These are relevant references from the Books where Redemption Law is mentioned.
It is not meant to be anything other than the facts of the matter.
Arrive at your own conclusions.
I wish you well,
"Your redemption fee," I said, "is forty copper tarsks, a considerable amount." I had read this amount on the back of the oilcloth rectangle.
"Pay it!" she begged. "Rescue a noble free woman from jeopardy. I will be forever grateful."
"Few men," I said, "would be content with gratitude."
She shrank back, frightened, against the rough surface.
"My bill is only thirty tarsks," said the second woman, a blonde. "Redeem me!"
"Mine is thirty-five!" said the third woman.
"Mine is only twenty-seven!" cried the fourth woman.
"Mine is fifty," wept the last of the five women, "but I will make it well worth your while!"
"In what way?" I asked.
"In the way of the woman!" she said, brazenly.
There were cries of protest, and anger, from the others.
"Do not sound too righteous," I said to the first four prisoners at the wall.
"We are free women!" said the first woman.
"You are all debtor sluts," I said.
The first woman gasped, startled, so referred to, and the second and third woman cried out in anger. The fourth whimpered, knowing what I had said was true. The fifth was silent.
"Do you not wish to be redeemed?" I asked her.
"Yes!" she said suddenly. "Yes, of course!" But I saw she would never be truly happy, except where she belonged, in a collar.
"Me!" said the third woman, suddenly. "Kiss me, too! Taste me, too!" I gathered that she, too, did not wish to be left out in these competitions. She did not wish to miss her opportunity to see if she might, by the bestowal of her favors, and the promise of such favors, as well, please me, and, by enticement or trickery, inveigle me into purchasing her redemption. I also saw, from her behavior and attitude, that she regarded herself as the most beautiful of the five, and the most likely to succeed in any such contest. Accordingly I gave her little time but merely took her in my arms and unilaterally, forcibly, briefly, crushed her lips beneath mine, and then flung her back against the logs. She looked at me wildly, disbelievingly. Was she not blond? But she would have to learn to please men.
She controlled herself, and did not press against me. "The word 'debtor' is in large letters," she said. "Beneath it, in smaller letters, it says 'Inquire at the Crooked Tarn pertinent to Redemption Fees.'"
Many girls will strive hard to please, for example, to be permitted to keep their hair, or to be permitted to let it grow out again. There were six pelts on the rack. The sixth was a lengthy and lovely auburn. I had also, by means of Ephialtes, redeemed Lady Temione. Her redemption had cost me a silver tarsk, five. This was expensive, but she would look well on her knees, collared. All told then, at the exchange rate of 100 C.T. per silver tarsk, the women had cost me two silver tarsks, 87 C.T. These women were now, if all had gone well, on their way to Ar's Station, probably chained behind, and attached to, the wagon of Ephialtes. The shaving of their heads would doubtless lower their value, but I did not object, because I was not particularly concerned with whether I made a profit on them or not. That was not their essential role in my plans. Indeed, if their heads were shaved, that might be just as well. That might suggest that they had come into the keeping of an exploitable fellow, one in desperate need of funds.
"She lived from men, following them and exploiting them," I said. "She was a debtor slut. I paid her bills and thus came into her de facto ownership, through the redemption laws."
"I was once well taken at the Crooked Tarn," said the first man, "by a wench whose redemption cost me three silver tarsks, plus travel money, supposedly to get her back to Cos. For all this I received not so much as a kiss, she informing me that that would demean our relationship, putting it on a physical basis. She only laughed at me, from a fee cart, moving rapidly away, with my purse, waving the redemption papers, signed for freedom, in her hand. I was a fool. Often since I have dreamed of her in my power, naked and in a collar, my slave! I would use her well! Her name was Liomache."
"I know you," he said. "I would know you anywhere. You are one of those sluts who lives off men, who runs up bills and then inveigles fools into satisfying them. I remember however that when I first met you, you had been somewhat less successful than usual, and were being held for redemption at the inn. How piteously you misrepresented your case, and begged me, a lady so in distress and a compatriot of Cos, to rescue you from your predicament!"