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Summary Chapter 36

Mrs. Craddock, the landlady of the Royal Crescent, hands Sam Weller a letter. It’s an invitation to a footmen’s soiree from Mr. John Smauker, Angelo Cyrus Bantam’s footman, who Sam had met previously when he went to pick up the ball admission tickets on behalf of the Pickwickians.

Subsequently, Sam obtains Mr. Pickwick’s permission to attend the soiree and presently makes his way there when he encounters Mr. John Smauker. They exchange greetings, and, by and by, led by Mr. Smauker, who informs Sam that the footmen might initially keep Sam at an arm’s length, they make their way to the footmen’s soiree.

The soiree is being held in the small parlor of a greengrocer’s shop. Including Sam and Mr. Smauker, there are to be eight revelers in all. The greengrocer Mr. Harris and his wife are the caterers. Alas, on account of the poorly prepared mutton, the greengrocer is taken to task by all the revelers, except Sam. Presently, Sam makes the acquaintance of the eighth reveler, who is late to arrive. As Sam gets into the swing of the party, he commissions the greengrocer to prepare a bowl of hot punch.

The soiree is full swing. The revelers drink in honor of Mr. Whiffers, who has resigned from his coachman’s job. And then the revelers drink in honor of Sam, their new friend. By and by, Mr. Smauker, citing his duty which requires him to attend to Bantam, gets up and leaves. Mr. Tuckle, a footman with a cocked hat who had been the first to make Sam’s acquaintance, gets up to leave as well only be dissuaded by Sam. Thus the soiree continues, and on account of the hot punch, Mr, Tuckle becomes thoroughly drunk. Sam makes sure that Mr. Tuckle is safely seen home.

The next day, Mr. Pickwick commissions Sam with an important task. Apparently, on account of the unfortunate incident vis-à-vis Mr. and Mrs. Dowler, Mr. Winkle has abandoned his fellow Pickwickians. His whereabouts is unknown. Sam’s job is to find Mr. Winkle and to bring him back.

Two hours later, Sam informs Mr. Pickwick that Mr. Winkle was last seen to have taken a coach destined for Bristol. Consequently, Mr. Pickwick supplies Sam with the necessary funds for the task at hand and even authorizes Sam to resort to strong arm tactics, if necessary, to have Mr. Winkle return to the fold.

Charles Dickens