Book Notes

Volume 2, Chapter 60 Notes from Don Quixote

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Don Quixote Volume 2, Chapter 60

One night they settle themselves against tree trunks to sleep. While Sancho falls quickly to sleep, Don Quijote remains wakeful and restless. He soon becomes angry about the small number (five hundred) of lashes that Sancho has given himself, and decides to administer some himself right now. He sees no difference between Sancho receiving lashes of his own free will and Sancho receiving lashes against his will.

Topic Tracking: Grandiosity 30

After removing Rocinante's reins, he begins to loosen Sancho's belt, which wakes the squire who asks for information regarding this unusual nighttime phenomenon. Don Quijote informs Sancho of his plans for the squire's buttocks -- namely, two thousand or more overdue lashes! Sancho reminds Don Quijote that he must receive these voluntarily and he has no intention of volunteering this night for a good thrashing. Undeterred, Don Quijote still tries to open his squire's belt, whereupon Sancho stands up and manages to knock down and then pin his lord upon the ground. Don Quijote is shocked by his squire's disrespect to his lord! Sancho replies that he is his own lord, and if Don Quijote does not swear that he will keep his hands to himself, Sancho will kill him. Don Quijote quickly swore in the name of Dulcinea to touch not the squire and leave Sancho in charge of the time and place of his whippings.

As Sancho settles himself under another tree he feels something touching his head -- it is shoed feet. It turns out that the trees are full of hanged men which Don Quijote rightly guesses means they are near Barcelona; as it is customary there to hang criminals bunches at a time. Dawn brings a Technicolor view of this sight, along with forty bandits with pulses surrounding them. Totally defenseless (his lance against the tree) Don Quijote cannot defend them. The bandits take anything of value from the donkey's luggage, but before they can search Sancho (who is wearing the money belt with the gold coins), their leader shows up and tells them to wait. Spotting Don Quijote's woebegone expression he tells him to cheer up because he has been captures by Rocque Guinart the empathetic bandit. Don Quijote recognizes the name (a genuine historical figure) and says he is ashamed that they caught him with his guard down; that he was not alert and ready as a knight errant should be. If he had been prepared they would not have found the famous Don Quijote so easy to capture! Guinart quickly catches on that Don Quijote's mind is not all it should be and is delighted to be in the presence of this legend; that until now he thought was a mere fable. He tells Don Quijote to relax, that this incident could turn out well for the knight.

Just then, a twenty year old female dressed as a male with a variety of weapons rides up begging for Rocque's help. She is Claudia Jerónima, daughter of his friend Simon Forte. She was secretly engaged to Don Vincente Torrelas, the son of their mutual enemy -- Don Clauquel Torrelas. She heard yesterday that he meant to marry someone else this morning. Dressing as they see her now she rode, caught up with Don Vincent and shot him several times. She now needs Rocque to smuggle her to relatives in France and protect her father from the Torrelas family's revenge. Rocque calmly suggests they find out if the guy is really dead first. Ignoring Don Quijote's offers of assistance, he orders his men to return Sancho's belongings and to wait for his return. They find Don Vincente near death. It turns out that there is no truth to the rumor she heard of his marriage. He is not angry with her and says he feels lucky to be able to die in her arms and asks her to squeeze his hand if she accepts him as her husband. She does, she faints, he dies. Coming to, she howls, tears out her hair and scratches her face with her fingernails and then decides to enter a convent.

Rocque returns to his men to find Don Quijote on his high horse trying to persuade them to leave this way of life. He asks Sancho if his items were returned to him and Sancho tells him all but three very valuable handkerchiefs. One of the men gives them back, though he does not find them as valuable as Don Quijote and his squire. Rocque and the bandits divvy up their latest stolen goods to everyone's satisfaction. The lookout spots a traveling party and men are dispatched to capture and bring them back. Don Quijote tries to convert Rocque over to knight errantry after he hears him admit that revenge is what first got him started on the life of a bandit. Waxing eloquent, he expresses how he now he fights for vengance for the world (a kind of a bandit errantry). His squires (that is what he calls them) return with the traveling party. Rocque asks who they are, their destination and cash on hand. Given this information, he finds he has no bone to pick with these particular people and asks for a very small portion of their money as a donation to keep his men happy. In return he will issue them a letter of safe conduct so that other members of his band will not bother them. He even gives ten dollars to the set of pilgrims headed for Rome and puts aside ten for Sancho.

One of his men complains about Rocque giving away their money and Rocque kills him by bringing his sword down through the man's head. He writes another letter to a friend in Barcelona informing him of the imminent arrival of Don Quijote and dispatches one of his men to deliver it.

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