A party is being held at a local mansion. The host is very rich and her apparently miraculous success is entirely due to her famous recipe for spaghetti. A friend of yours gatecrashed one of the earlier parties and found where the recipe is hidden - in one of the many wardrobes in the host's bedroom - but he was caught by security before he managed to steal the recipe. Your task is to get into the current party and steal the recipe.
At the entrance to the mansion is a security guard. You know that the only guests that may attend are people who answer his questions correctly, so you hide nearby and listen to the passwords, hoping to guess the pattern.
The first guest arrives, his fingers covered in rings. The guard greets him by name and says "6". The guest replies "5" and is admitted.
The second guest arrives on a sleigh. The guard greets her as an old friend of the host, and says "7". She replies "6" and is admitted.
The third guest comes galloping along on his horse. The guard recognises him, but when he says "5" the guest answers wrongly ("4") and is dragged away by lions. "You should have said '7'," the guard mutters. "That can't have been who I thought it was; must have been his twin brother."
By now you've realised that this time there is a guest list: to be admitted, you need not only to figure out the key to the passwords but also to be recognised by the guard. You creep further away from the entrance, hoping to find someone you can impersonate. As you leave, you hear the guard say "2" to the fourth guest, who says "8" and is admitted.
The mansion is situated very near the sea, and you find the fifth guest arriving on a boat. As he is securing it to a post, you sneak up behind him and stun him. Quickly you dress up in his clothes. You search his pockets in case he's brought written instructions he was given on how to answer the security questions, but you find only
an inkwell, a map of the Hebrides, a box of staples, and a copy of Thomas Hardy's book 'Jude the Obscure'.
Back at the mansion, you walk up to the guard, who takes you for the man you attacked and says "3". What do you reply?
You hear music by Gustav Holst coming from inside the mansion. You also notice another entrance where animals are coming to the party; you're lucky you came to the humans' door.
Required methodology (read this if you think you have a very simple answer):
The underlying idea type is the same as that of this question. More explicitly, you need to think of a real-life person (all the pocket items point towards this person) and then use this person's best-known fictional works. So (clues) -> (person) -> (works) -> (answer)! There are also more clues towards these works hidden throughout the story.