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.As soon as land had first been sighted, we had again,the original coffle of us, been subjected to our original securities, ourPage 70 ABC Amber Palm Converter, http://www.processtext.com/abcpalm.htmlhands back-manacled,103our mouths gagged, our heads covered with heavy, opaque, buckled, lockedhoods.These manacles, gags and hoods, and our neck chain, had been removedonly in the cages in the slave tents.This morning we had been put, rather asnormal slaves, subjected apparently to only ordinary securities, in the wagon.I think we were all pleased at this new lenience, effective as it still was,in the manner of our keeping.I know I was.We were now, apparently, as nearlyas Icould tell, being delivered to one or more retail outlets. Look! said one of the girls. There are so many burned buildings here!We saw that what she had said was true, peeping out.It seemed, here, that anentire district, or streets, at least, of buildings, had been burned in thisarea.It did not seem that the fires had been of recent origin.They may havehappened weeks, or months, ago.Indeed, in various places, sometimes betweengutted, blackened shells of buildings, there were cleared areas.Here itseemed that burned structures must have been razed, and debris carted away.Here and there, too, supporting this idea, were great heaps of charred timberand rubble, presumably awaiting some disposition.In many places tents andtemporary buildings, sometimes little more than shacks, had been erected.Too,here and there, permanent structures, with basements and foundations, andstone walls, seemed clearly to be in the process of construction. I am sure this is Brundisium, said the girl who had first spoken. There was a great fire in Brundisium five months ago. Call out to someone, suggested another girl. Ask. Not me, said the first girl. You call out. Clarissa, said one of the Gorean girls. You ask. She did not mind riskingClarissa.Clarissa had been very popular with the guards.We were all, orthose of us who had been with her in the former house, somewhat jealous, Isuppose, of her attractiveness to them.We probably all wished we could havebeen that desirable.She had even received candies.I thought, however, that perhaps if Ihad not been forced to wear the iron belt, I, too, might have been similarlypopular.I, too, might have received a candy or two.I was sure that I, if Ihad set my mind to it, could have pleased a man, and myself, as well as she!To be sure, I reassured myself, quickly, assuaging a shred of the dignity ofthe frigid Earth female, still left in me at the time, I would have had nochoice in the matter.I would have been whipped, or punished terribly, orperhaps even killed, if Ihad not.And, certainly, too,104guards had been interested in me.More than once, they had investigated, andtested, and seemingly to their anger and disappointment, the obduracy andeffectiveness of the metal device in which I had been fastened. Gloria, suggested the Gorean girl. No! said Gloria. Doreen, then, said the Gorean girl, Ha. No, no, I said.I did not want the driver or guard to hear me call out toanyone.I was not interested in being whipped tonight. Earth she-urts, said the Gorean girl. You do it, said Gloria.I was pleased Gloria spoke up.She was a largergirl.She could stand up to the Gorean girl, who was also a larger girl.I wassmaller, and afraid of her.The Gorean girl, Ila, however, did not call out to anyone, either.She, too, was afraid.She, too, as we, belonged to those brutes, men.She, too, no more than we, cared to be placed beneath their imperious,Page 71 ABC Amber Palm Converter, http://www.processtext.com/abcpalm.htmldisciplinary lash.I delighted to look out through the crack between the wood and the canvas andsilk.This was a beautiful world, and I reveled in it.Ifound almost everything I saw different and interesting, the men and women,the children, the clothes, their accouterments, the streets, the buildings,the tents, the stalls, the trees, the flowers, everything.It seemed to open, and beautiful, and free, though, to be sure, Iwithin it was a slave.I was startled, and a little frightened, even, byt thestrange, scaled, long-necked, placid, lizardlike quadrupled that drew thewagon.These might be human beings, here, but I was not on Earth. Oh, no, said one of the Gorean girls, angrily, in frustration. We are coming to the gate! We are going to be leaving the city!Three or four of the other girls, too, Goreans, all moaned in protest. I want to be sold here! said one of them. What difference does it make? asked Gloria, peeping out. Earth fool! said one of them,  you know nothing! You can wear your collar ina small town, in a camp, in a peasant village, if you want! I want to wearmine in a great city! Let Gloria pull a plow, let her hoe weeds, let her carry water on a greatfarm, said one of the girls. She is too pretty, said another Gorean girl. No peasant could afford her.I hoped that I, too, might be too pretty for a peasant to afford.105 One has a much easier life, almost always, in a city, said one of the Goreangirls. It depends on your master, said another. Yes, agreed another.I supposed that was true.The most important thing was not whether you were ina city or not, but your master.He would surely be the most important singleelement in your life.You would belong to him, literally.However, I thought,it might be nice, other things being equal, to live in one of these lovelycities.Also doubtless the labors of a slave in such a city would be easier onthe whole than those of one, say, on a farm. Pull the canvas down, quickly, said one of the girls. We are coming to thegate!We pulled the canvas and silk down, as best we could, and then, very quietly,turned about and sat in the wagon.We heard papers being checked.Then weheard a man s voice. Stay as you are.Don t kneel. The canvas at the front of the wagon was opened, and a man, fromthe floor space before the wagon box, looked in upon us.We sat quietly, notmeeting his eyes, naked, the chains on our ankles about the central bar. Tenkajirae, he said.This word was the plural of  kajira which was one of thewords, the most common one, for what we were [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]