Why Do We Pay Tribute to the Baron?

A serf boy asks his father why they pay rent to the Baron.  Not only rent, says the boy, the Baron gets ninety per cent of our crops.  And I notice, says the boy, that mom sometimes goes to the Baron’s, in his carriage, and while she’s gone you’re always in a violent mood. “Why do we have to pay tribute to the Baron, who doesn’t even seem like a nice man?”

“We pay tribute to the Baron so that he will protect us from other barons,” says the father, the boy staring at the man’s clenched fists.

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