This content has been written by the experts keeping in mind the exam score. Go through The Hack Driver Question and Answer and add highest value to your studies.
The Hack Driver Question and Answer
1. Why do you think Bill offered to help the narrator find Lukens?
Ans. Bill himself was Lukens. He knew that the lawyer is searching for him. He wanted to play a prank on him and offered to help him find Lukens. Even he made some money in this process and made him wander here and there. He and his mother made a fool of the narrator and had great laughter.
2. The writer wasn’t very fond of new mullion when he reached the place. What made him grow fond of the village and its people?
Ans. Initially, the writer did not like the village. His eager expectations of a sweet and simple country village were severely disappointed but the friendly behaviour of Bill made him grow fond of the village and its people. He was so open and full of warmth and affection that the writer was touched.
3.’But he was no more dishonest than I’. Elaborate the statement with reference to ‘The Hack Driver’.
Ans. The lawyer charged a handsome amount from his firm to visit new mullion. He was given some amount to expend in the process of searching Lukens. But he paid very little money to the hack driver. Bill already knew that the lawyer was searching for him, still, he made him wander here and there, and even charged him two dollars an hour for six hours, including one hour of his lunchtime. This made the lawyer utter these words.
4. Write the plan suggested by Bill for lunch and state the reason behind it.
Ans. The lawyer felt hungry and wanted to eat something in a restaurant but Bill suggested him to take lunch at his home cooked by his wife. He told him that it will cost him cheaper than the restaurant because she won’t charge him more than half a dollar. He did so because he wanted to make some money out of it. Secondly, it will take nearly cur hour to go there and have lunch so ho will be charged another two dollars for it. Thus it was a good business for him.
5. What qualities of the hack driver impressed the young lawyer?
Ans. The hack driver’s cheerful face and friendly manner made the lawyer conclude that he liked people. The hack driver’s openness, again made the lawyer glow in the warmth of affection.
6. Describe the feelings of the young lawyer when he came to know the reality of the hack driver at last.
Ans. As long as the lawyer did not know that the hack driver was Lukens himself, he enjoyed the hack driver’s company and glowed in the warmth of his affection. But as the identity of the hack driver was revealed, the lawyer felt very quite hurt. This was especially when Lukens and his mother laughed at the lawyer as though h he rye was a boy when he served the summons. Later, however, he acknowledged their loving kindness too.
7. On his way back, the narrator did not worry about his failure to find Lukens. What was the reason behind his carefree attitude?
Ans. On his way back, the lawyer did not worry about the failure of his mission, for he was too busy thinking about Bill Magnuson, the hack driver. In fact, he even started considering his return to New Mullion to practice law. He found Bill deep and richly human and pictured an honest and happy life in the village.
8. Discuss the character of the young lawyer as depicted in the chapter The Hack Driver’?
Ans. The narrator who is a lawyer is a man who could be taken for a ride very easily. He easily gets flattered by affection and warmth and fails to apply logic to even essential things. The hack driver who is Lukens himself, whom the narrator wants to meet, thus dupes him very easily. The gullible nature of the narrator invites our sympathy for him.
9. The hack driver at New Mullion befriended the lawyer. What did he do after that?
Ans. After befriending the lawyer, the hack driver who was Lukens himself offered to ‘search for’ Lukens to whom the lawyer had to serve the summon. He first took the lawyer to Fritz’s shop, then to Mustafa’s and Gray’s barber shops and then to the poolroom. Later, he took the lawyer to his wife for lunch for half a dollar and finally to `Lukens’ mother.
10. How did Bill paint a picture of people in words?
Ans. The Bill, the hack driver was very talkative. He won his confidence. He drove him to various places telling that the villagers would help him in fading Lukens.
11. Why was the lawyer happy about the day?
Ans. The lawyer was asked to go to a small village, New Mullion, to serve the summons to Lukens. He was happy to go as he had expected the countryside town to be green and refreshing – a respite from the crowded, noisy, dry atmosphere of the city. Hence he was happy.
12. How was the hack driver recognized?
Ans. Next morning, the lawyer was sent back to New Mullion with a man who knew Lukens by face. At the station, the lawyer saw Bill talking to Lufkin’s mother in a friendly manner. He was surprised to know that Bill was no other but Lukens himself.
