"The Outcasts of Poker Flat"?"It is but due to the sex, however, to state that their impropriety was professional..." (paragraph #3). What does Harte mean by "professional"? What is the ladies'...

"The Outcasts of Poker Flat"?

"It is but due to the sex, however, to state that their impropriety was professional..." (paragraph #3). What does Harte mean by "professional"? What is the ladies' "impropriety"?

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Author Bret Harte was doing his absolute best to describe their crime as delicately as possible in his short story, "The Outcasts of Poker Flat." The group of four people who were cast out of the town of Poker Flat were John Oakhurst (a gambler), Uncle Billy (a thief) and two women--Mother Shipton and Duchess. Harte doesn't spell it out clearly, but the two women are prostitutes, and they were run out of the town for the "impropriety" of taking money for sex. Mother Shipton, the older of the two, is probably the madam.

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