Law is a function of Scribes
Many castes, incidentally, have branches and divisions. Lawyers and Scholars, for example, and Record Keepers, Teachers, Clerks, Historians and Accountants are all Scribes.
The Companion Contract, thus, had been duly negotiated, with the attention of scribes of the law from both Fortress of Saphronicus and the Confederation of Saleria.
The fellow who had said this wore the blue of the scribes. He may even have been a scribe of the law.
“Are you a legal slave, my child?” asked one of the counselors, a scribe of the law.
High magistrates, powerful in a city, it seems were likely wealthy
Similarly, if it seems understandable that, say, a high magistrate, a general, a Ubar, or such, might enjoy sitting in his pleasure gardens and inspecting his women, having them before him naked, or clothed according to his preferences, it is just as understandable that a less rich or well-fixed person might, similarly, on a more modest level, enjoy the sight of his girl, or girls, indeed, the fewer he has, perhaps the more he will relish the one, or ones, he had.
In Ibn Saran's hand was his scimitar, unsheathed. I moved in the chains. They carried no light, but the moonlight, streaming through the barred window into the cell, permitted us to regard one another.
"It seems," I said, "I am not to reach the brine pits of Klima."
I observed the scimitar. I did not think they would slay me in the cell. This would seem, to the magistrates of Nine Wells, inexplicable, an accident demanding the most rigorous and exacting inquiry.
Checking slaves for brands on rounds through city
If a magistrate should chance upon them in some alley he will commonly say, "Thigh," to them, and they will turn the girl, so that he may see if she is branded or not. If she is branded, he will commonly continue on his rounds.
May check actresses to encure they are slaves
!” On Gor, as I have perhaps mentioned, most of the actresses are slaves. In serious drama or more sophisticated comedy, when women are permitted roles within it, the female roles usually being played by men, and the females are slaves, their collars are sometimes removed. Before this is done, however, usually a steel bracelet or anklet, locked, which they cannot remove, is placed on them. In this way, they continue, helplessly, to wear some token of bondage. This facilitates, in any possible dispute or uncertainty as to their status or condition, a clear determination in the matter, by anyone, of course, but in particular by guardsmen or magistrates, or otherwise duly authorized authorities.
Taking complaints from citizens
“With your permission, Lady Telitsia?” inquired Boots, addressing himself politely to the haughty, rigid, proud, vain, heavily veiled, blue-clad free female standing in the front row below the stage.
“You may continue,” she said.
“But you may find what ensues offensive,” Boots warned her.
“Doubtless I will,” she said. “And have no fear, I shall include it in my complaint to the proper magistrates.”
"The drink she gave me," said Arn, smiling, "was well drugged. I awakened at dawn, with a great headache. My purse was gone."
"Times are hard," said Rim.
"I complained to a magistrate," said Arn, laughing, "but, unfortunately, there was on present who well recalled me, one with whom I had had prior dealings."
Managing the traffic of certain Port cities
The representative of the Merchants, to whom I reported my business, and to whom I paid wharfage, asked no questions. He did not even demand the proof of registration of the Tesephone of Tabor. The Merchants, who control Lydius, under merchant law, for it is a free port, like Helmutsport, and Schendi and Bazi, are more interested in having their port heavily trafficked than strictly policed. Indeed, at the wharves I had even seen two green ships. Green is the color common to pirates. I supposed, did they pay their wharfage and declare some sort of business, the captains of those ships were as little interrogated as i. The governance of Lydius, under the merchants, incidentally, is identical to that of the exchange islands, or free islands, in Thassa. Three with which I was familiar, from various voyages, were Tabor, Teletus and, to the north, offshore from Torvaldsland, Scagnar. Of these, to be honest, and to give the merchants their due, I will admit that Tabor and Teletus are rather strictly controlled. It is said, however, by some of the merchants there, that this manner of caution and restriction, has to some extent diminished their position in the spheres of trade. Be that as it may, Lydius, though not what you would call an open port, was indulgent, and permissive. Most ports and islands on Thassa, of course, are not managed by the Merchants, but, commonly, by magistrates appointed by the city councils. In Port Kar, my city, the utilization of the facilities of the port is regulated by a board of four magistrates, the Port Consortium, which reports directly to the Council of Captains, which, since the downfall of the warring Ubars, is sovereign in the city. I suppose the magistrate, who, with his papers, met us at the dock, did not believe my story. He was smiling, when he wrote down my putative business. He had looked at my men. They did not appear to be merchant rowers. They looked much like what they were, men of Port Kar. Hunters
Sentencing and enslaving Free Women who bare their legs
Contrariwise, almost no free woman would bare her legs. They would not dare to do so. They would be horrified even to think of it. The scandal of such an act could ruin a reputation. It is said on Gor, any woman who bares her legs is a slave. Indeed, in some cities a free woman who might be found with bare legs is taken in hand by magistrates, tried and sentenced to bondage. After the judge’s decision has been enacted, its effect carried out upon her, reducing her to the status of goods, sometimes publicly, that she may be suitably disgraced, sometimes privately, by a contract slaver, that the sensitivities of free women in the city not be offended, she is hooded and transported, stripped and chained, freshly branded and collared, a property female, slave cargo, to a distant market where, once sold, she will begin her life anew, fearfully, as a purchased girl, tremulously as the helpless and lowly slave she now is.
