There was reputedly one exception to this generally prevalent attitude of hostility towards the stranger, the city of Tharna, which, according to rumour,
was willing to engage in what on Gor might be accounted the adventure of hospitality. There were many things supposedly strange about Tharna,
among them that she was reportedly ruled by a queen, or Tatrix, and, reasonably enough in the circumstances, that the position of women in that city,
in contrast with most Gorean custom, was one of privilege and opportunity.

I rejoiced that in at least one city on Gor the free women were not expected to wear the Robes of Concealment, confine their activities largely to their
own quarters, and speak only to their blood relatives and, eventually, the Paradoxically, the Gorean, who seems to think so little of women in some
respects, celebrates them extravagantly in others. The Gorean is keenly susceptible to beauty; it gladdens his heart, and his songs and art are often
paeans to its glory. Gorean women, whether slave or free, know that their simple presence brings joy to men, and I cannot but think that this pleases
them. Outlaw of Gor, page 54


I missed in the crowd the presence of slave girls, common in other cities, usually lovely girls clad only in the brief, diagonally striped slave livery of Gor,
a sleeveless, briefly skirted garment terminating some inches above the knee, a garment that contrasts violently with the heavy, cumbersome Robes
of Concealment worn by free women. Indeed, it was known that some free women actually envied their lightly clad sisters in bondage, free, though
wearing a collar, to come and go much as they pleased, to feel the wind on the high bridges, the arms of a master who celebrated their beauty and
claimed them as his own. Outlaw of Gor, page 66


Perhaps I was most startled on the silent streets of Tharna by the free women. They walked in this city unattended, with an imperious step, the men
of Tharna moving to let them pass- in such a way that they never touched. Each of these women wore resplendent Robes of Concealment, rich in
colour and workmanship, standing out among the drab garments of the men, but instead of the veil common with such robes the features of each
were hidden behind a mask of silver. The masks were of identical design, each formed in the semblance of a beautiful, but cold face. Some of these
masks had turned to gaze upon me as I passed, my scarlet warrior's tunic having caught their eye. It made me uneasy to be the object of their gaze,
to be confronted by those passionless, glittering silver masks. Outlaw of Gor, page 67


'Thank you,' I said.

She smiled at me. 'One does not thank a slave,' she said.

'I thought women were free in Tharna,' I said, gesturing with my head toward the grey metal collar she wore.

'I will not be kept in Tharna,' she said. 'I will be sent from the city, to the Great Farms, where I will carry water

to Field Slaves.'

'What is your crime?' I asked.

'I betrayed Tharna,' she said.

'You conspired against the throne?' I asked.

'No,' said the girl. 'I cared for a man.'

I was speechless.

'I once wore the silver mask, Warrior,' said the girl. 'But now I am only a Degraded Woman, for I allowed myself to love.'

'That is no crime,' I said.

The girl laughed merrily. I love to hear the sudden glad music of a woman's laughter, that laughter that so delights a man, that acts on his senses like
Ka-la-na wine. Outlaw of Gor, page 102-103

'I had never been in the arms of a man before,' she said, 'for the men of Tharna may not touch women.'

I must have looked puzzled.

'The Caste of Physicians,' she said, 'under the direction of the High Council of Tharna, arranges these matters.'

'I see,' I said.

'Yet,' she said, 'though I had worn the silver mask, and counted myself a woman of Tharna, when he took me in his arms, I did not find the situation
unpleasant.' She looked at me, a little sadly. 'I knew then that I was no better than he, no better than a beast, worthy only to be a slave.'

'You do not believe that?' I demanded.

'Yes,' she said, 'but I do not care, for I would rather wear the camisk and have felt his kiss, than live forever behind my silver mask.' Her shoulders
shook. I wished that I could have taken her in my arms, and comforted her. 'I am a degraded creature,' she said, 'shamed, a traitress to all that is
highest in Tharna.' Outlaw of Gor, page 106

'Yes,' she said. 'I desired you.' Her head fell and her voice became almost inaudible. 'Though I was Tatrix ofTharna,' she said, 'I wanted to lie at your
feet on the scarlet rug. I wanted to be bound with yellow cords.'

