English CBSE Class 10 NCERT Footprints Without Feet Chapter 4 A Question of Trust Free Solution of Textbook Questions and Answers
A QUESTION OF TRUST
Read and find out
Q 1. What does Horace Danby like to collect?
Answer: Horace Danby likes to collect rare and expensive books.
Q 2. Why does he steal every year?
Answer: He used to buy a small number of rare and expensive books every year. He wanted to steal money to the extent required to buy these books. He had his own small business to take care of his living.
Q 3. Who is speaking to Horace Danby?
Answer: A young charming lady had come to the drawing room through door way. She was speaking to Horace Danby.
Q 4. Who is the real culprit in the story?
Answer: A young charming and clever lady, who was herself a thief, is the real culprit. She had deceived Horace to open the safe and took away all the jewels.
Think about it
Q 1. 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?
Answer: The dog did not bark at her rather it lovingly rubbed itself against the lady. This gives trust that the lady was a family member or known to the family.
Having forgotten the numbers of lock does not cause any suspicion. However not making a noise or calling police on noticing an unknown person in the house is a strange behaviour. But the story of getting jewels for the party is narrated so convincingly that one tends to neglect the odd behaviour.
Towards the end of the story, appearance of actual lady of the house is narrated. At that moment the reality of the young lady is understood.
Q 2. 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?
Answer: The dog did not bark at her rather it lovingly rubbed itself against the lady. She conducted herself with confidence and calmness. Horace easily believed that she was the mistress of the house.
She created a good convincing story of forgetting numbers of lock of safe. She narrated the urgency of getting the jewels to wear in a party. It is so natural for lady to dress nicely that Horace was deceived. She made a deal with Horace to help her get jewel in return for allowing him to go away. Horace readily obliged. She took advantage of fear of Horace.
Horace opened the safe without wearing hand gloves and fell into the trap. Actually, because of his fear, Horace was not able to think anything. He just wanted to come out of the house and to avoid getting into the prison
Q 3. “Horace Danby was good and respectable — but not completely honest”. Why do you think this description is apt for Horace? Why can’t he be categorised as a typical thief?
Answer: Horace Danby had set up a business to take care of his living expenses. He appeared to be doing reasonably well at it. This is evident from the fact that he could afford two helpers for his business. Thus he was respectable and a successful business.
He had a hobby of collecting rare and expensive books. Income from his business was not large enough to support his hobby. So he looked for a rich person and robbed him to the extent to buy a small number of books.
He did not rob general public. He robbed only rich people. He did not steal to create wealth or for his pleasure.
So the description fits Horace Danby.
Q 4. Horace Danby was a meticulous planner but still he faltered. Where did he go wrong and why?
Answer: Horace collected all information about map of the house, location of safe and probable contents in the safe. He knew name of the dog. He collected information about movement of family and servants of house.
He had put on gloves. He had studied electrical wiring of the house and details about burglar alarm. He knew where he would find keys of the house.
He was carrying required tools to complete the job within an hour or so. This way he had planned to complete the work before return of servants.
However he appears to have forgotten to collect details about individual members of family. Thus he could not recognize that the lady was not a member of family. He got panicked and wanted to avoid arrest at any cost. So he became extremely careless while obeying the lady.
Thus he was deceived in spite of meticulous planning.
Talk about it
Q 1. Do you think Horace Danby was unfairly punished, or that he deserved what he got?
Answer: Horace Danby was a thief. He had been stealing every year. A thief must be punished. I believe he deserved to be punished.
Q 2. Do intentions justify actions? Would you, like Horace Danby, do something wrong if you thought your ends justified the means? Do you think that there are situations in which it is excusable to act less than honestly?
Answer: It is age old saying that ends do not justify means. It’s essence holds good even today.
Each one of us wants to be an achiever. To achieve a goal, we should follow a path or method which is morally correct and exhibits values of life.
To score higher marks in exam we should be studying a lot. Obtaining higher marks through cheating is not the right way.
We would like to reach our home or school in time. While travelling we should follow all the rules of traffic. Violating rules to save time is not correct.
One needs to earn money in life. But adopting theft to earn money is not correct. Nor should one deceive customers to earn money.
All in all, adopting a wrong method or means to achieve a goal is not justified. It is bad for oneself, family and the society.
I cannot think of any situation where conducting dishonestly can be justified. There no such situation that I am always honest but sometimes I am dishonest.