Cide Hamete explains that the two mysterious assailants were Altisidora and the Duchess, who eavesdropped on the duenna’s conversation with Don Quixote and wanted to take revenge on her for telling unflattering tales. While Quixote recovers, the Duchess sends a page to deliver Sancho’s letter, his travelling suit, and a string of corals to his wife Teresa. He arrives at Sancho’s home and tells Teresa that she is now the wife of a famous governor. He presents her with a string of corals and a friendly letter from the Duchess, which asks Teresa to send a pound of acorns.
Sancho’s letter to Teresa echoes Quixote’s letter to Dulcinea. The first letter was flowery and impersonal, and it was never delivered; the second letter is funny and practical, and sends along concrete proof its contents – the hunting suit and the necklace. The two letters give good occasion to compare Quixote and Sancho.
Teresa is so delighted by the letter and the news that she runs outside to make announcements. She sees the priest and Sansón Carrasco walking down the street and tells them she had become the wife of a governor. They are so perplexed by the news that they come in with her to speak to the messenger, who explains that the island is really a town. Teresa starts planning all the purchases she must make in town, like nice clothes and a carriage. Carrasco thinks the whole story must be some sort of hoax, or another one of Quixote’s fantasies, but the page replies that he is a real page, and Sancho is a real governor, etc.
As Quixote’s plot grows sadder, Sancho’s begins to brighten. But this moment is a triumph for both friends. The priest and Carrasco are the people who have doubted them most – who have tried to sabotage their plans and prove their foolishness. Now, they are made to feel foolish. If Sancho has truly become governor of an island, then perhaps they’ve been wrong all along – perhaps they are the insane ones.