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There's a line in the "Girl" story of O Henry saying, "Going to be something doing in the humidity line to-night." What does this mean? I didn't get the "humidity line" part.

... A puff of red-hot air flavoured with lemon peelings, soft-coal smoke and train oil came in through the half-open windows.

   Robbins, fifty, something of an overweight beau, and addicted to first nights and hotel palm-rooms, pretended to be envious of his partner’s commuter’s joys.

   “Going to be something doing in the humidity line to-night,” he said. “You out-of-town chaps will be the people, with your katydids and moonlight and long drinks and things out on the front porch.”

   Hartley, twenty-nine, serious, thin, good-looking, nervous, sighed and frowned a little.

   “Yes,” said he, “we always have cool nights in Floralhurst, especially in the winter.”

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    Are you reading this online? Could you post a link to the source if so? I would like to see the context of this sentence. – K.A.Monica Mar 29 '14 at 18:45
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This is a jocular statement in early 20th-century US colloquial diction.

  1. The subject has been omitted; this is a matter of conversational deletion.

    The omitted subject is the dummy or existential there, so the matrix clause is ‘There is going to be something doing.’

  2. There is something doing ... This is a stock phrase meaning approximately Something is happening or There will be activity or (in 1960s slang) Something is going down.

  3. In the X line ... Originally line in uses of this sort meant the ‘right line’ to be followed in any activity, but by the late 18th century the sense was extended to the line of business or occupation in which one engages, or the line of merchandise sold by a particular salesman, and was eventually extended in jocular use to what you observe here: a deliberately ponderous way of saying having to do with X.

So what we have is

There is going to be considerable activity having to do with humidity tonight.

In other words, “The weather is going to be very humid tonight.”

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...in the humidity line to-night.

This sounds too archaic. Even the spelling of tonight is to-night. I could not get any other meaning of this line than thinking about 'humidity' that might be making the nights colder.

To back this, I searched and found the answer that is said in the response to that sentence.

'Yes,' said he, 'we always have cool nights in Floralhurst, especially in the winter.'

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    Too archaic? You must consider the source. The story was written by O. Henry (1862-1910). At that time, to-night was commonly spelled in that manner, as can be seen by this Ngram. – J.R. Mar 30 '14 at 0:40
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I understand this sentence like this: because the weather is hot (red-hot air) and because Robbins "pretended to be envious" and wanted to show it (to be polite with Hartley by talking about weather) and he said this:

“Going to be something doing in the humidity line to-night,” he said. “You out-of-town chaps will be the people, with your katydids and moonlight and long drinks and things out on the front porch.”

it is mean that the weather is exhausting for him cause it "hot" and have high "humidity". (and Robbins "jealous" him cause Hartley out-of-town (from some village maybe) and there cool (not so hot). But in the reality Robbins doesn't care about the weather cause he is fond of "metropolitan amusements".

But I'm like the inquirer too didn't get "line" in "humidity line" and in the sentence. And also I can be mistaken in all the meanings.

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