John Norman

Savages of Gor

(Chronicles of Counter-Earth-17)

1 Kog and Sardak; The Parley in the Delta

'How many are there?' I asked Samos.

'Two.' he said.

'Are they alive?' I asked.

'Yes,' he said.

At the second Ahn, long before dawn, the herald of Samos had come to the lakelike courtyard of my holding in many-canalled Port Kar, that place of manyships, scourge of Thassa, that dark jewel in her gleaming green waters. Twicehas he struck the bars of the sea gate, each time with the Ka-la-na shaft of hisspear, not with the side of its broad tapering bronze point. The signet ring, ofSamos of Port Kar, first captain of the council of captains, was displayed. Iwould be roused. The morning, in early Spring, was chilly.

'Does Tyros move?' I asked blond-haired Thurnock, that giant of a man, he ofpeasants, who had come to rouse me.

'I think not, Captain,' said he.

The girl beside me pulled the furs up about her throat, frightened.

'Have ships of Cos been sighted?' I asked.

'I do not think so, Captain,' said he.

There was a sound of chain beside me. The chain had moved against the collarring of the girl beside me. Beneath the furs she was naked. The chain ran fromthe slave ring at the foot of my couch, a heavy chain, to the, thick metalcollar fastened on her neck.

'It is not, then, on the business of Port Kar that he comes?' I had asked.

'I think perhaps not, Captain,' said Thurnock. 'I think that the matters have todo with business other than that of Port Kar.'

The small tharlarion-oil lamp he held illuminated his bearded face as he stoodnear the door.

'It has been quiet,' I said, 'for too long.'

'Captain?' he asked.

'Nothing,' I said.

'It is early,' whispered the girl next to me.

'You were not given permission to speak,' I told her.

'Forgive me, Master,' she said.

I threw back the heavy furs on the great stone couch. Quickly the girl pulled upher legs and turned on her side. I, sitting up, looked down at her, trying tocover herself from the sight of Thurnock. I pulled her then beneath me. 'Ohh,' she breathed.

'You will grant him, then, an audience?' asked Thurnock.

'Yes,' I said.

'Oh,' said the girl. 'Ohh!'

Now, as she lay, the small, fine brand high on her left thigh, just below thehip, could be seen. I had put it there myself, at my leisure, once in Ar.

'Master, may I speak?' she begged.

'Yes,' I said.

'One is present,' she said. 'Another is present!'

'Be silent,' I told her.

'Yes, my Master,' she said.

'You will be there shortly?' asked Thurnock.

'Yes,' I told him. 'Shortly.'

The girl looked wildly over my shoulder, toward Thurnock. Then she clutched me,her eyes closed, shuddering, and yielded. When again she looked to Thurnock shedid so as a yielded slave girl, pinned in my arms.

'I shall inform the emissary of Samos that you will be with him in moments,' said Thurnock.

'Yes,' I told him.

He then left the room, putting the tharlarion-oil lamp on a shelf near the door.

I looked down into the eyes of the girl, held helplessly in my arms.

'What a slave you made me,' she said.

'You are a slave,' I told her.

'Yes, my Master,' she said.

'You must grow accustomed to your slavery, in all its facets,' I told her.

'Yes, my Master,' she said.

I withdrew from her then, and sat on the edge of the couch, the furs about me.

'A girl is grateful that she was touched by her Master,' she said.

I did not respond. A slave's gratitude is nothing, as are slaves.

'It is early,' she whispered.

'Yes,' I said.

'It is very cold,' she said.

'Yes,' I said. The coals in the brazier to the left of the great stone couch hadburned out during the night. The room was damp, and cold, from the night air,and from the chin from the courtyard and canals. The walls, of heavy stone, too,saturated with the chilled, humid air, would be cold and damp, and the defensivebars set in the narrow windows, behind the buckled leather hangings. On my feetI could feel the dampness and moisture on the tiles. I did not give herpermission to draw back under the covers, nor was she so bold or foolish as torequest that permission. I had been lenient with her this night. I had not slepther naked on the tiles beside the couch, with only a sheet for warmth, nor nakedat the foot of the couch, with only a chain for comfort.

I rose from the couch and went to a bronze basin of cold water at the side ofthe room. I squatted beside it and splashed the chilled water over my face andbody.

'What does it mean, my Master,' asked the girl, 'that one from the house ofSamos, first captain in Port Kar, comes so early, so secretly, to the house ofmy Master?'

'I do not know,' I said. I toweled myself dry, and turned to look upon her. Shelay on her left elbow, on the couch, the chain running from her collar to thesurface of the couch, and thence to the slave ring fixed deeply in its base.

Seeing my eyes upon her she then knelt on the surface of the couch, kneelingback an her heels, spreading her knees, straightening her back, lifting herhead, and putting her hands on her thighs. It is a common kneeling position fora female slave.

'If you knew, you would not tell me, would you?' she asked.

'No,' I said.

'I am a slave,' she said.

'Yes,' I said.

'You had me well,' she said, 'and as a slave.'

'It is fitting,' I said.

'Yes, Master,' she said.

I then returned to the couch, and sat upon its edge. She then left the couch,that she might kneel on the tiles before me. I looked down at her. How beautifulare enslaved women.

'Perhaps,' I said, 'you might speculate on what business brings the emissary ofSamos of Port Kar to my house this morning?'

'I, Master?' she asked, frightened.

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