Chapters 47-49 Summary
Job Trotter leaves Fleet Prison to tell Mr. Perker that Mrs. Bardell has been imprisoned for court costs. Perker arrives at the prison and tells Pickwick that he is the only person who can release Mrs. Bardell. Pickwick refuses to even consider doing so. Perker shows him a letter in which Mrs. Bardell clears Pickwick of all wrongdoing and states that Dodson and Fogg created the case.
Sam interrupts, telling Pickwick that a lady is there to see him. Fearing that it is Mrs. Bardell, Pickwick refuses to see her, but Sam persists. Mr. Winkle arrives with Arabella Allen, whom he now introduces as his wife. He explains that Ben Allen does not know they have been married, and Arabella pleads with Mr. Pickwick to reunite her with her brother. Mr. Winkle also asks that Pickwick inform his father of the news of his marriage; he knows it will be viewed more positively if it comes from Pickwick, who has stood in the stead of Winkle’s father. Pickwick breaks down and agrees. He sends Job Trotter to obtain his release from prison, and then he arranges with Perker for Jingle’s release. He walks out of Fleet Prison, saddened by the misery he is leaving behind.
Bob Sawyer has grown tired of the apothecary profession, so Ben Allen proposes that he marry his sister Arabella, who has a good bit of money that will come to her when she comes of age or when she is married. Ben’s aunt arrives unexpectedly with the news that Arabella has married. Both Ben and Bob are furious. Mr. Pickwick and Sam show up, intent on calming the nerves of the new Mrs. Winkle’s brother. After some convincing and even more wine, Bob and Ben are pacified, and Ben agrees to go with Mr. Pickwick to discuss the marriage with Winkle’s father.
As Pickwick gets settled at a nearby inn, he encounters the bagman from Eatanswill, who proposes to tell a story about his uncle: Jack Martin (the bagman’s uncle) was a debt collector who traveled from London up through Edinburgh to Glasgow and back. On one trip, he drinks quite a bit and finds himself among some old mail coaches. He climbs inside one and falls asleep. When he awakens, he finds himself back in the past. He travels in one of the coaches with a beautiful lady and the son of the Marquess of Filletoville, who has kidnapped her. Jack Martin, at a stop along the way, finds himself in a swordfight with the villain and another accomplice. He rescues the damsel in distress and promises to love only her for the rest of his life. Then he awakens and finds himself back in Edinburg among the mail coaches.