the far south. She has some forty public gates, and, I suppose, some number of restricted smaller gates, secret gates, posterns, and such. Long ago, I had once entered the city through such a passage, its exterior access point reached by means of a putative Dar-Kosis pit, which passage, I had recently determined, descending into the pit on ropes, was now closed. I supposed that this might be the case with various such entrances, if they existed, given Ar's alarm at the announced approach of Cos. In a sense I regretted this loss, for it had constituted a secret way in and out of the city. Perhaps other such passages existed. I did not know.

'Let us go,' suggested Marcus.

I saw a slave girl pass, in a brief, brown tunic, her back straight, her beauty protestingly full within her tiny, tight garment, balancing a jar on her head with one hand. The bottom of the jar rested in a sort of improvished shallow stand or mount, formed of a dampened, wrapped towel. In Schendi the white slave girls of black masters are sometimes taught to carry such vessels on their heads without the use of their hands or such devices as the towel. And woe to the girl who drops it. Such exercises are good for a girl's posture. To be sure, the lower caste black women of Schendi and the interior do such things commonly. I looked at the girl. Yes, I thought, she could be similarly trained, without doubt. If I owned her, I thought, I might so train her. If she proved clumsy or slow to learn she could be whipped. I did not think she would prove slow to learn. Our eyes met, briefly, and she lowered her eyes swiftly, still keeping her burden steady. She trembled for a moment. I think she had seen, in that glance, that I could be her master, but then, so, too, of course, could be many men. A slave girl is often very careful about meeting the eyes of a free man directly, particularly a stranger. They can be cuffed or beaten for such insolence. The collar looked well on her, gleaming, close-fitting, locked. She was barefoot. Her brief garment was all she wore. It would have no nether closure. Thusly on Gor are female slaves commonly garbed. She hurried on. 'Let us be on our way,' said Marcus. Phoebe clung close to him, her tiny fingers on his sleeve.

'In a moment,' I said.

'I do not like such crowds,' said Marcus.

We were buffeted about a bit.

'There is a date on the permits,' Marcus reminded me, 'and they will be checking at the gate to see who has left the city and who has not.'

'I think they will be coming out in a moment or two,' I said, 'there at that door.'

'Who?' he asked.

'There,' I said.

I saw the fellow who had been in the room emerge through the door. He was followed by the two magistrates, who had probably now made the entries in their records. They were followed by four guardsmen, in single file. 'Make way, make way!' said the fellow from the room, and the crowds parted a little, to let them pass. The third of the three guardsmen carried a burden on his right shoulder. It was a naked woman whose upper body was thoroughly and tightly wrapped in several turns of a heavy net, tied closely about her. Her head was covered with a buckled hood. She squirmed a little, helplessly. She was being carried with her head to the rear, as a slave is carried.

'So that is what you were watching,' said Marcus, 'a caught slave.'

'In a sense,' I said.

About at the same time, coming toward us, down the street, following the other party by several yards, was a large, graceful fellow, blond and curly-haired, who was astonishingly handsome, almost unbelievably so. On his left wrist, locked, there was a silver slave bracelet. His tunic was of a silken purple. He had golden sandals.

'Who is that?' I asked a fellow in white and gold, the colors of the merchants, when the handsome fellow had passed. Such a one, I assumed, might be generally known. He was no ordinary fellow.

'He is the actor, Milo,' said the man.

'He is a slave,' I said.

'Owned by Appanius, the agriculturalist, impresario and slaver,' said the fellow, 'who rents him to the managements of various theaters.

'A handsome fellow,' I said.

'The handsomest man in all Ar,' said the merchant. 'Free women swoon at his feet.'

'And what of slaves?' asked Marcus, irritably, scowling at Phoebe.

'I swoon at your feet, Master,' she smiled, putting down her head.

'You may kneel and clean them with your tongue,' said Marcus, angrily.

'Yes, Master,' she said, and fell to her knees, putting down her head.

'The appearance of Milo in a drama assures its success,' said the merchant. 'He is popular,' I said.

'Particularly with the women,' he said.

'I can understand that,' I said.

'Some men do not even care for him,' said the merchant, and I gathered he might be one of them.

'I can understand that,' I said. I was not certain that I was enthusiastic about Milo either. Perhaps it was merely that I suspected that Milo might be even more handsome than I.

'I wish you well,' said the merchant.

'Perhaps Milo serves, too, in capacities other than that of as actor,' I said. 'What did you have in mind?' asked the merchant.

'Nothing,' I said.

'It is Milo,' whispered one free woman to another. They were together, veiled. 'Let us hurry after him, to catch a glimpse of him,' said one of them.

'Do not be shameless!' chided the first.

'We are veiled,' the second reminded her.

'Let us hurry,' urged the first then, and the two pressed forward, through the crowd, after the purple-clad figure.

'Fellows as handsome as he,' complained the merchant, 'should be forced to go veiled in public.'

'Perhaps,' I granted him. Free women in most of the high cities of Gor, particularly those of higher caste, go veiled in public. Also they commonly wear the robes of concealment which cover them, in effect, from head to toe. Even gloves are often worn. There are many reasons for this, having to do with modesty, security, and such. Slave girls, on the other hand, are commonly scandalously clad, if clad at all. Typically their garments, if they are permitted them, are designed to leave little of their beauty to the imagination. Rather they are designed to call attention to it, and so reveal and display it, sometimes even brazenly, in all its marvelousness. Goreans are not ashamed of the luscious richness, the excitingness, the sensuousness, the femininity, the beauty of their slaves. Rather they prize it, treasure it and celebrate it. To be sure, it must be admitted that the slave girl is only an animal, and is under total male domination. To understand this more clearly, two further items might be noted. First, she must go about in public, denied face veiling. Men, as they please, may look freely upon her face, witnessing its delicacy, its beauty, its emotions, and such. She is not permitted to hide it from them. She must bare it, in all its revelatory intimacy, and with all the consequences of this, to their gaze. Second, her degradation is completed by the fact that she is given no choice but to be what she is, profoundly and in depth, a human female, and must thus, willing or not, sexually and emotionally, physically and psychologically, accept her fulfillments in the order of nature.

'I wish you well,' I said to the merchant.

He turned away.

'Make way,' I heard. 'Make way!'

A house marshal was approaching, carrying a baton, with which he touched folks and made a passage among them. He was preceding the palanquin of a free woman, apparently a rich one, borne by some eight male slaves. I stepped to one side to let the marshal, the palanquin and its bearers move past. The sides of the palanquin were veiled.

'Odd that a palanquin of such a nature should be in the Metallan district,' I said.

'Perhaps we should consider saving our lives now,' said Marcus.

'Phoebe is not finished with your feet,' I said.

Phoebe, looked up, happily.

'Up,' said Marcus irritably, snapping his fingers. Immediately she sprang to her feet. She stood beside him, her head down, docile. She, I noted, attracted her share of attention. I was not too pleased with this, as I did not wish to be conspicuous in Ar. On the other hand, it is seldom wise to interfere in the relationship between a

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