NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Footprints Without Feet Chapter 4 A Question of Trust
Read and Find Out
What does Horace Danby like to collect?
Horace Danby likes to collect rare and expensive books.
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 so as to steal enough to last twelve months.
Who is speaking to Horace Danby?
A lady standing in the doorway is 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. Thus she pretended to be one of the members of the family living at Shotover Grange.
Who is the real culprit in the story?
The real culprit in the story is the woman who pretended to be a member of the family living at Shotover Grange. She tricked Horace Danby into believing her, and cleverly took away all the jewels that were kept in the safe.
Think About It
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 realise this, and how?
Yes, we 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. 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 seems suspicious. Moreover, it seemed highly unlikely that she would forget the number combination 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.
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?
Her confident walk, her familiarity with the dog Sherry, her act of touching up her make-up and the ease with which she picks a cigarette from the right place are enough to deceive anybody. Horace was too frightened to think properly, so he didn’t suspect anything.
“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 categorised as a typical thief?
Horace’s habits were not typical of a thief. He was fond of books. He used to steal only once in a year so he was never stealing more than his needs. However, an act of theft is still a crime, no matter how well a thief behaves, so this description is apt for Horace. He can’t be categorised as a typical thief because he is not a regular offender like other thieves.
Horace Danby was a meticulous planner but still he faltered. Where did he go wrong and why?
Horace Danby failed to get enough information about the real occupants of the house. He seems to be too occupied with collecting information about the house map, wiring and location of valuable items. Although he was smart enough to know the dog’s actual name, he overlooked getting information about the occupants of the house. When he landed in trouble with the appearance of the young lady, his clever mind gave way to carelessness, leading him to open the safe without wearing gloves.
Talk About It
Do you think Horace Danby was unfairly punished, or that he deserved what he got?
Do you think Horace Danby was unfairly punished? (CBSE 2013)
Horace Danby deserved what he got. A crime is a crime, no matter if it is committed for your own benefit or for somebody else’s benefit.
Do intentions justify actions? Would you, like Horace Danby, do something wrong if you thought your ends justified the means? Do you think that there are situations in which it is excusable to act less than honestly?
“Ends do not justify means”, is a very old and time-tested saying. For their own benefit nobody should harm others. But this world doesn’t function on idealism. There are many examples of people tricking people for quick gains. These acts should be deplored and dealt with severely.
Class 10 English Chapter 4 A Question of Trust Important Questions
Short Answer Type Questions
Question 1. Whom did Horace Danby see in the kitchen? How did they greet each other? What tact did Horace apply there? [CBSE 2013]
Answer: Horace Danby saw the family dog, Sherry, in the kitchen. The dog greeted Horace by stirring, making a noise and wagging its tail in a friendly way. Horace greeted the dog by tactfully calming it down, calling it by its name and showing love to it.
Question 2. How did Danby prepare for the robbery at Shotover Grange? [CBSE 2011]
How did Horace Danby plan his robberies? [CBSE2012]
Answer: Danby always planned his robberies meticulously. He prepared for the robbery at Shotover Grange by studying the house, the electric wiring, paths and 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 had kept his tools ready, packed in a bag.
Question 3. What was the passion of Horace Danby and how did he satisfy it? [CBSE 2011]
Answer: The passion of Horace Danby was collecting rare and expensive books. To satisfy this passion, he needed money and arranged it by robbing one safe every year and then secretly buying the books through an agent.
Question 4. Where was the safe at Shotover Grange? What was there inside it? What did Horace expect to get if he sold them one by one? [CBSE 2012]
Answer: 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 pounds if he sold the jewels one by one.
Question 5. How can you say that Horace Danby was good and respectable but not completely honest?
Answer: Horace Danby was good and respectable because he was an expert in his profession of making locks. However, as he loved collecting rare and expensive books, he robbed a safe every year to finance the purchase of these books through an agent. Thus he was not completely honest
Question 6. How did flowers hinder Horace in his work? [CBSE 2013]
Answer: Flowers hindered Horace in his work because he had hay fever, a disorder affecting the nose and throat, caused by allergy to pollen or dust. Due to this problem, whenever he came close to flowers, he began to sneeze’ and could be caught. He had to cover his face.
Question 7. Why was Horace Danby sure that his robbery at Shotover Grange woukhbe a successful one? [CBSE 2014]
Answer: Horace Danby was sure that his robbery at Shotover Grange would be a successful one because he had studied the house, the drawing room where the safe was kept, the wiring and its garden. He had also studied the movement of the servants, so he had planned well, thus ensuring that nothing could go wrong.
Question 8. Why does Horace Danby get angry when anyone talks about ‘honour among thieves’?
Answer: When anyone talks about ‘honour among thieves’, Horace Danby gets angry because the young lady who cheated him was also a thief, yet did not follow this saying.
