Bill led me into Fritz’s. “Have you seen Oliver Lutkins around today? Friend of his looking for him,” said Bill cheerily.
 
     Fritz looked at me, hiding behind Bill. He hesitated, and then admitted, “Yes, he was in here a little while ago. Guess he’s gone over to Gustaff’s to get a shave.”
 
     “Well, if he comes in, tell him I’m looking for him.”
 
     We drove to Gustaff’s barber shop. Again Bill went in first, and I lingered at the door. He asked not only the Swede but two customers if they had seen Lutkins. The Swede had not. He said angrily, “I haven’t seen him, and don’t care to. But if you find him you can just collect that dollar thirty-five he owes me.” One of the customers thought he had seen Lutkins walking down Main Street, this side of the hotel.
 
     As we climbed back into the hack, Bill concluded that since Lutkins had exhausted his credit at Gustaff’s he had probably gone to Gray’s for a shave. At Gray’s barber shop we 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 we pursued him, just behind him but never catching him, for an hour till it was past one o’clock. I was hungry. But I had so enjoyed Bill’s rough country opinions about his neighbours that I scarcely cared whether I found Lutkins or not.
 
     “How about something to eat?” I suggested. “Let’s go to a restaurant and I’ll buy you lunch.”
 
     “Well, I ought to go home to the wife. I don’t care much for these restaurants — only four of them and they’re all bad. Tell you what we’ll do. We’ll get the wife to pack up a lunch for us — she won’t charge you more than half a dollar, and it would cost you more for a greasy meal in a restaurant — and we’ll go up to Wade’s Hill and enjoy the view while we eat.”
Explanation:
 
The hack driver took the narrator to Fritz's shop and asked about Oliver Lutkins. He asked him whether he found Lutkins around today. After telling that, he says that Lutkins's friend is looking for him. The hack driver tried to seem natural by saying that. He made this to drive Fritz, to tell the truth about Oliver Lutkins. After hearing that, Fritz looked at the narrator hiding behind Bill.

At first, Fritz hesitated to tell where Lutkins was. It might be because, as the narrator seemed to be a new person, he might have doubted him. Then Fritz said that Lutkins was there a few hours ago, but he left for Gustaff's shop, where he had proceeded for a shave. After getting the information, Bill asked Fritz to convey a message to Lutkins that he was looking for him.

Next, the narrator and the hack driver go to Gustaff's shop. Bill went inside the shop first, and the narrator stood at the door. Bill asked not only a Swede, here the Swede is Gustaff (a native or inhabitant of Sweden or a person of Swedish descent), but also two customers whether they had seen Lutkins. While hearing that, Gustaff became angry and said he hadn't seen him. In addition, he said that he didn't care about him.

Moreover, Gustaff says that if the narrator and the hack driver find him, they should collect thirty-five dollars from him. Since Lutkins had bought the money from him, they should ask him to repay it if they see him. While the conversation was going on, one of the customers told them he had seen Lutkins walking down the main street side of the hotel.

When the narrator and the hack driver are about to climb the hack again, Bill guesses that Lutkins may have gone to Gray's barber shop as his credit limit with Gustaff had ended. But when they got to Gray's shop, they found that Lutkins had departed only five minutes earlier. They decided to visit the poolroom (a hall or establishment where the pool and billiards are played); someone told them he had left after buying a pack of cigarettes. So their attempts to catch him were all in vain. So for an hour, until it was after one o'clock, they followed him but failed to capture him, and the narrator felt very hungry. However, the narrator loved Bill's unvarnished rural views of his neighbours so much that he didn't really care if he had found Lutkins or not.
 
barbershop-g0226c93db_1920.jpg
Barbershop

The narrator then asked the hack driver about eating lunch. He then says let's go to the restaurant, and he will buy some food. After hearing that, the hack driver says that he will go to his home. He also says that there are only four restaurants, and none are decent. He agreed to obtain some food from his wife. The hack driver also advised the narrator to purchase a food parcel from his wife since it would cost less than the greasy, tasteless dinner at the restaurant. Also, he says that she won't charge you more than half a dollar. Additionally, he said they could go to Wade's hill and enjoy the pleasant view while eating.
 
Meanings of the difficult words:
 
S.No
Words
Meanings
1
HesitateTo pause before you do or say something, often because you are uncertain or nervous about it
2
Barber A man whose job is cutting men's hair
3
AdmitConfess to be true or to be the case
4
ShaveTo remove hair from the body, especially a man's face, by cutting it close to the skin with a razor so that the skin feels smooth
Reference:
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2007). The Hack Driver- Sinclair Lewis (pp. 47-53). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.