The page did not accept of the invitation of riding behind Don Quixote, but did that of supping with him at the inn; and here, it is said, Sancho muttered to himself:
'The Lord bless thee for a master! is it possible that one, who can say so many and such good things, as he has now done, should say he saw the extravagant impossibilities he tells us of the cave of Montesinos? Well, we shall see what will come of it.'
By this time they arrived at the inn, just at nightfall, and Sancho was pleased to see his master take it for an inn indeed, and not for a castle, as usual. They were scarce entered, when Don Quixote asked the landlord for the man with the lances and halberds; he answered, he was in the stable looking after his mule. The scholar and Sancho did the same by their beasts, giving Rosinante the best manger, and the best place in the stable.
Wherein is begun the braying adventure, with the pleasant one of the puppet-player, and the memorable divinations of the divining ape.
DON QUIXOTE'S cake was dough, as the saying is, till he could hear
and learn the wonders promised to be told him by the conductor of
the arms; and therefore he went in quest of him where the innkeeper
told him he was; and, having found him, he desired him by all means
to tell him, what he had to say as to what he had inquired of him
upon the road. The man answered:
'The account of my wonders must be taken more at leisure, and not on foot: suffer me, good sir, to make an end of taking care of my beast, and I will tell you things which will amaze you.'
'Let not that be any hindrance,' answered Don Quixote; 'for I will help you;' and so he did, winnowing the barley, and cleaning the manger; a piece of humility, which obliged the man readily to tell him what he desired: and seating himself upon a stone bench without the inn door, and Don Quixote by his side, the scholar, the page, Sancho Panza, and the innkeeper, serving as his senate and auditory, he began in this manner:
'You must understand, gentlemen, that, in a town four leagues and a half from this inn,* it happened, that an alderman, through the