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Best of the Columbo short story competition

 

columbo writing competition

I do love a bit of Columbo creative writing – as hopefully this blog is a testament to. So seeing others getting kicks out of their own Columbo writing is a beautiful thing.

It’s therefore a genuine pleasure to be able to share some of the best entries from a recent short story competition, that invited participants to deliver a Columbo tale of any description in no more than 200 words – no easy feat!

The competition was launched via the lively ColumboTV Facebook Page (why not join ’em?) in October and ran until just before Christmas. And with 130 entries, the competition really got Columbo fans’ creative juices pumping. Having read them all as one of the judges, I can state firsthand that the variety was really quite something.

We were given ‘cut scenes’ or alternative endings from existing Columbo episodes, snippets from clever new mystery stories and even examples of Columbo being inserted into real world crimes. We were put into Columbo’s shoes, the minds of killers and even got the perspective from Dog and the battered Peugeot. There were also some cheeky crossovers featuring the likes of Poirot, Jessica Fletcher, Bat-Man and the cast of Are You Being Served!

With so many entries to choose from, selecting the top entries was never going to be easy – particularly with the high standards in evidence. It’s also very subjective, so the top entries we’ve identified may differ greatly from your own. Such is life, but hopefully there’ll be no major quibbles. We’re all Columbo fans, after all…

The top 7 entries, as assessed by judges, can be read below. Please note, these are in no particular order, except for the winning entry! Readers can also download the full list of entries at the end of the post. It’s well worth it.

“We were given ‘cut scenes’ or alternative endings from existing episodes, snippets from clever new mystery stories and even examples of Columbo being inserted into real world crimes.”

Gorgeous Wayne, by Richard Jenkinson

Wayne Jennings woke up. He loved the morning. It was the time of day when he could look at himself in the mirror, uninterrupted.

Theresa was so privileged, Wayne thought to himself. She got to look at his face often. Wayne ran a hand through his hair, then sprayed a can of hairspray on it. ‘Perfect!’ he thought to himself.

Wayne blew a kiss at the mirror and then looked one last time at his reflection for 50 minutes. Wayne couldn’t be late today. He had two things planned: looking at himself in shop windows and planning to kill Theresa Goren…

Judges’ comments: A short but sweet offering, and one of several poking some playful fun at Wayne Jennings – one of the most lampooned Columbo killers of all! This one raised genuine laughs with us, which is why it makes our favourites’ list.

wayne jennings

Gorgeous Wayne rocking the chunky cardigan look!

Columbo Takes the Stand, by Rich Weill

“Before I close this inquest,” said the Coroner, “is anyone here assigned to the Chadwick case from the Los Angeles Police Department?”

Columbo raised his hand and rose slightly from his seat in the spectator section. “Would you please step forward?” said the Coroner. “You are?”

“Lieutenant Columbo. LAPD. Homicide.”

Columbo took the witness stand. The clerk administered the oath. “Have you evidence that Bryce Chadwick’s death was not accidental?” asked the Coroner.

Columbo thought a moment. “Evidence? I wouldn’t say ‘evidence.’ Just loose ends.”

“What are ‘loose ends’?”

“Things that keep me up at night. Like the late-edition newspaper on the hall table. How did it get there? No one in the house could have brought it, except Mr. Chadwick, and he was never in the hall.”

“Is there always a reason?”

“Things don’t appear, disappear, or move around on their own.”

“People forget.”

“People say they forgot,” said Columbo. “But don’t worry, sir. I’ll keep digging. I’ll find the explanation. I always do.”

“Should I adjourn this inquest for a week?”

“No, go ahead and rule Mr. Chadwick’s death an accident.” Columbo leaned over and whispered to the Coroner: “I prefer it when everyone’s off their guard.”

Judges’ comments: We loved seeing here what we never saw in an episode – Columbo on the witness stand in a highly plausible alternative scene from Season 1’s Lady in Waiting. Columbo’s voice and tone are spot on.

columbo portrait 3

Expert witness: Lieutenant Columbo

Just four words, by Joe Pritchard

“Ahh, I’ll be sorry to see you go.” Gilhooley put down his coffee and poked Officer Columbo in the chest. “You’re a good copper. You like folks, for Pete’s Sake, which is hard in this job. I’ll miss you.”

“Fred thinks it would be a good move for me… have you met Fred? Fred’s my cousin. He’s always going on about what it’s like out there. Says the weather’s better. There’s more space… how much space does a man need?”

Columbo rummaged in his shirt pocket and pulled out some small change and a bus ticket. “Hmmmmm, thought I’d got a photo of Fred here…”

GiIlhooley smiled. In the time he’d had Columbo under his wing he’d grown attached to the young cop, with all of his little quirks. He wondered what advice he could give him for the future. He smiled as he remembered what his sergeant had told him years before.

“Just a bit of advice for you. Four words that will help you a lot. Throw them in at the end and follow them with the question you really wanted to ask at the beginning.”

Columbo raised an eyebrow and looked up, listening attentively.

Gilhooley smiled. “Just one more thing…”

Judges’ comments: A very nice insight into Columbo’s early career as a cop in New York prior to his move to LA, and the legacy Sergeant Gilhooley left on his career. A fun and believable means of conveying the origin of the the Lieutenant’s ‘just one more thing…’ tagline. Nice work!

Prescription 1

Columbo owes a debt of gratitude to Sergeant Gilhooley

The Hunter and the Prey, by Carlos Torres

Henry murdered his mother. Official story, she slipped in the bath tub. Henry was a hunter and that was the kind of stupid death that he wanted for her. Of course, Henry was far away when it happened, on a hunting trip. Perfect alibi.

A police inquiry was no surprise. They had sent the stupidest looking lieutenant in the world, someone called Columbo. He asked some questions, just routine. An accident, Columbo said. Piece of cake.

He was almost out when he stopped. Just one more thing, for the report. Henry smiled. He kinda liked the guy.

Columbo came back the next day. And the next. He asked about silicone lube and hand crafted soap and other details that were too close to comfort. Did Columbo know? Nah… He would finish his report and never return.

Today Henry was at his balcony, cleaning one of his rifles, and then he saw the man with the cheap raincoat, waving at him from the distance. Henry had stared at the eyes of the most fierce animals in the world, never showing fear. Today, he trembled. For the first time in his life, he was no longer the hunter. He was the prey.

Judges’ comments: Carlos did a great job in putting us inside the mind of the killer and succinctly taking us on the familiar journey of a confident killer with nothing to worry about, to one who is firmly in the Lieutenant’s site. The hunter / prey angle works perfectly and could have actually made for a fascinating episode.

glass 2

He’s got the killer in his sights yet again…

A Time to Dine, by Richard Brown

The Maître d watches the front door, he sees a disheveled looking man walking towards him, he thinks he is seeing another hobo looking for a free meal.