Would investigate the use of lure girls for innocent men to be used in a work chain
That particular chain, I had heard, was employed in the north, currently digging siege trenches for the Cosians who had invested Torcadino. The fellow whom they had bound, of course, and the others in whose capture I had been implicated, were not, as far as I knew, criminals. My master, Tyrrhenius, spoke of his work as "recruitment." He was "recruiting" for the chains of work masters. To be sure, he must do this work surreptitiously. It would be quite unfortunate for him, I gathered, if he were to be discovered to have been involved in such work. Judges, magistrates, and such, would not be likely to look indulgently on these activities.
“Do you have anything to say before I pass such sentence upon you?”
“No,” she said.
“I sentence you to slavery,” he said, uttering the sentence.
She trembled, sentenced.
“It only remains now,” said Aemilianus, “for the sentence to be carried out. If you wish I, in the office of magistrate, shall carry it out. On the other hand, if you wish, you may yourself carry out the sentence.”
“I?” she said.
“Yes,” he said.
“You would have me proclaim myself slave?” she asked.
“Or I shall do it,” he said. “In the end, it does not matter.”
Investigating and arresting for fraud
Some Gorean dice are sold in sealed boxes, bearing the city’s imprint. These, supposedly, have been each cast six hundred times, with results approximating the ideal mathematical probabilities. Also, it might be mentioned that dice are sometimes tampered with, or specially prepared, to favor certain numbers. These, I suppose, using the Earth term, might be spoken of as “loaded.” My friend, the actor, magician, impresario and whatnot, Boots Tarsk-Bit, once narrowly escaped an impalement in Besnit on the charge of using false dice. He was, however, it seems, framed. At any rate the charges were dismissed when a pair of identical false dice turned up in the pouch of the arresting magistrate, the original pair having, interestingly, at about the same time, vanished. (In this case it appears the magistrate was crooked himself
Investigating and sentencing thieves
Some free girls, without family, keep themselves, as best they can, in certain port cities. That her ear had been notched indicated that, by a magistrate, she had been found thief. Ear notching is the first penalty for a convicted thief in most Gorean cities, whether male or female. The second offense, by a male, is punished with removal of the left hand, the third offense by the removal of the right. The penalty for a woman, for her second offense, if she is convicted, is to be reduced to slavery.
Lying on the ground, bound hand and foot, still clad in the white robe, was Talena. The point of the sharpened impaling post lay near her. As the tarn had landed, her executioners, two burly, hooded magistrates, had scrambled to their feet and fled to safety.
Certain magistrates, likely well versed in Merchant Law, were Merchant Magistrates, of the Merchant Caste
Behind the wagon, in the white robes, trimmed with gold and purple, of merchant magistrates, came five men. I recognized them as judges.
The desk of a wharf praetor
The praetor placed the coin on his desk, the surface of which was some seven feet high, below the low, solid wooden bar The height of the praetor’s desk, he on the high stool behind it, permits him to see a goodly way up and down the wharves. Also, of course, one standing before the desk must look up to see the praetor, which, psychologically, tends to induce a feeling of fear for the power of the law. The wooden bar before the desk’s front edge makes it impossible to see what evidence or papers the praetor has at his disposal as he considers your case. Thus, you do not know for certain how much he knows. Similarly, you cannot tell what he writes on your papers.
