The king of Portugal sent a letter to the admiral, by Don Martin de Noronha, requesting his presence at court; and, not to shew any distrust, he immediately complied. On his arrival, he was met by all the gentlemen of the royal household, who conducted him into the presence, where he was honourably received by the king, who desired him to be seated and gave him joy of his success. After inquiring some particulars of his voyage, the king observed, that according to certain articles agreed upon with their Catholic majesties, he conceived the discovery now made ought to belong to Portugal, and not to Spain. The admiral replied, that he had not seen these articles, and only knew that his sovereigns had directed him not to go to Guinea or the Mina; which orders had been made public in all the sea ports of Andalusia before he set out on his voyage. After some discourse, the king committed him to the care of the prior of Crato, a knight of Malta, the chief person then at court. Next day, the king told him he should be supplied with every thing he stood in need of; and asked him many questions concerning his voyage, the situation of his new discoveries, the nature of the people, and other circumstances, shewing that he was much concerned at having let slip the opportunity. Some persons proposed to murder the admiral, that what he had done might not be known; but to this infamous proposal the king would not give ear.
On Monday the 11th of March, the admiral took leave of the king, who ordered Noronha to conduct him back to Lisbon, and gave orders that he should be supplied gratis with all that he had need of, for himself or his caravel. Columbus took the road by Villa Franca, where he waited on the queen, then staying at the nunnery of St Anthony, and gave her a short account of his voyage. On his way to Lisbon, he was overtaken by a messenger from the king, offering horses and all other conveniencies, if he chose to go by land to Spain. But he preferred going by sea, and sailed from Lisbon for Seville on Wednesday the 13th of March. On Thursday before sunrise he came off Cape St Vincent, and arrived on Friday the 15th of March 1493 at Saltes, into which port he entered with the tide about mid-day. He sailed from that place on Friday the 3d August of the preceding year, having been six months and a half absent.
Being informed that their Catholic majesties were then at Barcelona, he had some intention of proceeding thither in his caravel, but laying aside that idea, he sent notice to the king and queen of his arrival, with a brief account of his voyage and success, deferring a more ample recital till he should have the honour of seeing them. He landed at Palos, where he was received by a procession, and extraordinary rejoicings were made by the inhabitants, all men admiring his wonderful exploit, which they never expected to have ended so successfully. An answer came to Seville from their majesties, expressing their joy for his