“But they waited for about half an hour, at the end of which they began to pull the rope in with great ease because there wasn’t any weight on it, which made them suppose that Don Quixote had remained down below…” (Cervantes 636).
The element of time in novels is difficult to convey since an author is incapable of literally writing about the entire time span between two significant events. In this case, Cervantes uses “eventually” and “welcome back, sir” in order to indicate a passage of time. Although it took half an hour to bring Don Quixote back, the reader only spends approximately a minute reading the entire paragraph regarding his departure. Words such as “eventually” demonstrate an occurrence or sequence that has occurred. Don Quixote’s voice getting smaller and smaller is also another sign of elapsed time.