The Hack Driver Class 10 | Sinclair Lewis | Chapter 8 | English |


The Hack Driver Class 10 by Sinclair Lewis | Chapter 8 | English |

Summary of The Hack Driver

This chapter revolves around a cunning man Oliver Lutkins who is a witness in a case but ignores all the summons and requests for appearing sent by the court. A young lawyer is given a responsibility to handle this case to find him and to present him in the court but deceived in the end.

The narrator of this chapter is a young lawyer who works in a law firm. His duty is to serve summons to witnesses and to present in the court. He wishes to have some good cases but he does not get. Therefore, he has to resort to sending summons for making his body and soul together. Although the work is difficult and full of risk, yet he gets ready to accept the challenge. 

Once, he goes to New Mullion, a village, to serve Summons to Oliver Lutkins, a witness in a case who has been ignoring all the requests for appearing in the court. On the commencement of his journey, he expects the Town to be beautiful but finds everything on the contrary. The only thing that impresses him at the station is a friendly hack driver who assures the lawyer to help him find Oliver Lutkins. At the same time, the carriage driver tells him that a person like Lutkins is hard to catch for he has cheated many in the recent past with his smartness. The lawyer gets impressed with his friendly behavior.

The hack driver takes him to many places but they miss Oliver Lutkins all the time. At the end of the day, he even takes him to his home and gets him some food to eat prepared by his own wife. On the other hand, the lawyer is enjoying his company though he is not able to catch the witness. He roams around almost for six hours but all in vain.

Ultimately, the driver suggests him that they should look for his mother despite searching him at her place since she could tell them about the whereabouts of Lutkins. On reaching there, they both are chased by his mother as if she wanted to burn them alive. They both have a narrow escape in the end. The lawyer has to return without serving him the summons in the end which makes his boss angry and wild.

The next day, the lawyer is once again sent to New Mullions with a man who knows a lot about Lutkins. At the station, he finds the hack driver laugh with Lutkins mother. He tells his companion about the hack driver and the kind of help he provided to him during his last visit to the town for finding Lutkins. To his surprise, his companion tells him that the man himself is Lutkins. Ultimately, the lawyer serves summons to a laughing Oliver Lutkins.


Short Answer Type Questions of The Hack Driver

Question 1. Why is the lawyer sent to New Mullion? What does he first think about the place?

Answer: A lawyer was sent to New Mullion to serve a summons on a man called Oliver Lutkins. Lutkins needed to be a witness in a law case but he had ignored all letters from the law firm. He thinks that New Mullion would be an nice and simple country village.

Question 2. Who befriends him? Where does he take him?

Answer: Bill Magnuson, who calls himself a delivery man, tells the lawyer that he is hard to catch. Bill helps him, by going with him to places where Lutkins hangs out at. They take him to Fritz’s shop, where Lutkins plays poker games; then Gustaf’s shop; Gray’s shop; and many other places until they end up at his mother’s farm.

Question 3. What does he say about Lutkins?

Answer: Bill says Lutkins is hard to catch and always doing something. He owes money to people and never pays them back. Bill also says that Lutkins plays a lot of poker games and is good at deceiving people.

Read and Find Out (Page No. 50)

Question 1. What more does Bill say about Lutkins and his family?

Answer: Bill says he knows Lutkins’ mother. He says she is mean. He shared the time when he went to her farm to deliver a trunk and she almost took his skin because he did not carry it as carefully as one would carry eggs. Bill also said Lutkins must have heard about them chasing him, so he ran behind his mother’s skirt for protection.

Question 2. Does the narrator serve the summons that day?

Answer: No, the narrator fails to server summons to Lutkins that day.

Question 3. Who is Lutkins?

Answer: The hack driver who drove the hack, Bill Magnuson, is lying to the lawyer. He himself is Lutkins. He deceives him so he does not have to come as a witness.

Think About It

Question 1. When the lawyer reached New Mullion, did ‘Bill’ know that he was looking for Lutkins? When do you think Bill came up with his plan for fooling the lawyer?

Answer: When the lawyer arrived in New Mullion, ‘Bill’, originally Lutkins, had no idea that he was looking for Lutkins. He found it by talking to the lawyer and taking him into his confidence. Bill thought of his plan when he found out that the lawyer was helping Lutkins. Bill didn’t know Lutkins, so he did not know what to do.

Question 2. Lutkins openly takes the lawyer all over the village. How is it that no one lets out the secret? (Hint: Notice that the hack driver asks the lawyer to keep out of sight behind him when they go into Fritz’s.) Can you find other such subtle ways in which Lutkins manipulates the tour?

Answer: Lutkins takes the lawyer everywhere in the village. Lutkins never lets the lawyer talk to villagers at first. He is always talking to them himself. The villagers and Lutkins’ mother also join him in tricking the lawyer.

Question 3. Why do you think Lutkins’ neighbours were anxious to meet the lawyer?

Answer: Lutkins’ neighbors wanted to meet the lawyer because they were waiting for a chance to meet her. He was fooled by Lutkins for an entire day, but everybody else in the village had seen the lawyer being tricked except them.

Question 4. After his first day’s experience with the hack driver the lawyer thinks of returning to New Mullion to practise law. Do you think he would have reconsidered this idea after his second visit?

Answer: No, he would not have considered this idea. He was not so sure about the people of New Mullion after his first visit. He thought that Bill was nice and helpful to a stranger but he might not be the only person in the village like that.

On the second day in New Mullion, he realized that he had been fooled all day by ‘Bill’. He kept searching for Lutkins with Lutkins himself. Now the people of New Mullion laughed at him because of this. He would never come to New Mullion again.

Question 5. Do you think the lawyer was gullible? How could he have avoided being taken for a ride?

Answer: The lawyer was a gullible and inexperienced man. There are many things he could have done to avoid being tricked and made fun of. He could have tried to find out how the witness he was looking for looked like. He could have spoken with other people at the station about Lutkins rather than believing one person who seemed friendly and was a stranger to him. Also, he should go around with Lutkins when interrogating about his location while visiting places where Lutkins hangs out most of the time.

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