Word Meaning, Summary, Important Questions Of Chapter 4 A Question of Trust | Class 10

Hindi Meaning Of Difficult Words | Chapter 4 A Question of Trust

About The Poet | Chapter 4 A Question of Trust


The story is based on the life of a crook who was duped by a smart female thief. He was expert in his profession yet a young lady befooled him by her appearance. He couldn’t suspect her presence nor was he aware of the outcome. Hence he was caught for a crime, he hadn’t committed for himself. He would surely regret his over confidence that put him to jail for fifteen years.

Short Summary Of Chapter 2 The Thief In English


Horace Danby interestingly was a part time thief. He had a good reputation in the society. He was about fifty and unmarried. He made locks and had two helpers. Horace robbed a safe every year to meet his love for rare and expensive books.

For two weeks, Horace had studied the house of Shotover Grange who lived in London mostly. Horace Danby broke into the house. He knew that he could take away enough from the house, so as to meet his needs. Horace had allergy to flower so he started sneezing. A voice told him that he could cure the sneeze. It was the voice of a woman who actually came to loot the jewelry. She stood in the doorway. She was young and pretty. His first thought was to run. The lady told him that she would telephone the police. She would tell them about him. Horace Danby told him to let him go and forget she ever saw him. The lady put one condition for letting Horace go.

She told him that she had promised her husband to take her jewel to the bank. She had, however, left jewels in the safe. She told him that she wanted to wear the jewels in a party that night. She came down to get them. But she had forgotten the numbers to open the safe. So she needed his help and Horace opened the safe for her. The presence of the lady scared Horace to the level that he didn’t doubt her presence. He followed her instruction so that she won’t hands over him to police. He hadn’t taken away anything from there as he couldn’t stake his freedom.

After two days, a policeman had arrested him for the jewel robbery at Shotover Grange. Danby’s fingerprint was found all over the room. He had opened the safe without gloves. He revealed the police that the landlady of the house asked him to open the safe. But the police informed him that the lady was sixty years old woman. Horace was arrested and put in prison, he often thought that the charming and clever young lady who was in the same profession as he was. She had simply tricked him. Danby gets angry when anyone talks about “honor among thieves”.



The title reflects the true spirit of the lesson. The story is about a thief, still he commands honesty. The lady was so convincing and meticulous in her planning that Horace could not suspect her intention. His couldn’t keep anything for himself. He was imprisoned for a crime, he hadn’t successfully committed for himself. His meticulous planning was foiled by a simple looking lady.



The lesson gives a message that everyone has to pay the prize for his wrong doing. Secondly there is always a person who could outwit you. Horace was clever in his craft of stealing yet was befooled. The lady thief pretended to be mistress of the house. She told him that she needed jewelry for an event. He was not skeptical about her intentions and left traces of his finger prints at the safe locker. He was imprisoned for a robbery that he had not committed for himself.



The lesson gives a strong message to be calm and composed in difficult times. Ausable wasn’t prepared for sudden intrusion and mal intentions of Max, but when he learnt the truth; he took advantage of the situation and immediately made up his mind to overpower Max. Fowler was surprised at the outcome and really had a thrilling experience where a secret agent saved documents facing life threats. The danger of life did not deter him.



  1. Horace Danby

Horace Danby was a good and respectable but not completely honest. He was described as a person who wasn’t completely satisfied with his work and hence involved in petty thievery.

He was passionate about reading and had an inclination towards collecting rare and expensive books. It is expected that if a person reads often, he must be a settled and dignified person. It was just opposite in the case of Horace, he turned out to be a thief.

He was a clever thief and was never being caught. He was befooled by a lady thief who surpassed him in his profession.



Tickle- sensation;



Instead of- in place of,

Burglar alarm-warning bell of thieves;

Hindering- obstructing:


Disease- ailment;



Straightened-set right;


Nodded- moved head to show agreement;

Hesitate-express doubts;

Persuaded-made agree;

Desperate- hopeless:

Mended- repaired;




Answer the following questions:


  1. Why had he been studying the house at Shotover Grange?

Ans. He had been studying the house at Shotover Grange, looking at its room, its electric wiring, its paths and its garden so as to steal that house.


  1. How can you say that Horace was not an ordinary thief?

Ans. Horace Danby was not an ordinary thief. He used to steal once in a year and buy books he loved to read. He was a kind-hearted man as he never stole any poor man.


  1. Why did Horace sneeze at the robbery point?

Ans. Horace suffered from an attack of hay fever, that’s why he sneezed. Another reason for sneezing was that there was a big bowl of flowers placed in the drawing room which was hindering him in his work.


