Study Guide

Don Quixote

Don Quixote Summary

At the start of the book, we meet a guy named Alonso Quixano. Alonso is getting on in years and has enough money to keep him from ever having to work or clean his own house. So he spends most of his free time reading books, and there are no books that interest him more than books about medieval knights riding around on horses, and slaying dragons, and kissing the hands of fair maidens, and… well, you get the picture.

It turns out that Alonso likes his books a little too much, because one day, he decides to dress up in an old suit of armor and become a knight himself. He takes the name of Don Quixote and starts riding up and down the countryside looking for adventures. The only problem is that giants and dragons don't really exist. But fear not, because Don Quixote has such an active imagination that he believes everyday objects (like windmills, for example) are actually giant monsters.

Early in his journeys, Don Quixote gets himself a sidekick named Sancho Panza. Sancho doesn't actually believe all the crazy stuff Quixote is saying, but he knows that Quixote has a good bit of wealth and hopes to make some money by hanging out with the guy. As the story continues, though, Sancho actually finds himself starting to believe Don Quixote's craziness, and he even hopes that one day the Don will give him an island to rule over.

Once Don Quixote and Sancho set off together for adventures, there are really too many plotlines to talk about in this brief summary. For a more in-depth look at everything that happens in this book, go to our more detailed Chapter-by-Chapter summaries.

There are some friends of the Don's who want to cure his madness, and they devise all sorts of schemes to get him home to his bed. But they often underestimate the power of Don Quixote's imagination—not to mention the extent to which people will go crazy over a book. Just look at this Jane Austen fan club if you don't believe us.

At the end of the novel, Don Quixote realizes that he's nuts. But by that point, it's too late. Dude gets a terrible fever and dies in his bed. One of his only dying wishes is for everyone to know how stupid all those chivalry books actually are. It's kind of like someone today saying, "Hey, everyone who still watches superhero movies: grow up!" And that's more or less the reason Cervantes says he wrote this book.

  • Part One, Book 1 (Chapters 1-8)

    Part 1, Author's Preface

    • It's not always necessary to include an author's preface in the summary of a book. But we've decided to include it here because Miguel de Cervantes explains point-blank why he wrote Don Quixote.
    • And why is that, you ask? He wrote this book because stories about dragon-slaying knights (or "books of chivalry") were by far the most popular form of literature during his time. He was annoyed, though, by how these books never actually focused on any real-world concerns or consequences. 
    • What would actually happen, Cervantes asks, if a person tried to dress up as a knight and seek out adventures like the ones in chivalry books? That person would be considered crazy and get him- or herself locked up. Or beaten up. 
    • So, with that in mind, Cervantes says that he wants to give all of our favorite adventure stories a little dose of reality…

    Part 1, Book 1, Chapter 1

    • We pan in on a village in the Spanish region of La Mancha. The author won't name the exact village, because he's worried that everyone will try to claim the hero of this book as their own native son. 
    • We hear that there was once a dude who had quite a bit of money and never had to work because he was getting on in years. In other words, he had nothing to do all day but try to amuse himself and fight off boredom. 
    • It turns out that in 17th-century Spain, nothing warded off boredom more than a good rousing tale about knights and dragons and all that stuff you're still likely to see in movies. 
    • But as the dude gets older and more bored, he get really, really into his books until one day, poof, he decides that he wants to become a knight himself. 
    • The first thing he does is go into a closet and fish out an old suit of armor that belongs to his great-grandfather. He doesn't have a proper helmet, so he just makes one out of some thin wood that he ties to a metal hat. It's already looking pretty sad.
    • Next, the old dude goes to look at his horse, which is basically an old bag of bones—just like the old dude himself, really. But when the great Don Quixote (that's our old dude) looks at this sorry excuse for a horse, he sees a noble stallion. He's kind of living in a post-fact world at this point. For kicks, he also decides to rename the horse Rocinante. Why? Just because he thinks it sounds cool.
    • Okay, so now Don Quixote has some armor, a noble steed, and a name for himself. According to the rules of those knight books he likes so much, all he now needs is a woman to fall in love with and to admire from afar. So just like that, he decides that he's going to love a girl from the nearby town of Toboso. He's never actually seen the girl, but he's heard that she's pretty enough. He also decides to rename her Dulcinea del Toboso because it sounds more like a princess's name than whatever her name actually is.

    Part 1, Book 1, Chapter 2

    • Now that he has all his stuff together, Don Quixote rides off into the countryside so he can do good in the world and be a hero. 
    • Don Quixote rides around all day but doesn't really stumble onto any grand adventures. Go figure.
    • As the day draws to a close, Don Quixote decides that he should try to find an inn (or better yet, an enchanted castle) where he can spend his evening. Of course, he eventually finds an inn. But what the heck, his brain tells him that he's actually arriving at a castle with a huge moat and drawbridge. 
    • A couple of ladies see him and start to run away because of his armor (they probably think he's a medieval cop or something). But when they see his grizzled old face, they realize that he's probably just a crazy person and start laughing at him. 
    • Eventually, the keeper of the inn shows up and decides to have pity on Don Quixote. He talks to him as if he were actually a knight an invites him inside his (snicker) castle.
    • As part of the act, the women pretend to be castle damsels and help Don Quixote take off his armor for the night. Then they ask if he'd like to eat something. 
    • There's just one last thing that's nagging Don Quixote: he can't officially become a knight until someone else dubs him one.

    Part 1, Book 1, Chapter 3

    • At first, Don Quixote doesn't want to pay for his stay at the inn, because he can't think of any book he's ever read that describes a knight having to pay for staying in a castle. 
    • After the innkeeper convinces him of the need to have money, Don Quixote goes outside, sets his armor in a pile, and stands guard over it. 
    • It turns out that Don Quixote's armor is right beside the water trough, where people come to get water for their mules and horses. One guy comes by for this very reason, and Don Quixote knocks him out cold with his lance, thinking he was trying to steal the armor. 
    • Soon after, a second guy comes along, and Don Quite knocks him down, too. 
    • People hear this second row and come running out of the inn to see what's up. They find Don Quixote standing over the two fallen men, looking as proud as a cat does when it brings you a dead bird. 
    • Some people who are friends with the fallen guys grab every rock they can hold and start whipping them at the Don. Quixote tells them that they're a bunch of scoundrels and that he'll kill them all, and the people stop throwing stones because they realize that this guy is definitely off the rails. 
    • The innkeeper realizes that he really needs this Quixote weirdo to be on his way. So he picks up the first book he finds and blesses Don Quixote as a knight. There, now that that's done, Don Quixote can leave the inn and be on his way... The innkeeper doesn't even care if Don Quixote pays for the food that he and his horse have eaten.

    Part 1, Book 1, Chapter 4

    • After he leaves the inn, Don Quixote hears some feminine-sounding cries coming from nearby. For joy! It sounds like it's finally time to have an adventure. 
    • Don Quixote soon rides into a thicket of trees where he sees a middle-aged dude whipping a young boy. By the sounds of things, the boy is the guy's servant and has messed up on his job because of carelessness. 
    • The Don isn't going to stand for something like that, though, because it's always the job of a knight to fight for the underdog. He points his big ol' lance at the older man and orders him to pay the boy all the wages he owes him and then some. Of course, he also orders the guy to untie the kid and let him go.
    • The man is disappointed, because he was just getting his whipping arm all nice and loosened up. But the man unties the kid. Don Quixote also makes the man promise to go to the village of Toboso to tell Quixote's damsel, Dulcinea, what a brave thing Don Quixote has done. The guy promises, and Don Quixote rides off.
    • The second Don Quixote has left, the man just grabs the kid and whips him twice as hard as he would have if Don Quixote had never shown up. Obviously, he doesn't think much of Don Quixote's threats to come find him if he doesn't do what he's told. 
    • Don Quixote rides off thinking about how lovely Dulcinea del Toboso is. For the time being, he decides to just let Rocinante (his horse) roam wherever he wants and see if they come upon some adventure. 
    • Soon, Don Quixote comes across a caravan of merchants and tells them to stop, by the name of the great Dulcinea del Toboso. They realize right away that he's crazy and decide to humor him. 
    • Don Quixote says he'll only let them pass if they admit that Dulcinea is the most beautiful woman in the world. The men say that they've never seen her, so they can't say one way or the other. The Don doesn't care whether they've seen her or not. He just wants them to agree with what he's saying. 
    • To Don Quixote, this all comes across as a great insult to Dulcinea, so he charges them on his horse. But Rocinante is such a bag of bones that he trips and falls on the way. Don Quixote goes flying onto the ground and can't get up because of the weight of his armor. The merchants just continue on their way, while Quixote shouts after them, "Don't you dare walk away from me, you scoundrels." It's all pretty hilarious for everyone but Don Quixote. 
    • One of the dudes in the crew, though, doesn't like Don Quixote's big mouth. So he walks back, breaks Don Quixote's lance into pieces, then starts wailing on the guy with them until Quixote has a few broken ribs to show for his trouble. 
    • Eventually, the guy stops laying a beat down and walks away with his group. Don Quixote is in so much pain he can't get up. But he's happy to think that this is all part of the job when you're a wandering hero.

    Part 1, Book 1, Chapter 5

    • As Don Quixote lies in the dirt, he tries to think of some episode from one of his knight books that might help him get back to his feet after taking a beating. But when he can't think of any, he just starts singing some old tunes from these books. 
    • Luckily for him, a plowman happens to be passing at this moment. The dude finds Don Quixote and asks him what's wrong. Don Quixote just answers with a bunch of jabber that makes the guy realize he's crazy. 
    • The guy comes over and pulls the wood off of Don Quixote's helmet. He recognizes Don Quixote and figures that something must be terribly wrong. The guy lifts Don Quixote onto his own donkey and brings him, the suit of armor, and Don Quixote's horse back into Don Quixote's home village. 
    • When he gets back to the Don's house, everything is in confusion. No one knows where Don Quixote has been, and the people most worried have been his niece and his housekeeper. 
    • The housekeeper has noticed the missing suit of armor and has figured out that Don Quixote is trying to act out all of those books of knight-errantry he has been reading. She puts two and two together and blames the books for what has happened. She has seen Don Quixote gradually pretending more and more that he is a knight himself, but she hasn't taken it seriously until now. 
    • The housekeeper says all of this to a religious man or "curate" named doctor Perez, who decides that the best thing to do is to burn all of Don Quixote's books about knights and their adventures. 
    • At this point, the plowman announces that he has brought Don Quixote home. When Don Quixote is carried in, he asks everyone to send for a magician or wizard to cure his wounds. 
    • As they bring Don Quixote to bed, he keeps saying crazy stuff that just makes the curate even more certain that burning Quixote's books is the best thing to do. To help out, he calls up a local barber named Mr. Nicolás.

    Part 1, Book 1, Chapter 6

    • This entire chapter just gives us a laundry list of all the books from Don Quixote's library that the curate and the barber decide to burn. For the most part, they decide to burn the books that are totally fictional and not based on anything real. It's kind of like your parents burning you kid's fantasy novels but keeping their unabridged biography of Richard Nixon. Blech.
    • When the curate and the barber decide to burn a book, they just chuck it out the window onto a pile on Don Quixote's lawn.
    • One thing that the two guys decide to spare is Don Quixote's poetry collection. They don't really have an issue with poetry.
    • Guess what happens then? The barber actually pulls a book from the shelves that was written by Miguel de Cervantes, the author of Don Quixote. So how's that for a twist? The curate says that they shouldn't burn the Cervantes book because they aren't really sure whether it's good or not. Is this Cervantes wondering about his own abilities as a writer?

    Part 1, Book 1, Chapter 7

    • While recovering in bed, Don Quixote starts getting really agitated and hallucinates again. When the Curate and barber burst back into his bedroom, they see him fighting the air with his sword, thrusting and slicing in every direction. 
    • This just makes the barber and curate speed up their work with the books, so they seal off the door to Don Quixote's library and tell him that some sort of sorcerer must have stolen an entire room off of his house. 
    • Don Quixote decides that this won't stand, so he makes ready to dress up like a knight again and go off in search of adventures. His niece and housekeeper beg him not to, but he doesn't listen. 
    • No one has the power to stop Don Quixote by force, so the dude just walks out his front door, dressed in his armor again. 
    • This time around, the Don decides that it might be good to have a trusty sidekick or squire. A lot of other famous knights in books have them, you know. For this purpose, he gets a pudgy little dude named Sancho Panza from a neighboring village to come along on his adventures with him. 
    • Why does Sancho go, you ask? Well, frankly, it's because Don Quixote promises him all kinds of riches, and the little man knows that Don Quixote has enough money to make this happen. 
    • But the thing that really gets Sancho on board with the whole operation is Don Quixote's promise that one day, he'll give Sancho an entire island to govern. As in, he'll really be the governor. 
    • To pay for his new adventures, Don Quixote sells one of his houses and mortgages another (both at a brutal financial loss). 
    • When Don Quixote and Sancho hit the road again, all Sancho wants to talk about is the island that he'll be ruling over someday.

    Part 1, Book 1, Chapter 8

    • Get ready for what is probably the most famous chapter in Don Quixote (probably because most people don't stick around to read the whole book). This is the chapter in which Don Quixote gets into a battle with a whole army of giants. The only problem is that the giants aren't really giants; they're just windmills. 
    • As Don Quixote and Sancho Panza ride over the Spanish countryside, Don Quixote spies a field of windmills in the distance and decides that they are a bunch of evil giants. 
    • Sancho glances toward the windmills and says they're just windmills, but the Don doesn't believe him. He charges the windmills with his new lance and gets totally clobbered by the blades of one of them. 
    • When he finally realizes that he just tried to fight a windmill, Don Quixote decides that some evil magician must be playing tricks on him and turning giants into windmills. Sancho realizes that the whole explanation is nuts but eventually goes along with it. 
    • Don Quixote and Sancho spend the night under some trees. The Don doesn't sleep at all, though; he just stands around pining for his beautiful Dulcinea. 
    • The next morning, Don Quixote promises Sancho that they'll have all kinds of dangerous adventures. But Sancho isn't all that interested in danger. 
    • As they talk, Don Quixote and Sancho see a group of holy monks approaching them in front of a covered carriage. Don Quixote assumes that the carriage must contain some sort of imprisoned princess. He stops the carriage and demands that the monks release the lady. 
    • Don Quixote attacks the monks, who flee. But there's one dude in the group, a Biscainer, who's willing to go toe-to-toe with the Don. He pulls out his sword and gets ready to fight. 
    • At this point, Cervantes hits us with the ol' cliffhanger routine, and we have to wait for the next chapter to see how this fight plays out.
  • Part 1, Book 2 (Chapters 1-6)

    Part 1, Book 2, Chapter 1

    • At this point in the novel, the original narrator stops talking and says that he'll draw the rest of Don Quixote's story from a historian named Cid Hamet Benengeli.
    • With that said, we return to the thrilling conclusion of Don Quixote's battle with the Biscainer. 
    • The fight honestly doesn't last more than a page. By some minor miracle, Don Quixote actually manages to win the battle. This gives Sancho Panza the thought that maybe his master is the real deal, after all.

    Part 1, Book 2, Chapter 2

    • While Don Quixote has been fighting the Biscainer, Sancho Panza has been getting manhandled and stomped on by the two monks that were travelling with the caravan. 
    • When the men stop, Sancho runs back to Don Quixote and kisses his hand, begging to have his island soon. Don Quixote, though, tells him that they'll have to do more than fight with people on the road if they want to get him that island. 
    • After what has happened, Sancho also thinks it might be a good idea to lie low, since the cops will probably be after them for attacking the monks and their caravan for no apparent reason.
    • Sancho also wants to know how they're going to deal with their injuries, since both are hurt. Don Quixote says he plans on making a special potion called "balsam of fierabras," which he says can cure any affliction (including broken bones) with a single drop.
    • Sancho wants to know when it'll be time to eat, but Don Quixote assures him that knights and their squires can often go days without food, at least according to the books he's read. Sancho says he can't read or write and isn't interested in what books say. He just wants to fill an empty stomach. 
    • Don Quixote and Sancho look for a place to rest for the night and see some goatherds (you guessed it: shepherds who herd goats) hanging out nearby. They decide to approach these guys for a place to spend the night. Sancho would rather spend the night in a nice inn, but whatever.

    Part 1, Book 2, Chapter 3

    • The goatherds offer Don Quixote and Sancho some nice meat fresh from a pot, which makes Sancho very happy. 
    • As they sit down, Don Quixote starts getting all nostalgic about the good ol' days when shepherds and shepherdesses just lived in harmony with nature (yeah, people got nostalgic in the 1600s, too).
    • The goatherds don't really know what to make of Don Quixote's appearance and the way he talks, but they listen politely. When he's finished, the goatherds suggest that they all listen to one of their people play an instrument called the rebec and sing a song. 
    • A young man steps forward and plays a nice little ditty about love. When he's done, Don Quixote wants to hear another, but Sancho just wants to sleep.
    • Before Sancho goes off to bed, Don Quixote asks him to patch up a wound on his ear that is left over from his last sword fight. One of the goatherds tells Sancho not to bother, and prepares a nice little ointment that immediately makes Don Quixote's ear feel better.

    Part 1, Book 2, Chapter 4

    • While Don Quixote is hanging out with the goatherds, a young man approaches them and says that a well-liked shepherd named Chrysostom has died. They say he died of a broken heart because a beautiful woman named Marcela wouldn't return his love. For this, everyone now hates Marcela and calls her evil. 
    • Now we get a little more backstory on this Chrysostom guy. Apparently, he came from money and went to university (which was an even bigger deal back in the 1600s). But when he was all finished, he decided that all he wanted was to live a peaceful life as a shepherd. 
    • It turns out that this young lady named Marcela also likes to go around acting like a shepherdess, even though she too comes from money. She is basically the most beautiful woman that anyone has ever laid eyes on—but she has no interest in ever being with a man or marrying. So, according to the men's logic, this makes her an evil flirt whose only joy in life is breaking men's hearts. 
    • After hearing this, Don Quixote tells everyone that his Dulcinea is without doubt the most beautiful woman in the world, not this Marcela person. And with that, everyone decides to hit the hay.

    Part 1, Book 2, Chapter 5

    • Five of the goatherds wake Don Quixote the next morning and ask him if he's interested in going to the dead "shepherd" Chrysostom's funeral. He agrees and gets ready to go. On the way there, he starts talking with a dude named Vivaldo, who decides that he'd like to have a little fun with Don Quixote. 
    • Vivaldo gets the Don talking about how his job as a knight-errant is more beneficial for the world than a friar's job. The reason for this is because Don Quixote feels that doing is always better than thinking, and knights are the world's doers. They go out and fight and get stuff done, period.
    • The other dude isn't satisfied, though, because he thinks that knights should recommend themselves to heaven instead of to their mistresses. After all, heaven matters more, right? Don Quixote, though, says there's plenty of time for both.
    • At this point, Don Quixote goes on another long and tedious description of his lady Dulcinea's beauty, though we remind you again that he has never actually seen her.
    • As they continue on, Don Quixote and Sancho see more and more shepherds joining the same road on their way to the funeral. They eventually come across the funeral procession itself. Everyone in the procession is just repeating the same story of how Chrysostom died of a broken heart.
    • People start to argue over whether they should bury Chrysostom in a pagan style, as his will requested. Others think that they should give him a proper Christian burial. Chrysostom's best friend, Ambrose, decides to read aloud the last poem that the dead shepherd ever wrote.

    Part 1, Book 2, Chapter 6

    • The chapter opens with the last poem or song the dead shepherd Chrysostom ever wrote. Basically, the whole thing is about loving someone who didn't love him back (psssst, it's Marcela he's talking about). 
    • At this point, everyone at the funeral is angry to see that Marcela has shown up. They ask her sarcastically if she has come to dance on Chrysostom's grave. 
    • Marcela, though, isn't going to be bullied around so easily. She explains the whole story from her point of view, which is basically this: she's not interested in being in a relationship with any man. She can't help it that she's a nice, beautiful person. But she definitely doesn't have a responsibility to love a man just because he loves her. It's really just that simple, and anyone who thinks otherwise is being childish. 
    • When she's finished, Marcela turns and disappears into the woods. Some of the men are so struck by her beauty, though, that they actually chase after her, asking if she'll go out with them sometime. Don Quixote orders all of them to stay put... or he'll stab them. So they stay put. 
    • The shepherds bury Chrysostom (finally) and put up a gravestone with a big epitaph on it. The epitaph is all about how evil and unkind Marcela is. But hey, they had the thing made before she gave her little speech, and you can't get your deposit back on a gravestone.
    • Don Quixote, however, decides that he'll track down Marcela and offer her his services as a knight.
  • Part 1, Book 3 (Chapters 1-13)

    Part 1, Book 3, Chapter 1

    • Don Quixote and Sancho spend the next two hours in the woods looking for the woman named Marcela. When they can't find her, they emerge back into a pretty meadow. 
    • Don Quixote and Sancho decide to sit down and have some lunch. But little do they realize that Don Quixote's horse, Rocinante, has spotted some mares nearby and wants to get a little frisky with them. 
    • The mares, though, aren't interested; so they kick Rocinante. Worse yet, the mares' owners start wailing on Rocinante with their sticks. 
    • Don Quixote and Sancho run to help Rocinante. Since the men hitting the horse aren't knights themselves, it's against the rules for Don Quixote to fight them. He wants Sancho Panza to do it, instead, but Sancho Panza says no way. 
    • With that decided, Don Quixote attacks one of the carriers with his sword and gives him a deep gash in his shoulder. He and Sancho Panza quickly get surrounded and are beaten down by the carriers. The carriers then run away, worried that they might have just committed murder. 
    • So now we have Sancho, Don Quixote, and Rocinante all lying injured on the ground. 
    • Don Quixote criticizes Sancho for being unwilling to fight, since any true governor of an island must be willing to defend the island against enemies. 
    • Eventually, Sancho gets to his feet, loads Don Quixote onto his donkey, and leads him and Rocinante to a nearby inn, which happens to be the same inn Don Quixote visited in Book 1. When they get there, Don Quixote argues that it's a castle, the foolishness of which statement frustrates Sancho deeply.

