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

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

Having said this, he made his arrangements with the fishermen, paying them fifty dollars for their boat, and Sancho paid it out most unwillingly, saying:

"Two boats like this, and we'll have thrown every last penny into the river. "

The fishermen and mill workers were absolutely amazed, seeing this pair of strange fellows, so utterly unlike other human beings, and having absolutely no idea what Don Quijote's questions and arguments were all about, they concluded these were nothing but a couple of lunatics and left them, the mill workers going back to their mills and the fishermen to their huts. Don Quijote and Sancho went back to their animals, and to living like animals, and that was the end of the adventure of the enchanted boat.


Chapter Thirty

Don Quijote meets a lovely huntress

They were both in a foul mood, and deeply depressed, when they got back to their animals, and especially Sancho, for anything that happened to their treasury afflicted his very soul; every dollar he had to pay out felt like the absolute apple of his eyes. So without saying a word they mounted and rode away from the famous river, Don Quijote buried in amorous reflections, Sancho deep in thoughts of bettering himself, which seemed at the moment to be a very distant possibility: he may have been a fool, but he had no doubt that everything, or almost everything his master did was crazy, so he began to look for an opportunity when, without making any explanations or even saying farewell to his master, he could just leave and go home. But Fortune arranged for things to go in exactly the opposite direction.

It happened, then, that the next day, as the sun was going down and Don Quijote was riding out of a wood, he saw a green meadow and, off on the far side of it, a group of people, and as he drew closer he became aware that they were hunting with hawks and falcons. Riding up, he saw among them a lively, elegant lady seated on a silver side-saddle and riding a small palfrey, dazzlingly white and hung with green trappings. The lady too was dressed in green, so richly and magnificently that she herself seemed almost to glow. A falcon was perched on her left arm, indicating to Don Quijote that this was a very great lady indeed, and one of the hunters, as was in fact the case. So he said to Sancho:

"Sancho, my son, run over to that lady on the palfrey, holding that hawk, and let her know that I, The Knight of the Lions, kiss her lovely hands and, if her highness grant me that permission, will kiss them in person, and that I will be pleased to serve her in any way I can and in any way her noble self may direct. And watch how you speak, Sancho, and be careful you don't stick any of your proverbs into my message."

"Me, go around sticking!" responded Sancho. "How can you say such things to me? As if this were the first time in my life I'd ever carried a message to an important, highborn lady!"

-506-

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