I saw her with several other girls, behind the rear court of the Silver Collar. They were fishing through wire trash containers. These had been left outside
until, later, when the girls had finished with them, when the residues would be thrown into the canals. It was not an act of pure kindness on the part of
the attendants at the paga tavern that the garbage had not been flung directly into the canals.
I looked at the girls. They were all comely. There were seven of them there, not including the one in whom I was interested. They wore rags of various
sorts and colors; they had good legs; they were all barefoot.
I saw the blond-haired barbarian standing back. She, apparently, was repulsed by the garbage. She did not wish to touch it. The other girls paid her no
Except for her failure to exhibit interest in the garbage she might have been only one she-urt among the others. She was as pretty, and as dirty, as the
Suddenly she saw me. For an instant I saw she was frightened. Then she doubtless reassured herself that I could not know her. She was, after all, only
another she-urt. Her thighs were unmarked.
She went then, as not noticing me, to the basket of garbage. She tried to saunter as a she-urt. Steeling herself she thrust her hand into the fresh, wet
garbage. She looked up at me. She saw I was still watching her. In her hand there was a half of a yellow Gorean pear, the remains of a half moon of verr
cheese imbedded in it. She, watching me, lifted it toward her mouth. I did not think it would taste badly. I saw she was ready to vomit.
Suddenly her wrist was seized by the girl, a tall, lovely girl, some four inches taller than she, in a brief white rag, who stood with her at the basket. “Who
are you?” demanded the girl in the white rag. “You are not one with us.” She took the pear from her, with the verr cheese in it. “You have not laid with the
paga attendants for your garbage,” she said. “Get out!” Any woman, even a free woman, if she is hungry enough, will do anything. The paga attendants
knew this. “Get out!” said the girl in the white rag.
Not unrelieved, though I do not think she understood much of what was said to her, the blond barbarian backed away. She reacted then, despite herself,
with momentary horror, as the girl in the white rag bit thoughtlessly into the pear with verr cheese. Then, remembering herself, she tried to look
disappointed. “Get out,” said the girl in the white rag. “This is our territory.” The other girls now, too, belligerently, began to gather around. “Get out,” said
the girl in the white rag, “or we will tie you and throw you into the canal.”
The blond-haired barbarian backed away, not challenging them. The girls then returned to the garbage. The blond-haired girl looked at me. She did not
know which way to go. She did not wish to pass me, but yet, on the other hand, she did not wish to leave a vicinity where the she-urts were common.
The buildings were on one side, the canal on the other. Then she began to walk toward me, to pass me. She tried to walk as a she-urt. She came closer
and closer. She tried not to look at me. Then when she was quite close to me, she looked into my eyes. Then she looked down. I think she was not used
to seeing how Gorean men looked at women, at least slaves and low women, such as she-urts, assessing them for the furs and the collar. Then she
looked boldly up at me, brazenly, trying to pretend to be bored and casual. Then she tossed her head and walked past me. I watched her walk past me.
Yes, I thought, she would make a good slave.
I began to follow her, some twenty or thirty feet behind her. Surely this made her nervous, for she was clearly aware of my continued nearness. Surely
she must have suspected, and fearfully, that I knew who she was. But she could not know this for certain.
Behind us we heard two girls squabbling over garbage, contesting desirable scraps from the wire basket.
I would let her continue on her way. She was going in the direction which I would take her.
In a few moments, beside one of the canals leading down to the wharves, in the vicinity of the Spice Pier, we came on four she-urts. They were on their
bellies beside the canal, fishing for garbage.
The blond-haired girl joined them. Her legs and ankles were very nice.
I knew she was intensely aware of my presence. Boldly she reached out into the water and picked up the edible rind of a larma. She looked at me. Then
she bit into it, and then, tiny bite by tiny bite, she forced herself to chew and eat it. She swallowed the last bit of it. I had wanted her to eat garbage out
of the canal. It would help her to learn that she was no longer on Earth.
I would now capture her. I wished Ulafi, if possible, to sail with the tide.
I busied myself in the sea bag and, not obviously, drew forth a small strip of binding fiber; then I drew the bag shut by its cords.
The girl had risen to her feet and, looking at me, and tossing her head, turned away.
I caught up with her quickly, took her by the back of the neck and, shoving, thrust her, stumbling, running obliquely, against the wall to my right. I tossed
the sea bag to her left. As I had thrown her to the wall it would be most natural for her to bolt to the left. She stumbled over the sea bag and half fell.
Then I had her left ankle in my left hand and her right ankle in my right hand. I dragged her back, towards me, on her belly. I then knelt across her body
and jerked her small hands behind her. I tied them there.
A small fist struck me. “Let her go!” cried a girl. I felt hands scratching at me. Small fists pounded at me. The four girls who had been fishing for garbage in
the canal leaped upon me. “Let her go!” cried one. “You can´t simply take us!” cried another. “We are free! Free!” cried another.
I stood up, throwing them off me. I cuffed two back and two others crouched, ready to leap again to attack.
I stood over the blond girl, one leg on each side of her, She lay on her belly, her hands tied behind her.
