THE LAST OF THE NOTABLE ADVENTURES
OF OUR GOOD KNIGHT
Retold by Judge Parry
Don Quixote, as soon as he found himself free from all the quarrels by
which he had been surrounded, held it high time to begin his voyage
and bring to an end the great adventure unto which he was called and
Therefore, having made up his mind to depart, he went and cast himself
upon his knees before Dorothea and said: "I cannot but think, high and
worthy lady, that our abode in this castle is nothing profitable, and
may turn out to our disadvantage. For who knows but that your enemy
the giant hath learned by spies or other secret means how I intend to
come and destroy him, and he may by now have fortified himself in some
impregnable castle or fortress, against the strength of which even the
force of mine invincible arm will be of little use. Therefore, dear
lady, let us by our diligence hinder his plans, and let us depart to
the place where fortune calls us."
Don Quixote said no more but awaited the answer of the beautiful
princess, who, with a lordly air and in a style not unworthy of Don
Quixote himself, replied as follows:
"I thank you, sir knight, for the desire you show to assist me in this
my great need, and I trust your desires and mine may succeed, that I
may show you that there are some thankful women on earth. As for my
departure, let it be as you wish." * * *
Two days passed, when it seemed to all the noble company at the inn
that it was time to depart, and they considered how, without putting
Dorothea and Don Fernando to the pain of turning back with Don Quixote
to his village, the curate and the barber could carry him home as they
desired, and leave him cured of his folly in his own home.
This was the plan they decided on. They made a bargain with a wagoner,
who chanced to pass by that way with a team of oxen, to carry him in
the following manner:—
They made a thing like a cage of timber, so big that Don Quixote might
sit or lie in it at his ease, and presently Don Fernando, Cardemo,
their companions, and the innkeeper did all, by master curate's
directions, cover their faces and disguise themselves as well as they
could, so that they might seem to Don Quixote to be different persons
to any he had seen in the castle. This being done, they entered
silently into the place where he slept, reposing after his recent
battles. They went up to him as he was sleeping peacefully, not
fearing any such accident, and, laying hold of him forcibly, they tied
his hands and feet very strongly, so that when he started out of his
sleep he could not move, nor do anything else but stare and wonder at
the strange faces that he saw before him.
And immediately he fell into the idea, which his wild imagination had
at once suggested to him, that all these strange figures were spirits
and phantoms of that enchanted castle, and he believed that he himself
was without doubt enchanted, seeing that he could neither move nor
All happened as the curate who plotted the jest expected; and after
they had brought him to the cage, they shut him within, and afterwards
nailed the bars thereof so well that they could not easily be broken.
Sancho all this time looked on in wonder to see what would happen to
Then the phantoms mounted him upon their shoulders, and as he was
carried out of his chamber door the barber called out in as terrible a
voice as he could muster: "O Knight of the Rueful Countenance, be not
grieved at thine imprisonment, for so it must be that thine adventures
be more speedily ended. And thou, O most noble and obedient squire
that ever had sword at girdle, beard on a face, or dent in a nose, let
it not dismay thee to see carried away thus the flower of all
knighthood. For I assure thee that all thy wages shall be paid to
thee, if thou wilt follow in the steps of this valorous and enchanted
knight. And as I am not allowed to say more, farewell!"
Don Quixote listened attentively to all this prophecy, and said: "O
thou, whatsoever thou beest, I desire thee to request in my name that
I may not perish in this prison before my work is ended. And as
concerns my squire Sancho Panza, I trust in his goodness that he will
not abandon me in good or bad fortune. For, though it should fall out
through his or my hard lot that I shall not be able to bestow on him
an island, as I have promised, his wages cannot be lost to him, for in
my will, which is made already, I have set down what he is to have for
his many good services."
Sancho Panza bowed his head with great reverence when he heard this,
and kissed both his master's hands, which were bound tightly together.
Then the phantoms lifted up the cage and hoisted it on to the wagon
that was drawn by the team of oxen.
After bidding farewell to all their friends, the procession
started. First went the cart guided by the carter, then the troopers,
then followed Sancho upon his ass leading Rozinante by the bridle, and
last of all the curate and the barber, riding their mighty mules, with
masks on their faces.
Don Quixote sat with his hands tied and his legs stretched out,
leaning against a bar of the cage, with such a silence and such
patience that he seemed rather to be a statue than a man. And thus at
an alderman-like pace, such as suited the slow steps of the heavy
oxen, they journeyed home.
At the end of two days they arrived at Don Quixote's village, into
which they entered about noon. This was on a Sunday, when all the
people were in the market-place, through the midst of which Don
Quixote's cart passed. All drew near to see what was in it, and when
they knew their neighbour they were greatly astounded. A little boy
ran home before, to tell the old woman and the niece that their lord
and uncle was returned. It would have moved one to pity to have heard
the cries and lamentations the two good women made, and the curses
they poured out against all books of knighthood, when they saw Don
Quixote enter the gates of his own house again in so strange a
Sancho Panza's wife, when she heard of his return, ran forward to meet
her husband, and the first question she asked was whether the ass were
in health or no.
Sancho answered that he was come in better health than his master.
"Tell me, then," cried his wife, "what profit hast thou reaped by this
squireship? What petticoat hast thou brought me home? What shoes for
the little boys?"
"I bring none of these things, good wife," replied Sancho, "though I
bring things better thought of and of greater moment."
"I am glad of that," said his wife, "for I should like to see them, to
the end that my heart may be cheered, which hath been swollen and
sorrowful for so long, all the time of thine absence."
"Thou shalt see them at home," said Sancho, "therefore rest
satisfied. For when we travel once again to seek adventures, thou
shalt see me shortly afterwards an earl or governor of an island, one
of the best in the world."
"I pray that it may be so," replied his wife; "but what means that
island, for I understand not the word?"
"Honey is not made for the ass's mouth," said Sancho, "but thou shalt
know all in good time. Do not busy thyself, Joan, to know all things
in a sudden. It is enough that I will tell thee all the truth, and
therefore close thy mouth. I will only say this much unto thee as yet,
that there is nothing in the world so pleasant as for an honest man to
be the squire of a knight that seeks adventures."
Now, if I were to tell you that Don Quixote got quite well and lived
quietly at home after all these adventures, and never went abroad
again, I should tell you what is not true. For some day, and I hope at
no great distance of time, you may read all that the great Cervantes
has written, not only of the adventures of which I have told you the
story, but of others. You will then learn how Sancho Panza became at
last governor of an island for a short space, and may read of the
great wisdom and shrewdness with which he ruled.