[Footnote 177: These hundred vessels were probably paraos, or small native craft, considering that they only carried 2000 soldiers, only at the rate of 20 for each vessel—E.]
Shortly after this, the zamorin of Calicut besieged the Portuguese fort at that place with an army of 12,000 men, and surrounded it with a broad and deep trench. Don Juan de Lima commanded in the fort with 300 men, and did every thing in his power to obstruct the besiegers in the construction of their lines; but they were at length finished and planted with a vast number of cannon, some of which were so large as to carry balls of two spans diameter. On receiving advice of this siege, Don Enrique sent a reinforcement of 150 men in two caravels commanded by Christopher Jusarte and Duarte Fonseca. They succeeded in forcing their way into the fort in spite of a violent opposition by sea and land. Immediately afterwards, the enemy endeavoured to take the fort by escalade, but were repulsed with great slaughter. A farther reinforcement of 500 men from Cochin being unable to reach Calicut, Don Enrique went there with all the naval force he could collect, being unwilling that his government should suffer the disgrace of allowing this fortress to be taken by the enemy. Having thrown some strong reinforcements into the fort, Don Enrique landed with the remainder of his troops, after clearing the shore of the enemy, by means of his guns assisted by grenadoes and other fireworks. All the intrenchments and redoubts of the besiegers were successively carried, with prodigious slaughter of the Moors and Nayres, of whom above 3000 were slain, besides many others burnt in their wooden forts and bulwarks. In this engagement Don George de Menezes made great slaughter of the enemy with a two-handed sword; till losing his right hand, he took a smaller sword in his left, and continued to fight with great valour.
Don Enrique remained master of the field, in which he encamped for some days: But as the fort was not considered important in proportion to its expence, it was stripped of every thing of value with great care and privacy, and mines and trains laid to blow it up; after which the whole army retired to the ships. On seeing the fort evacuated, the Moors rushed in to plunder in vast numbers; but the mines suddenly taking fire, blew up the whole fabric with a vast explosion, in which great numbers of the enemy perished miserably.
In the year 1526, Hector de Sylveira went with a squadron to the Red Sea, and on his way thither assaulted and took the city of Dhofur on the coast of Yemen in lat. 17 deg. N. He then entered the Red Sea, where he reduced the islands of Massua and Dallac to pay tribute; after, this he went to Arkiko on the coast of Abyssinia, where he received Don Rodrigo de Lima who had been on an embassy to the king of Abyssinia, and was there waiting for a passage along with an ambassador from Prester John to the king of Portugal.