Saturday 27 May 2023

A Question of trust

A Question of Trust

                                 By Victor Canning

Analysis of the Chapter

·        The short story ‘A Question of Trust’ is written by Victor Canning, a British novelist and short story writer. 

·        It is a humorous account and unpleasant experience from life of an unconventional thief, Horace Danby.

·        The chapter deals with the case of mistaken identity where a lady thief was mistaken by the protagonist to be the land lady of the house where he went with the purpose of robbery.

·        The story conveys that the intention is what matters more than our action. We have experiences contrary to our beliefs, thoughts and perception. Horace was frustrated when he was imprisoned for the theft he hadn’t committed. He was sad to know that “There is no honour among the thieves”.

·        Horace Danby is an unconventional thief who believes in honour among thieves. He is frustrated to meet the lady in red who in spite of being a thief cheated another thief. He is disappointed to be in a world which is full of liars, tricksters and the people with fake faces and deceptive smiles.

Summary  / Synopsis

·        The story 'A Question of Trust' is about a thief, Horace Danby who was considered to be a good, respectable and honest citizen, though he wasn’t completely honest. He made locks and was successful enough at his business. He didn’t require to commit a theft.

·        Fifteen years ago, Horace had served his first and only sentence in a prison library. There, he developed love for rare and expensive books. Each year he used to plan carefully, steal enough to last for twelve months, and secretly bought the books through an agent. He stole only once a year.

·        This year, he researched about a house at Shotover Grange very well before the theft. He read about the house with its detailed plan in a magazine article. He found out that two servants of the house were going to the movies, while the family was in London. Horace felt happy to see the servants going out and putting the key at kitchen door. There were about fifteen thousand pounds’ worth of jewels in the Grange safe, more than enough to keep him happy for entire year.

·        Horace put on his gloves, took the key, and opened the door. He was able to quieten the dog calling its name ‘Sherry’. The safe was in the drawing room which was full of expensive paintings. He was also tempted to steal them. Before touching the safe he cut the wires of the burglar alarm. Horace was suffering from hay fever. He was sneezing again and again due to his hay fever and the flowers in the room. Hearing him sneezing there appeared a lady and asked him if he had cold or hay fever. Sherry was rubbing against her as if it was her own dog. She was young, pretty, and dressed in red.

·        Horace felt that he was in trouble as he thought she was the landlady. But the lady seemed to be gentle and amused at meeting him. He might avoid trouble if he treated her the right way. First he tried to frighten the lady saying that he could hurt her and run away. Later, he tried to persuade the lady to let him go as he hated to go to the prison. He also promised not to commit a theft ever again.

·        The lady seemed to be genuinely kind and helpful person. She agreed to let him go if he opened the safe for her as she forgot the code. She told that she had come from London to take her jewellery for a party. She took a cigarette from a silver box from the table. Horace who is eager to please her, took off his gloves and gave her his cigarette lighter.  Within an hour Horace opened the safe, gave her the jewels, and went happily away.

·        After two days a policeman arrested him for the jewel robbery at Shotover Grange. His fingerprints were there all over the room as he had opened the safe without the gloves. No one believed him when he said that the wife of the owner of the house had asked him to open the safe for her. The wife who was a gray-haired, sharp-tongued woman of sixty said that the story was nonsense when Horace told everything that had happened that day in the house.

·        Horace was made the assistant librarian in the prison. Often he thinks of the charming, clever young lady who was in the same profession as he was, and tricked him. He gets very angry when someone talks about ‘honour among thieves’ because the lady in red fooled him and he was jailed for the theft he hadn’t committed.

The Midnight Visitor


The story ‘A Question of Trust’ conveys that “Intentions are more important than our actions.” Even if we are not able to commit a crime, our wrong intentions need to be punished. Horace was punished for the theft that he didn’t commit at all. He opened the safe for the lady taking her to be the owner of the house in order to help her. At the end of the story the protagonist was utterly disappointed as the lady who he thought to be friendly and helpful turned out to be a thief and a trickster.

But, we as readers can say that he received the well deserving treatment Even though he was unsuccessful in committing the theft, he went there with the purpose of robbery with proper planning. Evil thought is equally punishable as an evil action is.

