Camerius (Ar)
Selnar (Ko-ro-ba)
Passage Hand
Year 10,174 Contasta Ar

Contract Women

This is my short narrative and relevant references from the Books where Contract Women are mentioned.
I make no pronouncements on these matters, but report them as I find them.
Arrive at your own conclusions.

I wish you well,

We learn of Pani contract women in Book 29, Swordsmen of Gor.

Nowhere in what we know of these women are they overtly described as sexually active. Certainly not as slaves are described.

However, this is not to say they are abstinent, as might be concluded by this quote.

I would later learn that these were, indeed, "contract women," who, as girls, were often sold to pleasure houses, most often by their parents. Sometimes, too, they would sell themselves to such a house, to be trained in arts of pleasure, for example, music, dancing, singing, conversation, and such. As their contracts could be bought and sold they were, in effect, slaves, but they were not thought of as such. For example, they occupied an understood, accepted, and generally respected niche in their society. They were not tunicked, not branded, not collared, and so on. They were not "collar-girls."
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 195

It seems the main purpose of a contract woman is to provide comfort and delight in traditional and cultural manners.

When, wearied of a world's concerns, he wished to spend a leisurely, elegant evening, gratifying his various cultivated senses, physical, intellectual, and aesthetic, his choice would not be the collar-girl, but the women trained to comfort and delight him in traditional and cultural manners.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 196

Supporting References

Speaking of two slaves, Tajima mentions

"These are not contract women, trained, refined entertainers, or such."
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 189

Behind Lord Nishida, to his left, stood what I took to be two women of the "strange men," each lovely, each fully clothed, neither veiled, unlike most Gorean free women, particularly of wealth or high caste, in what I supposed, on Earth, would be spoken of as kimonos.
. . .

I wondered if they were examples of the "contract women" of which Tajima had spoken. In any event both were on the platform with Lord Nishida, which suggested status, though in a subordinate position. It seemed clear that neither was, so to speak, a Ubara, who would have shared a throne with a Ubar, if not his power. Neither, too, seemed a "display woman," a "trophy woman," or such.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 194

I glanced to the two women of the "strange men" on the lacquered platform. They were looking upon Cecily, but I saw no sign of envy, hostility, or jealously. This was quite different from the way in which a Gorean free woman would look upon a slave girl. They see the slave girl as a vulnerable, but hated rival, with whom, for the interest of men, they could not begin to compete. These women, however, seemed to view Cecily more as one might have a lovely pet, doubtless of great interest to men but not really constituting a threat to themselves, and their position. I would later learn that these were, indeed, "contract women," who, as girls, were often sold to pleasure houses, most often by their parents. Sometimes, too, they would sell themselves to such a house, to be trained in arts of pleasure, for example, music, dancing, singing, conversation, and such. As their contracts could be bought and sold they were, in effect, slaves, but they were not thought of as such. For example, they occupied an understood, accepted, and generally respected niche in their society. They were not tunicked, not branded, not collared, and so on. They were not "collar-girls." Indeed, they regarded themselves, without arrogance, and with much justification, as far superior to collar-girls. They were, in their view, in a different category altogether. The collar-girl was an animal who might be put to the straw in a stable, and would not even be permitted within the refined precincts of the pleasure house. The collar-girl was ignorant of the simplest things, even the proper serving of tea, the careful, delicate, symbolic arrangements of flowers, and such. She would be of little interest to a gentleman, save for her performance of lengthy, servile labors, and her squirmings, gaspings, moanings, thrashings, and beggings, perhaps back-braceleted, in his arms. Certainly the contract women knew the attractions of simple collar-girls for males, but they did not regard them as rivals. When, wearied of a world's concerns, he wished to spend a leisurely, elegant evening, gratifying his various cultivated senses, physical, intellectual, and aesthetic, his choice would not be the collar-girl, but the women trained to comfort and delight him in traditional and cultural manners. Interestingly, though I suppose there must be exceptions to this generalization, the women of the "strange men" seem generally reconciled to the fact, and will even expect, that their males will seek gratifications beyond the walls of their own domiciles. Nothing culturally heinous seems to be associated with this matter. As many companionships are arranged between families, with considerations not of love, or even of attraction, paramount, but of wealth, prestige, status, and such, and the young people often being scarcely considered in the matter, this is, I suppose, understandable. The female companion's complacency in this matter, or her understanding, or her tolerance, is, one gathers, quite different from what would be expected in the case of, say, a Gorean free companion, who, commonly, would find these arrangements outrageous and insufferable. For example, she would not be likely, resignedly, without question, to pay a bill arriving at her domicile from a pleasure house, pertaining to a pleasant evening spent there by her companion. In the light of these considerations, to the extent they might apply, then, it should be clear why the "contract women" would not be likely to concern themselves overly much with collar-girls. First, they regard the collar-girls as far inferior to themselves, and thus scarcely in the category of rivals, and, secondly, they share the general view, as I understand it, of the women of the "strange men," namely that they have little or no hold over a male, and he may be expected to pick flowers, so to speak, where he pleases. If, however, a contract woman might find herself in love with a client, she, being quite human, and utterly helpless in her contractual status, might, understandably, resent his interest in, say, another contract woman, or, even, as absurd as it might seem, a collar-girl.