I recalled that she had said something of a rug and cords in the council chamber of Tharna, when she had seemed consumed with rage, when it
seemed she wanted to lash the flesh from my bones.

'What is the significance of the rug and cords?' I asked.

'In ancient days, in Tharna,' said Lara, 'things were different than they are today.'

And then, in the slaver's tent, Lara, who had been Tatrix of Tharna, told me something of the strange history of her city. In the beginning Tharna had
been much as other cities of Gor, in which women were too little regarded and enjoyed too few rights. In those days it had been a portion of the Rites
of Submission, as practiced in Tharna, to strip and bind the captive with yellow cords and place her on a scarlet rug, the

yellow of the cord being symbolic of talenders, a flower often associated with feminine love and beauty, the scarlet of the rug being symbolic of blood,
and perhaps of passion.

He who had captured the girl would place his sword to her breast and utter the ritual phrases of enslavement. They were the last words she would
hear as a free woman.

Weep, Free Maiden.

Remember your pride and weep.

Remember your laughter and weep.

Remember you were my enemy and weep.

Now you are my helpless captive.

Remember you stood against me.

Now you lie at my feet.

I have bound you with yellow cords.

I have placed you on the scarlet rug.

Thus by the laws of Tharna do I claim you.

Remember you were free.

Know now you are my slave.

Weep, Slave Girl.

At this point the captor would untie the girl's ankles and complete the rite. When she rose from the rug to follow him, she was, in his eyes and hers, a
slave.

Over a period of time this cruel practice fell into disuse and the women of Tharna came to be more reasonably and humanely regarded. Indeed,
through their love and tenderness, they taught their captors that they, too, were worthy of respect and affection. And, of course, as the captors came
gradually to care for their slaves, the desire to subjugate them became less, for few men long desire to subjugate a creature for whom they genuinely
care, unless perhaps it be they fear to lose her should she be free.

Yet as the status of women became more ennobled and less clearly defined the subtle tensions of dominance and submission, instinctual throughout
the animal world, tended to assert themselves.

The balance of mutual regard is always delicate and, statistically, it is improbable that it can long be maintained throughout an entire population.
Accordingly, gradually exploiting, perhaps unconsciously, the opportunities afforded by the training of children and the affections of their men, the
women of Tharna improved their position considerably over the generations, also adding to their social power the economic largesse of various funds
and inheritances.

Eventually, largely via the conditioning of the young and the control of education, those superiorities which the female naturally possesses came to be
enlarged on at the expense of those possessed by the male. And just as in our own world it is possible to condition entire populations to believe what
is, from the standpoint of another population, incomprehensible and absurd, so in Tharna both the men and the women came eventually to believe the
myths or the distortions advantageous to female dominance. Thus it was, gradually and unnoticed, that the gynocracy of Tharna came to be
established, and honoured with the full weight of tradition and custom, those invisible bonds heavier than chains because they are not understood to
exist.

Yet this situation, socially viable though it might be for generations, is not one truly productive of human happiness. Indeed, it is not altogether clear
that it is preferable to the male dominated ethos of most Gorean cities, which, too, surely has its unfortunate side. In a city such as Tharna the men,
taught to regard themselves as beasts, as inferior beings, seldom develop the full respect for themselves essential to true manhood. But even more
strangely the women of Tharna do not seem content under the gynocracy. Although they despise men and congratulate themselves on their more lofty
status it seems to me that they, too, fail to respect themselves. Hating their men they hate themselves.

