These are relevant references from the Books where Papers is mentioned.
I make no pronouncements on these matters, but report them as I find them.
Arrive at your own conclusions.
I wish you well,
I looked to the area of the Administrator and saw the Hinrabian disgustedly turning away, dictating something to a scribe, who sat cross-legged near the throne, a sheaf of record papers in his hand.
Assassin of Gor Book 5 Page 141
Here there were lines of booths in an extended arcade, where merchandise of various sorts might be purchased, usually of an inexpensive and low-quality variety. There were poorly webbed, small tapestries; amulets and talismans; knotted prayer strings; papers containing praises of Priest-Kings, which might be carried on one's person; numerous ornaments of glass and cheap metal; the strung pearls of the Vosk sorp; polished, shell brooches; pins with heads carved from the horn of kailiauk tridents; lucky sleen teeth; racks of rep-cloth robes, veils and tunics in various caste colors; cheap knives and belts and pouches; vials containing perfumes, for which extraordinary claims were made; and small clay, painted replicas of the stadium and racing tarns.
Assassin of Gor Book 5 Pages 155 - 156
In fury, with a shout of rage, Eteocles, cloak swirling, his hand on the hilt of his sword, strode to the table. He took his sword from its sheath and plunged it through the scribe's papers, pinning them to the table.
Raiders of Gor Book 6 Page 158
The function of the kasbah of the Salt Ubar, thus, officially, is to administer and control the salt districts, on behalf of the Tahari salt merchants, primarily by regulating access to the districts, checking the papers and credentials of merchants, inspecting caravans, keeping records of the commerce, etc.
Tribesmen of Gor Book 10 Page 208
The ship on which I was carried was the round ship, or cargo ship, Clouds of Telnus, registered in Cos, but with shipping papers clearing it for the waters of Schendi.
Slave Girl of Gor Book 11 Page 322
"She was a passenger," I said.
"Yes," said Samos, "a passenger."
"Her passage papers were in order?" I asked.
"Yes," he said.
Explorers of Gor Book 13 Page 27
"Look," said Samos. He reached to one side of the table, to a flat, black box, of the sort in which papers are sometimes kept. In the box, too, there is an inkwell, at its top, and a place for quilled pens. He opened the box, below the portion containing the inkwell and concave surfaces for pens.
He withdrew from the box several folded papers, letters. He had broken the seal on them.
"These papers, too, were found among the belongings of our fair captive below," said Samos.
"What is their nature?" I asked.
"There are passage papers here," he said, "and a declaration of Cosian citizenship, which is doubtless forged. Too, most importantly, there are letters of introduction here, and the notes for a fortune, to be drawn on various banks in Schendi's Street of Coins."
"To whom are the letters of introduction," I asked, "and to whom are made out the notes?"
"One is to a man named Msaliti," said Samos, "and the other is to Shaba."
"And the notes for the fortunes?" I asked.
"They are made out to Shaba," said Samos.
She opened the door, and looked down at me. She held some papers, long and yellow, in one hand.
"It is Jason, is it not?" she asked.
"If Mistress pleases," I said.
"It will do," she said. She regarded me. She did not even seem to notice that I was alone in the hall. In this she apparently saw nothing out of the ordinary. "I had forgotten," she said. "You were to be sent to my chamber this evening, were you not?" she asked.
"Yes, Mistress," I said.
"Come in," she said. "Remove your tunic and kneel by the couch. Close the door behind you."
"Yes, Mistress," I said. She was wearing golden sandals and a long, scarlet robe, with a high, ornate collar, fastened by a silver clasp.
I entered the room and shut the door behind me. I removed the silken tunic I had been given and folded it, placing it on the floor. I then knelt, naked and collared, near it, in the vicinity of the couch.
She knelt before a low desk, her back to me, and gave her attention to the papers which she had now placed upon it. She held a marking stick in her right hand.
"I am attending to the details of tomorrow evening's sale," she said.
"Yes, Mistress," I said.
She worked quietly, thoughtfully. Sometimes she would remove one paper from the group, and add another. Occasionally she would make a notation on one of the papers with her marking stick. Several Ehn went by. I did not disturb her. I knew she was working. She was a businesswoman, with demanding and intricate responsibilities. I wondered if any of those papers were pertinent to me.
