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Don Quixote VI. The Enchanted Castle


Don Quixote was hanging rather than sitting in the saddle of the donkey: he was in a piteous state, covered all over with plasters with cracked ribs. Rocinante was not capable of carrying him. Sancho Panza brought up the rear, limping like a cripple. Thus they emerged from the battle with the shepherds. Night was approaching. They reached an inn, which Don Quixote at once took to be an enchanted castle, although his squire was adamant that it was nothing but an ordinary tavern. The bruised and battered knight was soon lying in a bed in this inn, Sancho Panza camping on the floor nearby. Picture 86. The Wounded Knight Don Quixote was in a bad state; he sighed and groaned loudly and continuously, his lamentations echoing through every part of the house. A rough, ill-mannered mule driver became so furious at having his sleep disturbed that he dragged the moaning knight out of his bed and lambasted him terribly. When Sancho Panza went to his master's aid, he collided in the dark with the innkeeper, who had rushed into the attic with his maid-servant. Turmoil arose. Everyone lashed out, every landed blow causing big bruises. It so happened that a constable was staying in the room next door. He was woken up by the terrible din, took up his wand of office, hastened in the dark to the fight and called out in a loud voice: "In the name of the authorities, desist! Let there be peace and quiet!" The first person he was able to lay hands on was Don Quixote, who was lying unconscious on his smashed bed. The constable took him by the beard, shook him and cried: "Respect the authorities!" But the constable could do nothing about the enraged mule driver, who in order to get a night's sleep threw the knight and his squire out the door into the moonlit night. Don Quixote and Sancho Panza met again outside on the soft mossy ground of the wood. - Picture 87. A Moonlit Night "Are you asleep, my friend?" groaned the knight. - "All the devils of hell were at large and fell upon me in that wretched tavern, unfortunate creature that I am!" - "No, you are mistaken, my friend!" replied Don Quixote, "we were in an enchanted castle. Let me tell you why. When I was moaning on my bed of pain, all of a sudden the powerful fist of a collossal giant appeared and dealt me such a punch on the jaw that I lost my senses. Thereupon the giant crushed me with his hands and feet. It was a merciless, fearful monster!" - "Something worse happened to me," said Sancho Panza; "four or five hundred Moors thrashed me so fearfully that the beating we got from the shepherds this morning now seems like a treat of cakes and candy. Woe is me! Woe is me! I am not a knight errant, yet I always come off worst in all the calamities that befall us." - "So you were given a beating as well, my friend?" Don Quixote inquired abashed. "If only I had Fierabras wondrous draught! Oh, what an unfortunate creature I am! Two drops would restore us to health and remove our pain!" - "Where is the draught, noble knight?" Sancho inquired eagerly. - "A famous enchanter has it, as I read recently in a wonderful romance. If we can find him, I shall compel him to hand over the costly balsam so that your pain can be relieved, my good friend Sancho." - "Oh dear God, in that case my sufferings will continue!" -

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