I don't understand what purpose the と serves in this sentence. Can someone explain, please?
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I think this と is being used in a quotative sense. Much like this post describes: particle doubts
So with that, I would say it's indicating the speaker's thoughts on お礼 (a thanks) and how it's perceived by them
お礼にとそのカメが連れてきたこのじいさんはいったい? Who in the heck is this old man that was brought by that turtle as a thanks I guess?