Horace Danby deserved what he got. A crime is a crime, no matter if it is committed for your own benefit or for somebody else’s benefit.

Important Question Answers

Q. How is Horace different from other thieves? Why can't he be categorised a stereotypical thief?

Ans. Horace was completely different from other thieves in his beliefs as well as actions. He conducted only one big robbery in a year after meticulous planning and research, not for money or prosperity but for his love for books. He had love for exquisite and expensive books. He was quite successful in his business of making locks. 

Horace can't be categorised as a stereotypical thief because he was not a professional thief who earned his bread by robbing people. He did not harm anyone and neither took any weapon ever. He was afraid to be imprisoned. He wasn’t greedy. He used to steal some money once a year to satisfy his hobby to buy and read rare and expensive books with the stolen money. He believed in 'honour among thieves' but was cheated by another thief. Now, He started believing that there is no honour among thieves.

Q. Was Horace punished unfairely for the theft he could not commit? Give your opinion.

Ans. Horace was imprisoned and punished for the robbery that the lady in red dress committed with his help. It seems that he was punished unfairly as he did not commit the theft for which he was punished. But, I think he was punished for his crimes only, may be little late. Earlier, he had committed robbery many times and escaped punishment for many robberies. This time too, he went at Shotover Grange with an intention of theft but was unsuccessful and got tricked by another thief. It seems as if he got punishment for all his previous crimes. It is evident that we have to pay for our sins sooner or later.

Important Q - Ans Footprints without Feet

Thursday 25 May 2023

The Midnight Visitor

The Midnight Visitor

                                       By Robert Arthur


·       The chapter ‘The Midnight Visitor’ written by Robert Arthur is a short story embedded with mystery, suspense, wit and humour.

·       ‘The Midnight Visitor’ is the story of Mr. Ausable, a witty, clever and smart secret agent though he looked fat, lazy and inactive, and doesn’t fit into the typical description of a secret agent according to the magazine reporter, Mr. Fowler.

·       It is an interesting and humorous story in which a secret agent Max demands the protagonist, Mr. Ausable who is also a secret agent to hand over the freshly arrived report on the new missiles but the tables are turned on him as he is trapped due to Ausable’s cool attitude, witty personality and presence of mind. He outsmarts Max by fooling him and creating a fiction about a balcony which wasn’t there, ever.

·       It is the clever and smart Ausable who had the last laugh when he fooled Max into believing that the police is waiting outside. Eventually Max jumps down in the balcony and falls down from the sixth floor as there was no balcony.

·       The story brings out that intelligence, cool attitude and presence of mind can help us come out of even the trickiest of situations.

·       Smart moves of Ausable, Fowler’s comparison of Ausable with the detectives in fictions and foolishness of Max maintain the element of humour throughout the story making it an interesting and hilarious story through and through.

Summary  /  Synopsis

·       The story begins with Mr. Fowler, a reporter, entering the hotel where Mr. Ausable, a smart and witty secret agent was staying secretly in a small and dusty room of a French hotel as he was going to receive a report about a missile. Mr. Fowler found Ausable just contrary to his belief and knowledge as he was very fat and didn’t look witty, smart and adventurous enough to be a detective. Fowler wanted to take interview and gather knowledge about Ausable’s life style and profession for his magazine.

·       The story took an interesting turn when another secret agent, Max entered the scene. He was already there inside Ausable’s room waiting for him and the report on new missiles. He wnated to harm the protagonist, Mr. Ausable if his request was denied. Max warned Ausable to hand over the newly arrived report, but the tables were turned completely as he was trapped due to Ausable’s cool attitude, witty personality and presence of mind.

·       Instantly, Ausable created a story that thieves keep entering his room through a balcony attached to another room, next to his. He showed his anger to the management who didn’t do anything despite his several complaints. Max didn’t know about the balcony and entered the room using a passkey. Ausable described the balcony so well and looked so distraught that Max started believing the fiction about the balcony which wasn’t there, ever.

·       As they were waiting for the report to arrive, there was a knock at the door. Another smart move of Ausable outwitted Max when Ausable told him that he had called the police for the safety of the reports. Hearing this Max became frightened and wanted to hide somewhere till the police leaves the place after safe exchange of the reports.

