When the landlord returned from the stable, he found Don Quixote in a room, where, with the help of the two young women, he was trying to get rid of his armor. His back and breastplates had been taken off, but by no means could his helmet be removed without cutting the green ribbons with which he had tied it on, and this the Knight would not allow.
There was nothing for it, therefore, but to keep his helmet on all night, and to eat and drink in it, which was more than he could do without help. However, one of the young women fed him, and the innkeeper having made a kind of funnel, through it poured the wine into his mouth, and Don Quixote ate his supper in great peace of mind.
There was but one thing that still vexed him. He had not yet been knighted.
On this subject he thought long and deeply, and at last he asked the innkeeper to come with him to the stable. Having shut the door, Don Quixote threw himself at the landlord’s feet, saying, “I will never rise from this place, most valorous Knight, until you grant me a boon.”
The innkeeper was amazed, but as he could not by any means make Don Quixote rise, he promised to do whatever was asked.
“Then, noble sir,” said Don Quixote, “the boon which I crave is that to-morrow you will be pleased to grant me the honor of knighthood.”
The landlord, when he heard such talk, thought that the wisest thing he could do was to humor his guest, and he readily promised. Thereupon Don Quixote very happily rose to his feet, and after some further talk he said to the innkeeper that this night he would “watch his armor” in the chapel of the castle, it being the duty of any one on whom the honor of knighthood was to be conferred, to stand on his feet in the chapel, praying, until the morning. The innkeeper, thinking that great sport might come of this, encouraged Don Quixote, but as his own chapel had lately—so he said—been pulled down in order that a better might be built, he advised Don Quixote to watch that night in the courtyard. This was “lawful in a case where a chapel was not at hand. And in the morning,” he said, “I will knight you.”
“Have you any money?” then asked the innkeeper.
“Not a penny,” said Don Quixote, “for I never yet read of any knight who carried money with him.”
“You are greatly mistaken,” answered the innkeeper. “Most knights had squires, who carried their money and clean shirts and other things. But when a knight had no squire, he always carried his money and his shirts, and salve for his wounds, in a little bag behind his saddle. I must therefore advise you never in future to go anywhere without money.”
Don Quixote promised to remember this. Then taking his armor, he went into the inn yard and laid it in a horse-trough.
Backwards and forwards, spear in hand, he marched in the moonlight, very solemnly keeping his eyes on his armor, while the innkeeper’s other guests, laughing, looked on from a distance.