The Ransom of Red Chief Questions and Answers
by O. Henry

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How did the boy’s father outsmart the kidnappers in "The Ransom of Red Chief"?

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In the short story "The Ransom of Red Chief", two kidnappers get much more that they ever expected when trying to kidnap a young boy and hold him for ransom. The boy turns out to be so spoiled rotten that the kidnappers can not handle being around him. They attempt to get money from the boy's father, but the boy's father "outsmarts" them by refusing to pay. He not only refuses to pay the kidnappers, he tells them they will have to pay him to take the boy back and let them go. This is a perfect example of irony in literature.

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