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Summary Chapter 51

The goatherd tells his story about a farmer who was respected fo his virtue as well as his wealth. He was fortunate to be blessed with a beautiful daughter who was graced with many other attributes. Her beauty was so legendary, she was talked about in the cities.

The father protected her. She had many suitors, and he did not know which one to choose for her. The goatherd was one of the suitors. He had felt confident in his chances because he came from the same town and was wealthy in his own right. There was another who had the same qualifications that was a rival for her hand. The father finally narrowed his choice to the goatherd and his rival. He left the fianl coice to Leandra, his daughter.

A soldier arrived in town. He had been from there originally, but he had been carried off by a captain when he was a boy. He has three outfits, but he mixes and matches them, giving the peasants the impression he has more. His jewelry is shiny but has no value. He regales everyone with his adventures and boasts about how many Moors he has killed. He shows them wounds that are too faint to make out. He is also a poet and plays the guitar.

Leandra falls in love with him. He convinces her to leave her father's house and bring her valuables. The father sends a search party out for her. They find her three days later in a cave. She is stripped and robbed of her jewels. She admits that she went away willingly with the soldier, who had promised to marry her and take her to Naples. Though he didn't rape her, he robbed and left her in the cave.

Her father took her to a convent to wait until her disgrace was forgotten. However, the people considered her a wanton woman, thinking she was too shrewd to be fooled by such a man.

Leandra's suitors all became shepherds. They spend their days sighing, praising, lamenting, and abusing her name.

Miguel de Cervantes