Q. Why is the lawyer sent to New Mullion? What does he first think about the place?
Ans. The lawyer is sent to a town called New Mullion to serve summons on a man called Oliver Lutkins. He first thinks that it will be a sweet and simple country village.
Q. Who befriends him? Where does he take him?
Ans. A hack driver befriends him. He takes him to Fritz’s shop and to all those places where Oliver Lutkins could be located.
Q. What does he say about Lutkins?
Ans. He said that it was difficult to catch Lutkins.
Q. What more does Bill say about Lutkins and his family?
Ans. Bill says that Lutkins plays a lot of poker. He’s good at deceiving people. He owes money to many people. He owes thirty-five dollars to the barber. He never pays anybody a cent. Bill says that Lutkins owes me fifty cents. He says that Lutkins is not really bad, but it’s hard to make him part with his money.
Q. Does the narrator serve the summons that day?
Ans. Yes, the narrator serves the summons in the evening when he comes to New Mullion with a companion.
Q. Who is Lutkins?
Ans. Lutkins is a hack driver whose witness is needed in a law case. He is the resident of New Mullion.
Q. When the lawyer reached New Mullion, did ‘Bill’ know that he was looking for Lutkins? When do you think Bill came up with his plan for fooling the lawyer?
Ans. The lawyer himself told Bill that he wanted to find a man named Oliver Lutkins. Bill planned to befool him when he went to bring his hack for the lawyer. He made up his mind to multiply his profits by taking the lawyer to various places where Lutkins could be found.
Q. Lutkins openly takes the lawyer all over the village. How is it that no one lets out the secret? (Hint: Notice that the hack driver asks the lawyer to keep out of sight behind him when they go into Fritz’s). Can you find other such subtle ways in which Lutkins manipulates the tour?
Ans. Lutkins is a very clever man. He takes the lawyer openly all over the village and befools him with the help of the other villagers. When he reaches Fritz’s he asks, ‘‘Have you seen Oliver Lutkins around today? Friend of his looking for him.’’ When he asks this question Fritz looks at the lawyer and hesitates to speak. But he knows Lutkins. So, he helps and supports Lutkins in befooling the lawyer. Lutkins takes the lawyer to those places and people who are known to him and can support him. He deliberately tells his mother that this young man represents the court in the city, and he has a legal right to search all properties for this Oliver Lutkins.
Q. Why do you think Lutkins’s neighbours were anxious to meet the lawyer?
Ans. Bill had taken the lawyer around the whole town. All of them were aware of the fact that Lutkins was befooling the lawyer. Lutkins’s neighbours missed the chance to see the lawyer. So they were anxious to meet the lawyer.
Q. After his first day’s experience with the hack driver the lawyer thinks of returning to New Mullion to practise law. Do you think he would have reconsidered this idea after his second visit?
Ans. His first day’s experience was bitter because he came to know how Lutkins befooled him before all the residents of the town. The lawyer must have realized that the people of New Mullion were clever. The way Lutkins befooled him was ridiculous and interesting too. He would not have reconsidered the idea after his second visit.
Q. Do you think the lawyer was gullible? How could he have avoided being taken for a ride?
Ans. Yes, the lawyer was gullible. He tells Bill his purpose of coming to New Mullion without confirming the hack driver’s identity. The hack driver cleverly misguides the lawyer and earns money also. He could have avoided being taken for a ride if he had enquired about Lutkins himself. But he had faith in the hack driver and got disappointed.
Q. Do we come across persons like Lutkins only in fiction or do we encounter them in real life as well? You can give examples from fiction, or narrate an incident that you have read in the newspaper, or an incident from real life.
Ans. We do come across persons like Lutkins in real life. People are good at deceiving the fellow human beings. There are many such examples which can be narrated. Once I went to a village with my father. We did not know the house of the person whom we wanted to meet. My father asked a strangerabout the house where our uncle lived. We were in the car. He said that he would escort us there. He accompanied us and my father drove the car for nearly 15 minutes. He asked my father to stop the car and said that we would have to go back to the place from where we started. The stranger reached his house and we came to know that were befooled. We came back and found that when we asked the passage to the stranger, we were standing in front of the house of my uncle. So, I can say that these are real life episodes.