THE PREACHER. 219
and a mighty ceremony, in the temple, in the marketplace, and in front of the palace, was performed for the expulsion of the demons. This over, the leaders retired to arrange an attack upon the palace.
But that night events occurred which, proving the failure of their first, induced the abandonment of their second intent. Certain of the prowling order of the community, whose numbers had of late been steadily on the increase, reported frightful things. Demons of indescribable ugliness had been espied careering through the midnight streets and courts. A citizen—some said in the very act of house-breaking, but no one cared to look into trifles at such a crisis—had been seized from behind, he could not see by what, and soused in the river. A well-known receiver of stolen goods had had his shop broken open, and when he came down in the morning had found everything in ruin on the pavement The wooden image of justice over the door of the city marshal had had the arm that held the sword bitten off. The gluttonous magistrate had been pulled from his bed in the dark, by beings of which he could see nothing but the flaming eyes, and treated to a bath of the turtle soup that had been left simmering by the side of the kitchen fire. Having poured it over him, they put him again into his bed, where he soon learned how a mummy must feel in its cerements. Worst of all, in