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Wilbur Page, a once prosperous Santa Barbara businessman, faces bankruptcy and a possible jail sentence three days before his daughter Carolyn's wedding to the rich Bookington "Bookie" Wells. Frantically dodging the summons server, the Pages are unprepared for the appearance of their country cousin, Arabella, a talkative "bumpkin" whose mottos are "be good sweet maid" and "let who will be clever." Within hours of her arrival, Arabella usurps Carolyn's lavish trousseau and flirts openly with Bookie, who finds her seeming innocence "charming." As she plays the chattering fool, Arabella convinces Carolyn's younger sister Victoria to elope with her quiet boyfriend, Erasmus "Erp" Rockwell Pennington, a champion swimmer and, as Arabella alone discovers, a wealthy heir. On the pretext of stopping the elopement, Arabella flies to Ensenada, Mexico with Bookie, returning not only with his heart, but with a tip about a potentially lucrative oil stock as well. Wise to the Pages' financial crisis, Arabella informs Wilbur about the stock, talking him into taking a $25,000 loan on his life insurance policy to buy shares. In the middle of the wedding, Bookie's ex-wife Charmion shows up, claiming that Bookie's Mexican divorce is illegal in California. In the ensuing chaos, bookworm Carolyn announces that she wants to leave for New York to write novels rather than marry, while Wilbur discovers that his apparently bad stock has suddenly turned to gold. Once Erp establishes that Bookie's divorce was legal, Arabella, having restored the Pages' fortune single-handedly, accepts Bookie's proposal and marries him on the spot.