It proved that Col. Rumford had been
at the place of the cannon the morning
before the ceremony that Bill Haines
was killed at, because it was not there
before then and the cider could not
be seen from any other location. Rumford
told Columbo that he didn't get up until
he was awakened by his "boodle-boy" at 6:30, but the cadets said that by 6:30 the cider had already been brought back in.
BTW-I mentioned this in another posting, but my wife had the priviledge of being present when this scene was filmed at the Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina and she snapped a photo when Columbo has his hands raised telling the cadets to remain where they are (forgive me for bragging!)
Do you still have the photo? Please scan it and send it to Ted!!! We would all love to see that!
I'll see what I can do.
I should have added that the important point
was that Cadet Springer could not have
left the cannon cleaning rag in the gun
since he was not on campus the night
before, so the fact the Rumford was
at the cannon that morning shows that
it had to be him who put the rag in
the barrel. Columbo proved that a
power explosive charge was used instead
of the usual blank charge, so whoever
put the rag in the gun wanted to kill
Haines, and Rumford had a good motive
to do so since Haines wanted to fire
Rumford and turn Haines Military Academy
into a co-ed Junior College.
You're not bragging, YM. If I had a picture like that I would be proud too!!
Most of us Yanks -- at least those of us of a certain age -- know this, but, for anybody who doesn't:
The Citadel, where (as you correctly said) much of this episode was filmed, became the focus of a big controversy some years ago, when its commandants fought extremely hard to prevent it from becoming co-ed -- a striking parallel to the "Columbo" plot (but without the urinal-based clue). It was really a case of "Life Imitates Art".