Book 1, Part 13: Their next encounter involves a man who possesses what Quixote believes is a golden helmet. The Don asserts to Sancho that his shiny piece of metal is the enchanted helmet of Mambrino, something in his books no doubt. So of course, the knight-errant decides to fight for possession of the object.
Next, the master-squire combo comes across a group of chained convicts accompanied by guards. Quixote believes that it's wrong for these men to be forced to move against their will. He asks them the nature of their crimes and, subsequently, sympathizes with them deeply. Seeing his mission as one who protects the poor and oppressed, Quixote orders the guards to free the prisoners. When a guard insults the Don for such an outrageous mandate, the enraged Knight of the Rueful Figure charges him, causing an uprising which eventually leads to the freeing of the convicts. Before he releases them, however, Quixote makes them swear to pay tribute to his Lady Dulcinea. Yet when they begin to quarrel over the idea, the prisoners stone the Don and flee.
Book 1, Part 14: Finally in this chapter Don Quixote admits to his squire that taking his advice would have left them both better off. Sancho next suggests that they hide from the Holy Brotherhood by moving into the Sierra Morena hills. Finding a good spot to take refuge, the knight and squire-errant unfortunately inhabit the very place in which one of the released prisoners has chosen to hide. While they sleep, the convict steals Dapple, Sancho's mule.
Later the next day, the Don and his squire come across a portmanteau filled with gold coins and other valuables. Quixote, as always, envisions a chivalrous tale of some "noble lover" somehow connected with the said discovery. So, of course, the knight-errant decides that they must seek out this man, the owner of the portmanteau. Soon they encounter a goat herder who tells them the story of the owner. Carrying out some kind of religious penance, the man, who seems insane, has wandered into the wilderness. Quixote believes, however, that this man is of noble lineage and resolves to search the entire mountain for him when suddenly the man himself appears from the underbrush and approaches them. The Don considers him a knight-errant, like himself, calling him the "Rugged One of the Sorrowful Figure" and the "Knight of the Wood."
After eating, the man, named Cardenio, launches into the story of his life. He explains that he was in love with a certain lady, Lucinda, when his friend double-crossed him and stole her. When Quixote argues with him about a point on women's honor, Cardenio hurls a stone which sparks yet another knightly scuffle. Cardenio retreats into the mountains.