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Class 10 English Footprints Without Feet Chapter 8. The Hack Driver

Chapter 8. The Hack Driver

The Hack Driver- Summary

The narrator of the story explains that after completing his graduation he started working with a famous law firm in the city. He was working as an assistant clerk there. He was not very happy with his job of serving summons because sometimes he had to face harsh situations while serving them. One day, he got the task of serving summons to Oliver Lutkins who was a key witness in some case. He lived in a small town named New Mullion.
The narrator was very excited to visit a small and beautiful town but his excitement ended by the dull appearance of the town. He saw a hack driver standing at the platform who was very cheerful and nice. He went up to him and enquired about Oliver Lutkins as he was new to the town and wanted to find him. The driver told him that Oliver was a nasty man who owed debt to many people. He also cunningly extracted information from the lawyer that he needed Lutkins for some court case.
A deal was cracked between both- he decided to hire Bill’s hack and go on a search for Lutkins. Bill somehow traps the lawyer in his story and they visit different places in search of Lutkins. He always asks the lawyer stay behind. They go to Fritz’s to catch Lutkins while playing poker. But he tells them that he has gone to Gustaff for a shave. At Gustaff’s they weren’t able to meet him and were told that someone saw him at the pool room. Here also somebody said that he left the poolroom after buying cigarettes.
Bill described Lutkins as a cunning man and guessed that he must have gone to gray’s for a  shave. In the afternoon, Bill offered him to buy lunch from his wife as it would be less costly than at the restaurant. They had lunch at wade’s hill which was a very beautiful place. By that time the clerk was totally impressed by Bill’s nice and cheery nature. He had even started comparing village people to city people. Later on, they went to search for Lutkins at his mother’s house on the basis of information derived from one of his friends.
There the lady was horrible and they hurriedly left the place as she was about to attack them with a hot iron rod. At last, the lawyer had to leave without serving summons to Lutkins. Next day he was scolded badly by his chief and was again sent to New Mullion with a companion who knew Lutkins. Upon reaching the station, the clerk happily pointed out that Bill was such a helpful person to him search Lutkins.

At this time, the truth was revealed by his companion that the hack driver was none other than Lutkins himself. The clerk felt so bad and ashamed of how he had been fooled by a villager.

Q1- Who is the author of the story "The Hack Driver"?
A) HG Wells
B) Robert W. Peterson
C) Guy De Maupassant
D) Sinclair Lewis

Q2- What job did he get after doing his graduation?
A) partner in a law firm
B) lawyer
C) senior associate
D) junior assistant clerk

Q3- What was he supposed to do?
A) fight cases
B) present legal briefs
C) serve summons
D) all of the above

Q4- What did he hate?
A) unpleasant work
B) the side of city it revealed to him
C) both of these
D) None of the above

Q5- How far was New Mullions from his place of employment?
A) 40kms
B) 45kms
C) 42kms
D) 48kms

Q6- How did he travel to New Mullions?
A) Car
B) Train
C) Rickshaw
D) Bus

Q7- How did he expect New Mullions to be?
A) sweet and simple
B) muddy streets
C) raw shops
D) None of the above

Q8- What was the only pleasant sight?
A) delivery man
B) the weather
C) raw shops
D) None of the above

Q9- What was the man's first guess on his purpose to find Lutkins?
A) to get money back
B) to present him a summon
C) to arrest him
D) None of the above

Q10- "Bill seemed to _____ Lutkins’ talent for dishonesty. "
A) dislike
B) hate
C) criticise
D) admire

Q11- Where did Fritz send them?
A) Gray's barber shop
B) Gustaff's barber shop
C) poolroom
D) no where

Q12- Where did they go after visiting Swede’s shop?
A) Gray's barber shop
B) Gustaff's barber shop
C) poolroom
D) his mother's farm

Q13- What is the meaning of the word "enormous"?
A) huge
B) vast
C) broad
D) all of the above

Q14- Where did they go for lunch?
A) Wade's hill
B) Bill's home
C) Oliver's home
D) Oliver's mother's farm

Q15- Where did the go after lunch?
A) Gray's barber shop
B) Gustaff's barber shop
C) poolroom
D) Oliver's mother's farm

Q16- What did Oliver's mother have in her hand while she ran after them?
A) a pistol
B) a knife
C) an iron rod
D) None of the above

Q17- Did he find Lutkins on his first visit?
A) yes
B) no
C) maybe
D) None of the above

Q18- Was he able to serve the summon to Lutkins?
A) yes
B) no
C) maybe
D) None of the above

Q19- Who was Lutkins?
A) Fritz
B) Swede
C) Gray
D) Bill

Q20- How many times did he have to visit New Mullions?
A) 1
B) 2
C) 4
D) 5

Q21- Who accompanied him on his trip to New Mullions the second time?
A) his boss
B) his friend
C) his sister
D) a man familiar with Oliver Lutkins

