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. Especially as my feet seemed to have swelled a bit. For which they, had ample excuse.
'The bus will come back to take the villagers to the boat that takes them back to the island they live on. It then could take you to your ship. But we can do better. My cousin has an automobile. He wil take you.'
'Good. How much will he charge me?' Taxis in Polynesia are always outrageous, especially when the drivers have you at their mercy, of which they have none. But it occurred to me that I could afford to be robbed as I was bound to show a profit on this jape. Three hundred minus one taxi fare. I picked up my hat. 'Where's my wallet?'
'My billfold. I left it in my hat. Where is it? This isn't funny; my money was in it. And my cards.'
'Your money? Oh! Votre portefeuille. I am sorry; my English is not perfect. The officer from your ship, your excursion guide, took care of it.'
'That was kind of him. But how am I to pay your cousin? I don't have a franc on me.'
We got that straightened out. The ship's excursion escort, realising that he would be leaving me strapped in rescuing my billfold, had prepaid my ride back to the ship. My kanaka friend took me to his cousin's car and introduced me to his cousin - not too effectively, as the cousin's English was limited to 'Okay, Chief!' and I never did get his name straight.
'His automobile was a triumph of baling wire and faith