Read part two of a full summary of The Classic Adventures of Paddington by Michael Bond right here! This page is full of spoilers, so beware. If you are wondering what happened in The Classic Adventures of Paddington, then you are in the right place!
Special thanks to Sarina Byron, a BSR contributor who wrote this great recap! Sarina is a British Author and Contributing Writer living in California. Sarina enjoys bringing forth a different perspective and encouraging a different way of thinking through her writing. Visit her blog to read her reviews, and check the end of the review for a link to her Instagram.
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***** Everything below is a SPOILER *****
What happened in The Classic Adventures of Paddington?
Paddington Marches On starts on a freezing winter’s morning when Mr. Curry enlists Paddington’s help in fetching the plumber as he was in bed with a cold and his bathroom pipes were frozen. The plumber, Mr. Stilson, had frozen pipes of his own to worry about, so he sent Paddington back with a blow lamp and a plumbing book. As an ever-helpful bear, Paddington tried to fix the pipes himself. He managed to melt the ice, but he ended up causing multiple leaks. Nevertheless, all turned out well for Mr. Curry as the insurance company paid for him to remodel the entire bathroom, for which he rewarded Paddington with 10 pence.
Sir Huntley Martin, the marmalade king, kept his promise in inviting Paddington to tour and attend a ceremony at his marmalade factory. Paddington cleaned and prepared for days in preparation, but when the day arrived, as soon as he alighted from the taxi, he fell, causing his invitation to disappear down the drain. The guard refused to believe that he had been invited by Sir Huntley Martin and directed him to the foreman, who set him to work washing Seville barrels.
As he was trying to get crumbs out of one of the big ones, they all started rolling, and Paddington landed in the midst of the ceremony he was meant to attend. Sir Huntley was helping him up when Paddington ended up stepping in the wet cement meant for the movie star who had been unable to attend. All ended well as Sir Huntley was honoured to have Paddington’s footprints in the cement, and they all enjoyed a lovely tea to celebrate.
Helpful Paddington struck again when he tried to help clean the chimney but got himself stuck with the brush head. The Browns asked Mr. Briggs the builder to help with the blockage in the chimney, which he thought was a jackdaw’s nest. He poked at it and down came Paddington with the brush head.
Soon after his visit to the marmalade factory, Mr. Gruber treated Paddington with a mystery tour, which turned out to be to Madame Tussauds. The wax statues intrigued Paddington, and he mistakenly put his chocolate bar in the hand of a guard whom he assumed to be a statue. The guard was extremely annoyed and chased him, with the other guards driving Paddington down to the Chamber of Horrors. In the Chamber, he was mistaken for a wax bear, which caused him to scream in protest at some people. Mr. Gruber and Paddington left soon after that and then read about the whole thing in the newspaper the next day.
After his visit to Madame Tussauds, Paddington visited Jonathan’s school, where he filled in for a missing player on the ‘old boys’ team. The match was umpired by Sir Alf Duckham from the national cricket team, who appreciated Paddington’s game as he won it for the old boys.
After all the excitement of the last few days, Mr. Brown decided to take the entire family on a trip to the seaside. Paddington excitedly grabbed some lounge chairs when they got there and was shocked to realise they had to pay to use them. He was then told by the newspaper man that if he spotted a man called Basil Budd, he could win 5 pounds off him. Paddington started looking for him quite keenly and insisted a bearded man sitting next to them at lunch was Basil Budd. Turns out he had spotted someone putting on a beard disguise whilst he was half napping on the beach and mistook him for Basil Budd.
The hotel manager told him it was probably the confidence trickster who they had all been hoping to catch, and thanks to the information from Paddington, they now knew what to look for. The man Paddington had confronted was a magician, the Great Umberto, in town for a magician’s convention. The Great Umberto then invited the Browns to lunch with him. The Browns held a surprise party for Paddington to tell him he was invited to his Aunt Lucy’s birthday party in Darkest Peru. They had bought him a ticket, and everyone gathered to wish him safe journey. With much trepidation, the Browns realised once Paddington went to Peru there was a chance he may not want to come back.
Notable Quote: “Paddington believed in making the most of things.”
