The existence of an English ship in these waters is hardly noteworthy. They are only a few days’ sail from Surat, one of India’s most prosperous port cities, and the original headquarters of the East India Company. At first sight, the lookout doesn’t even think it necessary to sound an alarm. Yet as the seconds pass, as the blurred shape of the boat looms in the spyglass, something catches his attention in the approaching vessel: not her colors, but her speed in the water. The ship is in full sail, he can see now, running before the wind. And she is moving fast, at least ten knots, maybe more — easily twice the top speed of the treasure ship. The lookout has never seen a ship sail with such velocity across the open water.