened each limb to its heavy stake. The stakes were notched to prevent the fiber from slipping. I could scarcely feel my hands
and feet. I was well secured. I had been stripped.
She looked down upon me.
She carried a light spear.
I turned my head to one side.
With the blade of her spear she turned my head so that I must again face her.
“Greetings, Slave,” she said.
I did not speak to her.
She looked down upon me, and laughed.
I, her captive, hated her.
Yet she did not permit me to take my eyes from her. The blade of her spear made me face her.
“Am I so difficult to look upon?” she asked.
She was one of the most exciting beautiful women I had ever seen.
I resented the brief, tight skins which concealed her from me.
Her blond hair, unbound, swirled below the small of her back. Her blue eyes, regarded me, contemptuously.
“No,” I said, “it is not difficult to look upon you.”
She was magnificent. She might have been bred from pleasure slaves and she-panthers. She was sinuous and arrogant, desirable, dangerous, feline. I
had little doubt that she was swift of mind. She was surely proud and haughty. She was lithe. She was perhaps two inched taller than the average
Gorean woman, and yet, due to the perfections of her proportions, as vigorous and stunning as a girl bred deliberately in the slave pens for such
qualities. Hunters of Gor, page 127, 128
Once again Verna stood over me. She looked down upon me. There was incredible pride and superiority in her gaze and carriage. She was barbaric, a
panther girl, a beauty. She carried a spear. She wore at her belt a sleen knife. She wore the skins of forest panthers, primitive ornaments of beaten gold.
Hunters of Gor, page 136
Verna looked down upon me. “You wished to take us as slaves,” she said, “it is you who have been taken slave.”
I looked up at her in horror. I pulled at the thongs.
“Shave him,” she said.
I fought, but two girls held my head, and Mira, laughing, with a small bowl of lather and a shaving knife, shave the two-and-one-half-inch degradation
stripe on my head, from the forehead to the back of my neck.
“You are now well marked,” said Verna, “as a man who has fallen to women.” Hunters of Gor, page 137
Dance of Panther Girls
The girls now knelt about me, in a circle. They were silent. I looked up at the large, white, swift moons. There were three of them, a larger, and two
smaller, looming, dominating.
The girls were breathing heavily. They had set aside their weapons.
They knelt, their hands on their thighs, occasionally lifting their eyes to the moons. Their eyes began to blaze. They put back their heads. Their lips
parted. Their hair fell behind their heads, their faces lifted to the rays of the moons. Then, together, they began to moan and sway from side to side.
Then they lifted their arms and hands to the moons, still swaying from side to side, moaning. I pulled at the thongs that bound me. Then their moaning
became more intense and the swaying swifter and more savage, and, crying out and whimpering, they began to claw at the moons.
Mira leaped to her feet and tore her skins to the waist exposing her breasts to the wild light of the flooding moons. She shrieked and tore at the moons
with her fingernails. In an instant another girl, and then another, and another, had followed her example. Only Verna still knelt, her hands on her thighs,
looking at the moons. Beneath the moons, helplessly, I sought to free myself. I could not do so.
Mira now, the others following, crying out, tore away the scraps of panther skin that had yet concealed their beauty. They now wore only their gold, and
their ornaments. Now, moaning, crying out, the she-beasts of the forest, the panther girls, hands lifted, clawing, began to stamp and dance beneath the
fierce brightness of the wild moons.
Then suddenly they stopped, but stood, still, their hands lifted to the moons.
Verna threw back her head, her fists clenched on her thighs, and cried out, a wild scream, as though in agony.
She leaped to her feet and, looking at me, tore away her skins.
My blood leaped before her beauty.
But she had turned away and naked, her head back, had lifted her hands, too, clawing at the moons.
Then all of them, together, turned slowly to face me. They were breathing heavily. Their hair was dishevelled, their eyes wild.
I lay before them, helpless.
Suddenly, as one, they seized up their light spears, and, swaying, spears lifted, began to circle me.
They were incredibly beautiful.
A spear darted toward me, but did not strike me. It was withdrawn.
It could have killed me, of course, had its owner wished. But it had spared me.
Then, about me, the panther girls, circling, swaying, began a slow stalking dance, as of hunters.
I lay in the center of the circle.
Their movements were slow, and incredibly beautiful. Then suddenly one would cry out and thrust at me with her spear. But the spear was not thrust
into my body. Its point would stop before it had administered its wound. Many of the blows would have been mortal. But many thrusts were only to my
eyes, or arms or legs. Every bit of me began to feel exposed, threatened.
I was their catch.
Then the dance became progressively swifter and wilder, and the feigned blows became more frequent, and then, suddenly, with a wild cry, the swirling
throng about me stood for an instant stock still, and then with a cry, each spear thrust down savagely toward my heart.
I cried out.
None of the spears had struck me.
The girls cast aside the spears. Then, like feeding she-panthers they knelt about me, each one, with her hands and tongue, touching and kissing me.
I cried out with anguish.
I knew I could not long resist them.
Verna lifted her head. She laughed, “You are going to be raped,” she said.
I fought the thongs, but, by their bodies, was thrust back. I felt Mira’s teeth in my shoulder. Hunters of Gor, page, 137, 138, 139
“Rejoice that you are a woman,” said Marlenus. “It is only your sex that has saved you.”
She turned her head to one side. She pulled at the binding fiber, but she was helpless.
“Yes,” said Marlenus, “it is to your sex that you owe your life.”
She turned her head swiftly away. She had been spared because she was a female. She had been spared only because she was a female.
“I have information,” I said, “that, soon, there are more panther girls entering this portion of the forest. It might be well to withdraw before their arrival.”
Marlenus laughed. “They are the girls of Hura,” he said. “They are in my hire.”
Verna cried out with rage.
He looked down at Verna. “I thought they might prove useful in hunting for this one,” he said. He indicated Verna with his foot.
“But this one,” said Marlenus, reaching out and shaking Mira’s head with his large hand, “was the most useful of all.” He laughed. “With my gold, Hura
has increased her band to many girls. It will be the strongest band in the forest. And, with my gold, I purchased our Mira the lieutenancy in that band.”
“And other gold for Mira, too,” she said.
“Yes,” said Marlenus. From his belt he took a heavy pouch.
