Dr. Bryson, a Texan who has retired from his medical practices, recalls his days as a student and times as a county doctor in Bastrop, Texas. Now an octogenarian, he reminisces with rolling good-will, some wickedness, and not a little self-satisfaction. This is understandable since he retired at sixty-three and has been living his ""golden age"" -- ""the smartest thing I ever did."" His power of recall is surprising and most of his stories have an edge. When he arrived in Bastrop, his possessions were one hundred dollars, one gray horse and one wife. He delights in discussing how he helped one lady murder her husband (a mean drunkard who turned his daughters into prostitutes). He suggested strychnine in the coffee. The husband duly died after a particularly bitter cup of coffee. Dr. Bryson decided against an autopsy... He also admits to ""selling operations."" But when a doctor rides twelve miles through the rain on his horse, he wants to make a sale.