ify his first impression. She was not only plain, but quite strikingly homely. Out in the Square below he could see the gathering crowd, and realized there was no time to lose by indirection.
"Miss de Vere," he began bluntly, "you'll excuse me, but this is business, meaning somethin' more than tea-table compliments to you and me. If you'll pardon my simple longshore language, what's happened to you? I ain't casting any reversions, child, but you sure ain't so much Lottie as I was led to expect, from the time I met you before."
"The Lottie you met before," she said coolly, "was my sister."
"My sister!" repeated the faded enchantress somewhat shrilly. "Y' see, we used to call ourselves Lottie and Dottie de Vere; but that was only a stage name. Our real name is Hogbloom, which ain't romantic enough for two sisters doin' the double saxophone act. Six months ago Lottie married a rich Rube and went to live in Australia, so I didn't see any harm in friskin' her name
In order for San Bruno to increase its population by 5,000 people (why is never made clear), a group of town boosters decide to raffle off a subdivision lot, the house on it, and a beautiful woman to marry. This was long before there was a state lottery or Indian casinos.
Presumably, the schemers involved are supposed to be admirable. The story is rather dated, and naturally sexism runs through it.
This is not a story for children, as people smoke cigarettes without bad consequences.