Above all, the discovery of the wine-cellar tended to withdraw them from violent measures; but this could not last long, there must be an end to such a scene, for there never was a large body of men assembled for an evil purpose, who ever were, for any length of time, peaceable.
To prevent the more alarming effects of drunkenness, some few of the rioters, after having taken some small portion of the wine, became, from the peculiar flavour it possessed, imbued with the idea that it was really blood, and forthwith commenced an instant attack upon the wine and liquors, and they were soon mingling in one stream throughout the cellars.
This destruction was loudly declaimed against by a large portion of the rioters, who were drinking; but before they could make any efforts to save the liquor, the work of destruction had not only been begun, but was ended, and the consequence was, the cellars were very soon evacuated by the mob.
THE DESTRUCTION OF SIR FRANCIS VARNEY’S HOUSE BY FIRE.—THE ARRIVAL OF THE MILITARY, AND A SECOND MOB.
Thus many moments had not elapsed ere the feelings of the rioters became directed into a different channel from that in which it had so lately flowed. When urged about the house and grounds for the vampyre, they became impatient and angry at not finding him. Many believed that he was yet about the house, while many were of opinion that he had flown away by some mysterious means only possessed by vampyres and such like people.
“Fire the house, and burn him out,” said one.
“Fire the house!”
“Burn the den!” now arose in shouts from all present, and then the mob were again animated by the love of mischief that seemed to be the strongest feelings that animated them.
“Burn him out—burn him out!” were the only words that could be heard from any of the mob. The words ran through the house like wildfire, nobody thought of anything else, and all were seen running about in confusion.
There was no want of good will on the part of the mob to the undertaking; far from it, and they proceeded in the work con amore. They worked together with right good will, and the result was soon seen by the heaps of combustible materials that were collected in a short time from all parts of the house.
All the old dry wood furniture that could be found was piled up in a heap, and to these were added a number of faggots, and also some shavings that were found in the cellar.
“All right!” exclaimed one man, in exultation.
“Yes,” replied a second; “all right—all right! Set light to it, and he will be smoked out if not burned.”
“Let us be sure that all are out of the house,” suggested one of the bystanders.
“Ay, ay,” shouted several; “give them all a chance. Search through the house and give them a warning.”