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Chapter 4 - A Question of Trust

This article will help you to learn about the summary, characters and themes in the story “A Question of Trust”.


This story is about a thief who gets a taste of his own medicine. Horace Danby can be termed as a thief with a difference. He steals only once in a year. He is fond of books and spends most of his booty on buying books. He plans meticulously before attempting a burglary. During his burglary attempt at a big house, he gathers all the necessary information and enters the house for stealing from the safe. He is cheated by a lady thief, who claims herself to be the owner of the house. Finally, Horace ends up in prison only to repent at the way he was deceived by a person from his own profession.

Character List 

Horace Danby- Horace Danby was about fifty and unmarried. He made locks and had two helpers, and loved rare and expensive books. He was considered a kind and honest man and he had a good reputation in the society. Although he was considered honest, he really was not, for he was, actually, a thief. Fifteen years ago he had been imprisoned for stealing rare books. He was not a typical thief; he stole only once a year. Horace robbed a safe every year. He did not steal, again and again, he wasn’t a repeat offender. He stole only to buy rare books. For his next raid, Horace had studied the house of Shotover Grange for two weeks. He had plans to burgle this house. Also, a thing to notice is that Horace was allergic to flowers. This may seem petty, but this is what ultimately led him to be caught. He ends up being arrested and imprisoned.

The lady- The lady in red was very confident and alluring. She managed to deceive Horace Danby very easily by claiming herself to be the lady of the house. She pretended herself to be the wife of the owner. She was very shrewd and witty. She acted in a very confident and in a very authoritative tone that Horace believed that she was the owner. Very intelligently she made Horace open the safe with the gloves which proved him to be the actual thief.


‘A Question of Trust’ is based on the robbery committed in a house at Shot over Grange. Two professional thieves and burglars come face to face while on the same mission of robbing a safe in the house. Both of them made elaborate preparations to make the theft a complete success. Horace Danby robbed a safe every year only to buy rare and expensive books. He was caught red-handed by a lady in red. The young lady in red was also a thief but she presented herself as the lady of the house. Horace, in confusion, requested her to go away. She threatened to call the police. At last, a compromise was reached. The cost of Horace’s freedom was settled. He was to open the safe and hand over the jewels to her. Horace thought that he was opening the safe for the lady of the house. He handed the jewels over to her and went out happily. He had forgotten to wear his gloves and left his fingerprints on the safe. After two days, Horace was arrested on the basis of those fingerprints left on the safe. A grey-haired sixty years old lady, the wife of the owner of the house stated that Horace’s story was nonsense.

 For a question of trust extra question answer, refer to the solutions PDF.

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