Wherein is continued the wonderful Adventures at the Inn

While Don Quixote hung suspended between heaven and earth, his outcries
were so terrible that the Innkeeper ran to the door, and opened it
hastily and in great fright, to see who it was that roared so loud.

Maritornes, whom the cries had also awakened, guessing what it was, ran
to the hay-loft, and, unseen by any one, loosed the halter that held
up Don Quixote, and he fell at once to the ground in the sight of the
Innkeeper and the four travellers, who, coming up to him, asked him
what ailed him.

He, without any answer slipped the halter from his wrist, and, rising
to his feet, leaped on Rozinante, braced on his shield, couched his
lance, and, wheeling round the field, rode back at a hard-gallop,
crying out: ‘Whosoever shall dare to say that I have been with just
title enchanted, if my Lady, the Princess Micomicona, will give me
leave to do it, I say that he lies, and I challenge him to single
combat.’

The travellers were amazed at his words, but the Host told them that
they must not mind him, for he was out of his wits.

When Don Quixote saw that none of the four travellers made any account
of him or answered his challenge, he was ready to burst with wrath
and fury; and could he have found that a Knight Errant might lawfully
accept and undertake another enterprise, having plighted his word and
faith not to attempt any until he had finished that which he had first
promised, he would have fallen upon them all, and made them give him an
answer in spite of themselves.

Those in the Inn were now fully aroused, and had come with the
Innkeeper to see the new arrivals. Whilst they were talking to the
four travellers, in the big room where they had supped, they heard a
noise outside, the cause of which was that some dishonest guests, who
had stayed there that night, seeing all the people busy to know the
cause of the four horsemen coming, had thought to escape scot free
without paying their reckoning. But the Innkeeper, who attended his own
affairs with more diligence than other men’s, stopped them going out
and demanded his money, upbraiding their dishonest conduct with such
words, that they returned him an answer with their fists; and this they
did so roundly that the poor Innkeeper was compelled to cry for help.

His wife and his daughter, seeing Don Quixote standing by, cried out to
him: ‘Help, Sir Knight! help my poor father, whom two wicked men are
thrashing like a bundle of corn.’

To this Don Quixote answered leisurely and with great gravity:
‘Beautiful damsel, your prayer cannot at the present time be granted,
for I am not permitted to engage in any new adventure until I have
finished the one I have promised to carry through. And all that I can
now do in your service is what I now say to you. Run unto your father
and bid him continue and maintain his battle manfully until I demand
leave of the Princess Micomicona to help him out of his distress. For
if she will give me leave, you may make sure that he will be delivered.’

‘As I am a sinner,’ cried Maritornes, who was standing by, ‘before you
get that leave you speak of my Master will be in the other world.’

‘Permit me but to get the leave I speak of,’ replied Don Quixote, ‘and
it matters not whether he be in the other world or no. For I would
bring him back again in spite of the other world itself, or at least, I
will take such a revenge on those that sent him there that you shall be
well content.’

Without saying more he went in and fell on his knees before Dorothea,
demanding her in knightly and courtly phrases that she would give him
leave to go and aid the Constable of the Castle who was then plunged in
deep distress.

The Princess granted him leave very willingly, and instantly buckling
on his shield, and laying hands on his sword, he ran to the Inn door
where the two guests were still fighting with the Innkeeper. But as
soon as he arrived he stopped and stood still, although Maritornes
and the Hostess asked him twice or thrice the cause of his delay in
assisting their master and husband.

‘I delay,’ said Don Quixote, ‘because it is not permitted me to lay
hands to my sword against Squire-like men who are not dubbed Knights.
But call me here my Squire Sancho, for this defence and revenge belong
to him as his duty.’

All this took place outside the Inn door, where fists and blows were
given and taken much to the Innkeeper’s cost, and to the rage and grief
of Maritornes and the Hostess and her daughter, who were like to run
mad on seeing Don Quixote’s cowardice and the mischief their master,
husband, and father was enduring.

