Read and Find Out
Why is the lawyer sent to New Mullion? What does he first think about the place?
The lawyer was sent to New Mullion to serve summons on Oliver Lutkins, who was needed as a witness in a law case.
He first thinks that the place must be a sweet and a simple country village.
Who befriends lawyer? Where does he take him?
A hack driver at the station, who called himself Bill Magnuson, befriends him. He told the lawyer that he knew Lutkins and would help in finding him. Bill took him to all the places where Lutkins was known to hang out. He took the lawyer to Fritz’s shop, where Lutkins played a lot of poker; to Gustaff’s barber shop and then to Gray’s barber shop; to the poolroom and several other places before finally taking him to Lutkins’ mother’s farm. However, Oliver Lutkins was not found.
What does Bill say about Lutkins?
Bill told the lawyer that Lutkins was a hard person to find as he was always busy in some activity or the other. He owed money to many people, including Bill, and had never paid back anybody. He also said that Lutkins played a lot of poker and was good at deceiving people.
What more does Bill say about Lutkins and his family?
Bill told the lawyer that he knew mother of Lutkins’. He said that she was a terror. He narrated an incident when he took a trunk to her once and she almost took his skin off because he did not carry it carefully. He also said that she was very tall and bulky. She was very quick and could talk a lot. He said that Lutkins must have heard that somebody was chasing him and consequently would have gone into hiding at his mother’s place.
Does the narrator serve the summons that day?
No, the narrator did not serve the summons that day.
Who is Lutkins?
The hack driver himself is Lutkins but pretends to be Bill Magnuson. He tricks the lawyer to avoid the summons to be a witness in a case.
Think About It (Page 53)
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?
No, ‘Bill’ did not know initially that the lawyer was looking for him.
He must have made his plan for fooling the lawyer when the lawyer told him that he was looking for Lutkins, as he knew that he was required as a witness but did not want to give his testimony.
Lutkins openly takes the lawyer all over the village. How is 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?
Lutkins never allows the lawyer to reach the place
where the imaginary Lutkins is supposed to be present at a given time. The way he weaves stories about Lutkins’ vagabond nature and the way he scares the lawyer about Lutkins’ mother are ways of fooling the lawyer devised by the hack driver. Everywhere he does not allow the lawyer to ask about Lutkins but he himself pretends to ask about him, which the villagers are knowing is a pretence. So the villagers also join in the whole drama.
Why do you think Lufkin’s neighbours were anxious to meet the lawyer?
Almost the entire village had enjoyer Lutkins making a fool of the lawyer. Only Lutkins’ neighbours had not seen the lawyer but had come to know what happened. They wanted to see the gullible man who Lutkins had taken for a ride. That is why tin y wanted to meet him.
After his first day’s experience with the hack driver the lawyer thinks of returning to New Mullion to practice law. Do you think he would have reconsidered this idea after his second visit?
No, absolutely not. After knowing how Lutkins had made fool of him, he would never return to New Mullion to practice law.
Do you think the lawyer was gullible? How could he have avoided being taken for a ride? CBSE 2015
Yes, the lawyer was gullible. He believed every word of what Oliver Lutkins said. He should have asked about Lutkins from other villagers. Instead, he depended completely on the hack driver.
Talk About It (Page 53)
Do we come across persons like Lutkins only in fiction or do we encounter them in real life as well? You can give examples from fiction, or narrate an incident that you have read in the newspaper, or an incident from real life.
Persons like Lutkins are found in real life as well. They do not just appear in stories. They are very much real. Newspapers are full of reports of such tricksters. There is this famous con man in ‘David Copperfield’ written by Charles Dickens. His name is Uriah Heep. He traps a gullible, rich old man. The old man depends on him entirely. He takes advantage of his trust and takes all his money. He makes the old man an addict to alcohol. Then he forces the old man to marry his daughter to him.
Who is a ‘con man’, or a confidence trickster?
