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Summary Chapter 42

Mr. Weller senior has come to the Insolvent Court to console George, a friend and an associate, who will be tried for insolvency. Presently, Mr. Weller senior shares a word and a drink with Mr. Solomon Pell, George’s fat, flabby, and pale attorney, at a nearby public house. Mr. Pell assures Mr. Weller senior that the preparation for the defense is all in good order. As for George himself, to Mr. Weller’s senior’s satisfaction, he is in good spirits.

Mr. Pell is holding forth on the integrity of his office when a boy with a blue bag, the attorney’s assistant, informs Mr. Pell that George’s trial is about to start. Consequently, the defense team and its supporters rush over to the court, which is practically across the street, only to be caught in a crowd, which is at once trying to gain admittance. In the middle of the throng, Mr. Weller senior gets into a minor tussle. By and by, Mr. Weller senior beholds the young man with whom he has got in the tussle. The young man turns out to be his own son Sam.

When Sam explains that he had been looking for his father at the Marquis of Grinby the previous night, Mr. Weller senior asks about Sam’s stepmother’s well-being. Sam replies that she is out of sorts, and that she is wont to indulge in pine-apple rum. Mr. Weller senior informs Sam that the deputy shepherd, despite having liver problems which is hampering his appetite, is drinking as much as he ever had. Presently, Sam tells his father about the purpose of his visit. He would like to help Mr. Pickwick in any way he can. To that end, Sam would like his father to lend him twenty-five pound. Then asserting that Sam has failed to repay the loan, Sam would like his father to sue Sam and have him incarcerated in Fleet Prison.

At first, Mr. Weller senior is perplexed, but seeing as how it’s for a good cause and seeing as how the scheme is bound to work, Mr. Weller senior is only too happy to oblige Sam. Subsequently, when Mr. Pell is told of the scheme, he too is happy to take part and lauds Sam’s loyalty to Mr. Pickwick. Thus, as Mr. Pell and Mr. Weller senior see to the suit, Sam regales George, who has won his case, and his friends with a song called “Romance.”

By and by, Mr. Pell and Mr. Weller senior arrive on the scene, and Sam is told that his scheme has gone off without a hitch. Consequently, Sam is escorted to Fleet Prison. There Sam finds his way to Mr. Pickwick’s room. Glad to see Sam, Mr. Pickwick is eager to explain his reasoning for having Sam dismissed form his—Mr. Pickwick’s—services, but before he can, Sam apprises Mr. Pickwick of the news of his—Sam’s—incarceration in Fleet Prison. Mr. Pickwick is in shock.

Charles Dickens