He handed it to Mira. Hunters of Gor, page 141
“Who are you?” asked Marlenus.
“I am Verna,” she said, “the outlaw.”
Then, to her astonishment, and that of all those watching, saving the Ubar himself, Marlenus took the key to her collar from his pouch. He opened the
collar and replaced the key in his pouch. He then removed the collar from her throat and cast it to one side, in the dirt.
She looked up at him, puzzled.
“Hamstring the outlaw,” he said.
“No!” she cried. She leaped to her feet but two huntsmen, cowled in the heads of forest panthers, seized her by the arms. “No! No!” she screamed.
“May we go, Ubar?” pleaded Hura. Mira, too, wanted to rush to the gate.
“Remain where you are,” said Marlenus.
The two women, frightened, did not move.
“Ubar!” screamed Verna. “Ubar!”
At a gesture from Marlenus the shreds of pleasure silk which still clung to her were torn from her by two huntsmen, they, too, like the others, cowled in
the heads of forest panthers.
She stood before him, free of his collar, stripped, held by huntsmen.
Hanging is a not uncommon penalty in the northern forests for outlawry. Another such penalty, not infrequently inflicted, is hamstringing.
“No, Ubar!” she said. “Please, Ubar!”
In hamstringing the two large tendons behind each knee are cut. The legs my then no longer be contracted. They are then useless. No longer can the
subject walk or run, or ever stand erect.
The subject is, however, not without resource. He can, though it requires strength, and it is awkward and painful, drag himself about by the hands.
When an individual is hamstrung he is often taken to a city where he is left, that he may, if he can, earn his living by begging. Sometimes tavern keepers
gather several such unfortunates together, enslave them, and keep their beggings for themselves. A slave with a tharlarion wagon puts them about the
city in the morning and picks them up at night. Sometimes the tavern keepers blind or mutilate them as well, that they be more piteous, and their
earnings accordingly increased.
Verna was looking at Marlenus with horror.
“Let the outlaw be hamstrung,” said Marlenus.
Two huntsmen threw Verna forward, holding her head toward the ground. Two others held her legs, somewhat higher, stretching them out.
I saw the tendons, beautiful, taut, behind her knees.
A fifth huntsman, at a sign from Marlenus, stepped behind the girl. He removed the sleen knife from its sheath. I saw the edge of the blade touch the
“I am a woman!” screamed Verna. “I am a woman!”
“No,” said Marlenus. “You are an outlaw.”
“I am a woman!” screamed Verna. “I am a woman! I am a woman!”
“No,” said Marlenus. “You have only a body of a woman. inside your body you are a man.”
“No!” she wept. “No! Inside I am a woman! I am woman!”
“Is it true?” asked Marlenus.
“Yes, yes!” wept Verna.
“You acknowledge yourself a female then,” asked Marlenus, “within as well as without.”
“Yes,” cried Verna. “I am a female!”
“Completely?” asked Marlenus.
“Yes,” cried Verna, “I am completely a female.”
“And not a man as well?” pressed Marlenus.
“I am completely and only a female,” wept Verna.
“Then,” said Marlenus, “it seems we should not hamstring you as an outlaw.”
Verna’s body shuddered with relief. She shook in the arms of her captors.
But they did not release her.
“Then,” said Marlenus, “you may be hamstrung for being an escaped slave girl.”
Terror sprang anew into Verna’s eyes.
It was true. The second penalty for an escaping girl, one who has fled before, is not uncommonly hamstringing. I had seem hamstrung girls, begging,
piteous in the streets of Ar. It was not a pleasant sight.
“Hamstring the slave,” said Marlenus.
“Master!” screamed Verna. “Master!”
Marlenus hand indicated that the knife, poised, hesitate. The words that she had spoken stunned us, all save Marlenus. She had called him Master.
The huntsmen held the slave.
“Please, Master!” wept Verna. “Do not hurt me! Do not hurt me!”
“The slave begs for mercy,” said one of the huntsmen.
“Is this true?” asked Marlenus.
“Yes, Master,” wept Verna. “I am yours. I am your girl. I am your slave. I beg for mercy. I beg for mercy, Master!”
“Release her,” said Marlenus. The huntsmen resheathed his sleen knife. The others released the girl. She knelt on the ground, her head down, her hair
forward, her shoulders and body shaking, trembling with terror.
The other girls, too, were frightened. Verna’s girls, in their panther skins, chained by their right ankle. Hura, and Mira, too, were shaken.
Verna had been shattered. Her pride, her obstinacy were gone.
She looked up at Marlenus, as a slave girl looks to the eyes of a master.
She knew then she was his.
Without being told, she went to the collar, lying in the dirt, which Marlenus had cast aside. Trembling, she picked it up and knelt before Marlenus. She
handed him the collar. There were tears in her eyes.
Marlenus wiped the collar on his sleeve. A length of binding cord was brought.
Verna knelt back on her heels. She lifted her arms to Marlenus, wrists crossed. She lowered her head between her arms.
“I submit myself,” she said.
The collar was locked on her throat. Her hands were tied.
She lowered her bound wrists and lifted her head to Marlenus. “I am your girl,” she said, “Master.”
Marlenus turned to a subordinate. “Have her cleaned and combed,” he said. “And perfume her.”
She put down her head.
“Then put her in yellow pleasure silk,” he said, “fresh silk, and place bells on her left ankle.”
“Yes, Ubar,” said the man.
Marlenus was regarding the slave who knelt before him, her head down.
“And have her ears pierced,” said Marlenus, “and fix in them earrings of gold, large ones.”
“Yes, Ubar,” said the man.
The slave, conquered, did not so much as lift her head. It would be done to her, what her master wished.
“And tonight,” said Marlenus, “when she is sent to my tent, see that she wears lipstick.”
“It will be done as you say, Ubar,” said the man. He looked down at Verna. “Come with me, Girl,” he said.
“Yes, Master,” she said, and was led away.
I recalled the Flaminium, in the grip of Marlenus.
“These other slaves,” said Marlenus, indicating Verna´s former girls, “take them away.” Hunters of Gor, page 160 to 163
I reminded myself that it was said that panther girls, once conquered, make excellent slaves.
