Another Hemingway short story! In this one, a Mr. Frazer is in the hospital with a broken leg. We don’t get a lot of information about Mr. Frazer although he seems to be a writer.
During his stay, he encounters a professional, but unsuccessful, gambler, Cayutano Ruiz, in the hospital after being shot by someone he took for $38. Several of Ruiz’s friends visit him and a conversation ensues with Mr. Frazer about religion. According to one of the friends, religion is the opium of the people (he couldn’t remember from whom he had heard this). Mr. Frazer, to himself, decides that there are many aspects of life that could be considered “opium”. He comes up with his own list.
Mr. Frazer enjoys the hospital’s radio (my guess is this story takes place before television) to listen to music, baseball and football. As the hospital is in Montana, the radio picks up more stations as the local ones sign off for the night.
Speaking of religion, a nun nurses both Mr. Frazer and Ruiz. Sister Cecilia comes with her own quirks and eccentricities. She enjoys listening to baseball with Mr. Frazer but has to repeatedly run to the chapel to pray when the game’s action gets tense:
The world series nearly finished me. When the Athletics were at bat I was praying right out loud: ‘Oh, Lord, direct their batting eyes! Oh, Lord, may he hit one! Oh, Lord, may he hit safely!’ Then when they filled the bases in the third game, you remember, it was too much for me. ‘Oh, Lord, may he hit it out of the lot! Oh, Lord, may he drive it clean over the fence!’ Then you know when the Cardinals would come to bat it was simply dreadful. ‘Oh, Lord, may they not see it! Oh, Lord, don’t let them even catch a glimpse of it!’
She doesn’t see how anyone could enjoy football, until she discovers Notre Dame.