In London Mr. Pickwick comes across Sam Weller, a boot cleaner and general handyman whom he takes on as a valet. When Mr. Pickwick tells his widowed landlady, Mrs. Bardell, that he has taken on a servant, she assumes from the ambiguous way he puts it that he intends to marry her. Mrs. Bardell faints in his arms just as Tupman, Snodgrass, and Winkle enter — a compromising circumstance. Mr. Pickwick and his friends go to Eatanswill and are invited to a costume party given by the local literary lioness, Mrs. Leo Hunter, where several varieties of silliness are exhibited. At this party Mr. Pickwick sees Alfred Jingle, whom he pursues to a neighbouring town. Jingle's servant tells Mr. Pickwick that Jingle has designs on a young lady at a boarding school, and Mr. Pickwick decides to prevent the elopement.