    Part 1, Book 3, Chapter 2

    • Seeing Don Quixote slung over the donkey's back, the innkeeper asks what's wrong. Rather than tell the truth, Sancho says that his master had a nasty fall. He and the innkeeper quickly put Don Quixote to bed. 
    • In the inn, there is a woman named Maritornes. She rubs down Sancho's back with ointment to help heal him. 
    • By the by, we find out that Maritornes has agreed to spend the night in the bed of one of the other men staying at the inn. She's told him that she'll get to him as soon as she's finished with all of her other duties. 
    • The thing is that all of the people staying at the inn sleep in the same room, which makes a midnight romantic rendezvous kind of tough. 
    • Don Quixote lies in bed, but he's wide awake. He also gets it into his head that the innkeeper's daughter is in love with him and is going to test his loyalty to Dulcinea del Toboso with sexual invitations. 
    • While Don Quixote's thinking about these things, Maritornes sneaks into the room to get into bed with the guy she's promised to visit. Don Quixote hears her and assumes it's the beautiful daughter of the castle come to take his chastity from him. While Maritornes is sneaking past his bed, he grabs her by the wrist and makes her sit down on the edge of his bed. She stays quiet out of fear. 
    • Don Quixote gives her a highfalutin' speech about how attractive she is; but then he says that he'll never be unfaithful to his true love, Dulcinea. 
    • Meanwhile, the dude who's waiting for Maritornes in his bed realizes that she's being held by someone against her will. So he gets out of bed and smashes Don Quixote in the face. Not satisfied, he jumps on top of the knight and starts going to town on him. 
    • The innkeeper hears the commotion, lights a candle, and comes into the room to see what's going on. Maritornes runs away and hides under Sancho's covers to avoid being seen. When Sancho wakes up, he doesn't know what's going on and starts throwing his fists at whatever is under his cover. Maritornes fights back, and soon the whole room is in chaos. 
    • The carrier, seeing Maritornes getting hit by Sancho, gets off of Don Quixote and starts beating up Sancho. 
    • While all this is going on, a member of the Holy Brotherhood (the police of 17th century Spain) jumps out of bed and comes in to tell everyone to pipe down. The first guy he reaches is Don Quixote, who can't even move because he's been so badly beaten. The man thinks that Don Quixote has been murdered, and orders the gates of the inn to be sealed. Everyone gets spooked by this and runs back to their normal places before the cop can find a light.

    Part 1, Book 3, Chapter 3

    • When everything has calmed down, Don Quixote calls to Sancho for help. Sancho says he can barely help himself with all the beatings he's been taking lately. 
    • Don Quixote swears that they're staying in an enchanted castle. Sancho says that he wishes Don Quixote were dead for all the trouble he's caused him. 
    • Don Quixote half-brags about how his bed was approached by a beautiful young damsel before he was attacked by a giant. 
    • Don Quixote then offers to make his special potion that will heal both of them immediately. 
    • At this point, the medieval cop comes in with a candle to see what's going on. Sancho and Don Quixote get into an argument over whether he's a ghost. The cop is astounded to hear them talking so calmly, since when he last left the room, it seemed like someone had just been murdered. 
    • Eventually, Sancho goes to the innkeeper to get the ingredients for Don Quixote's potion. Don Quixote mixes the ingredients in a clay jar. Don drinks the first gulp and immediately starts vomiting everywhere. After that, he passes out and wakes up three hours later actually feeling pretty good. 
    • Sancho feels encouraged by what the potion has done for his master. Sancho doesn't have as weak a stomach as Don Quixote, though, so he doesn't vomit. But the potion has a brutal effect on his gut, which makes him curse the day his master was ever born. Eventually, Cervantes tell us that the potion makes Sancho start spewing from "both ends" of his body at once. Yeah, it's pretty gross.
    • Don Quixote thanks the owner of the "castle" for all of the hospitality and makes to go off. The innkeeper assures him that it's not a castle, but an inn, and that he needs to plunk down some money for his stay and all the damage he's caused. Don Quixote, once again, says he's never heard of this in any books, so he refuses to pay. 
    • Don Quixote just takes off on his horse, leaving Sancho with the bill. Sancho also refuses to pay; so the innkeeper gets some buddies, and they toss Sancho up in the air over and over in a blanket, constantly threatening to let him fall onto the ground and break all his bones. Don Quixote sees this happening over one of the inn's walls but can't climb back in. 
    • When the bullies finally let Sancho go, he runs away and feels good about not having to pay for his room at the inn. He doesn't seem to realize, though, that he's left behind his wallet.

    Part 1, Book 3, Chapter 4

    • Sancho is really shaken up about being tossed in the blanket, and he tells Don Quixote as much. Don Quixote thinks that it was spirits that tossed Sancho, but Sancho swears that it was just a bunch of normal dudes. 
    • Sancho says that he wants to go home. The confidence he once had in Don Quixote has been ruined by seeing the guy beaten up so many times. 
    • At this moment, Don Quixote looks ahead and sees a cloud of dust farther up the road they're on. Don Quixote imagines that this cloud of dust comes from two giant armies charging at one another. He says that as a knight, it's his duty to fight on the side of the losing party. Sancho can't really see anything through the cloud of dust but follows Don Quixote forward. 
    • As they approach, Don Quixote names every single figure he sees participating in the battle. Everyone he names is some famous figure from one of his knight books. Hearing this, Sancho decides to stop at the top of a hill and watch Don Quixote fight from a safe distance. 
    • Well, it turns out that those big clouds of dust were being kicked up by a large flock of sheep. But that doesn't stop Don Quixote from thinking that they're fierce warriors. He starts stabbing and slashing the sheep with all his might, killing sheep on every side of him. Meanwhile, some shepherds realize what's happening and throw stones at him. Don Quixote starts to drink from his magic potion to ease the pain, but one of the stones smacks him right in the mouth and knocks out a few of his teeth. He falls off his horse and onto the ground. 
    • When the shepherds are gone, Sancho comes to tell Don Quixote what an idiot he is. But Don Quixote insists that the warriors he was fighting have been turned into sheep by some sort of wizard. 
    • Don Quixote asks Sancho to check how many of his teeth are missing. When Sancho checks his mouth, Don Quixote vomits onto his face. The grossness of this makes Sancho vomit back onto Don Quixote's face; so the two of them just stand there, covered in each other's vomit. 
    • The two of them pause to lick their wounds (metaphorically... we hope) and realize that with Sancho's wallet missing, they'll have to go on without food. They resolve to go look for a new lodging.

    Part 1, Book 1, Chapter 5

    • Sancho tells Don Quixote that he thinks he has terrible luck because he hasn't defeated another knight in battle yet or found himself a proper helmet.
    • Soon, night overtakes them before they're able to find any sort of inn. 
    • Suddenly, Don Quixote and Sancho see a bunch of lights in the darkness moving toward them. Sancho gets scared. 
    • Pretty soon, Don Quixote and Sancho realize that there are about twenty men travelling on horseback, all of them carrying torches and wearing white. There are also six men following them in black, who look like they're in mourning. They're transporting a coffin somewhere. 
    • Don Quixote thinks that they're transporting the body of a great knight, and that he (the Don) needs to get revenge for him. The people in the procession don't want to talk to him and try to move past. 
    • Without warning, Don Quixote attacks all of them (including the unarmed mourners) until everyone runs away. Sancho's confidence in the Don grows again, seeing twenty men run away from him.
    • Don Quixote interrogates one of the men, who has been left behind with a broken leg. The guy begs for his life and says he's just a clergyman. Don Quixote forgives him (ha), sets him back on his mule, and tells him to be on his way. Sancho adds, "And if anyone asks, tell 'im it was the famous Don Quixote de la Mancha!" He's really making an effort to spread the word, it seems.
    • Sancho has also taken to calling Don Quixote that "Knight of the Woeful Figure." (This can also be translated as "Knight of the Sorrowful Countenance," "Knight of the Woeful Countenance," and so on.) Sancho calls him this because he thinks Don Quixote's face is mangled from being so badly beaten up. 
    • Don Quixote wants to inspect the coffin, but Sancho is worried that the twenty guys will come back to kill them. He recommends that they skedaddle.
    • Don Quixote and Sancho move off to a valley and eat a bunch of nice cold meats that they stole from the funeral people's horses. The salty meats make them thirsty, and they realize they have no wine to wash down their meals.

    Part 1, Book 3, Chapter 6

    • Looking around, Sancho realizes that the grass around is so fresh that there must be some sort of river nearby. By this point, he and Don Quixote are brutally thirsty.
    • As they search, though, they suddenly hear a terrible noise, which sounds like a great blow being struck over and over again. Don Quixote can't even imagine what kinds of terrors surround them, since it's the middle of the night. But Sancho just wants to feel safe.
    • To pass the night, Sancho tells a story about a guy who wanted to get a bunch of goats across the river, although he could only carry one goat on his boat at a time. Sancho meticulously talks through every trip the guy makes until Don Quixote gets frustrated and demands to know the end of the story. But when he interrupts Sancho, Sancho forgets how the rest goes and thinks it's a shame. Don Quixote is flabbergasted.
    • To keep Don Quixote from trying to move toward the horrible sounds in the night, Sancho has tied Rocinante's hind legs to the legs of his own mule, named Dapple. This way, whenever Don Quixote tries to ride forward, his horse won't budge. 
    • While all of this is going on, Sancho feels the brutal need to take a poop. (Sorry, folks; we're just the messengers.) Sancho doesn't want to wander off into the dark to do it, so he drops his pants and tries to let 'er rip as quietly as possible. At one point, though, a farting sound leaks out and rouses Don Quixote's attention.
    • Now the stink has reached Don Quixote's nose. He suddenly tells Sancho that he must be very afraid, because it smells like he crapped his pants.
    • When morning arrives, they decide to move forward to see what's up with the sounds they've been hearing all night. As they approach the noise, they realize that it's just coming from some mills that are being powered by the nearby river. 
    • Don Quixote feels ashamed and confused when he realizes that there are no adventures waiting for him nearby. Just some regular old buildings. 
    • Sancho can only laugh at Don Quixote for his foolishness. Don Quixote then gets really defensive and orders Sancho not to laugh. 
    • The chapter ends with Sancho asking about how knights tend to pay their squires, whether it be by the month or by the week.

    Part 1, Book 3, Chapter 7

    • As Don Quixote and Sancho continue on their journeys, they see someone approaching them on a donkey with a big shiny metal object on his head. Don Quixote immediately believes that this shiny object is none other than the famous Helmet of Mambrino, a famous knight from one of his books.
    • It just so happens that Don Quixote is in the market for a new helmet, so he heads toward the "knight" in order to challenge him to mortal combat.
    • Well, as it always turns out, the dude on the horse is just a humble barber travelling from town to town, and the shiny thing on his head is a metal basin (you know, a portable sink) that he's wearing on his head to keep his hat dry.
    • Don Quixote challenges the barber to a duel and charges him. The unarmed barber has no interest in fighting, so he just jumps off his horse and runs away, leaving his basin behind. The victorious Don Quixote picks up the basin and sets it on his head, feeling pretty good about himself. Sancho, though, tries to tell him it's not a golden helmet like he thinks it is. 
    • Sancho asks why they don't just go find a king or emperor and do something for him so they can get bigger prizes. But the Don insists that they have to make a name for themselves before they graduate to that sort of thing. 
    • Don Quixote and Sancho go on fantasizing together and discussing how they would like their lives to play out in the future.

    Part 1, Book 3, Chapter 8

    • As Don Quixote and Sancho ride on, they come across a group of men who are all chained together and being led by men on horseback. 
    • Don Quixote rides up to one of the horsemen and asks what the deal is with the dudes in chains. The person tells him that the people are prisoners being transported to go row in the Spanish galleons (think giant rowboats).
    • One by one, the prisoners tell Don Quixote their stories. Some try to sound sympathetic, but their excuses are all pretty lame. They've all done some less-than-good stuff. 
    • One of the final people Don talks to is a famous criminal named Ginés de Passamonte. It turns out that this guy has a knack for escaping the authorities. He has written an autobiography and left it with a publisher, and as soon as he's free again, he's going to collect a ton of money for it. 
    • Don Quixote feels like it's his job to help the oppressed, so he attacks the caravan and tries to free the prisoners. The guards should be able to fight off Don Quixote; but the prisoners all start fighting them at the same time, and they quickly have to retreat.
    • Now that the men are freed, Don Quixote orders all of them to go to Toboso and tell the fair damsel Dulcinea about how bravely he has behaved. Ginés de Passamonte tells him that this is impossible, since all of the prisoners now have to go into hiding. Don Quixote says this isn't good enough, and the prisoners attack him. One of them even starts beating him with his new basin-helmet. Eventually, they rob him, too.
    • By the time they leave, Don Quixote thinks that they've been a little ungrateful for being freed (duh, you think so?).

    Part 1, Book 3, Chapter 9

    • Don Quixote continues to complain about how poorly he's been treated by the people he was trying to help. Sancho can only agree. 
    • Don Quixote and Sancho hop back on their animals and wander into a nearby set of desert mountains called the Sierra Morenas. Sancho likes this idea because he wants to avoid getting caught by the cops, who will surely be after them now that they've freed a bunch of convicts. 
    • When Don Quixote and Sancho reach the mountains, they fall asleep. And who happens to be lurking nearby but Ginés de Passamonte. He decides to steal Sancho's donkey and rides away with him. 
    • When Sancho wakes up, he's devastated to find his donkey gone. Don Quixote can only cheer him up by promising him three new donkeys to make up for his lost one.
    • As Don Quixote and Sancho wander on, something really weird happens. We learn that Sancho is back sitting on his donkey. This seems to be some sort of editing mistake in the original version of Don Quixote, but hey, when you write a book this long, it's tough to keep track of everything that's happened.
    • As Don Quixote and Sancho travel through the mountains, they come upon an old saddle and a little bag. Looking inside, Sancho sees that it contains some very fine shirts and a bunch of gold. Further inside the bag, he finds a fancy book.
    • Don Quixote decides to read what's in the book to find out the identity of the person who left the saddle and the gold.
    • What Don Quixote finds is a sonnet about someone who wants to die because he can't have the love of his life. Next, Don reads something written in plain prose, but it doesn't shed any further light on the identity of the person who wrote it, other than the fact that he seems to be suffering for love. 
    • As Don Quixote and Sancho sit and ponder, Don Quixote glances up at the mountains and sees some sort of weird mountain man above them. He's not wearing a shirt and has a huge scraggly beard. He's also super good at jumping from rock to rock on the mountain. 
    • Don Quixote tries to chase after the guy on his horse, but Rocinante can't handle the rocky mountain. Sancho doesn't want to go after the guy at all, for fear that he might be the rightful owner of the gold, which Sancho wants to keep. 
    • After Don Quixote and Sancho give up on trying to find the mountain man, they see a shepherd and ask him if he knows anything about the strange guy. The shepherd fills them in on the mountain man's backstory. It turns out that he came to them a while ago, saying that he wanted to retreat from all human contact because love had betrayed him. He was definitely from an upper-class family and seemed to have lost his mind.
    • The problem is that this mountain man has a tendency to start beating people (especially shepherds) without reason and without mercy at random times. Everyone just figures he's totally insane.
    • Shortly after this conversation ends, the mountain man shows up again and approaches Don Quixote. It seems like he's willing to talk now.

    Part 1, Book 3, Chapter 10

    • Now that they have a chance to talk, Don Quixote asks the mountain man if there's anything he can do to help him. 
    • After Don Quixote, Sancho, and the shepherd give the guy something to eat, he sits down with them and decides to tell his story. 
    • His name is Cardenio, and he is from a good family. The story starts when he is just a little boy and he becomes best friends with a girl from his town named Lucinda. As they grow up, they become closer and closer until one day, Cardenio decides to ask his girlfriend's hand in marriage. 
    • Before asking the girl herself, though, Cardenio thinks it best to ask her father. The girl's father then tells him to ask his own father, since he'll probably be the biggest obstacle to the marriage (dude is a little overbearing, it seems).
    • Around this time, Cardenio is also invited to the house of a man named Duke Ricardo to be a friend to his eldest son. It's kind of like a 17th-century play date. That kind of puts Cardenio's plans for Lucinda on the backburner. So he asks her and her father to sit tight until he gets back from his time with the duke's son.
    • When he gets to the duke's, Cardenio immediately becomes friends with one of the duke's sons, Don Fernando. Right away, Fernando decides to tell Cardenio all his deepest thoughts about his love life. It turns out that Fernando is obsessed with a young beauty from nearby. The problem is that she is much lower in class than him, so it will be a scandal if he marries her, which he says he wants to do.
    • Later on, Cardenio learns that Fernando has had sex with this farmer's daughter, under the promise that he will marry her as soon as he figures out how to break the news to his father. The truth is, though, that as soon as Fernando had sex with the girl, he lost interest and reneged on his promise to marry her. 
    • Don Fernando decides to get away from it all by taking a trip to Cardenio's home. While they're there, Cardenio sneaks off to go see his beloved Lucinda. 
    • Eventually, Don Fernando gets wind of something and realizes that Cardenio has a girl. Cardenio is so effusive in talking about Lucinda's beauty and personality that eventually, Fernando sees her and falls in love with her, too. 
    • During this time, Cardenio breaks off to mention that the books of knight-errantry that talk about female loyalty are all stupid. He names a particular example of a famous married woman named Queen Madasima sleeping with another man. Don Quixote takes exception to this and gets into a fight with Cardenio. 
    • Cardenio picks up a huge rock and smashes Don Quixote's head with it. Then he takes out Sancho and the shepherd just as quickly. When he's finished with them all, he runs back into the wilderness.
    • Sancho eventually dusts himself off and asks why Don Quixote had to interrupt Cardenio. Don says that he'd never let anyone get away with saying something bad about the immortal love found in knight stories. 
    • Despite the beating they've all just taken, Don Quixote wants to hear the rest of Cardenio's story, and he pledges to find the young man again.

    Part 1, Book 3, Chapter 11

    • As they look for Cardenio, Sancho asks Don Quixote why he would go to so much trouble to defend the honor of a fictional person like Queen Madasima. Don Quixote, though, doesn't really distinguish reality from fiction anymore. 
    • Don Quixote also gets it into his head that the Sierra Morena mountains are a great place for him to starve and torture himself out of love for his fair Dulcinea del Toboso. 
    • Sancho doesn't understand why Don Quixote would do this to himself. As far as he's concerned, the Don has no reason at all to be upset. He just keeps making up reasons for the sake of being like the knights he reads about in books. 
    • As Don Quixote and Sancho walk on, they find a place that Don Quixote thinks will be ideal to perform his "penance." At this point, he starts shouting into the mountains about how terrible his life is and how he'll never be able to live without his beloved Dulcinea (whom he's never met). He slaps Rocinante on the bum to make him run away, too, leaving Don Quixote to rant and rave on his own.
    • Sancho, meanwhile, just sort of scratches his head and asks if there's anything more he can do.
    • Don Quixote tells Sancho that he wants to write a letter to his fair Dulcinea and to have Sancho deliver it to her. Sancho tells him that he'll only do it if he also writes and signs an order for him to receive three of his donkeys. 
    • Once they've agreed on all that, Sancho's next question is where he's supposed to find Dulcinea del Toboso. At this point, Don Quixote starts describing her, and eventually Sancho Panza puts two and two together and realizes that the famous Dulcinea is actually Aldonza Lorenzo, a strong and robust yet also attractive enough girl in his mind. 
    • Don Quixote tells Sancho to stop talking about his beloved Dulcinea as some sort of farm girl (which she actually is). He also goes on an interesting little speech about how all the great ladies of poetry probably existed more in poets' imaginations than in real life. This is a strange thing for Don Quixote to say here, because it's like he's saying, "Hey, I know this is all going on in my head; but don't burst my bubble."
    • Don Quixote then writes out the letter for Sancho to deliver to Dulcinea. But since Sancho can't read, he wants to hear the Don read it aloud to him. The letter turns out to be very beautiful, and Sancho can't help but admire it. Next, the Don writes out the order for the three donkeys to go to Sancho and signs it, making Sancho very happy. 
    • Sancho is about to head off when Don Quixote asks him to stay and watch him get totally naked and rave, so that he can tell Dulcinea about how crazy Don Quixote is with passion. Sancho, though, just gives him the old thanks-but-no-thanks and walks away.
    • But at the last moment, Sancho remembers his sense of humor and decides to watch Don Quixote act crazy. So Don takes off his pants and underwear and does a somersault, making his junk go flopping all over the place. Sancho shields Rocinante's eyes from the sight, then rides him away to deliver Don Quixote's letter and get his new donkeys.

