“I’ll tell you what. I’ve got a hack. I’ll get it out and we can drive around together and find Lutkins. I know most of the places he hangs out.”
He was so open and friendly that I glowed with the warmth of his affection. I knew, of course, that he wanted the business, but his kindness was real. I was glad the fare money would go to this good fellow. I managed to bargain down to two dollars an hour, and then he brought from his house nearby a sort of large black box on wheels. He remarked, “Well, young man, here’s the carriage,” and his wide smile made me into an old friend. These villagers are so ready to help a stranger. He had already made it his own task to find Oliver Lutkins for me.
He said, “I don’t want to interfere, young fellow, but my guess is that you want to collect some money from Lutkins. He never pays anybody a cent. He still owes me fifty cents on a poker game I was fool enough to play with him. He’s not really bad, but it’s hard to make him part with his money. If you try to collect from him, in those fancy clothes, he’ll be suspicious and get away from you. If you want I’ll go into Fritz’s and ask for him, and you can keep out of sight behind me.”
The delivery man says that he has got a horse-drawn vehicle. He then says that he will bring it out and let them drive around together to find Lutkins. He then says that he knew most of the places where Lutkins would roam.
A horse-drawn vehicle
The narrator then said that he was impressed by the friendly and caring behaviour of the delivery man. He also claimed that though he knew that he was trying to earn some money from him, he accepted his offer because he was a very nice man. He was relieved that the fare money would go to this deserving individual. The narrator negotiates down to two dollars an hour. After that, the delivery man brought a hack from his nearby house, which seemed like a huge black box placed with wheels. Here, the narrator describes the cart as if it looks like a large black box kept on the wheel. With a broad smile, the narrator told him that the carriage was nearby. The delivery man's broad smile made him feel like his well-known old friend.
The narrator then says that the villagers in New Mullion are always willing to assist a stranger. He made the statement because the delivery man had already proved his helping mentality by taking a risk to find Oliver Lutkins.
The delivery man then started a conversation with the narrator gently. He says that he did not want to disturb his matters. After telling that, he said he sensed that the narrator wanted to collect some money from Lutkins. After that, the delivery man told him that Lutkins had never paid his debts. He, too, had to take fifty cents back from him, which he won in the poker game.
The delivery man then says that Lutkins was not a bad man. But when it comes to money, he refuses to pay it. Later, he suggested that the narrator should not come in front of Lutkins because his fancy clothes could make Lutkins doubt him and give him a chance to run away. Here, one can understand how the delivery man and the narrator describe each other's clothing. Each other clothing differentiates their profession as well as how they are dressed. The delivery man had made the statement because if Lutkins sees the narrator in such a dress, he will sense that something is fishy and run away from there. To avoid that, the delivery man told him to stay out. He told him that if he wanted, he would go into Fritz's shop and enquire him. In addition, he asks the narrator to stay behind him and see what's happening there.
Meanings of the difficult words:
|Hack||A horse-drawn vehicle|
|Bargain||Negotiate the terms and conditions of a transaction|
|Suspicious||Feeling doubt or no trust in someone or something|
|Stranger||Someone you do not know|
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2007). Footprints without Feet - 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.