Which brings us to a question of prime concern throughout the armada. Namely, the problem of what to cook with. There was plenty of rice, at least by frugal native standards. There was plenty of water to prepare it. But each day they needed enough for a hundred boatloads, or a million mouths in all. From the first day out it was chaos. The galleys were no match for the task, powerless to feed the thousands of teeming souls, milling about at one another’s throats, outside their doors. In time clans formed. Fortuitous families, chance geographical tribes that would last throughout the voyage, staking out their spaces: forward, aft, belowdecks, by the workrooms, all over. And each of these random tribes set up its own improvised galley.
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