Q22- What vehicle did Bill have?
A) Autorickshaw
B) cab
C) hack
D) cart

Q23- In which direction was Oliver's mother's farm?
A) south
B) east
C) north
D) west

Q24- The summons for Lutkins were for what case?
A) theft
B) murder
C) cheating
D) as a witness

Q25- How was Bill's appearance
A) red faced
B) cheerful
C) thick in the middle
D) all of them

Q26- According to Bill, Oliver owed him fifty cents for a game of ___
A) chess
B) poker
C) horse race
D) all of them

Q27- Name the barber in the story
A) Garry
B) Mustafa
C) Gustaff
D) Guard

Q28- From where did they get lunch?
A) Community meal
B) Bill's home
C) cafe
D) restaraunt

Q29- What was Bill's other name?
A) Magnuson
B) Magie
C) Maddie
D) Magpie

Q30- Who was Oliver Lutkins?
A) Fritz
B) Gustaff
C) Bill
D) Gray



1. 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 had expected the place to be a sweet and simple country village.

2. Who befriends him? Where does he take him?


The lawyer was befriended by a delivery man who introduced himself as Bill. He told him that he knew Lutkins and would help the lawyer in finding him. He took him to all the places where Lutkins was seen or 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 Oliver’s mother’s farm. However, Oliver Lutkins was not found.

3. What does he say about Lutkins?


Bill told the lawyer that Lutkins was a hard fellow 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 poker and was good at deceiving people.

Page No: 50

1. What more does Bill say about Lutkins and his family?


Bill told the lawyer that he knew Lutkins’ mother. 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 treat it like a box of eggs. He also said that she was about nine feet tall and four feet thick. She was very quick and could talk a lot. He said that Oliver must have heard that somebody was chasing him and consequently, would have gone into hiding at his mother’s place.

2. Does the narrator serve the summons that day?


No. The narrator did not serve the summons that day.

3. Who is Lutkins?


The hack driver himself was Oliver Lutkins.

Page No: 53

Think about It

1. 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?


Lutkins act of taking the lawyer for a ride clearly indicates that he is a very cunning person. It is his natural behaviour to not disclose his true identity to unknown persons. Moreover, being a cheat as he is it seems his regular practice to dupe people who are newcomers.

2. Lutkins openly takes the lawyer all over the village. How is it 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?


Lutkin never allows the lawyer to the place where the imaginary Lutkins is supposed to be present at a given time. The way he weaves stories about Lutkin’s vagabond nature and the way he scares the lawyer about Lutkin’s mother are great tools applied by Bill.

3. Why do you think Lutkins’ neighbours were anxious to meet the lawyer?


Lutkin’s neighbours were not anxious to meet a person who could be easily duped. They wanted to enjoy the lawyer’s predicament.

4. After his first day’s experience with the hack driver the lawyer thinks of returning to New Mullion to practise law. Do you think he would have reconsidered this idea after his second visit?


After his first day’s experience with the hack driver, the lawyer had considered returning to New Mullion to practise law. However, he realised during his second visit that he had been literally taken for a ride by the hack driver (who himself was Lutkins). In this, Lutkins was helped by the townspeople. After becoming the laughing stock of the town, it is most likely that the lawyer would have reconsidered his initial idea of working there.

5. Do you think the lawyer was gullible? How could he have avoided being taken for a ride?


The lawyer seems to be a simpleton and inexperienced person. He has yet to come to grips with the way the bad world functions. He could have done his homework better before going to the village. He could have taken a photograph of Lutkin if available. Before relying on Bill he could have cross checked with other people as well. He could have avoided sending Bill alone to search Lutkin.

Class 10 English Footprints Without Feet

  1. Chapter 1- A Triumph of Surgery
  2. Chapter 2- The Thief's Story
  3. Chapter 3- The Midnight Visitor
  4. Chapter 4- A Question of Trust
  5. Chapter 5- Footprints without Feet
  6. Chapter 6- The Making of a Scientist
  7. Chapter 7- The Necklace
  8. Chapter 8- The Hack Driver
  9. Chapter 9- Bholi
  10. Chapter 10- The Book That Saved the Earth

Class 10 English First Flight
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  2. NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Chapter 2- Long Walk to Freedom
  3. NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Chapter 3- Two Stories About Flying
  4. NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Chapter 4- From the Diary of Anne Frank
  5. NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Chapter 5-The Hundred Dresses - I
  6. NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Chapter 6- The Hundred Dresses - II
  7. NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Chapter 7- Glimpses of India
  8. NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Chapter 8- Mijbil the Otter
  9. NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Chapter 9- Madam Rides the Bus
  10. NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Chapter 10- The Sermon at Benares
  11. NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Chapter 11- The Proposal

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