A ‘con man’ or a confidence trickster is a person who makes a fool out of other people. He wins their trust first and then, he gets from them whatever he wants.
Class 10 English Chapter 8 The Hack Driver Important Questions
Short Answer Type Questions
Question 1. Why did the narrator call his work unpleasant?
Answer: The narrator was sent to serve summons. He had to go to all sorts of dirty and dangerous places. At times, he was also beaten by those very people. That is why he called his work unpleasant.
Question 2. Describe the hack driver’s appearance in your own words.
Answer: The hack driver looked to be about forty years in age. His face was red. He wore dirty and worn out clothes but he was cheerful.
Question 3. Why does the hack driver offer to ask about Oliver Lutkins? [CBSE 2012]
Answer: The hack driver was none other than Oliver Lutkins himself. He did not wish to take the summons and go as a witness. So, he pretended to be a hack driver. He offered to help the lawyer so that the lawyer could not come to know about him from someone else.
Question 4. ‘But he was no more dishonest than I’. Explain.
Answer: The narrator meant to say that the hack driver was as dishonest as him because he was getting paid for riding the narrator on his cart on the pretence of helping him.
Question 5. The narrator was happy though he had not found Lutkins. Why?
Answer: The narrator had hated city life. This ride through the village made him very happy. He was overjoyed to meet the hack driver. So he was happy though he had not found Lutkins.
Question 6. What impressed the narrator most about Bill? Mention any two things.
Answer: The first quality that struck the narrator was that Bill was a cheerful, friendly and helpful man. Secondly, he loved Bill for his simple and philosophical wisdom.
Question 7. How did the chief react when the narrator returned to his town?
Answer: The chief was furious at the narrator’s failure to serve summons on Lutkins. He decided to send a man who knew Ltutkins with the narrator the next day to serve summons on Lutkins.
Question 8. How does the narrator find Lutkins eventually?
Answer: The narrator’s companion had seen Lutkins. When the narrator pointed opt the hack driver to him, he told him that the hack driver was Lutkins himself. In this way, the narrator found Lutkins eventually.
Question 9. Why did Lutkins pretend to be Bill Magnuson? [CBSE 2015]
Answer: Lutkins pretended to be Bill Magnuson as he did not want to accept the summons and be a witness in the case.
Question 10. What did the hack driver tell the narrator about Lutkins’ mother? [CBSE 2014]
Answer: The hack driver told the narrator that Lutkins’ mother was a real terror. He described her as a large and hefty lady with a fierce temper. He also said that she was quick as a cat.
Question 11. With what impression did the lawyer come back to the city?
Answer: The lawyer returned to the city with a good impression. He liked the people of the village. He found them simple, wise and soft-spoken. He thought of practising law there. He was excited. He had found a treasure and a new way of life in New Mullion.
Question 12. Who was the hack driver? What really hurt the feelings of the narrator in the end?
Answer: The hack driver was Lutkins himself. He had driven the lawyer previous day. The narrator was really hurt when Lutkins and his mother were laughing at him as if he were a bright boy of seven.
Question 13. How did the lawyer find the streets and shops of New Mullion?
Answer: The lawyer found the streets of New Mullion muddy. With rows of wooden shops, either painted in sour brown or not painted at all. He was disappointed because he expected to see a sweet and simple country village.
Question 14. “Let’s go to a restaurant and I’ll buy your lunch,” the lawyer told the hack driver. Did they go to a restaurant to have lunch?
Answer: The hack driver told the young lawyer that all the four restaurants in the town were bad. He suggested that only for half a dollar his wife would pack up the lunch for them and they would eat at Wade’s Hill. So they did not go to a restaurant.
Question 15. Did Lutkin’s mother allow the lawyer to search her house to find Lutkins?
Answer: The hack driver told Lutkins’ mother that the lawyer represented the court in the city and he had a legal right to search the home. She treated them quite disrespectfully but allowed to search the house. But they could not find Lutkin’s there.
