Short Questions and Answers
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.
2. Describe the hack driver’s appearance in your own words?
Answer: The hack driver looked to be about 40 years in age. His face was red. He wore dirty and worn out clothes but he was cheerful. His simplicity and humour could influence anyone.
3. Why does the hack driver offer to ask about Oliver Lutkins?
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.
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. But in this way, he was trying to save him from the narrator.
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. Even he planned to settle down in that village. So he was happy though he had not found Lutkins.
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 as he had helped the narrator to find Lutkins.
7. Why did Lutkins pretend to be Bill Magnuson?
Answer: Lutkins pretended to be Bill Magnuson as he did not want to accept the summons and be a witness in the case. So, he pretended to help him in finding Lutkins and wandered everywhere.
8. What did the hack driver tell the narrator about Lutkin’s mother?
Answer: The hack driver told the narrator that Lutkin’s 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. And he suggested him to keep himself away and safe from her.
Long Questions and Answers
1. In life, people who easily trust others are sometimes made to look foolish. One should not be too trusting. Describe how Oliver Lutkins made a fool of the young lawyer.
Answer: Oliver Lutkins made a fool of the young lawyer throughout his first visit to the village. First he introduced himself as Bill at the railway station and assured the lawyer that they would together search for Lutkins. He told the lawyer that he knew most of the places where Lutkins used to hang out. In succession, he took the narrator to Fritz, then to the barber’s shop, then Gray’s shop and finally Lutkins’ mother who he called a ‘terrible’. He deceived the lawyer throughout and also made money by taking the lawyer around. Thus, he was able to make a fool of the lawyer by taking him all over the village without success, as the lawyer did not recognise Lutkins and so did not realise that it was Lutkins himself who was taking him around.
2. Do you think Lutkins was right in befooling the lawyer and earning money by using unfair means. What precaution should one take to avoid a situation like the one in which the lawyer was placed?
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 Lutkins’ 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. If we do our duty without being personal and judge everything very carefully, we can get better results. As lawyer did not ask anyone about Lutkins and allowed the hack driver to do the same, he became a victim of Lutkins’ tricks. And in result, he made his senior angry who accused him as an irresponsible person. In the same way, we can be treated by our seniors if we are not able to fulfil our duty efficiently.