I think it is a true saying. Hunters of Gor, page 170
The men of Tyros glanced to one another. It was few free men who had ever looked, unbound, on the rites of panther girls. Hunters of Gor, page 196
It might have been a rite not of women, but of she-panthers! How starved must be the lonely, hating panther women of the forests, so gross is their
hostility, so fierce their hatred, and yet need, of men. They twisted, screaming now, clawing at the moons. I would scarcely have guessed at the primitive
hungers evident in each movement of those barbaric, feline bodies. They would be masters of men. Proud, magnificent creatures. And yet by biology, by
their beauty, by their aroused inwardness, could not, in fact, own but only, in their true fulfillment, belong, be taken, be conquered. It was little wonder
such proud, fine women hated men, to whom nature had destined them. Woman is the natural love prey of men. She is natural quarry. She is complete
only when caught, only when brought to the joy of her capture and conquest. It was not strange that the proud, intelligent women of the forest, and
elsewhere, chose war with men, rather than admit the meaning of his strength and swiftness, the meaning of their own weakness and beauty. Set a
woman to run down a man and she cannot do so. Set a man to run down a woman and he will be successful. Nature has not destined her to escape him.
It has destined her to be his capture and love.
I smiled to myself at those who regarded the needs of women as inferior to those of men. The woman, I realized, looking down upon the panther girls,
has an imperative, enormous need. It is as great as that of the male, I expected, perhaps greater, for she is less satiable, and the tissues of her
womanhood are widely spread, and intricate and deep. Her entire body, is seems, is alive to feeling, and yielding and touching, is a need. Her beauty is
she, and its meaning, from the turn of an ankle to the delicacy of her deft, sweet fingers, from the turn of a calf to her belly and the beauties of her
breasts, to those of her shoulders and throat and the marvelousness of her head and hair, is a need. How tragic it is, I thought, that such incredible
human beings should be so belittled, frustrated and abused. I do not refer to the cruelties of Gorean slavery, which celebrate women and, in their rude
fashion, often uncompromisingly, force the helpless, total surrender she yearns in the heart of her to give, but the subtler, crueller slaveries of Earth,
pretending to respect her and then, by education and acculturation, depriving her not only of status and independence, but of love. Hunters of Gor, page
The drum was now very heady, swift. The dance of the panther girls became more wild, more frenzied. Vicious, sinuous, clawing, lithe, these savage
beauties, in their skins and gold, with their knives, their light spears, weapons darting, danced. They were terrible and beautiful, in the streaming,
flooding light of the looming, primitive moons, their eyes blazing. The hair of all was unbound. Several had already, oblivious of the presence of the men
of Tyros, torn away their skins to the waist, others completely. On some I could hear the movement of the necklaces of sleen teeth tied about their
necks, the shivering and ringing of slender golden bangles on their tanned ankles. In their dance they danced among the staked-out bodies of the men
of Marlenus, and about the great Ubar himself. Their weapons leapt at the bound men, but never did the blows fall.
The coals in the brazier formed a blazing cylinder in the firelit darkness of the circle. I could see, dark, the handle of the slave iron.The dance would soon
strike its climax. It could continue little longer. The women would go mad with their need to strike and rape.Suddenly the drum stopped and Hura
stopped, her body bent backward, her head back, her long black hair falling to the back of her knees.
She was breathing deeply, very deeply. Her body was covered with a sheen of sweat.
The girls not put down their weapons and crowded about the bound figure of Marlenus, looking at him, inching closer, breathing heavily, not speaking.
“Brand him,” said Hura.
Marlenus had once denied me bread, and fire and salt. He had once banished me from Ar.
My hatred of Marlenus, and my envy of his glory and success, raged within me.
He had made me seem a fool, and had devastatingly bested me in the game.
I owed him nothing, except perhaps a vengeance for a thousand slights and diminishments, for a thousand unintended, subtle defeats at his hands.
He would be branded, and taken to the coast as slave, for transportation to Tyros, island of his enemies. He would march in their triumph, branded,
naked, chained to the back of a tharlarion wagon, amid blossoms cast by white-silk maidens dancing beside him. There would be jeering throngs. Then,
with music and ceremony, he would be presented before them as he had marched, naked and in the chains of a slave, Sarus, leader of the men of Tyros
in the forest, his captor, would them give him to the council. He would then be pronounced, by the council, slave of Tyros.. he might then be given a name
more fitting a slave then Marlenus. He would then be disposed of as they saw fit. It would be a fit end for Marlenus, Ubar of Ar.
“Brand him!” called Hura. “Brand him!”
Several panther girls, their skins torn away in the dance, held the thigh of Marlenus.
The man of Tyros, grinning, brought the iron forward, in an instant the white-hot marking surface would be pressed deeply into, and held in, for some
seconds, the flesh of Marlenus of Ar.
But the iron did not make its strike. It fell to the grass, setting it afire. Hura cried out with rage. The panther girls looked up from where they knelt beside
Marlenus. The man of Tyros was bent over, and then, slowly, very slowly, he straightened. He seemed puzzled. Then he turned slowly and fell to the
The steel-piled arrow, winged with the feathers of the vosk gull, had pierced his heart.
There was consternation below, screams, men of Tyros leaping to their feet, dirt being cast on fires.
I slipped from the branch on which I had stood, and disappeared in the night. Hunters of Gor, page 198, 199, 200
Two panther girls were swift on her trail, running easily. They were superb athletes, far superior to the inept, clumsy Earth girl who, terrified, fled before
Ilene would soon be taken. She was easy prey. The panther girls ran easily, loops of binding fiber loose in their hands.
Ilene, stumbling, fled on. She would soon be taken.
Panther girls enjoy the capture of escaped female slaves in the forests. They despise them, and hunt them like the animals they are. They find it pleasant
and delicious sport to take them. They are so helpless and weak.
Ilene fell, breathing heavily. The sound of pursuit was close behind her. Wild eyed, she leaped up and stumbled on again.
It would not be pleasant for Ilene, should she fall to them.