A kindly man, he has directed many a similar person to the rear doors of the kitchen, to offer them a bowl of hot soup and a bread roll. He himself was once less fortunate, and required the services of a local mission which offered warmth, food and good company.

“Good afternoon Sir, how may I help you.”

“Hello, My name is Lieutenant Columbo, Los Angeles Police Department, Homicide Division.”

The Maître d is somewhat taken aback. “I see Sir, how may I be of service.”

“Well this may sound a little odd, but I need your help, in a little deception.”

“Deception?” The Maître d’s curiosity is pricked.

Not willing to give the game away completely and perhaps worry anyone with the knowledge there may be a murderer in their midst the Lieutenant continues: “Well you see I have this friend, you may have heard of him, Mr Adrian Carsini…”

“Oh yes Sir, we know him very well, he is an excellent customer of ours.”

“Do you have a wine list………?”

Judges’ comments: Another entry that effortlessly provided us with a believable ‘cut scene’ from a popular episode, Richard’s story gives us the meeting between Columbo and Vito Scotti’s officious Maitre D from Any Old Port in a Storm. We can almost hear Vito’s voice and see his facial expressions just reading this. Great work!

any old port 1

Holy Name Society Newsletter, by Nancy Thompson

PETER’S R.C. CHURCH, HOLY NAME SOCIETY NEWSLETTER, DECEMBER 1974

November was a busy month! The Thanksgiving Formal broke all attendance records since we started it back in 1964, thanks to the hard work of our volunteers and donors. Dance music was provided by the Haynes Academy Military Band, and the 10 Baskets of Cheer donated by the Merino Brothers Winery proved the most popular Silent Auction item, garnering a total of $172.18 toward the 1975 Altar Flowers.

AND THE WINNER IS…

The lucky winner of the Acapulco Cruise Raffle is Mrs. Frank Columbo! She and her husband will enjoy an 8-day trip on the cruise liner Ocean Dream! This prize was generously donated by the Meadis Family Charitable Foundation.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

The regular Wednesday night meeting of the Tommy Brown Sobriety Club has been moved to Thursday next week, due to the Christmas holidays.

IN MEMORIAM

St. Peter’s HNS office has recently been informed of the death of former member Mrs. Lily LaSanka.

Mrs. LaSanka left Oxnard in 1967 for Lake Menifee, where she ran a local General Store until her sudden death in 1971. A St. Peter’s parishioner who recently vacationed there passed on the sad news.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Judges’ comments: A unique entry in terms of its approach, this is a delightful and authentic-feeling Church missive packed with Easter Eggs for knowledgeable Columbo fans. Full of subtle references to many episodes (and of course the pre-cursor to Troubled Waters), this is a fun and rewarding read.

Waters 4

Columbo’s holiday snaps appeared in the next edition of the Holy Name Society newsletter

And the winner is…

Columbo Moves Out, by Russell Flowers

The landlord watched Columbo stuff his clothing into an old army duffel bag. “You know, you should stay. I could go week-to-week. Hang around, a cop might be good for the place’s reputation.”

Columbo chewed on the stub of his cigar. “No. Thanks, but no.” He looked up. “I got a family to get back to. I was just using the room to crack a case.”

The landlord nodded toward the door, where most of the police had just left. “That guy? What did he do?”

“Murdered his wife. And helped cover up another murder, probably. Hell of a thing.” Columbo cocked his head. “You know he’s my boss? Was. Deputy Commissioner.”

“You don’t say?”

“Yeah.” Columbo raised his hand to the back of his head. “And you know – I’ve got a problem now.”

The landlord looked back as he was walking away. “What’s that?”

Columbo wore a thoughtful expression. “I can finally finish my report now. I’m just not sure who to turn it in to.”

Judges’ comments: A completely believable outro to A Friend in Deed, this entry shows us what happens immediately after Commissioner Halperin has been taken down. Writer Russell has nailed Columbo’s language and mannerisms and this could easily have been a closing epilogue to a novelisation of the episode. It also addresses the query that keen Columbo fans have: did the Lieutenant really plan to live here, or did he hire it just for the sting operation?

Friend 5

Who’ll Columbo hand his report into now he’s busted his boss?

Highly commended

We couldn’t let this article pass without referencing these other entries, which really were from the top drawer:-

  • Suitable for Promotion, by Neal Maidment
  • The Lustful Sinner, by Andrew Gooch
  • Reprint, by Lisa Marie Trump
  • The Sports Fan, by Vincent Spinochia
  • Columbo: Model Behaviour, by Terry Waters
  • A Flash in the Pan, by Jonathan Rogers

Hats off, too, to Gary Kevin Ware and Mary Manuilidu, who were suitably inspired to contribute more than 30 entries between them. That’s some serious dedication to the cause!

All the entries have been thoughtfully compiled into one document by competition organiser Ian Baxter – including my own, which featured a never-before-seen moment when Sergeant Wilson was assigned to work with Columbo in Greenhouse Jungle.

**Download the whole document here**

A big thanks to all those who took part and congratulations to winner Russell Flowers, who wins a life-time contract to write ‘anthropology novels’ for Greenleaf Publications (pending the publisher’s own court proceedings). Should Riley Greenleaf be sent to jail, the below bag will be Russell’s prize instead!

Greenleaf Publications

Congratulations to Ian Baxter, whose excellent idea did so much to capture fellow fans’ imaginations, and helped make for a very nice tribute to the show for its 50th anniversary in 2018.


Thanks to all contributors: Ian Baxter | Michael Martin | Richard Brown | Alan Louis | Frank Columbo (that’s me!) | Catrin Jones | Debbie Greenfield | Warren Rigby | Carlos Torres | Ben Ramsey | Mary Manuilidu | Lisa Marie Trump | Joe Pritchard | Terry Waters | Neal Maidment | Zac Baxter | David Steer | Vincent Spinochia | Gary Kevin Ware | Philip Wilson | John Shields | Anna Stella | Toby O’Brien | Naomi Baxter | Andrew Gooch | Neil Robertson | Richard Goodwin | Mary Lowe | Ruth Williams | Robin Roy | Tricia Carr | Russell Flowers | Ash Preston | Tim Donovan | Richard Schwindt | Dina Di Mambro | Nancy Thompson | David van den Bosch | Lorraine Middleton | Steve Behling |  Richard Jenkinson | Kathy Dreher | Rich Weill | James Feldman | Owen Kowalski | Jonathan Rogers | Phil Openshaw | Jim Rhoads

writing comp 2

 

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40 thoughts on “Best of the Columbo short story competition

  1. Just got around to seeing this email now. I’m too busy to read the others, but all these entries were very enjoyable and original. I probably would have chosen #2 or 33 as the winner, but I won’t quibble. Keep up the great work on the site.
    (BTW, I used the opportunity to see the newly uploaded episode of “Suitable for Framing” to re-view it. I must admit that I would still not rate it quite as high as you do, but for the first time I came around to seeing the quality acting of Martin and the special aspects of this episode. It really is top notch.)