13. What did the hack driver tell the narrator about Lukens’ mother?
Ans. He said that she was nine feet tall and four feet thick as a cat and could talk sharp. She was a real terror. Once, she almost took off his skin because he did not treat the box she had given to him to carry as delicately as a box of eggs.
14. Why could the lawyer not find Lukens?
Ans. The lawyer could not find Lukens because the hack driver, Bill himself was Lukens. ‘Inca the lawyer had not seen or met him before, he could not identify him and Lukens took adman tautly. Anti nerved a practical joke on him.
15. Does the narrator serve the summons that day? If’ not, why?
Ans. The narrator could not serve the summons that day as he could not find ‘, Aka’s, ‘it did not know that the hack driver named Bill was actually Lukens himself and was making a practical joke on him in the name of helping him in searching Lukens.
16. How did Lufkin’s mother receive the narrator?
How did Lufkin’s mother treat the lawyer?
Ans. The hack driver took him to the farm of Lufkin’s mother. He introduced the lawyer and told her that he had come to serve summons to Lukens and had legal right to search the property. The mother got irritated and attacked him with hot iron rods. Both got scared and ran away.
17. How did the hack driver describe Lufkin?
Ans. The hack driver told the narrator that Lukens was very popular among the fellow villagers. He was a careless, dishonest wanderer and could be seen here, there, everywhere. He was always up to one thing or the other. He owed money to several people.
18. Why did the young lawyer wish to return to New Mullion?
Ans. Although the young lawyer failed to serve summons to Lukens, he was so much impressed with the warmth and helpful nature of the country people that he felt excited. He planned to practice at New Mullion and leave his job.
Q19. What kind of a job was the narrator usually entrusted with? Why wasn’t he satisfied with his job in the city?
Ans. The narrator was a junior assistant clerk in a magnificent law firm. He was sent, not to prepare legal briefs but to serve the summons. He had to act like a cheap private detective. It wasn’t easy and safe to go to the ‘dirty’ and ‘shadowy’ corners of the city. Sometimes he was even beaten up by toughs. He hated his job and working in such a hostile environment in the city.
Q20. Why did he consider fleeing to his home town?
Ans. Serving summons in the dirty and shadowy corners of the city was quite an unpleasant job. On many occasions, he was beaten up by the musclemen and toughs. He even considered fleeing to his home town because it was more pleasant and safe to work there. He could have been a real lawyer there without going through the job of a cheap detective.
Q21. Why did the lawyer rejoice at his new assignment?
Ans. Working in the dirty and shadowy parts of the city was becoming more dangerous and difficult for the lawyer. He was overjoyed when his law firm sent him out forty miles out in the country to a town called New Mullion. He was to serve a summons on a man called Oliver Lutkins. They needed this man as a witness in a legal case. The idea of visiting a country town with cleaner surroundings was quite a welcome and romantic diversion for him.
Q22. Why was the narrator disappointed when he got to New Mullion? What was the only ‘agreeable sight’ about the place?
Ans. The narrator had formed quite a romantic and pleasant picture of this country town called New Mullion. When he reached there, his eager expectations were belied. He was very much disappointed. Its streets were narrow rivers of mud. Its shops were either badly painted or not painted at all. The only agreeable sight about the place was the delivery man at the station who called himself Bill.
Q23. What impression did the narrator (the lawyer) form of Bill when he met him for the first time?
Ans. The narrator found the delivery man at the station as the only ‘agreeable sight’ in New Mullion. The man called himself Bill and he was a hack driver. He was about forty. He looked red-faced and cheerful. He looked thick in the middle. His working clothes were dirty and worn out. His manners were pleasant and friendly. The narrator was happy to meet such a man.
Q24. What did the narrator tell Bill and what was his reply about Oliver Lutkins?
Ans. The narrator himself told Bill the purpose of his visit to New Mullion. He told him that he had come there in search of a man named Oliver Lutkins. Bill seemed to be a little surprised and asked, “Lutkins?” Then he replied that he saw Lutkins around there about an hour ago. It was difficult to catch him. He was always up to something or the other. Perhaps he could be found in the back of Fritz’s shop trying to set up a poker game. Bill told the lawyer that he knew the places Lutkins usually could be found in.
Q25. Why did the narrator feel that Bill had already made it his own task to find Oliver Lutkins for him?
