pb 18 rThe White Hoods and the rascally band who went inside immediately snatched and pilfered everything they found, and there were many fine, rich jewels, for the count kept his wardrobe there. Jan Yoens made a show of disapproving of this behaviour, but he did not, as became apparent later on. When they had left the castle and returned to the fields, they looked behind them and saw that everything was burning and that the fire had spread to more than twenty places and was no longer in any man's power to extinguish, but neither were they inclined to do so. Then Jan Yoens, making a great show of being surprised, asked,
"How has my lord's residence come to be on fire?"
They answered him, "By accident."
"Well," he said, "we cannot remedy it. Better it be burnt by accident than by us, and also, all things considered, it was a dangerous neighbour: a garrison which could have caused us great injury."
They all answered, saying, "What you say is true."
Then they returned to the town of Ghent and did nothing more that day. They had already perpetrated enough wickedness, which later cost two hundred thousand lives, and it was one of the things which most infuriated the count of Flanders. This is why Jan Yoens did it. He did not wish for peace for he knew very well that, whatever treaty or agreement there might be, he would lose his life. The castle of Wondelgem had cost the count of Flanders a great deal to construct (two hundred thousand francs) and he loved it best of all his residences. The people of Ghent who desired peace were mortified by this event, but they could not make amends nor did they even dare to pretend to, for the White Hoods maintained that the castle had caught fire by accident and for no other reason. SHF 2-113 syncThese tidings reached the count of Flanders who was residing at Male, and he was told,
"Lord, do you not know? Your beautiful house at Wondelgem, which you love so, and which cost you so much to build, has burnt down."
"Burnt down!" said the count, who was devastated and shocked by this news.
"Yes lord, God help me. It is true."
"By accidental fire, as they say."
He summoned the burghers of Ghent to him and said to them, "Miserable wretches, you beseech me, sword in hand, and I had granted you everything you requested according to your wishes, and now your people have incinerated the castle I held most dear in all the world! Did they not think to have shown me enough contempt when they murdered my bailiff in his line of duty, and tore up my banner and trampled it underfoot? Know this, if it were not for my honour and the fact that I have granted you safe-conduct, I would have all of your heads struck off. Get out of my sight and be sure to tell your wicked and arrogant fellow citizens of Ghent that they will never have peace, and I will not entertain any treaty until I have the men I want and they have all been beheaded without mercy." pb 18 v