     
  2. Hello colombophile running out of time in my local internet cafe , i just want to say enjoy all of colombophiles updates but we enjoy the episode reviews the best and we haven’t had one in ages as we ran through the Christmas and new year .
    we would appreciate it if forgotten lady was rolled out soon and then case of immunity , then we could get onto the really good stuff , identity crisis , try and catch me , the bye bye make me a perfect murder , I dont mean to sound bossy but there seems to be a massive gap since the last review and im not a fan of forgotten lady and feel its holding up the great show , and there is still a lot of good 70s ones to come .

     
    • Hi Steve, I expect Forgotten Lady to surface in Feb, but I ought to have a bit more time to more swiftly get future episode reviews out. Maybe even two a month in some months!

       
      • Great if you could make it early February and a slightly shorter review as I am not a big fan of forgotten lady or a case of immunity, there very middle tier for me, they don’t have the memorable ending like the top tier colombos. however I do enjoy them more than Dead weight , The greenhouse jungle ,lovely but lethal and one that occasionally slips my mind fade in to murder.
        I am much more looking forward to Identity crisis review as I feel your the only person who might be able to explain what nelson Brenner’s motive was for murdering Geronimo.its one of my favourites, me and my dad have watched it a thousand times and still cant work the motive out .some sort of ex- spy financial deal they had or something like that .

         
  3. I think my favorite was “In a Different World.” It’s satisfying to imagine Columbo nailing Martin Hammond, and the inversion of the “Don’t count on it” statement was brilliant.

     
  4. I’m astonished no one’s mentioned “The Outsider”; I would think many Columbophiles would be a big fan of…well, I won’t say who…anyway, I enjoyed that one quite a bit.

     
  5. I particularly like ‘Candidate for Promotion’ – a very plausible explanation for how Columbo managed to avoid promotion for so many years!

     
  6. These were enjoyable to read. The photos attached to each story was a nice touch, especially the one of Peter Falk as a boy.

    The writing in some of them is so spot-on that I can virtually hear the voices and dialogue as if it were an actual episode.

    I particularly found these clever and entertaining:

    Candidate for Promotion
    Suitable for Promotion
    A Heap of Trouble (nice surprise ending that it was the car)
    Picture Perfect Murder (clever idea about the statue in a painting)
    Daytime Drama (good gotcha moment)
    Gorgeous Wayne (“he could look at himself in the mirror uninterrupted” … lolol)
    Missing Presumed (great story about Abigail Mitchell’s suspicion)
    Now You Perish By the Book
    Fallen Star (nice twist at the end with Verity)

     
  7. I really enjoyed reading each of these stories, and I appreciate both everyone’s talents and their thorough Columbo knowledge! Cheers ~

     
  8. Great stories the jury chose to highlight, I loved reading them all. And congratulations to the winner, beautifully done and well deserved!

     
  9. Somewhat annoying was that my first story, “Gossip Can Be Deadly,” wasn’t forwarded by Columbophile, and, therefore, wasn’t even considered. It was a written in the classic Columbo format and was the story that I spent the most time creating, since a story piece that actually fits the classic series formula is the most challenging of all to write. However, since I’m not to be a member of Facebook, that was a “risk” I chose to bear.

     
      • I sent this Columbo segment in script format on December 13, 2018 at 9:51 am. . .

        GOSSIP CAN BE DEADLY
        by
        James Feldman

        Columbo arrives, coffee in hand, at the master bedroom of the victim’s Beverly Hills home. He greets Sergeant Kramer and the housekeeper, Samantha. Kramer introduces them.

        COLUMBO
        What do we have, Sarge?
        (Columbo studies the victim’s body. She’s wearing a nightgown, sitting upright in bed, an open book tented on her chest.)

        KRAMER
        You don’t recognize her?

        COLUMBO
        Looks vaguely familiar, but no.

        KRAMER
        That’s Aurora Adams.

        COLUMBO
        The gossip columnist?

        KRAMER
        That’s her!

        COLUMBO
        (Columbo surveys the bedroom.)
        My wife loves her columns. And what a terrific investigator!
        (notices small packets on dresser and casually palms one.)
        Time and cause of death?

        KRAMER
        Around 2:00 am. Apparently an accidental barbiturate overdose. The coroner’s ordering a toxicology report.

        COLUMBO
        (observing Aurora’s face)
        Are those false eyelashes?

        KRAMER
        Sure looks like ‘em.

        COLUMBO
        Hmmm. Doesn’t make sense.

        KRAMER
        Why? What’s the problem?

        COLUMBO
        Why would a woman get ready for bed but forget to take off her false eyelashes?
        (to Samantha)
        Ma’am, where’s her eyeglasses?

        SAMANTHA
        I don’t know, sir. But you’re right. Mrs. Adams always wore reading glasses whenever she read.

        KRAMER
        How did you know she wore glasses, Lieutenant?

        COLUMBO
        This told me.
        (opens hand, revealing disposable eyeglass towelette.)

         
  10. Thank you to every one who took part, it was a joy to read so many engaging 200 word stories. Thank you also to Columbophile for his help and support. All much appreciated.

     
  11. Considering that I wrote nearly 20% of the entries, 25 out of 130, and they were almost all more interesting than the mostly dull ‘winners’, I would suggest, among other things, that the judges, like Columbophile, are only interested in the non-controversial.

     
    • Gary, I think several of your entries could profitably be grouped together in a “Crossover” collection, as they tend to be “Columbo Meets (Real or Fictional Famous Person).”

      Another couple (“Mrs. Columbo,” “Columbo Went to College”) provide some interesting speculation about Columbo in the vein of “Sherlockian scholarship,” but aren’t really stories per se.

      “Columbo is Fired” doesn’t really capture Columbo’s style–Columbo is the master of plausible deniability and passive-aggression, and I do not think that he would use trendy insults such as “snowflakes,” let alone dreadful puns such as “Kiss my ash.”

      “Crime and Punishment” would have been so much better if you’d introduced a twist! “Crime that looks like murder in ‘Crime and Punishment’ turns out to be murder exactly like murder in ‘Crime and Punishment'” just doesn’t have the nice zinger I was hoping for; if it turned out that the murderer was the person who corresponds to Razhumin, for instance, that would have been more satisfying.