In any event, neither of the women, whom I took to be contract women, took much interest in Cecily, or gave her much attention. To be sure, they doubtless recognized that she was attractive, and might, accordingly, be of interest, even considerable interest, to men, but what would that, really, have to do with them? She was different. She was nothing. She was a collar-girl.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Pages 195 - 197

"Lord Nishida!" she cried.

"Please," said Tajima, "do not speak yet. You have not been presented."

"I can present myself!" she cried, angrily, clutching the sheet even more closely about her. The two contract women observed her, with interest. They were unfamiliar, I supposed, with this tone of voice being used by a woman to a man.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 206

He then reached to the hair of Miss Wentworth.

"What are you doing?" she said, angrily.

"Please," said Tajima, politely.

He then rearranged the hair of Miss Wentworth, first lifting it to the sides that its length and sheen might be noted, and then he put it carefully behind her back, spreading it nicely, evenly, behind the sheet.

Lord Nishida nodded. I gathered he was pleased.

I noted the interest, too, of the two contract women on the dais behind Lord Nishida, and to his left. I supposed they had seen few examples of such hair, given their presumed backgrounds, long, glossy, silken yellow hair, or blond hair.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 207

"Can you make tea?" he inquired. "Properly?"

"No," she said, puzzled.

"Can you arrange flowers," he asked. "Properly?"

"No," she said.

"Can you play a stringed musical instrument, a lyre, a lute, a samisen?"

"No," she said.

I saw the two contract women exchange amused glances. One giggled, slightly, she on the right, as one faced them. This displeased Tajima, but the girl did not seem disconcerted by his disapproval.

Lord Nishida did not see fit to acknowledge the contract woman's indiscretion.

The woman's name was Sumomo, and Tajima, I would later learn, was interested in her contract, which he could not afford.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Pages 209 - 210

"See how fair-skinned is my new slave," said Lord Nishida, over his shoulder, to the two contract women.

Both giggled.

The contract woman on the left, as one looked toward the dais, said, "Does she not smell, Lord Nishida?"

"She will have to be scrubbed," said Lord Nishida.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 221

"She must learn, quickly," said Lord Nishida.

"The whip will teach her, and quickly," said Tajima, with, oddly, a glance at Sumomo, the contract woman who was on the right, as one would look to the dais. She was, indeed, a lovely young thing.

She sneered at Tajima. I gathered he had low status, for the women of the "strange men" are taught much respect to males. Even an older sister must bow first to a younger brother.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Pages 223 - 224

Several collar-girls, such as those who had been former free women of Ar, were humbly, attentively, silently, here and there, bathing the men. I did not think that the former Miss Wentworth would be engaged in this activity, as it is regarded as a great privilege for a collar-girl to be permitted to bathe a master. Indeed, it is one of the lovely services in which a contract woman, naked beside her client in the pool, was expected to excel.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Pages 228 - 229

"To be sure," I said, "perhaps you are merely sneaking off for a secret rendezvous with the lovely Sumomo."

"You have noted my interest in her," observed Tajima.

"Your expression betrays little," I said, "but the pupils of your eyes much."