·       It is the clever and smart Ausable who had the last laugh when he fooled Max into believing that the police is waiting outside of hotel room. Eventually, Max jumps onto the balcony to escape from the police but falls down from the sixth floor as there was no balcony. A loud and painful cry is heard, and that was probably the last cry of Max.

·       Ausable opened the door after the second knock and found Henry, a waiter at the gate. Ausable himself called him for drinks and was expecting him at the gate. But the fiction of police was a smart move of Ausable to get rid of Max.


The story brings out the message that we should keep our calm and use our presence of mind which would help us come out of the gravest problems or difficulties the way Ausable has done. The story teaches us to maintain patience, calmness and composite nature even in adverse times. 

Important Question Answers

Q1. How was Ausable successful in fooling Max and get rid of him?

Ans. Ausable described balcony so minutely and confidently as if it has always been there. He told Max that his room was a part of an apartment, which was later divided into smaller units. He also added that using the balcony someone entered his room earlier, too. He was expecting Harry, a waiter at the gate, so hearing the doorbell he created a story that police was at the gate, and said that he had called the cop for security of papers. Out of fear Max jumped down in the balcony which was never there. He made a good use of intelligence, maturity, patience, confidence and presence of mind and got rid of Max.

Q2. Ausable was a successful secret agent. What qualities can be attributed to him ? Give examples.

Ans. Ausable was a successful secret agent pertaining to his admirable qualities despite his uninteresting looks and plump physique. He was a smart, intelligent, quick witted, patient and clever creature. Most importantly he possessed the attribute of thinking in critical moments and great presence of mind.

Even in front of Max holding a gun he could think of the idea of a balcony and described it with incredible authenticity on face, right expressions and irritating tone that Max believed him.

After the knock at gate he invented another story that the police is at the gate which helped him get rid of Max.

Reach for the Top

                                     Reach for the Top                                                


·       The chapter ‘Reach for the Top’ is divided into two parts – one is dedicated to Santosh Yadav and the other to Maria Sharapova.

·       The chapter is compiled of the excerpts from the interviews given by Santosh and Maria on different occasions.

·       It beautifully strings important incidents, episodes, difficulties and achievements in the life of Santosh and Maria.

·       The chapter highlights important qualities, strengths of character and mental toughness of the two personalities who can inspire the children and youngsters to pursue their dreams unto success.

·       The chapter is a beautiful message to the young minds to keep their determination unshaken and will unwavered.  It teaches us that we have to pay a price for our success.

Summary /  Synopsis

Part I – Santosh Yadav

§  Santosh Yadav was born in a society where the birth of a son was regarded as a blessing and a daughter was not welcome. A holy man blessed Santosh’s pregnant mother to have a son thinking that she wanted a son. But Santosh’s grandmother requested for the blessing of a son. She was born as the sixth child, a sister to five brothers.

§  She was named ‘Santosh’ meaning contentment. Santosh began living life on her own terms. Other girls wore traditional Indian dresses, but she wore shorts. She said that if she was determined to choose a correct path, others were to change themselves, not she.

§  Santosh’s parents were rich landowners and could afford good education in a good school even in Delhi, the Capital. But they sent her to the village school following the village custom. Santosh decided to fight the system quietly. When she turned sixteen, she refused to marry and warned her parents that she would never marry if she did not get  proper education.

§  So she got admission in a school in Delhi. When her parents refused to pay her fees, she told, she would work part time to pay her fees. Then, they had to pay for her education.

§  Santosh passed the high school. She joined Maharani College in Jaipur. She got a room in Kasturba Hostel. It faced the Aravalli Hills. She used to see the villagers going up the hill and disappearing after a while. She went there and saw some climbers. They encouraged her to take to climbing. Then, there was no looking back.

§  Santosh saved money and enrolled herself in a course at Uttarkashi’s Nehru Institute of Mountaineering. She went there directly from Jaipur and wrote a letter to her father to apologise for not going home during the break and not taking prior permission.

§  Santosh went on an expedition every year. She developed a remarkable resistance to cold and the altitude. She had an iron will, physical endurance and mental toughness. In 1992 she conquered Mt. Everest when she was barely twenty years old. She thus became the youngest woman in the world to achieve it.

