NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Chapter 4 - A Question of Trust

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“A Question of Trust Summary” is a story about a thief, Horace Danby who would steal only once a year. He would usually spend the money he robbed on buying books. This time he chose to rob Shotover Grange’s house. While he was attempting the robbery, a lady thief came who claimed to be the owner of the house. She promised them that she will let them go and not inform the police. So, Horace handed everything back to her. Finally, Horace ended up in prison where he regretted trusting anyone, especially someone from his own profession.

Question 1:

What does Horace Danby like to collect ?


He likes to collect rare and expensive books.

Question 2:

Why does he steal every year ?


He loves to collect expensive books, but has no money for them. That is why he steals every year.

Question 3:

Who is speaking to Horace Danby ?


A young lady who is also a thief is speaking to Horace in this story. She pretends to be the owner of the house where Horace has come to rob the safe.

Question 4:

Who is the real culprit in the story ?


The real culprit is the young lady. She herself doesn’t touch anything. She gets the safe broken by Horace. She takes all the jewels. But she leaves no proof against her. It is Horace who is arrested. His fingerprints are found all over the place.

Question 5:

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 ?


The young lady proves to be very clever. She gives the reader no reason to suspect that she is not the person Horace has taken her to be. Only after Horace has been arrested, do we come to realise the trick she has played on Horace.

Question 6:

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 ?


The young lady is very clever. She gives Horace no reason to doubt her. She at once makes up a story to trick Horace. She acts as if she were the mistress of the house. She says she has come back for her jewels. She threatens him saying that she will ring up the police. But then she pretends to go soft on him because she wants him to open her safe for her since she has forgotten its number. Horace at once agrees to help her. He takes off his gloves to break the safe. He opens the safe for the lady and goes away.

Question 7:

‘Horace Danby was good and respectable, but not completely honest.’ Why do you think this description is apt for Horace ? How can he be categorised as a typical thief ?


Horace was a locksmith. He lived a happy and peaceful life. That is why he has been called good and respectable. But he was not completely honest. He used to rob a safe every year. And he used to rob for a very peculiar reason. He was fond of rare and expensive books. But he didn’t have the money. So he used to rob a safe every year. Thus we can say that he was a typical thief, not a professional thief. He would steal only to satisfy his lust for expensive books.

Question 8:

Horace Danby was a meticulous planner, but still he faltered. Where did he go wrong and why ?


Horace planned his work meticulously. He would study every detail of the house he wanted to rob. He collected all information about its rooms. He found out all about its electric wiring, its paths and its garden. But everything went wrong for him at the time of his attempt to rob the house at Shotover Grange. When he was inside the house, a lady came there. Horace thought she was the lady of the house. In fact, she was also a thief like him. She tricked Horace and took away all the jewels. Poor Horace had to go to prison.