The Hack driver is an amusing tale written by American novelist Sinclair Lewis. The author, in this story, talks about a young lawyer who was working as an assistant clerk with a famous firm in the city after completing his graduation. He wasn’t fond of the job of serving summons because sometimes he had to face harsh situations due to it. One day, he had to give the summons to Oliver Lutkins, a key witness in some cases who lived in a small village New Mullion. The lawyer was happy to go to the village but the village looked very dull and lifeless. A hack driver was seen by the narrator on a cheerful platform. On enquiring about Lutkins he came to know that he was a shrewd man and had taken loans from many people. The hack driver cunningly extracted from the lawyer that he has come here to offer a court summon to Lutkin.
The lawyer decided to rent Bill’s hack and search for Lutkins. The lawyer was manipulated by Bill who made him visit different places in search of Lutkins. He always went ahead and inquired about Lutkins. They had been to Fritz’s shop to catch Lutkins where he plays poker and wherein they were told that he has gone to Gustaff barber for shaving. At Gustaff’s place also they could not meet him and were told by somebody that he was seen in the pool room. He was not found there and told that he left the poolroom after buying cigarettes. Bill asked the lawyer to buy food from his wife as it would be cheaper than a restaurant in the afternoon. After which they had their lunch at a beautiful place called Wade’s hill.
By now the lawyer was fully convinced that Bill is a generous and helpful person. His friendly behavior made him fond of the village and its people. He started comparing the city people and villagers. The hack driver suggested the lawyer that they should look for Lutkin’s at his mother’s place. Then, later on, they went to Lutkin’s mother’s house and found out she was a horrible lady and was threatening to burn them with a hot iron rod. They both escaped to save themselves. At last, the lawyer had to leave without serving to summon to Lutkins. The next day, the lawyer was badly scolded by his Chief and was sent to New Mullion again with a colleague who knew Lutkins. As they needed Lutkin’s as an important witness in their case. On reaching the station Bill was happily acknowledged by the lawyer as he helped him in searching Lutkins. At this point, the lawyer was told by his colleague that the hack driver was none other than Oliver Lutkins which made him feel ashamed of himself.
The story teaches us to be alert and aware of the people around us and not fall in a trap by trusting any stranger easily.
1. Who was the Hack Driver
The hack driver was none other than Oliver Lutkins whom the lawyer had to give court summons. He cunningly extracted from the lawyer his purpose of visit and took advantage of it and took him to different places charging high fares.
2. How was the Hack Driver Recognized?
The lawyer was sent to New Mullion again by his chief with a colleague who knew Lutkins. On reaching the station, they found Bill and Lutkin’s mother together and the lawyer was told by his colleague that the hack driver was none other than Oliver Lutkins.
3. What Hurt the Narrator's Feelings?
The lawyer started comparing the city people and villagers and was under the impression that the villagers are honest, simple, and helpful because of which he was befooled by the hack driver who was none other than Oliver Lutkins.
4. Why Did the Lawyer Hate His Work?
The lawyer got selected for the job of a junior assistant clerk in a very famous law firm in the city after completing his graduation. But instead of preparing legal papers like a lawyer, he was made to serve summons to various dangerous people whom he had referred to as his victims. He had to go to dirty and dark corners of the city to find the victims. In many of the cases, he was beaten up by them to avoid appearing in the court. That’s why the lawyer says that he hated his job, to the extent that he sometimes thought of fleeing back to his hometown where he could work as a real lawyer.
5. Do you think the Lawyer was Gullible?
On arrival at the platform, a hack driver was seen by the lawyer. On enquiring about Lutkins the lawyer was told that he was a shrewd man and had taken loans from several people. The hack driver cunningly extracted from the lawyer his purpose of visit and found out that he had come to give summon to Lutkins. He took advantage of this and took the lawyer to different places in search of Lutkins and charged a high fare for it. The lawyer chose to trust and depend on the hack driver without enquiring about it himself which justifies that the lawyer was a gullible person.
6. How Did the Hack Driver Describe Lutkins?
The hack driver described Lutkins as a dishonest person who was just interested in money and had taken loans from several people including him which made the lawyer trust him and depend on him in searching Lutkins. He also told the lawyer, that Lutkins played poker regularly. He misguided the lawyer by making him believe his words and taking him to several places to keep him away from the truth.
7. How Did Lutkin’s Mother Receive the Narrator?
The hack driver suggested the lawyer that they should look for Lutkin’s at his mother’s place. On visiting Lutkin’s mother’s place they found out that she was a horrible lady and threatened to burn them by a hot iron rod and chased them away.