Q. What does Horace Danby like to collect?
Ans. Horace Danby likes to collect rare and expensive books.
Q. Why does he steal every year?
Ans. He likes to keep expensive books but he does not have money to purchase them. So, he steals every year.
Q. Who is speaking to Horace Danby?
Ans. A woman is speaking to Horance Danby. She is young, pretty and dressed in red.
Q. Who is the real culprit in the story?
Ans. The real culprit in the story is the young and pretty lady who introduces herself as the wife of the owner of the house.
Q. 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?
Ans. The lady was so confident and clever that nobody could realize that she would be a thief. When a policeman arrested Horace Danby for the jewel robbery at Shotover Grange, the reader came to know about the reality of the lady.
Q. 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?
Ans. The lady acted smartly and befooled Horace Danby. She is so confident that he cannot have the slightest doubt that she is not the lady of the house. She cooks up a false story and tells him that she wants to wear her jewels as she had to go to a party that night. But she has forgotten the numbers of the safe. Horace opens the safe and gives her the jewels. He also leaves that place happily. Horace does not suspect that something is wrong. This is because the lady does not show any inhibition or hesitation while talking to Horace. She speaks boldly and fearlessly.
Q. ‘‘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?
Ans. It is pertinent to say that Horace Danby was good and respectable—but not completely honest. Everyone is of the opinion that Horace is a good, honest citizen. He makes locks and is successful enough at his business to have two helpers. But he is in the habit of robbing a safe every year. Every year he plans carefully just what he will do, steals enough to last for twelve months, and secretly buys the books he loves through an agent. He cannot be categorised as a typical thief because he is not a professional thief. He does not steal for possessing material things. He buys rare books and reads them.
Q. Horace Danby was a meticulous planner but still he faltered. Where did he go wrong and why?
Ans. Undoubtedly, Horace Danby was a meticulous planner. He read a magazine article that described the house, giving a plan of all the rooms and a picture of the room. The writer had even mentioned that the painting hid a safe. He also cut the wires of the burglar alarm. But when the lady entered the room and started talking with him, he removed his gloves. He considered her the lady of the house. But Horace could not identify her and got deceived. She took all jewels and Horace was arrested for the jewel robbery.
Q. Do you think Horace Danby was unfairly punished, or that he deserved what he got?
Ans. No, Horace Danby was not fairly punished. And he did not get what he deserved. He was not a professional robber and used to rob to buy books he loved. He never intended to accumulate wealth and enjoy worldly pleasures. He was interested in reading rare books. So he used so break a safe every year. He was unfortunate that he got punishment because, of the lady who was responsible for the jewel robbery. He did not deserve to be imprisoned for this robbery. He was deceived by the lady. But it was also the truth that Horace was a thief. It made him a culprit and a law breaker. One cannot forget that a crime is a crime.