That's a majority!
It was over. After days of torment, The villagers of Lydhampstead believed that they had finally got to the bottom of the mystery.
As soon as they had taken stock of the night's events, they collectively reached the same conclusion. The villagers rounded upon the mysterious Mr Enigma, demanding justice. But Mr Enigma wasn't ready to give up his secrets just yet.
'You can accuse me all you want,' he declared to the villagers, 'but the fact is that you have absolutely nothing to tie me to these murders, or to Colonel Azrael. Or for that matter, to Captain Easterbrook.'
'Oh, but that's not true at all,' Mr Bio interjected, 'is it Phoenix?'
'How the devil do you kn-', spluttered Phoenix Enigma, clearly shaken at being addressed by his first name.
'Phoenix!' gasped old Mr Pern, 'Why that... that was the name of Easterbrook's son!'
'You were mistakenly reported as having been killed on the western front, weren't you Phoenix?' continued Bio, his journalistic talents in full flow. 'But instead of correcting the authorities, you assumed a new name and allowed the world to think Phoenix Easterbrook was dead. Now why was that?'
'His debts,' growled Mr Weiyaoli, eyeing Phoenix contemptously, 'Old Captain Easterbrook was always complaining about his son's debts.'
'But of course,' said Bio, 'Your death meant that you would be denied your inheritance, didn't it? And so you, influenced by your father's old enemy, Colonel Azrael, came up with a plan to get what you considered to be rightfully yours. Kill the old man, and then from a safe distance 'reappear' as Phoenix Easterbrook, and claim your fortune.'
'So you did stab the detective last night, when you claimed to be saving him!' gasped Mr Lorenz, 'I knew it!'
'Bah!' snapped Phoenix, clearly rattled, 'If you're so smart, then tell me this! Why did I kill Dr Misnomer? What on earth would I gain from that?'
Mr Bio paused for a moment, his face suddenly drained of confidence.
'Because he was blackmailing you?' he suggested weakly.
'Oh, that's a good one,' sneered Phoenix triumphantly, 'On what possible grounds could Misnomer have been blackmailing me?'
Phoenix allowed himself a smile as Bio looked away, unable to provide a satisfactory answer. But then, Mr Lorenz piped up.
'He was blackmailing you because you had told him to lie to the police and the press.' said Lorenz, wiping the smirk off of Phoenix's face, 'I remember reading the newspaper reports that the Captain had no history of heart trouble... but now I think about it, I clearly remember it being said around the village that he'd suffered several heart attacks in the past...'
'It all makes sense!' cried Mr Pern, 'The captain really was frightened to death after all - and by his own son! You were the white-robed figure from the photograph, weren't you! And then when the stress of "seeing ghosts" finally got to him, you bribed Misnomer to claim he'd been in perfect health all along!'
'You wanted there to be no suspicion whatsoever, didn't you Phoenix?', mocked Bio, his confidence more than restored, 'And that was your undoing - Misnomer proved unreliable didn't he, and so you killed him. And then when the snow blocked your escape, you were forced to kill again. And again. And again.'
'So many people dead', muttered Weiyaoli bitterly, 'and all for money...'
His words hang heavily in the air, and silence fell upon the villagers. Then, quietly at first, Phoenix started laughing. It was a terrible and cruel laugh, and yet all the same it had an air of desparation, all while growing louder louder. Eventually, he spoke again.
'Well gentlemen, that's a very amusing story you told me just now. Of course, it's all nonsense. Long-lost sons? Ghosts? It's ludicrous - and what's more, it'll never stand up in a court of law.'
'You forget though, Mr Easterwood. We're not in a court of law', growled Weiyaoli, 'We're in Dartmoor.'
And with that, the mob descended upon the murderous son without remorse. The lynch mob had finally got a lynch.
Game over, villagers win!
Thanks for playing!