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The narrator of "The Ransom of Red Chief" is Sam. He and Bill Driscoll have cooked up a plan to "pull off a fraudulent town-lot scheme in Western Illinois" and need two thousand dollars to do it. So they come up with another plan: kidnap a member of a wealthy family and hold him or her hostage for the money. Unfortunately for them, their victim turns out to be Johnny Dorset, son of a prominent mortgage broker. Instead of getting their two thousand bucks, they end up having to pay Johnny's father to take him back!
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