However, Sancho reasons there must be a river nearby since the meadow is lush.
They hear a waterfall, but another terrible noise frightens them. They cannot see what it is. Quixote decides to investigate alone. He tells Sancho to wait for him for three days. If he doesn’t come back, Sancho is to go to Dulcinea and tell her of his death. Sancho begs Quixote to reconsider. They can turn back now. He begs his master not to leave him alone here.
Don Quixote tells Sancho he will do his duty as a knight. Seeing that his master is determined to go, Sancho ties Rocinante’s back legs to his donkey. He hopes to keep Quixote there until dawn. Sancho then tells his master that Rocinante’s inability to move is proof of Heaven’s will. Don Quixote decides to wait until dawn. Sancho undoes the horse when dawn approaches.
When Quixote sees that Rocinante can move, he decides to resume his adventure. Quixote repeats his instructions, then assures Sancho that if he doesn’t come back, Sancho will be rewarded by his will that he made out before he left.
Sancho doesn’t follow orders but follows Quixote on foot. The horrifying noise is caused by six fulling hammers. Don Quixote is embarrassed. Sancho is about to burst out laughing. His humor is contagious, and Don Quixote laughs despite himself.
However, he gets angry when Sancho starts mimicking him. He whacks his squire with his lance. Sancho apologizes. Quixote tells Sancho he has never seen a fulling mill, and he couldn’t possibly distinguish them from the footfalls of giants.