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Summary Chapter 41

Upon awakening, Mr. Pickwick beholds his servant Sam Weller denying Mr. Smangle who’s eager to render Mr. Pickwick service—laundering Mr. Pickwick’s clothes—for a fee. Annoyed, Mr. Smangle leaves the scene to breakfast on cigars.

Presently, having had breakfast at a place called the Snuggery, Mr. Pickwick dispatches Sam on some errands and then consults the turnkey Mr. Roker about his—Mr. Pickwick’s—lodgings. Mr. Roker informs Mr. Pickwick that his room will be the twenty-seven, in the third and that he will be sharing it with a parson, a butcher named Martin, and a union buster named Simpson. By and by, Mr. Pickwick locates the twenty-seven, in the third and makes the acquaintance of his 3 new roommates when he learns from them that for a fee Mr. Pickwick may procure a room of his own. A room of his own is exactly what Mr. Pickwick needs as the room he would otherwise be forced to share is untidy, filthy, and miasmic.

Subsequently, Mr. Pickwick again consults the turnkey Mr. Roker who’s only too happy to accommodate Mr. Pickwick so long as Mr. Pickwick is willing to pay for the privilege of having his own room, which Mr. Pickwick is. Thus, Mr. Roker introduces Mr. Pickwick to a Chancery prisoner who is willing to let his room for twenty shillings. Mr. Pickwick agrees to the term. With Mr. Roker’s help, Mr. Pickwick has the room furnished.

Having been informed by Mr. Roker where and on whom he might find a non-prisoner to run some errands, Mr. Pickwick searches for the non-prisoner only to stumble into a room which is inhabited by old acquaintances: Alfred Jingle and Job Trotter. Alas, they are both in such wretched states—they have lost everything—that Mr. Pickwick can’t help but to take pity on them. Indeed, as Mr. Jingle sobs, Mr. Pickwick offers him some kind words. As for Mr. Trotter, he is offered some spare coins.

Later, upon Sam’s return, Mr. Pickwick makes a determination. As long as Mr. Pickwick remains in Fleet Prison, Sam is not to attend to Mr. Pickwick. Sam will continue to be paid as he attends to one of the other three Pickwickians. If or when Mr. Pickwick gets out, then Sam will be allowed to return and attend to Mr. Pickwick. Sam objects, but to no avail.

Charles Dickens