What does 'thrust up the trap' mean in context?

At Thirty-fourth Street young Richard quickly thrust up the trap and ordered the cabman to stop.

Mammon and the Archer by O. Henry


It may refer to a sliding window in the cab that separates the passenger compartment from the driver for privacy. It would have to be slid aside to talk to the cab driver.

Here is a definition of "trapdoor" that may fit:
American Heritage Dictionary "trapdoor"
"A hinged or sliding door in a floor, roof, or ceiling."

In this case, it would be a sliding door in the compartment separator.

Here is a description of such a door in a horse-drawn cab:
Wikipedia "hansom cab" design
"The passengers could give their instructions to the driver through a trap door near the rear of the roof."

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.