NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Chapter 8 - The Hack Driver
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Chapter 8 - The Hack Driver Exercise 48
The lawyer was a junior assistant clerk in a magnificent law firm who was sent to New Mullion to serve summons on a man called Oliver Lutkins. He was needed as a witness in a law case, and he had ignored all their letters.
He expected to find a sweet and simple country village but was severely disappointed on seeing the streets full of mud, with rows of wooden shops, either painted a sour brown, or bare of any paint at all..
He was befriended by the delivery man at the station who introduced himself as Bill. Bill was about forty, red-faced, cheerful, and thick about the middle. His working clothes were dirty and well-worn, and he had a friendly manner.
He offered to help him find Lutkins as he knew most of the places where Lutkins hung out and said that they could drive around together in his hack. He took him to Fritz’s shop where he was sure Lutkins would be starting up a poker game at the back. He next took him to Gustaff’s barber shop , from there on to Gray’s barber shop, then to the pool room, then to his own home to collect some lunch and finally to Wade’s Hill where they could enjoy the view while they ate their meal.
He said that Lutkins was a hard fellow to catch and was always up to something or other. He was probably trying to start up a poker game in the back of Fritz’s shop.
Henever paid anybody a cent. He was not really bad, but it was hard to make him part with his money. If the lawyer tried to collect from him, in his fancy clothes, he would be suspicious and get away from him. He played a lot of poker and was good at deceiving people.
Chapter 8 - The Hack Driver Exercise 50
Bill also says that Oliver's mother had a farm, three miles north and Oliver had most probably gone to visit her. His mother was a terror, and once when Bill had taken a trunk out there for her, she almost took his skin off because he didn't treat it like a box of eggs. She was about nine feet tall and four feet thick and quick as a cat, and she sure could talk.
He was sure Lutkins had heard that somebody was chasing him, and had gone to the farm to hide behind his mother’s skirts.
No, the narrator did not serve the summons that day.
Lutkins is Bill Magnuson himself- the delivery man whom the lawyer had first met at the station.
Chapter 8 - The Hack Driver Exercise 53
When the lawyer reached New Mullion, 'Bill' did not know that he was looking for Lutkins. He only came up with his plan to fool the lawyer when the lawyer told him that he was looking for a man named Oliver Lutkins.
Lutkins openly takes the lawyer all over the village.
The moment he knew that the lawyer was in search of him, he asked him if he was in a hurry to catch Lutkins. When the lawyer said he needed to catch the afternoon train back he realised that he would need to keep him occupied till he left. He also had to ensure that the lawyer did not speak or question anyone else about him or he would be caught.
He therefore told the lawyer that Lutkins never paid anybody a cent and so if he tried to collect money from him, in his fancy clothes, he would be suspicious and get away. Instead he would go into Fritz’s and ask for Lutkins, and the lawyer could keep out of sight behind him.
In this way he always was the first to enter a place and prevented the lawyer from directly meeting and speaking to the people. He would then most probably take the people into his confidence and so no one let out the secret of his true identity.
They both drove to Gustaff's barber shop where Bill went in first, and he lingered at the door. At Gray's barber shop they missed Lutkins by only five minutes. He had just left - probably for the poolroom. At the poolroom it appeared that he had just bought a pack of cigarettes and gone out. So they pursued him, just behind him but were never able to catch him.
At last Bill cornered a friend of Lutkins and made him admit that he had gone out to his mother’s farm. He then convinced the lawyer that Lutkin’s mother was a terror and so it was best that he dealt with her himself. He introduced himself and the lawyer to her and told her the reason for their visit. This introduction was enough for her to get an idea about what was happening and she too put on an act and did not let out the secret but managed to chase them away.
Lutkins posing as Bill had managed to take the lawyer all over New Mullion looking for Lutkins himself. In the process they had visited many people and places and as a result all the people in the town knew that he had managed to fool the lawyer. Lutkins' neighbours were anxious to meet the lawyer as they were the only ones who had not met him the previous day.
No, I do not think that he would have reconsidered the idea of returning to New Mullion to practice law after his second visit because he realised that the person who had driven him round the town looking for Lutkins was Lutkins himself . Lutkins had made a fool of him in front of the entire town who were all involved in the deceit .
Yes, I think the lawyer was gullible. He could have avoided being taken for a ride by being more skillful, observant and vigilant. Considering the fact that he was a lawyer he should have been more alert and made his own observations, questioned the people himself and not put all his trust in a delivery man who he had met at the station. He should have realised that appearances can be deceptive and the cheerful, helpful Bill may not have been the person he posed to be.
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