Ans. The narrator found Bill very open and friendly. He ‘glowed with warmth’ of his affection. Bill wanted the business but his kindness was real. He offered his carriage for two dollars an hour. The narrator was happy to pay to such a good fellow. Bill assured the narrator that he knew about all the places where Lutkins usually could be found out. The narrator began to feel that Bill had made it his own task to find Oliver Lutkins for him.
Q26. Why did the narrator feel that ‘Bill seemed to admire Lutkins for dishonesty? Why did he feel that if he had been a policeman, he would have regretted sending him to jail?
Ans. Bill told the narrator that Oliver Lutkins was “not really bad”. He was a hard fellow to be caught. He was always up to something or the other. He played a lot of pokers. He was good at deceiving people. The narrator felt that Bill seemed to admire Lutkins’ talent for dishonesty. Had he been a policeman, he would have regretted sending Bill to jail.
Q27. Why did the narrator and Bill proceed to Fritz and why did Bill ask him to keep out of sight behind him?
Ans. Bill told the narrator that probably Oliver Lutkins was trying to start a poker game in the back of Fritz’s shop. Bill led him there and he asked the narrator to hide behind him. Fritz hesitated and then admitted that Lutkins was there a little while ago. Bill kept the narrator behind him because he didn’t want him to talk to any person directly. Had he done so, Bill would have been exposed at once that he was playing a double role. He was Lutkins himself.
Q28. What information did the narrator get after visiting Gustaf? Gray’s barber shops and other places in New Mullion?
Ans. They drove to Gustaf’s barbershop. Again Bill entered first. The lawyer remained at the door. Gustaff replied angrily that he hadn’t seen him. If they found him, they could collect the money he owed him. Then, Bill took him to Gray’s shop. Perhaps, Lutkins had gone there for a shave. They were told that they missed Lutkins by only five minutes. They got the same answer at the pool room and elsewhere in the town.
Q29. Why did the narrator feel that Bill’s helpfulness for him was not entirely of brotherly love?
Ans. The narrator began to understand that Bill’s helpfulness for him was not completely of brotherly love. He was a perfect businessman. The narrator paid him for six hours, including the lunch hour. Bill was paid 2 dollars for an hour. But the narrator realised that Bill was not more dishonest than him. He charged the whole amount from the firm.
Q30. Why did Bill take the narrator to Bill’s terrible mother in the end? Why had she once ‘almost’ taken Bill’s skin off?
Ans. In the end, Bill stopped a friend of Lutkins. He made him admit that Oliver had gone to his mother’s farm. Bill told the narrator that Oliver Lutkins’ mother was a terror. Once, he faced her anger because she felt that Bill had not handled her trunk with proper care. She almost took his skin off. She was 9 feet tall and 4 feet thick and quick as a cat.
Q31. Describe the narrator’s encounter with Lutkins’ terrible mother. Why was he asked to move out immediately by Bill?
Ans. Bill drove the narrator into a poor farmyard. There they were faced by a huge and cheerful old woman. Bill bravely went up to her and asked about her son, Oliver Lutkins. She shouted that she didn’t know anything about him. Bill told her that they had a legal right to search the house. This made her famous. She went inside and came out with an iron rod from the hearth. She threatened to burn them alive if they dared to do such a thing. Bill asked the narrator to go out at once before she could murder them.
Q32. Why did the narrator worry very little about his failure and considered returning to New Mullion to practice law?
Ans. The narrator worried very little about his failure to trace Oliver Lutkins. He was busy thinking about Bill Magnuson. He considered returning to New Mullion to practise law. After all, he could find such honest and human people like Bill only in New Mullion. He would feel honoured to have soft-spoken and wise neighbours like Fritz and Gustaff and a hundred others. He pictured an honest, happy and a new way of life there.
Q33. How did the narrator’s boss react to his failure in tracing Oliver Lutkins?
Ans. The narrator couldn’t trace Oliver Lutkins in New Mullion. The people in the company were upset. The case was coming up in court. The narrator felt himself a ‘shameful, useless fool.’ He felt his promising legal career coming to an end before it had begun. The chief almost ‘murdered’ him. He hinted that he might do well at digging trenches. He was ordered back to New Mullion with a man who had worked with Oliver Lutkins.
Q34. What happened at the railway platform when the narrator saw Bill standing with Oliver’s mother on his second visit to New Mullion?