I have wondered sometimes if a man to be a man must not master a woman and if a woman to be a woman must not know herself mastered. I have
wondered how long nature's laws, if laws they are, can be subverted in Tharna. I have sensed how a man in Tharna longs to take the mask from a
woman, and I have suspected how much a woman longs for her mask to be taken. Should there ever be a revolution in the ways of Tharna I would
pity her women - at least at first - for they would be the object of the pent-up frustrations of generations. If the pendulum should swing in Tharna, it
would swing far. Perhaps even to the scarlet rug and yellow cords. Outlaw of Gor, page 203-207

Lara stood beside me, clad as a free woman but not in the Robes of Concealment. She had shortened and trimmed one of the gracious Gorean
garments, cutting it to the length of her knees and cutting away the sleeves so that they fell only to her elbows. It was a bright yellow and she had
belted it with a scarlet sash. Her feet wore plain sandals of red leather. About her shoulders, at my suggestion, she had wrapped a cloak of heavy
wool. It was scarlet. I had thought she might require this for warmth. I  think she thought she might require it to match her sash. I smiled to myself.
She was free.

I was pleased that she seemed happy.

She had refused the customary Robes of Concealment. She maintained that she would be more of a hindrance to me so clad. I had not argued, for she
was right. As I watched her yellow hair swept behind her in the wind and regarded the joyful lineaments of her beauty, I was glad that she had not
chosen, whatever might be her reason, to clothe herself in the traditional manner. Outlaw of Gor, page 211-212

'I fought for Dorna the Proud,' said the boy. His greyish blue eyes filled with tears. 'Forgive me, true Tatrix of Tharna,' he begged. And had it not been
forbidden that he, a man of Tharna should touch her, a woman of Tharna, I think he would have reached his hand toward her.

To his wonder Lara took his hand in hers. 'You did well,' she said. 'I am proud of you, my guardsman.'

The boy closed his eyes and his body relaxed in my arms. Outlaw of Gor, page 218


Andreas, who was stuffing a piece of bread in his mouth, responded, his words a cheery mumble. 'Beneath every silver mask,' he averred
sententiously, 'there is a potential Pleasure Slave.' Outlaw of Gor, page 225


'You see the collars,' said Kron, pointing to the slender graceful bands of silver each girl wore at her throat. 'We melted the masks and used the silver
for the collar.'

Other girls now appeared among the tables, clad only in a camisk and a silver collar, and sullenly, silently, began to serve the Kal-da which Kron had
ordered. Each carried a heavy pot of the foul, boiling brew and, cup by cup, replenished the cups of the men.

Some of them looked enviously at Lara, others with hatred. Their look said to her why are you not clad as we are, why do you not wear a collar and
serve as we serve?

To my surprise Lara removed her cloak and took the pot of Kalda from one of the girls and began to serve the men.

Some of the girls looked at her in gratitude for she was free and in doing this she showed them that she did not regard herself as above them.

'That,' I said to Kron, pointing out Lara, 'is the Tatrix of Tharna.'

As Andreas looked upon her he said softly, 'She is truly a Tatrix.'

Linna arose now and began to help with the serving. Outlaw of Gor, page 225-226


Inscribed in the City of Tharna, the

Twenty-Third day of En'Kara in the Fourth

Year of the Reign of Lara, Tatrix of

Tharna, the Year 10,117 from the Founding

of Ar.

Tal to the men of Earth -

In these past days in Tharna I have taken the time to write this story. Now that it is told I must begin my journey to the Sardar Mountains.

Five days from now I shall stand before the black gate in the palisades that ring the holy mountains.

I shall strike with my spear upon the gate and the gate will open, and as I eneter I will hear the mournful sound of the great hollow bar that hangs by
the gate, signifying that another of the Men Below the Mountains, another mortal man, has dared to enter the Sardar.

I shall deliver this manuscript to some member of the Caste of Scribes whom I shall find at the Fair of En'Kara at the base of the Sardar. From that
point whether or not it survives will depend like so many other things in this barbaric world I have come to love - on the inscrutable will of the
Priest-Kings.

They have cursed me and my city.

