English Language & Literature
Footprints Without Feet
Chapter 8: The Hack Driver
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.
This story is about a junior assistant clerk. His job was to serve summons. As he hated this work, he thought about running away to his own home town, and become a lawyer right away. One day, he was asked to serve summons on a man, called Oliver Lutkins as he was a witness in a law suit.
On reaching New Mullion, he found that a delivery man (hack driver) was willing to help him find the person in quarry. He would charge two dollars an hour for that work, as it would be very difficult to locate Lutkins. The hackman started talking to him and said that Lutkins never parted with his money.
Wherever they went, he told the narrator to keep out of sight, while he enquired for Lutkins. They went to Fritz’s where Lutkins played poker and from there to a barber and then a poolroom. They were not able to find Lutkins.
In the afternoon as the narrator was feeling hungry, he decided to buy lunch and offered to pay for the hack driver’s lunch also. The driver got the lunch prepared by his wife and charged him half a dollar for it.
Finally, the hack driver took him to Lutkin’s house. When Lutkin’s mother heard that they had come to serve summons on her son, she seized an iron rod and marched on them. She also threatened to burn them if they did not go away. Although the narrator was frightened, they searched all over, but were unable to locate Lutkins. The narrator returned to his city.
As the case was coming up for hearing the next day, he was asked to go back and somehow serve summons on Lutkins. A man who knew Lutkins went with him.
On reaching New Mullion, the narrator was shocked to find that the hack driver himself was Oliver Lutkins.
Lutkins and his mother laughed at him. Feeling insulted and humiliated, the narrator served summons on Lutkins.