Ans. The narrator was on his second visit to New Mullion. He was with a man who had worked with Lutkins. When the train arrived at the station, the narrator saw Bill standing at the platform with Oliver Lutkins’ mother. They were talking and laughing freely. He introduced his companion to Bill and praised him for helping him in hunting Oliver Lutkins. The man recognised Lutkins. He declared that the hack driver was not Bill but Oliver Lutkins himself.
Q35. Why did Oliver Lutkins and his mother laugh at the lawyer (the narrator) when he served the summons? Why did Lutkins take him to his neighbour’s house for a cup of coffee?
Ans. When the narrator served summons, Lutkins was not at all worried. On the other hand, the narrator was hurt that they laughed at him as if he were a seven-year-old boy. Then, Lutkins begged the narrator to accompany them to one of his neighbours for a cup of coffee. He said sarcastically that all the people of New Mullion had met such a (gullible and novice) person like the narrator. They were the only people in the town that missed seeing him.
36. What job did the narrator get after graduation? Did he like his work?
Ans. After graduation, the narrator got the job of a junior assistant clerk in a law firm. His work was to serve summons like a cheap private detective. He had to go to dirty areas of the city. So he did not like his work.
37. (i) Why was he happy to go to New Mullion? Why did he go there?
Ans. The author was sick of the city life. He was happy to go to New Mullion because he thought that he would get peace and natural beauty there. He went there to serve summons to a person named Oliver Lutkins.
(ii) Why did the lawyer find the sight at the station “agreeable”?
Ans. The lawyer was severely disappointed when he viewed the sight of New Mullion. Its streets were rivers of mud. But the only agreeable sight was the delivery man he met at the station. He was cheerful and friendly.
38. How did the hack driver sketch the character of Lutkins?
Ans. The hack driver said that Lutkins was a very dishonest fellow. He was very good at deceiving people. It was hard to catch him. He loved playing poker. He owed money to many but did not pay anybody a cent because he did not like to part with money.
39. With what impression did the lawyer come back to the city?
Ans. The lawyer was happy and excited. He was a little worried about his failure to trace out Lutkins. He thought that people in New Mullion were simple, slow-spoken and helpful. He even wanted to start his law practice at New Mullion.
40. How did the people at the law firm receive him?
Ans. The people at the law time were very angry with him over his failure. They called him a useless fool. The chief of the firm almost murdered him. He said that he might do well at digging ditches.
41. Why was he sent back to New Mullion? Who went with him?
Ans. Lutkins was badly needed as a witness in a case in the court the next morning. So the narrator was sent back to serve the summons to Lutkins. A man who recognised Lutkins went with him.
42. Who was the hack driver? What really hurt the feelings of the narrator?
Ans. In reality, the hack driver was Oliver Lutkins himself. He took the narrator the whole day in his carriage looking for Oliver Lutkins. The narrator’s feelings were hurt because Lutkins and his mother laughed at him as though he was a bright boy of seven years.
43. How did the hack driver offer to help the narrator?
Ans. The hack driver told the narrator that he could help him a lot to trace out Lutkins. He said that he knew all the places where he could be found but he said that he would charge for it.
44. How did the hack driver come to know why the lawyer was hunting for Lutkins?
Ans. The hack driver told the lawyer that if he tried to collect money from him in those fancy clothes, he would be suspicious and run away. The lawyer took him into his confidence and told him that he wanted to serve the summons on Lutkins.
45. How did the narrator learn the truth about the hack driver?
Ans. The owner of the law firm in the city sent hack the narrator to New Mullion immediately. A man who knew Lutkins was also sent with him. When they reached the station, the hack driver was standing there near his carriage. The man pointed out that the hack driver was Lutkins.
1. The hack driver misguided the lawyer and led him on the wrong path How could the lawyer be proactive?
The hack driver pretended that he was looking for Lukens when he was Lukens himself in real life. How did Lukens make the lawyer a wise person?
Ans. The hack driver misguided the lawyer and openly droves him all over the village. He took him too many places such as Beninese’s Mustafa, a barber shop, Gray’s barber shop, Pool room, and his mother’s farmyard. He charged him two dollars an hour for all his visits. He himself talked low of Lukens and did not allow him to meet anyone directly.
The lawyer could have been more protective in some ways. He should have talked to more people rather than enjoy a whole day at the expense of the firm. He should not have hidden behind the hack driver but should have tried to talk once to the villagers. He should not give the lead to the hack driver. Instead, he should have led this visit himself, inquiring more and more people.