§  During the 1992 Everest mission, Santosh Yadav provided special care to a climber but could not save him. But she managed to save another climber, Mohan Singh by sharing her oxygen with him.

§  Within twelve months, Santosh was invited by Indo-Nepalese Women’s Expedition. She then conquered the Everest second time and became the only woman to have climbed the Everest twice. She was honoured with the Padmashri.

§  Describing her feelings Santosh said that it took her some time to take moment to be true. When she unfurled the Indian tricolour on Everest, it was a spiritual moment for her. She felt proud to be an Indian. As an environmentalist she brought down 500 kilograms of garbage from the Himalayas.

Part 2 – Maria Sharapova

§  Maria Sharapova, a Siberian by birth clinched the world number one position in women’s tennis on 22 August 2005. It took her four years to achieve the top position.

§  Even before celebrating her 10th birthday she was sent to Florida, America with her father. She suffered from separation from her mother, Yelena who could not join her due to visa restrictions. Her father also couldn’t see her due to work load to keep her tennis-training going.

§  At hostel, her seniors would wake her after 11 pm and make her clean the room. This made her more determined and mentally tough. She also learnt how to take care of herself. She never thought of quitting as she knew what she wanted. This toughness made her pursue her dream till the end.

§  She bagged the ladies’ single crown at Wimbledon in 2004. She became world’s number one in 2005.She touched the hearts of tennis fans. She didn’t have any grudges as she knew very well that her sacrifices were worth it. She says that she works hard at what she dreams. This is her mantra for success.

§  Maria speaks with an American accent. America is an important of her career but she is proud to be a Russian and wished to play the Olympics for Russia if she got a chance.

§  Sharapova’s hobbies are fashion, singing and dancing. She loves reading the novels of Arthur Canan Doyle. She is fond of evening gowns, chocolate pancakes and fizzy orange drinks.

§  Sharapova can’t be categorised. She has talent, a desire to succeed and readiness to sacrifice. These qualities have lifted her to the top of the world. She accepts money is a great motivation for Tennis which is a business and a sport. But the most important thing is to become number one. This dream has kept her going.

If I were You

If I were You

                                       By James Douglas


·       The chapter ‘If I Were You’ written by Douglas James is a one act play that has mystery, suspense, wit and humour.

·       It is an interesting and humorous story in which an Intruder intends to kill Gerrard and impersonate him to escape the law but the tables are turned on him as he is trapped due to Gerrard’s cool attitude and presence of mind.

·        ‘If I Were You’ is the story of Charles Vincent Gerrard a cultured man associated to the drama world. He is not very social, lives in a lonely cottage in the wilds of Essex, gives his orders on the phone and doesn’t meet many people at his place.

·       The play brings out that intelligence and presence of mind can help us come out of even the trickiest of situations. Patience, composure and positivity can us come out any crisis.

·       It is the clever Gerrard who has the last laugh when he fools the Intruder into believing that he, too, is running from the police. He manages to divert his attention and lock him into his cupboard.


Summary  /  Synopsis

·       The play opens with Gerrard answering a phone call which is from a client to whom he promises to deliver the props for rehearsal. He is busy packing the props when a flashily dressed Intruder carrying a revolver in his hand enters the room and warns Gerrard not to move and act smart. Intruder wants to know about Gerrard so he asks certain questions and wants them to be answered correctly by him.

·       The Intruder, who looks similar to Gerrard in his body built, plans to murder Gerrard and thereafter take his identity. He is a robber who specialises in the theft of jewels and plans to use Gerrard’s house and car for his schemes. By assuming his identity, he can evade the police and lead a peaceful life. The cops are after him day and night as he has killed one of the cops.

·       He has noticed Gerrard’s manner of speech and has taken care to adopt a resemblance to him in looks and behaviour, too.

·       Gerrard tells him that in most melodramas villains are foolish enough to delay their killing but the Intruder is not so foolish. When the Intruder was about to shoot Gerrard, he warned him to be careful and not to kill him because he was also a criminal and a murderer. In case, he killed Gerrard he was sure to be hanged. They would hang him if not as himself then as Gerrard.

·       It is the clever Gerrard who has the last laugh when he fools the Intruder into believing that he, too, is running from the police and is about to flee because unfortunately, one of his men has been caught with the evidences. He tells that he is expecting trouble that night. That is why he is ready to run away with his disguise outfit ready such as overcoat, false moustaches, etc. He offered him to run with him in his car to a safer place.