  1. What had happened at Shotover Grange house when Horace Danby was robbing it?

Ans. While Horace Danby was inside the house, the lady in red came and announced that she was the owner of the house. Her appearance was such that he was fooled by her. She asked him to open the safe. Horace left his figure prints all over there, hence he was arrested.


  1. Give a character sketch of the lady in red.

Ans. The lady in red who suddenly came inside the house was a young and smart thief. She was very graceful and glamorous. She made fool of Horace by proving that she was the mistress of the house.


  1. How did Horace Danby satisfy his passion?

Ans. Horace Danby was a gentle or respectable man Another aspect of his personality was that he normally remained hearty except for the attacks of hey fever which he usually had in summers. He had a passion for something, it was reading rare and expensive books. To satisfy his passion he used to steal once in a year.


  1. Give a pen sketch of Horace Danby.

Ans. Horace Danby was a fifty-year-old bachelor who was a respectable and gentle citizen. However, he was not completely honest. He liked to buy rare and expensive books. He was a very good planner as he delves deep into the minute details. Horace was never caught for stealing. He stole only rich people and never hurt anyone. He also never carried a weapon.


  1. He failed to rob at Shotover Grange then why was he arrested?

Ans. The lady in red came and said that she was the owner. Her impression made him fool. He became eager to please her. He took off his gloves to hold the lighter to her cigarette and with his gloveless hand, he opened the safe so his fingerprint was found on the safe and he was arrested two days later.


  1. Horace Danby gets aggressive when someone talks about ‘Honor among thieves’. Why?

Ans. Horace was not a completely honest man. He steals once a year only the rich to buy books. Once he was befooled by a lady thief while doing such attempt. She was very clever and mean. Horace realized this fact when he was arrested for the robbery.


  1. Whom did Horace Danby see in the kitchen? How did they greet each other?

Ans. Horace Danby saw Sherry (family dog) in the kitchen The dog greeted Horace by stirring making a noise and wagging its tail in a friendly way. Horace called it by its name and gave love to him in order to make him comfortable.


  1. What was the plan of Danby to rob at Shotover Grange?

Ans. Danby was a meticulous robber. He deliberately studied the house, its electric wiring, its path and its garden. He knew that the family normally lived in the city and knew about the movement of the servants who had gone out that afternoon. He always made ready his tool.


  1. Where was the safe at Shotover Grange located? What was there inside it?

Ans. The safe at Shotover Grange was kept in the drawing room behind a poor painting and had jewels worth about 15000 pounds kept in it. It had a poorly built burglar alarm, but could be opened only through a specific code. Horace expected to get 5000 pound if he sold the jewels one by one.


  1. Why do you feel that Horace Danby was good and respected but not completely honest?

Ans. Horace Danby was good and respected as he was professionally very loyal. He was expert in making lock. However he robbed a safe every year.  


  1. What was the hindrance for Horace in his work?

Ans. Horace was suffering from hay fever. And the flowers kept on the table were hindering him in his work.


  1. How did the lady manage to deceive Horace Danby into thinking that she is the mistress of the house?

Ans. The lady was clever. She was also new at the place but still managed to situation in a confident way. Her grace, charm, comfort level, knowledge, persistence. way of talking confidently and familiarity  with the household made Danby to believe that she is the mistress of the house. She even threatens to get him arrested which convinces Horace Danby that she is genuine.


  1. What was the wonderful moment for Horace Danby?

Ans. Horace wondered for a moment whether to collect pictures instead of books. But according to him keeping books in a small house is better than collecting pictures.



Answer the following questions:


  1. How could the lady thief be present at the same time when Horace was planning robbery?

Ans. Horace knew the details of the house as it was printed in a magazine. The writer had even mentioned about the safe. Horace felt sorry still as it wasn’t difficult for him to manage the poor burglar alarm. He then sneezed as he had hay fever, and then came a pleasant and confident lady. Horace wasn’t prepared for that. However the multicolor planning of Horace seemed difficult to perfect, still he could not imagine that anyone else would be tempted to steal. And it was hard to believe that it would be a lady.


  1. What was the plan of Horace and why did he plan the robbery?

Ans. Horace was sure of his skill in robbery. He carefully planned a theft to meet his expenses. He had been studying the house at Shotover Grange looking at its rooms, its electric wiring, its path and its garden. The family was in London and their two servants went for a movie. So he was sure that he had four hours. When he entered the house, he realized that the paintings could be taken also as they could be of value. He knew that about fifteen thousand pounds. worth of jewels was kept in the Grange’s safe. That theft would be enough for him for attest a year to buy expensive books.


