The 2d April, Mr Pemberton came aboard me, telling me he had been at Socotora, where the king shewed him a writing left there by Captain John Saris, who was general of three ships from India, stating the time he left England, his places of refreshment, the time of his arrival at Socotora, and his having proceeded for the Red Sea in quest of trade; mentioning likewise his having perused the writing left by me, containing many reasons for not going there; but, having the pass of the Grand Signior, he hoped to meet better entertainment than I had. On this unexpected news, I called a council to deliberate on what we had best do; when we quickly resolved to proceed as we had formerly determined, having now no other way left, as we could not return again till the next westerly monsoon, which would not be till the middle of May. I therefore left Captain Downton in the Pepper-corn to remain till the 5th off the mouth, keeping the port of Aden shut up; while I went with the Trades-increase and Darling to keep the two passages of the straits of Bab-al-Mondub.
The 4th, about ten a.m. we anchored within the island in eight fathoms. Presently after there came a boat from shore with a Turk and three or four Arabian soldiers, the Turk being chief of the place under the aga of Mokha. He offered, if I had any letter to send, he would dispatch it by a foot-post, who would bring back an answer in three days. I wrote, therefore, to Captain Saris, giving him an account of the cause of my coming, and what I proposed to do.
The 6th came a Jalba belonging to Zeyla, a place without the Bab, on the African coast, bound for Mokha, laden with mats. I bought from her twelve sheep, and permitted her to depart. The 7th, before day, came in a ship of Basanor, which I obliged to anchor beside me. Richard Wickam, one of Captain Saris’s merchants, came this morning with letters to me from Captain Saris, the contents of which I omit to write. I sent back an answer by a Turk that came in his company, but detained Wickam, lest they might have made him prisoner at Mokha, as I had embargoed the India ships. The 8th came in a ship of Diu, bound for Mokha, which I stopped and brought to anchor beside me, being the same I detained last year in Mokha roads. This day we rummaged these two ships, taking out of them such goods as suited our purpose, which were brought on board my ship. The 9th came in a small bark of Shahr, laden with coarse olibanum, some of which we bought and paid for in ryals to their contentment.
[Footnote 345: Called Shaher in Purchas, and by others Xaer and Xael after the Portuguese orthography. It is dependent upon Kushen or Kasbin.—Astl. I. 388. d.]