Paddington At Work opens with Paddington on the ship on his way back from Darkest Peru. He wakes up to a strange dream, so he decides to walk it off. Whilst walking on the deck, he sees a strange sight that sends him running to the doctor’s office. As he’s describing his symptoms, the doctor professes to see the sight he described. Turns out the ‘sight’ was real; the Browns had boarded the ship after a holiday in Europe to surprise Paddington. The ship held more delights for Paddington than that: He entered the ship’s sweep every morning, and that morning, he estimated the ship to cover much fewer miles than it appeared to be.
A costume party in the evening for which he dressed as Beau Bummel took his mind off the ship’s sweep. The entertainer for the evening was Barry Baird, who was getting increasingly annoyed by Paddington’s enthusiastic participation in his performance. During the hypnotism trick, he ended up gluing Paddington’s paws together, and they wouldn’t come apart after the trick. Barry Baird quickly ushered him off the stage, and the Browns followed shortly after. When they couldn’t find him, they raised the alarm. Paddington was eventually found in the Engineer’s cabin having his hands pried apart. Since the ship was stopped in panic, Paddington’s sweep entry won that round. The Captain investigated the matter to make sure there was no mischief involved, and when he had re-assured himself, he invited Paddington to eat at his table.
Soon after, they were back at number thirty-two Windsor Gardens with Paddington headed to Flloyd’s Bank to deposit his sweep money. He met a man on the way who told him that a Portobello Oil Company share was a much better investment, so Paddington bought a share. Over Elevenses that morning, Mr. Gruber told Paddington about Jim the Dandy who had been tricking people out of money by selling fake shares. Paddington knew he had to do something about it.
The next morning, he went to the Stock Exchange and told them he needed to see someone about a bad share he had. They mistook him for Jim the Dandy and called the police, to whom Paddington tried to explain that he had taken down the serial number of his money and wanted it back. This only appeared to incriminate him, he said so he fled. The morning after that, the police came to Windsor Gardens to thank Paddington for his help as due to the serial numbers, they had been able to find Jim the Dandy. They also returned Paddington’s money to him.
Mr. Curry makes an appearance again, this time to ask Paddington to help him with some home renovations. Mr. Curry left him alone to make the kitchen hatch just like the one the Browns had, but Paddington didn’t realise Mr. Curry’s house was a mirror image of the Browns. As a result, he ended up making the kitchen hatch on the outside wall. He thought Mr. Curry would be upset, but he was delighted as now all his home deliveries could be received through the outside hatch.
Paddington decided it was time to find a job, so after his Elevenses with Mr. Gruber, during which Mr. Gruber gave him a spode to fix, he headed to the barber, who was advertising an available position. When the barber was out, an American came in, and Paddington mistakenly cut off too much of his hair. So he stuck some fallen hair back on the head with the glue meant for the spode. The American was so angry he nearly broke the spode, but as Paddington pointed out its value, he went with him to Mr. Gruber’s shop and nearly bought everything. Turns out he was an antiques dealer!
After Paddington’s visit to Jonathan’s school, Judy was keen that Paddington should visit her school as well. He went along for a ballet performance where the star of the show was Sergei Oblamov, who arrived in bad spirits as everyone had followed Paddington into the building. At first, Mr. Oblamov refused to perform, but when he decided to, his partner had disappeared so Paddington stepped in. At first, Mr. Oblamov was not impressed with his entrechats, but then Paddington did some fantastic ones. Turns out the pin of his tights were poking him, causing all those spectacular leaps in the air.
Notable Quote: “Too much sun and people begin to imagine all sorts of things.”
Paddington Goes to Town opens with Paddington performing usher duties at Mr. Harold Price’s wedding to Miss Dierdre Flint. The Browns weren’t entirely sure whether to give their consent, but the matter decided itself when Paddington went to bathe in preparation for the wedding. At the wedding, Paddington wouldn’t let anyone speak as he thought an usher was a “husher”, that is, someone supposed to keep others from speaking. Apart from the silence, the other matter that had gone wrong at the wedding was that Mr. Price’s wedding ring went missing, and the couple had to use a curtain ring.
