Summary and Analysis
Very weary, very hungry, they continue to plod along after nightfall. Sancho shakes with fright as they see a great number of lights moving toward them in the blackness. They soon distinguish about twenty white-clad horsemen carrying torches, followed by a hearse and six men in deep mourning. Don Quixote addresses the group and asks their business and destination. To further impose himself, he grabs the bridle of the first mule. The animal rears, throwing its rider. Then Don Quixote attacks someone who shouts rudely at him, and the whole funeral party scatters into the night, leaving only the man whose mule has unseated him. Begging for his life, the stranger says he is but a clergyman accompanying the hearse to town for a burial service. Don Quixote apologizes and helps the man back on his mule. Sancho, in the meantime, has collected all the food the procession has carried. They eat a most excellent meal from these provisions but still remain thirsty.
This adventure shows that Don Quixote, intrepid when in a real situation, is full of fear when ghosts approach. But again, his tremendous will overcomes even the dead as he rallies his courage and puts the funeral party to flight.