I now return to our proceedings after the slaughter of Acheen. On the 10th September we anchored at the islands of Pulo Lotum, in lat. 6 deg. 50’ N. near the coast of the kingdom of Queda, where we watered, and procured refreshments. There were in our ship three sealed letters, superscribed A.B.C. which were to be opened on the death of our baas, or captain. On opening that marked A. one Thomas Quymans was appointed our chief; but, as he was slain at Acheen, we opened B. by which Guyan Lafort, who escaped death by bringing the message from the king to us at Pedier, was nominated our chief, and was accordingly received by us in that capacity. The letter marked C. was not opened.
Leaving Pulo Lotum on the 30th September, we sailed for Acheen, for the purpose of endeavouring to recover our men who were there in captivity. We came in sight of Acheen on the 6th October, and got into the bay on the 12th, where twelve of their gallies set upon us. We got up with one of them, and gave her several shots; but, as the weather was very calm, she escaped from us under the land, and the rest did not dare to approach us, for they are proud base cowards. On the 18th, we set sail for Tanaserim, which is a place of great trade, and anchored among the islands in the bay belonging to that place, in lat. 11 deg. 20’ N. on the 25th. We were here so much crossed by contrary winds, that we could not get up to the city, which stands twenty leagues within the bay; and, being in great distress for provisions, we made sail for the Nicobar islands, hoping there to find relief. We anchored at these islands on the 12th November, in lat. 8 deg. N. when the people brought us off great abundance of poultry, oranges, lemons, and other fruit, with some ambergris, which we paid for in pieces of linen cloth and table napkins. These islands consist of pleasant and fertile low land, and have good anchorage for ships; but the people are very barbarous, living on fish and natural fruits, not cultivating the ground, and consequently having no rice.
[Footnote 43: Mergui, the sea-port of Tanaserim, is in lat. 12 deg. N.]
We departed on the 16th of November, shaping our course for Ceylon, being in great distress, especially for rice. By the great goodness of God, on the 6th December, we took a ship from Negapatam, on the coast of Coromandel, laden with rice, and bound for Acheen. There were in her about sixty persons, belonging to Acheen, Java, Ceylon, Pegu, Narsinga, and Coromandel. From these people we learnt that there is a city in Ceylon called Matecalon, a place of great trade, where we might load our ships with cinnamon, pepper, and cloves. They also told us that there were great store of precious stones and pearls to be had in Ceylon; that the country abounded in all kinds of provisions, and that the king was a bitter enemy to the Portuguese. They likewise told us of a city called Trinquanamale, [Trinconomale, usually