"It is hard to control such things," said Tajima. "The movements of contract women are closely supervised. Collar-girls have much more freedom, as would domestic sleen or scavenging tarsks. Besides, she scorns me."

"Perhaps she has a pretty body," I said, "which would look well in a collar."

"She is a contract woman," said Tajima.

"Surely, wherever you come from, which I suspect is faraway, you have collar-girls."

"Yes," he said.

"And I suppose they are not all light-skinned or dark-skinned."

"No," said Tajima, "but they are not of the Pani."

"How is that?" I asked.

"Because as soon as they are collared, they are no longer of the Pani, but only slave beasts."

"I see," I said.

"There are many such slave beasts," he said. "War is frequent amongst the Pani."

"And would not Sumomo," I asked, "look pretty as such a slave beast?"

"Perhaps," he said. "I cannot afford her contract."

"What if you could?" I asked.

"An interesting thought," he said.

"And she would then be yours to do with as you wished, would she not?" I asked.

"There are expectations, customs, and such," he said, "but, yes, she would then be mine to do with as I wished."

"Absolutely?" I asked.

"Yes," he said. "Absolutely."

"And do you not think she might look pretty as a slave beast?"

"Yes," said Tajima, "I would think so."
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Pages 287 - 288

Indeed, certain beauties of the Pani, I would learn, blackened their teeth to enhance their charms. To be sure, neither of the contract women of Lord Nishida, one of whom was Sumomo, who was apparently of interest to Tajima, and the other of whom was Hana, as I later discovered, I was pleased to note, had adopted this practice.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 337

To one side I saw two women in their kimonos, with their small steps, being ushered forward by one of the Ashigaru. I supposed they had been concealed somewhere. I took them to be Sumomo and Hana. They were being brought into the open, I supposed, for their security. We controlled this area. Buildings might be especially dangerous. Fugitives might take shelter within them, turning them into small fortresses. One would not wish them to be seized as hostages, though I did not think the Pani would be excessively concerned with them, as they might be replaced, I supposed, with others. On the other hand, I was sure they would be taken as of greater value than, say, a common collar girl.

I caught sight of Tajima, now, again, in the clearing. He approached Sumomo. She turned away. Though she was a female, and he a male, and though she was a contract woman, and he free, she had not bowed to him.

I understood this to be an insult of some sort, and I noted that Tajima's body, briefly, stiffened with rage. He then remained standing, where he was, where he had been rebuffed, looking after Sumomo, who was now with Hana, facing away from him, several feet from him, not far from the smoldering embers of Lord Nishida's collapsed, blackened pavilion.

"I fear the contract woman," I said, "did not treat Tajima well."

"She has nothing to fear," said Pertinax.

"She may have more to fear than she understands," I said.

"I do not understand," said Pertinax.

"It is nothing," I said.

"Her contract is held by Lord Nishida," said Pertinax.

"Contracts may change hands, be purchased, and such," I said.

"Doubtless," said Pertinax.

"Why should she treat Tajima badly?" I asked.

"Doubtless for the same reason that the Lady Portia Lia Serisia of Sun Gate Towers would, if she dared, not treat Pertinax well," said Pertinax.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Pages 338 - 339

"Tajima is now approaching," said Pertinax.

"Yes," I said. Sumomo, I noted, perhaps alerted by Hana, had turned about, to watch Tajima withdraw. She seemed amused. Tajima did not look back at her. My pantherine associate did not seem pleased. Although his face was a careful study in composure, there was a tightness about the jaw, a rigidity, that bespoke a rage and shame he was too proud to display. He had been genuinely concerned with the safety and welfare of the contract woman, Sumomo. His concern had seemingly been scorned, perhaps even mocked. Certainly, from the looks of it, he had been treated badly, very badly. I suspected he now viewed the contract woman differently, doubtless now as less worthy of his concern, which he would now recognize had been seriously misplaced. Had we been elsewhere on Gor and she branded and naked in a slave cage I did not doubt but what he would bid on her, and soon, doubtless regardless of the cost, would have her on his chain. She might then look forward to a perfect and exquisite bondage at his feet, one from which he would see to it that he derived much satisfaction. To be sure, there was little prospect of this, as Sumomo's contract was held by Lord Nishida. And doubtless the proud Sumomo was only too well aware of this fact. Within the fortress of etiquette and custom she doubtless supposed herself to repose secure. I supposed it would take some time for Tajima to nurse his wounds. And the deepest of wounds, we note, do not always bleed. Too, the Pani have long memories.

