Detailed explanation of “The Hack Driver”, including definitions of difficult words. In addition, the explanation is followed by a lesson summary. Also, NCERT Question and Answers are also provided to help students understand this Chapter and do well in their exams.
The story “The Hack Driver’ is about a man named Oliver Lutkins. He was a cunning man who was a witness in a case, but he ignored all the summons for appearing. A young lawyer was given the duty to find this man in New Mullion. There he met a helpful hack driver. The driver took him around the village in search of Lutkins but was unable to find him. Later on the lawyer came to know that the hack driver was Oliver Lutkins himself. Hence the young lawyer became the laughing stock of all.
The Narrator was a young lawyer who became a Junior Assistant Clerk in a magnificent law firm. He had graduated with honours in law. He had been assigned the duty to serve summons on witnesses. But he hated his job when he was even beaten by some violent people. Consequently, he thought of going back to his home town where he could have been a real lawyer.
One day, the narrator was sent to a village named New Mullion to serve summons on Oliver Lutkins. Lutkins was a witness in a law case. The narrator was very excited to visit a small and beautiful village but his excitement ended by the dull appearance of the village. The streets were full of mud and there were shabby wooden shops all around. The only cheerful thing that the narrator found was a delivery man (hack driver) at the station. He was about forty years old with a red face. This man drives a carriage and offered to help him in finding Oliver Lutkins.
The narrator told the hack driver that he wanted to find Oliver Lutkins. The hack driver informed him that he had seen Lutkins about an hour ago. He told that Lutkins was hard to catch. In his opinion, Lutkins was always busy doing one thing or another. The hack driver told the narrator that Lutkins must be playing poker game in the back of Fritz’s shop. The driver also told that he knew most of the places where Lutkins might be present.
The narrator found that the nature of the hack driver was very friendly. The narrator bargained the fare money to two dollars per hour and the search for Lutkins began. As they left to search for Lutkins, the hack driver told the narrator that Lutkins owes money to a lot of people but he never pays them off. He also told that Lutkins owes him fifty cents on a poker game. The narrator was impressed with hack driver’s wisdom (intelligence).The hack driver introduced himself to the narrator as Bill and told him that his full name was William Magnuson. While going to Fritz’s shop, the hack driver informed the lawyer that his name was William Magnuson but people called him Bill. At Fritz’s shop, the hack driver asked the lawyer to follow him. He (the hack driver) inquired about Oliver Lutkins and got to know that Lutkins had gone to Gustaff’s for a shave.
At Gustaff’s , they got to know that Lutkins had spend all his credit and had left the place without getting his shave. So, they went to Gray’ s where they got to know that Lutkins had gone to the poolroom. However, by the time both the hack driver and the lawyer reached the poolroom, Lutkins had already left. It was lunch time so, the narrator offered to take Bill (Hack Driver) to a restaurant. But Bill wanted to go home to his wife for lunch. Bill told the narrator that his wife would pack a lunch tor the narrator for half a dollar. So, they had lunch at the Wade’s Hills. The narrator was enjoying the company of the hack driver. The driver told the narrator everything about New Mullion. The driver told him about the people and their habits. The simplicity and humour of the driver influenced the narrator so much that he even planned to settle down in the town.
Both the hack driver and the lawyer looked for Lutkins for a long time. Then one of Lutkin’s friends suggested that they should look for Oliver at his mother’s place. So, they both went to Lutkins’ mother’s place. One the journey, the hack driver described Lutkins’ mother as a nine feet tall and four feet thick quick lady. When they reached Lutkin’s mother’s house and enquired there for Luktin’s, the mother took a hot iron rod and threatened to burn them. The two escaped to save themselves. However, they searched the house, the stable, the barn, but failed to find Lutkins anywhere. When the narrator returned to town without serving the summons, his chief got very angry with him. They needed Lutkins as an important witness in their case. He decided to send another man who knew Lutkins with the narrator to the village to bring him (Lutkins).
The narrator and his companion went to the village the next day. They found the hack driver at the station laughing and joking with Lutkin’ s mother. The narrator pointed out the driver to his companion and explained how the driver helped him in trying to find Lutkins. Surprisingly, his companion told the narrator that the driver was Lutkins himself. The narrator served summons on Lutkins who along with his mother was making fun of the narrator.
|summons||an order to appear before a judge|
|agreeable sight||pleasant sight|
|rejoiced||felt or showed great joy or delight|
|cent||a monetary unit in various countries, equal to
one-hundredth of a dollar.
|part with||to give to someone (money, property, control etc.)|
|lingered||to stay somewhere longer than necessary|
|swede||a native of Sweden|
|seized||got hold of|
|retreat||an act of moving back or withdrawing|
|barn||a large farm building used storing hay/grain etc|
|swearing||rude or offensive language that someone uses, especially
when they are angry
|peering||to look carefully or with difficulty|
|loafing||to spend one’s time in a aimless, idle way|
|creek||a narrow area of water that
flows into the land from the sea
|meadow||a piece of grassland|