Why did Bill and Sam in "The Ransom of Red Chief," by O. Henry, kidnap Ebenezer Dorset's son?

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kathik eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In O. Henry's short story, "The Ransom of Red Chief," two men named Bill and Sam kidnap a little boy from his father, Ebenezer Dorset. Bill and Sam, together, had about six hundred dollars, but they needed another $2000.00 for a money making plan they had concocted. They decided that a man like Mr. Dorset would gladly pay to get his son back. Mr. Dorset was considered a well-to-do citizen in the town of Summit, where he was a mortgage broker. Bill and Sam thought it would be easy to get a man like that to turn over some money. Of course, nothing is ever as easy as it looks, and Bill and Sam, in the end, had to pay old Mr. Dorset to take back his mischievous little boy!

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The Ransom of Red Chief

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