Tajima had now joined us.

"You saw?" asked Tajima.

"Sumomo belongs in a collar," I said.

"She is Pani," said Tajima.

"Doubtless some women of the Pani are in collars," I said.

"Yes," he said, "primarily women of enemy houses. Taken, they may be reduced to collar girls."

"Enemy houses?" I asked.

But Tajima was silent.

I suspected, but did not remark it, that Sumomo's treatment of Tajima might have obscure motivations, motivations more subtle and deeper than a mere scorn for one she might despise as having been extracted from an alien world. I suspected she was fighting irresistibilities within herself, longings to feel his switch, curiosities as to what it might be to kneel naked before him and press her lips upon his bared feet, what it might be to writhe in his arms, helpless, and owned, as only a woman may be owned, owned to the tiniest tremor of her subdued and surrendered heart, to the last obedient cell of her mastered body.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Pages 341 - 342

I supposed Tajima had been interested in whether or not Sumomo might serve at such a feast.

She would not.

She was a contract woman, and above such vulgar applications.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 350

I think he was reassured then that Saru was, appropriately, not of importance, or at least of no particular importance. She was, after all, only a slave. She was not of the Pani, nor a contract woman. She was, when all was said and done, only another collar girl. Too, she could always be replaced with a slave of similar appearance, perhaps one even more beautiful. I did not think he would have viewed the matter in the same light had the girl been, say, Sumomo. To be sure, Sumomo was of the Pani, and had the status of a contract woman. She was not a collar-girl.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 366

The inner room of the double tent was lit by tharlarion-oil lamps, and I found Lord Nishida sitting cross-legged, at his ease, behind a small table, with a small cup in hand. On each side of the table, somewhat behind the table, were two contract women, demurely and tastefully kneeling, in their kimonos, Hana and Sumomo.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 420

Too, with a gesture, Lord Nishida released the two contract women and they, rising to their feet, with small steps, took their exit from the tent.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 422

But I did not think Lord Nishida insane. He seemed one of the most coldly sane individuals I had ever met. In a way he reminded me of Pa-Kur, once master of the Assassins, save that Pa-Kur was not such as to be distracted by flowers, by poetry, the servings of tea, by sake, by the delights of delicate women under contract.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 432

I would seek out Tajima, who had not attended the feast, perhaps because of the absence of Sumomo, and other contract women, or perhaps because of the presence of female slaves.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 439

In one of the wagons trundling past were several contract women, among them Sumomo and Hana, both of whom were under contract, as I understood it, to Lord Nishida.

Neither woman signified that she recognized us.

This is not unusual, in public, with such women.

I wondered what each might look like, slave clad.

But then I recalled they were contract women.

I speculated that Tajima would not have minded having the lovely, haughty Sumomo at his feet, not as a contract woman, of course, but as something far less, and far more desirable.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 456

It did not surprise me that Lord Nishida accompanied his men on foot. The wagons were for supplies, for contract women, for the ill and lame, and such, if there were any.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 459

I passed an enclosed, windowed, sutlers' wagon. It was one of several recently allotted, given the weather, to the contract women. They would ride, of course, in any case, and not go afoot, as the collar-girls. Even so I did not doubt but what they had been jostled well about, and sorely discomfited by the lurchings and tiltings of their conveyances.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 471

Saru, interestingly, was the only collar-girl in the march who was not afoot but wagoned. She was back-braceleted and shackled, and put on blankets, that she not be bruised, and was occasionally covered with a tarpaulin to protect her from the rains. This was obvious evidence of her specialness. It would not do, of course, for her to share a wagon with contract women, but, on the other hand, as she was intended for a shogun, one would certainly not wish to risk her either in the mud and cold of the march, put her at the mercy of impatient whip-masters, who might mark her back, or place her in possible jeopardy from the attacks of men or beasts along the way.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 473

I feared all on the march, with the exception of the contract women and Saru were the much the worse for the past few days.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 488

"What are you about this morning?" I asked.