They have taken from me my father and the girl I love, and my friends, and have given me suffering and hardship, and peril, and yet I feel that in some
strange way in  spite of myself I have served them - that it was their will that I came to Tharna. They have destroyed a city, and in a sense they have
restored a city.

What manner of things they are I know not, but I am determined to learn.

Many have entered the mountains and so many must have learned the secret of the Priest-Kings, though none has returned to tell it.

But let me now speak of Tharna.

Tharna is now a different city than it had ever been within the memory of living man.

Her ruler - the gracious and beautiful Lara - is surely one of the wisest and most just of rulers on this barbaric world, and hers has been the tortuous
task of reuniting a city disrupted by civil strife, of making peace among factions and dealing fairly with all. If she were not loved as she is by the men of
Tharna her task would have been impossible.

As she ascended once more the throne no proscription notices were posted but a general amnesty was granted to all, both those who had espoused
her cause and those who had fought for Dorna the Proud.

From this amnesty only the silver masks of Tharna were excepted.

Blood was high in the streets of Tharna after the revolt and angry men, both rebels and defenders, joined in the brutal hunt for silver masks. These
poor creatures were hunted from cylinder to cylinder, from room to room.

When found they were dragged forth into the street, unmasked, cruelly bound together and driven to the palace at the point of weapons, their masks
hanging about their necks.

Many silver masks were discovered hiding in obscure chambers in the palace itself and the dungeons below the palace were soon filled with chains of
fair, lamenting prisoners. Soon the animal cages beneath the arena of the Amusements of Tharna had to be pressed into service, and then the arena
itself.

Some Silver Masks were discovered even in the sewers  beneath the city and these were driven by giant, leashed urts through the long tubes until
they crowded the wire capture nets set at the openings of the sewers.

Other Silver Masks had taken refuge in the mountains beyond the walls and these were hunted like sleen by converging rings of irate peasants, who
drove them into the centre of their hunting circles, whence, unmasked and bound, they were herded to the city to meet their fate.

Most of the silver masks however, when it was understood their battle had been lost and the laws of Tharna were irrevocably shattered came of their
own free will into the streets and submitted themselves in the traditional fashion of the captive Gorean female, kneeling, lowering the head, and lifting
and raising the arms, wrists crossed for binding.

The pendulum in Tharna had swung.

I myself had stood at the foot of the steps to the golden throne when Lara had commanded that the giant mask of gold which hung behind it be pried
by spears from the wall and cast to the floor at our feet.

No more would that cold serene visage survey the throne room of Tharna.

The men of Tharna watched almost in disbelief as the great mask loosened, bolt by bolt, from the wall, leaned forward and at last, dragged down by
its own weight, broke loose and plunged clattering down the steps of the throne, breaking into a hundred pieces.

'Let it be melted,' Lara had said, 'and cast into the golden tarn disks of Tharna and let these be distributed to those who have suffered in our day of
troubles.'

Lara stood beside me, clad as a free woman but not in the Robes of Concealment. She had shortened and trimmed one of the gracious Gorean
garments, cutting it to the length of her knees and cutting away the sleeves so that they fell only to her elbows. It was a bright yellow and she had
belted it with a scarlet sash. Her feet wore plain sandals of red leather. About her shoulders, at my suggestion, she had wrapped a cloak of heavy
wool. It was scarlet. I had thought she might require this for warmth. I  think she thought she might require it to match her sash. I smiled to myself.
She was free.

I was pleased that she seemed happy.

She had refused the customary Robes of Concealment. She maintained that she would be more of a hindrance to me so clad. I had not argued, for she
was right. As I watched her yellow hair swept behind her in the wind and regarded the joyful lineaments of her beauty, I was glad that she had not
chosen, whatever might be her reason, to clothe herself in the traditional manner. Outlaw of Gor, page 211-212

'I fought for Dorna the Proud,' said the boy. His greyish blue eyes filled with tears. 'Forgive me, true Tatrix of Tharna,' he begged. And had it not been
forbidden that he, a man of Tharna should touch her, a woman of Tharna, I think he would have reached his hand toward her.