Panther girls hold slave girls in great contempt, and treat them with great cruelty. Slave girls, many of whom have been forced to yield themselves totally
to a man, are an object of hatred to panther girls. They represent what the panther girl most fears and hates, her sex. Many slave girls, particularly if
broken to the collar, find men extremely attractive, and are eager to serve intimately those they find most pleasing. Panther girls, whose life is predicated
on the hatred of men, are not likely to look leniently on such women. The slave girl, of course, is given no choice but to be feminine, to be a female.
Strangely this is not regarded as relevant by panther girls. That a girl may have fought to the last moment with the last ounce of her strength to avoid
being conquered is of not interest to the panther girl. That she has been conquered is all that counts to them. That her owner had given her no choice
but to yield totally is not considered. The panther girl understands only when it is she herself who has been captured and taught her womanhood, only
when it is she herself who finds herself in the strong arms of a man who, with or without her consent, makes her wholly feminine, who forces her to yield
to him, who is her conqueror. Hunters of Gor, page 201, 202
The grand Finale
Verna´s women, startled, were freed of their bonds. They stood on the beach, among the stones, rubbing their wrists. One by one, collars were taken
from their throats. They looked at Verna.
“I am not pleased with you,” said Verna to them. “You much mocked me when I knelt slave, and wore garments imposed upon me by men.” She then
pointed to her ears. “You mocked me, too,” said she, “when rings were fastened in my ears.” She regarded them. :are there any among you,” she said,
“who wish to fight me to the death?”
They shook their heads.
Verna turned to me. “Pierce their ears,” she said, “and put them all in slave silk.”
“Verna,” protested one of the women.
“Do you wish to fight me to the death?” demanded Verna.
“No, Verna,” she said.
“Let it be done as Verna has said,” said I to Thurnock. Orders were given.
In an Ahn, the girls of Verna knelt before her on the beach. Each wore only clinging, diaphanous slave silk. In their eyes were tears. In the ears of each,
fastened through the lobes of each, were earrings, of a sort attractive in each woman.
The skins of the women who had protested “Verna!” were now worn by Verna herself.
She strode before them on the beach, looking at them. “You would make beautiful slave girls,” she told them.
I saw that the woman called Rena, whom I had used in Marlenus´ camp, before departing it, was especially beautiful.
I sat in the captain´s chair, in authority, but cripples, huddled in blankets, bitter. I knew that I was an important man, but I could not move the left side
of my body.
It was all for nothing.
“You,” challenged Verna to the girl who had protested, “how do you like the feel of slave silk?”
She looked down.
“Speak!” ordered Verna.
“It makes me feel naked before a man,” she said.
“Do you wish to feel his hands, and his mouth, on your body?” she asked.
“Yes!” she cried, miserably, kneeling.
Verna turned and pointed out one of my men, an oarsmen. “Go to him and serve his pleasure,” ordered Verna.
“Verna!” cried the girl, miserably.
“Go!” ordered Verna.
The panther girl fled to the arms of the oarsmen. He threw her over his shoulder and walked to the sand at the foot of the beach.
“You will learn, all of you,” said Verna, “as I learned what it is to be a woman.”
One by one, she ordered the girls to serve the pleasure of oarsmen. The girl, Rena, fled instead to me, and pressed her lips to my hand.
“Do as Verna tells you,” I told her.
She kissed my hand again, and fled to him whom Verna had indicated she must serve.
Their cries of pleasure carried to me.
Marlenus regarded Verna. “Will you, too,” he asked, “not serve?”
“I know already what it is to be a woman,” she said. “You have taught me.”
He reached out his hand, to touch her. I had not seen so tender a gesture in the Ubar. I had not thought such a movement to be within him.
“No,” she said, stepping back. “No.”
He withdrew his hand.
“I fear your touch, Marlenus,” she said. “I now what you can do to me.”
He regarded her.
“I am not your slave,” she said.
“The throne of the Ubara of Ar,” he said, “is empty.
They looked at one another.
“Thank you,” she said, “Ubar.”
“I will have all arrangements made,” he said, “for your investiture as Ubara of Ar.”
“But,” she said, “Marlenus, I do not wish to be Ubara of Ar.”
His men gasped. My men could not speak. I, too, was struck with silence.
To be Ubara of Ar was the most glorious thing to which a woman might aspire. It meant that she would be the richest and most powerful woman on Gor,
that armies and navies, and tarn cavalries, could move upon her very word, that the taxes of an empire the wealthiest on Gor could be laid at her feet,
that the most precious of gems and jewelries might be hers, that she would be the most envied woman on the planet.
“I have the forests,” she said.
Marlenus could not speak.
“It seems,” he said, :that I am not always victorious.”
“No,” she said, “Marlenus, you have been victorious.”
He looked at her, puzzled.
“I love you,” she said. “I loved you even before I knew you, but I will not wear your collar and I will not share your throne.”
“I do not understand,” he said. I had not thought, ever, to see the Ubar as he stood there, looming over this woman, whom he might, did he choose,
seize and own, but standing there numb, not understanding.”
“You do not understand,” said she, “because I am a woman.”
He shook his head.
“It is called freedom,” she said.
Then Verna turned away from him, in the skins of a panther woman. “I shall wait for my women in the forest,” she said. “Tell them to find me there.”
“Wait!” said Marlenus of Ar. His voice was agonized. His hand lifted, as though to beg her to return with him.
I was startled. Never had I understood that the Ubar of Ar could be thus. He had cared, he then understood, and we, too, for this lonely, proud, beautiful
“Yes?” asked Verna, turning to regard him. in her eyes, too, I thought I saw moisture.
Whatever Marlenus might have said to her, he did not say. He stood still for a moment, and then straightened himself. With one hand he tore from his
throat the leather and claws he wore there. I saw that among those barbaric ornaments was a ring. I gasped, for it was the seal of Ar, the signet of
Glorious Ar. He threw it to Verna, as a bauble.
She caught it.
“With that,” he said, “you are safe in the realm of Ar. With that you can command the power of the city. This is as the word of the Ubar. With this you can
buy supplies. With this you can command soldiers. Any who comes upon you and see this ring will know that behind you stands the power of Ar.”
“I do not want it,” she said.
“Wear it,” said Marlenus, “for me.”
Verna smiled. “Then,” said she, “I want it.” She tied the ring on a bit of leather about her neck.
“The Ubara of Ar,” said he,” might wear such a ring.”