Question 9. What are the subtle ways in which the lady manages to deceive Horace Danby into thinking she is the mistress of the house?
Answer: The subtle ways in which the lady manages to deceive Horace Danby into thinking she is the mistress of the house are her grace, charm, comfort level, knowledge, persistence, way of talking confidently and familiarity with the household. She even threatens to get him arrested, which convinces Horace Danby that she is genuine.
Question 10. What did Horace Danby wonder about for a moment? What did he think and decide? [CBSE 2010]
Answer: On seeing the poor painting in front of the safe, Horace Danby wondered for a moment whether to collect pictures instead of books. But then, he thought that books were better in a small house like his, as paintings took up too much room.
Question 11. What did Horace do every year and why?
Answer: As Horace was fond of rare, expensive books, he stole a safe every year, to have just enough money to last twelve months for buying such books to his heart’s content.
Question 12. Whom did Horace meet at Shotover Grange? How did the meeting affect his plans?
Answer: Horace met a young, pretty woman dressed in red at Shotover Grange. She pretended to be the owner’s wife and deceived him into breaking open the safe to remove the jewels for her. She threatened even to call the police. This meeting adversely affected his plans, as he was not able to get away with the jewels.
Question 13. What did Horace Danby hear from the doorway?
Answer: Horace Danby heard a voice from the doorway. It was the voice of a lady. As Horace Danby has sneezed loudly, therefore the lady asked what it was and he replied that it was due to hay fever.
Question 14. How did the lady in red convince Horace Danby to open the lock?
Answer: The lady told Horace Danby that she had promised her husband to take her jewels to the hank but she left them in the safe. She had forgotten the numbers to open the safe and wanted to wear the jewels to a party. Horace Danby believed her and opened the safe for her.
Question 15. Was Horace Danby a typical thief?
Answer: Horace Danby was not a typical thief. He made locks and was successful in his business. He loved rare and expensive books. To purchase these books he used to rob only one safe every year.
Question 16. What advice did the lady give Horace Danby about his. hay fever?
Answer: The lady advised him that he could cure his hay fever with a special treatment, if he could find out just. what plant gave him the disease. She said sympathetically that he had better see a doctor if he was serious about his work.
Question 17. Why did Horace Danby feel sure of his success in that year’s robbery?
Answer: Horace Danby felt sure of his success in that year’s robbery as he had been studying room, paths and gardens of the house at Shot over Grange for two weeks. He knew that the family was in London and two servants who lived in the house had gone to watch a movie that afternoon.
Question 18. Did Horace Danby get the jewels from the Grange safe? Then why did the Police arrest him?
Answer: Horace Danby did not get the jewels from the Grange safe but he was arrested by the police as his fingerprints were traced on the lighter which he gave to the lady to light the cigarette. He was eager to please the lady to win her favour.
Question 19. What story did the lady tell Horace Danby to get the jewels?
Answer: The lady made up a story that before going to London, she promised her husband to take her jewels to their bank, but she left them there in the safe. She wished to put on the jewels to a party that night. Above all she had forgotten the numbers to open the safe. Thus, she convinced Horace Danby to open the safe.
Question 20. Why was it not difficult for Horace to open the safe?
Answer: It was not difficult for Horace Danby to open the safe because he had lived with locks and safes all his life. The burglar alarm was poorly built. He cut the wire without any difficulty.
Question 21. What does the author tell us about Horace Danby’s life?
Answer: Horace Danby was unmarried and fifty year old and lived with a housekeeper who bothered about his health. He had hay fever. He made locks and was successful in his business. He was good and respectable but not honest.
Question 22. How often did Horace Danby commit a robbery every year? What did he do with the stolen money?
Answer: Horace Danby committed only one robbery every year. He was fond of collecting rare and expensive books. He used to buy these books with stolen money through an agent secretly.
Question 23. Why does he steal every year?
Answer: He used to steal every year so that he could buy the rare and expensive books that he loved to collect. He planned meticulously before attempting a burglary, stole enough to last twelve months and secretly bought the books through an agent.
Question 24. Who is speaking to Horace Danby?
Answer: A lady standing in the doorways is speaking to Horace Danby. She is young and pretty, and is 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.
Question 25. Who is the real culprit in the story?
Answer: The real culprit is 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.
Long Answer Type Questions
Question 1. What precautions did Danby take to avoid arrest? What blunder did he commit in his last venture?
Answer: To avoid arrest, Danby always studied all aspects of the safe he had targeted that year thoroughly, including the habits of the owners and servants, the layout of the house, any burglar alarms etc. He carried a set of select tools to break open safes and always wore gloves, so that he left behind no fingerprints.
In his last venture at Shotover Grange, he committed the blunder of not wearing gloves while cracking open the safe, probably because he was distracted by the young lady threatening to call the police, thus leading to his arrest soon afterwards.