    Part 1, Book 3, Chapter 12

    • After Sancho has left, Don Quixote climbs to the top of a rock and starts composing a poem about his fair Dulcinea. The poem is super awkward and poorly written—which, according to the narrator, caused a lot of laughter among people who later found it.
    • Meanwhile, Sancho Panza is on his way to deliver Don Quixote's letter. The problem is that it's getting late, and the only place for Sancho to stay and get a decent meal is the same inn where he was tossed in a blanket only a few days earlier. 
    • While Sancho's waiting outside, too scared to go in, two men come out of the inn. It turns out that they're the barber, Mr. Nicolás, and the curate from Don Quixote's village. They've been searching all over the place for Don Quixote. They see that Sancho is riding Don Quixote's horse, and tell Sancho that if he doesn't tell them right away where Quixote is, they'll accuse him of murder. 
    • Sancho doesn't care one way or the other about these things, so he just tells the two men that he left Don Quixote half-naked in the Sienna Morenas. While he's doing this, he also remembers that he never actually brought the letter he was supposed to take to Dulcinea del Toboso. Worse yet, he didn't bring his order for the three donkeys, meaning his whole day's journey has been a waste.
    • The curate and the barber want to hear Don Quixote's letter to Dulcinea, but Sancho can only remember it in little bits and pieces, and even these he gets pretty wrong. 
    • Sancho starts worrying that his master Don Quixote might stop wanting to become an emperor and instead become an archbishop or something religious, which would leave Sancho with no island or province to govern.
    • The curate suddenly hatches a plan, and says that he's going to dress up as a damsel in distress and ask for Don Quixote's help. The barber will dress up as his squire and they'll find a way to get Don Quixote on an adventure that will lead him back home.

    Part 1, Book 3, Chapter 13

    • The curate and the barber borrow some women's clothes so they can dress the curate up as a woman. Upon second thought, though, the clergyman decides that it would be better if the barber dressed up like a woman instead. They then plop the dude on a donkey and make their way back to Don Quixote. All this time, Sancho is careful not to mention the sack of gold he found in the Sierra Morenas. 
    • On the other hand, Sancho doesn't want these dudes to take Don Quixote home, because he still wants the Don to make good on his promise of an island. 
    • First, the curate and the barber send Sancho ahead to meet Don Quixote and tell him that Dulcinea responded to his letter and told him to come back home as soon as possible. This way, there might be no need for the barber and curate to carry out their elaborate scheme. 
    • As Sancho, the curate, and the barber are heading back to Don Quixote, though, they hear a beautiful voice singing in the mountains and wonder where it's coming from. 
    • Sancho, the curate, and the barber eventually come upon Cardenio, who's singing and squatting. He knows they're there but doesn't take much notice. 
    • Cardenio says he knows what'll happen: these men will try to make him rejoin human society. He tells them that once they hear about his misfortunes, though, they will understand why he can't come back. 
    • At this point, Cardenio takes up his story again where he last left off: his "buddy" Fernando got wind of how awesome his fiancée Lucinda was and fell in love himself. 
    • At this time, Cardenio says, he himself resolved to marry Lucinda. 
    • So guess what happens? Don Fernando tells Cardenio that he needs him to rush to his father's house for several days of business while Fernando stays behind. Cardenio doesn't feel right leaving his beloved Lucinda, especially since they're supposed to get married soon. 
    • While he's staying with Don Fernando's dad, Cardenio gets an emergency letter from Lucinda saying that Fernando has proposed marriage to her and that her dad is forcing her to go through with it because Fernando is even more of a big shot than Cardenio is. 
    • Cardenio rushes home just in time to hide behind a curtain. But the wedding ceremony is already beginning, so he just waits and watches. In hindsight, he wishes he would have just jumped out and stopped the wedding. But instead, he watches and waits as Lucinda says "I do" and officially marries Fernando. 
    • Right after she does this, though, she faints and lets a dagger and a letter fall out of her dress. Fernando rushes to read the letter, and after seeing what it says, he tries to attack and murder Lucinda. People at the wedding hold him back, though. Now that the deal is sealed, Cardenio runs away into the wilderness, which is where Don Quixote and Sancho Panza found him living like a wild animal. 
    • The curate is about to console Cardenio for his terrible fortune. But before he can speak, the group hears another voice crying out in complaint. And again, we've got ourselves a cliffhanger.
  • Part 1, Book 4 (Chapters 1-10)

    Part 1, Book 4, Chapter 1

    • The group of men goes to see who this new person sending out complaints is. They eventually come upon the source of the noises, which is a young man dressed in the style of a country person. But as they get closer, they notice that the young man has beautiful, smooth legs, and can't imagine that these are the legs of some peasant.
    • The men decide to watch this person some more by hiding behind some rocks. 
    • The young man takes off his cap to wash his hair, and all sorts of beautiful curls come tumbling over his shoulders. It turns out that the young man is actually a young woman, and one of the most beautiful that any of the men have ever seen (in this book, women tend to be either really ugly or the most beautiful woman ever).
    • When she sees the men watching her, the woman starts to run away; but the curate asks her to stay so they can help her with her problems.
    • With that, the young woman offers to tell her story:
    • She is the daughter of a wealthy farmer. It turns out that one day, the son of a duke fell in love with her because of her intense beauty and did everything he could to get her into bed with him. He even promised her marriage (hey, doesn't this sound kind of familiar?).
    • Well, eventually, this Don Fernando guy (gasp, same dude that Cardenio hates) paid off one of her housekeepers to let him into her bedroom. There, with promises of marriage, he had sex with her. This is the exact same story we heard Cardenio talk about only a few chapters ago, and it seems like this young woman is the unfortunate beauty whom Fernando promised to marry then dumped after he'd had sex with her. 
    • While she's telling this story, you can tell that Cardenio's blood boils every time she mentions Fernando's name.
    • At the end of her account, she reveals that her name is Dorotea, and this tells Cardenio that without doubt, she must be the same woman Fernando always spoke to him about. 
    • Soon after Fernando betrayed her, Dorotea heard the story of how Fernando had betrayed another friend named Cardenio by stealing his fiancée, Lucinda. Dorotea also heard the story about everything that happened at the wedding.
    • Soon after, Dorotea decided to leave her house to search for Fernando. But when she heard her name being called out as a missing person in the street, she came to the Sierra Morena to hide and plan her next move. Now she spends her time running away from shepherds who pursue her and try to court her.

    Part 1, Book 4, Chapter 2

    • When she's finished, Dorotea tells the crowd of men that the best thing they can do for her is go to her parents' house and inquire into whether her parents would ever be willing to have her back, now that she feels like she's disgraced herself. 
    • The curate starts trying to comfort her, but Cardenio butts in and says that he knows who she is, because he is none other than Cardenio, the other dude who has been cheated by Don Fernando. Dorotea looks him up and down (because you know, he still looks like a weird mountain man).
    • Dorotea and Cardenio are both like, hey, what a coincidence that we came to hide in the same mountains after our misfortunes. 
    • At this point, Cardenio swears that somehow, he'll force Fernando to marry Dorotea.
    • Now that that's all nice and figured out, the group's attention turns back to Don Quixote, who is still out in the mountains somewhere half-killing himself with his make-believe torture. Both Dorotea and Cardenio express interest in his situation and are willing to help out.
    • Meanwhile, Sancho comes back (he's gone ahead to look for Don Quixote). When he comes back, he asks who the beautiful lady is, since Dorotea has now put on a rich-looking dress from her bag. The curate replies that Dorotea is actually the princess of the kingdom of Micomicon, which the curate just made up. It turns out that she's looking for Don Quixote to help her fight a giant that has taken over her kingdom. This is exactly the kind of gig that Sancho wants for his master; so he's all for it and leads them to where he found the Don.
    • When the group finds Don Quixote, he's in a really sorry state. Dorotea approaches him and asks him for his help as a knight. Don Quixote proudly agrees to help her. 
    • Meanwhile, Sancho is disappointed to find out that the princess's imaginary kingdom is in Africa, because he's a pretty racist dude and wishes he could become the governor of white people instead. Nonetheless, he looks forward to being rich, either way.
    • There's a problem in the fact that Dorotea keeps forgetting where the curate said she was from, but the gang does a good job of covering up this fact by saying that she's forgetful due to the terrible stress she's been through. 
    • Now, of course, Don Quixote would like to know where the curate has come from. The curate says that he was travelling on the highway and suddenly got himself robbed by a bunch of robbers who'd just been set free by some lunatic. He knows the story of how Don Quixote let the convicts go and is trying to test him by showing him how his actions have affected others. 
    • On this note, the chapter ends.

    Part 1, Book 4, Chapter 3

    • Sancho butts in and says that it was Don Quixote himself who set the convicts loose. The Don tells him to shut his mouth unless he's spoken to. He then goes on to sort of apologize for what he did, but he also says that everything he does is in the interest of righting the world's wrongs—in which case, he doesn't apologize at all. He's about to browbeat Sancho when Dorotea reminds him that he can't engage in any combat until he's finished with his duty to her.
    • As they travel, Don Quixote asks Dorotea to tell him the whole story of how she came to be exiled from her own country. Dorotea realizes she'll have to make something up on the spot, so she answers with the following lie:
    • Basically, she lived in the kingdom of Micomicon with her parents. But then her parents both died within a year of one another, leaving her an orphan. This left the kingdom vulnerable to attack, and who was there to take advantage but the evil giant Pandalfino, who lived in a neighboring kingdom.
    • The last thing Dorotea's father told her before he died (she says) was that she would have to seek out a man called Don Gigote. She has forgotten Don Quixote's name and needs to be corrected on this, but she just chalks it up to stress again and apologizes. 
    • Dorotea also makes a few other mistakes, like saying that her boat landed in Spain at the town of Ossuna, which is a landlocked town. But with the help of the curate, she continues to make excuses for herself and satisfies the Don. 
    • Dorotea says she'll also marry Don Quixote once he kills the giant (this is a lie, but she thinks it'll get him home more quickly). Don Quixote, though, remains strong and says he can't marry anyone when he's in love with Dulcinea del Toboso. Sancho pulls his hair out and says, 'Are you crazy?"—but Don Quixote resists.
    • On top of that, Sancho is worried that he'll never get a kingdom to govern if Don Quixote doesn't marry this woman.
    • Don Quixote has a moment alone with Sancho and asks him how things went with his letter to Dulcinea. Sancho doesn't answer right away because he's tired of the Don treating him like dirt. While they argue, a man on a mule approaches them on the road. It turns out to be that base criminal, Ginés de Passamonte. They recognize him and call him out. Seeing himself outnumbered, Ginés jumps off the donkey he's riding and runs away on foot. 
    • Sancho is overjoyed to have his beloved donkey, Dapple, back in his hands. It's a very cute reunion, and everyone is happy about it.
    • When all is settled, Don Quixote asks Sancho again about how things went with Dulcinea. Sancho admits that he forgot the letter but says that he told Dulcinea the thing from memory anyway. You know, like a liar.

    Part 1, Book 4, Chapter 4

    • Don Quixote wants to know if Sancho found the damsel Dulcinea holding beautiful pearls in her castle. But Sancho, knowing who Dulcinea actually is, says he found her working with a bunch of wheat from the fields.
    • Don Quixote doesn't like this answer but moves on and asks other things about Dulcinea. Sancho answers all of the questions by basically saying, "Hey, she's just a normal country girl. Not too pretty, not too fragrant. What do you expect?" But there's no overcoming Don Quixote's fantasies, which he keeps layering over everything Sancho says.
    • When Don Quixote asks how Dulcinea responded to his letter, Sancho takes the opportunity to say that Dulcinea has asked him to come immediately home to see her. Don Quixote, though, feels that he can't do this until he's fulfilled his promise to the princess of Micomicon (a.k.a. Dorotea in disguise).
    • Don Quixote also realizes around this time that Sancho Panza must have travelled with supernatural speed to get to Toboso and back to the Sierra Morenas as quickly as he did. Sancho just sort of shrugs and says it must have been a wizard.
    • As they continue on the road, they run into a boy named Andrés. We soon find out that this kid is the same one whose boss whipped him brutally after Don Quixote tried to help him. The boy tells Don Quixote about what happened and says that in the future, the Don should just mind his own business.
    • Don Quixote offers to go beat the boss up, but Dorotea reminds him that he can't until he's fulfilled his promise to her.
    • The best the group can do is offer Andrés some bread and cheese to eat. He just snatches it and walks away in a huff.

    Part 1, Book 4, Chapter 5

    • Once again, there's only one option on the road as far as inns go. You guessed it: Don Quixote and his crew have to stay at the same place where he and Sancho got beaten up last time. The Don isn't happy about it, but there are no other options out in the sticks. 
    • Don Quixote goes straight to bed. At this point, the barber decides to take off his disguise and decides to pretend that he just stumbled upon the inn by chance. 
    • The group sits around the dinner table at the inn and discusses Don Quixote's madness. The innkeeper is a big fan of the same knight books that Don Quixote likes; but the curate insists that they're all terrible and that they should be burned.
    • The innkeeper insists, though, that the books of adventure are the only things that can lift him out of the boredom of his day-to-day life. In a way, he says, his books have kept him alive. 
    • With this, the innkeeper goes over to his bookcase and takes out some books for the group to look at. The curate just looks them over and tut-tuts nearly every one, saying they should all be burned and kept away from Don Quixote at all costs.
    • The innkeeper, though, will not let them burn the books he loves so much. If anything, he shows us that it's possible to love adventure stories without going crazy like Don Quixote.
    • That said, even though the innkeeper doesn't think he's a knight, he does actually believe the stories of knight-errantry to be historically accurate. That's kind of like saying you think that The Lord of the Rings is historically accurate (which some Larpers might actually believe).
    • While the curate criticizes knight-errantry as being out of fashion, Sancho gets concerned about hearing his master called a fool. Still, he remains committed to Don Quixote, despite what people say. 
    • Meanwhile, the curate keeps looking over the books in the innkeeper's cabinet, and he eventually comes across eight large sheets of paper with a story written out by hand. The story seems to be titled "The Novel of the Curious Impertinent." The innkeeper says that the manuscript was left behind in the suitcases of one of his guests, but he's never been able to track down the owner. 
    • So the curate picks the thing up and starts reading.

    Part 1, Book 4, Chapter 6

    • Now it's time to hear the story of "the Curious Impertinent."
    • Once upon a time, there were two dudes, Anselmo and Lothario. They were the best of buds and would never do anything to harm one another. 
    • But one day, Anselmo gets married to a beautiful and accomplished woman. Lothario is totally happy for both of them. 
    • But as time goes on, Anselmo has a tough time believing his good luck. So he decides that the only thing he can do is test his wife's loyalty. So he asks Lothario to make a pass at his wife and to see if she'll go for it. 
    • Lothario thinks this is a dumb idea and that there's nothing to be gained by it. After all, even if the plan succeeds, Lothario will be too ashamed to ever show his face around Anselmo's house again. And if it fails and the wife goes for it, Anselmo will be miserable. The risk is way too great compared to the meager reward.
    • Just to get Anselmo off his back, Lothario agrees to go through with the plan. Anselmo leaves him alone with his wife, but Lothario doesn't do anything.
    • The narrator promises to tell us the rest of the story in the next chapter.

    Part 1, Book 4, Chapter 7

    • Anselmo receives a letter from his wife saying how angry she is that he has left her alone with his best friend, which would be improper enough even if Lothario weren't hitting on her. Anselmo is happy with the letter, though, since it proves that Lothario is actually taking his part in the scheme seriously.
    • The next time around, Lothario actually does make a move on the wife. She resists at first, but eventually, the two of them have sex. They carry on an affair behind Anselmo's back for the next little while.
    • Meanwhile, one of Camilla's (the wife's) servants finds out about what's going on, and uses the knowledge to blackmail Camilla into letting her (the servant's) lover come to the house to have sex whenever she wants.
    • One day, Lothario sees this other lover leaving the house and figures that Camilla is having affairs with other men besides him. This, of course, makes him super jealous. So he tells Anselmo that Camilla is ready to give in to his advances (he neglects to mention that she already has). He tells Anselmo to hide behind a curtain and to watch as the whole thing plays out. 
    • But Camilla knows Anselmo is hiding, and she gives a dramatic performance with her servant about how she'll take a dagger and murder Lothario the moment he enters her room.
    • At this point, Anselmo wants to pop out to protect his friend's life. But morbid curiosity also keeps him behind the curtain. 
    • When Lothario comes in, Camilla pretends to attack him with a knife. Then she breaks away and pretends to mortally stab herself. 
    • Lothario runs to her, terrified. But seeing that she's not badly hurt, he sends out a wailing speech about her death. 
    • At this point, Anselmo wants to go over to Lothario's house to celebrate what a great, loyal wife he has. Even though she's still bleeding on the floor, it looks from his vantage point like she'll be okay.
    • For months after that, Camilla and Lothario continue to get it on behind Anselmo's back. Ask and you shall receive, buddy.

    Part 1, Book 4, Chapter 8

    • The novel is just about to end when Sancho Panza comes running into the kitchen screaming about how his master is locked in mortal combat with a whole gang of giants in his bedroom. Sancho says it's true, because he has seen the giants' blood flowing over the floor with his own eyes. 
    • The group can all hear Don in the next room crying out at the giants as he swings his sword around. 
    • Immediately, the innkeeper cries out that Don Quixote must be attacking his wineskins, which are huge bags of wine that have been hanging near the Don's bed. 
    • The whole company runs into Don Quixote's bedroom and confirms the innkeeper's fears. Don Quixote is totally fighting a bunch of lifeless bags of wine hanging around him. The Don isn't even awake for this one: he's fighting in his sleep. 
    • Sancho Panza continues searching the room for a giant's head, since he's still certain that he saw Don Quixote decapitate a monster. 
    • The whole staff of the inn is in a fury at the loss of all their wine. But the curate promises them that he'll compensate them for all of their losses, which calms them down a bit. 
    • When everything has settled down, the group gets Don Quixote back to bed and returns to the "Novel of the Curious Impertinent" to find out how the story ends. 
    • Here goes. One day, Camilla gets sick of always having to sneak around with Lothario, and she asks him to run away with her. Lothario is surprised, but he eventually sends Camilla to a convent to wait for him while he leaves the city at a different time to avoid suspicion. 
    • Meanwhile, Anselmo has caught his wife's servant in bed with her lover and is about to throw her out of his house. But the servant promises to tell him secrets about his wife if he forgives her. He agrees and asks her to let him have it the next morning. 
    • The next morning, he goes to his servant's room to find out the truth but discovers a rope of bed sheets hanging out the window. Confused, he goes to his wife's room to find out the truth but discovers that she's vanished, too.
    • Left alone in his house and not knowing what to do, Anselmo goes to his friend Lothario's house to ask for advice. But when he gets there, he realizes that Lothario is gone, too. Eventually, he puts two and two together and realizes that his best friend has run off with his wife.
    • Anselmo is so brokenhearted that he immediately takes ill. He goes to another friend's house and gets into bed, asking for pen and paper. Once he has it, he apologizes for his stupid plan and tells the entire truth about his scheme and what it's led to. With that done, he dies.
    • Meanwhile, Camilla gets word of her husband's death. She's dying with grief herself, because news has reached her that her lover Lothario has also died in a fight in Italy.
    • Then Camilla dies with grief. The end.
    • Sitting around the dinner table, the curate says that he thinks that story is decent enough, though he doubts that it's true. After all, he doubts that there could ever be a husband so foolish and vain to try something like that (right… heh heh).

    Part 1, Book 4, Chapter 9

    • While everyone's hanging around, the innkeeper sees more people coming into his establishment, which of course means more moolah for him.
    • They seem to be an odd bunch, though, for while they appear very rich, they're travelling with a young woman who's dressed like a nun and who keeps sighing with sadness.
    • The women in the inn offer to help the lady with whatever's wrong, but she just keeps moping.
    • From the next room, Cardenio hears the woman say a few words and recognizes her voice. He runs into the room, and when she sees him, the woman jumps toward him. She's held back by a man in a mask, though, and during their struggle, his mask falls off.
    • It turns out that the dude is Fernando and that the girl is Lucinda, the same girl Cardenio loves. 
    • When Dorotea sees Fernando, she also falls into a swoon and faints. All four of them face each other and are totally dumbfounded.
    • Dorotea totally pledges her love and forgiveness to Fernando and begs him to take her back. She gives a nice big speech that makes everyone in the inn sympathize with her. Finally, Fernando gives in and lets Lucinda go to Cardenio. He promises that he'll fulfill his promise to marry Dorotea.
    • All four lovers are reunited, and everyone around is happy. Sancho Panza even weeps for joy, because he can be the sentimental type sometimes.

