At midnight, the two friends enter the town. Quixote asks Sancho to lead them to Dulcinea’s palace; Sancho, who has never been to see Dulcinea, evades the question and suggests that they wait until morning. He wonders why Don Quixote doesn’t lead them there, and the knight explains angrily that he has never seen Dulcinea and loves her only by hearsay. Sancho takes the opportunity to say that he has never seen Dulcinea either, since he delivered Quixote’s message by hearsay, but Quixote assumes he’s joking.
Quixote is becoming more canny and self-aware; his perspective is doubling into his vision of the world and the crudely ‘realistic’ perspective of most the people that surround him. But Dulcinea remains his particular blind spot. His idea of her has not doubled at all; he seems incapable of imagining her through the eyes of others.
Quixote asks a stranger on the road to point them to Dulcinea’s castle, and the stranger directs them to the house of the village priest, who has a list of El Toboso’s inhabitants. Sancho convinces Quixote to spend the night in the forest outside the village, and promises to go looking for Dulcinea in the morning.
As in the adventure of the fulling-hammers, Sancho convinces Quixote to approach a new situation during the day, instead of at night. He is encouraging Quixote to see things clearly, in the light of day, instead of imagining them romantically in the moonlight.