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Summary Chapter 52

Mr. Pickwick consoles Arabella who is distressed when told of his unsuccessful meeting with Mr. Winkle, senior. Consequently, Mr. Pickwick meets with Mr. Perker to see what legal recourse he has in persuading Mr. Winkle, senior to approve of his son’s marriage to Arabella when Alfred Jingle and Job Trotter are admitted to Mr. Perker’s office.

They have come to settle legal matters concerning their release from Fleet Prison and their passage to Demerara (West Indies) where they will be given chances to start new lives, thanks to Mr. Pickwick. Needless to say, they are both grateful to Mr. Pickwick, and promise to repay Mr. Pickwick for his troubles before taking their leave.

By and by, Mr. Pickwick speaks of Mr. Winkle, senior’s refusal to sanction his son’s marriage to Arabella. Mr. Perker advises Mr. Pickwick to give it a week, and failing that that their best bet is to have Arabella appeal to Mr. Winkle, senior face-to-face.

Presently, Mr. Perker’s assistant Mr. Lowten announces the arrival of Dodson and Fogg. Cursing them for being too early, Mr. Perker asks Mr. Pickwick if he would like to wait in an adjoining room so as to avoid confronting his mortal enemies, as it were. However, arguing that he has no cause for avoiding Dodson and Fogg, Mr. Pickwick chooses to stay where he is.

Thus, when Dodson and Fogg enter the room, Mr. Pickwick regards them with the utmost contempt and scorn that he could muster. Dodson and Fogg, however, act as if they had done nothing wrong. Indeed, they settle their business with Mr. Perker, and before leaving, they give Mr. Pickwick their best regards however disingenuous.

Enraged, Mr. Pickwick waylays Dodson and Fogg and makes it be known to whomever is within earshot that they—Dodson and Fogg—are nothing but “mean, rascally, pettifogging robbers.” Despite Mr. Perker’s best efforts to restrain Mr. Pickwick and have Dodson and Fogg ushered out, Mr. Pickwick repeats his invective several times over even as Dodson and Fogg are out of the office and descending the stairs.

Having had his say, Mr. Pickwick tells Mr. Perker that he is now content and looks it. Mr. Perker applauds Mr. Pickwick’s intrepid boldness by laughing for a full 5 minutes before getting down to business of closing his account with Mr. Pickwick. But Mr. Pickwick informs Mr. Perker that he—Mr. Pickwick—would like to retain Mr. Perker’s services indefinitely. Thus the two negotiate a deal when there’s a heavy knocking at the door. Mr. Perker urges Mr. Lowten to answer the door.

Charles Dickens