    Part 1, Book 4, Chapter 10

    • Now that the lovers have what they want, Sancho is destroyed to find out that Dorotea isn't actually a princess, but just a farmer's daughter.
    • Sancho slips into Don Quixote's bedroom and tells him he doesn't need to worry about killing any giants anymore. Don Quixote agrees, since he has had a dream in which he killed over a dozen of them (he's thinking about his battle with the wineskins).
    • Sancho just up and informs him, though, that he's been fighting with wineskins all night. And of course, the Don thinks that they are staying in an enchanted place and that some wizard must have changed the giants into wineskins.
    • Outside the room, everyone decides that they will continue with the princess fantasy in order to get Don Quixote home.
    • Don Quixote comes out and tells everyone what Sancho Panza has been saying about the princess. Dorotea denies it and tells him she's every bit the princess she's always been. This just makes Don Quixote mad at Sancho for being such a little troublemaker.
    • While all of this is going on, another person shows up at the inn. This time it's a Spanish-looking guy who's wearing Moorish (African) clothing and travelling with a Moorish woman.
    • Now before anything more can happen, people want to know what this couple's deal is.
    • Don Quixote gives the newcomers a fancy greeting that makes everyone look at him as if he's crazy. Don Quixote decides to go on a huge rant about the merits of the scholar versus the merits of a soldier or a warrior. And that leads us to the next chapter.
  • Part 1, Book 4 (Chapters 11-20)

    Part 1, Book 4, Chapter 11

    • Don Quixote compares and contrasts the lives of the scholar and the knight. For starters, both are poor (yeah, students didn't have a lot of money back then, either). 
    • But when it comes down to it, Don Quixote reaffirms that he's in favor of doing things more than thinking things. Which explains why he got fed up with reading books about knights his whole life and decided to go out and become one.
    • Unfortunately, Quixote says, he chose a really bad time to go out and become a knight. For in the modern age, guns make it too easy for people to kill one another. The skill of killing is all gone, and Don Quixote waxes nostalgic about the days when warfare was a gentleman's pursuit.

    Part 1, Book 4, Chapter 12

    • At this point, Don Quixote has rambled on for long enough. It's time for us to hear the story of the dude in the African clothing. So he begins…
    • When the dude in African clothing was young, his father told him and his two brothers that each of them should take up a job in religion, business, and war. This dude was the brother who chose war, and he paid the price for it. He had some early success and got promoted but then was captured in a battle against the Turks.
    • This guy was enslaved for the next long while.

    Part 1, Book 4, Chapter 13

    • During the guy's enslavement, he sees a person from a nearby house lowering a cane into his prison yard. Other people try to grab it, but it keeps jolting out of reach. It's only when this guy approaches it that it lets him take it. The thing has a bundle tied to it with money in it.
    • To return their thanks, the guys all bow to the window. They begin to speculate that some Christian woman is living in the house and needs their help. But in reality, it seems like she's helping them more than the other way around.
    • Later on, they learn that the house belongs to one of the chief Moors of the area, who has a daughter (named Zoraida) whose beauty is legend around the town.
    • The next day, the cane lowers even more money with a slip of paper. The men learn that the girl giving them the money is trying to slowly give them enough to buy back their freedom and escape from the area.
    • When they read the note, the main guy realizes that the girl has fallen in love with him and plans to give him his freedom if he will take her away from this land and marry her in Spain. She has fallen in love with the Christian religion, and more specifically, with the dude telling this story.
    • The main guy decides to dictate a letter that they want to return to the young woman. In the letter, he says he likes her plan a whole lot and that he's in.

    Part 1, Book 4, Chapter 14

    • The main guy and the young woman make sure to collect enough money until they can buy freedom for one of their friends. This guy then goes out and buys a boat big enough to take the whole crew of prisoners (and the Moorish woman) back to Spain.
    • Meanwhile, the main guy goes to the woman's summerhouse, where she has told him she'll be staying for a while. 
    • On the night that he's supposed to take her away, though, the girl's father wakes up and tries to stop them. The rest of the prisoners want to kill the dude so that he won't send the authorities after them. But the girl pleads for his life and they take him with them. They also rob him of a lot of expensive jewels to help them with their journey.
    • Once they're on their boat, the dad realizes that his daughter has forsaken her family and her religion for the sake of marrying this Spanish guy. He can't handle the shame, so he jumps overboard and tries to kill himself. He's saved, though, and dropped on a shore, where he tears his hair out with shame and grief. His daughter feels bad about the whole thing.
    • Meanwhile, the crew keeps making their way back to Spain. Unfortunately, they totally get stopped by pirates and robbed. All of the wealth that they'd taken from the Moorish girl's house gets stolen, leaving them penniless.
    • When the crew finally reaches the shores of Spain, the people who see them run from terror, thinking that they're Moorish pirates who've come to terrorize the coast. They keep walking inland until they meet with some Spanish soldiers and say who they are.
    • The problem is, now the two of them are totally poor, and they're just travelling around not knowing what they're going to do next.
    • And that brings us back to the inn…

    Part 1, Book 4, Chapter 15

    • Don Fernando compliments the stranger for telling such a great story and for entertaining everyone so much. Fernando even offers to help the stranger and Zoraida out with the money sitch.
    • But before this can go any further, another coach draws up to the inn. This time, a smartly dressed man who appears to be a court judge walks in. He escorts a sixteen-year-old girl who appears to be his daughter. And yes, this girl is the most beautiful person anyone has ever seen… again.
    • The captain instantly recognizes the judge and thinks that he might be one of his two long-lost brothers. He inquires with one of the judge's servants who the man is, and the servant confirms his suspicions. He still doesn't want to reveal his identity to his brother, though, since he's scared that the guy will reject him for being poor.
    • So the curate decides to do the work for the captain, and asks the judge if he might be related to someone he knows. He then goes on to describe the captain's entire backstory, right down to the part about his dad telling his kids to take up three different jobs. The judge hears this story and nearly cries because he hasn't seen his brother in so long.
    • At this, the captain feels confident enough to reveal himself, and there's a wonderful reunion between the two brothers.
    • After this, everyone finally agrees that it's time for bed. Don Quixote thinks it's best if he guards the castle while they all sleep. Just before they go, though, they hear a beautiful male voice singing songs outside.

    Part 1, Book 4, Chapter 16

    • The ladies of the group listen to the sweet voice of the young donkey-driver who's singing outside their bedroom window. His song (like all songs in this book) is about not being able to be with the person he loves.
    • The women also wake up the 16-year-old girl who has arrived with her father, the judge. Her name is Clara, and she suddenly starts sighing when she hears the boy's song. Because guess what? She just so happens to have a romantic bond with this guy. But she feels like they can never be together because she's from a lower class than he is.
    • It turns out that the guy outside is just disguised as a donkey driver. He's actually the son of a rich lord who is her father's neighbor. The boy tends to look at her through the window of his house, and it's quite clear he's in love with her. She knows, though, that his father will prevent them from ever being together.
    • Dorotea tells Clara to rest easy until morning, because she's sure that they'll be able to think of some plan to get Clara together with the young man.
    • Meanwhile, Maritornes (who works at the inn) and the innkeeper's daughter decide that they want to play a practical joke on Don Quixote. They lure him over to a small window at the inn and ask him to reach up to take their hands, pretending to be damsels in distress. The only way for Don Quixote to reach them is to stand up on Rocinante's back. But when he reaches up, the ladies slip a noose around his wrist and tie it to the wall. Don Quixote can't undo the knot, and the only thing to keep him from hanging totally by his arm is to stand precariously on Rocinante's back. 
    • Don Quixote has to stay that way all night.
    • When morning finally comes, some horsemen approach the inn with guns in their saddles. They knock to be let in, but Don Quixote still acts all brave and tells them to leave the people inside the "castle" alone.
    • They then argue about whether or not the building is just a castle or an inn.
    • One of the four horsemen's horses comes over to smell Rocinante, who walks out from under Don Quixote, leaving him to hang by the arm. For a dude in his fifties, you can imagine how painful it probably is.

    Part 1, Book 4, Chapter 17

    • Eventually, Don Quixote's miserable cries get the attention of the people in the inn. Maritornes, fearing that she'll be found out, runs upstairs and releases Don Quixote's hand, letting him fall to the ground before the people reach him outside. When he's lying on the ground, Don Quixote swears that he's been enchanted by magic.
    • When people gather around him, though, Don Quixote jumps off the ground and rides around on Rocinante, saying that he's ready to kill whoever says he was enchanted for good reason. He's obviously very defensive and his ego has taken a good bruising.
    • The recently arrived horsemen then ask the innkeeper if a young donkey driver has arrived at the inn. The innkeeper says it's tough to keep track of all the crazy people showing up these days. 
    • Soon, the horsemen see the judge's carriage and realize that the young man they're looking for must be somewhere at the inn, since they know that he has left his home to pursue Clara.
    • Eventually, they catch the young man (whose name is Don Luis) and they start pulling him toward their horses. He doesn't want to go with them, though, and struggles. 
    • The judge recognizes Don Luis and asks him why he has dressed up as a lowly donkey driver and followed him and his daughter all this way. Don Luis tells him about his love for Clara. 
    • While this is all happening, who should show up at the inn but the barber whose helmet Don Quixote stole way back toward the start of this book. The dude accuses Don Quixote of theft and demands to have his basin back. Don Quixote, though, argues that the basin is actually a helmet that he won in fair combat.

    Part 1, Book 4, Chapter 18

    • This whole chapter is basically just the argument between the barber and Don Quixote about whether the barber's basin is actually a basin or a helmet. The curate and the rest of the folks staying at the inn, of course, know about the Don's condition and don't want to upset his mind. So they take his side and say it's a helmet.
    • The barber and the four horsemen, though, can't believe that a group of people would be so insane.
    • Next, the barber decides that he just wants his saddle back (because Sancho took that, too). But Sancho won't part with it for the world.
    • Eventually, the barber gives up and walks away.
    • But the conflict isn't over just yet. At this point, one of the horsemen recognizes Don Quixote from a police warrant and realizes that he's the same dude who's wanted for setting free a bunch of prisoners (remember that?). He says it's his duty to arrest Don Quixote.
    • All of the Don's friends, though, come to his aid. The curate tells the officer that there's no way a guy in Don Quixote's mental condition would ever stand trial for what he's done.
    • The officer, though, doesn't relent so easily.
    • Don Quixote, in the meantime, sits on his horse and dares these cops to come get him. He's definitely not making things any easier.

    Part 1, Book 4, Chapter 19

    • Once everything with the cops is cleared up, Don Quixote resolves to continue on in his journey to help the princess of Micomicon (Dorotea). Sancho continues to argue that she's not really a princess and that she's actually in a relationship with Don Fernando. 
    • Don Quixote simply argues that some sort of enchanter has clearly taken possession of Sancho's eyes and confused him.
    • At this point, the curate and the barber come back with a wooden cage and put Don Quixote in it. They say that they are spirits who are taking Don Quixote in a magic vehicle that will transport him to a wedding with his Dulcinea del Toboso.
    • Don Quixote is more than happy to hear this. So he just sits tight in the cage and lets the folks transport him, thinking that they're spirits.

    Part 1, Book 4, Chapter 20

    • While he's being carried along in the wooden cage (on an oxcart), Don Quixote can't help but reflect on how he has never read about anything like this in all of his books on knighthood. 
    • While Sancho walks alongside the vehicle, he tries to tell Don Quixote that he's being tricked. But Cardenio and Don Fernando keep saying otherwise. 
    • The ladies of the inn all come out and pretend to cry for Don Quixote's unfortunate imprisonment. He tells them not to cry, because the wooden cage is taking him to the woman he loves.
    • The curate, the barber, Sancho, and Don Quixote start heading back to Don Quixote's village. The curate promises Don Fernando to keep him updated on how the whole thing plays out. 
    • As they leave, the innkeeper also gives the curate the manuscript for "The Curious Impertinent" and some other stories as a gift.
    • While they travel, another religious guy rides up alongside the group and has a conversation with the curate about the merits and downfalls of books about knight-errantry.
  • Part 1, Book 4 (Chapters 21-25)

    Part 1, Book 4, Chapter 21

    • The canon keeps going on and on about whether knight adventure books are good or bad. He admits that it's not always a question of the books themselves, but sometimes of the way people interpret them.
    • But what's even worse than books, the canon says, are plays done on the stage. He especially hates it when plays aren't realistic. How are we supposed to believe it, for example, when a dude we saw when he was young five minutes ago has suddenly aged 10 years between acts? Or how about people travelling thousands of miles between scenes?
    • The canon eventually draws the conclusion that good books and good plays must delight audiences, but even more importantly, they must instruct them to live good lives. So he might not have been the biggest fan of a show like Family Guy.
    • The canon believes that there should be a government official who approves or disapproves of books or plays before they're published or performed. He envisions something like the FCC, which we have nowadays. Who would have thought that censorship would be stronger today than it was in the 1600s? But it's kind of true.
    • At this point, Sancho gets fed up and tells Don Quixote that the barber and the curate are the ones leading him home, not weird spirits.

    Part 1, Book 4, Chapter 22

    • In this chapter, Don Quixote and the canon bicker about how many stories of knights' adventures are historically true and how many aren't. The canon admits that there might be some truth in them, but it's all very vague. Don Quixote, on the other hand, insists that they're all true. He shows just how intelligent his deranged brain can actually be.
    • It turns out that intelligence can be a weapon against reason as much as a weapon for it.

    Part 1, Book 4, Chapter 23

    • The canon isn't willing to lose the argument about the stuff that happens in adventure books; but of course, Don Quixote isn't backing down anytime soon either.
    • As they travel, the members of the group come upon another goatherd. This one is punishing one of his female goats for running away. It seems like the guy has a problem with the fact that the goat is female. And when he's asked by the group whether he has an interesting story to tell, he invites them all to gather around…

    Part 1, Book 4, Chapter 24

    • The goatherd tells the group that his name is Eugenio and that he has a rival named Anselmo who's competing with him for the love of a great woman.
    • This dude named Vincent came by their village, though, and was all style and no substance. The great lady totally fell for it. The guy didn't even have any money, just a little charm and a guitar. But you know the whole rock-and-roll thing.
    • The girl ran off with Vincent and took a bunch of her father's riches with her. But then the guy led her away, stole her money, and left her.
    • Anselmo and Eugenio were disappointed at how this all shook down, so they both left their town. Compared to the other stories we've heard, this one's just a bit of filler, really.

    Part 1, Book 4, Chapter 25

    • Don Quixote finally pipes up (he seems to be outside his wooden cage now) and tells Eugenio that he would totally help him out if he could... if only he weren't enchanted.
    • Eugenio gives Don Quixote the stink eye and tells him he's crazy. Don Quixote takes exception to this and the two of them fight.
    • Of course, Eugenio gets on top of Don Quixote pretty quickly and starts beating his brains in.
    • But Sancho Panza comes to Don Quixote's aid and helps turn the tide just enough to make a good fight of it.
    • Eventually, though, the goatherd gets the best of both of them, and he only stops when he gets tired of beating them.
    • When the fight is over, the group notices a bunch of people walking toward them all dressed in white. They are actually a group of people praying for rain to come.
    • These people are carrying a picture of a great lady (actually the Virgin Mary). Don Quixote, on the other hand, thinks that this picture of a woman is actually a woman being carried away against her will. And he commands the men to let her go. The men have no clue what he's talking about, but one of them comes at him with a big wooden fork and whacks him with it. Don Quixote (as always) falls off his horse.
    • The man is scared that he's killed the Don, so he runs away.
    • Don Quixote's friends come to help, but the people in white are ready for them. Meanwhile, Sancho wails about the loss of the world's greatest knight.
    • But it turns out that the Don is still alive.
    • Six days later, they finally get him back to his house. Don Quixote's niece and housekeeper can't believe he's back. They also wail at what terrible condition he's in after his adventures.
    • When Sancho returns home, he also gets an earful from his wife.
    • The final sections of Part 1 totally foreshadow and tell us that by the end of this book, Don Quixote will die. It also gives us some clues on what to expect in Part 2—which Cervantes, of course, hadn't written yet.
  • Part 2 (Chapters 1-10)

    Part 2, Author's Preface

    • In this preface, Cervantes takes the opportunity to address that fact that some con artist has gone and published a fake Part 2 for Don Quixote. Cervantes just wants to clear the air and to say that this edition is totally bogus and that the guy who wrote it is a hack. Take that, anonymous 17th-century Spanish writer.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 1

    • Now that he's back home, Don Quixote rests in his bed for a while and talks about some stuff with his buddies, the curate and the barber. Whenever they bring the topic around to knight adventure books, Don Quixote starts to get worked up and argues that the books are all true. But whenever they talk about anything else, Don Quixote seems to be his totally normal self.
    • Don Quixote also makes a very nice speech about how there are worse things to believe in than the values of chivalry. For example, people could be greedy and selfish, but knights are always taught to be humble, selfless, and kind.
    • This is enough to make the curate and the barber reflect on the merits of what Don Quixote is actually saying. They got so caught up in his craziness that they didn't realize he was actually preaching some worthwhile values.
    • At this point, the group is interrupted by a noise coming from outside Don Quixote's house.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 2

    • It turns out that the noise from outside is coming from Sancho Panza, who's trying to force his way into Don Quixote's house. But Don Quixote's niece and housekeeper are trying to push him away. After all, they think he's a bad influence.
    • Sancho says he's not going anywhere until he gets the island that Don Quixote promised him.
    • Sancho eventually gets to Don Quixote, and Don Quixote tells him that he understands his squire's frustration. He says he'll still get his island, and Sancho is sort of satisfied with this answer.
    • Sancho has also come to inform Don Quixote that his story (from Part 1 of the book) has already been told in books that have spread throughout Spain. In other words, Don Quixote has become a sort of celebrity.
    • Sancho found this out from a young university student named Sansón Carrasco. Don Quixote sends Sancho to go find this dude and bring him back for a chat.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 3

    • Sancho returns with the university student who has read Don Quixote's story in a book.
    • Don wants to make sure the story talks about him (and especially his love, Dulcinea) in a positive light.
    • We quickly find out from the narrator, though, that Sansón Carrasco is a mean-spirited guy who likes to have fun at other people's expense.
    • Sansón immediately falls to his knees in front of the Don and shouts about how honored he is to be in the presence of such a famous knight.
    • Sansón goes on to tell Sancho and Don Quixote everything that made it into the book about them. The book seems to be pretty thorough, and Don Quixote can't imagine how one person was able to learn so much about what he did when only he and Sancho were present at all the events. Carrasco also leaves out the fact that the book portrays the two of them as lunatics.
    • Don Quixote says that for someone to write a false history should be punishable by public burning. Yikes.
    • This conversation is funny, as it gives Cervantes an opportunity to call himself out on some silly mistakes he made when writing Part 1 of Don Quixote. For starters, he excuses the dumb mistake he made by saying that Sancho's mule was stolen, then having Sancho ride the same mule only a few lines later.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 4

    • The conversation between Sansón, Don Quixote, and Sancho continues, with Sansón reassuring Sancho that the Don will definitely make him governor of an island before all is said and done.
    • Sansón also convinces the Don and Sancho that they should go out in quest of another adventure (or, what the heck, 500 more adventures).

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 5

    • Sancho returns home to tell his wife that he's taking off again with Don Quixote. She says that this is a stupid idea, but Sancho reminds her that last time he left, he came back with a hundred gold pieces. Remember how he found Cardenio's wallet in the mountains? Yeah, he never gave that back.
    • What follows is a long argument about whether Sancho should keep serving a maniac like Don Quixote.
    • The thing is that Sancho's wife claims she wouldn't want Sancho to be wealthy even if he could be. She thinks it's important for people to know their places, and she's comfortable being just a regular country person. Sancho, though, thinks that people should always strive to be better. Sancho's wife is also worried that all the people in their village will start hating them if they become rich.
    • Sancho doesn't care about any of this, so he leaves, anyway. Now let's see how Don Quixote is going to get away from his niece and housekeeper.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 6

    • Don Quixote tells his niece and housekeeper that he's going to head back out into the world. More specifically, he's thinking about heading to Zaragoza (also spelled Saragossa) for a fighting tournament.
    • Don Quixote's niece pleads with him to understand that knight adventure stories are all just made up. But if the Don were going to believe this, he would have by now.
    • The niece and the housekeeper basically make the argument that the Don is having a midlife crisis—which is fine, as long as he doesn't have a total mental collapse.
    • Don Quixote, though, insists that he can't go through life being just like everyone else. He needs to rise above the mediocre pack (yup, sounds like a midlife crisis to us).
    • Since the women can't physically force Don Quixote to stay home, he gets ready to leave. At this point, Sancho shows up and he and Don Quixote lock themselves together in a room for a private chat.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 7

    • Worried about the situation, the housekeeper goes to look for Sansón Carrasco, since he's a smart dude, and she thinks he'll be able to persuade Don Quixote that he's nuts.
    • Sansón, of course, is the dude who put ideas of adventure back into Don Quixote's head to begin with. But he tells the housekeeper that he'll help if she cooks him a nice breakfast. He's not going to help, either way—but this way he gets a free breakfast.
    • As the chapter continues, Sancho tries to negotiate with Don Quixote for some upfront squire wages. Don Quixote says this sort of thing never happens in the books he's read. So it's a no go. He does, however, agree to bring a big sack of money to pay for their food and expenses, since not having money was a bit of a problem in Part 1 of the book.
    • It turns out, though, that Sansón has some sort of plan that he's been hatching with the curate and the barber from Don Quixote's town.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 8

    • The first thing Don Quixote decides to do on this new journey is to go visit—and, um, see for the first time—his beloved Dulcinea del Toboso.
    • Sancho and Don Quixote have a philosophical conversation about whether or not it's worthwhile to seek fame and honor, considering that all people eventually die, anyway.
    • Sancho thinks it'd be more worthwhile to be a saint than a knight, since saints don't have to spend all their time fighting, and they get even more honored than knights once they're dead. His arguments actually start to get to Don Quixote, who wants to change the subject.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 9

    • It's nighttime when Sancho and the Don finally arrive at the village of Toboso, so they can't really see anything. Don Quixote, though, sees the outline of a giant building and reckons that it's Dulcinea's castle. Turns out, though, that it's just the church.
    • Next, Don Quixote turns to Sancho and asks him where Dulcinea lives. Don't forget that Sancho totally lied about visiting Dulcinea back in Part 1 to deliver Don Quixote's message. Sancho weasels his way out of admitting the truth by changing the subject.
    • As the sun starts to come up, Sancho suggests that they retreat to a nearby forest to avoid being seen by everyone in the streets.
    • Once they're out there, the sun is up, and Sancho volunteers to go find Dulcinea by himself… because he's probably just going to lie again.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 10