"I must scrub the floor of the quarters of the contract women," she said.

"You may leave," I said.

"Thank you, Master," she said, rose lightly to her feet, backed away a step or two, and then turned, and left the room.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 517

There were four contract women in attendance, of unusual beauty, who withdrew, unobtrusively, as I entered.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 520

Lord Okimoto then clapped his hands, sharply, and one of his contract women, with small steps, her head bowed, ushered herself gracefully into the presence of the daimyo.

"This is Hisui, in service to Lord Okimoto," said Lord Nishida.

The lovely creature, a comb in her hair, wore a muchly figured kimono, and a single piece of jewelry, which fell upon her breast.

"Hisui," said Lord Nishida, "wears a bauble, which is meaningless to us, but may be meaningful to you."

"May I?" I inquired, and Hisui lowered her head, and I lifted the pendant, in the palm of my left hand, on its light, golden chain.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 525

Tajima, who was standing beside me, suddenly stepped back, and bowed. I, too, bowed. Lord Okimoto himself was boarding, being borne in a sedan chair by eight Pani, which chair was followed by an entourage of contract women and guards.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 538

"Is Lord Nishida aboard?" asked Pertinax.

"I do not think so," I said.

"What of his contract women?" asked Pertinax.

"I do not know," I said.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 547

"Good!" I said. It was the retinue of Lord Nishida. With him were his guard, several officers, and two contract women, who were doubtless Sumomo and Hana.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 555

"Your contract women," I said, "are cold."

Certainly Sumomo and Hana, even though warmly wrapped, seemed miserable, in the background.

"They prefer a milder climate," said Lord Nishida.
Swordsmen of Gor     Book 29     Page 556

"There are no free women in camp," he said.

"Some," I said, "are with the Pani, Pani women."

He smiled.

"They are sedately clothed," I said. Their robes were colorful and narrow. They moved with short, delicate steps. "One can scarcely detect their slippers."

"They have been sold," he said, "usually as children, rather with papers, deeds, or contracts. They do not contract themselves. They serve who owns their contracts."

"I see," I said.

"And contracts may be exchanged, bought and sold, such things."

"I see," I said.

"You may think of them as free, or not," he said.

"I would suppose them not free," I said.

"And I, as well," he said. "But they hold themselves a thousand times above our slaves, who are branded and collared, and publicly exhibited as the helpless, lovely animals they are."

"Too," I said, "they are clearly Pani."
Smugglers of Gor     Book 32     Pages 140 - 141

"Also," I said, "I do not think there were many Pani women for sale in Brundisium."

"I saw few in Tarncamp, or Shipcamp," she said.

"I suppose," I said, "that there are Pani kajirae, captures in war, and such, but the usual arrangement seems to be in virtue of contracts of some sort, which may be bought and sold, the woman accompanying the contract."

"How is that different from the collar?" she asked.

"It seems to have something to do with prestige or such. The status is putatively higher. One would expect such women to be treated with more esteem and deference than a common slave. One would not expect them to be collared, or publicly stripped, or such. Too, they are often highly trained, in music, singing, dancing, conversation, the serving of tea, the arranging of flowers, and such."

"But they still go with the contract," she said.

"That is my understanding," I said.
Smugglers of Gor     Book 32     Page 459

There were, of course, or had been, in his holding, auxiliary personnel, free women, contract women, and slaves.
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Page 3

Sumomo was one of the two contract women whose contracts were held by Lord Nishida. The other was Hana. I knew that Tajima was much interested in buying the contract of Sumomo, but it was not within his means. Sumomo, like Hana, who was somewhat older, was quite beautiful. On the other hand, I personally found her unpleasant and arrogant. She treated Tajima with contempt, even failing to bow to him, despite the differences in their sexes. Amongst the Pani even an older sister will bow first to a younger brother. Tajima was an intelligent strong, agile, fine young man. For his age he was an excellent swordsman, and was skilled, generally, in the martial arts of the Pani. He was loyal to the cavalry, to his shogun, Lord Temmu, and to his daimyo Lord Nishida. That he should be taken with the haughty Sumomo, contract woman of a daimyo who seemingly despised him, and surely treated him with contempt, seemed anomalous. I had never seen Sumomo other than in her decorous robes but I suspected that, properly exhibited, she would fetch a good price in a typical market on the continent, say, in Brundisium, Port Kar, Ko-ro-ba, Ar, or such. The Pani keep slaves, but the cultural status of the contract woman is superior to that of the slave, and considerably inferior, naturally, to that of the free woman. On continental Gor there is no status equivalent to that of the contract woman. All women on continental Gor, and, in the familiar islands, as well, are either slave or free. There is a considerable difference, of course, between being the slave of a peasant, peddler, or herdsman and that of a high merchant or Ubar, but both are identically slaves. In the collar all women are equal, and nothing, mere slaves, though the collars of some may be set with diamonds.
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Pages 40 - 41

