The before and after of the fantastic Hetty Green story traces the getting and spending of that $100,000,000 estate and provides some answers to ""who got the fruit"". It also retouches the portrait of the woman who through ""forgery, perjury, penury, genius, ruthlessness and physical stamina"" as well as a lifetime of litigation built this fortune. There are snapshots of Hetty, heating oatmeal on radiators, munching graham crackers, saving pennies but costing her son his leg (an amputation due to a delayed doctor's visit), haggling, and fighting with tax men and lawyers and the members of her family. But much of researcher Lowis' fascinating chronology is devoted to her son, the timid boy who entered politics who maintained for many years as mistress Mabel Harlow (to whom his mother referred as ""Miss Harlot""), and who at her death made quite a splash- with Mabel- in Miami high life. His death finds the Greens once again in litigation, as Mabel's bequest is contested by the Widow Wilks, the Colonel's sister, who in her turn at her death left the tremendous fortune in 28 trust funds, many of them to charitable institutions....The author of the earlier, and also excellent, The Worlds of Chippy Patterson, has told his story with a thorough respect for the facts which does not diminish his lively eye for the behavioral curiosa of many involved in a story with an abiding appeal.