To his wonder Lara took his hand in hers. 'You did well,' she said. 'I am proud of you, my guardsman.'

The boy closed his eyes and his body relaxed in my arms. Outlaw of Gor, page 218


Andreas, who was stuffing a piece of bread in his mouth, responded, his words a cheery mumble. 'Beneath every silver mask,' he averred
sententiously, 'there is a potential Pleasure Slave.' Outlaw of Gor, page 225


'And add to the golden tarn disks,' she had exclaimed, 'tarn disks of silver to be formed from the masks of our women, for henceforth in Tharna no
woman may wear a mask of either gold or silver, not even though she be Tatrix of Tharna herself!'

And as she had spoken, according to the customs of Tharna, her words became the law and from that day forth no woman in Tharna might wear a
mask.

In the streets of Tharna shortly after the end of the revolt the caste colours of Gor began to appear openly in the garments of the citizens. The
marvellous glazing substances of the Caste of Builders, long prohibited as frivolous and expensive, began to appear on the walls of the cylinders, even
on the walls of the city itself. Gravelled streets are now being paved with blocks of coloured stone set in patterns to delight the eye. The wood of the
great gate has been polished and its brass burnished. New paint blazes upon the bridges.

The sound of caravan bells is longer strange in Tharna and strings of traders have found their way to her gates, to exploit this most surprising of all
markets.

Here and there the mount of a tarnsman boasts a golden harness. On market day I saw a peasant, his sack of Sa-Tarna meal on his back, whose
sandals were tied with silver straps.

I have seen private apartments with tapestries from the mills of Ar upon the walls; and my sandals have sometimes found underfoot richly coloured,
deeply woven rugs from distant Tor.

It is perhaps a small thing to see on the belt of an artisan a silver buckle of the style worn in mountainous Thentis or to note the delicacy of dried eels
from Port Kar in the marketplace, but these things, small though they are, speak to me of a new Tharna.

In the streets I hear the shouting, the song and clamour that is typically Gorean. The marketplace is no longer simply some acres of tile on which
business must be dourly conducted. It is a place where friends meet, arrange dinners, exchange invitations, discuss politics, the weather, strategy,
philosophy and the management of slave girls.

One change that I find of interest, though I cannot heartily approve, is that the rails have been removed from the high bridges of Tharna. I had
thought this pointless, and perhaps dangerous, but Kron had said simply, 'Let those who fear to walk the high bridges not walk the high bridges.'

One might also mention that the men of Tharna have  formed the custom of wearing in he belt of their tunic two yellow cords, each about eighteen
inches in length. By this sign alone men of other cities can now recognise a man of Tharna.

On the twentieth day following peace in Tharna the fate of the silver masks was determined.

They were herded, roped throat to throat, unveiled, wrists bound behind their backs, in long lines to the arena of the Amusements of Tharna. There
they would hear the judgement of Lara, their Tatrix. They knelt before her - once proud silver masks, now terrified and helpless captives - on the same
sparkling sand that had so often been stained with the blood of the men of Tharna.

Lara had thought long on these matters and had discussed them with many, including myself. In the end her decision was her own. I do not know that
my own decision would have been so harsh, but I admit that Lara knew her city and its silver masks better than I.

I recognised that it was not possible to restore the old order of Tharna, nor was it desirable. Too I recognised that there was no longer any adequate
provision - given the destruction of Tharna's institutions - for the indefinite shelter of large numbers of free women within her walls. The family, for
example, had not existed in Tharna for generations, having been replaced by the division of the sexes and the segregated public nurseries.

And too it must be remembered that the men of Tharna who had tasted her women in the revolt now demanded them as their right. No man who has
seen a woman in Pleasure Silk, or watched her dance, or heard the sound of a belled ankle or watched a woman's hair, unbound, fall to her waist can
long live without the possession of such a delicious creature.