      Finally, I found the joke in “Smoking Can Be Hazardous to Your Health” to be in rather poor taste.

      I appreciate the entertainment you provided by contributing to this project, but I can’t say I would have placed any of your entries on the finalist list, either. However, you did better than I–I didn’t write anything!

       
    • Gary, don’t take the opinions of other to heart regarding your creative writing. The judgments of others necessarily reflect their own personal expectations and biases. And the Latin proverb, “De gustibus non est disputandum” or “There’s no accounting for taste,” still applies.

      For example, it’s often the case that great writers (or at least enormously talented writers) received many rejections before being published. Here’s just a small sampling of such rejected writers: James Joyce, Agatha Christie, Joseph Heller, Margaret Mitchell, and William Golding. Master spy writer John le Carré was told his novel “The Spy Who Came in from the Cold” “hasn’t got any future.” William Faulkner was told one his books was “unpublishable.” Rudyard Kipling was “advised” that he “didn’t know how to use the English language.” And George Orwell was told “there is no market for animal stories in the USA” after he submitted his “Animal Farm” for publication. Poet E.E. Cummings, whom my father knew and corresponded with, was rejected countless times by publishers before getting published.

      And moving off-topic, sometimes great things are written (or composed) and those things are “borrowed” or “adapted” by others, but the original writer isn’t credited. I think I’ve mentioned to you before an instance where the opening of Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture has similarities with the iconic Perry Mason TV theme song (“Park Avenue Beat”)–though you’ve disagreed with my view (which is shared by many other musicians).

      Another such instance that I’ve recently discovered (and nobody to knowledge has pointed this out) is that one of the most memorable themes from Maurice Jarre’s score for “Lawrence of Arabia” (for which he won an Academy Award) was actually consciously lifted or, to be more generous, was unconsciously adapted, from a theme in Robert Schumann’s Symphony No.1 in B flat major Op.38 “Spring” II, Larghetto.

      As a refresher, the Maurice Jarre theme I’m talking about can be heard at roughly 1:00 to 1:56 at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdFwhhH2x7I&t=63s.

      And the Robert Schumann theme I’m talking about can be heard at roughly 1:42 to 2:40 at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4q1MycQvxKs.

      You may again disagree with me, but I’ve played this comparison for friends and they concur that the themes and even the orchestrations are, indeed, remarkably similar. But, so far, nobody else seems to have picked up on these similarities.

       
  12. Well, then… 🙂 Let’s go.

    COLUMBO: HEAR NO EVIL
    _______________________

    Teleplay to what might have been the 70th Columbo movie

    Scene 1

    A public place. A few people gather around a sculpture showing a nude woman. Two men stand beside the artwork; one of them speaks to the crowd. A man out of the crowd answers:
    >>Alright, the sculpture does raise my interest, but I can’t share the ideology behind it.<> You have to get rid of the false imagination that man and woman were equal in value. The emancipation movement of the last century misled us all into a wrong direction. The Abdunuuree’s created the man to be the commander over terrestrial life and the woman to function as the servant and to guarantee the survival of our human race. Originally they planned a population ratio of 3:1, so for three men there was supposed to be one woman. When biology didn’t bow to the plan, because as many girls as boys were born, Gismarald Maharantuli from the star nation Guluranam changed the concept. That beautiful institution called marriage was invented. It was supposed to secure that no woman functioned as breeding ground for several men. Since then every man is entitled to have one woman at his disposal. After running out of her fruitful years, the woman still has to serve her husband for his physical well, meaning cooking food and opening legs. <> Is the wife at least allowed to choose which husband for life she wants to serve?<> No. If more than one man is interested in one woman, there has to be a duel. The men are to drop clothes and to fight for the woman without weapons until one of them gives in and hands the woman to the defeater.<> Just like animals.<> Everybody’s leaving, Trent. Nobody wants to hear the truth.<>Mmh…all of them are indoctrinated victims. Pack up your marble woman and let’s drive home!<> Already now?<> Yes, Craig, I’m tired of never succeeding.<> My children are in school; my husband is on his mission – so let’s start! <> At least today Samantha does not have to do without me for too long. <> Oh Matt, what a shame that I belong to Trent.<> Does my ear cheat on me? My neighbour is laying his hands onto my wife! I’m shocked. It’s a no go. To claim a taken woman for himself is like robbing her right to exist. A deadly sin before Gismarald, and me, the husband of my wife, I am to give her back her stolen honor. <> Greetings to Gismarald, Samantha! <> You’re back so soon? How beautiful. Were you successful? <> There are some negative energies I have to wash away from my body. Please fill in the bathtub. I don’t want to break with this tradition after my missions. <> I usually don’t lock the door, but I gotta be on the safe side today.<> Mister Lambert! What the hell…? How did you get in here and why aren’t you wearing anything? <> You have to undress, too, Mister Purdy. In the moment of death, just like in the moment of birth, you are supposed to stand before Gismarald just as you are, so the circle of life can close. <>I’m calling the police, if you don’t leave right now!<>You are without value.<> Am I going to make it look like a suicide or an accident? Anyhow, I’m gonna throw the worthless one from the roof.<> Since when am I not allowed to use the toilet?<> I sent out a horrible fart a minute ago. It wouldn’t vanish, not even with the window open. I don’t want you to go through that smell. Can you wait for one more minute?<> Gotta go now anyway, Hagen is home from school.<> Thanks to Gismarald, Hagen didn’t walk by a minute earlier. He then could have seen me climbing through the window.<>Mummy, hurry up! Look! Mister Purdy! I think he’s dead!<> I fail to understand your tears. Why does the death of our neighbour throw you out of the curve this way? Is it because it was a suicide?<> A suicide can be ruled out. <> Who is to know this for sure? Perhaps Mister Purdy was unhappy in love.<> An hour ago he assured me, how happy he is during the moments with me, so you cannot be right.<> I am deeply shocked about your confession. We have to talk this over when the right time comes.<> This has got to be the police lieutenant which they promised to send.<> You don’t have to reveal to him what you unveiled to me right now.<> Whatever he asks me, I won’t lie to him.<> Mrs Lambert? My name is Lieutenant Columbo, homicide. I’m sorry for what happened. Well, how did your life develop after your phone call? <> I’m not letting Satan keep me from fulfilling my life’s work.<> A good attitude. You are religious?<> My husband more than me.<> Is this him?<> You guessed well.<> My pleasure. I am Trent Lambert. How can we help you?<> Well, I was just having a look at the body. I can understand that you are emotionally churned up. Mister Purdy was your only neighbour, wasn’t he? There are only these two houses in this nook of the street.<> Our son Hagen made the discovery when he came home from school at one P.M.<> This day probably won’t leave your memory for the rest of your life. Did you see anybody walking into your direction when you came home?<> No, why should I? Mister Purdy did jump into his death voluntarily or am I seeing this wrong? <>Impossible, Hagen. His private happiness was totally alright. Believe me, nobody can tell better than me.<>Where does this certainty come from, Madame?<>Samantha, I have to request you to keep your tongue under control.<> You have to leave it to me what I think and say.<> I’m a bit confused. Is there anything I should know?<> Willibald must have intended to do something on his roof and he must have slipped and fallen. And it must have happened after 12:30. During that time I was cooking lunch and my husband was taking his daily bath.<>Correct. When I returned from my mission at half past twelve, the neighbour was not lying dead in front of his house.<>It’s refreshing that you two testify anything I need to know without having to be asked. What do you mean by “returning from my mission”?<>I am a light worker. I fight for the spreading of the absolute truth among the Earthlings, concerning our origins and meaning, how we are supposed to live.<>No kidding? You know the mysteries and connections that I have been desperately looking for all my life?<>Yes, I belong to the chosen few that stand in spiritual contact to Gismarald Maharantuli from the star nation Guluranam. He inaugurated me into the enigmas and instructed me to pass them on.<>Are you sure it was no evil demon you were talking to?<>Good point, Lieutenant. Yes, I am sure. I hear no evil when I listen to Gismarald’s voice of truth, and I know I can tell apart good from evil.<>Fascinating. What was he saying? Please let me know! I’m burning.<> This will be our daughter Fiona.<>Please don’t let her interrupt us now, Mr Lambert!<>Let’s go into the other room, Lieutenant.<<