2. Why do you think the lawyer was happy to take summons to New Mullion? How did the lawyer develop a perception about Lukens? If you would have been in the lawyer’s place, what would have been your reaction towards Bill’s statements?
Ans. The narrator was happy to go to New Mullion. He thought it must be a beautiful and calm village. He considered Lukens a friendly fellow. He liked his openness, warmth and affection. He took his kindness to be real. He was impressed by his ever of help although the hack driver was doing his business and earning handsome money from the lawyer.
If I had been in the lawyer’s place I never considered Bill’s statement true. I would have counter checked his statement by talking to other persons of the village. I would not have spent the whole day with a single person in search of Lukens, but rather consulted different people to find Lukens.
3. Attempt the character sketch of the hack driver?
Ans. The narrator happened to meet the hack driver on reaching New Mullion. He was Lukens himself. When he came to know the purpose of the narrator’s visit, he offered help in finding Lukens at a charge of two pounds per hour. He was a red-faced, forty-year-old man having a cheerful and pleasant personality. The lawyer liked him at the first look. He was fun-loving and jolly. He played a practical joke on the lawyer. When he came to know that he did not identify Lukens, he introduced himself as Bill. He was neither honest nor helpful. He was rather clever. He charged him for the lunch hour and the food that he got from his wife. But he was creative, humorous and witty. He portrayed the people of New Mullion, in an entertaining and humorous manner reflecting his cheerful wisdom.
4. Describe the encounter of the young lawyer with the hack driver in the village.
Narrate the narrator’s first visit to New Mullion.
Ans. The author/lawyer was sent to New Mullion to serve summons to Lukens. At the station, he met a cheerful hack driver who was Lukens himself. He took advantage of the situation as the author who had never met Lukens before could not identify him. The fun-loving Lukens introduced himself as Bill. He offered him all his help to find Lukens. He took him all over the village but in vain. He entertained the author with his lucid description of the village folk, charged him two dollars per hour and half a dollar for food. The author was impressed by the warm affection, kind and helpful nature of Bill and the hospitality and cooperation of the villagers. He thought of leaving his present job and starting his legal practice at New Mullion.
Q6. Why was the narrator sent to New Mullion? Why didn’t he succeed in his mission on his first visit?
Ans. The narrator was a junior assistant clerk in a magnificent legal firm. His job was not to prepare legal briefs but to serve the summons. He was sent to New Mullion, a country town about forty miles away from his city. He was to serve a summons on a person named Oliver Lutkins. Lutkins was needed in a legal case as a witness.
The narrator’s first visit to New Mullion was a complete failure. He couldn’t find even a trace of Oliver Lutkins. Actually, the delivery man and the hack driver Bill, who met him at the station, was responsible for this failure. Bill be-friended the lawyer assuring him that he knew the places where Lutkins usually used to hang about. He told a lie that he had seen Lutkins just an hour ago. Then, Bill drove the narrator to the different parts of the town and meeting different people there. Actually, Bill planned the whole false drama the moment he came to know that the narrator was searching for Oliver Lutkins. Everywhere he went, he kept the narrator standing behind him at the door. He didn’t allow him to interrogate people directly about Lutkins. They drove to Fritz’s, to Gustaf’s, Gray’s barber shop and to the poolroom. Everywhere they got the same answer that Lutkins had left only a while ago. All this was preplanned by Bill and the search was bound to end in failure.
Q7. Give a character-sketch of the narrator or the lawyer of the story, ‘The Hack Driver’?
Ans. The narrator was a junior assistant clerk in a magnificent law firm. His work was not to prepare legal briefs but to serve the summons. The narrator was fed up with his job as he had to visit many dirty and shadowy corners of the city. On several occasions, he was attacked and beaten up by musclemen and toughs of these areas. He even considered fleeing to his country town.
The narrator was highly gullible. He didn’t behave like a seasoned legal mind. He was so much impressed with Bill that he became totally dependent on him. He failed to keep his mission a secret to himself. By disclosing that he had come to serve a summons on Oliver Lutkins, he gave the crafty and clever Bill enough space and time to confuse and misdirect his search. Bill, who was Oliver Lutkins himself, drove him aimlessly without allowing the narrator to talk directly to the people. He feared lest he should be exposed.