Also it should be noted that it was not realistic to offer the silver masks the alternative of exile, for that would simply have been to condemn them to
violent death or foreign enslavement.

In its way, under the circumstances, the judgement of Lara was merciful - though it was greeted with wails of lamentation from the roped captives.

Each silver mask would have six months in which she would be free to live within the city and be fed at the common tables, much as before the revolt.
But within that six months she is expected to find a man of Tharna to whom she will propose herself as a Free Companion.

If he does not accept her as a Free Companion - and few men of Tharna will be in a mood to extend the priveleges of Free Companionship to a silver
mask - he may then, without further ado, simply collar her as his slave, or if he wishes he may reject her completely. If she is rejected she may
propose herself similarly to yet another of the men of Tharna, and perhaps yet another and another.

After the six months, however - perhaps she has been reluctant to seek a master? - her initiative in these matters is lost and she belongs to the first
man who encircles her throat with the graceful, gleaming badge of servitude. In such a case she is considered no differently, and treated no differently
than if she were a girl brought in on tarnback from a distant city.

I effect, considering the temper of the men of Tharna, Lara's judgement gives the silver masks the opportunity, for a time, to choose a master, or after
that time to be themselves chosen as a slave girl. Thus each silver mask will in time belong to a beast, though at first she is given some opportunity to
determine whose yellow cords she will feel, on whose rug the ceremony of submission will take place.

Perhaps Lara understood, as I did not, that women such as silver masks must be taught love, and can learn it only from a master. It was not her
intention to condemn her sisters of Tharna into interminable and miserable bondage but to force them to take this strange first step on the road she
herself has traveled, one of the unusual roads that may lead to love. When I had questioned her, Lara had said to me that only when true love is
learned is the Free Companionship possible, and that some women can learn love only in chains. I wondered at her words.

There is little more to tell.

Kron remains in Tharna, where he stands high in the Council of the Tatrix Lara.

Andreas and Linna will leave the city, for he tells me there are many roads on Gor he has not wandered and thinks that on some of these he may find
the song for which he has always searched. I hope with all my heart that he will find it.

The girl Vera of Ko-ro-ba, at least for the time, will reside in Tharna, where she will live as a free woman. Not being of the city she is exempted from the
strictures imposed on the silver masks.

Whether or not she will choose to remain in the city I do not know. She, like myself, and all of Ko-ro-ba, is an exile, and exiles sometimes find it hard to
call a foreign city home; sometimes they regard the risks of the wilderness as preferable to the shelter of alien walls. And, too, in Tharna would be
found the memory of Thorn, a captain.

This morning I said good-bye to the Tatrix, the noble and beautiful Lara. I know that we have cared for one another, but that our destinies are not the
same.

In parting we kissed.

'Rule well,' I said.

'I shall try,' she said.

Her head was against my shoulder.

'And should I ever again be tempted to be proud or cruel,' she said, a smile in her voice, 'I shall merely remind myself that I was once sold for fifty silver
tarn disks - and that a warrior once purchased me for only a scabbard and a helmet.'

'Six emeralds,' I corrected her, smiling.

'And a helmet,' she laughed.

I could feel the dampness of her tears through my tunic.

'I wish you well, Beautiful Lara,' I said.

'And I wish you well, Warrior,' said the girl.

She looked at me, her eyes filled with tears, yet smiling. She laughed a little. 'And if the time should come, Warrior, when you should desire a slave girl,
some girl to wear your silk and your collar, your brand if you wish - remember Lara, who is Tatrix of Tharna.'

'I shall,' I said. 'I shall.'

And I kissed her and we parted.

She will rule in Tharna and rule well, and I will begin the journey to the Sardar.

What I shall find there I do not know.

