Short Questions and Answers
1. Whom did Horace Danby see in the kitchen? How did they greet each other ? What tact did Horace apply there?
Answer: Horace Danby saw the family dog, Sherry, in the kitchen. The dog greeted Horace by stirring, making a noise and wagging its tail in a friendly way. Horace greeted the dog by tactfully calming it down, calling it by its name and showing love to it.
2. How did Danby prepare for the robbery at Shotover Grange?
How did Horace Danby plan his robberies?
Answer: Danby always planned his robberies meticulously. He prepared for the robbery at Shotover Grange by studying the house, the electric wiring, paths and garden. He knew that the family normally lived in the city and knew about the movement of the servants, who had gone out that afternoon. He had kept his tools ready, packed in a bag.
3. What was the passion of Horace Danby and how did he satisfy it?
Answer: The passion of Horace Danby was collecting rare and expensive books. To satisfy this passion, he needed money and arranged it by robbing one safe every year and then secretly buying the books through an agent. Though he was an honourable person but not an honest one.
4. Describe the safe at Shotover Grange?
Where was the safe at Shotover Grange? What was there inside it? What did Horace expect to get if he sold them one by one?
Answer: The safe at Shotover Grange was kept in the drawing room behind a poor painting and had jewels worth about 15000 pounds kept in it. It had a poorly built burglar alarm, but could be opened only through a specific code.
Horace expected to get 5000 pounds if he sold the jewels one by one.
5. How can you say that Horace Danby was good and respectable but not completely honest?
Answer: Horace Danby was good and respectable because he was an expert in his profession of making locks. However, as he loved collecting rare and expensive books, he robbed a safe every year to finance the purchase of these books through an agent. Thus he was not completely honest.
6. How did flowers hinder Horace in his work?
Answer: Flowers hindered Horace in his work because he had hay fever, a disorder affecting thee nose and throat, caused by allergy to pollen or dust. Due to this problem, whenever he came close to flowers, he began to sneeze and could be caught. He had to cover his face.
7. Why was Horace Danby sure that his robbery at Shotover Grange would be a successful one?
Answer: Horace Danby was sure that his robbery at Shotover Grange would be a successful one because he had studied the house, the drawing room where the safe was kept, the wiring and its garden. He had also studied the movement of the servants, so he had planned well, thus ensuring that nothing could go wrong.
8. What are the subtle ways in which the lady manages to deceive Horace Danby into thinking she is the mistress of the house?
Answer: The subtle ways in which the lady manages to deceive Horace Danby into thinking she is the mistress of the house are her grace, charm, comfort level , knowledge, persistence, way of talking confidently and familiarity with the household. She even threatens to get him arrested, which convinces Horace Danby that she is genuine.
9. What did Horace Danby wonder about for a moment? What did he think and decide?
Answer: On seeing the poor painting in front of the safe, Horace Danby wondered for a moment whether to collect pictures instead of books. But then, he thought that books were better in a small house like his, as paintings took up too much room.
10. What was Horace Danby’s hobby? How did he manage to fulfil it?
Answer: Horace Danby’s hobby was to buy expensive books that he loved to collect. To fulfil his hobby, he used to break open one safe in a year and rob it so that he could buy the expensive books.
Long Questions and Answers
1. Horace was clever but the lady in red was cleverer. Do you agreed with this statement? Justify your answer.
Answer: Yes, I agree with this statement. Horace was clever, as he planned the robbery carefully, studied the target, took the proper tools and also took his gloves, to ensure leaving no fingerprints. But the young lady in red had all the necessary information, and posing as the mistress of the house, exploited Horace’s fear on being discovered, tricked him into cracking open the safe and handing her the jewels. She even ensured that Horace left his fingerprints at the site, as she distracted him by picking up a cigarette which Horace offered to light after removing his gloves. Thus the lady outwitted (deceived) him.
2. Would you do something wrong (i.e., commit a crime) if you thought that the ends justify the means? Do you think that there are certain situations you can be excused for acting dishonestly?
Answer: Yes, intentions do justify actions. If something wrong is done unintentionally, it may be pardoned. However, it cannot be excused if it is carried out even when knowing it is wrong. As Horace had the intention to rob the safe by breaking it open, his crime is intentional. Although he had good intentions in helping the lady (who he thought was the mistress of the house), his crime cannot be excused. Breaking open the safe cannot be justified at all. There may be certain situations when you can be excused for acting dishonesty, but this is not so in Horace’s case. Horace had robed one safe every year to buy books, yet he was a good and respectable person in public view, but it is not completely honest. So, in the same manner, if we do the same, it may look good in others’ eyes but cannot be pardoned at all, as a crime is always a crime. And guilty has to be punished.
3. Horace was a successful thief because he carefully planned his robberies. Should we call him a successful thief and still appreciate his work? Why or why not?
Answer: Yes, as a thief, Horace is successful because he carefully planned his robberies and completes them well. Before robbing at Shotover Grange, he had studied the house for two weeks, looked at the electric writing, its path and its garden. He wore a pair of gloves so that no fingerprint was left. He had studied everything minutely except the people living in the house. Besides, he had a faith in the saying “Honour among the thieves.” He was living his life as a good and honest citizen. However, the wealth he gathered due from his successful robberies did not belong to him. By stealing other people’s valuables, he may have become successful but he is actually a criminal. He may be efficient in conducting his crimes so that he is successful, but we still cannot appreciate his work.