chapter
ELDRED, RELATION
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I and my companion William Shales, having despatched our business at Balsara, embarked ourselves in company of seventy barks all laden with merchandise, having every bark fourteen men to draw them, like our Western bargemen on the Thames; and we were forty-four days coming up against the stream to Babylon. Where arriving and paying our custom, we, with all other sorts of merchants, bought us camels, hired us men to lade and drive them, furnished ourselves with rice, butter, biscuit, honey made of dates, onions and dates; and every merchant bought a proportion of live muttons1 and hired certain shepherds to drive them with us. We also bought us tents to lie in and to put our goods under; and in this our caravan were four thousand camels laden with spices and other rich merchandises. These camels will live very well two or three days without water; their feeding is on thistles, wormwood, magdalene1 and other strong weeds which they find upon the way. The government and deciding of all quarrels and duties to be paid, the whole caravan committeth to one special rich merchant of the company, of whose honesty they conceive best.