Don Quixote Volume 1, Chapter 22
Next they see a chaingang of twelve men, the king's galley slaves, coming down the road. Don Quijote focuses in on the fact that these men are being forced to go somewhere against their will. The guards allow Don Quijote to question the prisoners on the nature of their crimes. The prisoners try to dress up their crimes; but, most of them are thieves of various things, such as bedding, money, animals and women's virtue (one man made several female relatives pregnant). One old pathetic man is a pimp (Sancho even gives him a dollar); Don Quijote does not see this as a crime, but rather a necessary public service (although he's feels it should be legalized and managed by the government).
One handsome fellow named Ginés de Pasamonte (a well-known thief, experienced galley slave and an unknown and unpublished author of his own autobiography) is tied up with additional chains and a padlock. He rivals Don Quijote in his ability to cast his actions in a virtuous light and for sheer audacity (he threatens one of the guards while chained up!).
Despite the fact, (obvious even to Don Quijote), that these men are indeed criminals; he still insists that they must be freed and not taken anywhere against their will or he will fight for their freedom. One of the four guards (two having muskets) is amazed and angered by such utter nonsense and tells him to take a hike and "straighten out the barber's basin you've got on your head." Volume 1, Chapter 22, pg. 133
It was, indeed, a tactical error to ridicule the sacred helmet of Mambrino; Don Quijote quickly attacks him with his lance, unhorsing and badly injuring him. The galley slaves manage to break their chain moments after, and Ginés de Pasamonte (whom Sancho had helped out of his chains) snatches the musket and sword from the fallen guard. As the prisoners pelt the guards with rocks, he threatens to shoot them. The guards run for the hills.
Don Quijote, who wishes to honor Dulcinea, (by sending a bunch of criminals to pay her a visit); instructs the freed prisoners to present themselves as a group to her. Ginés very politely tells Don Quijote that this is impossible since they must separate and hide themselves or risk being caught again. Instead, they would gladly say any amount of prayers for Don Quijote (Ave Marias and Credos) that Don Quijote would specify. Angered, Don Quijote starts cursing at him, and soon all the prisoners start pelting him with rocks knocking both rider and horse to the ground. Ginés pulls the basin off his head and hits Don Quijote on the shoulders several times with it and the ground many more; leaving the helmet destroyed. After taking Don Quijote's jacket and Sancho's coat, the prisoners depart.