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Summary Chapter 5

While leaning over the balustrades of Rochester bridge, Mr. Pickwick admires the morning scenery, which include the ruins of old castles and the sea-weed rich nearby sea when he is joined by Dismal Jemmy. To Mr. Pickwick’s consternation, Dismal Jemmy speaks of the advantages of drowning oneself, and of thereby putting an end to one’s mortal sufferings. But then Dismal Jemmy asks Mr. Pickwick if the latter would care to be privy to another story which is in written form and which Dismal Jemmy would have it sent by mail to the Pickwick Club if Mr. Pickwick would consent to it. Mr. Pickwick consents and Dismal Jemmy acquires the Pickwick Club’s address.

By and by, Mr. Pickwick joins Mr. Winkle, Mr. Snodgrass, and Mr. Tupman for breakfast. They partake of a tremendous meal at the end of which they consult the waiter as to how they might travel to Dingley Dell. The waiter suggests taking a Post-chaise. However, when it becomes apparent that a Post-chaise will only accommodate 3 passengers, Mr. Winkle volunteers to ride on horseback even though he is less than a capable horseman.

Thus the Pickwickians set off for Dingley Dell with Mr. Winkle on horseback, and with Mr. Snodgrass, Mr. Tupman, and Mr. Pickwick on the Post-chaise. Mr. Pickwick drives which is not his forte.

Naturally, the Pickwickians encounter difficulties. Mr. Pickwick drops his whip which Mr. Winkle, having dismounted from his horse, retrieves. Alas, Mr. Winkle finds himself unable to get back on his horse, compelling Mr. Pickwick to park the Post-chaise and come to Mr. Winkle’s aid. However, Mr. Pickwick’s attempt to help Mr. Winkle not only results in the loss of the horse as it trots back to Rochester on its own, but it results in the loss of the Post-chaise as the horse hitched to it drags the chaise against a wooden bridge, rendering it inoperable. Consequently, the Pickwickians unhitch the horse from the chaise and make their way on foot when they come across a roadside public house.

At the roadside public house, the Pickwickians ask a red-headed man if they can leave their horse there for safekeeping upon which the the red-headed man refers the request to the Missus, who is in charge. Alas, the Missus, who suspects the horse is stolen, rejects the request to the Pickwickians' objections. Left with no other choice, the Pickwickians make their way to Dingley Dell while pulling the horse after them.

When the Pickwickians arrive at Dingley Dell, Manor Farm, they are met by Mr. Wardle and the fat boy. Mr. Wardle asks the Pickwickians what had taken them so long, but upon realizing that the Pickwickians are in a sorry state—they have nicks and cuts, their clothes are ripped and torn, and they are dusty from head to toe—he immediately orders his servants to make accommodations. By and by the Pickwickians are attended to. Thus cleaned up and refreshed, they are lead to Manor Farm by Mr. Wardle.

Charles Dickens