Summary and Analysis
The author intercedes here, explaining that the history of the famed knight of La Mancha has been vexedly cut off at this point where the two combatants are about to deliver each other a mortal blow. In his Moorish travels, however, the author has discovered an old manuscript written in Arabic by a historian named Cid Hamet Benegali. By mere coincidence it happens to be the history of Don Quixote, and the second book of the manuscript begins with the fight between the knight and the Biscainer, which he sets down exactly as Cid Hamet has written it.
By fortunate mistakes, the Don wins the duel, stunning his adversary with a tremendous blow. He spares the Biscainer's life, though only after he promises to present himself to the Lady Dulcinea del Toboso, who shall dispose of him as she desires.
Cervantes depicts the struggle between Don Quixote and the Basque squire as an epic combat between equals. The Biscainer has a quixotic idea of his gentility which the rest of the world would disagree with. "What me no gentleman?" he cries and is ready to kill Don Quixote to defend his honor.
In this chapter, Cervantes introduces the device of a narrator who steps in and out of his story as it it were a piece of stagecraft. To insure the objectivity of the storyteller, the author is a Moor, for an infidel would try very hard to understate the achievements of a Spaniard. This assures the reader that the history of Don Quixote is true and unexaggerated.