Another girl leaped toward me and I struck her to one side with the back of my hand. She reeled away and sank to her knees, looking at me. I think she
had never been struck that hard before. Her hand was at her mouth, blood between the fingers.
The other girl who, too, had been ready to attack, backed now uneasily away. She did not wish to come within reach of my arm.
“Let her go!” said the leader of the four girls. “You can´t just take us! We are free! Free!”
“We will call a guardsman!” cried another.
I grinned. How delightful are women. How weak they are. How fit they are to be made slaves.
“I am sorry I struck you as hard as I did,” I told the girl I had last struck. “I lost my patience,” I said. “I am sorry.” She, after all, was not a slave. She was
a free woman. Slaves, of course, may be struck as long and as hard as one wishes. The girl between my feet, a slave, would learn that.
“Free her,” said the leader of the girls, pointing to the blond-haired barbarian helpless between my feet.
“You cannot just take her,” said another girl. “She is a free woman.”
“Do not fret your heads about her, my pretty´ little she-urts,” I said. “She is not a free woman. She is an unmarked slave, escaped from Ulafi of Schendi.”
“Is it true?” asked the leader of the she-urts.
“Yes,” I said. “Follow me, if you will, to the praetor station, where this fact may be made clear to you.”
“Are you a slave?” asked the leader of the girls to the girl between my feet.
“She does not speak Gorean,” I said, “or much of it. I do not think she understands you.”
The girl between my feet was crying.
“If she is a slave,” said one of the girls, “she had best learn Gorean quickly.”
I thought that was true.
“I hope for your sake,” said the leader of the she-urts to the girl, “that you are not a slave.” Then she said to the other girls, “Find pieces of rope.”
“Are we going to the praetor station?” asked one of the girls, uneasily.
“Of course,” said the leader.
“I do not want to go to the praetor station,” said one of the girls.
“We have done nothing,” said the leader. “We have nothing to fear.”
‘There are men there,” said one of the girls.
“We have men to fear,” said another.
“We are going,” said the leader, determinedly.
I picked up the Earth-girl slave, and threw her over my shoulder. She squirmed helplessly, crying. I picked up my sea bag then, and, the girl on my
shoulder, the sea bag in my left hand, made my way toward the pier of the Red Urt. Explorers of Gor, page 62 to 65
“Do you know this girl?” asked the praetor of Vart.
“Of course,” said Vart. “She is a slave, sold last night to this captain.” He indicated Ulafi of Schendi. “I got a silver tarsk for her.”
The praetor nodded to a guardsman. He thrust the girl down to her knees. She was in the presence of free men. With the neck strap he pulled her head
down and tied it down, fastening it to her ankles by means of the neck strap; the leather between her neck and ankles, which were now crossed and
bound, was short and taut. Her rag, the brown, torn tunic of the she-urt, stolen from she who had been Sasi, was then cut from her. She knelt bound
then, and naked, in one of several Gorean submission positions.
“The slave is awarded to Ulafi of Schendi,” ruled the praetor.
There were cheers from the men present, and Gorean applause, the striking of the left shoulder with the right hand.
“My thanks, Praetor,” said Ulafi, receiving back the slave papers from the magistrate.
“Slave! Slave!” screamed the leader of the she-urts to the bound girl. “Slave! Slave!” they cried.
“To think we let you fish garbage with us, when you were only a slave!” cried the leader.
Then the she-urts who had accompanied me to the station of the praetor, kicking and striking with their ropes, fell upon the bound slave.
She wept, kicked and struck. “Slave! Slave!” they cried.
“Get back!” called the praetor, angrily, to them. “Get back, or we will collar you all!”
The girls, swiftly, shrank back, fearfully. But they continued to look with hatred on the slave.
The blond girl tried to make herself even smaller and more submissive, that she be not more abused. She sobbed. She had had a taste of the feelings of
free women towards a slave, which she was. Explorers of Gor, page 68
I might try to live by begging and scavenging garbage for a time as do those vagrant free women sometimes called she-urts, but I, being collared, could
never pass for one, The she-urts often wear tunics almost as short as those of slaves. This is supposedly to make it easier for them to flee the
guardsmen. On the other hand the guardsmen usually ignore them. Sometimes they will catch one and bind her helplessly, just to let her know that she
can be caught, if men wish. These she-urts have their gangs and territories, I had little doubt but that what they might set upon me and bind me, and turn
me over to guardsmen, hoping for some small reward. I, being slave, could hope for no mercy from them. They would hate and despise me. As low as they
might me they were a thousand times higher then I" They were free women, Once or twice a year, particularly when they are complaints, or they are
becoming nuisances, many of them will be rounded up and taken to a praetor. Their sentence is almost invariably slavery. Interestingly, once branded and
in the collar, and knowing themselves helpless and under suitable male discipline, it is said they become joyful and content, It is almost as if the had
adopted their mode of life and slavelike costumes because, in some part of themselves, perhaps some deep, hidden part, they were begging men to take
tem and make them slaves. They thought they hated men but they were, in face only begging to be put at their feet. Kajira of Gor, page 316-317
|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
|Free Women of Different Cultures