Who is Johnny Dorset in the story "The Ransom of Red Chief"?

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Johnny Dorset is the son of Ebenezer Dorset, who is a prominent citizen of Summit and a wealthy mortgage fancier. Sam and Bill are the two outlaws who kidnap Johnny Dorset in hopes of ransoming him off and getting his wealthy father to pay a handsome sum for Johnny's return....

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Johnny Dorset is the son of Ebenezer Dorset, who is a prominent citizen of Summit and a wealthy mortgage fancier. Sam and Bill are the two outlaws who kidnap Johnny Dorset in hopes of ransoming him off and getting his wealthy father to pay a handsome sum for Johnny's return. However, the two kidnappers do not anticipate Johnny's antics as he begins to terrorize them while they are waiting for his father to respond to their ransom note.

Johnny Dorset is portrayed as a rambunctious, bold child, who thoroughly enjoys the adventure of camping with outlaws in the great outdoors. He insists on being called Red Chief and proceeds to terrorize Bill and annoy Sam while they are waiting to receive his ransom.

Ironically, Johnny's father writes a letter to the outlaws demanding two hundred and fifty dollars to take his son back and the outlaws comply. Sam and Bill are forced to come up with a scheme to return Johnny and end up paying Ebenezer Dorset the money to take back Red Chief.

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The name Johnny Dorset does not occur in the story until the end.  The kidnappers decide to kidnap a child of a prominent citizen for the purpose of getting money.  They chose the only child of Ebenezer Dorset, a mortgage financier.  They figured they could shake down the old man for about two thousand dollars. 

When they kidnap the boy, he puts up a tremendous fight, but as soon as they get him back to the cave where they are staying, the boy starts playing Indians and calls himself Red Chief.  For the rest of the story, he is called Red Chief.  It isn’t until the kidnappers get a response from their ransom note that the name Johnny Dorset is mentioned.  The old man responds,

“You bring Johnny home and pay me two hundred and fifty dollars in cash, and I agree to take him off your hands.“ (pg 7)

That is when we learn that the kidnapped boy is Johnny Dorset.  The kidnappers pay the ransom and gladly leave him with his father. 

My copy of the story comes from the internet.  The page numbers may be different in your copy, but it should give you a basic idea of where to locate the information.  

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