At this the crews were set at rest, and he promised them that he would give them their cargo by December 15, 1521, which he fulfilled within the said time, without being wanting in anything.
Continuing Magellan’s Voyage Around the World,
our selection from First Voyage Around the World by Joan Bautista and by Antonio Pigafetta published in 1874. For works benefiting from the latest research see the “More information” section at the bottom of these pages. The selection is presented in a series of installments for 5 minute daily reading.
Previously in Magellan’s Voyage Around the World.
Time: December 15, 1521
Place: East Indies
In this manner, having fixed a time with the old man, an agreement was made with him, and they gave him a certain price for this; and when the next day came, and they were to depart, the old man intended to escape, and they understood it, and took him and others who were with him, and who also said that they knew pilots’ work, and they set sail; and as soon as the inhabitants saw them go, they fitted out to go after them; and of the paraos, there did not reach the ships more than two, and these reached so near that they shot arrows into the ships, and the wind was fresh and they could not come up with them. At midnight of that day they sighted some islands, and they steered more toward them; and next day they saw land, which was an island; and at night following that day they found themselves very close to it, and when night fell the wind calmed and the currents drew them very much inshore; there the old pilot cast himself into the sea and betook himself to land.
Sailing thus forward, after one of the pilots had fled, they sighted another island and arrived close to it, and another Moorish pilot said that Molucca was still farther on; and navigating thus, the next day in the morning they sighted three high mountains, which belonged to a nation of people whom they called Salabos; and then they saw a small island and they anchored to take in some water, because they feared that in Molucca they would not be allowed to take it in; and they omitted doing so because the Moorish pilot told them that there were some four hundred in that island, and that they were all very bad, and might do them some injury, as they were men of little faith; and that he would give them no such advice as to go to that island; and also because Molucca, which they were seeking, was now near, and that its kings were good men, who gave a good reception to all sorts of men in their country; and while still in this neighborhood they saw the islands themselves of Molucca, and for rejoicing they fired all the artillery, and they arrived at the island on November 8, 1521, so that they spent from Spain to Molucca two years and two months.
As soon as they arrived at the island of Tydor, which is in 30′, the King thereof did them great honor, which could not be exceeded. There they treated with the King for their cargo, and the King engaged to give them whatever there was in the country for their money, and they settled to give for the bahar of cloves fourteen ells of yellow cloth of seventy-seven tem, which are worth in Castile a ducat the ell; of red cloth of the same kind ten ells; they also gave thirty ells of Britanny linen cloth, and for each of these quantities they received a bahar of cloves; likewise for thirty knives, eight bahars. Having thus settled all the above mentioned prices, the inhabitants of the country gave them information that farther on, in another island near, there was a Portuguese man. This island might be two leagues distant, and it was named Targatell. This man was the chief person of Molucca; there we now have got a fortress. They then wrote letters to the said Portuguese to come and speak with them, to which he answered that he did not dare, because the King of the country forbade it; that if they obtained permission from the King he would come at once. This permission they soon got, and the Portuguese came to speak with them.
They gave him an account of the prices which they had settled, at which he was amazed, and said on that account the King had ordered him not to come, as they did not know the truth about the prices of the country; and while they were thus taking in cargo there arrived the King of Baraham, which is near there, and said that he wished to be a vassal of the King of Castile, and also that he had got four hundred bahars of cloves, and that he had sold them to the King of Portugal, and that they had bought it, but that he had not yet delivered it; and if they wished for it, he would give it all to them; to which the captains answered that if he brought it to them, and came with it, they would buy it, but not otherwise. The King, seeing that they did not wish to take the cloves, asked them for a flag and a letter of safe-conduct, which they gave him, signed by the captains of the ships.
While they were thus waiting for the cargo, it seemed to them, from the delay in delivery, that the King was preparing some treachery against them, and the greater part of the ships’ crews made an uproar and told the captains to go, as the delays which the King made were for nothing else than treachery: as it seemed to them all that it might be so, they were abandoning everything and were intending to depart; and being about to unfurl the sails, the King, who had made the agreement with them, came to the flag-ship and asked the captain why he wanted to go, because that which he had agreed upon with him he intended to fulfil it as had been settled. The captain replied that the ships’ crews said they should go and not remain any longer, as it was only treachery that was being prepared against them. To this the King answered that it was not so, and on that account he at once sent for his Koran, upon which he wished to make oath that nothing should be done to them. They at once brought him his Koran, and upon it he made oath, and told them to rest at ease with that. At this the crews were set at rest, and he promised them that he would give them their cargo by December 15, 1521, which he fulfilled within the said time, without being wanting in anything.
When the two ships were already laden and about to unfurl their sails, the flag-ship sprung a large leak, and, the King of the country learning this, he sent them twenty-five divers to stop the leak, which they were unable to do. They settled that the other ship should depart, and that this one should again discharge all its cargo and unload it; and as they could not stop the leak, the King promised that they, the people of the country, should give them all that they might be in need of. This was done, and they discharged the cargo of the flag-ship; and when the said ship was repaired, they took in her cargo, and decided on making for the country of the Antilles, and the course from Molucca to it was two thousand leagues, a little more or less. The other ship, which set sail first, left on December of the said year, and went out to sea for the Timor, and made its course behind Java, two thousand fifty-five leagues, to the Cape of Good Hope.
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