However, though the laws of Knighthood hindered Don Quixote from
fighting, he soon persuaded the guests, by his wise reproofs of their
conduct, to leave the Innkeeper alone, and pay him what was owing by
them; and all would have been at peace in the Inn if another traveller
had not arrived there at this moment. This was none other than the
Barber from whom Don Quixote took away the helmet of Mambrino, and
Sancho Panza the harness or furniture of the ass, whereof he made an
exchange of his own. And while the Barber was leading his beast to
the stable, he caught sight of Sancho Panza mending some part of the
pack-saddle, or pannel, as it was called.

As soon as he had eyed him he knew him, and at once set upon Sancho,
saying: ‘Ah, Sir thief, here I have you! Give up my basin and my
pannel, with all the trappings you stole from me.’

Sancho, finding himself attacked so suddenly, laying fast hold of the
pannel with one hand, with the other gave the Barber such a buffet that
he bathed his teeth in blood. But for all that the Barber held fast his
grip of the pannel, and cried out so loud that all within the house
came to the noise and scuffle.

‘Help, here, in the name of the King and justice,’ shouted the Barber.
‘For this thief and robber by the highways goeth about to kill me
because I seek to get back my own goods.’

‘Thou liest,’ cried Sancho, ‘for I am not a robber of the highways. And
my Lord Don Quixote won these spoils in a fair battle.’

By this time Don Quixote himself had come to the spot, not a little
proud to see how his Squire defended himself and attacked his enemy,
and he took him from that moment to be a man of valour, and resolved in
his own mind to dub him Knight on the first occasion that should offer,
because he thought that the order of Knighthood would be well bestowed
on him.

‘Sirs,’ said the puzzled and angry Barber, ‘this pannel is as
certainly mine, and I know it as well as if I had bred it, and there is
my ass in the stable who will not let me lie; so do but try it on him,
and if it fit him not to a hair, I am willing to be called infamous.
And I can say more, that on the very day on which they took my pannel
from me, they robbed me likewise of a new brazen basin which had never
been used, and cost me a crown.’

Here Don Quixote could no longer contain himself from speaking, and,
thrusting himself between the two, to part them asunder, he caused the
pannel to be placed publicly upon the ground until the dispute should
be decided, and said: ‘To the end that you may understand the clear
mistake which this good Squire labours under, see how he calls that a
basin, which was, and is, and always shall be, the helmet of Mambrino,
which I took from him by force in fair battle, and made myself lord
thereof in a lawful and warlike manner. In regard to the pannel I
meddle not; but I can say that my Squire Sancho asked leave of me to
take away the trappings of this vanquished coward’s horse, that he
might adorn his own withal. I gave him leave to do it, and he took
them. As for these being turned from a horse’s furniture to an ass’s
pannel, I can give no other reason than the common one in affairs of
Knighthood, that this is done by enchantment. And to confirm the truth
of all I say, run, friend Sancho, speedily, and bring me out the helmet
which this good fellow declares to be a basin.’

‘By my faith, Sir,’ said Sancho, ‘if we have no better proof of our
story than what you say, the helmet of Mambrino is as arrant a basin as
this fellow’s trappings are a pack-saddle.’

‘Do what I command,’ replied Don Quixote, ‘for I cannot believe that
all things in this Castle are governed by enchantment.’

Sancho went for the basin and brought it, and as soon as Don Quixote
saw it, he took it in his hands and said: ‘See, Sirs, with what face
can this impudent Squire declare that this is a basin, and not the
helmet that I have mentioned. I swear to you by the order of Knighthood
which I profess, that this is the very same helmet which I won from
him, without having added or taken anything from it.’

‘There is no doubt of that,’ said Sancho, ‘for, since the time my
Lord won it until now, he never fought but one battle with it, when
he delivered the unlucky chained men. And but for his basin, I mean
helmet, he had not escaped so free as he did, so thick a shower of
stones rained all the time of that battle.’