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Summary Chapter 31

Quixote imagines that Dulcinea was embroidering when Sancho found her. His squire tells him that she was winnowing red wheat. Quixote asked if she kissed the letter. Sancho said she ordered him to put it down, for she was too busy just then to read it.

Sancho related the penance that Don Quixote was doing for her sake. He noticed that she was taller than him. Don Quixote asked about her scent, and Sancho says she was manly smelling from her work. Quixote tells him he must have either had a cold or was smelling himself, for his lady has a flowery smell.

Sancho continues his story: Dulcinea could not read, so she tore up the letter, fearing it had secrets she did not wish other people to know. She was glad to hear of his devotion and would rather see him than write him. She ordered him to stop his penance and to come see her, unless another task arose. The Biscayan had reported to her, but not one of the galley slaves had.

Quixote asks Sancho if she gave him a jewel. It is customary for ladies to reward squires who bring good news. Sancho said she only gave him cheese and bread. Quixote says she must of not had any jewels.

Quixote is amazed at how quick Sancho’s trip was to and back. A magician he is allied with must have done a spell. Magicians are known to move knights in their sleep to another location where their help is needed.

Quixote asks Sancho whether he should go see Duclinea. Sancho encourages him to marry the princess in the first village they come across. Quixote says he needn’t amrry her. He can demand a portion of the kingdom if he defeats the giant. He can then reward Sancho. Sancho tells him to choose a place by the sea so he can send his black subjects off his shore easily. He suggests he kill the giant before seeing Duicinea. Quixote agrees.

Sancho is glad when the curate and barber ask to stop so they can eat, for he fears Quixote will discover his lies if he continues to quesiton him. As they eat, a lad comes up and embraces Quixote. It is Andrew, the boy Quixote rescued from a beating. Quixote tells the others about the incident, saying this is why the world needs knights.

Andrew tells Quixote his master did not pay him and gave him another beating after Quixote left. He’s been injured since then. He blames Quixote for meddling and angering his master, then riding away. The man wouldn’t have punished him so severely and may have paid him had Quixote not interefered. Quixote admits that he shouldn’t have left until he had seen Andrew paid, for he shouldn’t have expected his master to keep his word. However, he had sworn to punish the man if he failed to honor his vow.

Dorothea reminds him he promised not to do any other task until he accomplished her boon. Quixote tells Andrew that he will deal with the matter when he returns. Andrew would rather he give him money to go to Seville and some food. Sancho gives him food, saying he understands his suffering. Squires suffer under knights.

Andrew tells Quixote if he ever sees him in trouble again, don’t come to his rescue. He curses all knights. Quixote jumps up to go after him, but he quickly runs away.

Miguel de Cervantes