“Ay, ay,” moaned Master Peter in a doleful voice, “it may live long enough. As for me, I may as well die, for I am a ruined man and a beggar now.”
Sancho Panza took pity on the showman.
“Come, come! Master Peter,” said he, “don’t cry. Don’t be cast down. My master will pay you when he comes to know that he has done you an injury.”
“Truly,” said Peter, “if his honor will pay for my puppets.’ll ask no more.”
“How!” cried Don Quixote. “I do not see that I have injured you, good Master Peter.”
“Not injured me!” cried Master Peter. “Do but look at those figures lying there, all hacked to bits.”
“Well,” said Don Quixote, “now I know for certain a truth I have suspected before, that those accursed enchanters do nothing but put before my eyes things as they are, and then presently after change them as they please. Really and truly gentlemen, I vow and protest that all that was acted here seemed to me to be real. I could not contain my fury, and I acted as I thought was my duty. But if Master Peter will tell me the value of the figures, I will pay for them all.”
“Heaven bless your worship!” whined Master Peter. But had Don Quixote known that this same Master Peter was the very man who stole Sancho Panza’s ass, perhaps he might have paid him in another way.
The battle with the bulls; the fight with the knight of the white moon; and how don Quixote died
Soon after this, Don Quixote and Sancho Panza rode forth in search of other adventures.
They had ridden no great way when they happened upon some young people who had gaily dressed themselves as shepherds and shepherdesses, and were having a picnic in the woods. These people invited Don Quixote and Sancho to join their feast.
When they had eaten and drunk, the Knight rose, and said that there was no sin worse than that of ingratitude, and that to show how grateful he was for the kindness that had been shown to him and to Sancho, he had only one means in his power.
“Therefore,” said he, “I will maintain for two whole days, in the middle of this high road leading to Saragossa, that these ladies here, disguised as shepherdesses, are the most beautiful damsels in the world, except only the peerless Dulcinea del Toboso, the mistress of my heart.”
So, mounting “Rozinante” he rode into the middle of the highway and there took his stand, ready to challenge all comers. He had sat there no long time when there appeared on the road coming towards him a number of riders, some with spears in their hands, all riding very fast and close together. In front of them thundered a drove of wild bulls, bellowing and tossing their horns. At once all the shepherds and the shepherdesses ran behind trees, but Don Quixote sat bravely where he was.