Saturday, 6 September 2008

The Great Detective

Source: PD Photo

Sir John reflected on his day. He had achieved nothing, what with all that business with the good for nothing gardener. Though he'd denied taking the missing silver. Maybe he couldn't trust Stevens either. He was always a shifty sort. And as for Jayne, well, he just wished that she didn't take after her mother quite so much. She was certainly not a suitable heir. If only her mother had stayed around long enough to give him a son. Bitch! Still, there was...

He opened a drawer, and removed a cigar, throwing the empty box back in, lit it, savoured the scent, then reached for the port, and took a sip. Just right. Suddenly, he looked up, a surprised expression on his face...


The waiter whispered into his ear urgently. "I'm sorry, Chief Inspector, but there's been a murder. Sir John, our local bigwig. I'll have to leave straight away. It's a two hour drive, you know.", announced Seargent Plode, putting down his glass and cocktail sausage, and rushing off.


A ticking grandfather clock. The hands were almost on 7 o'clock, and the bell was just about to strike, when a loud ringing was heard in the hall. Footsteps. The front door opened. "Ah, everyone is waiting for you in the drawing room, sir. Please come in."

The Great Detective entered the drawing room. There were five people seated around the long oak table. One of them rose. "Hello, sir. Thankyou for coming." said Sergeant Plode.

The Great Detective nodded and sat down, motioning for the Butler to do so too. "We've really got to be quick. I'm catching the 8.15 train back to London, which gives me about 55 minutes. Sergeant, a run-down of the salient points, please."

The Sergeant cleared his throat, in the time-honoured tradition of the Force, and began.

"Sir John Percivale, Condom magnate. Known as 'Rubber Johnny', though not within earshot of the man. Two nights ago he died of strychnine poisoning. I was called to the scene, which was in this room. There was a part-smoked cigar and a glass of port on the table. Our lab found traces of poison in the glass, but none on the cigar."

"What about the wine, and the other cigars in the case?"

"Well, sir, there was no poison in the wine bottle. We didn't check the other cigars, since there was no poison on the one he was smoking."

A young lady, dressed in a maid's outfit, spoke. "Excuse me sir, there was something strange about the cigars. I only noticed this morning when I was cleaning the room." she went to a drawer, and removed a packet of cigars, handing them to the Great Detective. It was full, apart from one. "The master only smoked one a day, I'm sure I've not had to throw any empty packets away lately. He always used to put the empty ones back in the drawer, you see."

"So he may have had company that evening, and offered them a cigar. Interesting, thankyou", said the Great Detective, "Now, Sergeant, continue!"

The policeman cleared his throat once more. "I ascertained, through further questioning and..."

"Please Sergeant, I said I needed to wrap this up quickly!" interrupted the Great Detective. "Just the Facts!"

"Stevens, the butler, poured the glass of port in the kitchen at around 6pm. He always did this to allow the wine to breathe. Then he left, as it was his night off, and went to the local hostelry, where witnesses attest that he stayed until I sent for him just after 10pm.

"Vi, I mean Violet, the maid had been in the village visiting her aunt. She returned at 6.50, and took the port to the Drawing Room at 7pm sharp. Sir John was already there. She left him and went back to the kitchen, where she stayed.

At 7.30pm, noises were heard coming from here, and Violet and Mary went to investigate. They found Sir John collapsed on the floor, having convulsions. Violet telephoned for the doctor. He arrived at 7.45pm, and at 8pm, he told Violet to call for the police, since he believed that Sir John was suffering classic Strychnine poisoning symptoms. He did what he could, but was unable to save him.

I arrived at 10pm - I had to drive from a dinner party at the Chief Constable's in the city. But then you know that, since you were there, sir."

"Cause and Time of death?"

"I've already said it was poisoning, and the autopsy confirmed this. The doctor noted the time of death at 9.45pm."

"Did the victim say anything, name his killer, perhaps?"

"He did say one name, sir."

"And? Come on!"
"Mary, sir. The cook."

A large middle-aged lady, obviously the cook, said nothing, just stared down at the table.

"Mary says that she was in the kitchen between 6.30 until they heard the commotion. Violet and Jayne, Sir John's daughter, were with her." He indicated a young woman in her 20's, heavily made-up and dressed as if she was intending to spend the night on a street corner.

"We was talking about Doug, the gardener.", she explained.

Sergeant Plode took up the story again. "Doug was sacked by Sir John earlier that day, after I had discovered a stash of cannibis in the potting-shed. The young man has been responsible for several thefts in the region, and I've suspected him of dealing drugs, but I've never been able to get enough evidence. Anyway, I had stopped by here at about 4pm on my way to the Chief Constable's, and told him the bad news. Apparently, he summoned the scoundrel, and gave him his marching orders."

"Did he leave immediately?", asked the Great Detective.