    To be continued in the next post

     
    • This doesn’t look like intended. Too many words for one post, I guess. Sorry. I’ll post the chapters again in single posts.

       
    • Very riveting story and something I would have loved to have seen on the series at any point of its run. I could just hear and see Peter Falk and that’s the true mark of a really strong script or manuscript to where you can hear and see the characters as if they were on the screen

       
      • Thanks Kendall. I hope that during reading my vision of a Columbo called “Hear No Evil” (which would have been the title of the final episode Peter Falk wanted to shoot in 2008 to celebrate Columbo’s 40th Anniversary), you imagined one of your favourite legendary oldtimers playing the murderer.

         
  13. I also wrote my own Columbo short story. But it’s a litte longer than only 200 words. So if anyone wants to read it, please ask for it. I’m already prepared to publish it here in the comment box 🙂

     
      • COLUMBO: HEAR NO EVIL
        _______________________

        Teleplay to what might have been the 70th Columbo movie

        Scene 1

        A public place. A few people gather around a sculpture showing a nude woman. Two men stand beside the artwork; one of them speaks to the crowd. A man out of the crowd answers:
        “Alright, the sculpture does raise my interest, but I can’t share the ideology behind it.”
        “You have to get rid of the false imagination that man and woman were equal in value. The emancipation movement of the last century misled us all into a wrong direction. The Abdunuuree’s created the man to be the commander over terrestrial life and the woman to function as the servant and to guarantee the survival of our human race. Originally they planned a population ratio of 3:1, so for three men there was supposed to be one woman. When biology didn’t bow to the plan, because as many girls as boys were born, Gismarald Maharantuli from the star nation Guluranam changed the concept. That beautiful institution called marriage was invented. It was supposed to secure that no woman functioned as breeding ground for several men. Since then every man is entitled to have one woman at his disposal. After running out of her fruitful years, the woman still has to serve her husband for his physical well, meaning cooking food and opening legs.”
        “Is the wife at least allowed to choose which husband for life she wants to serve?”
        “No. If more than one man is interested in one woman, there has to be a duel. The men are to drop clothes and to fight for the woman without weapons until one of them gives in and hands the woman to the defeater.”
        “Just like animals.”
        The second man next to the sculpture says:
        “Everybody’s leaving, Trent. Nobody wants to hear the truth.”
        “Mmh…all of them are indoctrinated victims. Pack up your marble woman and let’s drive home!”
        “Already now?”
        “Yes, Craig, I’m tired of never succeeding.”

        To be continued in the next post

         
      • Scene 2

        A woman and a man undressing in a bedroom. The woman says:
        “My children are in school; my husband is on his mission – so let’s start!”

        Trent Lambert approaches the house, thinking:
        “At least today Samantha does not have to do without me for too long.”

        Inside the house. Trent hears Samantha: “Oh Matt, what a shame that I belong to Trent.”
        Trent thinks: Does my ear cheat on me? My neighbour is laying his hands onto my wife! I’m shocked. It’s a no go. To claim a taken woman for himself is like robbing her right to exist. A deadly sin before Gismarald, and me, the husband of my wife, I am to give her back her stolen honor.
        Trent leaves the house and waits. He watches Matt leave and enter the house next to his. On this lost end of the street, there are only two single houses next to each other with only woods around. Trent enters his house again.

        “Greetings to Gismarald, Samantha!”
        “You’re back so soon? How beautiful. Were you successful?”
        “There are some negative energies I have to wash away from my body. Please fill in the bathtub. I don’t want to break with this tradition after my missions.”

        Inside the bathroom.

        Trent: “I usually don’t lock the door, but I gotta be on the safe side today.”
        Trent undresses. In the nude he climbs through the roof window beside the bathtub, down his roof and up his neighbour’s roof, who didn’t close his roof window. Trent slips through Matt’s window and looks for the rival.

        Matt: “Mister Lambert! What the hell…? How did you get in here and why aren’t you wearing anything?”
        Trent Lambert: “You have to undress, too, Mister Purdy. In the moment of death, just like in the moment of birth, you are supposed to stand before Gismarald just as you are, so the circle of life can close.”
        Matt Purdy: “I’m calling the police, if you don’t leave right now!”
        Trent: “You are without value.”
        He reaches for a heavy vase and knocks his rival unconscious. Then he thinks:
        Am I going to make it look like a suicide or an accident? Anyhow, I’m gonna throw the worthless one from the roof.

        Samantha wants to enter the bathroom, but it’s locked.
        “Since when am I not allowed to use the toilet?”
        Just in time, Trent is back, ready to unlock the door.
        Trent: “I sent out a horrible fart a minute ago. It wouldn’t vanish, not even with the window open. I don’t want you to go through that smell. Can you wait for one more minute?”
        The door bell is ringing.
        Samantha: “Gotta go now anyway, Hagen is home from school.”
        Trent thinks: Thanks to Gismarald, Hagen didn’t walk by a minute earlier. He then could have seen me climbing through the window.
        Hagen, the son: “Mummy, hurry up! Look! Mister Purdy! I think he’s dead!”
        Samantha yells.

