Quixote offers to go rescue Don Gaspar himself, but Sancho and the others convince him it would not be practical. Two days later, the renegade sails to Algiers. Quixote is walking aimlessly on the beach one morning when a knight with a moon on his shield greets him. He tells Don Quixote that he is the Knight of the White Moon, and he has come to do battle with him over the respective beauties of their ladies. If Quixote loses, he must return to his village for a year and forgo all adventuring. They agree to do battle. But when they charge at one another, the other knight’s horse gallops so quickly that the knight knocks Quixote off his horse at the first collision. Quixote is so weak and injured that he must be carried back to Don Antonio’s house.
The episode of the Knight of the White Moon not only parallels the earlier episode with the Knight of the Spangles – the mysterious knight is one and the same. Both literary doubles and plot doubles have begin to converge into one, like a single image coming into focus. The idea here is that certain events or traits that seem opposed yet complementary to ours turn out to be a hidden part of ourselves, the concealed side of identity.