Don Quixote Volume 1, Chapter 29
Dorotea does not want to go home, even though she knows her parents would still welcome and love her, because of her shame. Cardenio introduces himself and explains how intimately their fates are entwined. He tells her to take courage -- that since Don Fernando and Luscinda didn't marry -- there's a chance to remedy their situations. Also, if Don Fernando will not willingly marry her he will challenge him to a duel to restore her honor. The barber explains to them both about Don Quijote and their plan to bring him back home. Sancho returns and tells them that Don Quijote refuses to go to Dulcinea until he finishes a few other things he has planned. Dorotea, (who had packed some jewels and a gown), offers to play the damsel in distress role. She has read some of the chivalric romances and says she can handle it.
Sancho, (who has been in on the plot of the false princess), suddenly becomes ignorant of this plot when Dorotea substitutes for the barber in this role and the barber becomes her bearded squire. He truly believes she has a kingdom and that he and Don Quijote are going to achieve their dreams of rewards from helping her. He even asks the priest to get Don Quijote to marry her so he won't become an archbishop; because, Sancho feels his own married status will limit his rewards in the church.
Dorotea (playing Princess Micomicona), the false-bearded barber, and Sancho go to Don Quijote; where, she asks him to grant her a boon and conquer a giant who has taken away her kingdom. Don Quijote gallantly agrees to help her. She has also asked him to not engage in any other activities till he revenges her against this giant. Meanwhile, the priest has cut off Cardenio's beard and shared some of his clothes, so that Don Quijote will not recognize him as the madman of the mountains.
Taking a short cut, they meet up with Don Quijote and act surprised to see him. As they rearrange riders upon animals, (Don Quijote does not want the priest to walk), the barber is thrown from the rented mule and his beard comes off! This astonishes Don Quijote, who thinks he has just seen a miracle! The priest quickly sticks the beard back on, while pretending to speak some incantation. Don Quijote asks to be taught this charm -- because it would sure come in handy in his adventures!
As they continue traveling and discussing the arrangements to get to the princess's kingdom (they'll have to pass through Don Quijote's home town), it occurs to Don Quijote to question the priest why he is traveling through these parts underdressed and without a servant. The priest tells Don Quijote that he and the barber were traveling to collect a large sum of money (a gift from a relative), when they were attacked by highway robbers who stole even their beards -- and that's why the barber had to get a false beard! The priest, (who had heard from Sancho how Don Quijote freed the criminals), tells how word is out that these very same criminals were galley slaves who had been set free by a nut, another criminal or a psychopath -- who else would free these men to prey upon innocent people? Don Quijote turns several shades of red.