Miss Flint was sharp of tongue and easily annoyed, and the events made her temper flare. Things seemed to be getting even worse when the fire fighters showed up, and everyone realised the ring was on Paddington’s paw. As they dislodged it from there, they offered to give the couple a guard of honour to make up for all the trouble of the day. As always, things ended up even better than were planned.
Mr. Curry made another appearance by asking Paddington to be his caddy for the open day at the golf course. Being his regular grumpy self, Mr. Curry tried to blame Paddington when his golf club broke during the shot. Mr. Arnold Parker, a renowned golf veteran, saw Mr. Curry attack Paddington, and he intervened, at which point Mr. Curry transformed his attitude immediately. Soon after, that Mr. Curry hurt himself, and Paddington took his place to finish the game. He hit the ball so far that Mr. Parker said it may be some kind of record. Paddington won a bag of golf balls for the hit, which he gifted to Mr. Curry.
After the accident on the golf course, Mr. Curry was admitted in the hospital, which he liked so much he avoided being discharged. Paddington was to deliver treats to him one morning when the receptionist misunderstood the reason for his visit and sent him to the psychiatrist. Paddington’s conversation with the psychiatrist was so twisted that he ran out on Paddington.
Paddington walked out of the psychiatrist’s office and found himself in a strange room where he donned a robe and face mask. One of the orderlies came upon him and, assuming him to be a foreign student, led him to Sir Archibald, a senior doctor. Sir Archibald took Paddington on a round of the ward with him. As they came upon Mr. Curry, Paddington was recognised immediately through his disguise. Paddington placed the basket of food he had come with on the bed, and some of the hot cocoa spilled on Mr. Curry’s foot, sending him jumping out of the bed. This was the most the hospital staff had been able to get him to move, and everyone was grateful as it proved Mr. Curry was well and healthy. Mr. Curry was discharged, and Sir Archibald personally drove Paddington home.
After his visit to the hospital, Paddington inspired Mr. Gruber to decorate his patio. Together, they tidied it up and made it beautiful, but it lacked a certain ‘finishing touch,’ so Paddington went in search of the missing piece. He went to a sculpture store, where he was shocked to discover the prices of the statues. He did, however, manage to purchase a large very heavy stone with one flat surface. With great effort, he somehow brought it Portobello Road, and Mr. Gruber was delighted with it, believing it to be an ancient roman cocoa stand.
Shortly after helping Mr. Gruber with his patio, Paddington went carolling with Jonathan and Judy. They didn’t appear to be making much money by going together, so they decided to split up to cover more ground. Paddington decided to head to a house which appeared to have a party going on inside, but Mrs. Smith-Chlomley mistook him to be a waiter, handed him 10 pounds, and put him to work.
Paddington tried to help the chef as best as he could, but the chef was extremely annoyed as the steaks were not turning out well. He left without serving the main course, and Paddington did the best he could. Just as Paddington was baking elastics (having misheard the name, baked Alaska), Jonathan and Judy arrived in response to Paddington’s SOS signal. They explained the situation, and all went home, where Mrs. Bird cooked them baked Alaska for dessert.
Just like that, it was Christmas time again, and the Browns took Paddington to see the Christmas lights in Central London. Whilst walking around, a queue of people mistook Paddington to be with the spoons busker and put all the change in his hat, which he was holding in his hand. A fight broke out when the busker accused Paddington of stealing his collections. Paddington gave all the change back, but he was visibly upset, so Mr. Gruber bought the spoons from the busker in exchange for all the change for Paddington.
Notable Quote “Young Mr. Brown has a habit of bringing people closer together in the end.”
Paddington Takes the Air begins with Paddington breaking a tooth, which he mistakes for a bone in his egg. Only when he heads up to his room and gets a pencil stuck in the gap does he realise it was not a bone. He rushed downstairs, but Mrs. Brown had put it down the garbage disposal by then. The Browns took Paddington to the dentist, Dr. Leach, who told Paddington he would need a gold tooth as a regular one would not work for him. Paddington thought that was very good value indeed.
