This section contains 1,491 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Chapters 19-24 Summary
Brooks and Johnson push through people, making a pathway for Sonny to walk through on his way to his fight. Reporters are asking him questions about Indian rights, and Brooks defends him saying that he is there to fight, not to discuss politics. They brush up on the rules, and Brooks gives Sonny a pep talk. They discuss fighting strategies, and Sonny goes out to fight. The monster arises, whispering that Sonny should hit his opponent a lot. He does so, and his opponent strikes back, battering him back against the ring ropes. Through all the noise, Sonny hears Doll call his name. He knows he has to fight back.
Sonny rises up, realizing that he is the monster, and it is up to him to control himself. He has to tame the monster and make it work for him. Using lessons learned from previous fights, he goes back after his opponent. He controls himself and the ring, winning the match.
It seems as if everybody wants to know about him and his past. They are curious about the Reservation and his name. Sonny learns that Hubbard had beaten Brooks during Brooks' last fight 20 years prior. Sonny will be fighting Hubbard's son for the Gotham Gloves title. The press is excited about this, calling it the quarter-century grudge match. As they pose for pictures, Hubbard whispers to Sonny that he should never pass up publicity.
As he leaves the locker room, Sonny finds Doll. He tells her that he heard her. Stick is there as well. Brooks sees him and tells Stick to stay away from Sonny. He says that they are there to watch the fight, and Doll invites Sonny out to celebrate with them. Brooks says he has something else to do, and Doll challenges Sonny. He has to make a choice, and he chooses to go with Brooks.
Sonny is cranky and tired all week. He trains hard, impressing everyone. He is trying not to think about Doll. Jake had stayed for a few days, then he had gone back to the Reservation. Brooks can't visit because he is very close to breaking his case. Martin invites him to stay with his family for the last two nights before the fight. While they are at Martin's house, the entire family watches fights on the VCR. His journey begins to seem real to him.
The night before the flight, Martin finds Sonny drawing. He can't believe how good Sonny is. They talk a bit about Sonny's mother and about Doll. They also talk about the hawk. The phone rings, and it is a message that Brooks has been shot. They have to get to the hospital quickly because it is very bad. At the hospital, Mrs. Brooks tells Sonny that Brooks wants to see him. He tells Sonny to win.
They aren't allowed in the dressing room at the competition. Johnson checks into it and learns that Sonny has been disqualified because he had been in pro fights upstate. He had never thought to tell Henry Johnson about the fights because they had been so small. However, he had been paid, so they still count. He is not allowed to fight as an amateur anymore. Together, they decide that they will do it the hard way; they will just have to fight Pro.
Sonny is on his way to The Deuce. Martin tries to come with him, and he tells Martin to get out of the truck. His friend won't listen. Martin keeps asking questions, wondering if Stick shot Brooks. Sonny tells Martin to reach deep into truck's dashboard. His friend finds an old Colt .45. Sonny takes the gun and tells Martin to make sure that the truck gets back to Jake no matter what happens. He goes into Chub's pizza, but ignores the man behind the counter. Martin follows him. He goes into the back, telling Chub that Stick called them regarding an emergency. He finds Stick, Doll, and a baby. It is Jessie. Although Sonny is attracted to Doll, he pushes those feelings back. Sonny tells Stick that he has come to kill him. Stick tells him that it was either Brooks or himself. Sonny accuses Stick of turning him in for commission. Stick denies it.
As they talk, Stick does admit to setting him up with the drugs. The monster arises, and Sonny still wants to kill Stick. Martin tells him not to do it. Stick tells Sonny that Brooks just wants him to be a rat for him, and Martin reminds him that Brooks and Jake want him to be a fighter - a Running Brave. Sonny struggles to regain control of himself. He realizes that it isn't a monster inside him but a hawk. It breaks free, and he is in control. He decides to take Stick in. Stick doesn't think Doll will let him, but she is more interested in protecting her baby.
Chub tries to stand up for stick, but when he sees that Sonny has a gun, he backs down. They drive to the hospital.
Sonny enters the Hillcrest Lodge, and it is smaller than he remembered. He is used to playing on a different level now. Martin and Johnson tell him to stick and run the early rounds. He shouldn't head-hunt. Sonny forces himself to think about the fight and not about Brooks, lying in the hospital. The man will never walk again. The crowd wants to see some real action, but Sonny ignores them. He is going to play smart. Martin calls out the plays, and Sonny concentrates on maintaining control without getting mad. He wins the match easily. When his win is announced, he is called The Tomahawk Kid.
Chapters 19-24 Analysis
Instead of being an outcast, Sonny is starting to get a good name for himself. He has fans trying to get his autograph. Reporters want to learn about his Indian heritage. Instead of being a negative thing, it is starting to work in his favor. Even though he is defeating his opponents on a regular basis, he still has many things to learn. Instead of getting angry, he is open to the new lessons. When he finds himself in a tight spot, he realizes that he is the monster, and it is up to himself to gain control. Jake had been telling him that all along, but now he is realizing it on his own. He ignores the crowds and uses his brain in the ring, and it makes him a formidable opponent.
As the reporters interview him about his own successes, the spotlight wais brought onto Brooks and his past. As Sonny is reveling in the high of his success, he comes face to face with his own past from the street. Doll and Stick invite him out with them, and he is offered a choice between his two worlds. Although he is still attracted to Doll, he makes his choice and chooses his future with Brooks and boxing.
The decision is difficult for him, and he is out-of-sorts for the week following his choice. Martin's family supports him, and he is able to talk with his new friend a bit about some of the things he has kept hidden in his life such as his drawing and his attraction to Doll. His two worlds collide once again when he learns that Brooks has been shot. Even though the man wais gravely injured, he is calling for Sonny, showing the bond between the two. He is encouraging Sonny to win.
Sonny doesn't have a chance to win for Brooks. He is barred from the fight. He decides to take action, thinking that Stick has turned him in. Sonny shows the same tenacity he did at the beginning of the book when he had gone forward to hunt Stick down even when the odds had been against him.
Sonny is furious, and he goes to The Deuce for revenge. He is put in a position where he can choose to yield to temptation with Doll, but he is able to maintain his focus mentally. He is also on the verge of killing Stick in his anger, but once again, he is able to harness his anger and control himself. Instead of killing the boy, he takes him to the hospital. For the first time, he identifies with the Running Braves. Sonny pulls from all the lessons that he had learned on his own personal journey to do the right thing. He is ready to move on, doing the right thing.
Sonny has come full cycle. Now, back at the place he started, he is a new man. He is a fighter with control who is proud of his heritage. He is truly ready to embrace the future and succeed, embracing the warrior, the Running Brave, within him.
This section contains 1,491 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)