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Summary Chapter 21

It begins to rain. Sancho wants to take shelter in the mill, but Don Quixote is prejudiced against it aftger Sancho made fun of him.

On the road, Don Quixote sees a man with a golden helmet. He believes it is an enchanted helmet that he read about. Sancho tries to discourage Quixote from challenging the man. He only sees a man wearing something shiny on his head, and he is riding a donkey. It is unlikely that he is a knight wearing an enchanted helmet. He reminds Quixote of how he mistook the fulling mills for giants. Quixote threatens his life if Sancho mentions the fulling mill incident again.

The “knight” is a barber that serves two villages. He is carrying a brass basin on his head to protect his hat from the rain. Don Quixote charges at him, demanding the man to hand over what rightfully belongs to him. The barber falls off his horse and saves himself from being killed. The basin falls off his head. He runs away. Don Quixote doesn’t pursue, getting what he wants.

Sancho picks up the basin, saying it is worth money. Quixote puts it on his head and complains that it is too big—and half of the helmet is missing. Sancho laughs but quickly stops, remembering how it angers Quixote. His master believes some fool melted half of the helmet for its gold and turned the other half into a basin. He’ll have it repaired by a blacksmith, but for now he’ll wear it.

Sancho wants to swap his donkey for the other. At first, Quixote doesn’t think the rules of chivalry allow it, but he finally agrees.

Miguel de Cervantes