SPIDER PEOPLE

"When I opened my eyes, I found myself partially adhering to a vast network of broad, elastic strands that formed a structure, perhaps a pasang in width, and through which at numerous points projected the monstrous trees of the swamp forest. I felt the network, or web, tremble, and I struggled to rise, but found myself unable to gain my feet. My flesh adhered to the adhesive substance of the broad strands. Approaching me, stepping daintily for all its bulk, prancing over the strands came one of the Swamp Spiders of Gor. I fastened me eyes on the blue sky, wanting it to be the last thing I looked upon. I shuddered as the beast paused near me, and I felt the light stroke of its forelegs, felt the tactile investigation of the sensory hairs of its appendages. I looked at it, and it peered down, with its four pairs of pearly eyes."
"Tarnsman of Gor" page 81/2

"When I said this the monstrous insect bent near me and I caught sight of the mandibles, like curves knives. I tensed myself for the sudden lateral chopping of those pincers like jaws. Instead, saliva or some related type of secretion or exudate was being applied to the wed in my vicinity, which loosened its adhesive grip. When freed, I was lifted lightly in the mandibles and carried to the edge of the web, where the spider seized a hanging strand and scurried downward, placing me on the ground. He then backed away from me on his eight legs, but never taking the pearly gaze of his several eyes from me.
I heard the mechanically reproduced sound again. It said, "My name is Nar, and I am of the Spider People."
I then saw for the first time that strapped to his abdomen was a translation device, not unlike those I had seen in Ko- ro-ba. It apparently translated sound impulses, below my auditory threshold, into the sounds of human speech. My own replies were undoubtedly similarly transformed into some medium the insect could understand. One of the insect's legs twiddled with a knob on the translation device. "Can you hear this?" he asked. He had reduced the volume of the sound to its original level, the level at which he had asked his original question."
"Tarnsman of Gor" page 82

‘I will not hurt you. The Spider People do not hurt rational creatures.’ “I am grateful for that,” I said.
The next remark took my breath away.
Was it you who stole the Home Stone of Ar?
I paused, then, being confident the creature had no love for the men of Ar, answered affirmatively.
‘That is pleasing to me,’ said the insect, ‘for the men of Ar do not behave well towards the Spider People. They hunt us and leave only enough of us alive to spin the Cur-lon Fibre used in the mills of Ar. If they were not rational creatures, we would fight them."
"Tarnsman of Gor" page 83

"I must return to Ko-ro-ba," I said. "I have failed."
"I will take you to the edge of the swamp if you like," said the insect. I assented, thanking him, this rational creature who lifted me gently to his back and moved with such dainty rapidity, picking his way exquisitely through the swamp forest.
We had proceeded for perhaps an hour when Nar, the spider, abruptly stopped and lifted his two forelegs into the air, testing the odours, straining to sift out something in the dense, humid air.
"There is a carnivorous tharlarion, a wild tharlarion, in the vicinity," he said. "Hold tightly."
Luckily I did immediately as he had advised, fixing my grip deep in the long black hairs that covered his thorax, for Nar suddenly raced to a nearby swamp tree and scuttled high into its branches."
"Tarnsman of Gor" page 84

"There was a sound. I leaped to my feet, sword ready. But across the marsh, with his swift prancing stride, came Nar, and in his mandibles, held gently but firmly, the daughter of the Ubar Marlenus. She was striking at Nar with her tiny fists, cursing and kicking in a manner I thought most improper for the daughter of a Ubar. Nar pranced on to the knoll and set her down before me, his pearly luminescent eyes fixed on me like blank, expressionless moons."
"Tarnsman of Gor" page 86

"Then, gently, the mandibles of Nar closed around the girl's throat. A sudden tremor of fear shook her heavily robed body, and the girl's hand tried to force the implacable chitinous pincers from her throat. Apparently the Spider Person was not as harmless as she had arrogantly assumed. "Tell it to stop," she gasped, writhing in the insect's grip, her fingers helplessly trying to loosen the mandibles.
"Do you wish her head?" asked the mechanical voice of Nar.
I knew that the insect, who would allow his kind to be exterminated before he would injure any rational creature, must have some plan in mind, or at least I assumed he did. At any rate, I said, "Yes." The mandibles began to close on her throat like the blades of giant scissors.
"Stop!" screamed the girl, her voice a frenzied whisper.
I motioned to Nar to relax his grip.
"Tarnsman of Gor" page 88/9

"I led her by the hand towards Nar, helped her to the glossy, hairy back of the spider, and climbed up after her. Wordlessly Nar moved rapidly through the marsh, his eight delicate feet scarcely seeming to dip into the greenish water. Once he stepped into quicksand, and his back tilted suddenly. I held the daughter of the Ubar tightly as the insect righted himself, floating in the muck for a second, and then managing to free himself with his eight scrambling legs.
After a journey of an hour or so Nar stopped and pointed ahead with one of his forelegs. About three or four pasangs distant, through the thinning swamp trees, I could see the verdant meadows of Ar's Sa-Tarna land. The mechanical voice of Nar spoke.
"I do not wish to approach nearer to the land. It is dangerous for the Spider People."
I slid from his back and helped the daughter of the Ubar down. We stood together in the shallow water at the side of the gigantic insect. I placed my haqnd on Nar's grotesque face, and the gentle monster lightly closed his mandibles on my arm and then opened them. "I wish you well," said Nar, using a common Gorean phrase of farewell.
I responded similarly and further wished health and safety to his people.
The insect placed his forelegs on my shoulders. "I do not ask your name, Warrior," he said, "nor will I repeat the name of your city before the Submitted One, but I know that you and your city are honored by the Spider People."
"Thank you," I said. "My city and I are honored."
The mechanical voice spoke once more. "Beware the daughter of the Ubar."
"She has submitted herself," I replied, confident that the promise of her submission would be fulfilled.
As Nar raced backward, he lifted a foreleg in a gesture that I interpreted as an attempt to wave. I waved back at him, touched, and my grotesque ally disappeared into the marshes."
"Tarnsman of Gor" page 94/5

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