In February 1698, almost a year after he had been expected to return from his mission, Kidd finally hit the jackpot in heavy seas off the Indian coast, north of Cochin. The "Quedagh Merchant" was a 500 ton Armenian merchant ship laden with gold, jewels, silver, silks, sugar and guns. Kidd considered this prize, together with previous smaller prizes, as ample compensation for his late return, and reward enough for his backers. The prize though was a legal nightmare. Owned by Indians, carrying a Persian cargo, crewed by Moors, and with an English Captain named Wright. All sailed together, allegedly under a French Pass. Kidd had to decide if this was a legitimate prize. The Pass was the key to the answer, and upon which hinged the outcome of his eventual trial. Kidd decided she was a legitimate prize and hoisted his English flag over her quarterdeck.
On April 1 1698 Kidd sailed his prize the "Quedagh Merchant", together with his own ship the "Adventure Galley" and an earlier prize the "Rouparelle" (sometimes referred to as the "Maiden") which Kidd had renamed the "November" back to Madagascar. During this voyage, Kidd gathered his crew and announced his plan to return to America with his ill-gotten gains. Many of his crew objected. They had just taken their richest prize and were hungry for more. They demanded to stay in the Indian Ocean to continue their piratical ways.