Compare and contrast the kidnappers and Johnny's father in "The Ransom of Red Chief." 

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amarang9 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

By the end of the story, all three are very similar in that they all have bonded in the shared experience of dealing with Johnny's, Red Chief's, rambunctious wrath. The kidnappers had taken Johnny to get money for him in a ransom. In the end, they end up paying Johnny's father to take him back. The kidnappers and Johnny's father know what trouble Johnny is; not one of them wanted to deal with him. 

Sam and Bill send Ebenezer, Johnny's father, a ransom note demanding fifteen hundred dollars. Ebenezer sends them a reply stating that not only will he not pay them to get Johnny back; Ebenezer wants the kidnappers to pay him. The irony (and logic) is that Sam and Bill recognize that this is actually a good deal. Bill has little trouble convincing Sam that they should take the offer: 

Besides being a thorough gentleman, I think Mr. Dorset is a spendthrift for making us such a liberal offer. 

It is clear at the end, that all three characters have a mutual understanding that Johnny is impossible to deal with. 

When Johnny clings to Bill's leg as he leaves, Bill asks how long Ebenezer can hold him off so he and Sam can get out of town. Ebenezer responds that he can give them ten minutes; ironically, this is a playful, almost friendly exchange between a father and his son's kidnappers. 

Ebenezer understands their desire to leave immediately. The story ends with the kidnappers running, not from the authorities, but from the boy they kidnapped.