In the story "The Ransom of Red Chief," why is Bill's favorite Biblical character King Herod? Why is this humorous? 

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Bill likes King Herod because he was—shall we say—rather more forceful in dealing with young children than Bill could ever be. Bill desperately wishes he could channel the murderous spirit of this biblical baby-killer in handling the spoiled brat that is Johnny Dorset. That is he woefully unable to do so is ironic indeed. Bill wants to be tough just like his favorite character from the Bible but somehow just can't manage it. In case we didn't already know it, Bill lacks the ruthlessness to be a master criminal like his hero; he and his partner Sam are strictly small-time.

Angered and embarrassed by his inability to tame little Johnny, Bill thinks it would've been better if little Johnny had never been born at all or maybe bumped off when he was younger. At least then, Bill wouldn't have to deal with him now.

"The Ransom of Red Chief " is about two kidnappers who are terrorized by the boy they have kidnapped. This is at the center of the reference to Herod who, in the New Testament,...

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