Wharf Praetor - settling disuputes on the docks
I walked in the morning, an Ahn before noon, on the wharves of Telnus. I could see the great gates of the harbor some two pasangs across the water. The harbor was filled with many craft. I avoided the tar on the planks of the wharf. Beneath the planking of the wharves, here and there, I could see water, and small boats tied at pilings. Men came and went, going to and from ships, and disembarking and embarking cargo. I passed the throne of the wharf praetor, he in his robes, with the two scribes, for the settling of disputes which might occur on the quays. Four guardsmen, too, were there.
Issued or at least enforced warrants
“Return the girl to the praetor’s station on this pier,” said the guardsman.
“What of those who robbed me!” cried the fellow with the torn clothing and the blood behind his ear.
“You are not the first,” said the praetor, looking down at him from the high desk. “They stand under a general warrant.”
Questioning, investigating, and sentencing
“I am innocent,” said the bound man.
“How do you refer to yourself?” asked the praetor.
“Turgus,” he said.
The praetor entered that name in the papers. He then signed the papers.
He looked down at Turgus. “How did you come to be tied?” he asked.
“Several men set upon me,” he said. “I was struck from behind. I was subdued.”
“It does not appear that you were struck from behind,” smiled the praetor.
The face of Turgus was not a pretty sight, as I had dashed it into the stones, and had then struck the side of his head against the nearby wall.
“Is the binding fiber on their wrists from their original bonds, as you found them?” asked the praetor of one of the guardsmen.
“It is,” he said.
“Examine the knots,” said the praetor.
“They are capture knots,” said the guardsman, smiling.
“You made a poor choice of one to detain, my friends,” said the praetor.
They looked at one another, miserably. Their paths had crossed that of a warrior.
They now stood bound before the praetor.
“Turgus, of Port Kar,” said the praetor, “in virtue of what we have here today established, and in virtue of the general warrant outstanding upon you, you are sentenced to banishment. If you are found within the limits of the city after sunset this day you will be impaled.”
The face of Turgus was impassive.
“Free him,” he said.
Turgus was cut free, and turned about, moving through the crowd. He thrust men aside.
Again, passing sentence of punishment
“The Lady Sasi, of Port Kar,” said the praetor, “in virtue of what we have here today established, and in virtue of the general warrant outstanding upon her, must come under sentence.”
“Please, my officer,” she begged.
“I am now going to sentence you,” he said.
“Please,” she cried, “Sentence me only to a penal brothel!”
“The penal brothel is too good for you,” said the praetor.
“Show me mercy,” she begged.
“You will be shown no mercy,” he said.
She looked up at him, with horror.
“You are sentenced to slavery,” he said.
Had cells for holding prisoners
“I hate you,” she sobbed. She threw a wild look at the fellow slumped over the nearby table. He was still unconscious. She was clearly frightened. The dosage she had imbibed, assuming there might have been one in the drink, would doubtless have been one fit for a male. Accordingly, her own period of unconsciousness, given this possibility, might possibly last several Ahn, more than enough time to be carried to a cell in a praetor’s holding area.
Sentencing male criminals to work chains
The "free " chain, on the other hand, consists usually, I had been told, of condemned criminals. Rather than bother with housing these fellows, many of whom are supposedly dangerous, putting them up at public expense, and so on, many cities, for a nominal fee, turn them (pg. 305) over to a work master who accepts charge of them, theoretically for the duration of time remaining in their sentences. For example, if a fellow has been sentenced, say, to two years of hard labor by a praetor, he might be turned over, for a small fee, to the master of a work gang who will see to it, theatrically, that he performs these two years of hard labor.
Some of them were not even men I had trapped, but only men who knew what I had done. Some may have been as innocent as those I had lured, others might have been murderers and brigands, suitably enchained for the expiation of sentences, their custody having been legally transferred to Ionicus, my master, at the payment of a prisoner’s fee, by the writ of a praetor or, in more desperate cases, by the order of a quaestor.
Collecting payment for each prisoner sentenced and turned over to a work chain
"They are from Brundisium," he said.
"Of course," said Aulus.
"A silver tarsk apiece," said the fellow.
"That seems high," said Aulus.
"It is an average praetor’s price," he said. To be sure, some serving shorter sentences, would presumably go for less, and some, more dangerous fellows, perhaps, serving longer sentences, might go for more. "Too," he said, "I expect you pay to much, or more, for the fellows you get from illicit suppliers."