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at first supposed they merely meant to imply that
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I at first supposed they merely meant to imply that they all got on well together and did not quarrel, as Malay co-wives often do. But they finding I did not undenstand them called to the Datu Dagang, who was sitting apart with Mr. Innes, and I asked him to explain. He did so, informing me that his elder brother, the father of these three girls, had owed him money and could not pay ; so the Datu took first one daughter, then a second, and then a third in settlement of the debt., letting the father go free.