The Ransom of Red Chief

by O. Henry
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In "The Ransom of Red Chief," how had "That boy had Bill frightened from the start"? In what way did it affect the course of the story?

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The idea to kidnap the young boy and demand ransom seemed brilliant to both Sam and Bill. However, the situation changed when they actually got the boy. They did not anticipate any hardships in getting the money from the boy’s father and pulling off their planned fraudulent scheme in Western...

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The idea to kidnap the young boy and demand ransom seemed brilliant to both Sam and Bill. However, the situation changed when they actually got the boy. They did not anticipate any hardships in getting the money from the boy’s father and pulling off their planned fraudulent scheme in Western Illinois. Sam left Bill and the boy at the hideout, but upon his return, Bill was hurt, and the boy was enjoying the wild. The situation was not going as expected and Bill was terrified of the boy. The boy was responsible for the bruises on Bill’s body after hitting him as they played.

I jumped up to see what the matter was. Red Chief was sitting on Bill's chest, with one hand twined in Bill's hair. In the other he had the sharp case-knife we used for slicing bacon; and he was industriously and realistically trying to take Bill's scalp.

The situation affected Bill’s resolve to get the ransom. He convinced Sam to ask for less in order to return the boy to his parents. The boy’s father offered to take back his son but at a fee. Bill was ready to pay the amount due to what he had gone through at the hands of the boy. Bill’s fear and the boy’s behavior altered the course of the story, and in an ironical twist of events, the ransom was paid by the kidnappers.

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