"Well, from 7 in the morning till 2 in the afternoon, with an hour off for breakfast at 11, all the men do public work.... The town council decides what work to do."
"Our council," said Parkin, "means a magistrate, like John over there. He's on for three years. Then we have a chief of police—that's Floyd McCoy, the man who piloted your ship to anchor—and two assessors."
"And a chairman for internal affairs," Fred added. "When we ring the bell in the square, public work starts."
Theo Young's wife, Lila, and her two children, Nola and Bary, stood in the doorway of their simple wood house watching us come up the path. It was the first Lila knew about Theo bringing home a guest. Everything, however, seemed prearranged. Jack walked on with John Christian to his house and Eduard walked on with Herman Schubert toward the schoolhouse.
Once in Lila's kitchen, Theo thought I should be fed.
"The Cap's been on canned stuff since Tahiti," he told Lila.
Lila nodded and began to boil potatoes and fry bananas over a wood-fire stove. Nola set the table, and Theo beckoned me out to the back door.
"Come and get a wash down," he said. "Wait in the bathhouse and I'll get hot water."
He closed me in a wooden hut and returned with a bucket of water and a towel. "You'll want some fresh duds, too."
I came back to the kitchen still unshaven but clean. I wore Theo's pants, socks and a white shirt. The door opened and a man came in and sat at the table. He nodded to the Youngs and to me and spread jam on a piece of bread.