Explain why the reply of Red Chief's father is an example of irony.

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thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Red Chief’s father, Ebenezer Dorset, received the ransom letter from the kidnappers and in their letter they asked for 1,500 dollars in exchange for Dorset’s son. Ironically, Ebenezer replied and stated that the kidnappers pay him 250 dollars so he could take back his son. In a turn of events, the kidnappers were required to pay a 'ransom' so they could stop their torment at the hands of the Red Chief.

Gentlemen: I received your letter to-day by post, in regard to the ransom you ask for the return of my son. I think you are a little high in your demands, and I hereby make you a counter-proposition, which I am inclined to believe you will accept. You bring Johnny home and pay me two hundred and fifty dollars in cash, and I agree to take him off your hands.- Ebenezer Dorset in response to the kidnappers' letter.

Sam and Bill, the kidnappers, were short of 2000 dollars for their fraudulent business. They decided to kidnap Ebenezer’s son so they could raise the amount from the ransom money. However, they did not conduct a thorough background check on their target and little did they know that the boy was a menace. They realized this after they kidnapped the boy and it was quite peculiar that not even the authorities came in search for the boy. The Red Chief tormented and terrorized his captors and rejected their attempts to take him back home. When Ebenezer offered to take the boy back including the 250 dollars, the kidnappers were relieved. They saw this as the best opportunity to get rid of the menace.