How does Bill feel about the boy in The Ransom of Red Chief?

Expert Answers
amarang9 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Bill cannot stand the boy. Upon kidnapping him, Johnny puts up such a fight that Bill is left putting ointment on his wounds. Johnny, "Red Chief," is having so much fun terrorizing Bill and pretending he is camping that he doesn't even want to go home. Bill takes the brunt of most of Johnny's energy. Not only is Bill exhausted and beat up, but he is mentally worn out. Eventually, he becomes afraid of Red Chief. Sam notes, "That boy had Bill terrorized from the start." 

Sam awakens the day after the kidnapping to hear Bill screaming like a woman. Johnny was "industriously and realistically trying to take Bill’s scalp." Sam gets the knife from Johnny and adds that "Bill's spirit was broken." Bill won't even sleep because he is legitimately afraid of what Johnny might do. Bill even tries to send Johnny home before they hear from Ebenezer about the ransom. By the end, Bill is so terrified and exhausted that he doesn't mind paying to have Johnny sent back home.