    • Sancho has no clue how he's going to relay Don Quixote's messages to a girl he hasn't met. But nonetheless, he rides toward the village while trying to think of a plan.
    • As he approaches the village, he sees three country girls approaching him on donkeys. None of them are very good-looking. And at the sight of them, Sancho suddenly has an idea.
    • Sancho rides back to the Don and tells him that Dulcinea and two of her damsels are riding toward him at that very moment. As the girls come closer, Don Quixote asks Sancho if his beautiful Dulcinea is hidden behind the ugly girls. But Sancho persists in the lie and tells him that Dulcinea is one of the ugly girls.
    • This basically breaks Don Quixote's heart, since he's spent the whole book so far getting into fights because he thinks Dulcinea is the most beautiful woman in the world.
    • Don Quixote rides up to the young women and tells them that he is the great Don Quixote of La Mancha. The girls, though, aren't impressed and tell him to get out of their way.
    • At this, Don Quixote tells Sancho that the only possible explanation for what's happened is that Dulcinea has been enchanted by some wizard. Yup, the ol' wizard explanation again. Clearly, some terrible magic man has cast a spell to make Dulcinea look ugly. Meanwhile, you've got to wonder how much this is hurting the feelings of the poor girl on the donkey.
    • As the girls ride away, Sancho is happy that Don Quixote has bought his story about Dulcinea being enchanted. So now he doesn't have to go find the actual girl.
  • Part 2 (Chapters 11-20)

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 11

    • As they ride away, Sancho notices that Don Quixote is looking really mopey. He scolds him for being such a baby, because in Part 2 of this book, Don Quixote definitely seems a little less confident than in Part 1.
    • As they continue along, Don Quixote and Sancho run into a cart of actors who are wearing costumes. They're on their way to perform a show. One is dressed up as death, another as the devil, and others in just generally strange outfits.
    • Someone jumps out from the crowd ringing bells and acting like a clown, and he scares Rocinante. The horse bolts with Don Quixote still on him. Sancho jumps off his donkey to try and help Don Quixote, at which point the clown guy jumps on Sancho's donkey and starts riding him around.
    • Eventually, though, the clown gets tired of the act and gets off the donkey, who goes running back to Sancho.
    • Don Quixote wants to attack the actors, but Sancho warns him that everyone loves actors, and that they should leave the actors alone if they don't want to get beaten up. No, the Don Quixote from Part 1 would have never stood for this; but the Don Quixote of Part 2 backs down under this advice.
    • Don Quixote and Sancho ride on looking for more adventures.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 12

    • As Don Quixote and Sancho continue on their way, they eventually run into a dude who calls himself the Knight of the Mirrors. This guy also has a squire with him, and he sings about wanting to get back to his beloved.
    • In fact, he seems every bit the knight that you would expect from one of Don Quixote's books. In fact, it's really weird that Don Quixote would actually run into another knight-errant, but this seems to be the case.
    • Don Quixote and Sancho go up to talk to the knight. At one point, Sancho interrupts Don Quixote, and the other knight says he can't believe that a true knight-errant would ever let a squire interrupt him. Sancho, though, tells him that he'll talk whenever he likes.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 13

    • Sancho leaves Don Quixote with the Knight of the Mirrors to go chat with the other knight's squire. He tells the guy about how Don Quixote is going to give him an island so that he can be governor of it. The other guy says that being a governor isn't all it's cracked up to be. It's usually more trouble than it's worth.
    • Sancho doesn't get discouraged, and the conversation turns to how people talk to each other differently in modern times, calling each other things like S.O.B. and stuff like that. As you can imagine, talking like this will probably get Sancho in trouble later in this book.
    • Sancho goes on to say that he thinks his master, Don Quixote, is way too easy to trick and even kind of foolish. But he can't help but feel a deep sense of loyalty to him.
    • Sancho closes the conversation, though, by saying that after he and Don Quixote get to Zaragoza, he'll probably pack up and head back home to his family.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 14

    • While talking to Don Quixote, the Knight of the Mirrors (he's also known as the Knight of the Wood) tells him that his beloved, Casildea de Vandalia, is the most beautiful woman in Spain. Uh oh.
    • Don Quixote disagrees and says that Dulcinea is the most beautiful, at least when she doesn't have an ugly spell cast on her.
    • This disagreement eventually leads to a fight between Don Quixote and the Knight of the Mirrors. So they get on their horses and get their lances ready for a good ol' fashioned showdown.
    • Meanwhile, the Knight of the Wood's squire says that he and Sancho should fight because their masters are. The tradition, he says, is for squires to fight each other with sacks full of rocks. Sancho says no way.
    • Don Quixote notices that the Knight of the Wood isn't quite sure how to hold his lance, which is strange, considering that he's a knight. But nonetheless, Don Quixote makes haste and knocks the guy right off his horse.
    • When the Knight of the Wood is on the ground, Don Quixote unlaces his helmet to see if he's alive. And whom do they find beneath the helmet? None other than Sansón Carrasco. The jerk must have thought that he'd be able to take Don Quixote down in the fight. This must have been the plan that he had hatched with the curate and barber. He must have thought that after getting beaten, Don Quixote would have to fulfill the promise of going home to live a normal life.
    • Sancho says that a wizard must have made Don Quixote's foe look like Sansón so that Don Quixote wouldn't kill him; but Sancho says he should kill him, anyway. Don Quixote is about to act on this advice when the knight's squire comes running up and tells them that it's actually Sansón in disguise.
    • Sansón gets to live by promising Don Quixote that he'll go to Dulcinea and tells her about how great Don Quixote is.
    • Don Quixote and Sancho head onward to Zaragoza.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 15

    • This chapter just fills us in on what Sansón's plan was when he sent Don Quixote out on his mission to Zaragoza. All along, he planned on dressing up like a knight, then challenging Don Quixote to a duel.
    • Being beaten, though, Sansón feels like his pride has been badly hurt. So he swears to have his revenge on Don Quixote sooner or later.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 16

    • Now that he just won a duel, Don Quixote seems to have all of his old swagger back. He makes a promise to himself to do whatever it takes to lift the curse on Dulcinea's looks.
    • As Don Quixote and Sancho are riding along, they're passed by a man in rich-looking clothes who is driving a cart. Don Quixote asks him what the hurry is, and the man is surprised by the Don's strange appearance.
    • Don Quixote gives him the whole "Perhaps you've heard of me" routine, now that he knows there's a book out about him. But the guy still doesn't get it, and on top of that, he doesn't believe that there was ever such a thing as a travelling knight.
    • Eventually, the guy introduces himself as Don Diego de Miranda. He's a wealthy man, and he is entertained by Don Quixote's whole deal. So he invites the Don to dinner at his house, figuring that his family will be happy for the amusement.
    • Don Diego also informs Don Quixote that he has a son he'd like to see go to law school. But all his son is interested in is writing and studying poetry.
    • Don Quixote says this is a good thing, because he thinks it's wrong for parents to force their children into a certain profession. On top of that, he's a pretty big fan of poetry and literature, so he's on board with the choice to study books instead of law.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 17

    • As the men travel, Sancho sees some shepherds selling milk curds and decides that he's really hungry. He grabs Don Quixote's helmet and puts the curds in it because he has nothing else to carry the curds with.
    • As Sancho returns to Don Quixote's side, though, the Don decides he wants to put his helmet on. Sancho tries to talk him out of it, but Don Quixote slaps the thing on and the milk curds go all over his head. Don Quixote threatens to hurt Sancho, but Sancho goes with the trusty "It must have been a wizard" routine, and Don Quixote backs off. Meanwhile, Don Diego thinks these two are really weird.
    • As they travel, the three men come upon some guys who are transporting a cage of lions to the king's castle. The lions are some sort of gift.
    • Don Quixote wants to show everyone how tough he is, and he points his sword at the person on the cart and orders him to open the cage so he can fight the lions.
    • Everyone runs as far away from the cart as they can once the cage is opened. Don Quixote stands outside with his sword drawn. And we're all thinking at this point, "Man, this dude is totally going to die."
    • It turns out, though, that lions are extremely lazy. All they do is stand up, poke their heads outside the cage for a second, then go back to sleep.
    • At this point, Don Quixote realizes he won't be able to make them get up. So he figures that the lions must be too scared to battle him.
    • The person from the cart shuts the cage again, and everything calms down. But everyone is actually really impressed by Don Quixote's bravery (or madness).
    • Don Quixote and Sancho ride onward with Don Diego, whom Don Quixote has begun calling the Knight of the Green Coat.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 18

    • Don Quixote, Sancho, and Don Diego reach Don Diego's house, which is super nice.
    • Don Diego treats the guys to a really nice meal—so nice, in fact, that they decide to stay for four days. Don Diego's son, you see, is really fascinated by Don Quixote and his knowledge of literature, and the two have nice conversations with one another.
    • After they have spent some time talking, Don Diego takes his son aside and asks him what he thinks of Don Quixote. The young man basically says that Don Quixote is insane beyond recovery, since his brain has blended true things with make-believe to such an extent that it would take a lifetime to untangle them all one-by-one.
    • At this point, the son (named Don Lorenzo) agrees to read some of his poetry for the group. When he's done, Don Quixote says it is some of the finest poetry he's ever heard.
    • Don Quixote likes how romantic and idealistic the young man's poetry is, perhaps because that's the way Don Quixote is himself.
    • During this four-day stay, Sancho is pretty much as happy as can be, since he gets to sleep in a nice bed and eat some awesome food. He's really sad to leave it all behind.
    • Eventually, Don Quixote gets restless and decides to leave. Before going to the tournaments in Zaragoza, he wants to visit a magical place called Montesinos's Cave. Why? We don't know yet.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 19

    • As Don Quixote and Sancho travel along, they come upon a group of people who look like they're preparing for a wedding. They say that the most beautiful woman in the countryside, named Quiteria, is going to marry a wealthy dude named Comacho.
    • But, of course, there is another dude named Basil who is in love with the same woman, and people believe that she's in love with him, too, and is just marrying the rich Comacho because her father said so.
    • Basil, the guys say, is really clever and funny. Everyone likes him, but he doesn't have a penny to his name.
    • Don Quixote is of the opinion that marriage shouldn't be based on mutual affection, but on people's class. Otherwise, the low people would mix with the high people and dilute the quality of good families.
    • That said, it turns out that this Basil fellow has been lovesick ever since he found out that his beloved is going to marry another man. He has even been threatening to kill himself around the town.
    • During this conversation, one brute of a guy says to another that education and training are worthless, since a person is either naturally strong and smart or not. He even challenges one of the educated guys to a sword fight, but loses instantly because the other guy has received training. This fight seems to be an allegory for the idea that educated people are just plain better than the uneducated.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 20

    • Don Quixote and Sancho decide that it's a good idea to check out Comacho's wedding, since there might be some sort of adventure involved.
    • When they get to the thing, Sancho is overjoyed to find that there is a ton of food waiting for them, and he gorges himself on some chicken.
    • On top of that, a bunch of actors come out and start doing a play about a fair damsel who has to choose between money and love. When she chooses love, though, Don Quixote figures that the play was written by someone who wants Basil to win the bride away from Comacho.
  • Part 2 (Chapters 21-30)

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 21

    • Now it's time for the wedding of Quiteria and Comacho. The two come to get married, but just as things are about to get going, that Basil guy shows up. He says that he can't possibly live without Quiteria, and to show his love, he makes good on his promise of suicide and falls onto a dagger. The dagger goes deep into his chest, and it's clear that there's no saving the guy.
    • As the guy lies dying in front of everybody, he begs Quiteria to do him one last favor and marry him so that his soul can be at peace. You see, if he dies before he can repent to a priest, he won't go to heaven. According to Catholics, people who kill themselves go to limbo instead.
    • Eventually, Quiteria decides that there's no harm in marrying the guy, since she'll be a widow in five minutes and free to marry Comacho. So the two get married.
    • At this point, though, Basil springs back to his feet and pulls his bloody knife away. It turns out that he faked the stab and used fake blood to make it look like he was dying. Now he and Quiteria are married, and there's nothing anyone can do about it. Looks like intelligence beats money, after all.
    • Comacho's goons start walking toward Basil to hurt him, but Don Quixote tells them not to take another step unless they want to be killed. He shakes his lance in the air to show them he means business. And amazingly, they back down.
    • Comacho seems to have a short memory, because only a few seconds later, he invites everyone to stay and to enjoy the feast he has provided. But Don Quixote decides to leave with Basil, which makes Sancho sad to be missing out on all the food.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 22

    • Don Quixote tells the group that he'd like to visit Montesinos's Cave, and everyone seems happy enough to oblige him, since it's on the way to where they're all going.
    • During the trip to the caves, Don Quixote gives a speech about how lame it is for people to fill their heads with useless knowledge. In modern terms, we'd refer to this as "trivia" knowledge.
    • When they reach the cave, Don Quixote and company see that it actually descends down into the Earth like a pit. They tie a long rope around Don Quixote's waist and lower him in. After a moment, they start pulling the rope back up and find out that there's no weight on the end of it.
    • Everyone is worried that Don Quixote is going to be lost down in the cave forever. But then, suddenly, they feel his weight on the rope again and pull him out. He seems to be in some sort of daze.
    • When he comes to, Don Quixote claims that he's had really wacky visions down in the cave.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 23

    • Don Quixote explains that about forty feet down into the cave, he saw another side-cave in the wall of the pit and swung himself over to it.
    • Don Quixote claims that when he got into this side cave, he was overcome by the desire to sleep, but he suddenly found himself inside the walls of a royal palace. He ran into a person who claimed to be the historical figure Montesinos, after whom the cave is named.
    • Don Quixote and company have this long conversation about events from Spanish history. Basil asks how any this could have happened, since Don Quixote has only been down in the cave for a short while.
    • Don Quixote swears that he was down in the cave for three days, since that's how many times he saw the sun rise and fall.
    • Don Quixote says he also saw someone who looked like Dulcinea riding around on a donkey with two other girls. But when he spoke to her, she turned and rode away. Then this Montesinos guy told him that he would explain how to lift the curse over Dulcinea. But for some reason that Don Quixote can't remember, this conversation ended.
    • Don Quixote says he made a promise to break Dulcinea's curse before he was pulled back up out of the cave.
    • Sancho listens to all this and tells Don Quixote he's totally crazy.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 24

    • The narrator of the book takes the opportunity to tell us that he doesn't know what to make of all the weird things Don Quixote saw in Montesinos's Cave, since very little of it seems to have any connection to the plot of this book.
    • Don Quixote and his friends keep riding on. As they go, they're passed by a guy who's dressed very lightly and says that he's riding fast to get a position in the army so he can buy himself some food and new clothes. Don Quixote invites him to dinner as they stop at a nearby inn.
    • None of this seems very important. But hey, that's the chapter.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 25

    • Apparently, this young man on his way to the army has an interesting story to tell. So after the horses are tied up, he asks everyone to take a seat—his story might take a while.
    • The story is a weird one. Basically, it starts with a guy from a nearby town who lost his donkey. Later, he found out that his donkey had run off into the woods.
    • So the dude and one of his buddies go to find the donkey. Eventually, one of them hatches a plan: the two of them will split up and make donkey noises (i.e. brays) and wait to see if the donkey calls back to them.
    • So the two of them go around making donkey calls. They're so good at it that they keep coming back to one another, thinking that each one is the donkey. They then decide to make two quick brays to be able to distinguish their own sounds from the donkey's.
    • Eventually, they find the donkey dead and half-eaten by wolves.
    • But one guy takes the opportunity to tell the other that he's extremely good at making donkey sounds, and that it's an impressive talent. The other guy is flattered.
    • The guys go home and tell the story, complimenting one another on their skills. The story spreads, and before long, everyone in the town is doing it.
    • But other neighboring towns get wind of this and decide to make fun of people from this one town by making donkey noises whenever they see them.
    • It turns out that the towns are now willing to go to war over this insult. That's why the kid is bringing a bunch of weapons on his horse with him.
    • At this point, someone comes to the inn looking for a room for "Master Peter and his Fortune-Telling Ape." It sounds like there's a travelling showman coming in, and that he has a monkey that sits on his shoulder and whispers fortunes into his ear.
    • Don Quixote pays a fee and asks the monkey to tell his future. But Master Peter tells him that the monkey doesn't tell the future. It can only tell you stuff that has already happened to you or stuff that is going on in the present.
    • Don Quixote then demands to know what the monkey knows. So the monkey jumps up on Master Peter's shoulder, whispers into his ear, and seconds later, Master Peter tells him that he is Don Quixote de la Mancha and that the person beside him is Sancho Panza. Both Don Quixote and Sancho are amazed that the monkey could know these things.
    • Don Quixote mentions to Sancho that he thinks the monkey might be possessed by the devil. He wants to know if the stuff he saw in Montesinos's Cave really happened to him, but Master Peter tells them they'll have to wait until he puts on a show that evening.
    • Later on, everyone goes into the main room of the inn and sits down for the evening's entertainment.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 26

    • A young boy takes the stage and gives an introduction to a puppet show that everyone is about to watch. It's about a noble knight rescuing a princess from a bunch of Moors. As you can imagine, Don Quixote is pretty pleased with the material.
    • As the play continues, though, Don Quixote starts getting worked up and calls out some of the inaccuracies he finds in the play. People tell him to shush, but it's no use.
    • In the play's climactic scene, the Moors are chasing the noble knight and the damsel. Don Quixote, thinking that he'll save the day, jumps up and starts slashing at all of the puppets with his sword, thinking that the puppet show is real.
    • Eventually, people pull him down, and no one is badly hurt. But Don Quixote has to pay a good bit of money for ruining all the puppets and for letting Master Peter's monkey get loose, since the thing ran up to the inn's roof during the commotion.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 27

    • It turns out that Master Peter is actually none other than the infamous criminal, Ginés de Passamonte. It turns out that in order to avoid the police, Ginés got himself a new identity as Master Peter and set up a travelling show with his monkey. He makes money by asking questions around towns about people, learning as much as he can about them, and then pretending to have his monkey tell him that info.
    • Now that Cervantes has told us that much, he decides to return to the story of Don Quixote.
    • Don Quixote and Sancho leave the inn on their way to Zaragoza. On the way, though, they run into a big group of people with weapons. It turns out that these people are from the same town that gets made fun of for sounding like donkeys.
    • When Sancho realizes the connection, he tells them that he's a big fan of what they do, and decides to show off his own braying skills. When he starts making the noise, though, the people think he's making fun of them, and they start beating on him.
    • Don Quixote tries to fight the attackers off, but he realizes there are too many for him to do any good. When they're done, they move on. Don Quixote helps Sancho get back on his donkey, and the two of them ride on.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 29

    • After taking yet another beating, Sancho decides that it's time to renegotiate his payment with Don Quixote. He demands a modest amount of money, and Don Quixote just hands it to him, since he doesn't care about money one way or the other.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 30

    • As Don Quixote and Sancho continue their roaming, they find a small river with a boat floating in it. Looking around, they don't see the boat's owners anywhere. So it looks like it's time for another adventure.
    • Don Quixote thinks that this empty boat has been left for them by a friendly magician, and that it will take them somewhere cool if they just get in it. So, leaving behind their animals, they get in the boat and float along.
    • Soon enough, though, Don Quixote and Sancho realize they're on a collision course with the waterwheel of a nearby mill, which will totally kill them if they float into it. Worse yet, they can't paddle hard enough to get away from it.
    • Luckily, a bunch of workers run out of the mill and reach for the boat with long poles. They manage to stop the boat, but they're so clumsy that they tip it over, throwing Sancho and Don Quixote into the water.
    • Don Quixote almost drowns because of his armor, but the millers jump into the water and save him and Sancho. They all get safely to shore.
    • But then the fishermen who own the boat come along and see that the thing has been destroyed by the mill wheel.
    • Don Quixote says he'll happily pay for the boat if the people from the mill promise to release the poor woman they are holding captive inside. They tell him that there's no woman and that he's crazy.
    • Don Quixote then says, "Oh well" and decides that the woman in the mill will have to wait for some other knight to save her.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 30

    • Don Quixote and Sancho return to their horse and donkey dripping with water, and they start riding again.
    • Before long, Don Quixote and Sancho come to a beautiful meadow where they see a rich-looking woman on a horse with a rich-looking man who has a hawk on his arm.
    • Don Quixote and Sancho come up to these people and introduce themselves.
    • The Duke and Duchess (for that's what they are) are excited, because they have both read the book about Don Quixote's previous adventures and know all about him.
    • Sancho is very pleased at the kind reception, since the Duke and Duchess invite him and Don Quixote over to their awesome house for dinner. The Duchess also takes a shining to him and to the clumsy way that he tends to mess up his sayings and proverbs.
    • They all set off for the Duke and Duchess's place.
  • Part 2 (Chapters 31-40)

