A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 06 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 750 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 06.

Khojah Zofar, who was now chief minister and favourite to the king of Cambaya, though he continued to keep up a fair correspondence with the Portuguese, yet, with the perfidy so natural to a Moor, never ceased persuading his sovereign to endeavour to shake off the yoke by a second attempt to reduce the castle of Diu.  For this purpose he collected a powerful army, yet endeavoured in the first place to attain his ends by the most infamous means of secret policy.  With this view he gained over a Portuguese of a base character, named Ruy Freire, to poison the great cistern or reservoir of water, to set the magazine of the castle on fire, and to admit him by a concerted signal into the place.  But this treacherous design was frustrated by the information of an Ethiopian, a Turk and a female slave, who revealed the plot to the commander, Don Juan Mascarenhas, who had succeeded Emanuel de Sousa.  As Mascarenhas became aware of the storm that was gathering against him, he prepared to meet it as well as possible, and sent notice of his danger to the governor-general, Don Juan de Castro, and to all the neighbouring Portuguese commanders.  The garrison in the castle of Diu at this time amounted only to 210 men:  Of these Mascarenhas assigned 30 for the defence of each of the four bastions; his lieutenant had charge of a tower or bulwark over the gate with 20 men; other 20 were placed in a small detached work; and he retained 50 men as a body of reserve under his own immediate command, to act wherever the greatest danger might call for his presence.

By this time a considerable number of men were collected by the enemy in the city of Diu, among whom were 500 Turks sent from Mokha by the king of Zabid, and Khojah Zofar came on with all his power, resolving to attack the sea bastion by means of three castles well stored with cannon and ammunition, which were built upon a ship of vast size; within the castles were 200 Turks, who were intended to distract the attention of the defendants by continually pouring in all sorts of artificial fireworks.  This device was however abortive, as Jacome Leite went by night in two small vessels with twenty men, and though discovered he succeeded in setting the floating castle on fire, a great part of which blew up with all the Turks, and the remainder of the ship burnt with so great a flame that the enemy was seen in whole battalions running to quench the fire.  Seeing the enemy in clusters, Jacome pointed his cannon among them and killed many:  After this exploit, he proceeded to the mouth of the river, where he took some vessels loaded with provisions belonging to the enemy, with which he returned to the fort to the great admiration of the whole garrison, having seven of his men wounded in this gallant and successful exploit.

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 06 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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