Unable to feed his family, Vaillant had thrown a small bomb into the Chamber of Deputies, slightly wounding several people. His goal: to call attention to the plight of the poor.
Now, armed with a bomb hidden under his coat, Henry walked up the Avenue de l’Opera, pausing at several elegant cafes, but he moved on because they were not full enough. He entered the Cafe Terminus, which is still there, near the Gare St Lazare, ordered two beers, and a cigar.
With the latter he lit the fuse of his bomb, and threw it into the cafe, leaving carnage behind. Amid thick, acrid smoke, marble tables, metal chairs, and mirrors had shattered. The screams and shouts of those wounded joined the smoke.
Henry ran away, before being wrestled to the ground after a fierce struggle. In the cafe, 20 people had been wounded, some very seriously, one of whom would die.