A Question of Trust Summary by Victor Canning

A Clever Thief

The story is about Horace Danby who is a man with a unique perspective and skill set. Socially, he has a reputation of a good and honest man. He is a locksmith and excels at his job.

However, he has a secret. He steals but does not do it often. He limits his crimes to once per year. Owing to his meticulous preparation, nobody has ever suspected his secret identity. 

His Next Adventure

His next adventure is a house of some rich family and he makes all his preparations attentively. On the day of the theft, he enters the house without a glitch but is startled by some noise.

It comes from a young and attractive woman who had caught him. He is shocked and panicked. He asks the woman to forget about the encounter. But the woman threatens to alert the police.

However, she needs some favour and asks for a bargain. In return for her silence, he has to break into a vault and take something out. It was jewellery that her husband has kept for her but she has forgotten the code that opened the vault.

Danby is out of options and obliged. He even forgets to put on his gloves, which is unlike his usual calm self. Once the crime is done, he quietly disappears from the house.

Danby is Arrested

Unfortunately, a couple of days later he is apprehended by the law officers on a charge of robbery. Danby tries to put in a case of innocence but he has left his fingerprints on the scene of the robbery.

Then he argues that he had no choice as the lady of the house forced his hand. But soon he sees the real owner of the house, who was a different woman, a lot older and feeble. Devastated and confused, Danby is put in jail.

But it was not the punishment that hurt him the most. He is embarrassed how another thief, a girl at that could dupe him so easily. He laments the fact that there is no respect even within the community of criminals!

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