Sancho tells him that Quixote was the one who liberated them, against his advice. Quixote calls Sancho a blockhead, and then defends his actions. It isn’t for him to judge who is worthy of his help. He saw a group of people in distress, and he aided them as his religion and the laws of chivalry demanded.
Dorothea calms him by saying if the curate had known it was him, he wouldn’t have said naything. However, Quixote has promised not to engage in anymore adventures until he has done the boon he promised her.
Quixote asks what her grievance is and the persons responsible for it. The others enjoy Dorothea’s ingenuity. Only Sancho and Quixote really believe her story.
Dorothea tells them that her father was a wise king. He learned that his wife would predecease him. He feared leaving his daughter an orphan, for a giant was certain to come and take her kingdom away from her. She could spare herself by marrying the giant. However, her father advised her to seek out Don Quixote. He gave her a description of the man she would be looking for.
Don Quixote wants to stop and strip, for he doubts the father’s prophecy being about him because he doesn’t know if he has the mole in the description. Sancho tells him he does. She also promises to marry the knight and give him possession of her kingdom if he succeeds. She promises to make Sancho a lord.
Quixote refuses to marry her, causing Sancho to become angry with him. Sancho tells him he is not in his right mind. He is throwing away an opportunity, and he doubts Dulcinea is more beautiful. He wants Quixote to be a king so he can be a governor.
Quixote gives him a few blows with his lance. Dorothea stops him from giving more and killing Sancho. He tells Sancho that he fights for Dulcinea. Without her, he could not kill a flea or have the strength to do anything.
Sancho complains that Quixote can’t fulfill his promises to him if he doesn’t marry the princess. He can always keep Dulcinea as a mistress.
Several times the group has almost betrayed their lies to Quixote (like Sancho saying he has never seen Dulcinea when he just delivered a message to her supposedly), but they quickly recover.
Dorothea urges Sancho to make up with his master and to be careful with his tongue. He should trust in Heaven, and he’ll get his rewards. Quixote grants his forgiveness and then asks about Dulcinea’s reply.
Suddenly, Sancho sees Ginés de Pasamonte on the road riding his donkey. He shouts out to him to give him back his donkey. Ginés dismounts and runs away. Sancho embraces his donkey, glad to see him.
The curate is telling Dorothea how clever her story is. She admits she has read about chivalry, but she doesn’t know where the provinces and seaports are.
The curate is amazed that despite his madness, Quixote can discuss other topics rationally.
Don Quixote asks many questions of his squire about Dulcinea. Sancho tells him he had no letter, and Quixote said he found it two days later. He expected Sancho to return for it. Sancho tells him he had it memorized, and he repeated it to a parish clerk. He no longer remembers it because it was no longer necessary after he delivered the message.