Wednesday, June 22, 2011

"The Honor of His House"

Carlos Wyld Ospina.

Summary: a half-blind beggar, homeless, traveling on foot cross-country, stops at a ranch house aching with hunger. He is fed and then sees that his former wife is working on the ranch with their fifteen-year-old daughter. He and his ex-wife hate each other.

Juan Barrabas, the beggar, is hired as a jack-of-all-trades. And he is excellent at his work. The ranch, because of his work, is profitable and the Boss even brags about this extraordinary man to his neighbors and the town folk.

One day, his ex-wife tells him her boss is interested in their young, fifteen-year-old daughter and she wants to encourage the affair. Juan Barabbas beats her to within an inch of her life. No such thing will happen on his honor.

His wife whines and cries at her beating, but in the end, she recognizes that he is an honorable man and a man of honor and admits that he is reforming everyone on the ranch, including her, and she proclaims him a saint.

Comment: From bum to saint in one short story. The bum with the heart of gold. RayS.

Spanish Stories and Tales. Ed. By Harriet de OnĂ­s. The Pocket Library, 1956. Pp. 49-84.

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