The narrator had a romantic yearning for country life and its people. After his first visit, he didn’t mind his failure but planned to come to New Mullion again to start his legal practice there. The narrator proved himself a novice and not a seasoned legal mind. When he served summons, Lutkins and his mother laughed at him as if he were a seven-year-old boy.
Q8. Draw a character sketch of Oliver Lutkins as told by the hack driver, Bill.
How did the hack driver sketch the character of Lutkins?
Ans. The hack driver, Bill, who was Oliver Lutkins himself, does help us drawing a character-sketch of Oliver Lutkins. Being a good talker, Bill gave a detailed description of Oliver Lutkins and his activities to the narrator. Bill told the narrator that Lutkins was a hard fellow to be caught. He was always up to something or the other. He was deeply interested in poker. Probably, he was trying to start up a poker game in the back of Fritz’s shop.
Bill told that Oliver Lutkins never paid anybody a cent. He still owed Bill fifty cents on a poker game. Lutkins was not really bad, but it was hard to make him part with his money. Bill also told that Lutkins had a talent for dishonesty. Lutkins’ mother was a terror and he had gone to his mother’s farm to hide behind his mother’s skirts,
Oliver Lutkins’ real character was exposed when his real identity was revealed. Bill was actually acting as Oliver Lutkins. When summons was served, Lutkins and his mother laughed at the narrator as if he were a seven-year-old boy. Lutkins outwitted, outsmarted and outmanoeuvred the narrator. Clever and cunning, Lutkins proved that the gullible narrator was just a novice before a seasoned crook like him.
Q9.Give a character sketch of Bill, the hack driver, in your own words.
Ans.Bill, though Oliver Lutkins himself, has a distinct personality as a hack driver. According to the narrator, Bill was the only ‘agreeable sight’ about the place. He was about forty, red-faced, cheerful and thick about the middle. His working clothes were dirty and well worn. Bill’s manners were friendly.
Bill had all the arts with him to win the confidence of gullible people like the narrator. He befriended the narrator and convinced him that he would not be able to trace Oliver Lutkins without his help. Bill knew how to confuse and misdirect the people from their real mission. The moment he came to know that the narrator had come to New Mullion to serve a summons on Oliver Lutkins, he made a plan to befool the narrator by taking him to different people and places. Whether Fritz or Gustaff or Gray, all were tutored by Bill to say what he wanted them to say.
Bill was a great schemer. He didn’t allow the narrator to come in direct touch with the people and question them about Oliver Lutkins. He always asked him to stand behind him.
Bill played a double role as a perfect actor. When his identity was exposed, he laughed at the narrator as if he was a seven-year-old boy. Actually, Bill or Oliver Lutkins himself, outwitted and outmanoeuvred the gullible narrator.
Q10. How did the hack driver outwit and befool the lawyer (the narrator)? What impression do you form of the narrator after both visits to New Mullion?
Bill or Oliver Lutkins was a complete contrast to the narrator. How did a seasoned crook like Lutkins outwit the gullible lawyer proving him a novice and just a bright boy of seven?
Ans. Certainly, both the main characters of the story are totally different. Bill or Lutkins manoeuvres and plots under the garb of friendliness. The narrator is outwitted and deceived due to his gullibility. Bill (Lutkins) knows how to confuse and misdirect the narrator’s search for Oliver Lutkins. He befriends the lawyer convincing him that he is the only person in New Mullion who can help him in finding out Oliver Lutkins. He overpowers the narrator’s capacity for reasoning and thinking. The narrator becomes a soft target of cunning Lutkins. He allows giving Lutkins all the space and time that he needed to plan out and scheme things. The narrator became just a willing puppet in Bill’s hands. Actually, he danced to his tunes. Bill’s pretensions clouded the narrator’s wisdom and sense of discretion. Bill (Lutkins) was not a crook and fraud but an honest man full of human values for him. The cunning Lutkins had the last laugh. When the narrator served summons, Lutkins and his mother laughed as if he were a seven-year-old boy.
Q11. How were the summons finally served on Lutkins? How did Lutkins and his mother react on that occasion?
Ans. On his first visit, in spite of his efforts and pains, the lawyer (the narrator) failed to trace Oliver Lutkins. The gullible narrator was bound to fail in his mission. He was not allowed to know that Bill himself was Oliver Lutkins. At every stage, he was misdirected and confused. The crafty hack driver never allowed him to question and meet the people directly. He always kept him behind him. Only on his second visit, he succeeded in his mission. The Chief sent a man with him. That man recognised Lutkins and had worked with him. At the station, when the lawyer introduced Bill, his companion told that Bill was no one else but Oliver Lutkins himself. In this way, the lawyer was able to serve a summons on Oliver Lutkins.