"Before you Lady Melpomene of Vonda," said Philebus, "lie several papers, detailing the consolidation of your debts. These papers are certified by the bank of Bemus in Venna, and are witnessed by the signatures of two citizens of that city. Do you acknowledge that the tallies are correct and that the debts are yours?"
"I do," said the Lady Melpomene.
"I now," said he, "by my purchased rights, charge you with these debts and demand payment."
"And, thanks to my friend, the Lady Florence, she of Vonda," said the Lady Melpomene, "you shall have your payments, and now. The Lady Florence has graciously agreed to lend me the full amount of the due notes and at no interest."
This seemed to me incredibly generous of the Lady Florence. Kenneth, near me, behind the curtain, was smiling.
"I herewith publicly sign," said the Lady Melpomene, "this loan note, made out to the Lady Florence of Vonda, for the full sum of one thousand, four hundred and twenty tarns of gold."
"And I," said the Lady Florence, "herewith publicly sign this draft, marked in the same amount, drawn on the bank of Reginald in Vonda, and properly certified, made out to Philebus of Venna."
She handed the draft to the Lady Melpomene. The Lady Melpomene handed her back the loan note. Philebus of Venna went to the table of the Lady Melpomene and took the draft. He looked at it, and was satisfied, and placed it in his pouch. The loan note was carried by the Lady Florence herself to the prefect and to the Lady Leta and the Lady
Perimene. These, with their signatures, and the prefect with a stamp also, certified and witnessed the loan note. Pamela and Bonnie, incidentally, the two enslaved Gorean beauties in attendance on the tables, did not fetch or carry the documents about. This had been done by Philebus of Venna and the Lady Florence. Slaves, generally, are not permitted to touch legal documents. They are slaves.
She lit the candle. On the table, too, in a moment, she placed waxed paper, and an envelope of oilcloth. Such things are not uncommon on ships, to protect papers which might be carded in the spray or weather, for example, on a longboat between ships, or between ships and the shore. Sealing wax, too, in a rectangular bar, she placed on the table. She then knelt beside the table. She kept her head down, deferentially, not daring to meet my eyes.
"Head to the floor," I told her.
She obeyed, swiftly.
I replaced the papers in their envelope, from with I had withdrawn them to examine them. I then wrapped the envelope in several thicknesses of waxed paper. Then, with the sealing wax, melted by the candle, drop by drop, then smoothing the drops into rivulets of liquid wax, I seamed shut the waxed paper.
"You have many men," I said. "Your expedition must be very expensive. Had it been mounted by several cities I think I would have heard of it. Whence comes the gold for these numerous and manifold fees?"
The officer looked at me, angrily.
"We are sustained by the merchant council of Port Olni," said the woman. "Our papers are in order."
"Papers, papers?" inquired the soldier. "Have you papers?"
"No," I said. I did not think it would be wise to advertise my possession of letters of safety until it should prove impossible to proceed further without them.
He then went to others, making the same inquiry. None of the refugees, of course, carried such papers.
We were in a roadside camp, eleven days from Torcadino. It was not a bad camp. There was shade, and a spring nearby. Peasants came there to sell produce. In a few Ehn Boabissia, Hurtha and I, and Feiqa, would be again on our way. I had purchased passage on a fee cart.
"It is good to see a uniform of Ar," said a man.
"Yes," I said.
"Does one need papers?" the small fellow with the mustache like string was asking the soldier.
The soldier did not respond to him.
"Can one enter Ar without them?" he asked.
But the soldier had then continued on his way.
"Do you have papers?" he asked.
"No," I said.
"Oh," he said, smiling.
"Why?" I asked.
"I assume Ar will not accommodate all the refugees who may seek asylum there," he said. "It is hard to see how she could. Doubtless papers, or letters, might be needed."
"Perhaps," I said.
"Such might be worth their weight in gold," he speculated.
I walked to the side where the pole had been set up. I examined the papers nailed to the pole. They were partly ripped by the wind, and were stained with blood, where the blood had run down the pole.
