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Theory:

     It was a quiet, kindly voice, but one with firmness in it. A woman was standing in the doorway, and Sherry was rubbing against her. She was young, quite pretty, and was dressed in red. She walked to the fireplace and straightened the ornaments there.
 
     “Down, Sherry,” she said. “Anyone would think I’d been away for a month!” She smiled at Horace, and went on, “However, I came back just in time, though I didn’t expect to meet a burglar.”
 
     Horace had some hope because she seemed to be amused at meeting him. He might avoid trouble if he treated her the right way. He replied, “I didn’t expect to meet one of the family.”
Explanation:
 
The young woman's voice was soft and kind, yet it was also firm, indicating that she was the home's owner.
 
Suddenly, Horace realised that the voice belonged to a woman standing in the doorway, and Sherry was rubbing the dog.
 
Dogs commonly scrape humans to express their affection for them. The woman looked young, pretty, and was dressed in red. She walked towards him and arranged the decorations she had kept on the fireplace. She then instructed her dog to stay away. Then she told Horace that people might be thinking that she was away for a month, but she was back on time. Moreover, to her surprise, she didn’t expect to meet a burglar at her house.
 
Horace had some hope that he would not be punished because the young woman seemed so kind and compassionate when she saw a burglar at her house, rather than being terrified or rude, and so he assumed she would let him leave. He also believed that if he treated her well and didn't do anything wrong, she would forgive him. Having thought so, he replied to her, saying, "I didn’t expect to meet one of the family".
 
The woman's weird behaviour shows a few things as follows: 
She didn't fear Horace and thought she could manage the problem on her own. It's because she didn't ask anyone for help, and she didn't call the cops. However, it raises the question of whether the young woman was the true owner of the house.
  
Meaning of difficult words:
  
S. No.
Words
Meaning
1.
Ornaments Objects used to decorate rooms
2.
Amuse To seem funny to someone
3.
StraightenTo put in order
4.
FirmnessBeing steady without a change
Reference:
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2008). Honeydew. A Question of Trust - Victor Canning (pp 20-24). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.