The day comes when Quixote and Sancho leave Barcelona, and Quixote tells Sancho that he plans to return to his profession after a year. When they come to an inn with a crowd, the men engage Don Quixote to settle a matter; but as Sancho declares his experience as a judge since his governorship, he wisely resolves the dispute, amazing the men immensely and causing them to ponder how much wiser the squire’s master must actually be. Then they run into Tosilos, the duke’s lackey, who admits that he was not enchanted at all, and essentially, received stripes for his disobedience to the duke, while Doña Rodriguez’s daughter was away sent to a convent.
After leaving Tosilos, knight and squire come to the place where they had been trampled by the bulls, which gives Don Quixote the inspiration for his new profession while living out his year in retirement: shepherd. Then he and Sancho discuss all the joys in living the life of watching sheep.