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 31

    • Sancho is pumped that the Duchess likes him so much, and he's ready to be treated just as well as he was at Don Diego's house or at the Comacho wedding.
    • When they first reach the castle, Sancho gets into an argument with one of the Duke and Duchess's older ladies-in-waiting named Doña Rodriguez. Sancho wants his donkey to get the best care possible, but the lady-in-waiting says she's not going to stand around taking orders from a little pudgy countryman like him. The Duke defends Sancho and tells Doña Rodriguez to do what he says, though she can't figure out why.
    • Don Quixote, though, scolds Sancho for not giving more respect to Doña Rodriguez, which makes her happy.
    • For dinner, the Duke and Duchess offer Don Quixote the seat at the head of the table, which should go to the Duke. Sancho is dumbfounded at seeing his master treated so well.
    • For dinner, the Duke and Duchess have also invited a local clergyman, who isn't a very fun dude at all. He can't believe that these people would be willing to indulge someone like Don Quixote.
    • Sancho offers to tell a story to the crowd. Don Quixote asks him to make it shorter than his usual stories, but the Duchess says she wants to hear the long version, since she gets a kick out of how much Sancho annoys both Don Quixote and the clergyman who has come to dinner.
    • But when Don Quixote starts getting too angry, the Duchess decides to cool him down by changing the subject to his beloved Dulcinea.
    • Don Quixote immediately forgets his anger and starts giving a heartbreaking speech about how his beautiful Dulcinea is cursed with ugliness by an evil magician.
    • While Don Quixote talks, the clergyman recognizes him from what the Duke has told him about the Don Quixote book. He scolds the Duke for indulging Don Quixote's fantasies, and tells him he'll have to account for it one day to God. Pretty heavy stuff for a nice, pleasant dinner party.
    • The clergyman also tells Don Quixote to grow up and go home, since knights-errant and giants don't actually exist in real life.
    • The narrator then tells us that Don Quixote's response is so full of fury that it deserves its own chapter.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 32

    • Don Quixote stands up from the table, really angry, and tells the clergyman that he expects more intelligence from a man in his position.
    • Don Quixote basically accuses the clergyman of being a religious loser who likes to force himself into the houses of great men and pretend that he's the master just because he has a religious job. Yeah, huge burn, but accurate in this guy's case.
    • Sancho backs up what Don Quixote is saying. The clergyman turns his anger on Sancho, saying that he'll never get to govern an island in his entire life.
    • At this point, the Duke speaks up and says he plans on letting Sancho become governor of an island within his own kingdom. The Duke actually has the power to make good on this, so it's a pretty intense promise. Sancho falls on his knees and starts kissing the Duke's hand.
    • The Duke and Duchess love all this entertainment, and they even like it when the clergyman gets fed up and leaves the house.
    • It turns out that the servants want to get in on the fun of messing with Don Quixote and Sancho. So when the plates are taken away, four of the servants run in with a bowl and start washing Don Quixote's face in it. Don Quixote, not knowing the local traditions, just rolls with it.
    • The Duke and Duchess find the prank entertaining, but they're also annoyed at their servants for being so bold.
    • When they leave, the Duke calls them back and orders them to wash his face the same way so that Don Quixote won't pick up on the joke. They do it.
    • This whole time, Sancho is dumbfounded by the strange rituals.
    • Next, the Duke tells the servants to take Sancho away to go wash his face, too. The servants gladly lead him away.
    • After Sancho is gone, the Duke and Duchess ask Don Quixote many questions about his adventures to figure out just how much of the book on him is true. He confirms most of it, and denies some.
    • Later, Sancho comes running back into the dining room with servants chasing him. The servants have a filthy basin full of old dishwater that they want to wash his face with. Sancho says he may be a poor countryman, but he doesn't deserve to have his face washed in filthy water. 
    • The Duke scolds the servants for treating Sancho poorly. 
    • Don Quixote leaves to take a nap, and the Duchess invites Sancho to join her in a room with her maids because she finds him especially amusing.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 33

    • In another room, the Duchess and her maids ask Sancho all kinds of questions. During this interview, Sancho reaffirms his loyalty to his master, Don Quixote, no matter how crazy some of his schemes may seem at different times.
    • The most interesting thing about this brief conversation is that Sancho starts to forget how many lies he has told to Don Quixote, and he's now at the point where he has begun believing some of them. He starts to think, for example, that a wizard might have truly cast a spell over Don Quixote's beloved Dulcinea.

    Plan 2, Book 1, Chapter 34

    • After talking with Sancho about Don Quixote's adventures, the Duchess realizes that she has a lot of great information that she can use to mess with the Don. She tells the Duke everything she's found out, and so they hatch a new plan to really up the ante on Don Quixote's adventures.
    • Later in the afternoon, the Duke invites Sancho and Don Quixote to go hunting for wild boar with him. While they're hunting, Sancho gets scared. He also says that hunting is a cruel and barbaric practice.
    • Suddenly, everyone hears a hideous-sounding horn. A huge group rides up to them, and they look like a bunch of demons (psssst, it's people in costumes).
    • One of the demons says that he is the Devil. He tells Don Quixote that he has come as a messenger from Montesinos, the same dude Don Quixote met in Montesinos's Cave. Montesinos is on his way to tell Don Quixote what he has to do to lift the curse from Dulcinea del Toboso.
    • As the night grows darker, Don Quixote and Sancho hear the squeaking wheels of a huge wagon coming to them. It's being pulled by a team of oxen who are hooded and creepy-looking.
    • Several old-looking people are riding the carts, and they all claim to be prophets and magicians. Apparently, they have something important to say to Don Quixote. But that'll have to wait for the next chapter.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 35

    • Pleasant music fills the air, making the whole demonic wagon train seem even creepier.
    • On the wagon sits a young lady who can be no more than 17 years old. She's wearing a veil that makes it hard to see her face. Beside her stands a man who's dressed like Death itself (i.e., like the Grim Reaper). He's covered from head to toe in black.
    • Death steps forward and delivers a speech about the famous wizard Merlin. In this speech, he basically says that the only way to break the curse over Dulcinea del Toboso is for Sancho Panza to get 3,300 lashes on his bum. Which is a pretty hilarious way to break a curse.
    • Sancho can't believe what he's just heard. What in the world does his sore bum have to do with breaking a curse on a woman he's never met? He says there's no way he's ever going to do that.
    • Don Quixote tells Sancho that if he doesn't do what he's told, he will give him twice as many lashes.
    • The person playing Dulcinea (the young lady on the cart) starts to smack-talk Sancho for being such a selfish jerk.
    • The argument goes on for some time, but there's no way Sancho is going to budge.
    • Finally, the Duke says that if Sancho is going to be this selfish, there's no way he's fit to be the governor of an island.
    • When he hears this, Sancho asks whether he might have a day or two to think over his decision. But Merlin the wizard is firm in saying that he has to commit to breaking the curse immediately, although he can take as long as he wants to serve himself the 3,300 lashes on the bum. It could take a lifetime, for all Merlin cares.
    • Sancho finally agrees to take the lashes. But before Merlin leaves, he asks why the Devil from earlier said that Montesinos would be coming instead? As readers, we can tell that the servants playing these characters didn't have time to get their stories straight. But the Merlin guy just says, "Never trust the Devil." And leaves.
    • The pleasant music rises again, and the mysterious magician and his band of demons leave.
    • The Duke and Duchess return to their castle, so amused at what's been going on that they resolve to pull yet another prank.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 36

    • The Duchess approaches Sancho the day following the crazy episode in the forest and asks him if he's started with that whole whipping his bum thing to break Dulcinea's curse. Sancho says that he has already given himself 5 good lashes on the bum, which makes the Duchess laugh hard to herself (but only on the inside).
    • Sancho wants to write a letter to his wife Teresa, and the Duchess agrees to have it written down for him, since he can't read or write.
    • Sancho tells his wife that he's been promised to be the governor of an island. And to help legitimate his claims, the Duchess sends a beautiful dress and a coral necklace along with the note to show that Sancho is in the presence of some major money.
    • Later that day, Sancho is busy regaling everyone with dinnertime stories when, suddenly, everyone hears an unpleasant noise.
    • Two men in mourning clothes enter the house beating drums. A third, huge dude walks in and says he's the squire to a woman called the Countess Trifaldi, who is looking for Don Quixote.
    • The Duke acknowledges that he has long been hearing about the misfortunes of the Countess Trifaldi, although we all know that this is probably made up.
    • Don Quixote says he's absolutely willing to help any fine lady in distress, let alone a Countess.
    • The chapter closes with Don Quixote saying that he wishes the grouchy clergyman from a few nights earlier were around to see all this amazing stuff that's been going on.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 37

    • Sancho goes on a little rant about how he doesn't like old ladies-in-waiting like Doña Rodriguez. Seriously, that's all that happens.
    • Finally, it sounds like the Countess Trifaldi, or the Disconsolate Matron as she is called, is about to enter.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 38

    • A bunch of ladies-in-waiting enter the room with black veils over their faces.
    • The Countess herself comes in and falls at Don Quixote's feet, begging for his help. When he asks her what her story is, she goes ahead and tells it.
    • It turns out that she is the Countess Trifaldi from another distant kingdom (it's made up, so no one's ever heard of it). There was a princess there whose father died and left her (as princess) heiress to the kingdom. The Countess herself is the oldest and most trusted adviser to the girl's mother, the queen (who's still alive).
    • The princess was a beautiful girl and all sorts of men wanted to get her attention. One of these men was a lowly knight who was very attractive and charming.
    • The lowly knight used poetry and music to woo the Countess. He wanted to get to the princess by wooing the lady in charge, and that's exactly what he did.
    • After the lady granted the young knight access to the 14-year-old princess, the princess got pregnant. After this, they decide that the only thing for the knight to do is is to elope with the princess.
    • At this point, Sancho can't bear to wait for the end of the story, and he asks the Countess to finish quickly.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 39

    • When the young princess decided to marry the young knight against her mother's wishes, the mother was so overcome with grief that she died three days later.
    • Meanwhile, Sancho won't stop interrupting, which prompts Don Quixote to keep scolding him, much to the entertainment of the Duke and Duchess.
    • So, back to the story. The brokenhearted queen has just been buried when a giant named Malambruno bursts in on the scene. He was a cousin to the queen, and he now has vengeance on the brain.
    • Oh yeah, and this giant is also a magician who rode on a wooden horse that could fly through the air.
    • Malambruno transforms the young princess into a donkey and the man into a crocodile. He then says, for some reason, that the two lovers will not recover their original forms until Don Quixote of La Mancha comes to fight him in mortal combat.
    • Malambruno then whips out his sword and offers to cut the Countess's throat. But she begs for mercy, and he lets her go—not before placing a curse her and all of her maidens, though. The curse? It's that all these ladies will grow beards.
    • This whole beard thing explains why all of the maidens suddenly take off their veils and look like men. In fact, they are men, but for the sake of their story, they need Don Quixote to believe that they're women. Very clever, guys.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 40

    • Sancho Panza takes the first opportunity to say that the Countess' story sounds insane. But the Countess has already pretended to fall away in a swoon, so she won't be answering any questions.
    • The Countess eventually recovers "her" wits and tells Don Quixote he has to go find the giant Malambruno immediately. However, this giant lives thousands of miles away, so Don Quixote will have to take his magical wooden horse to fly through the air.
    • Sancho says thanks, but he'd just as soon ride his beloved mule Dapple. The Countess, though, says that this is no good, since he might take years to get to his destination. Sancho counters again that he shouldn't have to go at all, since it's Don Quixote's fight. Besides, he still needs to get around to whipping himself 3,300 times.
    • The Countess, though, insists that Sancho has to go on the journey, too.
    • The Countess ends the chapter by calling for Malambruno to send the wooden horse named Clavileno to bring Don Quixote and Sancho to him.
  • Part 2 (Chapters 41-50)

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 41

    • Eventually, the night comes. Don Quixote gets impatient for the arrival of the wooden horse that's supposed to take him to Malambruno.
    • Eventually the horse shows up. Don Quixote and Sancho get up on it, and the Countess tells them that they'll have to blindfold themselves while they're riding through the air, because the shock of seeing the world from such a high place might cause them brain damage.
    • So Don Quixote and Sancho are blindfolded and put on the horse. The Duke and Duchess then get people to lift the horse off the ground, and they and get other people to use fans to blow air in Don Quixote and Sancho's faces so that they'll think they're flying through the air.
    • When the Duke and Duchess have had enough of watching Don Quixote and Sancho on the wooden horse, they get the servants to light the back of the horse on fire. It turns out that the horse is also stuffed with firecrackers.
    • Meanwhile, the Countess and her maidens run away, and the Duke, Duchess, and the rest of their servants lie on the ground as if they're unconscious.
    • Don Quixote and Sancho are thrown off the horse by the explosion. Both hurt themselves pretty badly. But eventually, they get up and look around, stunned to find themselves still at the Duke's place with everyone lying on the ground as if they're dead.
    • Don Quixote and Sancho see a lance stuck in the ground with a piece of white paper furled around it. The paper says that Don Quixote's bravery in agreeing to fight the giant Malambruno is enough to satisfy the giant. The maidens have all lost their beards and the young prince and princess are restored to their former selves.
    • The note closes by saying, "And don't forget about those 3,300 lashes, Sancho."
    • The Don runs over to the Duke, rouses him, and says there's no longer any need to be afraid.
    • The Duchess pretends to wake up, too, and asks Sancho how his adventure went. Sancho says it was amazing. He also lies about taking off his blindfold during his journey and seeing the Earth as if it were as small as a mustard seed. Of course, everyone knows that he's telling tall tales.
    • Sancho also makes up a weird story about playing with seven space-goats while he was up in the sky. Whatever you say, Sancho.
    • Don Quixote closes the chapter by telling Sancho that if he wants his space-goat story to be believed, then he needs to believe Don Quixote's story about what he saw in Montesinos's cave.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 42

    • Now that the wooden horse adventure is over, the Duke decides to finally give Sancho his governorship over an "island." So he tells his servants to prepare to escort Sancho to his new job.
    • Sancho is super pumped that his day has finally arrived. Before he leaves, though, Don Quixote wants to sit him down and give him some worthwhile advice about how to govern.
    • Don Quixote then goes on a long rant about how Sancho needs to be humble, virtuous, and blah blah blah. Sancho tells Don Quixote he can't possibly remember so much advice, and it doesn't matter if the guy writes it all down, since Sancho can't read.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 43

    • Don Quixote continues with his advice but starts to get more and more specific about how Sancho should act. He even tells Sancho how to cut and clean his nails properly to look like a good governor. He also tells Sancho not to belch; but Sancho complains that his body loves to belch.
    • Oh yeah, and Sancho should get around to learning to read if he's going to be a governor.
    • Don Quixote closes his advice by getting meaner and meaner. He tells Sancho that he could get the Duke to immediately take back his island if he (Don Quixote) told the governor the truth about Sancho's incompetence.
    • Sancho says that if Don Quixote doesn't think he's fit to govern, he should say so to the Duke.
    • Don Quixote considers this response a very good one, and says that he truly thinks Sancho is ready to govern now that he has some solid confidence.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 44

    • Don Quixote writes down his advice to Sancho so that Sancho can get someone to read the advice to him once he's surrounded by servants.
    • Sancho, of course, drops the note. And the Duke picks it up later. He's amazed at how Don Quixote has such good sense when it comes to anything other than knight-errantry.
    • It turns out that the guy who's in charge of leading Sancho to his new post is the guy who played the Countess Trifaldi. Sancho recognizes his voice and tells Don Quixote. The Don doesn't totally believe him but tells Sancho to keep him posted on what he finds out.
    • And with that, Sancho sets off for his new kingdom with the Duke's servants.
    • Now that Sancho's gone, the Duke and Duchess want to offer Don Quixote some nice young women to be his servants and to dress him for bed. But he says he doesn't want any servants, for fear that he'll be tempted to cheat on his beloved Dulcinea.
    • With that, Don Quixote retreats to his bedroom and gives himself over to depressing thoughts.
    • As night comes on, it's too hot to sleep. So Don Quixote goes over to his window and looks outside, realizing that two people are talking in the garden.
    • The two people are women named Emerina and Altisidora. They basically know that Don Quixote is listening in on them. Altisidora pretends that she's dying with heartbreak because she's in love with the great Don Quixote.
    • Altisidora then takes out a lute-guitar and starts playing songs that she's written about her love for the Don.
    • Don Quixote listens to the beautiful girl's song and curses himself for being so attractive that every woman he meets falls in love with him. But he remains committed to Dulcinea and vows never to break his loyalty to her.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 45

    • The narrator brings us back to Sancho now, telling us about his arrival at the "island" of Barataria, which doesn't actually exist. It turns out that Sancho has been given the government of a town and told that it's an island.
    • People start calling Sancho "Don" because of his new rank. But Sancho says he has no time for this foolishness. Let his government speak for itself. He doesn't care about fancy titles and all that.
    • The first thing Sancho is supposed to do as governor is to act as judge over various cases that the townspeople bring to him.
    • The first two who come in are a tailor and a farmer. The farmer gave the tailor a certain amount of material to work with to make a hat. But he knew he gave the tailor a little more than he needed. And since he doesn't trust the tailor, he asked him to agree to make him two—no, three—no six hats with the material he'd given him.
    • The tailor, sensing the guy's distrust, said that none of this would be a problem. A few days later, he showed the guy six mini hats that would never fit on a person's head. The farmer says he wants money for the wasted material, while the tailor tells Sancho he was only doing what he was instructed to do.
    • Sancho decides that both of the guys are being jerks and says that neither of them is going to get anything. The farmer loses his cloth, and the tailor doesn't get paid for his work. People are impressed by Sancho's judgment.
    • Sancho continues to pass judgment on various other cases, all in a way that totally impresses the people around him. They expected the guy to be a total buffoon, but he's actually pretty wise in his own practical way.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 46

    • Plagued by Altisidora's love songs, the Don throws himself onto his bed. He barely sleeps at all.
    • At the break of day, he gets nicely dressed and greets the Duke and Duchess in one of the castle's main rooms.
    • As he walks through a hallway, he spies Altisidora, who pretends to throw a fainting spell at the sight of him.
    • Altisidora and her accomplice go to tell the Duchess what they've been up to. The Duchess wants in on the gag. Meanwhile, she also sends someone to find Sancho Panza's wife Teresa and deliver a letter to her.
    • When Don Quixote returns to his bedroom later that night, he finds a lute waiting for him on his bed. He picks it up, opens his window, and starts singing toward someone he sees out in the garden. He plays a song about how he'll never betray his loyalty to his beloved Dulcinea, so the young maiden Altisidora should stop trying to court him.
    • When Don Quixote is finished, the pranksters let down a rope with a hundred tinkling bells hanging from it outside his window. After that, they shower him with a bunch of cats, which they pour out of a huge sack.
    • Two cats get so scared by their fall (and by the tinkling bells) that they leap into Don Quixote's room and start running around like maniacs. Eventually, though, they realize that there's no way out of the room besides the window. They try to jump through it, but one lands right on Don Quixote's face and scratches him brutally. The attack is so bad that Don Quixote needs to stay in bed for five days afterwards. The Duke and Duchess actually feel pretty bad about how this one plays out.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 47

    • The narrator brings us back to Sancho Panza, who's still enjoying a position as governor of the "island" of Barataria.
    • After a long day of judging, Sancho is overjoyed to sit down at a huge dinner table. There's some nice music playing. Standing beside him is his official doctor, or physician.
    • The problem is that every time Sancho is ready to take a bite out of one of the beautiful meals, the doctor tells him that as governor, he's not allowed to have that dish because he has to stay in good shape. One by one, sumptuous dishes are brought before Sancho and then taken away.
    • Eventually, the doctor allows Sancho to eat a very unsatisfying meal of berries and a few other measly bits of food.
    • Sancho gets upset and tells the doctor to go away.
    • At this point, an important message from the Duke arrives. One of his stewards reads the note and tells Sancho he should only read it to him privately.
    • It sounds like there is a big conspiracy to murder Sancho, but the conspirators could be anybody, even Sancho's closest servants.
    • This, of course, is all a big trick by the Duke and the servants. But Sancho is already starting to think that being a governor is way more trouble than it's worth. He just wants to ride around on his mule and eat whatever he wants. He can't be bothered with assassination attempts and doctors telling him what to eat.
    • At this point, Sancho is finally going to eat when in jumps a dude who claims to have important business to discuss. Sancho wonders if he'll ever be able to eat at this rate.
    • Basically, the guy wants Sancho to give him 300 or 600 ducats (a type of money) to send his son to university. Sancho gets mad and says he's not a charity. He boots the guy out.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 48

    • We return to Don Quixote, who's still recovering from his cat scratches. As he lies in bed one night with his face all wrapped up, he senses someone opening his bedroom door. He decides it must be the young Altisidora trying to make an attempt on his chastity and yells out for her to go away.
    • A woman enters, and when she sees his face, she drops her candle and makes the room completely dark.
    • The lady then tells Don Quixote that she is actually the lady-in-waiting, Doña Rodriguez. She says that she has encountered some misfortunes that she hopes the Don might be able to make right for her.
    • Doña Rodriguez gives the Don a rundown of her life, of how she was born into a good family but had to become a high-ranking servant when her parents both died.
    • As a servant, Doña Rodriguez met and married a man and had a daughter with him. Shortly after the daughter's birth, though, the father died.
    • In any case, a rich farmer's son fell in love with the Doña's daughter and convinced her to have sex with him after promising to marry her (that old trick again). Doña Rodriguez wants to force the young man to make good on his promise, but the boy's father lends a lot of money to the Duke, and the Duke won't allow Doña Rodriguez to mess with this kid or his father in any way.
    • So that's that. Doña Rodriguez wants Don Quixote to force this young man to make good on his promise to her daughter.
    • Doña Rodriguez then starts talking some smack about Altisidora and the Duchess. But before she can go on for long, the door of Don Quixote's bedroom flies open, and Doña Rodriguez lets her candle drop again.
    • Someone grabs Doña Rodriguez by the throat and starts spanking her with a slipper. Don Quixote feels bad about what's happening but won't get out of bed to stop it. Jerk.
    • Next, the assailants (for there seems to be more than one) come to Don Quixote's bed and start pinching him unmercifully.
    • Don Quixote tries to fight back, and the battle rages on for nearly half an hour before the attackers flee.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 49