“I have the forests,” she said. “Are they not more beautiful even that the city of Ar?”
They regarded one another.
“I will never see you again,” said Marlenus.
Verna shrugged. “Perhaps not,” she said. “But perhaps you will.”
He looked at her.
“Perhaps, sometime,” she said. “I will trek to Ar. I have heard that it is a fine city.”
“And perhaps,” said she, “from time to time, you might come again to hunt in the northern forests.”
“Yes,” he said. “Such is my intention.”
“Good,” she said. “Perhaps, sometimes, we can hunt together.”
Then she turned to depart.
“I wish you well. Woman,” said Marlenus of Ar.
She turned to face him, and smiled. “I, too,” said she, “wish you well.” Hunters of Gor, page 300 to 302
"That means they are men who were taken by women," said Ute. "See," she said, pointing up to the hills and forests north of Laura. "Those are the
great forests. No one knows how far they extend to the east, and they go north as far as Torvaldsland. In them there are the forest people, but also
many bands of outlaws, some of women and some of men."
"Women?" I asked.
"Some call them forest girls," said Ute. "Other call them the panther girls, for they dress themselves in the teeth and skins of forest panthers, which they
slay with their spears and bows."
I looked at her.
"They live in the forest without men," she said, "saving those they enslave, and then sell, when tiring of them. They shave the heads of their male slaves
in that fashion to humiliate them. And that, too, is the way they sell them, that all the world may know that they fell slave to females, who then sold
"Who are these women?" I asked. "Where do they come from?"
"Some were doubtless once slaves," said Ute. "Others were once free women. Perhaps they did not care for matches arranged by their parents. Perhaps
they did not care for the ways of their cities with respect to women. Who knows? In many cities a free woman may not even leave her dwelling, without
the permission of a male guardian or member of her family." Ute smiled up at me. "In many cities a slave girl is more free to come and go, and be happy,
then a free woman." Captive of Gor, page 81-82
The girls moved swiftly, single file, through the brush and small trees at the edge of the forest. I could feel leaves and twigs beneath my feet. They
stopped only long enough to lift aside some branches and take up the light spears, and bows and arrows, which they had hidden there. Each girl wore,
too, at her waist, a sheathed sleen knife.
The tall, blond girl, Verna, beautiful and superb, led the file, her bow and a quiver of arrows now on her back, her spear in hand. Sometimes she would
stop to listen, or lift her head, as though testing the air, but then she would resume her journey. Bound as I was, and without the protection of skins, I
could not protect my body from the lashing of branches. If I should stop in pain, struck or stumble, the merciless choke leash, closing on my throat,
impelled me forward again. Captive of Gor, page 122
"I want to join you," I said.
There was a silence.
"We do not accept slave girls among the women of the forest," said Verna proudly.
"I am not a slave girl!' I cried.
Verna regarded me. "How many of us do you count?" she asked.
"Fifteen," I told her.
"My band," said Verna, "consists of fifteen. This, it seems to me, is a suitable number, for protection, for feeding, for concealment in the forest." She
looked at me. "Some groups are smaller, some larger, but my band," she said, "as I wish, numbers fifteen."
I said nothing.
"Would you like to be one of us?" she asked.
"Yes!' I cried. "Yes!"
"Unite her," said Verna.
The choke leash was removed from my throat. My wrists were unbound.
"Stand," said Verna.
I did so, and so, too, did the other girls. I stood, rubbing my wrists.
The girls put down their spears, unslung the bows and quivers from their shoulders.
The light of the three moons filtered through the trees, speckling the glade.
Verna removed her sleen knife from her belt. She handed it to me.
I stood there, holding the knife.
The other girls stood ready, some half crouching. All had removed their knives from their sheaths.
"The place of which of these," said Verna, "will you take?"
"I do not understand," I said.
"One of these," said Verna, "or myself, you will fight to the death."
I shook my head, No.
"I will fight you, if you wish," said Verna, "without my knife."
"No," I whispered.
"Fight me, Kajira!" hissed the girl who had held my leash. Her knife was ready.
"Me!" cried another.
"Me!" cried yet another.
One of the girls cried out and leaped toward me, the knife flashing in her hand.
I screamed and threw the knife from me, and fell to my knees, my head in my hands.
"No, no!" I cried.
"Bind her," said Verna. Captive of Gor, page 124, 125, 126
"Verna," said one of them.
"Quiet," said Verna.
The file continued its journey through the trees and brush, threading its way through the darkness and branches.
"We have seen men," said one of the girls, insistently.
"Be silent," said Verna.
"We should have taken slaves," said another, irritably.
"No," said Verna.
"The circle," said another. "We must go to the circle!"
Verna stopped and turned.
"It is on our way," said another.
"Please, Verna," said another, her voice pleading.
Verna regarded the girls. "Very well," she said, "we shall stop at the circle."
The girls relaxed visibly.
Irritably, Verna turned, and again we continued on our way.
I understood nothing of this.
I was miserable. I cried out, suddenly, when a branch, unexpectedly struck me across the belly. With a cry of rage the girl who held my leash expertly,
with a twist of her wrist, threw me choking from my feet. Then her foot was on the leash a few inches from my neck, pinning me, choking, to the ground.
With the free end of the leash she struck me five times across my back.
"Silence, Kajira!" she hissed.
Then I was pulled again to my feet, and we continued our journey. Again branches struck me, but I did not cry out. My feet and legs were bleeding; my
body was lashed, and scratched.
I was nothing with these proud, free, dangerous, brave women, these independent, superb, unfearing, resourceful, fierce felines, panther girls of the
northern forests of Gor. They were swift, and beautiful and arrogant, like Verna. They were armed, and could protect themselves, and did not need men.
They could make men slaves, if they wished, and sell them later, if they were displeased with them or wearied of them. And they could fight with knives
and knew the trails and trees of the vast forests. They feared nothing, and needed nothing.
They were so different from myself.
They were strong, and unfearing. I was weak, and frightened.
It seemed they were of a sex, or breed, other than, and superior to my own.
Among such women I could be but the object of their scorn, what they despised most, only Kajira.
And among them I felt myself to be only Kajira, one fit to be tethered and led, scorned as an insult to the beauty and magnificence of their sex.
I was other than, and less than, they.