When the summons was served, Oliver Lutkins and his mother laughed at the lawyer or the narrator. They laughed as if he were a bright seven-year-old boy. And this was exactly what he proved. The cunning crook Lutkins had the last laugh.
Q12. Describe the narrator’s encounter with Oliver Lutkins’ mother at her farm. Was it a planned and fake drama? Give a reasoned answer.
Ans. When they couldn’t trace Oliver Lutkins anywhere in New Mullion, Bill directed the lawyer to his last visit to Oliver Lutkins’ mother. Her farm was three miles north to the town. Bill told the lawyer that Lutkins must have heard that somebody was chasing him. Perhaps, Lutkins had gone to his mother’s farm “to hide behind his mother’s skirts. Bill also told him that Lutkins’ mother was a terrible woman.
They drove to the farmhouse. They were faced with an enormous and cheerful old woman. Bill bravely went to her. He informed her that her son, Oliver Lutkins, was needed as a witness in a
legal case. The woman told bluntly that she didn’t know anything about Lutkins. Bill pressed for searching the house as it was their legal right. Lutkins’ mother went inside and came out with an iron rod from the old stove to attack them. Bill advised the lawyer to get out of there to avoid being murdered by her. So, the last hope of tracing Oliver Lutkins also ended in smoke.
The encounter was staged by the cunning Bill himself. As he was Oliver Lutkins himself, playing the role of Bill, he didn’t want to be traced. This drama was enacted only to confuse and misdirect the lawyer from his real search.
13. Describe the narrator’s first visit to New Mullion.
Describe the young lawyer’s first encounter with the hack driver.
Ans. The narrator was a junior assistant clerk in a law firm in the city. Once he was sent to New Mullion to serve summons to a person named Oliver Lutkins. He reached New Mullion by train. At the station, he met a hack driver. He seemed to be helpful and friendly. The narrator told him that he wanted to see Lutkins very urgently. The hack driver was Lutkins himself. He told the narrator that he knew all the places very well where Lutkins could be found. The narrator hired him at the rate of two dollars per hour.
The hack driver drove the narrator for six hours in New Mullion in search of Lutkins. He kept the narrator behind him. He was so cunning that he tutored the people about his plan. Everybody said that Lutkins was there a little while ago and had just gone away. The narrator had to return back to the city without finding Lutkins.
14. How were the summons served to Lutkins?
Ans. During his first visit to New Mullion, the narrator failed to serve the summons to Oliver Lutkins because he was duped by a hack driver. The Chief of the law firm was very angry over his failure. The firm needed Lutkins very badly because he was an important witness in a case in the court the next morning. So the narrator was sent back to New Mullion immediately. A man who knew Lutkins was also sent with him. When they reached New Mullion station, the hackman was standing there near his carriage. He was talking to his mother. The man recognised him as Oliver Lutkins. Then the narrator served him the summons.
15. Write a character sketch of the lawyer. [H.B.S.E. March. 2017 (Set-D)]
Ans. The lawyer was a fresh graduate from a university. He got a job as a junior assistant clerk in a law firm. His duty was to serve the summons. He did not like his job. He liked simple, honest and friendly people. He got very happy when he was asked to go to New Mullion. He loved natural beauty. He liked New Mullion and its people very much. He considered starting his law practice at New Mullion. He was a simple-hearted man. He was easily taken for a ride by the hack driver. He could not see the trick of the hackman behind his friendly behaviour. But he was a man of self-respect. His feelings were hurt when Lutkins and his mother laughed at him as he was a bright boy of seven years.
16. What did the hack driver tell the narrator about Lutkins’ mother?
Ans. The hack driver told the narrator that Lutkins’ mother was a terror. He told him that she was about nine feet tall and four feet thick. He told him that once he had taken a trunk for her at her farmhouse. She almost had taken his skin off because he had not treated the trunk like a box of eggs. He said to him that she was as quick as a cat. If she had heard from anywhere that someone had been looking for her son, she would have been more dangerous. He made the narrator more frightened to tell that facing such a dangerous lady would be very risky.