        To be continued in the next post

         
        • COLUMBO: Hear No Evil
          ____________________

          Scene 3

          Trent Lambert is giving consolation to his wife after she called the police.
          “I fail to understand your tears. Why does the death of our neighbour throw you out of the curve this way? Is it because it was a suicide?”
          Samantha: “A suicide can be ruled out.”
          “Who is to know this for sure? Perhaps Mister Purdy was unhappy in love.”
          “An hour ago he assured me, how happy he is during the moments with me, so you cannot be right.”
          “I am deeply shocked about your confession. We have to talk this over when the right time comes.”
          The door bell rings.
          Samantha: “This has got to be the police lieutenant which they promised to send.”
          Trent: “You don’t have to reveal to him what you unveiled to me right now.”
          Samantha: “Whatever he asks me, I won’t lie to him.”
          Samantha opens the door. Columbo lifts his head and looks up to her:
          “Mrs Lambert? My name is Lieutenant Columbo, homicide. I’m sorry for what happened. Well, how did your life develop after your phone call?”
          Samantha: “I’m not letting Satan keep me from fulfilling my life’s work.”
          Columbo: “A good attitude. You are religious?”
          “My husband more than me.”
          Columbo points at the man in the living room: “Is this him?”
          Samantha: “You guessed well.”
          Trent: “My pleasure. I am Trent Lambert. How can we help you?”
          Columbo: “Well, I was just having a look at the body. I can understand that you are emotionally churned up. Mister Purdy was your only neighbour, wasn’t he? There are only these two houses in this nook of the street.”
          Trent: “Our son Hagen made the discovery when he came home from school at one P.M.”
          Trent proudly presents his son to Columbo.
          Columbo to Hagen: “This day probably won’t leave your memory for the rest of your life. Did you see anybody walking into your direction when you came home?”
          Hagen: “No, why should I? Mister Purdy did jump into his death voluntarily or am I seeing this wrong?”
          Samantha: “Impossible, Hagen. His private happiness was totally alright. Believe me, nobody can tell better than me.”
          Columbo: “Where does this certainty come from, Madame?”
          Trent: “Samantha, I have to request you to keep your tongue under control.”
          Samantha: “You have to leave it to me what I think and say.”
          Columbo: “I’m a bit confused. Is there anything I should know?”
          Trent: “Our son Hagen made the discovery when he came home from school at one P.M.”
          Trent proudly presents his son to Columbo.
          Columbo to Hagen: “This day probably won’t leave your memory for the rest of your life. Did you see anybody walking into your direction when you came home?”
          Hagen: “No, why should I? Mister Purdy did jump into his death voluntarily or am I seeing this wrong?”
          Samantha: “Impossible, Hagen. His private happiness was totally alright. Believe me, nobody can tell better than me.”
          Columbo: “Where does this certainty come from, Madame?”
          Trent: “Samantha, I have to request you to keep your tongue under control.”
          Samantha: “You have to leave it to me what I think and say.”
          Columbo: “I’m a bit confused. Is there anything I should know?”
          Samantha: “Matt must have intended to do something on his roof and he must have slipped and fallen. And it must have happened after 12:30. During that time I was cooking lunch and my husband was taking his daily bath.”
          Trent: “Correct. When I returned from my mission at half past twelve, the neighbour was not lying dead in front of his house.”
          Columbo: “It’s refreshing that you two testify anything I need to know without having to be asked. What do you mean by returning from your mission?”
          Trent proudly lifts his voice: “I am a light worker. I fight for the spreading of the absolute truth among the Earthlings, concerning our origins and meaning, how we are supposed to live.”
          Columbo: “No kidding? You know the mysteries and connections that I have been desperately looking for all my life?”
          Trent smiles: “Yes, I belong to the chosen few that stand in spiritual contact to Gismarald Maharantuli from the star nation Guluranam. He inaugurated me into the enigmas and instructed me to pass them on.”
          Columbo: “Are you sure it was no evil demon you were talking to?”
          Trent: “Good point, Lieutenant. Yes, I am sure. I hear no evil when I listen to Gismarald’s voice of truth, and I know I can tell apart good from evil.”
          Columbo: “Fascinating. What was he saying? Please let me know! I’m burning.”
          The door bell rings.
          “This will be our daughter Fiona.”
          Columbo: “Please don’t let her interrupt us now, Mr Lambert!”
          Trent: “Let’s go into the other room, Lieutenant!”

           
          • COLUMBO: HEAR NO EVIL
            ________________________

            Scene 4

            Columbo and Trent Lambert in the living room.

            Columbo: “Well, now speak, where is this star nation… what’s its name?”
            Trent: “The Guluranam. It is the only nation in the night sky, which by the way is a lot smaller than you think.”
            Columbo: “Don’t I look into the eternity?”
            Trent: “All the stars in the sky aren’t much bigger than islands in the ocean. Only the star Abdunuur is populated. The sky above you is not outside but inside. Everything you think you know about this Earth isn’t true.”
            Columbo: “Wait a moment. I’m a bit confused now and unable to renew my thinking.”
            Trent: “Don’t bother about that. It’s the normal reaction. Space is as limited as the core of a cherry. Sun, Moon and the stars are smaller than our Earth. Galaxies do not exist. We don’t live on the outside of a body but on the inside of a concave shaped sphere.”
            Columbo: “That’s incomprehensible! You son of a gun! What have I done to deserve to know this? Are the Guluranam people like you and me?”
            Trent: “In the centre of this Earth system there is Abdunuur. From there the Guluranam created everything. They are light body entities, not made of tight matter. The material world was their idea 900 million years ago.”
            Columbo: “And why did they go through all this hard work, creating a world?”
            Trent: “Not unlike when you watch a movie for your entertainment, what happens in the world is their programme to keep themselves from being bored. ”
            Columbo: “I feel so privileged to now be one of the few who have this hidden knowledge! What can I do to thank you for all this?”
            Trent smiles: “You can join the faith community that I founded and help to spread the information.”
            Columbo: “What’s the name of this community?”
            Trent: “No false Gods besides Gismarald!”
            Columbo: “Is that the name of the leader of the Guluranam?”
            Trent: “Yes, Gismarald Maharantuli. In exchange to a monthly membership fee of 15 Dollars you can join my group.”
            Columbo: “That’s a low price for such a high secret knowledge. Did many people join your group?”
            Trent: “Besides me only Craig Woon.”
            Columbo: “One is better than none.”
            Trent: “On my missions I am always throwing beads in front of the sow. I’m wondering why people can be so indoctrinated. You can smash their heads with truth and they don’t even feel the pain. But Gismarald says, never to look at the quantity of people.”
            Columbo: “Provisionally I will be the third one in your brotherhood, Mr. Lambert, but before joining I would like to snoop around a little bit and to accompany you on one of your missions. I guess I would have to learn a lot more about the Guluranam before I’d be able to convince people.”
            Trent: “How about tomorrow morning, seven o’clock? I’d be pleased if I could take you on a mission, Lieutenant Columbo.”
            Columbo: “Gee, this means a lot to me. Please count on me, Sir.”

