Despite the double murder conviction, MP Reynaert keeps calling for further investigation concerning the other murders, notably of warden Smessaert and baron de Halleux. Countless rumors are looked into, even from emigrated villagers. The convicts are released early. Widows privately confide the truth about Smessen's death after justice closes the official investigation. Both baroness-dowager and squire-mayor die. Furious to be left out of his testament, her companion-confident tells Reynaert everything, but he still lacks proof. 1944, the next war brings only another unsolved murder.