"Free her," I said.
Samos, with a general key, one used for many of the gray collars, unlocked the band of steel which encircled her lovely throat.
"Am I truly free?" she asked.
"Yes." I said.
"I should have brought a thousand of gold," she said. "As daughter of Marlenus of Ar my companion price might be a thousand tarns, five thousand tharlarion!"
"You are no longer the daughter of Marlenus of Ar," I told her.
"You are a liar," she said. She looked at me contemptuously.
"With your permission," said Samos, " I shall withdraw.
"Stay," said I, "Samos."
"Very well," said he.
"Long ago," said I, "Talena, we cared for each other. We were companions."
"I was a foolish girl, who cared for you," said talena. " I am now a woman."
"You no longer care for me?" I asked.
She looked at me. "I am free," she said. "I can speak what I wish. Look at yourself! You cannot even walk. You cannot even move your left arm! You are a cripple, a cripple! You make me ill! Do you think that one such as I, the daughter of Marlenus of Ar, could care for such a thing? Look upon me. I am beautiful, Look upon yourself. You are a cripple. Care for you? You are a fool, a fool!"
"Yes," I said bitterly, " I am a fool."
She turned away from me, robes swirling. Then she turned and faced me. "Slave!" she sneered.
" I do not understand," I said.
" I took the liberty," said Samos, "though at the time I did not know of your injuries, your paralysis, to inform her of what occured in the delta of the Vosk." My right hand clenched. I was furious.
"I am sorry," said Samos.
~Marauders of Gor
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