A Question of Trust Class 10
Read and find out : Solutions of Questions on Page Number : 20
Q1 : What does Horace Danby like to collect?
Horace Danby liked to collect rare and expensive books.
Q2 : Why does he steal every year?
He stole every year so that he could buy the rare and expensive books that he loved to collect. Each year, he planned carefully, stole enough to last twelve months, and secretly bought the books, through an agent.
Q3 : Who is speaking to Horace Danby?
A lady standing in the doorway was speaking to Horace Danby. She was young and pretty, and was dressed in red. She said she had come just in time, or else her family would have been robbed by Horace. She, thus, pretended to be one of the members of the family living at Shotover Grange.
Q4 : Who is the real culprit in the story?
The real culprit was the woman who pretended to be a member of the family living at Shotover Grange. She tricked Horace into believing her, and cleverly took away all the jewels that were kept in the safe.
Think about it : Solutions of Questions on Page Number : 25
Q1 : Did you begin to suspect, before the end of the story, that the lady was not the person Horace Danby took her to be? If so, at what point did you realize this, and how?
Yes, one does begin to suspect before the end of the story that the lady was not the person Horace Danby took her to be. She was unusually calm on seeing Horace. This seemed strange enough. When she did not call the police, and instead asked Horace to take out all the jewels from the safe, even if it meant breaking it open, it seemed suspicious.
Moreover, it also seemed unlikely that she would forget the numbers to open the safe. Therefore, it was evident, before the story ended, that the lady was not the person Horace had taken her to be.
Q2 : What are the subtle ways in which the lady manages to deceive Horace Danby into thinking she is the lady of the house? Why doesn’t Horace suspect that something is wrong?
The lady managed to deceive Horace Danby into thinking that she was the lady of the house with her subtle ways. She was dressed up pretty well, just like the lady of the house would be dressed. Also, her manner of talking calmly, the way in which she petted the dog, and her going to the fireplace to straighten the ornaments there showed her familiarity with the place. She regulated her tone and voice according to the situation. Sometimes, she talked in a kind voice.
At other times, she spoke in a serious manner. She would laugh occasionally, and then, suddenly, her voice would become sharp. She spoke about how society should be protected from men like Horace. Because of all these things, Horace could not suspect that she was not the lady of the house. He was nervous himself, and was scared of getting caught. The moment he saw that she would let him go, he quickly broke open the safe for her, and promised not to rob again. According to the narrator, he was a ‘good, honest citizen’. This was why Horace could not suspect anything.
Q3 : “Horace Danby was good and respectable – but not completely honest”. Why do you think this description is apt for Horace? Why can’t he be categorized as a typical thief?
“Horace Danby was good and respectable – but not completely honest”. This description is apt for Horace. He was about fifty years old. He robbed only from rich people, and his purpose was to buy rare and expensive books with the money. He stole only once a year. The intention of buying books was good.
However, the fact that he stole to achieve this end showed that he was not completely honest. He cannot be categorized as a typical thief because he did not steal to eat or drink. He had a house. He made locks, had two people to help him, and was successful in his business. He only stole enough money to buy the books. For a couple of days, he even kept his promise to the lady he met at Shotover Grange by not stealing or planning any robbery.
Q4 : Horace Danby was a meticulous planner but still he faltered. Where did he go wrong and why?
Horace Danby was a meticulous planner, but still he faltered. He used to plan his robberies very well. He knew all the details of the Shotover Grange. He knew the time when there would be no one at the house. He even knew the name of the dog in the house. However, he was completely deceived by the lady he met at the house. He was outdone by her. He was taken in by her subtle ways, and did not realize that she herself could have been a thief.
On seeing her, he got scared and started begging her to let him go. When she asked him to take out the jewels for her, he readily agreed. He did not feel any oddity in her leaving him, and not getting him arrested. He was only too happy and thankful that he could go. In his hurry, he even overlooked the fact that his fingerprints were left all over the safe. He blindly believed the lady, and thus, in spite of his meticulous planning, he faltered.