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Summary Chapter 22

Mr. Weller senior is relating to his son the born again sponsored tea party that he had attended at his second wife’s behest when Mr. Pickwick arrives to join the Wellers on a journey to Ipswich where, with Mr. Weller senior’s help, they will seek Alfred Jingle. There is an additional passenger: a red-haired man named Peter Magnus who is obsessed with the security of his luggage. Indeed, throughout the journey, Mr. Magnus makes repeated references to the security of his luggage. Between Mr. Magnus’ obsession and the Wellers’ colloquialisms the meaning of which Mr. Pickwick must ask for clarifications, the long tedious journey passes pleasantly enough.

When they arrive at the Great White Horse at Ipswich, Mr. Pickwick and Mr. Magnus share a drink. By and by, Mr. Pickwick learns that Mr. Magnus intends to propose to a lady who is to rendezvous with him at this very inn. However, when Mr. Pickwick tries to explain the object of his visit, Mr. Magnus assumes that the person who has betrayed Mr. Pickwick is a woman, and before Mr. Pickwick could clarify his story, Mr. Magnus retires for the night. Subsequently, Mr. Pickwick is led to his room when he realizes that he has left a prized fob watch downstairs.

Determined to retrieve his fob watch, with a candle in hand, Mr. Pickwick navigates his way downstairs through the maze like stairways and passageways. With great difficulty he finds the room where he and Mr. Magnus shared a drink, and there he finds his watch. He makes his way back up to his room. Again he finds himself groping up the stairways and through the passages.

Eventually, Mr. Pickwick enters an empty room. There he undresses, puts on his nightcap, and is about to go to bed when a stranger enters his room: It’s a woman with yellow curl papers. Realizing that he has entered the wrong room, Mr. Pickwick, who has found temporary cover behind the curtains, summons the courage to announce his presence. Needless to say, the lady is plunged in state of fright. Mr. Pickwick assures her that he means her no harm and that his presence in the room is a great mistake. She urges him to leave, and Mr. Pickwick obliges.

With his candle all burnt out, and having no confidence that he would ever find his way back to his room, Mr. Pickwick decides to curl up in a recess and to wait for the light of day. He has just curled up when his servant Sam Weller comes by. Grateful, Mr. Pickwick greets Sam. Though puzzled by the state his master is in, Sam doesn’t pry and leads Mr. Pickwick to his room. Mr. Pickwick effusively thanks Sam.

Charles Dickens