Yes, I thought, like a silken urt, and perhaps half as trustworthy. I suspected she had ambitions which well exceeded the clauses of her contract. Her treatment of Tajima had never failed to rankle me. Did she not know she was a contract woman, as barterable in her way as a slave, and he a free man, and warrior?

At the back of the dais, unobtrusive, demure, in their elegant kimonos, and obis, were several contract women. I knew few of them, as they tend to be shy and retiring. I did know Sumomo and Hana contract women of Lord Nishida, largely from my relationship to Lord Nishida to whom I usually reported. The only other contract woman I knew by name was Hisui, whose contract was held by Lord Okimoto. I recalled she had once worn about her neck the medallion of the Ubara of Ar.
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Page 51

"It is as we feared," he said. "Would you care for tea?" Lady Sumomo, the younger of his two contract women, was nearby, and ready to pour. Her kimono was of yellow silk. Her glistening black hair was high on her head, and held in place with a long comb.
Tajima wished to buy her contract but, of course lacked the means to do so. It is easier with slaves, as it is with other beasts. One does not expect to pay much for them. Most are priced reasonably. It is not difficult to pick out a nice one. One examines them, one bids on them, one owns them.
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Page 66

"I see Sumomo is about," I said.

The lovely contract woman lifted her head, quickly.

"She is not a slave," said Lord Nishida. "Contract women are refined, trained, and precious."

"Contracts can be bought and sold," I said.
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Page 69

"We have sought supplies in the wrong place," I said.

"I do not understand," he said.

"Perhaps your contract servant might withdraw," I said.

Sumomo was kneeling at the low oval table, with its surface of inlaid woods, on which reposed the service for tea. She looked up startled, then glanced to Lord Nishida and then withdrew.
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Page 73

As it was learned later, Lord Yamada, sitting cross-legged in his pavilion, being served tea by his contract women, listening to reports, was incredulous.
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Page 80

"You do not understand, Tarl Cabot, tarnsman," said Tajima. "You do not know our ways. She is a contract woman. Lord Nishida owns her contract. She serves him. She is not independent. She acts as she must, for him. It is our way. You do not know our ways. Lord Nishida is the spy."
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Pages 111 - 112

Saru, the former Miss Margaret Wentworth, now far from the mahogany corridors of wealth and power, those which she had once frequented, in her small, manipulative way, in a far city on a distant world, wore a silken kimono, and obi, and figured sandals. Her hair was high on her head, and held in place by pins and an ornate comb. Her garmenture was not unlike that of the contract women I had seen in Tarncamp, in Shipcamp in the holding, and elsewhere, such as Hana Sumomo, Hisui, and others.
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Page 114

He smiled. "It is true," he said, "we know what to do with women."

"At least with slaves," I said.

"With all women," he said.

"But there are free women," I said, "and contract women."

