”Oh, this ice is cold,” she said. “Here’s your drink, darling.”
That’s odd, thinks Encyclopedia Brown later. Of course the ice was cold.
We dress ourselves up as The Great Detective and His Archnemesis just for the heck of it and go out on the town, His Archnemesis committing the crimes and The Great Detective coming along behind and solving all of them, bang, so easy, how could you not see it, Lestrade? Like so:
Lestrade: Dash it all, The Great Detective –
The Great Detective: [jovially, expansively; he can afford it, Lestrade’s no threat to him] Oh, you’re so formal. Just ‘The Great’ is fine. We’re friends after all, aren’t we?
Lestrade: [doggedly] Dash it all, The Great, after all a man can’t be in two places at once. It’s a physical impossibility.
The Great Detective: Ah, but you’ve overlooked the minor detail of the mud in the chimney corner, which I (with my extensive knowledge of local soil) have Positively Identified as Foreign! So you see the second pair of boots could not have belonged to His Archnemesis. The rest you can figure out for yourself.
Lestrade slaps himself in the forehead, how could he have been so blind, I mean come on!
His Archnemesis: Curses!
The Great Detective delivers a monologue on the importance of brushing your teeth and not committing crimes (in pantomime).
His Archnemesis: No jail can hold me!
Which is unfortunately true.
Sometimes we switch off, and The Great Detective commits the crimes and His Archnemesis solves ‘em. Lestrade, (or is it Inspector Cramer? Lassiter? Well, never mind.) poor dope, never notices the difference, though his hands do twitch near his pistol whenever he sees us. We worry about him, he works so hard. He deserves a vacation. Maybe this time next year.