Question 16. “Really, I considered returning to New Mullion to practise law.” Why did the young lawyer think so?
Answer: While returning, the young lawyer was too busy thinking about Bill Magnuson. He was so fascinated with Bill being “so deep and richly human” and others so soft-spoken, simple and wise that he thought of returning to New Mullion to practice law.
Question 17. “He was so open and friendly that I glowed with the warmth of his affection”. How did the young lawyer form this opinion about the hack driver?
Answer: The young lawyer felt that the co-operating attitude and kindness shown to him was real, though the hack driver had to earn something out of it also. The lawyer bargained with the hack driver and had settled for two dollars an hour, but his wide smile made him think that he was one old friend.
Question 18. Why is the lawyer sent to New Mullion? What does he first think about the place?
Answer: The lawyer is sent to New Mullion to serve summons on a person named Oliver Lutkins, who was needed as a witness in a law case. He had expected the place to be a sweet and simple country village.
Question 19. What does he say about Lutkins?
Answer: Bill told the lawyer that Lutkins was a clever fellow hard enough to catch. He was always up to something or the other. He owed money to many people, including Bill, and had never even paid anybody a cent. He also said that Oliver played a lot of pokers and was good at deceiving people.
Long Answer Type Questions
Question 1. The narrator strikes us as a romantic idealist, Do you agree? Support your answer from the text.
Answer: The narrator is definitely a romantic idealist. He is fresh out of law school. He wants to have a real case. But, as a part of training, he is sent to serve summons. He finds it difficult to understand. He simply dislikes his job as he has to go to all dirty places. Further, he has a very romantic | view of the country. He believes that villages are all pure and peaceful. There is no ugliness of the city in them. He I also thinks that villagers are very honest and decent people. He has a habit of trusting people blindly. He believes in whatever someone says. In fact, he is very gullible. Later on, he realises that a village can also be ugly. He also experiences that villagers are not always simple and honest.
Question 2. Describe ‘Bill’ as seen through the eyes of the narrator.
Answer: The narrator was much impressed with Bill. He first meets him at the station. He finds him to be friendly and cheerful. Bill is very helpful in his eyes as he offers to take him around in search of Lutkins. The narrator admires him when he goes looking for Lutkins on his behalf. Bill is full of a wonderful village charm. The narrator finds Bill to have a unique country wisdom. He admires him as a story teller. He appreciates him a lot when Bill even goes to Lutkins’ mother’s place to find him. For the narrator, Bill is a friendly man who helps others generously. He is so impressed by Bill that he decides to settle down in the village.
Question 3. ‘Appearances are often deceptive’. Comment on the statement in the light of your reading of the story.
Answer: Things are not always what they seem to be. Appearances are often deceptive. The narrator reaches a village in the search of Oliver Lutkins. He meets a hack driver at the station. The driver warns him about Lutkins. He takes him on a tour of the entire village in search of Lutkins. He tells the narrator about his experiences and about the village and its people. The narrator likes him for his helpful and kind nature.
He even forgets all about Lutkins. But, the next day he finds out that the hack driver was Oliver Lutkins himself. He realises that a simple and kind person was a trickster in reality.
Question 4. Do you think Lutkins was right in befooling the lawyer and earning money by using unfair means? What precautions should one take to avoid a situation like the one in which the lawyer was placed? [CBSE 2014]
Answer: Lutkins was not right in befooling the lawyer and earning money by using unfair means. This shows that Lutkins did not care for the law at all. If we are in the lawyer’s place, we should not believe in things as they are seen. We should judge every action taken by the other person carefully before accepting it. Instead of depending on others, we should carry out our enquiries ourselves. The lawyer was befooled because he let Lutkins do the finding and questioning and did not do anything himself. This resulted in his failure to serve the summons on Lutkins.
Question 5. A person may appear humble but in actually he may not be so. Appearances can be deceptive. Explain with reference to the story ‘The Hack Driver’.
