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Summary Chapter 19

They are still traveling when night comes, having not found a place to rest. They are hungry.

They see a bunch of lights come towards them, and both become uneasy. The lights get bigger as they approach. Don Quixote and Sancho believe they are ghosts. He tells Sancho they will press on. He will protect Sancho. His squire worries that Don Quixote will be as helpless as he was the last time. Quixote tells him to have courage.

As the lights approach, they see people dressed in white habits, chanting. A litter follows, which is draped in black. Some mourners come behind it.

Sancho’s courage fails him. Don Quixote demands the group identifies themselves, where they come from, where they are going, and what it is they carry on a bier. If they have injured others, he vows to chastise them.

One of the party says they don’t have time for this. The inn is far away. Don Quixote responds they can answer his questions or battle him. The mule the other man was riding throws him. Another man insults Quixote, who attacks and wounds him. He attacks the others. The men in white run away. He drives the mourners into the fields. They think he is the Devil, not a man.

Sancho is impressed with Quixote’s bravery. Quixote goes up to the man who was thrown by his mule. The man begs him not to kill him. He tells Quixote that he is a licentiate from the city of Baeza. The corpse is of a gentleman who had died of a fever in Baeza and was buried there. However, he was exhumed so that he could be reburied in his hometown of Segovia.

Don Quixote sees there is no need to avenge the corpse. He identifies himself, saying his purpose is to address the wrongs of the world. The other man says it is his misfortune to have met Quixote, for his injuries are of a lasting nature. Don Quixote tells the man it is his own fault, for his party seemed like something sinister coming at night, dressed as they were, and chanting. The man asks for help in getting back onto his mule. Sancho has been looting another mule of its supplies. He helps the injured man back onto his donkey.

Sancho has given Don Quixote the name “Knight of the Rueful Figure.” Quixote likes it and plans to paint it on his shield.

Don Quixote wants to look at the corpse to see if it is a skeleton or a body. Sancho tells him they should leave before the party regroups and returns to give them trouble. Quixote agrees. They find a spot to camp and eat. However, they have nothing to drink and are thirsty.

Miguel de Cervantes