Later that same day, Don Antonio takes Quixote and Sancho to see the galleys. The men lift anchor and the ship quickly sails out to sea. Soon, they approach a brigantine (a smaller boat); two drunk men on that boat shoot and kill two men on the galley, so the admiral seizes the brigantine and sails it to shore, intending to hang everyone on board. He hangs a noose around the neck of the captain, a handsome young man. The captain explains that she is actually a woman in men’s clothing, a Christian born to Moorish parents, and her name is Ana Félix. Her family took her to Algiers after the king expelled the Moors from Spain, and a man named Don Gaspar followed her into exile.
The novel is tying up loose ends. It returns to the Expulsion of the Moriscos, which we access through Sancho’s neighbor Ricote. Ana Félix is the second Moorish woman in the novel. Like Zoraida, she takes charge of her own fate. With regard to the book’s racism (which might express Cervantes’ own opinions or might accurately depict the attitudes of the time), it is important to note that both sympathetic Moorish women are Christian converts.
Rumors of Don Gaspar’s beauty reached the king of Algiers. Ana realized Don Gaspar was in danger of abduction, because beautiful young men are more highly valued in that part of the world than pretty women. She dressed Don Gaspar in women’s clothing and brought him to the king, who decided to keep Don Gaspar as a present for a friend and hid him away in a private apartment. Meanwhile, the king sent her to Spain to dig up her family treasure, entrusting her to the Moorish crew of the ship.
Ana Félix is not only strong-willed and independent, for a female character of the time – she actually rescues the man she loves. They have switched gender roles as they’ve switched costumes. The story shows that the world truly has changed since chivalry days, as Quixote has said..
When she finishes her story, someone throws himself at her feet: it is her father Ricote, who had boarded the ship out of curiosity. He confirms her story, and the admiral lets her go free. With the help of a renegade on board, they decide to return to Algiers and rescue Don Gaspar. In the meantime, Don Antonio offers to host Ana Félix at his house.
According to the new law, Ricote and Ana Félix will not be permitted to stay in Spain. But they cannot return to Algiers, an unfamiliar and unwelcoming place. The exiled Moriscos are known as a generation of displaced wanderers.