"Women may be sold to contractors," he said, "and contracts, then, may be bought and sold."
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Page 115

I looked about myself. Neither Lord Nishida nor Lord Okimoto were present. I found this anomalous, for both commonly attended on the shogun. Daichi, dour and gaunt, the reader of bones and shells, was in the room, sitting to the left of Lord Temmu, and, surprisingly, behind the shogun and a bit to the left, as well, was a contract woman, standing, Sumomo. I recalled that Tajima in his vigil on the outer parapet had noted Sumomo's presence there, and had witnessed her casting something over the parapet presumably to be retrieved by some confederate below. He had surmised, plausibly enough, that Sumomo had acted on behalf of Lord Nishida whose presence on the parapet if not indiscreet, would have been likely to attract attention. I knew little of Sumomo other than the fact that she was the younger, and more beautiful, of two beautiful women whose contracts were held by Lord Nishida. I had personally found her unpleasant and arrogant, two features which, I gathered, were unusual in a Pani woman, and certainly in a contract woman. I surmised she was quite intelligent. I thought her inquisitive and cunning, and remembered how she had once lingered, concealed, in the vicinity of Lord Nishida, although she had been dismissed. I did know, of course that Tajima found it difficult to take his eyes from her. Did not his peregrinations take him often enough into her vicinity? Indeed, I suspected it was less than a fortunate, utter happenstance that he had noted her activity on the parapet. A more casual or less diligent observer might well have missed the quick, subtle gesture which may have sped some missive, probably with its ribbon, to the foot of the cliff on which the parapet was reared. Ela, I thought, poor Tajima. I suspected even his dreams were not spared her presence. And I trusted her deportment might be less objectionable in that so-transient dimension. I doubted that her contract was for sale, and, even if it were, it seemed unlikely young Tajima could afford it. He was not a merchant, not a high officer, not a daimyo. Sumomo, as nearly as I could tell, was well aware of the distress and torment which she wrought in the breast of the young warrior and this recognition, rather than bringing about its diminishment or abatement, seemed to have spurred her to its augmentation. Some women enjoy twisting the knife, but this, I understood, was unusual in a Pani woman, whose acculturation tends to discourage such behavior, and certainly for one who was a mere contract woman. However these things may be, despite her acculturation, and her relatively lowly status, she commonly treated Tajima with an unbecoming scorn, contempt, and amusement. Sometimes I wondered if she fully understood that such a behavior might occasion untoward consequences. After all, she was not a Gorean free woman, as across the sea, veiled, hidden in the robes of concealment, a woman exalted and resplendent in status and dignity, a woman safe in her station and secure in her privileges, even one who possessed a Home Stone. She was Pani, and, beyond that, a contract woman. To be sure, she seldom acted like a contract woman, except in relation to, and in the presence of, Lord Nishida. I had wondered sometimes if he had noticed that.

On the floor a bit before, and to the side of Lord Temmu, was a scattering of bones and shells. I did not know how long they might have lain there. I supposed they had been read by Daichi.

Why, I wondered, were Lords Nishida and Okimoto not present? And why would, say, a contract woman be present.
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Pages 118 - 119

A slave, of course, would not speak the name of a free man, lest it be soiled on her lips. She might, of course, in discourse, refer to a free man, her master or others, if it were suitable to do so. For example, if she were asked her master's name, she would certainly volunteer this information, with suitable deference. Sumomo, of course, was not a slave, at least per se, but a contract woman.
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Page 124

And Sumomo's role I anticipated, was largely that of communicating Daichi's information, available from Lord Temmu, to the enemy, by so simple a contrivance as casting missives over the parapet, to be retrieved below. Similarly, as a contract woman whose contract was held by so high-ranking an official as a daimyo, in this case Lord Nishida she would have for most practical purposes, most of the time, a complete liberty of movement within the holding. Certainly she would have no difficulty in receiving information from Daichi, nor, generally, any difficulty in communicating independently with the enemy below.
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Page 137

"Another," I said, "is evident, but unimportant. She is a contract woman, under contract to Lord Nishida. Her name is Sumomo. My friend, and fellow officer, Tajima, discovered her on the outer parapet apparently casting some missive to the ground below."

"I am sorry to hear she was evident," said Lord Yamada, coldly. "A good spy should not be evident. And I had not, until now regarded her as unimportant. But I shall now do so."

"Doubtless the missive," I said, "if such it were, was received below."

"She was clumsy," said Lord Yamada, "to permit herself to be discovered in such a compromising act."

"Doubtless her services were useful," I said.

"But now, no longer," said Lord Yamada, quietly. "She is now known. She may be dispensed with. She shall be punished."

"It is not as though your honor is touched," I said.

"But it has been," he said.

"How so?" I asked. "She is a mere contract woman, kept by Lord Nishida."

