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Summary Chapter 7

The clergyman’s telling of “The Convict’s Return” puts Mr. Pickwick in such a sleepy state that the minute he retires to his guest room he falls asleep. He awakes the next day to the pleasant sights and smells of the country when he is hailed by Mr. Wardle from the garden below. In no time, Mr. Pickwick sees to his dress and joins Mr. Wardle below.

Ordering the fat boy Joe to fetch Mr. Winkle, who had assured Mr. Wardle that he—Mr. Winkle—is an experienced shooter of rooks, Mr. Wardle directs Mr. Pickwick to the rookery where he may observe Mr. Wardle and Mr. Winkle shooting rooks for sport. By and by, Joe arrives, bringing with him not only Mr. Winkle but Mr. Tupman and Mr. Snodgrass on account of Joe not knowing who exactly Mr. Winkle is and wanting to avoid fetching the wrong man. Presently, Mr. Wardle has two boys climb and shake a tree whereupon roosting rooks are startled into flight. Mr. Wardle takes aim and shoots down a rook which the fat boy Joe then retrieves. It’s Mr. Winkle’s turn now. But as the rooks are startled into flight, Mr. Winkle fails to fire; he has neglected to remove the rifle cap. With the cap removed, Mr. Winkle tries again. Alas, he misfires and in the process wounds Mr. Tupman with a glancing shot on the arm.

With Mr. Tupman’s arm in a sling, the shooting party joins Emily, Isabella, and the spinster-aunt for breakfast. Seeing the state Mr. Tupman is in, the ladies make a fuss over him only to be assured by Mr. Wardle that Mr. Tupman is alive and well. Mr. Tupman welcomes the solicitude, however, and is more than happy to indulge the spinster-aunt who is especially concerned. Presently, a surgeon attends to Mr. Tupman.

With his arm dressed in bandages, Mr. Tupman joins the others for breakfast and all is well. He is nonetheless advised to stay at Manor Farm with the ladies to convalesce, while the rest will go to the town of Muggleton to be in attendance at a cricket match between All-Muggleton and Dingley Dellers. Mr. Tupman doesn’t object. Thus the party goes to the town of Muggleton which has been completely transformed in anticipation of the cricket match. The party is welcomed by the Muggletonians and is forthwith led to a reception tent where, among the convives, Mr. Pickwick spots the stranger in the green coat. After exchanging hearty greetings with the stranger, Mr. Pickwick introduces Mr. Wardle to the stanger who will eventually identify himself as Alfred Jingle.

By an by, Mr. Wardle, Mr. Jingle, and Mr. Pickwick & Co. claim their cricket venue seats and play begins. Led by Mr. Dumbkins and Mr. Podder, the All-Muggletonians dominate play. Meanwhile, in the stands, Mr. Jingle relates his cricket playing days in the West Indies, emphasizing the heat that the players were subjected to; Mr. Wardle is impressed.

Despite the thorough beating that they sustained, the Dingley Dellers join the All-Muggletonians in the after match meal/festivities to which all are welcome. There Dingley Deller Mr. Luffey introduces Mr. Staple who eulogizes Dingley Dellers and Muggletonians alike, to great cheers.

Charles Dickens