The Ransom of Red Chief

by O. Henry

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Are Bill and Sam villains in "The Ransom of Red Chief"?

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Bill and Sam were villains, their entire plot to kidnap the Dorset boy was aimed at funding another fraudulent venture in Western Illinois. The two men had raised six hundred dollars in funding but required an extra 2000 dollars to cover their cost for the venture. It was at that point that they had an idea to kidnap the Dorset boy in order to raise the amount.

Their initial research led them to believe that Mr. Dorset was capable of paying the amount because he was a prominent citizen and held a good job as a mortgage fancier. They kidnapped his son, the Red Chief. Little did they know that the boy was a menace, the Young Dorset terrorized Bill endlessly. The boy did this to a point that Bill conceded to botch the mission and hand over the child. However, at Sam’s insistence, he held on to the hope that they would make money out of their mission. Things did not go as planned, and the two kidnappers had to pay Mr. Dorset a sum of 250 dollars so he could take his son back.

'You know, Sam,' says Bill, 'I've stood by you without batting an eye in earthquakes, fire and flood--in poker games, dynamite outrages, police raids, train robberies and cyclones.

Bill and me had a joint capital of about six hundred dollars, and we needed just two thousand dollars more to pull off a fraudulent town-lot scheme in Western Illinois with.

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