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The Ransom of Red Chief

by O. Henry

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Discussion Topic

Narrator and referenced magazine in "The Ransom of Red Chief"

Summary:

The narrator of "The Ransom of Red Chief" is Sam, one of the two kidnappers. The magazine referenced is the Police Gazette, which Bill reads while they are holding the boy captive.

Expert Answers

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What is the name of the narrator in "The Ransom of Red Chief"?

The narrator of "The Ransom of Red Chief" is Sam. He and Bill Driscoll have cooked up a plan to "pull off a fraudulent town-lot scheme in Western Illinois" and need two thousand dollars to do it. So they come up with another plan: kidnap a member of a wealthy family and hold him or her hostage for the money. Unfortunately for them, their victim turns out to be Johnny Dorset, son of a prominent mortgage broker. Instead of getting their two thousand bucks, they end up having to pay Johnny's father to take him back! 

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Which magazine is the narrator referring to in "The Ransom of Red Chief"?

I believe that reference is to MAD magazine and the character on the cover, Alfred E. Neuman's flaming red hair and large ears.

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