            Columbo leaves the living room, Trent stays inside. Columbo takes a look at Fiona Lambert.
            Columbo: “Hello Fiona. Sad day, isn’t it? Mrs. Lambert, I was having a delightful conversation with your husband. What a great guy he is! Before I go: Do you have an idea to whom I can turn to receive a key to Mister Purdy’s house? I have to get inside.”
            Samantha: “I have one. You can even keep it. I don’t need it any longer. But don’t tell my husband that I had a key.”
            Columbo: “Is there a secret behind it?”
            Samantha: “Do you expect me to become more specific in front of my children?”
            Columbo: “So is it okay with you that I do my own critical thinking?”
            Samantha: “Thoughts are free and always allowed.”
            Columbo: “Oh, I have to ask your husband one more question. Just a moment.”

            Columbo reenters the living room without knocking.

            Columbo: “Sir? There’s one more thing I wanted to know. Is your wife not a member in >No false Gods besides Gismarald<?"
            Trent: "As I told you: Craig Woon is the name of the other man."
            Columbo: "I have to admit I'm puzzled by this. Me and my wife, we have the same philosophy of life. Give and take and share, things like these. Looking at the world in a similar way is the highest commandment for our happy marriage. I guess we would be at war if we believed in different Gods."
            Trent: "You can bring your wife with you tomorrow morning."
            Columbo: "That's not what I mean. How come your wife and you can lead a happy life although she is not a believer in Gismarald?"
            Trent: "Our highest commandment is tolerance."
            Columbo: "Oh, that's another high value. Sorry if I became personally. Until tomorrow at seven. Have a nice evening, Sir."

            To be continued in the next post.

             
            • COLUMBO: HEAR NO EVIL
              _______________________

              Scene 5, 6 & 7

              Scene 5
              (Imagine this story to be set in the 70’s when TV technology was not up to date)

              Columbo inspects the scene of the crime and looks at the running TV and its bad reception.

              Scene 6

              The next morning. Columbo joins Trent Lambert and his helping hand, Craig Woon.
              Columbo: “Good morning, folks. You must be Craig, the companion. It’s a pleasure to have a soulmate. I’m sorry I couldn’t bring my wife, Mr Lambert, but she has an appointment with her physiotherapist. She fell down the stairs and hurt her knee.”
              Trent: “What a pity.”
              Craig: “Are you also in spiritual contact with Gismarald, Lieutenant?”
              Columbo: “I don’t know if it’s Gismarald, but intuitively I sense the presence of someone or something trying to get through to me with an important message. What am I supposed to do?”
              Craig: “When later Trent speaks to the passersby, just stand next to us and support us. Please have a seat inside the car. We can start.”
              Trent: “First lend me a hand, Lieutenant, we’ve got to carry the marble plastic that Craig created by himself.”
              Columbo takes a look at the sculpture of the nude woman’s body: “You are an extraordinary sculptor, Mister Woon! This artwork has to be called a masterpiece indeed. What is it needed for? To prove to the public what you are capable of?”
              Craig: “Primarily my marble woman is supposed to facilitate the introduction into the topic of male and female role allocation.”
              Columbo: “And which role did our creators allocate to the woman?”
              Craig: “Trent is gonna talk about this in epic breadth.”

              Scene 7

              A public place. Trent Lambert is surrounded by Columbo, Craig Woon and the sculpture. He addresses the passersby: “Church is not teaching the truth. I can tell you what you need to know.”
              A female passerby: “To be honest: In my forty years of marriage, I betrayed my husband more than once when he was on his business trips, where he himself didn’t miss an opportunity. What would your Gismed think about my behaviour?”
              Trent: “Gismarald wouldn’t approve to your infidelities, just like your husband doesn’t. The 1:1-principle of success prescribes: For any woman only one man and the other way round.”
              The woman: “If I had elevated Gismarald to my personal God, would he have withdrawn me from the market after my first misstep?”
              Trent: “Was your first misstep a reaction to your husband’s missteps?”
              The woman: “Yes, he betrayed me first.”
              Trent: “In this case, Gismarald would have withdrawn your husband from the market and in doing so, he would have restored your stolen dignity.”
              The woman: “So your God is a friend of death penalty even if no crime has been committed?”
              Trent: “The desecration of your soul is a crime.”
              Columbo thoughtfully looks up into the air.

               
              • Scene 8

                In the afternoon the mission is finished. Trent Lambert drives home, Columbo accompanies him.
                Samantha: “Your guest is still with you? Were you impressed, Lieutenant?”
                Columbo: “I can’t begin to express to you how deeply this day touched my soul! I have never learned that much about life in such a short time. Me joining this radical world peace group will only be a matter of days.”
                Trent: “Yes, Sam, Columbo is approving to everything the Guluranam were intending when they created life.”
                Columbo: “I’m gonna use my life to serve the accomplishment of the endeavours of Abdunuur. What’s worth living for is also worth dying for.”
                Trent: “That’s the attitude we need!”
                Columbo: “May I use your bathroom, Sir, before I go home? It was a long day.”
                Trent: “Be my guest for another ten minutes.”

                Columbo goes off into the bathroom and he returns.