"Hurry, Kajira!" snapped the girl who dragged in my leash.
"Yes, Mistress," I whispered.
I was being taken at night through the forest, a bound slave. Verna had told me that there was a man. I had been told that I had been boug`t. I was
being delivered by women, another woman, but a weakling, one who was only a piece of merchandise, one who, on this harsh world, could be only
merchandise, to my master.
Then, after perhaps another hour, we came, almost abruptly, suddenly, to a stand of the high trees, the Tur trees, of the northern forests.
It was breathtakingly beautiful.
The girls stopped.
I looked about myself. The forests of the northern temperate latitudes of Gor are countries in themselves, covering hundreds of thousands of square
pasangs of area. They contain great numbers of various species of trees, and different portions of the forests may differ considerably among themselves.
The most typical and famous tree of these forests is the lofty, reddash Tur tree, some varieties of which grow more than two hundred feet high. It is not
known how far these forests extend. It is not impossible that they belt the land surfaces of the planet. They begin near the shores of Thassa, the Sea, in
the west. How far they extend to the east is not known. They do extend beyond the most northern ridges of the Thentis Mountains.
We found ourselves now in a stand of the lofty Tur trees. I could see broadly spreading branches some two hundred feet or more above my head. The
trunks of the trees were almost bare of branches until, so far above, branches seemed to explode in an interlacing blanket of foliage, almost obliterating
the sky. I could see glimpses of the three moons high above. The floor of the forest was almost bare. Between the lofty, widely spaced trees there was
little but a carpeting of leaves.
I saw two of the girls looking up at the moons. Their lips were parted, their fists clenched. There seemed to be pain in their eyes.
"Verna," said one of them.
"Silence," said their leader.
It was no accident that we had stopped at this place.
One of the girls whimpered.
"All right," said Verna, "go to the circle."
The girl turned and sped across the carpeting of leaves.
"Me, Verna!" cried another.
"To the circle," said Verna, irritably.
The girl turned and sped after the first.
One by one, with her eyes, Verna released the girls, and each ran lightly, eagerly, through the trees.
Then Verna came to me and took my leash from the hand of the girl who had held it. "Go to the circle," she told the girl.
Swiftly, not speaking, the girl ran after the others.
Verna looked after them.
We stood alone, she in her skins, I unclothed, she free, I bound, my leash in her grasp.
Verna regarded me, for some time, in the moonlight.
I could not meet her eyes. I dropped my head.
"Yes," said Verna. "You would be pleasing to men. You are a pretty little Kajira."
I could not lift my head.
"I despise you," she said.
I said nothing.
"Are you a docile slave?" she asked.
"Yes, Mistress," I whispered. "I am docile."
Then, to my amazement, Verna unsnapped the choke leash from my throat and then unbound my wrists.
She looked at me, and still I could not meet her eyes.
"Follow the others," she said. "You will come to a clearing. At the edge of the clearing, you will find a post. Wait there to be bound."
"Yes, Mistress," I said.
Verna laughed, and stood behind me. I could imagine her, straight in her skins and golden ornaments, with her spear and weapons, watching me.
Each step was torture.
"Posture!" snapped Verna, from yards behind me.
I straightened my body and, tears in my eyes, walked between the trees, in the moonlight.
After some hundred yards I came to the edge of a clearing. It was some twenty-five to thirty yards in diameter, ringed by the lofty trunks of Tur trees.
The floor of the clearing was lovely grass, thick and some inches in height, soft and beautiful. I looked up. Bright in the dark, star strewn Gorean sky,
large, dominating, seemingly close enough to touch, loomed the three moons of Gor.
The girls of Verna's band stood about the edge of the circle. They did not speak. They were breathing deeply. They seemed restless. Several had their
eyes closed, their fists clenched. Their weapons had been discarded.
I saw, at one side of the clearing, the post.
It was about five feet high, and seven inches thick, sturdy, sunk deep in the ground. In its back, there were two heavy metal rings, one about two feet
from the ground, the other about three and a half feet from the ground. It was a rough post, barked. On its front, near the top, carved, cut into the bark
with the point of a sleen knife, was a crude representation of opened slave bracelets. It was a slave post.
I went and stood before it, Elinor Brinton, the slave.
Briefly, through my mind flashed the memory of my former riches, of the penthouse, the Maserati, my luxuries, and education and travels, my former
status and power, and then of my capture and my transportation to this rude world.
"Kneel," snapped Verna.
I did so.
Verna resnapped the leather and metal choke collar on my throat. She then threaded the leash through the ring, about three and half feet high, behind
the post, brought the leash about and looped it, from the left to the right, about my neck and then rethreaded it through the ring, pulling it tight. I was
bound by the neck to the post. Then she threaded the free end of the leash through the lower of the two rings, passes it about my belly, and rethreaded
it tight, fastening me at the waist to the post. With the free end of the leash, keeping it taut, she then lashed my ankles together behind the post. I was
bound, save that my hands were free.
Verna took the length of binding fiber from her skins, that which had formerly bound my wrist.
"Place you hands above your head," she said.
I did so.
She tied the binding fiber securely about my left wrist, took the fiber behind the post, threaded it through the highest of the two metal rings, and then,
jerking my right wrist back, bound it, too, fastening me to the post.
I knelt, secured.
"Docile slave," sneered Verna.
"Verna!" spoke one of the girls.
"Very well!" said Verna, irritably. "Very well!"
The first girl to leap to the center of the circle was she who had first held my leash.
She had blond hair. Her head was don, and shaking. Then she threw back her head, moaning, and reached up, clawing for the moons of Gor. The other
girls too, responded to her, whimpering and moaning, clenching and unclenching their fists.
The first girl began to writhe, crying out, stamping in the circle.
Then another girl joined her, and another, and another. And then another!
Stamping, turning, crying out, moaning, clawing at the moons, they danced.
Then there were none who had not entered that savage circle, save Verna, the band's leader, proud and superb, armed and disdainful, and Elinor
Brinton, a bound slave.
The first girl, throwing back her head to the moons, screamed and tore her skins to the waist, writhing.
Then, for the first time I noticed, in the center of the circle, there were four heavy stakes, about six inches in height, dark in the grass. They formed a
small, but ample, square. I shuddered. They were notched, that binding fiber might not slip from them.
