The story, A Question of Trust, is about Horace Danby, a thief who gets a taste of his own medicine. He used to steal often. On one such burglary attempt at a mansion, he meets a woman who cheats on him. He ends up behind bars for believing her.
A Question of Trust: Summary
This story by Victor Canning is about a thief named Horace Danby, who was a good citizen. He worked as a locksmith. The fifty-year-old man was unmarried and a successful businessman. He had two helpers to assist him. He liked rare and fancy books and would, by all means, purchase them. He was quite respected but was not completely honest. In the pursual of his expensive hobby, he robbed a safe once a year and bought the costly books via an agent. He would lay out a well-thought-out plan before he made any burglary attempt. This time, he aimed to burgle at Shotover Grange, and he understood its rooms, wiring, path, and garden for over two weeks.
The family was in London. One afternoon, the two caretakers of the house went to watch a movie. Horace realized that this was the best time to carry out the burglary. He entered from behind a wall of the garden and entered the house. He picked a key using the hook in the kitchen door and wore gloves to avoid leaving fingerprints. He opened the door and saw Sherry, the dog wagging its tail.
The safe was hidden behind a poor painting in the drawing room, and Danby knew that. A vase with flowers was kept on the table. Danby was allergic to the fragrance of flowers. He was tickling his nose and sneezing repeatedly. Using his tools, he cut the burglar alarm. He sneezed loudly and heard the voice of a young lady standing in the doorway. She was dressed in red and called herself the house owner’s wife. She convinced Horace to believe her. She said that she came to pick up jewelry to wear at a party that night.
Horace was scared that he might be handed over to the police and requested that he be let go. She told him that he would be allowed to leave only if he opened the safe, as all her jewelry was in it. She said that she had forgotten the combination and could not unlock it. Danby offered to help and unlocked the safe without his gloves on. The lady took out all the jewels immediately. Horace left the house under the assumption that he had escaped imprisonment. After two days, he was arrested for the burglary of jewels at Shotover Grange.
Horace’s fingerprints were all over the place. He confessed to committing the crime and that he opened the safe for a lady and did not steal the jewels. The lady was a thief, in reality, and managed to convince Horace to break open the safe. No one believed this story because the owner’s wife was a sixty-year-old woman and did not match the description Horace shared. He was arrested and put behind bars. In prison, he became the assistant librarian. He often thought of the lady who tricked him. He used to get upset and angry when someone mentioned ‘honor among thieves.’
A Question of Trust: Analysis
The story is about a thief who is served his acts. It carries the message that one should not trust anyone unless they have discovered everything about that person.
Horace Danby is a thief who was cheated on by another thief. Both the robbers had plans to rob the same house. The lady managed to pose as the wife of the owner. She tells him that she suddenly came to get her jewels as she wished to wear them at a party that night. Danby was terrified and requested to be let go. She said that she would let him go if he got out the jewels for her. Danby opened the sage without gloves. The police arrested him because his fingerprints were all over the place. He confessed and told the truth, but no one would believe him.
A Question of Trust: Theme
The story is based on the robbery that was committed in the house at Shotover Grange. Two thieves had the same mission of robbing the safe of the same place. Both had made elaborate preparations. However, one of the robbers was successful in their venture, while the other landed in jail.
A Question of Trust: Character Sketch
Horace Danby was a very different kind of thief. He was considered a good citizen. He worked as a locksmith. He was a fifty-year-old man, unmarried, and a successful businessman. He had two helpers to assist him. He liked rare and fancy books and would, by all means, purchase them. He was quite respected but was not completely honest. In pursuing his expensive hobby, he robbed a safe once a year and bought the expensive books via an agent. He used to plan his robberies really well.
The lady in red was full of confidence. She acted really well and managed to convince Horace that she was the owner of the house. The dog was enjoying her company. She subtly told Horace that she wished to wear the jewels to the night party. She made him open the safe without gloves and decamps with them.
A Question of Trust: Analysis of Key Points
The story, A Question of Trust, is about a thief who is given the taste of his own medicine. The story is about Horace Denby, a thief with a difference. He steals only once a year. He loves books and uses his booty to purchase books. He plans his burglary well. On one of his burglary attempts, he is cheated by a lady who claims to be the house owner. She uses him to open the safe and leaves his fingerprints behind. Horace ends up in prison and repents the manner in which he was deceived by a fellow thief.
Updated by Anjali Roongta on April 24, 2023.
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