The King re-enters his own dominions, and takes the fortresses of Bost and Candahar, &c. A. H. 951-2.—A. D. 1544-5.

Having entered the province of Systan, his Majesty halted for fifteen days; the reason of which was, that when he took leave of the Persian monarch, the latter had told him that on his arrival in Systan, the army sent to restore him to his dominions would assemble there for his inspection. In consequence of these orders, the chiefs having assembled from differ­ent quarters, the King took a muster of the troops, and fouud that instead of 12,000 there were actually 14,000 cavalry present at the review.

After the business of the muster had been settled, the King said to the Persian chiefs, “at the distance of about thirty miles from hence is the fortress of Bost,* commonly called Medain, and formerly the residence of Nushirvan the Just, which is now com­manded by Myr Khelj, one of the officers of Myrza, Askery: I wish you to proceed thither, and sum­mon him to give up the fort; if he does not, you must take it by force, and even put him and the garrison to death.” The chiefs replied, “this is contrary to the orders we received from our monarch;” the King said, “I will write to Shah Tah­masp on the subject.”

But on the arrival of the King in the vicinity of Bost, Myr Khelj having suspended a scimitar on his neck, came out, paid his respects, and was graciously received; from thence his Majesty marched towards Candahar; and on his arrival there sent Byram Beg as his ambassador to the Prince Kamran at Kabul. But as Myrza Askery, who commanded the fortress of Candahar, would not give it up, the consequence of which was a severe contest, and several officers were killed; so that the King finding he could not take the fort by assault, gave orders to lay regular siege to it, and to erect batteries against it.

During this time Alek or Aleg Myrza, a cousin of the King’s, who had been confined by the Prince Kamran, and had been given in charge to Shere Afgun, persuaded his keeper to escape with him, and they both arrived in safety at the royal camp.

One day while the King was examining the progress of the siege, having climbed a hill, he saw a part of the building in the fort where the council chamber of the Prince was situated, and gave orders that a great gun should be pointed against it; when the gun was discharged, the shot struck the lattice work of the council chamber, which caused a great uproar in the place, and frightened the garrison exceedingly.

About this time the Prince Kamran wrote a letter from Kabul to Khuandzadeh, sister of the late Emperor Baber, requesting her to intercede with the King for Myrza Askery; in consequence of which the aforesaid lady wrote to his Majesty begging he would pardon Askery; which being granted, the Myrza came out of the fort, and had the honour of paying his respects (kuddum busy).

In short as soon as Candahar was taken, the Persian chiefs claimed the treasure for their master, Shah Tahmasp;* or, if this was refused, they demanded the Prince Askery should be sent to him. The King would not acknowledge the justness of the claim, but said the money should be sent as an offer­ing of friendship. He therefore went into the fort accompanied by some of the Persians and all his own attendants; amongst whom was the humble servant Jouher Aftabchy; and, shortly after alighting at Myrza Askery’s house, gave orders that the treasury should be opened, and the money brought out and examined: he then, in presence of the son of the Persian monarch, of Shah Kuly Khan, governor of Kerman, of the general Bedagh Khan, of Hussyn Sultan, governor of Senjab, and of Ahmed Sultan, governor of Systan, directed that the chests should be locked and sealed with his own and the seals of the above-mentioned chiefs; and having made over the treasure to them, came out of the fort (leaving them in possession.)

The Persian chiefs then deliberated, not only upon sending off the treasure to Persia, but also of seizing Myrza Askery, and sending him as a hostage to Shah Tahmasp for their own safe return.

On hearing this report the King ordered a muster of all his own troops; and many of the Hindustanies having by this time joined him, they all passed in review. This event alarmed the Persians, and they said among themselves, “the intentions of the King towards us are not good; as his father Baber delivered over Nejem Beg into the hands of the Uzbegs, who put him to death, he probably means to do us some mischief.” They therefore sent off the treasure to the distance of twelve coss, and by continued marches delivered it in safety to Shah Tahmasp, who was so much gratified by the circumstance, that he sent an honorary dress and a rich dagger to his Majesty, which were duly received and honoured.

After the fort had been made over to the Persians, the King left the vicinity of Candahar, and encamped for a month at Khuljeh Bagh; but the Persian officers being jealous of the King’s remain­ing so long in their neighbourhood, took measures to prevent our camp being supplied with provisions.

On hearing of this circumstance, his Majesty called a council of his officers to deliberate on what measures were best to be taken. The council were of opinion, that the first object was to procure a supply of horses to mount our men; and as it was known that the Persian garrison of Candahar had sold their horses to some merchants who were encamped with them outside the walls of the fort, it would be advisable to seize them. In consequence of this advice the King, preceded by several officers, returned by a forced march to Candahar, seized seventeen hundred horses, and immediately returned to his camp, which he reached at midnight.

The next morning he had all the horses brought out, and marked with the royal stamp; after which he called for the merchants, and gave them his bond to repay the price the first opportunity. He then selected one hundred and fifty horses for the Princes Hindal and Yadgar Myrza, and divided the remainder among the troops, according to their respective ranks.