The two ride on, and Don Quixote explains to Sancho that knights-errant should never complain of injury or hunger. He tears a branch from a tree to replace the lance he broke in the windmill encounter. He and Sancho camp for the night, but Don Quixote does not sleep and instead stays up all night remembering his love, Dulcinea.
The next day, Don Quixote and Sancho encounter two monks and a carriage carrying a lady and her attendants. Don Quixote thinks that the two monks are enchanters who have captured a princess and attacks them, ignoring Sancho’s and the monks’ protests. He knocks one monk off his mule. Sancho, believing he is rightly taking spoils from Don Quixote’s battle, begins to rob the monk of his clothes. The monks’ servants beat Sancho, and the two monks ride off.
Don Quixote tells the lady to return to Toboso and present herself to Dulcinea. He argues with one of her attendants and soon gets into a battle with him. Cervantes describes the battle in great detail but cuts off the narration just as Don Quixote is about to deliver the mortal blow. Cervantes explains that the historical account from which he has been working ends at precisely this point.
Cervantes says he was quite irked by this break in the text, believing that such a knight deserves to have his tale told by a great sage. He says that he was at a fair in the Spanish city of Toledo when he discovered a boy selling Arabic parchments in the street. He hired a Moor to read him some of the stories. When the Moor began to translate one line about Dulcinea, which read that she was “the best hand at salting pork of any woman in all La Mancha,” Cervantes rushed the Moor to his home to have him translate the whole parchment.
According to Cervantes, the parchment contained the history of Don Quixote, written by Cide Hamete Benengeli. From this point on, Cervantes claims, his work is a translation of Benengeli’s story. This second portion of the manuscript begins with the conclusion of the preceding chapter’s battle. The attendant gives Don Quixote a mighty blow, splitting his ear. Don Quixote knocks the man down and threatens to kill him. He spares him when several ladies traveling with the man promise that the man will present himself to Dulcinea.
Afterward, Sancho begs Don Quixote to make him governor of the isle that he believes they have won in battle. Don Quixote assures him that he will fulfill his promise soon. Sancho then begins to worry that the authorities might come after them for beating the lady’s attendant. Don Quixote assures Sancho that knights never go to jail, since they are permitted to use violence in the pursuit of justice.