20th September 1770
We stay'd at the King's Pallace all the Afternoon, and at last were obliged to return on board without doing anything farther than a promise of having some Buffaloes in the morning; which we had now no great reason to rely on. In the morning I went on shore again, and was showed one small Buffaloe, which they asked 5 Guineas for. I offer'd 3, which the man told me he would gladly take, and sent a Message to the king to let him know what I had offer'd. The Messenger soon return'd, and let me know that I could not have it under 5 Guineas; and this I refused to give, knowing it was not worth one fifth part of the money. But this, my refusal, had like to have overset all we had before done, for soon after about 100 Men, some Arm'd with Musquets, others with Lances, came down to the Landing Place. Besides the officer that commanded this party, there came along with them a Man who spoke Portuguese, and I believe was born of Portuguese Parents. This man is here (as we afterwards Understood) as an Assistant to the Dutch Factor. He deliver'd to me the King's order, or rather those of the Dutch Factor, the purport of which was that we were to stay no longer than this day, pretending that the people would not trade with us because we wanted their provisions for nothing, etc.; whereas the Natives shew'd the greatest inclination imaginable to supply us with whatever they had, and were far more desirous of goods than money, and were, before this man came, selling us Fowls and Syrup as fast as they could bring these things down. From this and other Circumstances we were well Assured that this was all the Dutchman's doing, in order to extort from us a sum of Money to put into his own pocket.
There hapned to be an old Raja at this time upon the beach, whose Interest I had secured in the Morning by presenting him with a Spy-glass; this man I now took by the hand, and presented him with an old broad sword. This effectually secured him in our Interest, for the Moment he got it he began to flourish it over the old Portuguese, and made him and the Officer commanded the party to sit down at his back side. Immediately after this trade was restored again for Fowls, etc., with more Spirit than ever; but before I could begin a Trade for Buffaloes, which was what we most wanted, I was obliged to give 10 Guineas for 2, one of which weigh'd only 160 pounds. After this I bought 7 more at a more reasonable price, one of which we lost after he was paid for. I might now have purchased as many as I pleased, for they now drove them down to the Water side by Herds; but having got as many as I well know'd what to do with, and likewise a number of Fowls, and a large quantity of Syrup, I resolved to make no longer stay.
Posted by Arborfield at 05:14