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The two kidnappers, the small-time con men of O. Henry's short story of comic reversals, come to Summit, Alabama, which is located at the southernmost part of the Appalachian Mountains. They figure that the people are rather backward and can be easily manipulated.
It [Summit] contained inhabitants of as undeleterious and self-satisfied a class of peasantry as ever clustered around a Maypole.
Even more than the fact that the town is filled with simple folks, Sam and Bill figure that such a small, remote town will not have any kind of police force or network with other law enforcement agencies. Nor would it have a sophisticated news media, or any reporters from a city who are looking for a story; instead, there is probably only a small local paper. (This story is set at the turn of the nineteenth century, so there would be no television or even radio, probably. Marconi invented it in 1895).
We knew that Summit couldn't get after us with anything stronger than constables and, maybe, some lackadaisical bloodhounds and a diatribe or two in the Weekly Farmers' Budget.
The only two elements upon which Sam and Bill do not figure are Ebenezer Dorset and his red-headed son.
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