"He went down to the kitchen at about 5.30pm and had a conversation with Stevens. Stevens says he was still there when he left at 6, but he'd gone by the time Mary went in at 6.30."

"I need to know one more thing, and then I think we're done.", said the Great Detective, "What does Sir John's will say?"

"Well, sir, this was a surprise. Sir John left the Condom factory to Jayne. Says in the will that he thought it was appropriate to leave it to, beggin' your pardon miss, a tart."

"Bastard!", said Jayne.

The Sergeant glared at her and continued. "However, he left the house and all his money to his illegitimate daughter, Violet."

"A surprise, you say? Who knew about this?"

"Only the solicitor, who, by the way, only came back from 2 weeks in Barbados yesterday. He did say, though, that his file on Sir John was in a mess, and he believes that someone else must have been having a peek. I should mention that his office was burgled last week, and that I strongly suspect Doug was responsible. He's had his eye on Violet, too, by all accounts."

"That's a lie!" shouted a scruffy man in his 30s, "I didn't touch no filing. I can't even read!"

There was silence in the room for a minute, and then the Great Detective spoke.

"Thank you. It's obvious which one of you committed the murder, and why."

Everyone looked round at one another anxiously.

To Be Continued...


Bee said...


Dan said...

second !!

Dan said...

it was the doctor!

Brian o vretanos said...


Yes, it could have been. Only it wasn't, because he's not one of the suspects in the room. I wanted to explain about the doctor, but the story was too long already. Given that he wasn't there at the time when Sir John started having convulsions, I think we have to assume that he had a cast-iron alibi - he'd been with patients all day, and they'll all vouch for him...

Bee said...

Hmmmm... a continuation?

I know who the vicitm in my murder mystery will be.

Brian o vretanos said...


All you have to do is work out the solution and then you don't need Part II...

Jean Knee said...



Dan said...

I said the doctor because it's always someone you don't expect.
He made the diagnosis very fast.

Dan said...

After he lit the cigar he put the empty box back was the maid !!!!!

Bee said...

Hmmm maybe it was the maid and she gave them false evidence?

::sigh:: Now I have to go to my laptop...

Bee said...

but first:


Anndi said...


The Butler did it... he always does it.

Bee said...

It's 2 o'clock, is it too early for a Mojito?

Bee said...

That's the answer I'm looking for right now.

Chris Wood said...

I love the bit with the cocktail sausage. Good stuff mate!

& Bee - no

Dan said...


Bee said...

Dan, shouldn't you be making your way to my house already??

Brian o vretanos said...

Jean Knee:

Hello! For once you weren't the villan.


It's difficult to imagine a traditional murder in a big house without the butler doing something...


Yes, your choice of the doctor was a good one, even though it was wrong ;-) It's funny you mentioned Angela Lansbury - Helena's just made me watch another few episodes this evening of Murder, She Wrote.


Thanks :-)


Shouldn't you be drunk already?

Tracy said...

I think it was Violet.
Here's my reasoning:
She was the illegitimate daughter and for years wanted the same treatment as the other daughter.
Then she fell in love with the pot dealer, who happened to know that Violet was getting all of the fortune, and he gave her the poison and told her that they couldn't live happily together until Rubber Johnny was gone.
So she slipped in and poured the poison into the glass and then she grabbed a cigar for her beloved so that they could celebrate their long awaited togetherness.

God I'm good!

Tracy said...

Cocktail sausage?
Is that your alls version of a tiny pickle on a stick?
No wait, in Brigette Jones Diary ( a movie I command that you must see Brian. Helena will love them too!) they ate tiny pickles on sticks.
What's a cocktail sausage?

Brian o vretanos said...


You are good! I'd not thought of that. I'm giving something away by saying this, but originally I'd intended that the gardener would be having an affair with the tarty daughter Jayne, who had also had a relationship in the past with Sergeant Plode, and probably every other male within a 10 mile radius of the place. But if I'd put in all my ideas, we'd have had ten parts, not two...

I was married at the time that BJD came out, so I have seen it. There were three things wrong with this film: Hugh Grant, Hugh Grant and Hugh Grant.

A cocktail sausage is a small sausage which is put on a cocktail stick. As seen in the second picture of this report.

Jean Knee said...

NOOOO, it wasn't Jeeves nooo I won't let him be framed like that.

Here in TX those weinies are called little smokies and we cook them in Bar b q sauce. mmm

Jean Knee said...

oh, here's something worse, I read bridget Jones' Diary

and I kinda liked it

Bee said...

"little smokies"

BWAHAHAHA!! You southerns sure are special.

P.S. To Brian.
Hugh Grant is a cutie pie.

Brian o vretanos said...

Jean Knee:

I'm sure the book was better than the film. I don't believe the book had Hugh Grant in it.