Bill Driscoll is one of two kidnappers who take a young boy named Johnny Dorset for ransom. Ironically, however, the boy winds up taking control of the situation because he terrifies one kidnapper, Bill, while the second, Sam, negotiates the ransom. As a result, Bill endures physically exhausting play with the rambunctious Johnny. Johnny yells at, threatens, hits and punches Bill--leaving a few marks in the process! Bill soon becomes overwhelmed and fatigued. As Sam attempts to leave him with the boy a second time, Bill makes the following comment:
"Sam, do you know who my favorite Biblical character is? . . . King Herod . . . You won't go away and leave me here alone, will you, Sam?"
King Herod is the one who ordered all firstborn baby boys killed when he heard rumors that a baby had been born who would take his place as King of the Jews. Since Johnny is his father's eldest, Bill's reference to King Herod from the New Testament is appropriate. He implies that King Herod had the right idea by killing little boys. This helps to show the reader how Bill truly feels about Johnny. He either wishes he could kill Johnny, or he wishes Johnny had never been born. Either way, it is humorous that Bill would make this connection to King Herod in the Bible. It shows just how overwhelmed Bill is after spending so much time with Johnny. The comment is also funny because it isn't explained further. The King Herod comment is left untouched by the characters so readers can make the connection to the story about King Herod for themselves and draw their own conclusions about Bill's feelings in "The Ransom of Red Chief."