Subscribe for ad free access & additional features for teachers. Authors: 267, Books: 3,607, Poems & Short Stories: 4,435, Forum Members: 71,154, Forum Posts: 1,238,602, Quizzes: 344

Summary Chapter 9

The post-dinner supper is being served at Manor Farm when the host Mr. Wardle notices Miss Racheal’s—the spinster aunt’s—absence and Mr. Pickwick notices Mr. Jingle’s absence. Not one to be inconvenienced in regard to his supper, Mr. Wardle urges the Pickwickians to sit down and join him and his family for supper while ordering fat boy Joe to go find Miss Rachael and Mr. Jingle.

Mr. Wardle, his family, and the Pickwickians are about to start on their supper when they’re interrupted by a noise from the kitchen. Presently, fat boy Joe enters the dining room to inform Mr. Wardle of unbelievable news: Despite fat boy Joe’s best efforts to detain them, Miss Rachael has run off with Mr. Jingle in a post-chaise. At this news, Mr. Tupman, who had unwittingly lent Mr. Jingle ten pounds, laments his loss of the ten pounds and curses Mr. Jingle, compelling Mr. Pickwick to think Mr. Tupman has gone mad. As for Mr. Wardle, he is so angry that he suspects fat boy Joe of having colluded with Mr. Jingle and tries to beat him only to be restrained by Mr. Pickwick and Mr. Winkle.

By and by, at the behest of the ladies of Manor Farm who are afraid that if allowed to go alone Mr. Wardle will kill someone, Mr. Pickwick joins Mr. Wardle who has ordered a gig to be made ready so that he might give chase to the fugitives. In no time, Mr. Wardle and Mr. Pickwick arrive at the Blue Lion in Muggleton. There Mr. Wardle orders a post-chaise to be got ready.

It is just past midnight when Mr. Wardle and Mr. Pickwick are on the road in the post-chaise which is being operated by three Blue Lion post-boys. The moon is full and Mr. Pickwick thinks this is a good sign, but Mr. Wardle argues that the light of the moon will be to the advantage of the fugitives. Luckily for the pursuers, however, Mr. Wardle informs Mr. Pickwick that the moon will be obscured by the clouds sooner rather than later.

Presently, they arrive at a roadside house where they inquire its resident, an old man, whether he noticed a post-chaise pass by earlier in the night. Alas, what information the old man has to offer proves to be useless. They press on, and they arrive at the end of the first stage of their journey. There they acquire fresh horses and a new coach.

They are on the road again as the moon becomes obscured as Mr. Wardle had predicted. The wind picks up and it begins to rain when they come across fellow travelers who have good news: It wasn’t too long ago when the fellow travelers passed a post-chaise that conveyed passengers the descriptions of which leaves no doubt as to their identities: They were indeed Mr. Jingle and Miss Rachael.

Spurred on to maximum speed, Mr. Wardle and Mr. Pickwick’s post-chaise accelerates despite the wind, the rain, and the mud. By and by, they espy a post-chaise ahead of them. It is undoubtedly the post-chaise conveying Mr. Jingle and Miss Rachael what with Mr. Jingle’s visibility as he hangs out of the window urging his drivers to go faster. Suddenly, disaster besets Mr. Wardle’s and Mr. Pickwick’s post-chaise as one its wheels is knocked loose by a bump in the road, causing their post chaise to flip over and crash.

Cheeky to the last, Mr. Jingle, who has been mocking Mr. Wardle’s threats the whole way, stops to make sure that no one is hurt before moving on to London. No one is hurt. Sending a couple of the post-boys ahead to London on their horses to fetch another post chaise, Mr. Wardle and Mr. Pickwick decide to make their way to London on foot.

Charles Dickens