74 THE TRAVELS OF
before they enter port they make search throughout the whole vessel to .ascertain what is on board ; and if any dead men's bones should be found they would straightway cast them into the sea, for they say that to have such things on board involves great peril of death) Though they did accordingly make this diligent search, and though the bones were there in a great quantity, yet they never did get any inkling of them. And so by God's permission we brought them safely to the house of our brethren, and there they were worthily deposited with honour and great worship. And by means of these sainted friars doth Almighty God still work many other wonders ; and this is held true by both Pagans and Saracens. For when they are caught by any disease, they go and take of the earth of the place where the friars were slain, and wash it in water, and then drink the water, and so are immediately freed from all their ailments.2
16. Fr. Odoric is done with the four friars ; and now he telleth of the kingdom of Minibar and how pepper is got.
And now that ye may know how pepper is got, let me tell you that it groweth in a certain empire whereunto I carne to land, the name whereof is MINIBAR,3 and it groweth nowhere else in the world but there. And the forest in
1 This no doubt refers to the strict examination of papers and cargo on arrival of a ship in China, respecting which Ibn Batuta gives details after his manner ; see his Voyage to China, infra.
2 We are told that the Christians of Malabar used to prepare their holy water by mixing some particles of earth from the tomb of the apostle Thomas. See also the healing power ascribed by M. Polo to earth from that shrine. (Padre Pao lino di S. Bart., p. 136; M. Polo, iii, 22.)
3 Minibar is Malabar, and seems to have been an old Arabic form of that name. It is the same that we shall find in Marignolli. Edrisi has Manibar, so has Abulfeda ; and a Turkish work translated by Von Hammer for the Bengal Journal, has Monebc r. Ibn Batuta writes Mule-bar, Bakui has Malibar, and Fra Mauro Milibar. (Jaubert's Edrisi, i, 175 ; Abulfeda in Gildemeister, p. 188, comparing p. 45 of the Arabic; Notices et Extraits, ii, 389; Journal A. S. Beng. y, pp. 458, 461; and see D'Ilerbelot in v. Manibar.)