    • We return to the story of Sancho Panza, who still isn't getting much of a chance to enjoy his role as governor of the fictional island of Barataria.
    • Sancho says he's not willing to meet with any more of his subjects for the rest of the night.
    • Sancho waits until his next meal before he gets a chance to eat. When he finally does, he feels a lot less cranky.
    • Next, Sancho has to go out with the night watchmen and make the "rounds" of the city, which is to say that he goes on patrol with the cops.
    • As they walk, they come upon two dudes fighting in the street. One shouts that he's being robbed by the other. Sancho demands to know the cause of the fight.
    • One guy says that he has been giving good advice the entire night to the other guy, who has used this advice to make a lot of money at one of the nearby gambling houses. Now traditionally, the second guy would give the first guy a nice chunk of money for all his good advice. But in this case, the second guy has been a cheapskate. In other words, they're arguing over the fact that the second guy is a bad tipper.
    • The second guy says he only gave the first guy a tiny bit of money because he's given him a bunch of money in the past as well.
    • Sancho orders the second guy to give the first guy a ton of his winnings, but then he tells the second guy to take this money and leave the town immediately and never return, because the guy is basically jobless, and Sancho has no time for people who can't contribute to his town.
    • Sancho remarks that he'd gladly shut down all the gaming houses in the town if they weren't owned by wealthy Lords.
    • Next, a soldier comes up to Sancho holding a boy by the arm. He claims that the boy bolted when he saw the soldier.
    • Sancho demands that the boy tell him what he's been doing wandering the streets at night. The boy gives him some saucy backtalk that annoys him, though.
    • Eventually, the boy says a few clever things that amuse Sancho, so Sancho lets him go.
    • A few more officers bring Sancho a young woman who is dressed up like a man. She is actually a very beautiful young lady who is nearly sixteen years old.
    • The young lady claims that she is the daughter of a rich farmer who never lets her out of the house to go see the world. He knows how beautiful she is and wants to keep her away from the eyes of lusty men. But she doesn't want to spend her life cooped up in a house, so with the help of her brother, she broke out to explore the town. Sancho lets her go to do more exploring and basically tells her not to get caught by her dad when she returns home.
    • During these conversations, the dude who's serving as Sancho's right-hand man falls in love with the young lady and resolves to marry her somehow. Meanwhile, Sancho has already begun to think about marrying this same man to his daughter, Sanchica.
    • But the narrator ends the chapter by saying that Sancho's government wouldn't last long enough for Sancho to marry off his daughter. And that's what they call foreshadowing.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 50

    • At the beginning of this chapter, we learn that is was actually the Duchess and Altisidora who attacked Don Quixote and Doña Rodriguez the previous night. After all, they were the ones Donna was smack-talking to Don Quixote, and they overheard her when they listened at the door.
    • By this time, we also get to follow the young servant whom the Duke has sent to Teresa Panza, Sancho's wife.
    • The young man finds three young maidens when he first reaches Sancho Panza's village and asks for Teresa. One of the girls says that Teresa is her mother. She eagerly leads the young man to her mother, calling out that there has been news from him.
    • When the young man gives Teresa Sancho's letter, along with a coral necklace and a fine suit of clothes to make into a dress for Sanchica (his daughter), Teresa doesn't know what to think. All of the evidence definitely suggests that her husband is actually the governor of an island.
    • To seal the deal, the man reads to Teresa another letter from the Duchess. Teresa can't believe how humble and kind the Duchess is, and she eventually comes around to believing that her husband has truly become a governor.
    • Teresa instantly decides to tell her friends, Mr. Nicolás the barber and the local curate (remember them?), all about it.
    • The people she meets, though, are the curate and the university student Sansón Carrasco, and neither of them can believe her story. At the same time, they have to acknowledge that the coral necklace she's wearing has definitely come from a very rich person. They scratch their heads and can't decide what to think.
    • At the same time, Sansón and the curate realize that the servant who has brought the news is secretly laughing at Teresa and her daughter's excitement.
    • Teresa decides that she and Sanchica must join Sancho in his rich castle ASAP. But she wants to wait for Sancho to send a coach for them, since it wouldn't be proper for distinguished ladies like themselves to ride on horseback anymore.
    • Teresa ends the chapter by getting a local young man to take down what she says in a letter to Sancho Panza.
  • Part 2 (Chapters 51-60)

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 51

    • When Sancho arises the next day as governor of Barataria, the doctor gives him another measly meal for his breakfast. Sancho is starting to feel weak with hunger, but he makes the best of it.
    • The first order of business for the new day is for Sancho to help his town solve a moral riddle, which he does fairly quickly by saying that in a case where a person's guilt is unclear, you always need to presume their innocence.
    • At lunch, Sancho is finally given a big, hearty meal that helps him regain his strength. During this meal, he also receives an important message from Don Quixote, which one of his servants reads aloud.
    • The letter basically says that Don Quixote has been pleasantly surprised to hear about how well Sancho is doing in his role as governor. With that, he takes the opportunity to bestow more wisdom on the good man.
    • Don Quixote closes the letter by saying that his time with the Duke and Duchess will soon come to an end, and he's worried that he's going to fall out of favor with them. He doesn't say why, but only suggests that duty is duty after all, and it can't be helped. We can probably assume that he's going to go against the Duke's wishes and try to wrestle the rich farmer's son into marrying Doña Rodriguez's daughter.
    • Sancho immediately goes into an office to dictate an answer to Don Quixote's letter. He says that since becoming governor, he has barely had time to scratch his head or trim his nails. He also talks about how some spies are apparently trying to kill him.
    • Sancho advises Don Quixote not to fall out of favor with the Duke and Duchess, because Sancho is afraid of losing his position if the Duke turns on him. He also has little explanation to offer for the weird cat attack that Don Quixote recently experienced.
    • Once this letter is sent off, the servants conspiring to joke with Sancho Panza decide to play their biggest prank yet.
    • While they're conspiring, Sancho hands down some orders that he wants carried out in his town. The narrator informs us that many of these rules are so good that the town ends up using them even after Sancho is gone, calling them "The Constitutions of the great governor Sancho Panza."

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 52

    • Now that Don Quixote's cat scratches are healed, he feels that life in the Duke's castle isn't suitable for him. He's a knight-errant after all, and knights-errant like to live life on the road. He decides to take his leave of the Duke and Duchess and set out for Zaragoza.
    • Don Quixote has just started to explain this to the Duke and Duchess at the dinner table when two women clad in mourning clothes come in and throw themselves at his feet.
    • It turns out that the women are Doña Rodriguez and her daughter. The Doña asks the Don in front of her boss, the Duke, to force the rich farmer's son to marry her daughter.
    • Don Quixote, however, feels that as a guest of the Duke's, he should ask the Duke's permission.
    • The Duke is one step ahead. He says that he has already arranged for the farmer's son to come to his castle and to meet Don Quixote in combat. They decide that the fight will be done with lances on horseback six days later.
    • After this, the Duke and Duchess retreat into privacy and are overjoyed to see the return of the young servant they sent to Sancho Panza's wife. There are two letters: one for the Duchess, and one for Sancho.
    • The Duchess decides to read the one addressed to her first. The letter is full of thanks and has many errors in language, which tend to entertain the Duchess more than anything else.
    • The Duchess then asks Don Quixote to open the letter addressed to Sancho from his wife. Don Quixote opens the thing without a second thought, which is pretty jerky of him.
    • The letter basically contains a bunch of exclamations about how happy Teresa is to find out she's stinking rich. She also sends Sancho some totally mundane news about who's getting married in their village as well as some other local gossip.
    • The Duke and Duchess (along with their servants) are greatly entertained by these letters and all the manipulation they've managed to pull on Don Quixote and Sancho.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 53

    • On the seventh night of Sancho's governorship, a bunch of servants burst into his room while he's sleeping and tell him it has finally happened: his kingdom's enemies have finally attacked, and they're storming the castle in hopes of killing Sancho.
    • With this, the servants encase Sancho in a suit of armor so big that Sancho can't move in it. His first attempt to step forward simply makes him fall, and he's trapped like a turtle inside its shell. Meanwhile, all kinds of fighting seems to be going on around him.
    • While he's lying on the ground waiting to die, Sancho curses the day he ever received the role of governor. He wishes that he could just go back to being ordinary Sancho.
    • But just as he's saying this, Sancho hears people crying "Victory!" and feels someone pick him back up. The servants tell him that the enemies have been defeated, thanks to Sancho's brave leadership.
    • When the next morning comes, Sancho saddles up his beloved donkey Dapple and rides away, thus ending the brief and glorious reign of Governor Sancho Panza.
    • As Sancho leaves, he makes a speech about the importance of knowing his place. The servants give him a nice block of cheese and a loaf of bread for his journey back to the Duke's castle, where he plans to go.
    • Before leaving, he hugs everyone with tears in his eyes. It's all so sweet.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 54

    • It turns out that the Duke can't make good on his promise of letting Don Quixote fight the rich farmer's son. The young man has already fled Spain to avoid marrying Doña Rodriguez's daughter. For that reason, the Duke and Duchess get one of their lackeys, named Tosilos, to fight Don Quixote in the young man's place.
    • With this settled, the narrator takes us back to Sancho, who is riding on his way back to the Duke's castle. He is feeling a mixture of sadness and joy after getting away from the governorship.
    • As he rides, Sancho comes across six pilgrims who are looking for charity. All he can give them is his cheese and bread, which shows how generous he is. He's still giving charity when he's just gone back to a life of poverty himself.
    • The six people aren't satisfied with just the food, though. Sancho doesn't understand what more they want.
    • Sancho says he doesn't have any money. And as he rides away, one of the pilgrims throws his arms around Sancho's waist and hugs him. It turns out that the guy is named Ricote the Morisco. He used to own a shop in Sancho's hometown.
    • Ricote, you see, is of Moorish (African) descent. And recently in Spain's history, all of the Moors have been banished from the country. Spain wasn't the most tolerant of places back then.
    • Ricote invites Sancho to join him and his group in a nearby grove so they can have some lunch. As they have lunch, they talk more about how unfortunate it is that the Moors have been exiled from Spain. But seeing how writing this could have got Cervantes in big trouble with the Spanish government in his day, he makes sure to have Ricote say, "Now even though I'm not a treacherous Moor, it's true that many of us are; so the Spanish are right for kicking all the black people out of Spain." Cervantes is willing to go far enough to critique the government's decision, but not willing to be an all-out rebel.
    • Ricote explains how he has wandered around Spain illegally with his band of pilgrims, keeping himself covered with his robes to avoid detection.
    • The thing is that when Ricote's family left Spain, he didn't have time to pack up all the money he made from his shop. So he has returned to dig up all the money he buried before leaving. He offers Sancho a ton of money to help him dig up the treasure.
    • Sancho says he's not interested, for he no longer considers getting rich to be one of his goals. He informs Ricote that he has just quit being the governor of an island. Ricote swears there are no islands nearby, but Sancho doesn't believe him.
    • Sancho says that when he saw the rest of Ricote's family leaving the town, there was a rich local man named Don Gregorio who was overcome with sadness at seeing Ricote's daughter leave, since he was in love with her. Ricote assumes that nothing will come of this, since it is very rare for a Moorish woman to marry a Christian man out of sheer love's sake.
    • With that, the men go their separate ways.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 55

    • Sancho continues riding toward the Duke's castle. But as night falls, he and Dapple slide into a very deep pit that they aren't able to get out of. Feeling his way around, Sancho realizes that there's a little cave in the pit that he can walk through.
    • As he walks through the darkness, Sancho prays that he won't die down in the pit.
    • At this point, the narrator breaks off and leaves Sancho where he is, bringing our attention back to Don Quixote.
    • The Don is sitting around and feeling pumped about his upcoming duel with the rich farmer's son. He's getting anxious to do something worthy of a valiant knight, and this looks like a good chance.
    • As Don Quixote is riding around and practicing for the duel, he nearly falls into a large pit. And after curiously inspecting it, he hears someone calling for help. It turns out that it's Sancho Panza, who fell into the thing just before reaching the Duke's castle.
    • Don Quixote rushes back to the castle to fetch the Duke, and they return with a rope to get Sancho and Dapple out of the pit.
    • Sancho tells the Duke and Duchess his story about resigning as governor of Barataria. They aren't disappointed, of course, since their secret plan was always to drive Sancho voluntarily out of the role.
    • When Sancho is finished telling his story, the Duke hugs him and promises him a new job that'll be just as good, but not so stressful.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 56

    • The day of Don Quixote's battle with the Duke's lackey has arrived. But the Duke recalls that he hasn't taken the time to teach the lackey everything he should know for defeating the Don. So before the battle, he orders that the metal tips be taken off the lances so that no one will die in the fight.
    • Tons of people from all the neighboring villages show up to watch the fight, since no one has ever seen a full-blown medieval jousting match before.
    • While they're getting ready, the lackey Tosilos casts a glance at Doña Rodriguez's daughter and immediately falls in love with her incredible beauty. With this in mind, he decides to throw the fight so he can marry her, not fully realizing that she thinks he's somebody else underneath his helmet.
    • In any case, the dude doesn't even put up a fight. Don Quixote is about to charge him when Tosilos trots over to Doña Rodriguez and says he'd love to marry her daughter.
    • When Don Quixote hears this, he figures that there's no need to fight.
    • When Tosilos takes off his helmet, though, everyone sees that the Duke planned on cheating Doña Rodriguez's daughter all along. Don Quixote, however, tells the Duke that the young man has clearly had his appearance changed by some wizard.
    • With this, the Duke forgets how angry he is with his lackey and can't help but laugh. He says they should all wait for two weeks to see if the "transformation" shifts again.
    • But as things wind down, the crowd leaves disappointed—they wanted to see a bloody battle. Tosilos, though, is happy to think that one way or another, Doña Rodriguez's daughter will agree to marry him.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 57

    • Don Quixote has truly had enough of the cushy castle lifestyle. He decides that it is finally time to pull up stakes and seek adventure somewhere else.
    • When he and Sancho have saddled up, the Duke, Duchess, and all their servants gather outside to say goodbye. The young lady Altisidora, not quite finished with her joke, sings a song begging the knight not to leave.
    • Once more, Don Quixote rejects Altisidora's advances and renews his vows to Dulcinea.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 58

    • As they ride away, Don Quixote talks to Sancho about how great liberty is, even if it comes at the cost of comfort and security.
    • As they ride on, Don Quixote and Sancho come across a dozen or so men sitting around and eating with a bunch of objects around them covered in sheets. They claim that they are sculptors and carvers who've created a bunch of images for a local church altar.
    • Don Quixote says he'd like to check them out, so one by one, they reveal their creations to him. While the Don talks about how great the work is, the men just stare at him and think he's really weird.
    • The whole time, though, Sancho admires Don Quixote because he knows pretty much everything about all of the saints the men have sculpted. That's what you get for spending most of your life reading.
    • At this point, Sancho changes the subject and tells Don that he can't imagine how the young, beautiful Altisidora could ever have been obsessed with him like she was.
    • As they ride on, Don Quixote finds himself entangled in a bunch of green thread that's hanging between the trees. He cries out and assumes that he's under some spell. He pulls out his sword and starts to cut the nets, but just then, two beautiful shepherdesses jump out from behind the trees.
    • It turns out that the women belong to a sort of cult from the nearby town. The people are sick of town life and have decided to move out into nature to create a sort of pastoral paradise for themselves. They set up the nets to amuse themselves, but also ended up catching a bunch of tiny birds in them.
    • To show his valor, Don Quixote rides out to the nearby road and shouts out a challenge to the world, saying that if anyone dares say that the group of shepherds and shepherdesses isn't the most beautiful group in the world, they'll have to fight him.
    • Don Quixote shouts this twice, but there's no one around.
    • As luck would have it, though, a bunch of people on horseback eventually start riding toward him.
    • The first horseman yells for Don Quixote to get out of the way, since the horsemen are leading a bunch of stampeding bulls toward the nearby town. Don Quixote, though, isn't scared. He should be.
    • Don Quixote stands his ground and gets served by a huge group of stampeding bulls. Unfortunately, Sancho gets caught up in the stampede, too, and the two of them are lucky to live through it.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 59

    • After getting owned by the bulls, Don Quixote finds a nearby fountain to wash up in. He and Sancho are both feeling pretty dejected.
    • Don Quixote won't eat a bite of lunch, but Sancho is more than happy to go nuts on his own.
    • In a speech, Don Quixote reveals that he's starting to lose confidence in himself as a knight. He claims that he's going to starve himself to death out of shame.
    • Sancho, however, says that there is no worse way for a person to act than to give in to despair.
    • Don Quixote says the only thing that'll cheer him up is for Sancho to give himself some of the lashes on the bum that they'll need to lift the curse from Dulcinea.
    • Sancho promises to get around to it sooner or later, and Don Quixote has to be satisfied with this.
    • As night approaches, Don Quixote and Sancho come to an inn.
    • As they get their dinner and get ready for the evening, Don Quixote can hear someone speaking on the opposite side of a wall. These people are supposedly reading from the Second Part of the History of Don Quixote. This, mind you, is the same false sequel that Cervantes was criticizing in real life when he wrote his own Part Two to Don Quixote. It looks like he hates this forged version so much that he has actually put it into his novel.
    • As the two men talk, Don Quixote hears them say that according to the Second Part of Don Quixote, he is no longer in love with Dulcinea. At this, Don Quixote can't stay silent. He cries out that this is a huge lie.
    • The men shout, asking to know who's talking, and Sancho answers that it's none other than the great Don Quixote.
    • The characters spend the next few pages talking about what a brutal lie and terrible piece of writing the false Second Part of Don Quixote actually is.
    • Don Quixote tells the men that he is on his way to Zaragoza, at which point the men mention that this is where Don Quixote supposedly goes in the fraudulent Part 2 of his story. For this reason alone, Don Quixote vows to never, ever set foot in the city of Zaragoza, thereby making the bad Part Two of Don Quixote completely wrong. It's like Cervantes specifically has Don Quixote avoid the city to spite the guy who knocked off his book.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 60

    • The next morning, Don Quixote decides to head to Barcelona. For six days, he travels without finding any adventures.
    • As Sancho sleeps, Don Quixote starts thinking obsessively about Merlin's curse on Dulcinea. He eventually gets really angry with Sancho, until he attacks the little dude in his sleep and tries to pull down his pants to start whipping him.
    • Sancho throws Don Quixote off of him and pins him to the ground.
    • When Don Quixote and Sancho have agreed to a truce, Sancho stands up and backs away until he bumps into something hanging from a tree. Turning, he gasps and sees that there are dozens of dead men hanging by the neck from the tree.
    • But that's not all, because hiding among these bodies are a bunch of live robbers, who descend from the trees and surround Don Quixote and Sancho.
    • The robbers start going through all of Don Quixote and Sancho's things. They're about to discover all the gold on Sancho when their leader shows up. Seeing that his men are about to strip search Sancho, he tells them to back off.
    • The man tells Don Quixote and Sancho not to be afraid, because he is not just any robber, but Roque Guinart.
    • Guinart quickly decides that Don Quixote must be crazy based on the way he talks. But because he's compassionate, he decides to humor him, and calls him a great knight.
    • While Guinart and Don Quixote are talking, a well-dressed young lady rides up to them and says she's been looking for Roque. She claims she is the daughter of his friend and the sworn foe of his enemy, Claquel Torrellas. Apparently, this Torrellas guy has a son called Don Vicente. He has seduced her and had a relationship with her, but on this very day, he is going to marry another girl (gee, haven't we heard that one before?).
    • Basically, the girl has taken justice into her own hands and shot Vicente through the stomach. He'll be dead soon, and she has come to Roque to seek his protection from the law.
    • Roque says it's best if they first find out whether Vicente is actually dead.
    • Don Quixote says that he is the man for the job, not Roque. But Roque simply orders his robbers to give Don Quixote and Sancho back everything they've stolen.
    • Roque and the young lady eventually overtake the people carrying Vicente back to the nearby town.
    • Vicente sees Claudia (the young woman) and tells her that there was never any plan for him to marry another woman. With his last dying breath, he pledges his love and forgiveness to her. She faints with grief on his chest, and he passes out and dies. It's a much sadder ending most of the love stories in this book have. Claudia decides to spend the rest of her days as a nun.
    • Roque Guinart returns to find his band of merry men just as he'd left them.
    • Now that he's back, Roque orders his men again to give back everything they took from Don Quixote and Sancho. He takes all of the booty they've stolen from the past month and splits it up evenly between them.
    • Sancho makes a little comment about robbers being unruly people. One of the bandits cocks his pistol and aims it at Sancho's head, but Roque tells him to stand down.
    • At this, one of the robbers brings word that there's a large group of people traveling toward Barcelona. Roque sends his goons after the group while he waits with Don Quixote and Sancho.
    • While the goons are gone, Roque tries to explain to Don Quixote that he's only a robber because of the terrible wrongs the world has inflicted on him.
    • Shortly thereafter, Roque's robbers bring back two rich-looking gentlemen on horseback and two pilgrims on foot. All of them are hoping to leave the port of Barcelona on their way to various places.
    • Roque is generous, though, and only takes some of the people's money instead of all. He asks them to consider it a fee for passing safely along "his" road. The people thank him and move on.
    • Roque then gives some of their money to the poor people traveling with the group and writes out a note for them to deliver to the next people they see, talking about what a generous and good man Roque Guinart is.
    • One of the robbers, though, isn't so happy about Roque's charitable ways. He mutters about how Roque should pay charity out of his own pocket and not the pockets of the other robbers. Overhearing this, Roque spins around and puts his sword halfway through the guy's head, killing him. Everyone totally backs off when they see this.
    • Then Roque writes a brief letter to a friend of his in Barcelona telling him to expect the arrival of the great Don Quixote.
  • Part 2 (Chapters 61-74)