"She is not a contract woman," said Lord Yamada. "That is a pretense. Do you think I would entrust so sensitive a role to a contract woman?"

"She is not a contract woman?" I said.

"No," he said.

"Some now know her as a spy," I said. "it may be difficult to rescue her, to extract her from the holding."

"Who knows what the bones and shells may say," said Lord Yamada.

"I see," I said.

"She has failed," he said. "I will have her destroyed."

"Surely not," I said.

"I am shogun," he said.
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Page 156

"It is doubtless that portion of the palace which houses the higher women of Lord Yamada, his wives, concubines and contract women," I said.
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Page 166

"I gather," I said, "that we will not be served by contract women at supper."

"You may if you wish," said Lord Akio. "Lord Yamada thought that you might find the presence of slaves more pleasing."
. . .

I recalled our first tea, which he had had served by Saru, though he had had her decorously garbed, apparently to provide less of a distraction.

"He would not waste the subtleties, the delights and skills, of contract women on such as we?" inquired Tajima.

"No, no, young warrior," said Lord Akio. "Rather the shogun hopes to please you."

"I for one," I said, "am perfectly content with slaves, and would prefer them. I know how to relate to Gorean free women, which is sometimes trying, and often annoying, and I know how to deal with slaves, which is quite simple, but I am uncertain how to behave with your contract women, the modes of address, how to respond appropriately, the ceremonial aspects, and such."

"Lord Yamada is sensitive to your uneasiness," he said.

"I am not a barbarian," said Tajima.

"Forgive me, young warrior," said Lord Akio, "your accent suggested as much."

"Perhaps," said Pertinax, "the shogun might supply a contract woman for my friend."

"Do not speak like a barbarian," said Tajima.

"I am a barbarian," retorted Pertinax, not pleasantly.

I had taken the remark of Pertinax to be well-intentioned. I think he had hoped it would have been genuinely helpful. He was, of course, as I, a barbarian.

A look of distress had crossed the features of Lord Akio.

"Does the young warrior desire the services of a contract woman?" he asked.

"No," said Tajima, irritably.

"Why not?" I asked.

"It would be unaesthetic," he said, "to mix the two."

"Quite right," said Lord Akio. "I see the young warrior, despite his accent, is Pani."

"Also, I suppose," said Pertinax, "such a mixture might be offensive to the contract woman, that she would serve with slaves."

"Certainly," I said. "We would not want her to put herself to the ritual knife, or such."

"True," said Lord Akio.

I had thought my remark a joke but rethought the matter, following the response of Lord Akio.
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Pages 182 - 183

"Have tea," said Lord Yamada, gesturing to one of the four contract women in unobtrusive attendance.
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Page 241

"I have many daughters," he said. He then sipped his tea, and, a bit later, indicated to the nearest contract woman that his small cup might be refilled.
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Page 244

"She gave Lord Yamada daughters," he said, "but, as she was of lowly birth, these daughters were removed from her, and, when of age, contracted."
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Page 250

"But the cot was discovered, and seized," he said. "It was burned, and the message vulos and their keepers slain. I learned this from a peasant, come to sell a daughter, for her welfare, to a contract merchant."
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Page 252

She had not even accorded him the respect prescribed for a female with respect to a male in the Pani culture, let alone that of a supposed contract woman with respect to a free male.
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Page 305

"When you were in the elegant, sedate robes of a contract woman," he said, "I wondered what you might look like so fastened."
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Page 332

"That is the one good thing about the peasants," said the voice, "aside from raising our rice, that they also, upon occasion, produce lovely daughters, suitable for the collar and the contract, useful for serving and pleasing men of quality."
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Page 342

In a war camp free women, and even contract women, would be rare.
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Page 400

"Perhaps you are a mere contract woman," I said, "whose contract may change hands, and be bought and sold, much as though you might be a slave."
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Page 539

He regarded her, naturally enough, given her beauty, as a possible wife. Indeed, without discounting the sometimes marvelous beauty of the daughters of peasants, whose sales tend to fill the ranks of contract women, Lord Yamada suspected, given not only her features and lines, but the obscurity of her antecedents, and her lack of family, that she may not have been originally of the peasantry.
Rebels of Gor     Book 33     Page 612


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