Studies of indentured migration have assumed either that recruits were obtained by deception or that the mobile unemployed voluntarily engaged, and have not adequately addressed the issue of how the dynamism of recruitment for a bonded labour system was maintained. This article explores the means by which an Indian indentured workforce was recruited for Mauritius and in particular the use of time-expired labourers (returnees) to encourage family settlement and to sustain the flow of immigrants despite poor material benefits offered.