After a dramatic pause, the Great Detective began.
"Before I outline the solution, let me clear something up. The victim's final gasp of 'Mary' tells me that she was the mother of his illegitimate daughter Violet. Sir John was trapped in a hopeless marriage, and finally found love in the arms of his devoted cook. Perhaps he should have married her after his divorce, but my guess is that he liked her cooking too much." Mary smiled.
Another dramatic pause, and then the Great Detective began properly.
"The key to this crime is not so much a smoking gun, as a smoking cigar. Or rather a missing cigar. There must be one, because an empty packet also disappeared. Violet here says that she did not throw away such a packet.
"Why steal a cigar? The reason is simple. The murderer poisoned the cigar. Not the port. After Sir John's painful and horrible death, he or she put some poison in the port glass and substituted a clean cigar for the old one. If there had been more than one left in the box when he or she planted the poison, they could have stolen one then, but because there wasn't, it was necessary to open a new packet.
"But why did the murder want it to appear that the port was poisoned? Because he or she was not anywhere near the house when the port was poured and served.
"The only one of you who could possibly benefit from this subterfuge is you!", and he pointed to...
... Sergeant Plode. The policeman started to protest, but the Great Detective cut him off. "You had the opportunity to tamper with the evidence before it went to the lab. And you had the second oldest motive in the book. Money.
"The only people to go into the solicitor's office when he was on holiday were the burglar, and you. You looked at the will, and discovered it's contents. You then started to court Violet here, with the intention of marrying the rich heiress. You are engaged, aren't you?"
"We have an Understanding, sir.", said Violet quietly.
"You must be mad!", shouted Sergeant Plode, "To even think I would have anything to do with this. Vi, don't believe him!"
But Violet clearly couldn't bear to look at him.
"But", continued the Great Detective, "it was something else that put me on to you. Remember that I too was at the Chief Inspector's party. And when you recieved the phone call about the crime, you immediately said that there had been a 'Murder'. And yet, Sir John was not dead. The doctor was still trying to save him."
Sergeant Plode looked stunned. "But, I'm sure the message said 'murder'. In the confusion and all..."
But Violet just shook her head. "You are a brave and courageous young lady.", said the Great Detective, "a fitting heir for Sir John. Now, if you will permit me, I shall take you to dinner, away from all this grief"
And so ended the Mystery of the Poisoned Rubber Johnny, and so began a great romance...
And for the first time ever, The Great Detective missed his train.
A year later, the Great Detective and his bride stood on a hilltop in the French Riveria, admiring the breathtaking view. "You really do take after your father", he said.
"In what way, darling?"
"That night when he got drunk and told you about the contents of the will, the first thing you thought to do was to contact me, and ask me to plan the perfect murder. No-one else would have done that."
"But I knew that I needed help, and that if anyone could do this, it was a Great Detective. You were the clever one. That business with the cigar, when all the time the poison was in the port that I carried to my father. And staging the robbery at the solicitors. And getting me to come on to that ghastly policeman. Ugh!"
"You played the part beautifully. Even saying on the phone that there had been a 'Murder'. It's almost a pity that he won't be facing trial."
"Why not?", asked Violet.
"I couldn't let that happen", explained the Great Detective, "He knew too much."
"He knew nothing."
"He knew that he was innocent. And that was too much. Apparently he hanged himself in his cell. The final proof of his guilt. He did have a little help, of course..."
"Darling, you think of everything!", she said admiringly, "So now only you and I know."
That was the last thing she said before she tumbled headlong down the steep slope to her death.
"Well, only I, actually.", smiled the Great Detective. So now another crime was about to be solved. The tragic murder of his bride, killed by the jealous hotel receptionist, while, he, the Great Detective was 50 miles away.
He wondered if he would ever get bored of his life of crime. People were so stupid. They thought he was a genius for "solving" all those crimes. That was easy, since he'd planned them all. The planning was the difficult bit. People would never know just how clever he really was...