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Summary Chapter 27

Having some leisure time before he accompanies Mr. Pickwick to Dingley Dell, Sam Weller decides to visit his mother-in-law for the sake of good manners: He hasn’t yet made her acquaintance. Mr. Pickwick approves of the idea.

So with his best clothes on, Sam makes his way to Dorking where he stops at the Marquis of Granby, a modest tavern belonging to his father. There he takes note of a stout, shrill voiced lady bartending and of a red-nosed man who is busy eating toast and drinking hot pine-apple rum and water. By the look of his voracious appetite, Sam infers that the red-nosed man is the deputy shepherd of whom his father had spoken disparagingly of. Immediately, Sam takes a disliking to the red-nosed man. Nonetheless, after exchanging greetings with his mother-in-law, who is no other than the stout, shrill voiced lady bartending, Sam makes the acquaintance of the red-nosed man, who is called Mr. Stiggins.

When Sam asks about his father, both his mother-in-law and the Mr. Stiggins speak disparagingly of him, citing Sam’s father’s refusal to contribute to charity on behalf of infant Negroes in the West Indies. By and by, a coach arrives from London and deposits Mr. Weller senior at the Marquis of Granby. Father and son greet each other and share a drink. When Sam mentions the charity on behalf of infant Negroes in the West Indies, his father accuses Mrs. Weller and the Mr. Stiggins of engaging in bogus charity activities—charity activities from which the deputy shepherd stands to profit. Indeed, if Mr. Weller senior could have his way, he would subject Mr. Stiggins to intense manual labor if only for the sake of reforming his lazy nature.

Next day, before leaving for London, Sam tells his father that if he were in his father’s shoes that he wouldn’t hesitate to give Mr. Stiggins a beating and thereby drive him out of the Marquis and Granby. Mr. Weller senior blesses his son.

Charles Dickens