The story is a joke gone wrong. John De Graffenreid Atwood was the American consul at Coralio; and he was trying to forget Rosine. While under the influence of brandy we learn that Rosine has chosen Pink Dawson a farmer with 500 acres. Meanwhile he receives a letter from an American citizen wanting to know whether it would be profitable to open a shoe business. John thinking it is a joke from his uncle back home, sends word saying that there are 3,000 inhabitants and not a shoe store among them. He of course does not mention that people don’t where shoes in Coralio.
Several weeks later, the man selling shoes has landed with 6 barges of shoes totaling $4,000. As it turns out, the shoe salesman is none other than Rosine’s father with Rosine in tow. As it turned out, Rosine wasn’t at all impressed with Pink Dawson. So John must save the day to keep his hopeful future father-in-law from going belly up. I’m not going to tell you the plan. But it was rather ingenious. As typical of O. Henry there was a little twist at the end. But you’ll have to read it for yourself.
I thought it was funny. What men will do for love! Of course I don’t think I’ve ever heard of someone going quite this far. I mean usually it’s conquering a city or defeating a villian. But inflicting pain on two different villages! ACTION: side aching mirth. So someone read it and tell me what you think.