They enter El Toboso late at night, and Sancho hopes this will excuse him for not knowing the way—for he can blame the darkness. The animals, particularly the dogs, are making a lot of noise.
Quixote urges Sancho to lead them to Dulcinea. Sancho doesn’t think it will be proper to arrive at this hour. Quixote decides to find the place first, and then he’ll see if they should disturb the inhabitants. He thinks he sees Dulcinea’s castle ahead. It turns out to be the church.
Sancho wants to check the alleys, but Quixote says castles aren’t built behind alleys. Sancho suggests it may be a custom in El Toboso. He points out that he saw Dulcinea’s house in the daylight. Quixote must have seen it a thousand times, and yet he doesn’t know where it is either.
Quixote tells Sancho he has never seen Dulcinea. He only knows of her through hearsay. Sancho admits he heas never seen her either—the message he brought was through hearsay as well. Quixote doesn’t believe him.
Quixote asks a passing laborer where Dulcinea’s castle is. The man says he isn’t from these parts. He refers them to a rich farmer who knows everyone. However, while there are many fine ladies, he doesn’t think there are any princesses. Sancho suggests that Quixote hides. He’ll search for Dulcinea and arrange a meeting. Quixote agrees.