STRONG DRINK, RELIGION AND LAW 297
latter `threw up the sponge.' On lot thirty-five, north of Thornhill, was the Yorkshire House, and connected with this was a mile race track."
The humorous side of old-time drinking customs has been referred to more than once. Let Mr. Langstaff tell something of the tragic side: "A stranger," said he "disappeared from one of the old Yonge Street taverns at which he had been stopping. Four young men were suspected of murdering him, but, in the absence of proof, no arrests were made. Two of the suspects, however, afterwards committed suicide by hanging. A number of idlers were spending the day in a bar-room, and one offered to treat the crowd if another of the party would go across the street and put a certain question to a man standing there. The wager was accepted, but no sooner was the question put than a fight began between the questioner and the one questioned. An unlucky blow killed the latter and the slayer ended his days in the Kingston penitentiary. I have seen four landlords carried to premature graves from the Ship Hotel, Richmond Hill. Three landlords of another tavern died of delirium tremens. There were seven boys in a household wherein, in accordance with the customs of the day, an open barrel was kept in the cellar. One of the boys was found dead in the woods with a bottle by his side; a second, while on a spree, was choked to death by a piece of meat he was eating; a third was found dead in a stable where a keg of whiskey was kept; a fourth, as a result of excessive indulgence, lost his power of speech; and a fifth left for parts unknown."