Roque turned round at the noise and perceived this comely figure, which drawing near thus addressed him, "I came in quest of thee, valiant Roque, to find in thee if not a remedy at least relief in my misfortune; and not to keep thee in suspense, for I see thou dost not recognise me, I will tell thee who I am; I am Claudia Jeronima, the daughter of Simon Forte, thy good friend, and special enemy of Clauquel Torrellas, who is thine also as being of the faction opposed to thee.
Roque, filled with admiration at the gallant bearing, high spirit, comely figure, and adventure of the fair Claudia, said to her, "Come, senora, let us go and see if thy enemy is dead; and then we will consider what will be best for thee." Don Quixote, who had been listening to what Claudia said and Roque Guinart said in reply to her, exclaimed, "Nobody need trouble himself with the defence of this lady, for I take it upon myself.
Roque, who was paying more attention to the fair Claudia's adventure than to the words of master or man, did not hear them; and ordering his squires to restore to Sancho everything they had stripped Dapple of, he directed them to return to the place where they had been quartered during the night, and then set off with Claudia at full speed in search of the wounded or slain Don Vicente.
The wounded gentleman opened his all but closed eyes, and recognising Claudia said, "I see clearly, fair and mistaken lady, that it is thou that hast slain me, a punishment not merited or deserved by my feelings towards thee, for never did I mean to, nor could I, wrong thee in thought or deed."
"It is not true, then," said Claudia, "that thou wert going this morning to marry Leonora the daughter of the rich Balvastro?"
Claudia wrung his hands, and her own heart was so wrung that she lay fainting on the bleeding breast of Don Vicente, whom a death spasm seized the same instant.
So vehement and so piteous were the lamentations of Claudia that they drew tears from Roque's eyes, unused as they were to shed them on any occasion.
Roque laughed at Don Quixote's exhortation, and changing the conversation he related the tragic affair of Claudia Jeronima, at which Sancho was extremely grieved; for he had not found the young woman's beauty, boldness, and spirit at all amiss.