Paddington was gifted a sewing machine by Mr. Gruber, and he put it to very good use, so much so that Mrs. Bird and Mrs. Brown felt confident enough to leave him alone. Now everything might have gone well if Paddington hadn’t lost 50 pence down the drain. When Mr. Curry showed up to drop his trousers to be mended with the Brown’s laundry, Paddington offered to fix his trousers at half the price.
Things started to go wrong for Paddington when Mr. Curry decided that at 50 pence apiece, all his trousers could be taken in that very day. Paddington tried his best, but all the trousers ended up in a mess, so he called the number on the back of the SEW-RITE booklet. He went in shortly after the call, and the people were so excited to see Paddington’s machine that they offered to fix all of Mr. Curry’s trousers in exchange for the machine for their museum.
Paddington inadvertently proved himself to be a master equestrian when he attended a fundraising event at Judy’s school, St Christopher’s. Almost three student forms signed Paddington’s sheet to support his participation in the events. Despite a terrible performance in the first event, Paddington won the second event, where even more people had signed his sheet as they assumed he would not get through the first round. Paddington’s win was large enough to cover all the expenses of the new swimming pool, and the Headmistress was well pleased. When the Browns looked deeper into what may have been behind the splendid performance, it turns out Paddington ate an entire garlic head instead of the meringues whilst reading his book on jumping. The smell had made the horse jump higher every time.
Paddington struck a bargain when he helped Mr. Gruber fix up an old steam car, an ‘old crock,’ if you will, to prepare it for the parade during International Week at Portobello Market. However, as soon as they got to the fair, Paddington entered the Toss the Caber contest and ended up crushing a wheel of the ‘old crock’.
To make up for the damage and to ensure they could still enter the parade, Paddington headed to two-tonne Muscles Galore to ask him to sit on one side of the car, but Muscles Galore thought he was there to compete with him, and he started fighting Paddington. Mrs. Bird put an end to the match just in time for Paddington to win, and Paddington gave Muscles Galore his winnings in exchange for him sitting on one side of ‘old crock’ so it could run without being impacted by the crushed wheel. As always, all ended well.
Paddington had a new-found love for the detective novels Mr. Brown used to read, his favourite being those written by Carlton Dale. The stories inspired him to start looking for cases to solve himself, and when he couldn’t find any, he decided to write to Carlton Dale himself. As he went out in the thick night fog to post the letter, he found himself lost. He walked until he saw a familiar department store window, where to his utter shock, he saw a bearded man put a bag over a woman’s head and take her away.
Since the store had helped him find his bearings, he rushed back home to prepare to solve the mystery as Mr. Dale had done, by getting a job at the store. The next day he did just that: He went to the store to get himself a job, which turned out to be sandwich board boy. He struggled to balance the board and caused an accident in the cafeteria, thereby aborting the whole operation and running home.
Matters got a bit out of hand when Paddington was taken to Heather and Sons to be fitted out with an evening dress suit for an upcoming dance being hosted by Mrs. Smith-Chlomley. As soon as he was smartly dressed up, he headed over to the restaurant, where the Browns were due to meet for lunch. His sharp appearance caused him to be mistaken for Duncan Hyde, the famous food gourmet, and the restaurant staff served him all ten dishes he asked for. They were shocked when he signed his own name and realised he wasn’t Duncan Hyde. Just then, the Browns walked in, and the manager thanked them for bringing Paddington in as he had pulled in much bigger crowds than the restaurant had managed in its short life.
After all that trouble of fittings and the high value of the suit, Paddington was not too keen on taking it off. He wore it on the morning of the dance all the way until the evening, where he didn’t have a partner to begin with, which delighted Mr. Brown as trouble could be averted. Mr. Church, the famous dancer then announced that everyone must get on the dance floor, at which point Paddington and Mrs. Smith-Chlomley partnered up for the dance.
At first, they had immense trouble with Paddington’s toe-claws digging into her feet and a marmalade crumb going down her dress, but then they started moving in perfect harmony with each other and won the gift hamper. Turns out they owed the harmony to Paddington’s paws being stuck in Mrs. Smith-Chlomley’s sandal straps. All’s well that ends well, and they donated the hamper from their winnings to the Home for Retired Bears in Darkest Peru.
