Hygeia at the Solito (Henry)

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Hygeia at the Solito
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A former prizefighter, Cricket McGuire, finds himself broke and sick in San Antonio. Curtis Raidler, a cattleman, takes him to his ranch to recover. McGuire initially resents Raidler's help but eventually realizes the value of hard work and the kindness of others.

In the early 'nineties, a champion and a "would-be" faced each other in a brief boxing match. The champion easily defeated his opponent and left the ring, unimpressed. The defeated boxer, Cricket McGuire, found himself in a predicament as he sat coughing on a depot platform in San Antonio.

Cricket McGuire — ex-feather-weight prizefighter; tout, jockey, follower of the 'ponies'; sick, broke, and cynical.

Curtis Raidler, a cattleman, approached McGuire and offered his help.

Curtis Raidler — Nueces County cattleman; kind, patient, and generous.

McGuire was suspicious of Raidler's intentions but eventually accepted his assistance.

“G’wan,” he rasped, “telegraph pole. I didn’t ring for yer.”

Raidler took McGuire to his ranch, where he provided him with a room and care.

“You’re going down to my ranch,” said the cattleman, “and stay till you get well. Six months’ll fix you good as new.”

However, McGuire soon became a burden, complaining about his illness and demanding special treatment. Raidler, frustrated with McGuire's behavior, decided to confront him. He discovered that McGuire had been faking his illness and sent him to work with the cowboys. McGuire proved to be a hard worker and a skilled fighter. When Raidler returned to the ranch after a trip, he learned that McGuire had left the camp and was presumed dead. However, Raidler later encountered McGuire at the branding camp, where he had been working hard and proving himself to be a valuable member of the team.