When I got to New Mullion, my eager expectations of a sweet and simple country village were severely disappointed. Its streets were rivers of mud, with rows of wooden shops, either painted a sour brown, or bare of any paint at all. The only agreeable sight about the place was the delivery man at the station. He 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. You felt at once that he liked people.
“I want,” I told him, “to find a man named Oliver Lutkins.”
“Lutkins? I saw him around here about an hour ago. Hard fellow to catch though — always up to something or other. He’s probably trying to start up a poker game in the back of Fritz’s shop. I’ll tell you, boy — is there any hurry about locating Lutkins?”
“Yes. I want to catch the afternoon train back to the city.” I was very important and secret about it.
The joy of visiting the village washed away as the narrator arrived at New Mullion. It happened because the village was not as per his expectations. He thought the village to be charming and simple. However, he was depressed by how the streets seemed. The streets were flooded with mud (which the narrator describes as rivers of mud) and in poor condition. The wooden stores in the street row were either entirely unpainted or painted a sour brown.
After saying that, the narrator said that the only agreeable sight he had in the place was a delivery man at the station. The narrator then describes the appearance of the delivery man. The man appeared to be in his forties. He was red-faced and cheerful. The narrator then says he was thick about the middle (fat around the waist). It means that he was a fat man. Then he said the uniform he wore seemed dirty, and the uniform showed extensive use or wear. The narrator then says he had a friendly appearance, making him think he would be kind to other people. In addition, he told his readers that while looking at him, you will feel he is friendly with other people.
The narrator then told the delivery man that he wanted to find a man named Oliver Lutkins. The delivery man immediately repeated the name of the person being searched by the narrator. He then said that he had just seen Lutkins one hour before. He also told the narrator it was difficult to find Lutkins as he was always up to something. After telling that, the delivery man said that Lutkins could be found at Fritz's shop, where he used to play a card game known as poker. He also inquired about the urgency of finding Lutkins. After hearing that, the narrator replied that it was urgent to find Lutkins as he had to return to the city by the afternoon train.
Poker (card game)
Meanings of the difficult words:
|Expectation||A strong belief that something will happen or be the case|
|Disappoint||Sad or displeased because someone or something has failed to fulfil one's hopes or expectations|
|Street||A public road in a city, town, or village, typically with houses and buildings on one or both sides|
|Thick about the middle||Fat around the waist|
|Cheerful||Noticeably happy and optimistic|
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.