The first girl began to dance before the square.
I looked up into the sky. In the dark sky the moons were vast and bright.
Another girl, crying out, tore her own skins to the waist and clawing, moaning, writhing, approached the square. Then another, and another!
I did not even look upon Verna, so horrified I was at the barbaric spectacle. I had not believed that women could be like this.
And then the first girl tore away her skins and danced in her golden ornaments beneath the huge, wild moons, on the grass of the circle, before the
I could not believe my eyes. I shuddered, fearing such women.
Then suddenly, to my amazement, Verna cried out in anguish, a wild, moaning, anguished cry, and threw from herself her weapons and tore away her
own skins and leaped into the circle, turning and clawing and crying out like the others. She was not other than they, but first among them! She danced
savagely, clad only in her gold and beauty, beneath the moons. She cried out and clawed. Sometimes she bit at another girl or struck at her, if she dared
approach the square more closely than she, writhing, enraged, but fearful, eyes blazing, dancing, they fell back from her.
She danced first among them, their leader.
Then, throwing her head back, she screamed, shaking her clenched fists at the moons.
And then, helplessly, she threw herself to the grass within the square, striking at it, biting and tearing at it, and then she threw herself on her back and,
fists clenched, writhed beneath the moons.
One by one the other girls, too, violently, threw themselves to the grass, rolling upon it, and moaning, some even within the precincts of the square,
then throwing themselves upon their backs, some with their eyes closed, crying out, others with their eyes open, fixed helplessly on the wild moons,
some with hands tearing at the grass, others pounding the earth piteously with their small fists, sobbing and whimpering, their bodies uncontrolled,
helpless, writhing, under the moons of Gor.
I found myself pulling at my bonds, suddenly aching with an inexplicable loneliness and desire. I pulled at the fiber that bound my wrists, so cruelly back;
my throat pressed against the straps on my throat, almost choking me; my belly writhed under its strap; my ankles moved again one another, helpless in
the leather confinement of the knotted strap. I looked up at the moons. I cried out in anguish. I wanted to be free, to dance, to cry out, to claw the
moons, to throw myself on the living, fibrous, flowing grass, to writhe with these women, my sisters, to writhe with them in the frenzy of their need.
No, I cried out to myself, no, no! I am Elinor Brinton! I am of Earth! No, no!
"Kajirae!" I screamed at them. "Kajirae!" "Slaves! Slaves!"
There was no fear in my voice, but almost hysterical triumph! "Slaves!" I screamed at them. "Slaves!" I then knew myself better that they! I was
superior! I was above them! Though I was bound and branded I was a thousand times greater and finer than they. I was Elinor Brinton! Though I might
be stripped, though I might be tied to a slave post, I was greater and finer, and of nobler stock, than they. They were naught but slaves.
"Kajirae!" I screamed at them. "Kajirae!" Slaves! Slaves!"
They paid me no attention.
I cried out at them hysterically, and then was quiet. My limbs ached, particularly my arms, tied so cruelly back, but I was not displeased. The moons fled
across the black sky, burning with its bright stars. The girls lay now quietly on the grass, some still whimpering slightly, many with their eyes closed,
some lying on their stomachs, their face pressed against the grass, the stain of tears on their cheek, mingling into the grass. It was colder now, and I felt
chilly, but I did not mind. I was now, though bound and stripped, well pleased with myself. I had regained my self-respect. I now knew myself superior to
such women, to such despicable things, as these.
At last the girls, one by one, rose from the grass, drew on again their skins, and took up their weapons.
Then, Verna at their lead, they approached me.
I knelt by the post, very straight.
"It seemed to me," I said, "that your bodies moved as might have those of slave girls."
My head leaped to the side, stinging, as Verna, with all her might, slapped me.
Then she looked at me. "We are women," she said.
There were tears in my eyes. I tasted a bit of blood in my mouth, where my lip had been struck against my teeth. But I did not cry out or whimper. I
smiled. Then I looked away. Captive of Gor, page 127 to 135
The Capture of Panther Girls
A cart was passing, flanked by huntsmen and slaves, bearing their burdens of gourds, flowers, nuts and fruits. On the cart, horizontally, parallel to the
axles, there was a high pole, lashed together at the point of their crossings. It was a trophy pole, with its stanchions, peeled, formed of straight
branches, like the other trophy poles, from which had hung the skins of slain animal. Only standing below this pole, alone on the cart, her skins knotted
about her neck, her wrists bound behind her back, her hair fastened over the pole, holding her in place, was a beautiful panther girl, stripped, her
weapons, broken, lying at her feet. I recognized her as one of the girl's of Verna's band.
I cried out with pleasure.
It was the first of five carts. On each, similarly, wrists bound behind her back, stripped, her hair bound cruelly over a trophy pole, stood a panther girl,
each more beautiful than the last.
I heard the blare of the trumpets, the clash of the cymbals, the pounding of the drums. The men shouted. Women cursed, and screamed their hatred of
the panther girls. Children cried out and pelted them with pebbles. Slave girls in the crowd rushed forward to surge about the carts, to poke at them with
sticks, strike them with switches and spit upon them. Panther girls were hated. I, too, wished I could rush out and strike them and spit upon them. From
time to time, guards, huntsmen, with whips, would leap to the cart and crack their whips, terrifying the slave girls, who knew that sound well, back from
the carts, that they might pass, but then the slaves would gather again, and rush about the following cart, only to be in turn driven back again. Standing
outside the range of the whip they would then spit, and curse and scream their hatred of the panther girls.
"Slaves are so cruel," said Ute.
Cart by cart passed.
"Look!' cried Inge.
We now heard the snap of whips again, but this time the leather blades fell upon the naked backs of girls.
"Look!" cried Lana, pleased.
A huntsmen came now, holding in his hand five long leather straps, dragging behind him five panther girls. Their wrists were bound before their bodies,
lashed tightly. The same strap that lashed their wrists, I saw, served, too, as their leash, that held in the huntsman's grip. Like the girls bound by the
hair to the trophy poles, on the carts, these were stripped, their skins knotted about their necks.
Behind them there walked another huntsman, with a lash. He would occasionally strike them, hurrying them forward.