For more than seven years I have wondered at the mysteries concealed in those dark recesses. I have wondered about the Priest-Kings and their
power, their ships and agents, their plans for their world and mine; but most importantly I must learn why my city was destroyed and its people
scattered, why it is that no stone may stand upon another stone; and I must learn the fate of my friends, my father and of Talena, my love. But I go to
the Sardar for more than truth; foremost in my brain there burns, like an imperative of steel, the cry for blood-vengeance, mine by sword-right, mine by
the affinities of blood and caste and city, mine for I am one pledged to avenge a vanished people, fallen walls and towers, a city frowned upon by
Priest-Kings, for I am a Warrior of Ko-ro-ba! I seek more than truth in the Sardar; I seek the blood of Priest-Kings!

But how foolish it is to speak thus.

I speak as though my frail arm might avail against the power of Priest-Kings. Who am I to challenge their power? I am nothing; not even a bit of dust,
raised by the wind on a tiny fist of defiance; not even a blade of grass that cuts at the ankles of trampling gods. Yet I, Tarl Cabot, shall go to the
Sardar; I shall meet with Priest-Kings, and of them, though they be the gods of Gor, I shall demand an accounting.

Outside on the bridges I hear the cry of the Lighter of Lanterns. 'Light your lamps,' he calls. 'Light the lamps of love.'

I wonder sometimes if I would have gone to the Sardar had not my city been destroyed. It now seems to me that if I had simply returned to Gor, and
to my city, my father, my friends and my beloved Talena, I might not have cared to enter the Sardar, that I would not have cared to relinquish the joys
of life to inquire into the secrets of those dark mountains. And I have wondered sometimes, and the thought awes and frightens me, if my city might
not have been destroyed only to bring me to the mountains of the Priest-Kings, for they would surely know that I would come to challenge them, that I
would come to the Sardar, that I would climb to the moons of Gor itself, to demand my satisfaction.

Thus it is that I perhaps move in the patterns of Priest-Kings - that perhaps I pledge my vengeance and set out for the Sardar as they knew that I
would, as they had calculated and understood and planned. But even so I tell myself that it is still I who move myself, and not Priest-Kings, even
though I might move in their patterns; if it is their intention that I should demand an accounting, it is my intention as well; if it their game, it is also
mine.

But why would Priest-Kings desire Tarl Cabot to come to their mountains? He is nothing to them, nothing to any man; he is only a warrior, a man with
no city to call his own, thus an outlaw. Could Priest-Kings, with their knowledge and power, have need of such a man? But Priest-Kings need nothing
from men, and once more my thoughts grow foolish.

It is time to put aside the pen.

I regret only that none return from the Sardar, for I have loved life. And on this barbaric world I have seen it in all its beauty and cruelty, in all its glory
and sadness. I have learned that it is splendid and fearful and priceless. I have seen it in the vanished towers of Ko-ro-ba and in the flight of a tarn, in
the movements of a beautiful woman, in the gleam of weaponry, in the sound of tarn drums and the crash of thunder over green fields. I have found it
at the tables of sword companions and in the clash of the metals of war, in the touch of a girl's lips and hair, in the blood of a sleen, in the sands and
chains of Tharna, in the scent of talenders and the hiss of the whip. I am grateful to the immortal elements which have so conspired that I might once
be.

I was Tarl Cabot, Warrior of Ko-ro-ba.

That not even the Priest-Kings of Gor can change.

It is toward evening now, and the lamps of love are lit in many of the windows of the cylinders of Tharna. The beacon fires are set upon her walls, and
I can hear the cry of distant guardsmen that all is well in Tharna.

The cylinders grow dark against the darkening sky. It will soon be night. There will be few to note the stranger who leaves the city, perhaps few to
remember that he was once within their walls.

My weapons and my shield and helmet are at hand.

Outside I hear the cry of the tarn.

I am satisfied.


I wish you well,

Tarl Cabot

Outlaw of Gor, page 245-253
All rights reserved.
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
Free Women of Gor
Free Women of Tharna