Table of Contents
A New Place To Visit
The narrator is a graduate and has joined a law firm as a junior assistant clerk. His job was to serve summons to different people. He hated his job because defaulters seldom beat him up. He wanted to run away to skip this training period. He was sent on a mission to a town called New Mullion to deliver the summons to Oliver Lutkins.
He expected this place to be good, but the first sight of the town soon shattered his imagination. It was a muddy and dull-looking town. The only thing that he liked was the delivery man. He inquired about the whereabouts of Lutkins. The delivery man answered about Lutkins as a man who was difficult to catch.
The delivery man told him about a hack (a kind of horse cart) that he had and offered to drive him to places where Lutkins hanged the most. The narrator was over-whelmed by the kindness of that delivery man. He bargained the hack fare to be two dollars an hour. He enjoyed the hospitality of the delivery man.
Lutkins: A Shadow!
The delivery man told the narrator that Lutkins was very bad at paying his debts. He offered to ask for Lutkins while the narrator could hide. The narrator trusted the delivery man and told him his purpose of visiting Lutkins. The delivery man told his name as Bill or Magnuson. They decided to go to Fritz’s. Bill admired Lutkins for his talent to deceive people.
They reached Fritz’s, and Bill happily asked him about Lutkin’s whereabouts. They learned that Lutkins departed from there a few moments ago. They checked another place and found out that Lutkins was last seen walking down the main street.
After chasing him for nearly half of the day, they could not catch him. However, the narrator enjoyed Bill’s company so much that he hardly cared for Lutkins. The narrator suggested lunch, but Bill refused as he had to go to his house and eat with his wife. Bill suggested the narrator get his lunch from his wife that would cost him about half a dollar.
Bill: A Kind Soul
Since the narrator charged the firm for that visit, he did not hesitate to pay Bill for his time. Bill’s love attracted him so much that he forgot the inconvenience of the visit. They sat at the hilltop, and Bill told the narrator nearly everything about that town. On that day, the narrator learned many things about New Mullion.
Bill’s simplicity strengthened the narrator. They packed up from there and resumed their search for Lutkins. They came across one of Lutkins’ friend who told them that Lutkins was at his mother’s farm. They went to the farms. Bill told the narrator that Lutkins’ mother was a real terror. She was nine feet tall and four feet wide, quick as a cat.
According to Bill, Lutkins’ knew that somebody was chasing him, so he had gone to hide behind his mother. On reaching the farm, Bill started to talk to the old lady. He enquired about Lutkins, but the lady refused to tell anything.
Bill told the old lady about the narrator’s real purpose. He told the lady that the narrator had every legal right to search for Oliver Lutkins. The lady marched at them with an iron rod.
Time To Go Home
After the failed attempt to find Lutkins, Bill drove the narrator to the railway station. The narrator was preoccupied with the thoughts of Bill as his new friend.
Deep down inside his heart, he had pictured his new life at New Mullions. The firm who sent the narrator was very upset about his failure. The firm sent the narrator again to New Mullion to search for Oliver Lutkins, but they also sent a man with him this time.
Bill: Good or Bad?
When they arrived at the station, the narrator saw Bill and Lutkins’ mother talking to each other. The narrator told the man that this kind man once helped him find Lutkins. The narrator was flabbergasted to know that Bill was none other than Lutkins himself.
He had made of a fool out of the narrator. When the narrator served the summons to Lutkins, he invited the narrator for a cup of coffee at his neighbour’s house as they were very anxious to see the narrator.