On the 8th the Pacha went on shore at Diu, where the besiegers had began to batter the castle, having placed some cannons for that purpose on four maons. He sent also three pieces of artillery on shore, which were planted on a tower standing by the water side about a cannon-shot from the great fortress, being the place where the Indian officers used to receive the customs. It had thick walls and was defended by four brass guns and a hundred men, but had no ditch. On the 9th, a ship and galley which were laden with biscuit, powder, and other stores for the siege, struck on a sand bank while entering the harbour. The goods and the galley were saved, but the ship was totally lost.
[Footnote 227: Perhaps we ought here to read against the tower by the water side.—E.]
A half galley belonging to our fleet arrived at Diu on the 19th in bad condition. She had fallen behind the fleet, and had been driven to a port belonging to a people of the Pagans called Samori, where she sent a boat on shore with some janizaries, who were all cut to pieces. After which the natives in our barge and some of their own barks, attacked the galley and slew other sixty men of her crew, so that she had much ado to escape. The Pacha sent for the pilot of this galley, and caused him to be hanged for his bad management.
[Footnote 228: Probably meaning the dominions of the zamorin of Calicut—E.]
On the 25th an Indian who had turned Christian and belonged to the garrison in the castle, was made prisoner in a sally, and being brought before the Pacha, but refusing to answer any questions, was condemned to be cut in two. On the same day an old man presented himself before the Pacha, who said that he was upwards of 300 years old, which was confirmed by the people of the country, who asserted that there were several very old men in that neighbourhood. The natives of this country are very lean and live sparingly. They eat no beef, but use their oxen for riding upon. Their oxen are small and handsome, very tractable, and have an easy pace. Instead of a bridle, they use a cord passed through a hole in the nostrils of the ox. Their horns are long and straight, and they are used as beasts of burden, like mules in Italy. These animals are held in much veneration, especially the cows, and they even make great rejoicings on the birth of a calf, on which account these people are reckoned idolaters. When any of the men of this country happens to die, the widow makes a great feast for the relations; after which they go in procession with music and dancing to a place where a great fire is prepared, into which the corpse is thrown, carrying along with them many large pots full of scalding hot grease. The widow then dances round the fire, singing the praises of her husband, after which she distributes her entire dress and ornaments among her relations, till she has nothing left but a small apron. Immediately after this, having thrown a pot of the