The journey to the Place of Dread was uneventful, and finally he reached his destination, only to be disappointed that such an unprepossessing promontory was what he had travelled to visit. But Grimble had taken little water with him and in that droughty coral archipelago he ate his lunch and was unable to replenish his supplies of water. He began to be thirsty, and it was the growing thirst that led to what followed. They left after two in in the afternoon
Initially the colonial officer asked the Constable, who was walking forty paces behind, behind to scale a palm tree to get him a coconut, but the man refused to steal one of Nakaa's nuts, and there was still a mile of Nakaa's Grove to go. Then Grimble saw a figure. Maybe this man could scale a palm tree to assuage Grimble's thirst. The path curved round a beach and the figure was visible all the way. Grimble could not take his eyes from the man, for in him lay the remediation of his thirst. The time was approaching three o'clock.
As the man approached Grimble saw that he was a grizzled man in his fifties, walked with a limp,had a scar down his cheek and was clad in a fine mat around his waist. As the colonial officer bade him stop, the man simply walked past with no acknowledgement, as though Grimble were not there. This was strange behaviour for the usually courteous islanders, so Grimble thinking that there might be something wrong with the man ran back to the constable to get him to "ask that chief to stop." But the police officer stood uncomprehending, then fled in terror shielding his eyes.
On returning to the village the angry Grimble demanded that the man be brought to him that evening, but the magistrate asked for a description, which Grimble gave. Magistrate and constable agreed that it was Na Biria.
"Then bring him to me at once." the angry young man demanded.
"I cannot do that." replied the magistrate, who then told the dumbfounded officer that Na Biria had died that day shortly before three o'clock.
After Grimble demanded proof that the man was dead the magistrate took Grimble to Na Biria's house, but as he approached and saw the mourners he had a pang of conscience, for he knew that if the rituals were disturbed the Kiribatans would believe that Nakaa would strangle Na Biria in his net, and the officer did not want to cause good people such grief. He went away humbled and ashamed of his arrogance.