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Summary Chapter 30

About a fortnight has passed since the Pickwickians’ arrival in London when a Mr. Jackson checks into the house of Dodson & Fogg before intruding on the Pickwickians’ evening social at the George and Vulture. Though told to refer his business to Mr. Pickwick’s solicitor Mr. Perker, Mr. Jackson brazenly discharges his duties there and then, first acquainting himself with the Messrs. Snodgrass, Tupman, and Winkle and then issuing them each a subpoena, courtesy of Dodson & Fogg. The subpoena even extends to Sam Weller.

Outraged, the next day, accompanied by Sam, Mr. Pickwick makes his way to his solicitor’s office. When Mr. Pickwick passes a sausage shop, Sam mentions the sausage shop’s notoriety which notoriety Mr. Pickwick is ignorant of. Ergo Sam explains the sausage shop’s notoriety, which turns out to be something gruesome.

According to Sam, the husband, of the husband and wife team who owned the sausage shop, was quite proud of his sausage making machine, which he himself had invented. The wife, however, was disgusted with her husband’s preoccupation, compelling the husband to warn his wife that if she continued to chide and berate that he would vanish from her sight. Sure enough, true to his word, as his wife continued to chide and berate, the husband vanished. Remorseful, the wife publicized a notice, stating that if her husband returned, she would forgive him. He never returned, however, and she was compelled to run the shop herself. One day, a customer who was especially fond of sausages, came to the sausage shop to complain: There were buttons in the last batch of sausages he had purchased there. Alas, the wife realized the cause of her husband’s mysterious disappearance: He had put himself through the sausage grinder! Consequently, the customer who was inordinately fond of sausages was never again seen in the sausage shop.

Presently, Mr. Pickwick and Sam arrive at Mr. Perker’s office where they find Mr. Perker’s assistant Mr. Lowten denying a Mr. Watty, access to Mr. Perker, under the false pretext that Mr. Perker is away. Mr. Pickwick is welcomed, however, and is told that Mr. Watty is a bankrupt, which explains why he is being turned away. (There’s no money to be got from him.)

By and by, Mr. Pickwick has his private conference with Mr. Perker and learns three things: 1) that the outcome of Mr. Pickwick’s case vis-à-vis Mrs. Bardell can go either way; 2) that a Serjeant Snubbin will represent Mr. Pickwick at trial; and 3) that under no circumstance would Serjeant Snubbin agree to see Mr. Pickwick one-on-one. Nonetheless, Mr. Pickwick prevails upon Mr. Perker to grant him—Mr. Pickwick—his wish to have a one-on-one conference with Serjeant Snubbin.

Serjeant Snubbin turns out to be an ill-kempt, sallow faced man who has spent the greater part of his time confined to close quarters attending to the demands of his profession. Consequently, when Mr. Pickwick makes an impassioned speech about his innocence in the affair and of his determination to accept Mr. Snubbin’s representation only under the condition that Mr. Snubbin himself shares Mr. Pickwick’s conviction of his innocence, Mr. Snubbin merely refers Mr. Pickwick’s concerns to Mr. Phunky, Mr. Snubbin’s trial lawyer assistant, who is relatively young and holds Mr. Snubbin in reverence.

Charles Dickens