                Columbo: “I just saw, the bathroom window is only a few feet away from the place where Mister Purdy fell or jumped yesterday. At that time you were taking a bath, weren’t you? Your wife told me so. May I ask if you heard a scream?”
                Trent: “No. I mean, yes, you may ask of course. But no, I didn’t hear him yell. I heard a noise that might be explainable by the slipping off the roof, but I didn’t consider the noise to be important at that time.”
                Columbo: “I still try to find out whether the man had an accident or committed suicide. There are some anomalies and loose ends that keep bothering me. And I was thinking, if he was screaming while he fell, it should have been an accident.”
                Trent: “But for which reason would he have stepped onto his roof?”
                Columbo: “Probably to twist the TV antenna in order to get a better reception. His TV was running when I visited the house and it showed snow.”
                Samantha: “Matt hated the programmes at noon. He would never have watched this dumb stuff.”
                Trent: “Perhaps he wanted to prepare his TV set for a movie at night.”
                Columbo: “I was checking with the remote control and found out: The same TV station which Mister Purdy watched on Channel 8 can also be received on Channel 22 with a much sharper picture. So why would someone choose to watch the programme on Channel 8?”
                Trent: “Perhaps he never realized that Channel 8 and 22 were identical. Or it was a suicide.”
                Columbo: “But in Mister Purdy’s kitchen, in his pan there were frizzling fried potatoes. Why would he have been preparing lunch, if he was planning to end his life?”
                Trent: “Really gripping stuff, these anomalies of yours!”
                Samantha: “Matt wouldn’t have had a reason to throw himself off his roof.”
                Trent: “Perhaps he was afraid of heights. And when he stood there looking down, he wanted to get down as soon as possible, so he took the shortest way down and jumped.”
                Samantha: “You can’t be serious!”
                Trent laughs: “No, I really wasn’t.”
                Columbo: “Well, I will have to think about all this.”
                Trent: “By the way, here is a blank for your accession declaration. Fill it out and become a member in “No false Gods besides Gismarald!”, Mr Columbo.”
                Columbo: “Oh sure. Big thanks, Sir. There is one more thing I would like to ask you. But I’m afraid, you will find it strange.”
                Trent: “What is it?”
                Columbo: “May I paint your naked feet and get a big-as-life-print of them on paper?”
                Trent: “I beg your pardon?”
                Columbo: “I was afraid you wouldn’t understand this quirk of mine. But it has nothing to do with eroticism. I’m just a collector of footprints. You know the poem “Footprints in the Sand” by Margaret Fishback Powers? >Lord, you said once I decided to follow you, you’d walk with me all the way. But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life, there was only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why, when I needed you the most, you would leave me. Then God whispered, my precious child, I love you and will never leave you never ever during your trials and testings. When you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.<
                Whenever I read these lines, I have to cry. It made me obsessed with collecting footprints of people who symbolize something big and strong. You understand now?"
                Trent: "Well, you keep on impressing me. I wouldn't want to refuse your request and hurt your sensitive soul. What will you be doing with my footprints? Hang them onto your living room wall?"
                Columbo: "Now you gave me an idea!"
                Trent: "Hagen, fetch me a blank sheet of paper, your water colours and a brush!"
                Columbo: "I'm so honoured, Sir!"
                Columbo paints Trent Lambert's feet.
                Columbo: "And now please stand upon the sheet. Awesome! Big thanks. My collection grows. Tomorrow I'm gonna bring you my accession declaration. Have a good night sleep."
                Columbo leaves.
                Samantha: "Strange guy."
                Trent: "You mean him or me?"
                Samantha: "I was thinking about our conversation last night. Maybe a divorce wouldn't be all wrong."
                Trent: "Yes it would. You are the woman that has been assigned to me for this incarnation. Don't interfere with your destiny. By the way, the dying of our neighbour, your lover, would lose its meaning. Let's donate some use to his passing away. It brought us back together."

                To be concluded in the next post

                 
                • COLUMBO: HEAR NO EVIL
                  ________________________

                  Scene 9 (Finale Scene)

                  A new day. Trent Lambert opens the door. Columbo is back.

                  Columbo: “Good day, Sir. I couldn’t wait to inform you that I’m progressing with big steps. I think I can now explain what happened in your neighbour’s house when he died.”
                  Trent: “I’m proud of you. And I’m burning to hear what you found out. Please come in. Do you have your accession declaration with you?”
                  Columbo: “Ah… I’m afraid, that’s gonna be a problem. I was discussing this with my wife last night. She said, she would think about leaving me if I fell for this crap. And I wouldn’t gamble with her love just to be a member in your two-men-society.”
                  Trent: “That’s a massive body blow and a step back. So why do you talk about making progress?”
                  Columbo: “Because now I know, it was no suicide as we first thought.”
                  Trent: “Then Matt Purdy did slip while twisting his antenna and it was an accident?”
                  Columbo: “No, it wasn’t an accident either. Mister Purdy was murdered. Somebody threw him out of his roof window.”
                  Trent: “Why would anybody do a horrible thing like this?”
                  Columbo: “Ask Gismarald. If he withdraws someone from the market, for which reason does he do it usually? What is it about restoring a woman’s stolen dignity? A man is allowed to kill for it, right?”
                  Trent: “But whose honour would Mr Purdy have stolen and who should have punished him for that?”
                  Columbo: “It would have to be someone who plays according to the rules of Abdunuur, and there aren’t many people who do so.”
                  Trent: “You think it was me!”
                  Columbo: “Thinking isn’t quite the term that fits. I know it was you.”
                  Trent: “But I was taking a bath during that time. If I had left the house, Samantha in the kitchen would have heard me and she would have told you.”
                  Columbo: “In this case you would have had to lower yourself down on a rope out of the bathroom window or climbed over the roof or something like that.”
                  Trent: “You are founding this theory on thin air. You will have to prove it first.”
                  Columbo: “You can take my word for it, Sir. I don’t have to prove it. It’s like me and Gismarald. I have to trust you and to believe in every word you say, because you can’t prove a thing about all this.”
                  Trent: “So we both don’t have proof for our beliefs. Just as well we could part now and here.”
                  Columbo: “This is gonna be a problem. My superior ordered me to arrest you. Suspicion of murder.”
                  Trent: “Based on which facts?”
                  Columbo: “I know you were in Mr Purdy’s attic room. You left your prints there.”
                  Trent: “Forgive me when I laugh at you, Lieutenant, but if I had been in my neighbour’s garret, I would have wiped off everything that I touched, just in case the police should ever suspect me.”
                  Columbo: “I am not talking about fingerprints. Beneath the attic window there stands a chair with a smooth plastic surface. It visibly retained the prints of your toes and your feet. I suppose you didn’t dress in socks when you left your bathroom, so when you pushed your rival out of his attic window, the chair preserved the pattern underneath your feet. Have you ever asked Gismarald for what reason man was created with individual fingerprints and toeprints?”
                  Trent: “So that’s why you wanted my footprints yesterday. You compared them with the prints on that chair.”
                  Columbo: “Believe me, they are identical.”
                  Trent: “Good work. You fooled me so professionally that I really fell for it.”
                  Columbo: “You’re giving up?”
                  Trent: “Which other choice do I have? Samantha will be pleased. Now she’s getting rid of me without having to divorce me.”
                  Columbo: “I wonder whether you really did her a favour by murdering her lover. Three days ago she had two men to choose from. Now she hasn’t got any. I believe she and your children are going to have a massive problem with that.”
                  Trent: “You really believe that?”
                  Columbo nods and smiles: “I do believe it.”

                  THE END

                  Thanks for reading, Columbo fans! 🙂 I appreciate any feedback and opinions.

                   

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