Once Don Quixote examines Sancho’s wounds and assists him back onto his mule, he and Sancho get into a serious confrontation about wages, as Sancho grumbles that his master does not pay him after all that he has to put up with “gallivanting after [Don Quixote] over trackless roads and nonexistent paths, drinking badly and eating worse.” However, Don Quixote rebukes him, and Sancho feels badly for complaining and asks his master to pardon him; and he does.
Quixote and Sancho come upon the Ebro River and spot a small, unattended boat at the water’s edge, which Quixote claims has been left there specifically for him for a particular adventure, such as rescuing a person of rank in distress as featured in books of chivalry; and against his best judgment, Sancho joins his master in the boat. As they slowly float down stream, they come to two great water mills, which Quixote thinks are castles holding that person of rank whom he is to rescue; however, instead the millers attempt to keep the boat from entering the water wheel, capsize the boat, rescue knight and squire, and assure Quixote that no one is being held captive there. Quixote is sure the world is full of tricks and must give up the adventure to another knight, as he and Sancho return to their animals.
The next day, Quixote sees a hawking party and an elegant lady, a duchess, on a horse, and he prompts Sancho to go introduce himself to her and receive permission for his master to approach her; she obliges, as she knows who Sancho and the Knight of the Rueful Figure are because she and her husband, the Duke, have read the history written about them. Quixote approaches, but as Sancho attempts to leave his mule to help Quixote dismount, his foot catches his pack saddles, he falls to his face hanging from his mule, while Quixote dismounts without aid and falls to his face as well because Sancho did not tighten the saddle to his horse.