I saw the lash fall across the back of the blond girl, she who had held my leash in the forest, who had been so cruel to me. I heard her cry out, and saw
her stumble forward, bound, in pain. I laughed.
Behind this first group of five girls there came a second group, it, too, with its huntsman holding the leashes, dragging his beautiful captives, and another
following behind, occasionally lashing them forward.
How pleased I was. There had been fifteen girls, five on the carts, and two of the tethered groups! All of Verna's band had fallen captive!
There now came a great shout, and I squeezed even further forward in the wagon, to peep out.
Then the crown became suddenly quiet.
One last cart approached. I could hear its wheels on the stones before I could see it.
It was Verna.
Beautiful, barbaric Verna!
Nothing, save her weapons, had been taken from her. She still wore her brief skins, and about her neck and on her arms, were barbaric ornaments of
But she was caged.
Her cage, mounted on the cart, was not of branches, but of steel. It was a circular cage, between some six and seven feet in height, flat-bottomed, with
a domed top. Its diameter was no more than a yard.
And she was chained.
Her wrists were manacled behind her body, and a chain led from her confined wrists to a heavy ring set in the bottom of her cage.
Her head was in the air.
She was manacled as heavily as might have been a man. This infuriated me. Slave bracelets would hold her, as they would any women!
How arrogant and beautiful she seemed!
How I hated her!
And so, too, must have the other slave girls in the crowd, with their switches and sticks.
"Hit her!" I screamed through the canvas.
"Be quiet!" cried Ute, in horror.
"Hit her!" screamed Lana.
The crowd of slave girls swarmed forward toward the cart with their sticks and switches, some of them even leaping upon it, spitting, and striking and
poking through the bars of the high narrow cage.
I saw that the domed top of Verna's cage was set with a ring, so that the cage might be, if one wished, hung from the branch of a tree, or suspended
from a pole, for public viewing. Doubtless Marlenus had given orders that she be exhibited in various cities and villages on the route to Ar, his prize, that
she might thus, this beautiful captive, an outlaw girl well known on Gor, considerably redound to his prestige and glory. I supposed that she would not
be enslaved until she reached Ar. Then, I supposed, she would be publicly enslaved, and perhaps by the hand of Marlenus himself.
The slave girls swarmed about the cage, poking, and striking with their switches, and spitting and cursing. Their abuse was endured by Verna. It seemed
she chose to ignore them. This infuriated them and they redoubled their efforts. Verna now flinched with pain, and her body was cut and marked, but still
she would not lower her head, nor did she deign to speak to, or recognize in any way, her foes.
Then there was a roar of anger from the crowd and, to my fury, men began to leap, too, to the cart, but to hurl the slave girls from the cage. And
huntsmen, too, angrily, now leaped to the cart, striking about them with their whips. The slave girls screamed, and fled from the cart. Men seized them,
and disarmed them of their sticks and switches, and them threw the girls to the stones at their feet, where they cowered, at the sandals of free men,
and then the men ordered them from the street. The girls leapt up and, weeping, terrified, fled away, humiliated, chastened slaves. Captive of Gor, page
213 t0 216
I still held the stick with which I had poked the blond-haired girl, she who had held my leash in the forest.
I struck out with it, upsetting the pan of water in her cage, emptying it. The water ran over the small, circular floor of the cage, and some of it dripped
out, falling to the ground.
Still Verna made no move.
I walked about the cage. Verna could not watch both myself and Lana.
She did not turn to follow me. Behind the cage I reached in and stole the food she had in the cage, two larma fruit lying, split, on its metal floor. I bit into
one and tossed the other to Lana, who, too, ate it.
When we had finished the fruit, Lana and I discarded the skin and seeds.
Verna still watched us, not moving.
I was angry.
Suddenly I struck at her with the stick, and she flinched, but did not cry out.
Lana threw dirt on her.
Then I seized the cage and, on its chain, spun it about. The chain twisted, and then the cage turned. Lana and I, laughing, spun the cage back and forth,
and when I could I struck Verna through the bars. We struck her, and spat on her, and threw dirt on her.
There were huntsmen nearby but they did not restrain us. We had much sport.
Then we let the cage hang still. Verna had her eyes closed. She held the bars. She swallowed.
After a time she opened her eyes.
We, for some minutes more, continued to abuse her, with sticks and dirt, and our spittle and our insults. She made no response.
"Ah," said Verna. Then she spoke to me softly. "Once," she said, "long ago, in the city of Ar, I saw a man, and in seeing him, for the only time in my life, I
was afraid, for I feared he might do to me, if he wished, what Rask of Treve had done to you. I have never feared this of another man."
I looked at her.
"And so I hated him," she said, "and I resolved, someday, to see who would conquer."
"What is his name?' I asked.
"Marlenus of Ar," she said. Captive of Gor, page 342
“Are panther girls truly so strong?” she asked.
“Not really,” I said. “Once captured and conquered, collared and silked, their thigh burned by the iron, thrown to a man´s feet. they are as quick to kiss
and lick as any woman. Indeed, they make superb slaves. They bring high prices in the markets. They are only girls desperate to fight their femininity.
When they are no longer permitted to do this they have no choice but to become marvelous women and slaves. A conquered panther girl is one of the
most abject and delicious, and joyful, of slaves.” Beasts of Gor, page 240
She looked up at me.
“Did You serve him well?” I asked.
“ He put me in slave silk, and jewellery, to show me off,” she said, “ as it amused him, he, of Treve, to have the daughter if Marlenus of Ar for a slave,
but he did not make much use of me. Indeed, I served him, by his will, almost entirely in domestic labours, keeping his tent, and such. This he seemed to
feel was appropriate, such demeaning, servile labours, for the daughter of Marlenus of Ar. But too, I do not think he much cared for me. Then, when he
got his hands on a meaningless lil blond chit, a true slave in every hort of her body, name El-in-or, he gave me away , to a panther girl named Verna, to
be taken to the Northern Forests. I served panther girls, too, as a domestic slave, and was later sold, at the coast, where I came into the collar of
Samos, of Port Kar. Magicians of Gor, page 483
|Free Women of Different Cultures
|This research is done on the series of books written by John Norman, the comments in italics are mine and my point of view.
Woman of Gor