I had smiled when I read in a guidebook that Matthew Town was "one of the largest, wealthiest, and most sophisticated" communities in the Out Islands. After all, there wasn't a lot of competition. But I discovered that scraping up and selling a million tons or more of salt each year had, in fact, underwritten a fair-size town. Home to all of Inagua's 1,200 inhabitants, Matthew Town resembled a grid of suburban streets wrapped around a waterfront business district. I found steepled churches, cafés where the cracked conch was superb (and the recorded music could rattle your fillings), an amply stocked company store, and a downtown hotel where the chicken-wing souse, redolent of allspice, made a bracing breakfast.