Some of the more humorous stories, at least in hindsight they're humorous, involved people who had no idea of the tulip rage that had engulfed Holland. One unfortunate sailor, upon delivering cargo to a Dutch merchant, spied what he thought was an onion lying on the counter and took it to eat with the red herring the merchant had given him as a tip for the delivery. Later on, when it was discovered the rare bulb was missing, the sailor was hunted down and discovered just as he was finishing off the last of the "onion." The poor chap ended up in jail for several months on a felony charge.
But, like all good manias, it couldn't last forever. For whatever reason, the more prudent in the population began to sell their bounty, and as more and more tulips were sold, a panic ensued so that those who had agreed to buy tulips once worth a hefty sum were now faced with paying thousands of florins for what was now worth only hundreds. The Dutch government decreed that any contracts made before November 1636, when the fad was at its height, were to be declared null and void and any contracts made after that time could be broken if the buyer paid the seller 10% of the previous value. There was of course, quite an economic shock wave across Holland, from which it took some time to recover. There was some evidence of the tulip fad in England, France, and Scotland, but it never had the same impact as it did in Holland. Now whenever I see a tulip bulb, I think of onions (with red herring of course).