A Question of Trust, Class 10, English, Footprints without Feet
Detailed explanation of “A Question of Trust”, including definitions of difficult words. In addition, the explanation is followed by a lesson summary. Also, NCERT Question and Answers are also provided to help students understand this Chapter and do well in their exams.
This story is about Horace Danby a good honest citizen. Horace Danby collects rare books, and finances his hobby by breaking safes. The story describes his last attempt where in he was caught by the police. This year, however, he is caught by a pretty young lady claiming to be the wife of the house owner. She tricks him into opening the safe and handing her the jewels. Horace is later arrested for the jewel robbery.
Horace Danby was generally considered to be a good and respectable citizen. He was a fifty year old bachelor. He lived with a housekeeper who took care of his health. He was an expert lock maker . However, he was not completely honest. He had been to prison, fifteen years ago for stealing jewels. He had no desire to become honest.
Horace Danby hated prison. He was an unusual thief because of his hobby. He was heartily fond of rare and expensive books. He used to commit one theft a year on an average. He secretly bought the books through an agent. The stolen money lasted for the year. He chose the house at Shotover Grange to commit his next burglary. He was sure that just like his earlier robberies this one would also be successful. He studied the design of the house carefully for a fortnight. He found that the family had gone to London and the servants to the movie.
As the servants left the house , he broke into the house from behind the garden wall carrying a bag full of the required tools. Horace had seen that the keeper hang the key to the Kitchen door. He hoped to get fifteen thousand pounds worth of jewels from the safe. The jewellery would enable him to buy the books he wanted. He put on his gloves. He pacified the pet dog by addressing it with love and calling its real name. He knew that the safe was in the drawing room, behind a poor painting. He had read a detailed description of the house in a magazine article, which made his job easy. He also knew that the safe he targeted was connected to a poorly built alarm. So after arranging his tools, he went to cut its wire.
A bowl of flowers was kept on the table. He was suffering from hay fever. The smell of the flowers at the table causes a tickle in his nose and made him sneeze. He then covered his face with a handkerchief in order to avoid the smell of the flowers. Suddenly Horace heard a soft voice asking him about the reason for sneezing. Not realising that someone had caught him, he answered hay fever.
Just then, a young beautiful woman in red clothes entered the house. She posed to be the mistress of the house. She suggested him that he should see a doctor if he was serious about his work. His sneezing had brought her down from the top of the house. Horace Danby not expecting to see a burglar in the house. To avoid trouble, Horace started conversing with her in a pleasant manner. He replied that he too had not expected to find her there. She got furious when he asked her to let him go. She threatened to get him arrested. The thought of going to prison made Horace shudder. He pledged that he would never repeat such kind of thing if he was let off.
The woman took a cigarette from a silver box. Horace took off his gloves and held his lighter towards her. She promised to let him go if he did something for her. The lady put forward a condition for Horace’s freedom. Horace readily consented to the proposal. She told him that she had promised her husband to take the jewels to the bank. But she forgot and kept the jewels in her safe. The woman said that she had come to take her jewels as she had to attend a party. She had forgotten the numbers to open the safe. She bade Horace to open it. She would get the safe repaired. Horace broke the safe open and gave her the jewels. Then, he was allowed to go.
Two days after the incident, Horace planned to rob again to satisfy his hobby. However , he could do so. Horace’s fingerprints were found on the safe. He was arrested for the jewel robbery on the third day. He told the police that the lady of the house had told him to open the safe. The real house lady was an aged woman of sixty with grey hair and sharp tongue. He realised that he was befooled by a lady who was also a thief. Horace often thinks about the clever lady who tricked him.
|housekeeper||person looking after the domestic
work in a house
|hay fever||disease affecting the nose and throat caused by allergy to pollen or dust|
|safe||a strong locked box used for
storing valuable items
|grange||a large house in the
countryside with farm building
attached to it
|make him happy||keep him satisfied|
|get you||arrest you|
|desperate||without any hope|
|look for||steal from/rob|
|sharp-tongued||using harsh, or critical language|
|one with firmness in it||having determination|
|burglar alarm||alarm to warn about thieves|