"What are you doing there?" said a Taurentian.
"What was his crime?" I asked.
"Carrying false papers," he said.
"Next," said a Taurentian. "You, there, what is your business in Ar?"
"I am a vintner," said the fellow before me. "I was put out of Torcadino. I have relatives in Ar. It is my intention to seek caste asylum in Ar."
"Have you papers?" asked the Taurentian.
"I have documents certifying my caste standing," he said. He then produced some papers from his pack.
The Taurentian then wrote a notation on the papers and motioned him ahead.
"It will be only a matter of time," said Marcus, "before weapons will be altogether illegal in the city."
"Except for those authorized to carry them," I said.
"Cosians," he said.
"And such," I said.
"You noticed how he inquired into our employments?" said Marcus.
"Of course," I said.
"Soon," he said, "there will be regulations about such things, and papers, and permits, and ostraka, and such."
"What have you to say?" he asked, puzzled.
"I will attempt to serve my master to the best of my abilities," she said.
"I can guarantee it," said the praetor's officer. Then he lifted certain papers on his desk. "It is to be done in this fashion," he said to the clerk. "She is to be stripped and branded, and put in a holding collar. She is also to be gagged, for her words, her please, her remonstrations or such, will be of no avail, nor will they be of interest to those of the house of William, in Harfax. Let them not then be disturbed by them. She is then to be placed in an outer robe of concealment, the outer robe only, but also hooded and veiled. Then, hands bound behind her, on a rope, at the tenth Ahn, she is to be brought to this place. Here she will be delivered into the hands not of an agent of the house of William but into the hands of one of that house itself, the youngest and least of that house, who has come to Treve for this purpose, to acquire her, to whom she is to be given as a slave."
"Open! Open!" we heard, from down the corridor. There was a repetition of the pounding on the bars of the gate. "Open! Open!"
"We need time!" said the officer.
"They will not have their way this day," said the pit master.
"And how is that?" asked the officer.
"Their papers are not in order," said the pit master.
"I see," said the officer.
The majority of the men in black tunics, incidentally, save for two who returned to the surface, to repair the fault of their papers, had remained overnight in the quarters of the pit master. It seemed that, as tenacious and terrible as sleen, they would take their repose on the very trail they followed. Too, I am sure they did not trust the pit master. The officer of Treve had left the quarters of the pit master shortly after the arrival of the strangers, putatively to ensure that new papers would be properly prepared, that there would be no further difficulty in the documents, supposedly of transfer or extradition.
"You have arranged with uncritical scribes, noble fellows of easy virtue," I said, "to invent plausible documentation to substantiate the identity of such an agent empowered by Ar?"
"The papers and seals should be delivered by nightfall," he said.
At that moment there was a knock on the door.
"That," said Seremides, "will be the papers I ordered, the forged credentials, seemingly bearing the seal of Ar."
"These credentials," said the taller scribe, bending over the papers strewn on the desk before him, "seem in order."
"They are in order," I said. "Can you not recognize the high seal of Ar?"
I trusted that he had never seen the high seal of Ar.
"In this way," said the scribe with whom I was conversing, "news may be changed quickly and easily."
"Which may not be so easily accomplished with flyers, posters, circulated papers, parchments, and such," I said.
On the platform with the four heralds were two scribes, standing, before a table on which reposed, amongst a miscellany of other objects, some papers, a bottle of ink, and a feathered pen.
"All is in order," said Hemartius, joining me at the side of the platform. "The papers need only the signatures and the Ubarial stamp and seal."
The crowd began to find its way to the exits. Jurors filed from the orchestra area. Those involved with the court began gathering their papers and taking their leave.
Hemartius gathered together some papers, ordered them, evened the edges, and placed them in his scribe's kit.
"Everything is in order," said Hemartius. "All the papers are signed. Everything is stamped and sealed."
"Hold," said Decius Albus. "These papers obviously pertain to a slave, but how do we know they are relevant to the prisoner? Time has elapsed. Recollections can soften and fade, even be usurped by unwitting substitutes, each claiming authenticity. Memories are fallible. Identifications can be error. The noble Tolnar and Venlisius may be mistaken."