The young man eventually withdrew from the huddle of neighbors, returning to the quiet and security of his home. Within a handful of hours, he reemerged, posting a small, neatly written note to the front of his door. It read as follows:
Friends and neighbors, though I am loathe to act with little other knowledge, I see no other recourse. I, personally, cannot believe that any mundane animal could be responsible for the carnage that we witnessed. William, though no sage, was a strong and canny man, and on the handful of occasions that I witnessed him encounter a wild beast it was the beast who fled in terror. To this end, I must offer my suspicion of the newest arrival to our fair village, VictoriaVale. This may seem like reckless xenophobia, but I would respectfully point out that before her arrival, we had never suffered any murders of this kind.
Please do not judge me poorly for this relatively ignorant action, nor believe me to be unshakeable in my belief. If the good Miss Vale or any other would wish to change my mind with information, evidence, or even pure rhetoric by which my mind might be changed, I welcome it.
T. U. P.
For those confused by the effusive pedantry contained in the note, or even entirely incapable of reading, the merchant would explain. "Yes, indeed, I do believe that VictoriaVale to be the most suspicious among us," he stated, voice suggesting less certainty than his words would otherwise imply.