·       He adds that he has posted a man on the road to call him the moment he sees the police. As the telephone bell rings, Gerrard tells the Intruder that it is the call from his informer. He takes his bag and open the door. The intruder tries to peep out of door to check what is outside. Just then, Gerrard pushes him inside the door of the cupboard knocking the revolver out of his hand. It was the door of his cupboard, not the door of his house or garage.

·       The Intruder rattles the door and shouts to let him out of the door. Gerrard answers a phone call, apologising that he wouldn’t be able to deliver stage props in time for rehearsal. At the same time he requests the caller to send the sergeant to his place to arrest the intruder. Gerrard decides to use it as the plot for his next play.



The chapter clearly highlights the message that we should keep our calm and use our presence of mind which would help us come out of the gravest problems or difficulties the way Gerrard has done. The story teaches us not to lose hope, calmness and composite nature even in adverse times.

Tuesday 23 May 2023

The Necklace class 10

The Necklace

                                 By Guy De Maupassant

Analysis of the Chapter

·        The story ‘The Necklace’ is written by Guy De Maupassant, a French writer who is renowned as a master of the short story form.

·        It is a dramatic story from the life of a pretty woman, Matilda Loisel who went through a difficult phase of her life due to her dreams and uncontrollable desires.

·        The story conveys that contentment is the greatest wealth and materialistic possessions can’t give us real happiness.

·         The story comprises of all the elements of a wonderful story such as action, twist, life like characters and surprise ending, all beautifully employed by Guy De Maupassant, a great story writer.

Summary  / Synopsis

·        The story is about Matilda Loisel, a very pretty young lady. She felt as if she was born in a family of clerk through an error of destiny. But, she wanted to appreciated and talked by the rich gentry. She got married to a clerk, Mr. Loisel, in the Education Board Office. Matilda would dream of beautiful things, so she remained unhappy.

·        One evening Mr. Loisel came home with an invitation to the Minister’s party. But, contrary to his expectation Matilda became sad because she did not have a good dress for the party. Her husband loved her so much that in order to console her and make her happy he told that she could buy a new dress and was ready to give the amount of four hundred francs that he had kept aside to buy a gun.

·        Matilda bought the dress but she was still unhappy as she did not have a jewel suitable for the grand party and special guests on the party. He suggested her to wear natural flowers. Then, he reminded her about her rich friend, Madame Forestier who could lend her some jewels. The next day, she went and borrowed a diamond necklace for the occasion from her friend.

·        All praised her at the ball party. She was the prettiest of all. She danced gracefully. All men appreciated her. The party was over at four o’clock in the morning. She covered herself with the modest wrap and hurried to go home as she did not want to be noticed in an inexpensive wrap by other rich women who wrapped themselves in rich furs.

·        Reaching home Matilda wanted to admire herself having a glimpse in front of a mirror, so she unwrapped herself and found that the necklace was not there round her neck. Loisel went out to look for the necklace on the road and all the places where they had walked, in the carriage and surroundings. He filed a report in police and gave advertisement in newspaper. But, all in vain, the necklace was not found anywhere.

·        After a week, her husband suggested her to replace the necklace. They found a necklce just like the lost one, in the Palais Royal. The price was 40,000 francs but they got it for 36,000 francs. Mr. Loisel's father had given him 18,000 francs. He borrowed the remaining amount from various money lenders at a high interest. At last, they were able to buy the necklace and returned it to Madame Forestier who didn’t even look at the necklace but expected that it should have been returned earlier.

·        Madame Loisel was now facing the horrible life of wants and difficulties. They removed the maid, lived in cheaper accomodations, did all the household works herself. She bargained for each penny and the husband worked day and night. This life of poverty continued for ten years.

·        Matilda now looked old, a hard and ordinary working woman. Her hair were badly dressed and her dress was awry. In peaceful moments she would think of the earlier times and thought what would have happened if she had not lost the necklace.

·        One Sunday she was walking in the Champs Elysees. Suddenly she saw Mme Forestier walking with a child. She was still pretty and attractive. Mme Forestier could not recognise Matilda. Matilda told everything about losing the necklace and what had happened to her. At the end Mme, Forestier disclosed that the necklace she had lent was artificial.

