The canvas covering of the wagon had been drawn back, probably to air the contents from the dampness of the storm. No one seemed to be within the wagon, or about it, other than the pair at the side of it. I had little doubt, accordingly, that the blond woman kneeling before the fellow with the whip was his free companion, or former free companion. The girl who had been beneath the wagon last night, had been formerly purchased, and primarily purchased, I had suspected, in an attempt, I thought, by the fellow to encourage his companion to take her relationship with him more seriously. She had apparently done so, at least to the extent of treating the slave with great cruelty. But now the slave was gone, and there was a chain on her neck. He had apparently now gone to the heart of the matter. If she were still his free companion, it seemed she would now be kept in the modality of bondage, but perhaps she was now only his former free companion, and had been reduced to actual bondage, now being subject to purchase by anyone. I recalled how she had bent in terror to kiss his feet. There was no doubt that she would now take her relationship to him seriously.
It is difficult not to do so when one is owned, and subject to the whip. The woman would now discover that her companion, or former companion, a fellow perhaps hitherto taken somewhat too lightly, one perhaps hitherto accorded insufficient attention and respect, one perhaps hitherto neglected and ignored, even despised and scorned, was indeed a man, and one who now would see to it that she served him well, one who would now own and command her, one who would summon forth the woman in her, and claim from her, and receive from her, the total entitlements of the master.
-- Renegades of Gor