Who is the father of the victim in the story "The Ransom Of Red Chief"?

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The kidnappers in "The Ransom of Red Chief" select a man whom they believe will be able to pay a high ransom.  The man they select is Ebenezer Dorset. He is described as a "prominent citizen" (para. 4), a respectable man in the town, said to be "a mortgage fancier" (para. 4), which suggests that he is someone who holds many mortgages, possibly a banker. And we know that he forecloses on mortgages, too.  Sam and Bill believe that he is a suitable candidate to pay the $2,000 they intend to demand as a ransom.  Little do they know that Ebenezer will not only refuse to pay this ransom, but also will demand money from them to take back his son.  The consequences of their kidnapping probably cure them for life of trying this again!


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The kidnappers needed two thousand dollars to pull off a dishonest scheme they had planned in the Western Illinois.  They figured an easy way to get the money was to kidnap the child of a prominent citizen of Summit.  They would demand a two thousand dollar ransom, and get the money easily.  They chose the only child of a mortgage and foreclosure financier named Ebenezer Dorset.  The man was older, the child was his only child, and the child was ten years old, so he would be easy to handle. Because he was an only child, the kidnappers felt that Ebenezer would

“…… melt down for a ransom of two thousand dollars to the cent” (pg 1)

However, Ebenezer was not that easy.  He knew his child was a living terror.  He negotiated a settlement with the kidnappers in which he would take the child back if the kidnappers paid him two hundred and fifty dollars.  They capitulated eagerly. 

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