Important Q - Ans Footprints without Feet


The story ‘The necklace’ voices out the message very clearly that ‘contentment is the greatest wealth and it brings real happiness. Therefore, one should be content with what he/she possesses and should live happily within the means. Material possessions are like fake diamonds that only glitter but happiness lies in being contented.

Important Question answers

Q. Who is responsible for Matilda's loss? How could she have avoided this tragic turnout in her life?

A. Matilda herself was responsible for her loss. Her greed and strong desire to lead a lavish and luxurious life led her to the tragic end of the story. In order to satisfy her desires, she had to borrow the necklace which was lost. She could have chosen something within her husband’s budget and given more importance to real happiness, and a loving and caring husband. Even her own beauty was a great asset, If she had told truth to her friend when necklace was lost, she could have avoided this tragic end.

The Midnight Visitor

Monday 22 May 2023

The Sermon at Benares

The Sermon at Benares

                          Compiled by  Betty  Renshaw

Analysis of the Chapter

·        The story ‘The Sermon at Benares’ is one of the sermons of Gautam Buddha, compiled by Betty Renshaw in his book ‘Values and Voices: A College Reader’

·        The story is about the early life and first sermon of Gautama Buddha who teaches Kisa Gautami, a bereaved mother, the lesson of life and death.

·        The story conveys a very important teaching of Gautam Buddha that man is mortal and the one who is born in this world has to die one day, sooner or later.

     After the sermon of Buddha, Kisa Gautami came to realise and accept that men are mortal and a wise person should not grieve at what is bound to happen because it only enhances his pain and sufferings.

Summary  / Synopsis

·        Gautama Buddha was born in an Indian royal family as a prince and was named Siddhartha Gautama. When he was twelve years old, he was sent to study Hindu sacred scriptures and upon returning four years later, he got married to a princess. Soon, they both had a son and they continued to live the royal life for about ten years. He was kept away from all the unpleasant experiences of the world. But, one day, on his way to hunt, he met a sick man, an aged man, a funeral procession and a monk begging for alms. These experiences acted as eye-opener for him and thus, he left all the royalty behind to seek enlightenment and spiritual knowledge. Upon attaining salvation, he began preaching the people. He gave his first sermon in the city of Benaras to Kisa Gautami.

·        Kisa Gautami whose son had died was suffering with unending pain. She went from house to house asking for the medicine to bring her son back to life. People started thinking that the lady had lost her senses.

·        Then, she met a man who advised her to go to Lord Buddha who could possibly have a solution for her problem.

·        She approached Buddha who asked her to bring a handful of mustard seeds putting a condition that the seeds must be procured from the house in which not a single family member had died. Kisa Gautami once again went on a search of mustard seeds from house to house but to her dismay, she could not find mustard seeds from a house that would fulfill Buddha’s condition.

·        Disheartened, she sat at the edge of the road and saw the lights that flickered and extinguished. She realised that she had been selfish. She became aware of the fact that men are mortal and no one can escape death which is the reality of life. This was exactly what Buddha wanted her to understand.

·        According to Lord Buddha, feelings of grief and sorrow only increase man’s pain and sufferings thus, deteriorating his health. Therefore, a wise person understands and accepts the laws of nature. We must not grieve at something that is bound to happen and only then he can be happy and blessed.

 Madam Rides the Bus


The chapter ‘The Sermon at Benares’ very beautifully brings out the spiritual message that death is the reality of life and the one who has taken birth in this mortal world has to die one day, sooner or later. It also teaches that we must not grieve at something that is bound to happen. 

Important Question Answers

Q. How did Kisa Gautami come to realise the truth second time which she failed to do first time?

Ans. Buddha didn’t preach in beginning to a grieving mother but raised a hope in Gautami's heart that her son could be revived. But, the condition imposed by him was impossible for her to fulfil and she could not bring mustard seeds from the house no person lost his loved ones. The futile search of Kisa Gautami made her realise that birth and death are a part of life and the one who has taken birth has to die sooner or later. She also realised that she had been selfish in her love and failed to accept the truth of life. She learnt that one can attain peace only by acceptance.

Important Q Ans First Flight