The History of That Ingenious Gentleman, Don Quijote de la Mancha

By Miguel De Cervantes Saavedra; Burton Raffel | Go to book overview

engaged. And to calculate just what we have to do, as well as to eat our evening meal (this being the proper time for that), it makes very good sense for us to walk into this inn."

Sancho told them to go on, but he would wait for them outside and explain, later, why he didn't feel right about going in. Still, he asked them to bring him out something hot to eat and, also, something for Rocinante. So they went in and left him there, and after a while the barber brought him out some food. Afterwards, as the barber and the priest discussed what plan to adopt, in order to bring about the outcome they desired, the priest thought of an approach well-tuned to Don Quijote's tastes and to their own interests, which was this: he'd dress himself up like a wandering maiden, and the barber would do the best he could to seem like a squire, and then they'd go to Don Quijote and pretend this was a damsel in distress and in need, with a boon to beg of him, which as a brave knight errant he couldn't help but grant. And the boon for which he planned to beg would be for Don Quijote to journey with the damsel, to a certain place where she would lead him, there to undo a malicious wrong done her by a wicked knight — imploring him, at the same time, not to command her to raise her veil, nor to ask anything whatever about her, until he had righted the wrong done her by the aforesaid wicked knight. The priest was sure that, in such a cause, Don Quijote would agree to anything, and so they'd be able to rescue him from the mountains and bring him back home, where they could try to find some cure for his strange madness.


Chapter Twenty-Seven

— how the priest and the barber's plan worked out, with other matters
worthy of being included in this magnificent tale

The barber rather liked the priest's plan — indeed, he liked it so much that they immediately set about putting it into operation. First, they borrowed a petticoat and a veil from the innkeeper's wife, leaving her as security one of the priest's new cassocks. Then the barber fashioned a huge beard out of an old russet and grey donkey's tail, which the innkeeper kept so he could hang up his comb. His wife wondered why they wanted such things. The priest gave her a quick summary of Don Quijote's madness, and explained that they'd thought of this disguise as a way of getting him out of the mountains, which was where he now was. The innkeeper and his wife immediately realized this was the lunatic who'd been their guest, the one who'd made and drunk the magic potion and the master of the squire who'd been tossed in a blanket, so they told the priest everything that had happened, not omitting what Sancho had been so careful not to tell them. And then the innkeeper dressed up the priest fit to kill, in a flannel skirt with gored velvet stripes eight inches wide, and a green velvet blouse, trimmed in white satin, the whole outfit probably dating from the reign of King Wamba [672-680 A. D. ]. The priest wouldn't let them put a headdress on him, but he did put on a little quilted linen cap that he usually slept in, and wound a band of black taffeta around his forehead, using another

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