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 61

    • The narrator tells us that for three days, Don Quixote hung out with Roque. As they move on, they come upon the ocean and see it for the first time. Sancho can't believe that there are giant boats walking on the water with dozens of feet. What he's looking at, of course, is a Spanish galleon with dozens of oars.
    • The men that Roque has written his letter to suddenly come up to Don Quixote and Sancho, telling them that they're big fans.
    • The men offer to act as servants to Don Quixote and Sancho and to lead him into the city of Barcelona, with drums beating in the streets to signify their arrival.
    • Two insolent young boys stick thorns into Rocinante's and Dapple's bums and escape back into the crowds before anyone can catch them.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 62

    • Don Quixote and Sancho arrive into the home of a wealthy man named Don Antonio.
    • Don Antonio tells Don Quixote that he has a special head made of metal in his library that can basically speak on its own and tell the truth about whatever question that's put to it.
    • But before they check out the head, Don Antonio wants to lead Don Quixote on a little parade through the streets. When he does this, though, he sticks a little scroll to Don Quixote's back that identifies Don Quixote as the dude from the famous books.
    • As they march through the streets, Don Quixote is amazed at how many people recognize him. One guy reads the scroll and tries to smack-talk him, but Don Antonio and his men quickly shush him.
    • That night, there's a dance at Don Antonio's house. Don Quixote tries to dance a few steps but is so awkward that he says he'd rather head to bed.
    • The next day, Don Antonio leads Don Quixote into his library with a bunch of other people to check out his truth-telling head.
    • When Don Quixote asks the head about his beloved Dulcinea, it tells him that her curse will soon be lifted, which makes the Don very happy.
    • The head speaks on its own and tells Don Quixote that it knows who he is. Everyone is impressed, and the head even tells a few dirty secrets about one of the women in attendance. Everyone is much impressed, and word starts to spread about the magic head.
    • The truth is, though, that Don Antonio just has a metal tube running down into his basement that someone speaks into. The head is actually hollow and the tube leads into it. Don Antonio just tells his servant in the basement how to respond to each question before they hold a session in the library.
    • After word gets to the city's local clergymen, the clergymen order Don Antonio to destroy the head out of fear that people will think there's some sort of heathen magic at work in it.
    • Later on, Don Quixote goes for another trot around the city and comes to a printing shop. Inside, he sees men setting the typeface for a book, and asks what it is. They tell him it's the Part 2 of the story of Don Quixote. He tells them that he is the true Don Quixote and that the book is a lie. Cervantes takes another opportunity to discuss how stupid the forged edition of Don Quixote, Part 2 is.
    • The chapter closes with Don Antonio promising to take Don Quixote to see the Spanish galleons the next day.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 63

    • Don Quixote arrives to check out the Spanish galleons with a lot of pomp and circumstance. There's music playing and everyone seems happy to see him there.
    • When Don Quixote, Sancho, and Don Antonio reach the galleon, the strong sailors pick up Sancho and pass him around over their heads, saying that it's a welcoming tradition. Don Quixote, though, says he'll have none of it.
    • Don Quixote and Sancho go onto the ship, and the thing launches out from port. They aren't at sea for long before they spy a vessel on the horizon. It looks like a boat from Algeria, meaning that the Spanish will be eager to capture it for hanging out in Spanish waters.
    • The sailors quickly catch up to the boat and board her. But while they're taking over the ship, two drunken Turkish dudes kill two Spanish soldiers with muskets.
    • The little boat briefly escapes after this, but the Spanish galleons quickly overtake it and lead all of its crew back to shore as prisoners.
    • The Spanish admiral demands to know who's in charge of the ship, and he is greeted by a young man who isn't even twenty years old. The admiral demands to know why the person had his men killed.
    • Before the young man can answer, a viceroy (even higher ranking than the admiral) comes onto the ship and asks what's up. The admiral gives him the skinny on the murdered Spanish soldiers and says he plans on hanging all of the little ship's crew.
    • The admiral then demands to know who the ship's captain is, to which the captain replies that she is a Christian woman. The admiral is shocked by this, but when the young man takes off his disguise, he is clearly a beautiful young woman.
    • The young woman tells the group that her parents are Moors, and so she was expelled with them out of Spain. She also talks about how she fell in love with a young Christian named Don Gaspar Gregorio, and he with her, before she was forced out of Spain.
    • The young woman and her family moved to Algiers (Algeria). But when the king heard about her arrival, he wanted to know how beautiful and rich she was. She told him that she had a lot of money buried back in Spain, hoping that the king would not try to assault her sexually if she promised him money.
    • During this time, the young woman also found out that Don Gregorio had travelled to Algeria on the same boat as her.
    • The problem is that Don Gregorio is a very handsome young man, and the girl telling the story insists that the Middle Eastern Turks are even more sexually attracted to young men than to young women. Yeah. We're not even going to go there. Anyway, for this reason, she told the king that Don Gregorio was actually a girl and asked that he be dressed as one. The king agreed to this idea as long as she promised to come back to him with her family's money.
    • Now, the young woman has found herself aboard a small Algerian ship, looking for a way to get back to Algeria and to save her lover, Don Gregorio, who lives there as a woman.
    • When the young woman finishes telling her story, the viceroy unchains her. Meanwhile, an old pilgrim who has come onto the ship falls to his knees and declares himself the girl's father. It turns out to be Ricote, the dude from Sancho's hometown who ran into Sancho while Sancho was on his way back to the Duke's from Barataria. He calls the girl by her full name, which is Ana Félix.
    • The viceroy is so moved by Ana Félix's story that he pledges to figure out a plan for getting Don Gregorio out of Algeria. Eventually, a Spanish renegade from Ana's boat volunteers to fetch Don Gregorio with a dozen other men, and they set out.
    • Ana Félix and her father Ricote are invited to wait at the home of Don Antonio, who will happily provide everything they need.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 64

    • Don Antonio's wife likes Ana Félix so much that she invites all of her friends over to converse with the fine young lady.
    • Don Quixote, meanwhile, is sulking because he wasn't chosen to go to Algeria and single-handedly rescue Don Gregorio. Don Antonio promises him that if the renegade fails, they'll send in Don Quixote.
    • While riding along the beach with his lance the next day, Don Quixote is stopped by a strange figure who looks just like him, except that he has a big white moon painted on his shield.
    • The guy introduces himself as (you guessed it) the Knight of the White Moon. He challenges Don Quixote to a duel. Why? Because, he says, his beloved lady is more beautiful than Dulcinea.
    • Don Quixote accepts the man's challenge. But the Knight of the White Moon also says that if he (White Moon) wins, Don Quixote will have to return home and give up being a knight for a whole year.
    • Don Quixote agrees, and the duel with the Knight of the White Moon begins.
    • The Knight of the White Moon easily defeats Don Quixote, then rides off after getting the Don's promise to fulfill his vow.
    • When people come to see if Don Quixote is okay, he is as pale as a sheet and seems to think that he's in some sort of bad dream. Can it be true that his adventures are about to come to such an abrupt halt?
    • The viceroy and his servants put Don Quixote in a chair and carry him back into the town, defeated.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 65

    • Don Antonio is very curious to find out who this Knight of the White Moon character is who has suddenly ended Don Quixote's time as a knight. So he has a dude follow the White Moon guy back to an inn in Barcelona.
    • After some pestering, the knight agrees to tell the servant who he is. He's actually the university student Sansón Carrasco, who (you might recall) swore vengeance on Don Quixote way, way back at the beginning of Part 2 of this book. The first time around, Carrasco disguised himself as the Knight of the Mirrors. This time, he just took on a new alias.
    • Sansón, you see, managed to do some practicing for this duel. That's why he was able to beat Don Quixote.
    • Don Antonio hears this and is skeptical that Sansón's plan will cure Don Quixote of his madness. He also says that for all of his madness, Don Quixote has done the world a lot of good by keeping people amused. He even goes so far as to say that he hopes Sansón's cure doesn't work on Don Quixote.
    • While Don Quixote sulks in his bed, Don Antonio comes to him a few days later with the good news that Don Gregorio has been safely returned to Spain and that Ana Félix and Ricote's banishment has been repealed. Don Quixote is cheered up a little by this but still feels terrible about not being able to be a knight for a year.
    • Two days later, Don Quixote gets out of bed and resolves to ride back to his home with Sancho to begin his one year of penance for losing his battle with the Knight of the White Moon.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 66

    • Before he leaves Barcelona, Don Quixote takes a moment to stare at the place where his career was ended by the Knight of the White Moon.
    • Sancho tells Don Quixote not to be so mopey, and so the two of them start riding for home.
    • On the fifth day of their journey, they see a group of people gathered outside an inn. When the people see Don Quixote and Sancho approach, they say that Don Quixote should help them settle a dispute, which the Don is happy to do.
    • Sancho cuts in, though, and says he should resolve the dispute, since he did such a good job of it as a governor.
    • Sancho gives the people a satisfying answer. Then he and Don Quixote ride on.
    • That night, Sancho and Don Quixote sleep comfortably under a starry sky.
    • When Don Quixote and Sancho resume their journey the next day, they're confronted by a young man who is none other than Tosilos, the Duke's servant who chose not to fight Don Quixote so that he could marry Doña Rodriguez's daughter.
    • It turns out, though, that the Duke has had Tosilos beaten for disobeying him, has fired Doña Rodriguez, and has sent Doña Rodriguez's daughter to live in a convent. Not the happiest of endings to that story, either.
    • Don Quixote and Sancho have some food with Tosilos, then move on.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 67

    • As Don Quixote and Sancho continue on their homeward journey, Don Quixote suddenly has the thought that he and Sancho should become shepherds for the year they're away from the world of knights and battles.
    • Sancho thinks this could be a good idea, as long as Don Quixote foots the bill for all of it.
    • Don Quixote and Sancho talk about how they can become famous for all of the sweet shepherd poetry and music they'll write.
    • As they walk, Don Quixote makes another request for Sancho to pull down his pants and give himself some of the lashes that he promised he would give. But Sancho thinks it still isn't the right time.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 68

    • Don Quixote and Sancho fall asleep for yet another night. But while they're sleeping, Don Quixote gets frustrated with how little Sancho seems to care about Dulcinea's curse or about Don Quixote's defeat by the Knight of the White Moon.
    • Don Quixote wakes Sancho and accuses him of being ungrateful, but Sancho says he has always done everything he's told, which will eventually include all of the lashes he was supposed to give himself.
    • As Don Quixote and Sancho talk, they hear a bunch of grunts and other noises that are heading straight toward them. They brace for a battle. But it turns out that the noise is coming from 600 pigs that some farmers are driving toward a nearby fair.
    • Sancho asks for Don Quixote's sword so that he can hack at the pigs, but Don Quixote insists that this is just punishment for his defeat.
    • When it's all over, Sancho falls back asleep while Don Quixote leans against a tree and sings a love song about wanting to die. Yeah, the dude's starting to feel pretty down.
    • The following night, Don Quixote and Sancho see ten horsemen heading towards them, all armed to the teeth. They surround Don Quixote with their weapons pointed at him and signal for him not to say a word.
    • These people take Don Quixote and Sancho to a nearby castle, where the narrator tells us they find some very strange things…

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 69

    • Don Quixote and Sancho are led into the courtyard of a castle, where they see some sort of stage set up in the middle. Two people, whom Don Quixote recognizes as the Duke and Duchess from earlier in the book, come in and seat themselves at the side of the room, as if they're spectators watching a stage.
    • In the center of the room lies a young woman who appears to be dead, with candles lit all around her.
    • Don Quixote and Sancho are forced to sit down. Then a guy comes by and claps a strange robe and hat on Sancho. The robe is black with flames drawn all over it.
    • While this is going on, another person comes before them and starts reciting a poem called, "Altisidora's Dirge."
    • Then two guys dressed as ancient kings come out and say that Altisidora has died from a broken heart because Don Quixote did not return her affections. And the only way to restore her, they say, is to pluck 25 individual hairs out of Sancho's beard.
    • Sancho, of course, can't believe that young ladies' cures always depend on him getting hurt. He argues that it's not fair that he's always getting lashed and plucked for things that have nothing to do with him.
    • Eventually, Sancho lets them prick his chin. But when they start sticking him with pins, he picks up a torch and waves it around to make the people back off.
    • Around this time, Altisidora gets bored with lying on her back and shifts around a bit. Seeing this, the spectators all yell, "She lives! She lives!"
    • Seeing this, Don Quixote also tells Sancho that this is the best time for him to start taking some lashes for Dulcinea, since his skin seems to be super magic. Just look at how quickly it restored Altisidora from death.
    • Sancho says no way and gets ready to leave, which the servants let him do. He also asks the Duchess if he can keep his strange robe and hat as keepsakes from his strange adventure. She doesn't see any harm in it; she has always had a soft spot for him.
    • The Duke and Duchess also offer them a room for the night, which Don Quixote and Sancho accept.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 70

    • In this chapter, we learn that the Duke was informed ahead of time that Don Quixote and Sancho would be passing his castle on their way back home. Who told him this? Who else? Sansón Carrasco, a.k.a. the Knight of the White Moon.
    • When Carrasco first went looking for Don Quixote, he expected to find him at the Duke's castle (he read Sancho's letter to Teresa). But finding him gone, he needed the Duke's directions to find Don Quixote in Barcelona. The Duke agreed to help Sansón, though, only if Sansón returned to tell him when and if Don Quixote would be heading back home. That's why the Duke's big show about Altisidora and the whole masquerade was already ready when Don Quixote met with the Duke's servants on the road.
    • Don Quixote gets up to set out from the Duke and Duchess's castle when Altisidora walks into his room with a staff, pretending to recover from death. He returns to bed and pulls a sheet over his head, while Altisidora takes up a chair and comes to his bedside.
    • Altisidora tells Don Quixote about how she died when he refused her advances. Then she tells him that when she entered the world of the dead, she saw a bunch of devils playing tennis with flaming racquets. But instead of a ball, they used a copy of that fraudulent Part 2 of Don Quixote we've been hearing about throughout this story. Cervantes just keeps those potshots at the false Part 2 coming.
    • Once again, Don Quixote says that he can't be with Altisidora, because he's in love with Dulcinea.
    • Finally, Altisidora's ego can't take any more rejection from an old man. She loses it on him and says he's truly insane if he thinks that a beautiful girl like her would ever think about being with an ugly old man like him.
    • Altisidora's speech is interrupted by a visit from a musician, followed by the Duke and Duchess. They have some pleasant conversation with Don Quixote and Sancho before the latter two take their leave and set back on their journey.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 71

    • Don Quixote has had enough of Sancho's delays. He puts his cards on the table and demands to know how much money he'll have to pay Sancho for every single lash he's willing to take.
    • Sancho haggles with him for a while before agreeing to lash himself for a good price. And a good price multiplied by 3,300 is a very good price for Sancho. Still, getting whipped really hurts, so let's see how this plays out.
    • Sancho says he doesn't want Don Quixote to see his bare bum, so he takes Dapple's bridle to make a whip and walks off toward some trees. Don Quixote says he'll listen to the sounds and count using his rosary beads to see how many lashes Sancho gives himself.
    • Sancho goes off to some trees but quickly decides after seven or eight lashes that being whipped isn't fun at all.
    • So instead, Sancho starts whipping a nearby tree as hard and fast has he can. To help make things seem real he also pretends to scream in pain.
    • Eventually, the Don fears for Sancho's life and tells him to stop for the day, saying that he can finish up later.
    • The next day, they stop at an inn, and Don Quixote asks if Sancho plans on finishing his lashes that night. Sancho says he'd like, if possible, to do his whipping near some trees, since they calm him (yeah, right).
    • When Don Quixote thinks of it, he wants Sancho's wounds to heal before he finishes his job, so he decides that Sancho shouldn't whip himself until a few days later.
    • Sancho says they might as well get it over with (you know, because he's a liar).

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 72

    • Don Quixote and Sancho spend an entire day at the inn waiting for the arrival of night so that Sancho can finish his self-whipping.
    • While Don Quixote is hanging out, he strikes up a conversation with another guy staying at the inn. His name is Don Álvaro Tarfe and he's actually a character in the fraudulent version of Don Quixote, Part 2. Yeah, Cervantes isn't going to let this one go.
    • This Don Álvaro replies that he has met Don Quixote, not realizing that he is actually talking to the real Don Quixote.
    • Don Quixote points out Don Álvaro's mistake. This means that not only is there a false Part 2 circulating around in the world of Don Quixote, but there's also a second man posing as Don Quixote. This is all getting really weird, especially considering that there are only a few pages left in this book.
    • Don Quixote and Don Álvaro call in a local magistrate (a kind of lawmaker) to have Don Álvaro pledge that the Don Quixote he met in his past is a total fraud and that the Don Quixote of Cervantes's book is the only true Don Quixote. Cervantes is crossing a lot of weird lines here for the sake of showing us that the fake Don Quixote is dead and buried, along with his author (hopefully).
    • That night, Don Quixote listens from a distance as Sancho pretends to finish his whippings. After that, they come to the top of a hill that overlooks their hometown. Sancho falls to his knees and weeps with joy when he sees it.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 73

    • As they enter the village, Don Quixote is worried that he's encountering a bunch of really bad omens. Sancho tells him that he's being silly.
    • Soon after entering the village, Don Quixote and Sancho run into the curate and Sansón Carrasco (a.k.a. the Knight of the White Moon). Don Quixote, of course, doesn't realize that Sansón is the man who made him promise to come back home.
    • The curate and Sansón embrace Don Quixote while some kids go running to Sancho's house to tell the family that Sancho has returned.
    • Sancho's wife and daughter, of course, still think that Sancho is a governor. But he needs to break the news to them that he quit that position.
    • Don Quixote takes the curate and Sansón aside and tells them about his plans to become a shepherd for the next year. The men think this is a great idea, since it is a fantasy that'll surely help calm Don Quixote's nerves. They even agree to be shepherds with him in their free time, and they get a little excited at the idea of composing beautiful pastoral songs as shepherds. After all, everyone likes to use their imagination a bit.
    • When Don Quixote brings this news home, though, his housekeeper and niece ask him why he can't just stay home and be a normal dude. If he can't be a knight, why does he have to go out and be a shepherd? What if he freezes in the winter, or burns up in the summer?
    • Don Quixote tells the household not to mind, promising that he'll always take care of them. That said, he asks them to bring him to bed because he isn't feeling well.
    • Uh oh.

    Part 2, Book 1, Chapter 74

    • And just like that, the book tells us that Don Quixote fell sick and died.
    • How, you ask? No one really knows for sure, but everyone figures that it has something to do with him losing his spirits following his defeat at the hands of the Knight of the White Moon.
    • More specifically, Don Quixote suffered from a fever that kept him in bed six days leading up to his death.
    • And here's the craziest thing about his death (and maybe even the entire book): Don Quixote totally snaps out of his madness on his deathbed and renounces everything he's done in the entire book. He claims that there have never been such things as knights-errant and says that anyone who'd ever think so is a downright idiot. In other words, everything we've been reading about for the past thousand pages has been a total waste of time.
    • Don Quixote even reverts to calling himself by his real name. A thousand bucks says you can't remember it from the start of the book. Just kidding—we won't pay, either way. His real name is Alonso Quixano.
    • While Don Quixote is dying, he calls upon someone to come and write down his last will and testament.
    • Don Quixote lets Sancho Panza keep all of the money he has ever left in Sancho's possession. And the Don begs forgiveness for leading Sancho around on such a wild goose chase.
    • In a touching moment, Sancho cries and begs Don Quixote not to die.
    • Next, Don Quixote appoints his niece the sole inheritor of his large estate, on one condition. When and if she gets married, she can't marry a guy who reads or cares about books about knights-errant. That's how committed Don Quixote is to making sure that no one repeats his foolishness.
    • The last thing Don Quixote asks for in his will is, believe it or not, for the curate and Sansón to tell the author of the fake Don Quixote Part 2 that his book totally sucked and that the real Don Quixote is sorry he ever gave the guy an excuse to pick up his pen and write. Yeesh, you think Cervantes was annoyed about that?
    • At that point, Don Quixote lives for another three days before finally passing away.
    • After his death, various villages in his area compete for the title of Don Quixote's hometown. As his name passes into legend, they all begin to claim that their village is the inspiration for Don Quixote's hometown. This is actually still the case today, more than 400 years later.
    • The last thing we have access to is the epitaph on Don Quixote's tombstone.
    • At the close of the novel, the narrator takes one more opportunity to tell us that, without a doubt, Don Quixote is now dead and buried. In other words, nobody out there should try to pick up a pen and write a Part 3 to his story. It's over! Capisci? Comprende? Understand? You follow? Nobody.
    • Good. Let the dude rest in peace.