Notable Quote “Big Things sometimes have very small beginnings indeed.”
Paddington On Top starts with Paddington heading to school on orders of the authorities. The Browns were unsure, but Paddington prepared by reading Jonathan and Judy’s old books and having a bath. He was admitted in the fourth form to Mr. Eustace’s class. He sent Paddington to buy some fish for practical demonstrations after an unfruitful exchange of ideas with him. Paddington came back with fried fish, and hearing of Mr. Eustace’s plans to use him for practicals, he went running to the Headmaster. The Headmaster heard him out and invited him to lunch with the faculty, promising to look into the matter afterwards.
At lunch, as Paddington was serving seconds of the stew, he exclaimed that he may have dropped Mr. Eustace’s tin can into the stew. The can contained worms, so there was a moment of panic, but all was restored when the can was found under the table. After the events of the day, it was decided that Paddington would stay home as the school was not equipped to teach him.
This enabled Paddington to revert to his morning routine of Elevenses with Mr. Gruber. One morning, as he was considering that he would like to contribute to the cocoa stock, a man approached him with a quick cash scheme by selling his vacuum cleaners. Paddington bought what the man said was his last vacuum cleaner. Just as he was about to enter number thirty-two, Mr. Curry called him over. Having discovered that Paddington was in a position to give a free demo, he asked him to clean his soot pile.
Paddington, in his eagerness to do a good job, pulled down more soot from the chimney and added some of his broken and squashed groceries to the pile. Mr. Curry walked in just as he was looking around for a socket and told him that he did not have electricity. That seemed like a good time to flee, and flee is what Paddington did. He got home just in time to see Mr. Gruber call in to check if he had been impacted by the vacuum salesman who had been fooling people. They later heard that Mr. Curry had been arrested on the street with a dud vacuum cleaner in his hands.
Having met his share of confidence tricksters, Mr. Gruber took Paddington to the Royal Courts of Justice one morning. Paddington was confused for a defendant who shared his last name. Mercifully, Mr. Gruber found him before the judge began to have suspicions about his own sanity, and all ended well.
A special treat followed for Paddington’s summer birthday when the Browns headed down to Brightsea. Paddington tried his hand at water-skiing. It didn’t quite work until he opened Mrs. Bird’s umbrella over him, turning his struggle into a successful experience. Paddington was looking through one of Mrs. Brown’s magazines when he saw a workout device being advertised by a tremendously muscular,Mr. Grant Stalwart. He acquired the machine, and just as he was trying it out in the garden, he chanced upon Mr. Curry, who asked him to install it in his box room so they could both try it.
As expected, Mr. Curry was planning to keep the device for free when Paddington’s installation pulled the entire wall out. Paddington fled the scene. Mr. Curry later demanded Paddington sign a paper saying he had transferred ownership of the device to Mr. Curry. He didn’t realise Paddington had only paid the deposit. The full payment needed to be made before any claims could be made.
Paddington had two surprises in one day when he was invited to St. Luke’s, his school for a day, to attend a match the school was playing against the Peruvian rugby team. He ended up playing for the Peruvian team and helped end the match with a draw. Just then, he saw his Aunt Lucy emerge from the crowd and head towards him. The next few days were spent in showing Aunt Lucy around London. This kept them outdoors for most of the day.
On her last day in London, Aunt Lucy bought a dinghy as an early Christmas gift for Mr. Brown, which was accidentally inflated on the bus when she felt motion sick. This ruined the surprise, and Aunt Lucy ended up giving everyone their Christmas gifts that night. They were all contemplating whether Paddington would leave with her. But Paddington came back into the living room and told them that Aunt Lucy had left. She did not like goodbyes. So once she’d had the opportunity to see them all enjoy their presents, she had quietly taken her leave.
Notable Quote “We rarely get something for nothing in this world.”
Paddington Takes the Test begins with Paddington being mistaken for Mr. Brown and ending up going through a driving test. Matters got out of hand when Paddington gave strange answers to the instructor’s questions, who was under duress himself as the senior instructor was observing him from the backseat. Paddington ended up bumping the car into the senior instructor’s car parked behind them, but he was awarded a license for his basket on wheels. All ended well as the instructor was lauded for his exceptional handling of the unusual driving test.