Question 2. Why was Horace Danby arrested although he failed to profit from the robbery at Shotover Grange?
Answer: Horace Danby was arrested although he failed to profit from the robbery at Shotover Grange, because he broke open the safe to give the lady in red the jewels, thinking her to be the wife of the owner who had forgotten the number combination to open the safe. Actually he wanted to escape scot-free, as he had been caught red-handed by the lady and wanted to keep her happy. However, his fingerprints were all over the room, as he had forgotten to wear his gloves while opening the safe. Thus he was arrested soon afterwards.
Question 3. Horace was clever but the lady in red was cleverer. Do you agree with this statement? Justify your answer.
Answer: Yes, I agree with this statement. Horace was clever, as he planned the robbery carefully, studied the target, took the proper tools and also took his gloves, to ensure leaving no fingerprints. But the young lady in red had all the necessary information, and, posing as the mistress of the house, exploited Horace’s fear on being discovered, tricked him into cracking open the safe and handing her the jewels. She even ensured that Horace left his fingerprints at the site, as she distracted him by picking up a cigarette which Horace offered to light after removing his gloves. Thus the lady outwitted him.
Question 4. Would you do something wrong (i.e. commit a crime) if you thought that the ends justify the means? Do you think that there are certain situations you can be excused for acting dishonestly? [CBSE 2011]
Answer: Yes, intentions do justify actions. If something wrong is done unintentionally, it may be pardoned. However, it cannot be excused if it is carried out even when knowing it is wrong. As Horace had the intention to rob the safe by breaking it open, his crime is intentional. Although he had good intentions in helping the lady (who he thought was the mistress of the house), his crime cannot be excused. Breaking open the safe cannot be justified at all. There may be certain situations when you can be excused for acting dishonestly, but this is not so in Horace’s case.
Question 5. Horace was a successful thief because he carefully planned his robberies. Should we call him a successful thief and still appreciate his work? Why or why not? [CBSE 2013]
Answer: Yes, as a thief, Horace is successful because he carefully planned his robberies and completes them well. He was living his life as a good and honest citizen. However, the wealth he gathered due from his successful robberies did not belong to him. By stealing other people’s valuables, he may have become successful but he is actually a criminal. He may be efficient in – conducting his’-crimes so that he is successful, but we still cannot appreciate his work.
Question 6. What do you think is the meaning of the phrase ‘honour among thieves’? Which of the two thieves lack the honour?
Which of the two thieves lacked ‘honour’ in the story ‘A Question of Trust’?
Answer: “There is honour among Thieves” means that ‘dishonest people may have certain standards of behaviour which they will respect’. The young lady pretended to be the owner of the house and innocently asked Horace Danby to-open the safe as she would need the jewels to wear to the party that day. Horace Danby found himself trapped in a tricky situation and could not make out how to escape. He readily opened the safe unwittingly leaving his fingerprints. He was arrested and nobody believed that the lady of the house asked him to open the safe.
Question 7. “Lying and stealing are next door neighbours”. Comment.
Answer: A path of truthfulness and honesty is always better than an easy path of deceit. Horace Danby was a thief, he robbed safe every year. But, in the end he was be fooled by another thief and was arrested by the police. Stealing or lying cannot bring happiness or success. A truthful and honest person always leads a happy and peaceful life. He does not have to live with any kind of guilt. Stealing or lying robs one of peace. Those who are honest do not live a life of tension and are able to get peace of mind too.
Question 9. “Horace Danby was clever but the young woman was cleverer”. Discuss.
How did the lady in red turn out to be smarter than Horace Danby?
Answer: Horace Danby was a cleaver thief. He lived a life of a respectable and successful businessman. He used to make locks. He was fond of rare and expensive books. He did not have enough money to buy these books. He used to rob a safe for this once in an year. He was very clever. He made his plan in such a way that he was never caught. He spent a lot of time in planning his mission. He never left any sign of theft but the lady who was another thief proved herself cleverer than Danby. She was a great actress as well.
She pretended to be the owner of the house. She tricked Danby who opened the safe for her and ‘ handed over the jewels. Horace was so nervous that he did not realise that he had no gloves in his hand. The lady had no tools, no gloves but managed to rob the safe without leaving any evidence against her. Thus, we can say that the lady was cleverer than Danby.
Question 10. Horace Danby was a meticulous planner but still he faltered. Where did he go wrong and why?
Answer: Horace Danby failed to get enough information about real occupants of the house. He seemed to be too occupied with collecting other little details and information about house map, wiring and location of valuable things. Although he was smart enough to know the dog’s actual name but overlooked getting identity of each and every occupant of the house. Once he was in problem then probably his clever mind gave way to carelessness leading him to open the safe without wearing gloves.