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.