Answer: Appearances are not always true. At times a person on first meeting appears to be friendly, co-operative, understanding but as the time unfolds a different story is revealed. When the lawyer comes to the city for first time he is very happy to meet the hack driver. In fact the hack driver himself is Oliver Lutkins.
The hack driver seemed to be a simple country man ready to help. The hack driver showed affectionate behaviour. He left a favourable impression on the narrator’s mind. But very soon lawyer was able to realize that hack driver himself was Oliver Lutkins. It te so foolish to find that a wise person like a lawyer is befooled by a simple country man.
Question 6. Intelligence or cleverness cannot be identified only on the basis of our work or profession but it comes from our inside. Explain it with reference to the chapter, ‘The Hack Driver’.
Answer: Yes, it is quite right that intelligence and cleverness come automatically from our inside because it is our birth quality, it cannot be created, that’s why our intelligence or cleverness cannot be identified only on the basis of our work or profession. Many times in our daily life, we can find such examples. For example, a policeman is always considered brave and fighter because he has to face many difficulties daily and if he is not like that, he cannot defeat criminals, dacoits, burglars and cheaters. But sometimes we find some policemen opposite to it.
Some policemen nm away from the place where the people need them very much. Such policemen never think about their duty. They think only to save their lives. Such examples can easily be found in many different fields like medical, political. Some doctors don’t fulfill expectation of the common people, they think only for their families. So it is clear that our work or profession cannot disclose our internal quality like intelligence or cleverness. As we find in this story, the lawyer is not so clever or intelligent but the hackman is very cunning.
Question 7. The lawyer feels delighted in going to a country and enjoying going around it whole day. How does it portray the plight of town life? What values of the lawyer are reflected here?
Answer: The lawyer is not happy the way he is treated by his law firm. He has no reputation there. He is taken to the task of serving the summons only. He is simple but hardworking. He believes that he can do better in his own village. Besides, he does not like the city life where people are selfish and boorish. On the other hand he finds the country life peaceful, close to the nature and the people there ready to extend a helping hand.
Question 8. Give a brief character sketch of Oliver Lutkins.
Answer: Oliver Lutkins was a jolly natured and fun loving person. He had a pleasant appearance. He impressed the lawyer at the railway station by his friendliness and simplicity. But he was not so simple and honest as he appeared to be. He knew about the lawyer’s ignorance and his purpose. He decided to be fool him. He introduced himself as Bill. He had a lot of fun out of his ignorance.
But Oliver had no other intention to befool the narrator besides having simple fun and enjoyment. He had a good understanding with the town folks who helped him in his plan. He loved poker. Lutkins never harmed anybody. He was very kind and well mannered too. He was a talented actor who made fun of an intelligent lawyer. He was very clever and sinart to plan at the moment and include everyone in his plan right before the narrator’s eyes.
Question 9. Which were the places the narrator and the hack driver visited to search for Lutkins? How did they miss him narrowly everywhere?
Answer: The narrator was a young lawyer and”was sent to New Mullion to serve a summon on Lutkins. The narrator did not recognise him. He met Bill, the hack driver at the station, who promised him to help in finding Lutkins. The hack driver first of all took him to Fritz. They learnt from him that he had gone to Gustaff s barber shop to have a shave. Reaching there, they learnt that Oliver had left for Gray’s barber shop. They missed him just by five minutes. The hack drove him to the poolroom. They missed him there too. After lunch the hack driver took the narrator to the farm of Lutkin’s mother. Lutkins could not be found there too. Thus, they missed him narrowly everywhere.
Question 10. 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 of fooling the lawyer?
Answer: Lutkins act of taking the lawyer for a ride clearly indicates that he is a very cunning person. The way he tried to deal with the lawyer shows how quick he is in making plans to fool people. His idea not to disclose his true identity to unknown persons SIKJW how clever he is and it seems to be his regular practice to dupe people, especially the newcomers. As soon as the lawyer told Bill his purpose to visit to that place, Bill instantly knew how he would fool the lawyer.