فصل 03

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فصل 03

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CHAPTER THREE

The Giant Killer

To escape from the Holy Brotherhood, Don Quixote and Sancho Panza fled into the mountains. They traveled high up to desolate lonely country of the Sierra Moreno range.

“All great men go through a period of despair when they question everything they believe in,” Don Quixote said. He turned to his hungry squire, “I am sending you to El Toboso, with a message of my love for Dulcinea. She must tell me whether she can return my love or not. I will stay here and whip myself until you return.”

All Sancho could think about was the feast he was going to eat as soon as he got back to a village.

“Ride quickly, Sancho Panza,” commanded Don Quixote as he took off his armor. Then he smashed himself in the chest with a large rock and began to beat himself on the back with a tree branch. Riding away from the strange scene. Sancho called to his master, “Don’t overdo it, or there’ll be nothing left of you before I can return.”

Halfway to the village, Sancho stopped at an inn for the feast he had been waiting for. As he approached the door after his big meal, he came face to face with Don Quixote’s old friends, the priest and the barber.

“Hey, you work for our troubled friend, Senor Quixano, don’t you?” the priest said to Sancho.

“It’s true. I am his squire.”

“How can you believe his nonsense? Don’t you realize he has lost his mind?”

“There have been some strange things happening,” replied Sancho.

“Where is he now?” demanded the barber.

“He’s in the mountains, waiting for me to return with an answer from his mistress, the lady Dulcinea del Toboso.”

“Her answer to what?” asked the priest.

“Something about love,” answered Sancho.

“Take us to him. We have to bring him back to the village with us,” said the priest.

“I will, but I warn you he’ll never come back with you.”

“Hmm,” said the barber, “I have a plan. I’ll be back in a minute.”

Shortly after, the barber came back with two dresses from the innkeeper’s wife.

The three traveled back to the mountains. That night, they camped and discussed the details of their plan. In the morning, Sancho went off to find Don Quixote and tell him about the ladies in need of help. Meanwhile, the priest and the barber put on the dresses and began cooking bacon over the fire for their breakfast. As they ate and talked, they saw a beautiful woman passing by.

“We must show ourselves at once,’” said the priest. They stepped out to meet her.

The girl screamed when she saw them, and tried to run away.

“Do not fear us,” shouted the priest, “I am a man of God!”

“If you’re a priest, why are you wearing that dress?” she questioned.

“It’s a long story,” he replied.

“By the way, why are you wandering these hills?” asked the barber.

The beautiful young girl then told her sad story. “My name is Dorotea. I am the daughter of a wealthy farmer. I was to be married to the Duke’s son, Ferdinando. But he left me for another woman. I was so broken-hearted that I came here to cry away the rest of my days.”

Then the priest had an idea. “Perhaps a truly beautiful lady such as yourself could convince Don Quixote to come back to our village, rather than an old priest and barber dressed like women.”

Dorotea agreed to their plan and put on one of the dresses.

When Sancho returned, he led them to Don Quixote, who was still lashing himself with the branch of an old olive tree.

Immediately, Dorotea fell to her knees. “Please, brave knight, a terrible giant is attacking my father’s kingdom. You must help us!”

“Of course I will help you! Sancho, prepare my horse. We leave at once. I cannot refuse a princess in distress.”

Later the group arrived at the inn where Sancho had first met the barber and the priest. The innkeeper ran out to greet them and was met by the priest. The priest handed him ten gold pieces and said, “My friend in the iron suit is mad. He thinks he’s a knight and this is a castle. I ask you only to play along for the night and let us stay until morning.”

“Yes, my wife heard something about a lunatic roaming the valley,” said the innkeeper. “I heard the Holy Brotherhood is searching for him. You may stay, but your crazy friend will have to stay in the hayloft where I keep my wine, so he won’t bother anyone.”

The priest and barber agreed.

Long past midnight, after everyone had gone to bed, the priest awoke to the loud sound of gushing liquid, as if a river had burst into the inn. Suddenly, Sancho Panza stumbled into the room, covered in blood. “My master is fighting a giant upstairs! It’s a bloodbath up there!”

The priest helped him up and tasted some of the redness on his fingers. “Sancho, this isn’t blood, you simpleton. It’s wine!”

Sprinting up the stairs, the priest shuddered when he saw what had happened. There was Don Quixote, swinging his sword and stabbing the huge pigskin sacks full of wine hung from the ceiling.

“Ah ha!” cried Don Quixote as the wine splashed out over him, blinding his eyes. “Another fatal wound. Soon there will be no more blood left in your body. Victory will be mine!”

The innkeeper raced upstairs screaming, “Oh no, you’re a madman. My best wine is all gone. My wife has sent for the Holy Brotherhood. You’ll pay for all of this damage!”

As the officers of the Holy Brotherhood arrived to arrest Don Quixote, the priest came and took one of the officers aside for a moment. He explained that Don Quixote was crazy and needed to be taken home for medical attention. The priest also told the officer to have his men put some chalk on their faces.

Soon after, Dorotea came to Don Quixote. “Brave knight, you have slain the giant and saved my father’s kingdom. I thank you.”

“It was my pleasure, dear princess,’ said Don Quixote.

Suddenly the knight was surrounded by eight ghostly figures with white faces.

One of them stepped forward and said,

“We are demons, sent by the evil wizard to take you back to your village! Get into this cage!”

Don Quixote tried to fight, but the eight men seized him and locked him into the cage. Don Quixote struggled to break free from the cage until his strength was gone. Then he fell asleep.

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