**He rose when Ellen appeared, and asked how she did, and offered her a chair. She thought that he had never looked better.**
I think that in the above sentence, 'he asked how she did' is the reported speech and the direct speech is ' he said to her, 'How do you do?'.
I think that she is acquainted with him because of the sentence ' he had never looked better.
If so, I wonder why he greeted with 'how do you do'. Because I think it's a greeting used when you first meet someone you don't know.
I think 'how are you?' is better greeting than 'how do you do?'. What do you think of that?
I want to know why 'how do you do' was used in the above sentence.
Thanks in advance.
Could it be that he's asking her about something specific? I can't tell from the contect but let's say she just had a test at school. Then he could ask her how she did. Otherwise I think it's more common to say:
**He rose when Ellen appeared, and asked how she was doing**
Mind I'm not a teacher nor a native.