In "The Ransom of Red Chief" the two inexperienced kidnappers discover to their dismay that their "victim" fantasizes about being a wild Indian--and acts like a wild Indian. The boy doesn't not mind in the least being kidnapped. He likes it. He considers it a great adventure.
Yes, sir, that boy seemed to be having the time of his life. The fun of camping out in a cave had made him forget that he was a captive himself. He immediately christened me Snake-eye, the Spy, and announced that, when his braves returned from the warpath, I was to be broiled at the stake at the rising of the sun.
Red Chief's fantasies about being a savage Indian make him dangerous because he comes up with different weapons, including rocks, slingshots, and knives. Bill and Sam are afraid to go to sleep. They don't know what Red Chief might try to do to them while they are asleep. Their biggest problem seems to be that they have no moral authority with the boy as adults because they are kidnappers. The boy relates to them as outlaws rather than as caretakers. It is because of the upside-down situation they have gotten themselves into that it seems reasonable for Bill and Sam to pay a "reverse ransom" to get the boy off their hands. In the usual kidnapping, the parent is happy to pay a ransom in order to get his beloved child back, but in this story the parent Ebenezer Dorset does not seem the least bit anxious to get Johnny back--which is why they have to pay to have the father take his wildcat son back.