Carvalho’s harem

At Brunei, on the northwest coast of Borneo, the explorers were engaged in a lively trade with the townspeople when the lookouts were horrified to see the harbor filling with an armada of dugout canoes. It was the local rajah’s fleet returning from a foray against another potentate, and no harm was meant. But the jittery Juan Carvalho believed an attack was imminent and decided to strike first. Abandoning five men who were trading ashore, he captured a large junk and took everyone hostage, including three women. He then entered into some desultory negotiations with the rajah. When those were stalemated, he sailed away with his captives, leaving the men ashore to the fates. Carvalho further disenchanted his crew by ransoming the male captives for gold he kept himself, and retaining the women as a private harem.

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