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Summary Chapter 21

CHAPTER 21

Martin and Mark are on a train, heading towards a town called Eden. Martin asks Mark if he is glad they have left New York. Mark answers affirmatively, though he had been jolly at the Pawkins boarding house. Martin then asks if he thinks their prospects are going to be good where they are going. Mark is optimistic about the place, since it is called Eden—and therefore must be full of snakes.

A gentleman has been eavesdropping on their conversation and speaks up, saying Eden is indeed full of snakes. The gentleman, whose name is Kettle, asks Martin how things are in England. Martin says they are fine. The gentleman says that he expects that Queen Victoria will be frazzled by the articles they write in their newspaper. Another gentleman comes up, named General Choke, and thanks him for that sentiment.

Martin points out that the queen doesn’t receive their newspaper. They tell him they send it to her. However, when Martin learns they send it to the Tower of London, he tells them that the queen does not live there and doesn’t likely get it. General Choke tells him he is wrong. Martin asks the General if he has ever been to England. General Choke says he has only read about it.

Martin hands General Choke a letter of introduction from Mr. Bevan. The general says he can introduce Martin to an agent in Eden. Martin says he has little to invest and asks if his prospects are good. The general says he wouldn't invest his money if he didn’t think it was good.

They arrive in a town that is their stop. They will take a boat to Eden. Martin asks Mark if he is determined to invest in the common stock. Mark says he wouldn’t have come this far if he hadn’t been. Martin says that since Mark is investing the majority of the money, he will make Mark his partner.

The next day, the general takes Martin and Mark to meet the agent, Zephaniah Scadder. Scadder doesn’t want to sell to just any loafer. The general vouches for Martin, saying he is a friend. Martin despairs, though, when he learns that Eden is an important city. He worries there isn’t anything left for him to do. Scadder says it isn’t totally built up. Martin asks if there is a marketplace, and Scadder answers no. Martin asks how many architects are in the city, and Scadders says none. The one they had left. Martin concludes a land deal with some difficulty.

Martin attends a meeting of the Watertoast Sympathizers out of curiosity. The society supports a political figure in Ireland, though they loathe the Irish. However, they support this man because they have a common enemy—England. During the rally, they receive a package full of articles from England. Choke is horrified that this man that they back supports the liberation of the blacks. He proposes they dissolve the association. However, they try to figure out what to do with the funds.

They finally decide to divide it into three parts. One will go to a judge that makes it lawful for mobs to kill blacks. Another goes to a high place official who supports hanging abolitionists without trial. The third part goes to support laws that make it illegal to teach blacks how to read and write. Martin thinks how wonderful the Republican flag looks until you get close to it.

Charles Dickens