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A Question of Trust
By– Victor Canning
Read the extracts given below carefully and answer the questions that follow :
1. “Then he heard a voice say from the doorway, what is it? A cold or hay fever?”
(a) Who heard whose voice and where?
(b) What is the significance of this question asked by somebody?
(c) What did Horace suffer from?
(d) How did it result in his failure in his robbery attempt at the house at Shot over Grange?
Ans. (a) Horace Danby heard a lady’s voice in the house at Shot over Grange.
(b) She appeared to be concerned about the problem. She wanted to prove that she was the; owner of the house.
(c) Horace Danby suffered from hay fever.
(d) The smell of flower made him sneeze. At Shot, over Grange, the flowers betrayed his, presence to the lady in red who posed to be the mistress of the house.
2.”Horace saw them go, and he felt happy in spite of a little tickle of hay fever in his nose.
(a) Who did Horace see ‘go’ that made him happy? How many were there?
(b) Why did Horace forget his discomfort and was pleased?
(c) Why was Horace in discomfort?
(d) How did it herald his presence in the house at Shotover Grange?
Ans. (a) Horace saw the two servants of Shotover Grange go for a movie, leaving the place empty
(b) Horace was pleased because Shotover Grange was empty and he could rob it.
(c) He was suffering from hay fever.
(d) The pollen made him sneeze. At Shotover Grange, the flowers betrayed his presence to the young lady who posed to be the mistress of the house.
3. She nodded. “I see what an inconvenience it is for you to meet me.”
(a) What was he planning to do?
(b) Is there any truth in what the lady said?
(c) Who is speaking to Horace Danby?
(d) What made ‘the lady in red’ look the real mistress of the house?
Ans. (a) He was planning to break the safe.
(b) Yes, because she interrupted Horace’s robbery attempt and startled him.
(c) Another lady-thief is speaking to him. She has posed herself as the mistress of the ho
(d) The familiar way Sherry, the dog of the house followed her, the confidence and the authoritative voice and the reason for opening the safe — all made her look the real mistress of the house.
4. How foolish people are when they own valuable things, Horace thought. A magazine article had described this house, giving a plan of all the rooms and a picture of this The writer had even mentioned that the painting hid a safe!
(a) What was foolish about people?
(b) How did Horace know about the details of the house?
(c) Where was safe?
(d) Why do you think ‘Horace Danby’ was good and respectable but not completely hon?
Ans. (a) It was foolish of rich people to give all the details of their house and sea/ every
(b) It was given in a magazine article.
(c) The writer of a magazine article had mentioned that the painting hid a safe.
(d) Horace was a good, respectable and successful locksmith. But he used to rob 8 years to get money to buy rare and expensive books.
5.The voice was suddenly sharp. “Why should I? You were going to rob me. If I let you go, you’ll only rob someone else. Society must be protected from men like you.”
(a) Identify ‘I’ in the above lines.
(b) Why was her voice sharp?
(c) What was her opinion about the robber?
(d) Why do you think the lady did not call the police immediately?
Ans. (a) ‘I’ is the young lady.
(b) She posed to be the lady of the house.
(c) She felt that society must protect from men like Horace.
(d) In fact, she herself was a thief and wanted to rob the safe. She only wanted to threaten Horace and use him for her purpose.
6. It was a quiet, kindly voice, but one with firmness in it. A woman was standing in g the doorway, and Sherry was rubbing against her. She was young, quite pretty, and was dressed in red. She walked to the fireplace and straightened the ornaments there.
(a) What does the first line reflect on the woman?
(b) What was her approach to the present situation?
(c) When was Horace confronted with the lady in red?
(d) What did she do at the fireplace?
Ans. (a) She was confident and firm.
(b) She tried to manipulate the situation according to her needs. She posed as the owner of the house.
(c) As Horace was about to open the safe, he heard a voice from the doorway. The voice was of the lady in red.
(d) She straightened the ornaments there.
7. The safe was in the drawing room, behind a rather poor painting. Horace wondered for a moment whether he should collect pictures instead of books. But they took up too much room. In a small house, books were better.
(a) Where was the safe placed?
(b) Why was he in a dilemma?
(c) Why did Horace prefer to collect books?
(d) Do you think intentions justify actions?
Ans. (a) It was behind a painting.
(b) He thought if he should collect paintings rather than books.
(c) Since pictures might take up too much room, he preferred to collect books in his small house.
(d) I do not approve this view. Means and ends both should be good, fair and just.