  1. Why did Horace say ‘How foolish people are? Who was the actual fool in the story and how?

Ans. Horace entered the Grange’s house with an intention to rob the . However when he was in drawing room, he thought of collecting pictures. But he dropped the idea realizing that his house was not big enough. Later on he arranged his tools. Opening the safe locker, he felt that rich people are often foolish. Everything was revealed in a magazine about the house. Thus the rich often don’t care about their valuable things. The family didn’t stay there for long. Everything seemed so easy and accessible to him. However at the end of the story, he was befooled by a lady thief, who had taken his units. His meticulous planning and expertise failed at the hands of a petty thief.


  1. Why did Horace get very angry when anyone talks about ‘honor among thieves’?

Ans. Horace was caught by police as he left his finger prints at the safe locker in Grange’s house. Horace felt cheated by a sophisticated looking thief who befooled him by pretending to be the mistress of the house.

When he was in prison, he was made assistant librarian. Like every profession, robbers do talk about ethics in their profession. Whenever Horace listens to anyone talk about ‘honor among thieves. he gets irritated. He had never expected a lady thief to rob him. The way he tricked by charming clever young lady annoyed him to the level of hatred for her. Although he cheated someone. Yet he didn’t like the same when the same was done to him.


  1. How was the meeting of Horace with a young and pretty lady?

Ans. Horace broke into Grange’s house. When he was about to steal, a young and pretty lady appeared in the doorway. His first thought was to run, as the

lady told him that she would telephone the police Horace told her to let him go and forget that she ever saw him. She talked about his hay fever, as it would cost him dearly. She wasn’t afraid of him. She convinced him to break the locker and to hand over the jewelry. He tried to please her and behaved well in her presence. He wasn’t suspicious about her at all.


  1. “Horace wasn’t a man of conscience. Elucidate.

Ans. Horace used to rob a safe every year to arrange rare and expensive books to read. He was not a professional thief Moreover, he never harmed anyone. He was considered a good and honest citizen by everyone. He was about fifty years old and unmarried. He had all the qualities of a good citizen. He was not a criminal or a typical thief. He did so only to fulfil his need. But he can’t be called as an honest citizen. He should have arranged funds by doing some other righteous work.


  1. How was Horace Danby befooled by the lady in red?

Ans. Horace Danby, as usual, had thoroughly planned the robbery at Shotover Grange in advance and came well prepared. He was sure of his profitable venture yet he entered the room where the safe was, he sneezed as he suffered from hay fever. His sneezing brought the lady in red to him. She posed to be the mistress of the house and threatened to hand Horace over to police. She told him that she would let him go free if he opened the safe for her. She wanted to wear the jewelry for a dinner party that evening but had forgotten the code number to open it.

Horace Danby who was much scared and lighted cigarette for which he had to remove his gloves. Then he opened the safe bare-handed and left his fingerprints that led to his arrest.

The lady went away with the jewels. She had befooled, cheated and trapped Horace.


  1. Did the young lady expect Horace to be caught after the theft? In what way could his arrest have helped her?

Ans. Yes, the lady expected Horace Danby to be arrested She wanted that police should have traces of She had made him break the safe without wearing any gloves. His fingerprints were all over the safe No other fingerprints were there on the safe except of Horace’s so he was sure to be arrested. His fingerprints left a trail for police.

If Horace was arrested all the blame would come to him. As there would be no proof against her she would go scot free Again, nobody would believe Horace’s story that the mistress of the house had herself asked him to break the safe as the real mistress was a gray haired, sharp-tongued lady of sixty.

No one could ever suspect her presence and hence she would be free.


  1. Write down the character sketch of Horace Danby.

Ans. Horace Danby was a good and respectable citizen. He was years old and unmarried. was looked after by a housekeeper. He had two helpers to assist him in his trade. But he was completely honest. He loved to buy rare, latest and expensive books. He raised money to buy books by breaking one safe every year. The money lasted the whole year. His latest target was the safe Shotover Grange. He made thorough preparation for his venture. But he had hard luck this time for two reasons. His hay fever made him sneeze. It attracted a young lady downstairs. She pretended to be the mistress of the house. She tricked Horace into submitting to her will. She first made him open the safe without wearing gloves and then reported against him to the police. Horace proved timid and careless. His fingerprints left there landed him in prison.



  1. How did Horace Danby fulfil his hobby?
  2. Why did Horace Danby decide to steal at Shotover Grange?
  3. What was the intention of young and beautiful lady present at the Shotover Grange house?
  4. ‘The beautiful lady could easily win the confidence of Horace Danby.’ Write your answer giving evidences from the story.
  5. ‘Horace Danby cannot be categorized as a typical thief.’ How?

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