Staying well away from cars now, Paddington was in the Browns’ garden when he spotted a strange device hanging between two trees in Mr. Curry’s garden. Mr. Curry explained it was a hammock and asked Paddington to test it. The hammock had plenty of holes in it, and Paddington had a hard time lying in it and climbing out of it. In trying to get out of it, he managed to undo it from one of the trees, and Mr. Curry saw him from his upstairs window when he climbed the tree to fix it. Paddington fled as Mr. Curry yelled after him, and when he got home, he learnt that Mr. Curry had taken the Browns’ discarded hammock, hence all the holes. The Browns had a new hammock, but Paddington wasn’t keen on climbing into another one anytime soon.
It was time for another outing with Mr. Gruber, who took Paddington, Jonathan, and Judy to Lackham House, a stately home. Lackham House was famous for its musical concerts, but Paddington didn’t think too much of it, so he headed to the master bedroom to nap. Once there, he heard someone say the home’s signature dish beef wellington was disappointing on the day. He knew how much Mr. Gruber was looking forward to it, so he decided to take matters into his own hands. He went down to the kitchen and cooked his version of beef wellington.
When they all reunited in the dining room after the concert, Paddington was the only one who didn’t order beef wellington. Before they could take their first bite, someone at the next table screamed that the beef wellington tasted like old boots, and Paddington objected that they were his best wellington boots. That’s when they all realised that Paddington put his boots in the dish. Lord Lackham offered everyone fresh beef wellington on the house to make up for it all.
The scouts started a bob-a-job initiative in the Browns’ neighbourhood, which inspired Paddington to try to make money that way, too. He was struggling with the Browns’ laundry when Mr. Curry pulled him into ironing his shirt for the costume party at the town hall that night. Mr. Curry used an old fashioned non-electric iron, which burnt Mr. Curry’s shirt in a split second. Paddington mended things by creating a tent outfit for Mr. Curry and fled before he needed to explain matters. Paddington arrived at the costume party in a disguise, but Mr. Curry recognised him and was about to tell him off when he was awarded the prize for the most original costume. He ended up saying that Paddington had made it and had to split the prize money with Paddington.
Mr. Brown’s birthday was approaching, and Paddington wanted to buy him a gift, but his pocket money hadn’t been raised in a while. He tried to earn some money by modelling for Mr. Marsh’s art class, but it proved to be too complicated. He related his morning’s experience to Mr. Gruber, who told him money can be understood to work anyway and that by saving 8.99 pounds on the telegram and losing 5 pounds, he had made 3.99 pounds, which magically appeared in Paddington’s pocket. Paddington gifted Mr. Brown a singing telegram, and Mr. Gruber tactfully broached the subject of Paddington’s pocket money with Mr. Brown, thus earning him an increased amount.
The Browns ended up buying a sauna for Mr. Brown, which was installed in the backyard, and as expected, Mr. Curry turned up to take advantage of it for free. As it was Mr. Brown’s gift, the Browns tried to prevent that by putting Paddington’s gift of a numbered lock on the door. It so happened that Mr. Curry had already gone in and got locked in with ever increasing steam temperatures. Paddington kept entering the wrong combination whilst Mr. Curry was being cooked inside. It was when everyone else came out that Mr. Curry was freed when Jonathan entered the correct lock combination.
Mr. Brown took the entire family and Mr. Gruber to watch the pantomime on opening night. Mr. Gruber purchased seven programs, including one for Paddington to send to Aunt Lucy, and they enjoyed the first half of the show. During the break, a magician called the Great Divide put on a performance, and Paddington volunteered. Paddington was put through the sawing in half and disappearing trick. His suitcase went missing during the latter. The Great Divide found it but was surprised to find it empty. Paddington tried to show that it wasn’t empty and did have important objects as he had professed, all of which looked like another magic trick to the audience, so they received immense applause for their double act. Everyone was so thrilled that the manager decided to modify the program to include a picture of Paddington and the Great Divide.
Notable Quote “You can prove almost anything by mathematics.”
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