The Ransom of Red Chief
The Ransom of Red Chief is a 1910 short story by O. Henry. It follows two men who kidnap and attempt to ransom a wealthy Alabaman's son; eventually, the men are driven to distraction by the boy and end up having to pay the boy's father to take him back.
Two thieves, Bill and Sam, plot to kidnap the son of an important citizen named Ebenezer Dorset, demand a ransom of $2,000, quickly collect the payoff, and be on their way. However, once they actually kidnap the boy and make their way to a hideout in the nearby hills, their plan quickly begins to unravel. Their young captive, a malevolent, redheaded brat who calls himself Red Chief (real name: Johnny Dorset), actually enjoys his stay with his kidnappers, and thinks he is on a camping trip.
Come on, Bill. We're here.
But ... the train isn't stopping!
- The Ransom of Red Chief