Horace Danby was a good man. He was about fifty years old but he was unmarried. He was a locksmith. He was very successful in his business. He had engaged two assistants to help him. Being good and respectable, he was not completely honest.He loved rare and expensive books. He bought them at any cost. For this purpose, he robbed a safe in one year. He bought these books secretly through an agent. Before making a theft, he planned his work well. This time he had studied the house at Shotover Grange for two weeks. He studied even the minutest thing about the house. The family was in London. The two servants who looked after the house had gone to the movies. He came out from behind the garden wall and entered the house.
He took the key from the kitchen door hook. He put on a pair of gloves and opened the door. He was always careful enough to leave any fingerprints. He spoke politely to the little dog. He cut-off the wires of the burglar alarm. He arranged his tools carefully.
There was a big pot of flowers on the table. The scent of flowers tickled his nose. He sneezed repeatedly. He thought that this disease would hinder his work. He buried his face in his handkerchief. Then he heard the voice of a young lady behind him. She spoke kindly to him. She pretended to be the wife of the owner of that house. She said that she had come there suddenly because she needed her jewels to wear them at the party that night. Danby begged the lady to let him go home. He hated going to prison. He promised her that he would never rob again in his life. The young lady asked him to do one work for her, then she would let him go. The burglar said that he would do anything gladly for her.
The young lady said that she needed The jewels but she had forgotten the number. She asked him to open the safe. Danby opened the safe without gloves. The young lady got the jewels and Horace Danby went away happy because he had escaped from a difficult situation. For two days, Horace kept his promise to the young lady. But on the third day, he decided to rob some other safe. But he never got the chance to put his plan into practice. By noon a policeman had arrested him for the jewel robbery at Shotover Grange.
His fingerprints were found all over the room. He admitted that he had opened the safe for the young wife of the owner of the house. But the owner’s wife was about sixty years old. She said that the story was nonsense. No one believed Danby. He was sent to jail. Now he was the assistant librarian in the prison. He often thought of the charming, young lady who was in the same profession as he was. Now he did not like the thought of ‘honor among thieves.’
DETAILED SUMMARY (2)
1.Not Completely Honest: Horace Danby was fifty years old and unmarried. He made locks and the business was not bad. He was usually very well except for attacks of hay fever in summer. Everyone thought Horace was good, honest and respectable. But he was not completely honest.
2. Robbed a Safe Every Year: Horace Danby had a passion for rare and expensive books. For that, he needed extra money. He used to rob a safe every year to carry forward his costly hobby. With the money he got from robbing, he secretly bought the books he loved through an agent.
3. Careful Planning of Robberies: Horace Danby never acted in haste. Every robbery was planned thoroughly. All his previous robberies were completely successful. He felt sure that his latest robbery at Shotover Grange would be as successful as the others. He had been studying the house, its rooms, electrical wiring, paths and its gardens for two weeks. He knew that the two servants at the Grange had gone out to the movies. He found out from an article in a magazine where the safe was. He had seen the housekeeper hang the key to the kitchen door.
4. Encounters Lady in Red: Horace Danby came out from behind the garden wall. He had packed his tools carefully in the bag. The small dog saw him and started barking. He knew how to keep dogs quiet. He called by its right name ‘Sherry’ and the dog became friendly. He knew that there was fifteen thousand pounds’ worth of jewels in the safe. He could easily get five thousand which sum was enough to make him happy for a year. It was not a difficult job for him to open the safe. He had lived with locks and safes all his life. He went to the drawing-room to open the safe. The safe was there. He felt his nose tickle. He started sneezing. Suddenly, he heard a female voice. She advised him to cure his hay fever with special treatment. He found a young, pretty woman dressed in red standing there.
5. Horace Mistook the Lady in Red for the Lady of the House: The lady in red behaved and acted with an air of confidence and authority. She told Horace that she didn’t expect a burglar in her house. She also threatened to call the police if he tried to run away. Society must be protected from burglars like him. Horace told her that he robbed only those who had a lot of money. He promised her not to do such a thing again. He requested her to let him go out. All along with these proceedings, Horace Danby had been mistaking her as the lady of the house.
6. The Lady in Red Makes Horace Open the Safe: Horace told her that he was desperate and she must let him go away. He hated the thought of prison. The lady exploited Horace’s confusion and fear. She asked him to make a compromise. He must open the safe for her. She needed the jewels for the night party. Only then, she would allow him to go out of the house. Horace opened the safe and handed over the jewels to the young lady. He went out happily.
7. Horace Arrested; Left Fingerprints: On the noon of the third day, a policeman arrested Horace. He was arrested for the jewel robbery at Shotover Grange. He was arrested on the basis of his fingerprints left on the safe. He had open the safe without wearing his gloves. Horace pleaded that the lady of the house herself had asked him to open the safe for her. Then, the real lady of the house appeared. She was a grey-haired, sharp-tongued woman of sixty. She stated that Horace’s story was nonsense. The young lady in red decamped with the jewels while Horace was sent to prison. The lady in red was the real culprit and a burglar. She outwitted and outmaneuvered Horace Danby completely.
Main Points of the Story
|1. What is the article "A Question of Trust" about?
|2. How does trust affect relationships?
|3. What are the factors that contribute to building trust?
|4. Why is trust important in the workplace?
|5. How can trust be rebuilt after it is broken?