Having commissioned his landlady’s son to fetch Mr. Tupman, Mr. Winkle, and Mr. Snodgrass, Mr. Pickwick inquires his landlady as to the added cost of having an additional lodger living with Mr. Pickwick in his apartment. Unbeknownst to Mr. Pickwick, his landlady Mrs. Bardell who has, for the longest time, regarded Mr. Pickwick as a potential mate, misunderstands Mr. Pickwick: She thinks that Mr. Pickwick is making her a marriage proposal. Ergo when Mr. Pickwick assures her that sharing his apartment with another would be to the mutual benefit of Mr. Pickwick and Mrs. Bardell, Mrs. Bardell not only consents to Mr. Pickwick’s proposal but she collapses into his arm where she temporarily loses her consciousness.
Presently, Master Bardell, the landlady’s son, arrives with Mr. Tupman, Mr. Winkle, and Mr. Snodgrass only to find Mr. Pickwick in the most awkward of circumstances, i.e. with the unconscious landlady in his arms. Thinking that Mr. Pickwick had caused his mother harm, Master Bardell attacks Mr. Pickwick who entreats his fellow Pickwickains to restrain the boy. Not only do the Pickwickians manage to restrain Master Bardell but they escort Mrs. Bardell, who regains her consciousness, to her rooms. By and by, Mr. Pickwick expresses his incredulity at Mrs. Bardell’s behavior. He can’t explain what she could have read into his—Mr. Pickwick’s—intention of hiring a personal assistant and having him share Mr. Pickwick’s apartment.
By and by, Samuel Weller, the boot cleaner at the White Hart inn, whom the Pickwickians mention of having met upon entering Mr. Pickwick’s apartment, enters the apartment and is heartily welcomed by Mr. Pickwick. When asked what the purpose of his summons was, Mr. Pickwick explains that he would like Samuel Weller to be his personal assistant and explains the terms of the employment. Pleased by the offer, Samuel Weller consents to the offer. Thus the deal is clinched pending Samuel Wellers reference check. As it turns out, Samuel Weller’s reputation proves to be exceptional, and he forthwith joins the Pickwickians who are now on their way to Eatenswill.