A question of trust Summary and quiz

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Summary of the lesson ‘A question of trust’:

Horace Danby was a fifty-year-old man. He was unmarried and lived with his housekeeper. Horace seemed like a good and honest man. He made locks and was successful in his business, having two helpers. He was usually healthy and happy, except for his hay fever in the summer. But Horace had a secret: he was not completely honest. He loved rare and expensive books and had a unique way of getting them. Every year, he planned and robbed a safe. He stole enough money to last for a year and bought the books he loved through an agent.

One bright July afternoon, Horace was ready for this year’s robbery. He had been studying a house called Shotover Grange for two weeks. The family was in London, and the two servants at the Grange had gone to the movies. Horace felt happy despite his hay fever. He carried his tools in a bag and went to the house.

There were jewels worth fifteen thousand pounds in the Grange safe. If he sold them, he expected to get five thousand pounds, enough to make him happy for another year. He had seen the housekeeper hang the key to the kitchen door on a hook outside. He put on gloves, took the key, and opened the door. A small dog named Sherry was in the kitchen. Horace called the dog by its name, and it stayed quiet.

Horace went to the drawing room where the safe was hidden behind a painting. There were flowers on the table that made him sneeze. He arranged his tools and started working. He had four hours before the servants returned. The safe was not difficult for him to open. He went to the hall to cut the alarm wire and sneezed again because of the flowers.

While he was working, he heard a voice ask, “What is it? A cold or hay fever?” A woman stood in the doorway. She was young, pretty, and dressed in red. She talked to Horace kindly but firmly. She was not scared of him. Horace tried to convince her to let him go. He told her he only stole from rich people and did not want to go to prison.

The woman said she had come back to get her jewels from the safe because she needed them for a party. She had forgotten the numbers to open the safe. Horace agreed to help her. He opened the safe and gave her the jewels. She thanked him and let him go. Horace felt happy and left the house.

For two days, Horace kept his promise to the young woman. On the third day, he thought of the books he wanted to buy and decided to plan another robbery. But before he could start, he was arrested. His fingerprints were all over the room because he had opened the safe without gloves. The real owner’s wife, an older woman, said Horace’s story was nonsense.

Horace realized that the charming young woman who had tricked him was actually another thief. He was sent to prison again and worked as an assistant librarian. He often thought about the clever thief who had outsmarted him and got very angry when anyone talked about ‘honour among thieves.’

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