More on the Pickwick Papers. We find ourselves along with the Pickwickian’s at Eatonswill, in the midst of a very emotional and energetic election that sounds not all that unlike what have been experiencing in today’s times – although, a bit more dramatic, lest some cab driver has dumped members of a political party in a river, somewhere.
While spending some time at the Peacock Inn, away from all the baby kissing and politics, Mr. Tupman and Mr. Snodgrass are told the tale of Tom Smart.
‘”You must have seen some queer things,” said Tom, with an inquisitive look.
‘”You may say that, Tom,” replied the old fellow, with a very complicated wink. “I am the last of my family, Tom,” said the old gentleman, with a melancholy sigh.
‘”Was it a large one?” inquired Tom Smart.
‘”There were twelve of us, Tom,” said the old gentleman; “fine, straight-backed, handsome fellows as you’d wish to see. None of your modern abortions–all with arms, and with a degree of polish, though I say it that should not, which it would have done your heart good to behold.”
‘”And what’s become of the others, Sir?” asked Tom Smart–
‘The old gentleman applied his elbow to his eye as he replied, “Gone, Tom, gone. We had hard service, Tom, and they hadn’t all my constitution. They got rheumatic about the legs and arms, and went into kitchens and other hospitals; and one of ’em, with long service and hard usage, positively lost his senses–he got so crazy that he was obliged to be burnt. Shocking thing that, Tom.”
‘”Dreadful!” said Tom Smart.
‘The old fellow paused for a few minutes, apparently struggling with his feelings of emotion, and then said–
‘”However, Tom, I am wandering from the point. This tall man, Tom, is a rascally adventurer. The moment he married the widow, he would sell off all the furniture, and run away. What would be the consequence? She would be deserted and reduced to ruin, and I should catch my death of cold in some broker’s shop.”
The chair/man gives Tom a letter that proves that the tall man is already married. In the morning Tom finds nothing unusual about the chair sitting in his room, perhaps it was all just an alcohol induced dream. But it couldn’t have been, for Tom has the incriminating letter.
In the end, the letter is all the proof Tom needs to force out the tall man and win the girl.