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In mobile ad hoc networks, data must usually be relayed using intermediate nodes. However, it is problematic when nodes refuse to forward data for others. In this paper we are concentrating on hybrid ad hoc networks of which the purpose is to extend the reach of wireless Internet gateways, and propose an incentive-based architecture which essentially offers a "free-trade" community in which forwarding nodes can decide whether to cooperate or not, based on the incentive offered. The underlying trading protocol is able to support any algorithm that determines trading behaviour. It is based on a combination of public-key and symmetric cryptographic primitives, in such a way that the mechanism does not necessarily have to depend on a trusted third party for its operation, while at the same time avoiding unnecessary computational overheads.